Congratulations! 8lb, 1oz and 18 1/2″ long…pink banana squash!
One astute commenter noted that my family’s probably not hurting for Vitamin A in our diets, what with the monster winter squash harvest this year. And it’s true, we’re awash in the things. It’s okay, really it is, especially since the school garden’s squash patch was a bust (deer predation) so I have a…somewhat willing population to whom I can feed the things. AND: happily: all our animals (except T-bell the goat) eat squash.
Surprisingly easy to slice, especially when you have a great hand-made chopper like this one
I do love squash, always have. But I find that, as a gardener, my esteem of any one vegetable goes up or down in direct proportion to how well it grows for me. Squash is quite the flatterer, so…I love it. I’ve got a very fox-and-the-grapes attitude about things that don’t grow so well for me (i.e.,”bah, Brussels sprouts, who needs ’em) and it proves to me that if nothing else I am terribly…human.
The now-indispensable food mill. Usually reserved for separating tomatoes from their seeds and peels, and stewed whole apples during the saucing sessions, I realized how handy this thing was once I killed my immersion blender. It’s now out all the time, especially to cream hot soups and hot squash. And, unlike the damned hand-held stick blender, I could never break this thing.
But my family is on the “likes” squash part of the spectrum: it ain’t “love.” I therefore only feed them one squash per week, if that. Mostly, we love creamy squash soup (with a splash of curry), but it also finds its way into baked goods. Only butternut is tolerated in other forms (pan-roasted, say; or candied) and luckily I planted plenty of those, too.
5 cups of puree for us people! The basement worms get the skins, the poultry and bunnies vie for the seeds and pulp…a true no-waste food.
Sunday, though, I brought out one of the pink bananas. They were one of the first escape artists of the squash patch (up and over the fence, 16′ away) and one plant put out, what, three squash total of similar size to this one. They’re really easy to cut up (bonus!) and I found the chickens and turkeys appreciated the seeds and pulp if I chopped it for them. I baked these, cut-side down, arranged diagonally across my two largest rimmed cookie sheets. Scooped, run through the food mill, and sweet! Its great advantage appears to be its readiness to be cut into rings, and baked a la most acorn squash. It did take a bit longer to fruit out than many of the other winter squash I had, and Fedco says it is not terribly reliable in really short summer areas but, well…if you like winter squash, you might want to try to grow this one this year.