Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hubbards hubbards everywhere

The yard-eating squash vine!
The baby Hubbard squash that took over the yard this summer left me with over a dozen fruits of varying size.  Right now the small ones are in a produce cart and the larger ones are collecting dust on the floor in the basement.  I figured it was time to start looking up some new recipes for these sweet, nutty, and flavorful winter squash.  In my search, I found so many fabulous recipes I decided to create a new post dedicated to winter squash recipes.

The first one I am trying out this afternoon is for a Hubbard casserole.  I don't have any bulgur flour, so I'll be using regular flour, the mozzarella will be substituted with Parmesan, almond meal for the bread crumbs and the coconut oil will be substituted with olive oil, as these are the ingredients I have on hand.

I cut one of the large squash in half, scooped out the seeds, some of which I will roast, and some of which I will save for the garden next year.  I cut up one half into nice little cubes for the casserole, and was still left with one large half squash.  It is in the oven as we speak, roasting at 350 degrees.  I will be making Winter Squash Puree with Shaved Parmesan for lunch tomorrow.

One of the baby Baby Hubbards back in June.
And this beauty, I could eat this all day every day for the rest of my life!  I am thinking of making this for Christmas, because tarte tatin is a "sometimes food".   Wouldn't it be delicious with pumpkin pie spice in the caramel?  mmm!

A lot of the recipes I found call for butternut squash, which gets the most culinary attention, probably do to the fact that it does not have warts and bumps or grow freakishly large.  Hubbards substitute well for butternut.

Squash are a great food to cook with because they can straddle the spectrum from sweet to savory with ease.  They are nutritious, filling, and incredibly inexpensive.  I'm happy to have a basement brimming with Hubbards and spaghetti squash (which I also grew in the garden this summer).  Between the squash and a freezer full of chickens and turkeys from the farm, we are pretty set for some amazing winter comfort foods.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sensitive to frost

I feel a bit like the poor okra standing in the garden, leaves crumpled and black with flower buds still bravely trying to open, despite the frosty evenings we've had this week.  It was so glorious this summer, tall and strong and massively productive, but as the days got shorter and the weather got colder, the poor okra started to wither and fade.  What is it about the lack of daylight, the leaves falling lazily from the trees, and the crisp fall air that makes me want to hang my head and cry?  With that first frost, a little part of me died, right along with the okra and basil. 

Thanks to some quickly constructed low tunnel hoop houses, my Swiss chard and lettuce should continue on through mid-winter, although this is my first year to try extending the season, and I'm not sure at all what I am doing.  I am pretty sure, however, that that's the only thing keeping me from completely collapsing under the weight of the impending winter.  That, and the gardening books and seed catalogs that I have already started devouring in earnest.  I only need to make it to February, when I can start seedlings in my basement, and then to March, when I can plant cold weather crops under my tunnels.  Until then, time will be spent adding layers of yard trimmings to my lasagna garden, building a salad box, sewing new gardening aprons and harvest baskets, and dreaming, scheming, and planning for another abundant gardening season in 2011.  R.I.P. tender plants, I did love you so.