Sunday, December 13, 2009
Blue Hubbard Squash Day
Freezing rain followed by gigantic snowflakes changing back to rain and the promise from the DOT of icy roads made this a perfect day for staying home. It's also a perfect day to have the oven going making the kitchen cozy. This fall, after hearing about our tragic squash borer wars, my neighbor Rose left squash on my porch. I used the butternuts already but the big blue Hubbard sat waiting in the basement. Processing a 20 inch blue Hubbard squash is a two person production for us.
I got out my worn copy of The Victory Garden Cookbook. It is a fantastic resource on the growing, processing and cooking of garden produce. This squash cut in half would take 1 1/2 hours at 350 per half to bake. While I checked out the cooking times, Ed got the saw to cut the squash in half.
We were not pleased to find bad spots in the squash. Part of me wants to be the kind of cook who only uses perfect ingredients, but I come from a family of gleaners and that part of my upbringing says to save what is good and compost what is not. This procedure required the use of a rather large knife so Ed performed the surgery on my squash, removing the seeds and the bad spots.
This is the second half covered in plastic wrap waiting for its turn in the oven.
When the first half was cool enough to handle, I scraped the cooked squash from the shell and put it in containers for the freezer. I washed the pan so we could begin again.
The second half is ready for the oven. The foil helps to protect the area where the bad part was cut away from drying out. Water is added after the pan is placed in the oven. This half of the squash is in the oven now. We will have 7 quarts of processed squash to put in the freezer from one big blue Hubbard. Having tasted the squash, I have to say it has wonderful flavor. The flesh is a bit drier that butternut, but I think these big squash are definitely worth growing if you have the space, a saw, and someone strong enough to lift the thing to help you process it.