winter squash cooking for spring cleaning

i went to do a search of posts from the last year, trying to find ones where i mentioned hubbard squash, but it turns out i really didn’t write anything, only posting  this photo from november.   of all the crops i grew this last year, by far the one i was most proud of was our crop of hubbard squash.  it’s easily one of my favorite winter squashes, and i’m a great lover of winter squash. this is one that had been sitting around all winter, and had we kept it in a cooler darker place would likely be just fine for another year.  instead i kept it proudly in plain sight, hoping that someone would notice and provide me with compliments, causing it started to rot.  i received few compliments, other than from s, who knew how proud i was and would stroke my ego by pointing out what a fine squash it was.

with the squash starting to rot, i wanted to do it proper honors and cook it up.  first challenge with a squash as large as this hubbard is to get into it.  i wish for a big meat cleaver, but i deal with a chefs knife plunged into it to start the cut and then a serrated utility knife to finish the job.  these squash always look like a giant alien egg to me, i’m always a little surprised that an alien fetus is not waiting for me when i crack it open.  i’m relived to be greeted with nothing more than a huge amount of slimy seeded, which i scooped out and held on to for future use.  its impressive just how much seed one hubbard can provide.  i hear rumors that the seed is more viable from aged squash than freshly harvested squash.  anyone can confirm this?  i soak the seed over night then clean the goo of in a sieve.  the squash cleaned out, i rubbed with some oil, throw some water in the pan under them and shoved them in the oven at 375.  after about an hour of cooking, i scooped out the filling.  we had a lot of squash to deal with.  for dinner i made squash mash, a perennial favorite.  run the squash (or sweet potato, potato, turnip, parsnip, carrots, celeriac, or a combo) though a ricer. add some salt, pepper, milk and butter and mix it up.  an easy weeknight side dish.  we were still left with pounds squash to work with, but while i was at class s was kind enough to make quick use of them making squash granola, squash corn muffins, and squash custard. the custard is pretty much just a pie filling baked by itself, we are trying to reduce our wheat intake (long not very interesting story) so thus works well for us.  what are yr favorite uses for winter squash?  what are yr favorite winter squash varieties?

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2 responses to “winter squash cooking for spring cleaning

  1. I use my Hubbard squash in just about everything from pies to curries to risotto. This year, I actually baked up and froze TWO squashes. I am trying to work through the second batch right now! I do not cut my squashes open. This is because I always try to find the biggest and most unique looking Hubbard I can find at the Farmer’s market (I do not have a garden b/c I am currently renting). Last year, I think the Mother Hubbard I picked up was well over 10 lbs. At that point, it’s just too large to cut open. So, I simply stab a few holes in it and stick it in the oven for about two hours. Afterwards, I let it cool for a good while, then I cut it open (which is MUCH easier at that point!) and start to bag. I don’t do anything special with the squash right away– I simply cut it into cubes and put it into freezer bags. I have tried purreeing it before, but I find that this can be troublesome depending on the purpose of your squash. Anyway, I am glad to see a post about the Mother Hubbard! I am very passionate when it comes to talking about this wonderful, beautiful, highly underrated squash!

  2. This year’s second batch of squash kimchi was made with this very same hubbard squash. It was delicious, but getting it open was a total nightmare!

    http://suddenlysauer.com/2010/11/11/butternut-squash-kimchi/

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