On Thu, 10 Jul 2008 06:20:41 -0400, Pat Kiewicz
: firstname.lastname@example.org said:
:>On Sat, 05 Jul 2008 06:52:35 -0400, Pat Kiewicz
:>:No, if you pick them early enough to leave time for more fruit, you will
:>:only get two inferior squash instead of one fantastic squash per plant,
:>:and maybe not get that second squash at all. (The days grow short
:>:quite rapidly at the end of the season.)
:>:For best keeping, the squash should be grown on the vine until it has
:>:a tough rind and very hard stem. Generally, this isn't until the squash
:>:has reached its proper varietal appearance. (One exception being some
:>:varieties of ornamental pumpkins which are bred to color up early.)
:>:Many winter squash will take on a silvery/powdery 'bloom' when they
:>:For best flavor, squash should be left on the vine as long as possible,
:>:and removed only when the vines have begun to die back and/or frosts
:>I cooked my very last kabocha last night. It was about the size of a
:>small grapefruit. By appearance it hadn't matured completely. It was
:>still quite brown, rather than the grey typical of a fruit that has
:>remained on the plant "indefinitely." However, it felt completely tight
:>and ROCK-HARD all over, completely devoid of blemishes! My experience
:>from last year was that 1/2 the fruits were cooked because they had
:>begun to show some kind of degradation as though if they weren't
:>consumed soon, they would rot in short order.
:I have to keep an eye on my stored squash for that. But since I like
:to used my squash mostly for things like soup or in waffles, I usually
:process them into a puree and freeze them.
I have a wonderful pumpkin soup recipe I've made many many times:
- - - -
Moroccan Pumpkin Soup:
2 cups cooked chickpeas (1 cup dried, washed and soaked overnight and
then cooked 1 1/4 hours, or canned)
3 Tbls olive or vegetable oil
2 leeks (white and light green part only) or 2 large onions, chopped
(about 1 1/2 cups)
8 cups of broth (or bullion)
2 1/2 lbs pumpkin, about 4 cups (after mashing), baked, parboiled or
canned. (Bake or parboil until soft, pumpkin or other winter squash.
Seed, halve and bake cut side down or peel, seed, chop and parboil,
2-4 Tbls sugar or honey
2 tsp ground cinnamon, or 1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp ground allspice (or nutmeg, or a pinch of ground cloves)
about 2 tsp salt
ground black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over med-low heat. Add the leeks or
onions and saute until soft and translucent, 5 to 10 min.
Combine the broth, pumpkin, chickpeas, sugar, spices, salt and pepper
and heat until boiling point. Reduce
heat to low, and simmer. If using the cinnamon stick, simmer for 15
minutes and discard stick. Check for seasonings. Combine with cooked
leeks or onions.
- - - -
I think I may have put pumpkin in waffles a time or two, puree, of
course. I do have a fair amount of frozen pumpkin and kabocha puree
(cooked, of course) in the freezer. The recipies I usually use it in are
the above soup recipe and this amazing recipe:
- - - -
1 29 oz. can pumpkin (or use fresh)
12 oz. evaporated milk (one can). For this, you can substitute 11 oz.
water and 1 cup non-fat milk powder.
1 cup sugar (brown is OK too)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
1 package Duncan Hines Cake mix, yellow (other brand should work OK)
1 cup melted butter
1 cup chopped nuts (I always use pecans, but walnuts might work well)
I generally make a 1/2 recipe.
Mix first 7 ingredients well. Pour into 9 x 13 pan (greased with towel
and margarine). Sprinkle dry cake mix on top of mixture, sprinkle nuts
over cake, sprinkle butter over cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, or
until cake tester comes out clean.
- - - -
:The longest a squash I had grew has kept (before rotting) was 1-1/2
:years! It was a large C. moshata (not a necked variety, a flat round
:type that my daughter nick-named "butt pumpkin" because it looked
:like a circle of derrieres). I let it go out of curiosity. It didn't dry out,
:it rotted in the end.
The one I cooked last night may well have been at 11 months, possibly
longer, and looked and felt for all the world like it was just picked.
It wouldn't surprise me if it would have lasted another 6 months to a
year. I ate it because I was out of squash otherwise.
:> My yardstick last year for picking was my judgment that the squash were
:>no longer getting nutrients and water through their stems. IOW, if I saw
:>no juice in the cut stem after removing the fruit, I decided that
:>perhaps the fruit had reached a state in which it would be no detriment
:>to remove it and thereby I could let the plant set another fruit.
:Even once harvested, squash should still be left in a warm, sunny
:place to "cure" for a week or so. Something not generally available
:at my place in late October.
Here, it's common to have warm weather in October. It's generally not
until November that cold days start being pretty ordinary.
BTW, it looks like you will have perhaps better weather over the weekend
in Sacto than normal. 90 degrees, is what they said yesterday for inland