Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Here they all are, the shining winter squash, freshly harvested!

But wait, what do you do with all these yummy beauties?  Well, first you need to wait at least a few weeks before eating one.  Winter Squash need some time to convert the starches they produce into sugars.  One year I read somewhere that Delicata squash can be eaten the same day as it is harvested.  I tried it, and did not cook another one for months because the one I did cook and eat had no flavor.  Long story short, the second one was yummy.  So it is worth the wait!

Storing squash can be a bit tricky.  It likes best to be around 50 degrees. Much colder is not better.  My dad used to store his hubbard squash under the bed in the spare bedroom that did not get heated.  I bag mine up after a few weeks out on the porch, and leave them in an unheated back room.

As you can see from the photo, I grow several varieties, and folks are often curious about which are my favorites, and how I cook them.  Favorites first!  I like the Sweet Dumplings, and Buttercups the best.  My yoga teacher likes the Sunshine, the bright orange ones best.

My favorite way to cook squash is to slice or cut it in half, scoop out the seed, place the flesh side down in a glass baking pan, add a few inches of water, cover with foil and bake for approx 1 hour in a 400 degree oven.  You can tell they are done when you poke the squash and it is soft under your finger.  Smaller squash can cook in 45 minutes, like the delicata.  And yes, I add butter to the cavity!

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