Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Squash Overload!

It was apparently a good year for growing squash at this little place here.  I pulled them all out of the garden a few weeks ago, loaded them onto my cart (Christmas present from DH and the kids a few years ago--I get the most unusual and useful presents!), and put them in the garage to cure.

This is how many I had when I was about half done with picking squash:

As you can see, I harvested some broccoli that day too.  I had to take the broccoli back out of the cart, because I needed more room for squash.  It ended up looking like this:

I have acorn, butternut, long island cheese, and some smallish (but not pie pumpkin small) pumpkins.  That's a lot of squash.  Going on having 26 squash in the fall of 2011 and intending to eat them all before spring, which we never actually did, I think I need to plan to serve a squash dish at least once a week from now until next summer!

So, dear readers, I'm going to enlist you and the power of peer pressure to help me make sure I don't let my wonderful harvest of squashes go to waste.  Not that they actually get wasted; ones too shriveled for human tastes go to the chickens, who absolutely adore squash.

My plan is to make a post once each week reporting to you what my squash dish of the week was.  How it went over with the family, and what recipe I used.

I'll start off easy with our favorite squash-as-a-side-dish recipe.  (It's what we're having tonight with oven-fried chicken and a rice pilaf.)

Steamed Butternut Squash

  1. Take one butternut squash of any size.  
  2. Peel it (pain in the a** to peel an uncooked squash, but DH hates having to remove the peel once it's cooked and on his plate).  
  3. Then cut it open, remove the 'guts' and seeds.
  4. Cut the flesh into large chunks, or smaller, depending on your wishes.  Smaller ones cook faster, but larger ones take less time to cut up.  Me, I'd rather spend an extra 10 minutes cooking than cutting. 
  5. In the bottom part of your steamer (I'm assuming you have a steamer that is like a double boiler, only with holes in the floor of the top pot.  That's what I have) put about an inch of water.
  6. Place squash chunks into a steamer basket/top pot. 
  7. Put the lid on the steamer, put on the stove, turn heat to high.  Once you can hear the water in the steamer boiling, turn heat to low--without removing lid, keep that steam in there!--and let cook for about 20 minutes.  If you went with large chunks, it might take 5 or more minutes longer than this.  When squash is fork tender, it is done.    

 Serve with butter and salt.  I just dump all the cooked squash chunks into a serving bowl, and we mash them on our plates, then put on butter and sprinkle with salt.  You could, if you want, mash or puree the squash before bringing it to the table.

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