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Cooking Fall Decor pumpkins/squash

 
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This is the follow-up to my thread titled Fall Decor Pumpkins/squash that are excellent eating.  That one is meant to be looked at on your phone at the store as you gaze into a bin of weird squash, wondering what to buy.
This thread is subtitled "NOW what do I do with this thing!?"

My demo victim today is a lovely turban squash. It needed to be cut soon because the skin was damaged a bit, it was going to go bad fast.

Turban Squash

I started by washing it well, then cutting it in half. These are fairly soft squash, I only needed a paring knife to cut it. Some are mean, and I use bigger knives, or really hard ones, a chisel and hammer. I once got annoyed and cut one on a radial arm saw :) Not the way I recommend, squash sawdust is a sticky mess! Hammer and chisel works well, make a line of cut, going around it, and it'll come open. You can see the bits of brown lines in the picture,that's where it would have started rotting from.

Squash cut into halves

Remove  the seeds, and this is Permies, SAVE THE SEEDS!! A lot of the weird looking squash are heirloom and will grow up like their parent, and even if they don't it's rare to get a squash so bad you won't eat it.  So the seeds are dumped into a colander as I deal with the rest, we'll get back to them in a bit.

Squash seeded and seeds being saved

I cut it into random chunks to bake it, this picture came out a bit worse looking than I expected, oops. I wanted to show a pretty part of it when I was cutting along a line where the squash curves in... Oh my. Anyway. Cut it into chunks. Doesn't really matter what size, just enough that you can bake it in time you like. If you have a huge, hard to cut squash, and it's a cold day and you are heating the house, in half is enough, if you can get it in the oven. You CAN technically not even cut it, but if you bake the seeds, they will not grow, and sometimes the squash explodes. (I'll see if I can find the pic of the exploded spaghetti squash, it's dramatic!) Today wasn't cold, and I just wanted it cooked soon so I could use it for dinner, so I cut it into fairly small chunks.

Cutting the squash into chunks, despite what it looks like :D

Put the chunks of whatever size onto a tray, they tend to leak fluid when cooked, put a tray at least under them. I'm the cook in our house, my mom keeps the kitchen clean, she likes the silicone liner in the pan, hates scrubbing baked on squash goo off the pans. I prefer to spend my kitchen time cooking, so I do what Madame Dishwasher requests, keeps me from having to scrub things!

Squash chunks going into the oven

I baked this on 350 for maybe 35-40 minutes, till I got back in there, doesn't hurt to go longer. As soon as it can be fork stabbed easily on all pieces, it's done, or can go longer if you want it drier or browned. I put no seasoning on it, I am going to use it as an ingredient in other things, so I like it just as a bare ingredient. This Turban would have been excellent with butter and honey and sweet spices on it, or a good chile mix on it. Some of it's in a pan of soup already, before I even have this written. If it's a bigger squash, or needs to cook faster, temperature can go up, or doing it slower makes it dry out a bit and get richer flavored. covering it keeps it from drying, or putting an oil like butter or coconut oil on it does too.

When a fork can be stabbed into it, it's done

The advantage to small chunks is when they are cooked you can peel them like you would a melon, it's easy. These all got peeled, some went into dinner, some into the fridge for later use. They freeze that way easily too.

Peeling the cooked squash


The seeds still need to be cleaned for saving!
Squash seeds come out of the squash in goop that if you look, is chunks with seeds on it. The seeds come off easily, I pinch them like I was trying to shoot the seed out of my fingers, they come off nicely.

Squash seeds come out in chunks

Remove all the bits of squash goo you can. Doesn't have to be perfect, but if you leave too many bits, they'll rot and possibly take your seeds with them. Squash seeds plump up and might color up and get very slippery when they are really ripe. I put in the middle of the colander a brownish very plump one, that one is definitely going to want to grow. Next to it is a white one, a bit flatter, that will probably grow, and by it a thinner crinkly one, it has a chance. I don't sort them, I don't have the patience, I just plant them and see what comes up. If I were selling them, I'd pull out the flattest ones.

Cleaned seeds

Put the seeds someplace they can dry out. I am a dumpster diver, these foil pie plates get thrown out a lot, I use them for seeds. I labeled the drying tray, it's always SUCH a nice theory "I'll remember what that was!" Nice theory. Ask anyone who has gotten any of my seeds labeled "I forgot"  :D Labeling them now helps. Stir them with your finger every day until they quit sticking, then every few days until they are very dry (I usually ignore them for a couple of weeks at least.) Package them up and label what they were, or a description if you don't know the name, and I put on my packages how good it was on a 1-10 scale, and any notes about them ("held in the garage until April" etc) so later when I'm ready to plant I know what I have to choose from.

Seeds drying



So this has been a basic "What to do with that weird looking squash!" write up. I'm hoping people who do it other ways will explain them, and hoping also for recipes of what to do with cooked squash for people who are new to eating them.
:D

 
Pearl Sutton
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In case you want to know what I'm taking about with bins of heirloom squash, this is what I got the Turban squash out of:

Bin full of heirloom Fall


And why to cut or at least poke a squash really well before baking...
My oven threw up!
:D


 
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Thank you Pearl, master steward, bricolagier and squash wrangler!

Questions:

Can you eat the seeds? Roasted and peeled?

Can you assume that a shop bought turban squash seeds grow to plants that produce turban squash? I thought cross hybridisation is quite common with squash? Or doesn’t it mater? I recently read that courgette (zucchini squash) can cross with cucumbers to produce a fruit that’s pretty awful -  Tim Dowling: which courgette is the evil poisoner, yellow or green?

Anyhoo . . .

I cube mine (1cm / 2/5th inch?) and oven roast with olive oil and crushed dried chillis - excellent base for tacos.

I hope your oven recovered after it threw up! Similar thing happened to the internet in Vietnam a few years ago
IMG_4014.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_4014.JPG]
 
Pearl Sutton
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Eating the seeds depends on how small you are willing to crack. I have some seeds that are just huge, the Turban had small ones, not much to them.  All are edible, it's a matter of how much work you want to put into them.

As for growing from store bought squash, no telling if they have bred with anything else, depends how close they had the plants growing. BUT, it's likely you will get something interesting, there are few things that will mess up a squash by breeding with it (some gourds come to mind, luffa was a problem for me one year) but as to what is near it AND can cross breed, it's a mystery. But odds are high it'll be edible.

And I have to object to one of the titles you gave me, squash wrangler. The reason I'm buying them is because I planted many plants in my gardens the last two years, and have gotten, in two years, a total of 6 ripe squash. Squash beetles from hell here. Need to learn more about the stupid things. So I'm buying, and figured I'd teach how to do it :)  I'll stock the garage with them and eat  them all winter. So I don't know that I qualify as a wrangler if I'm paying for my squash habit :)

 
Edward Norton
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Sorry to hear about the beetles. The first plant I remember growing as a kid was zucchini / courgette. I dug a two by two by two foot pit, mixing the soil with lots of compost, and planting a seedling on the finished mound. It grew into a monster plant and produced dozens of fruit. When I lived in London, I had a tiny yard, more of a path around the house. There was a two by six strip of dirt so I planted three. By the end of August my house mates wouldn’t eat any more of the things - we had a serious glut. So when I moved to the US, I grew them in big bags of compost on my drive. They started out well but after a month were seriously stunted. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong - they had plenty of food and water, warmth and sun. Then I read about the squash beetle and sure enough, it had burrowed into the stems. It was very sad, so I feel for you.

Thanks for the info on seeds and crossing. And all the other really useful stuff. How about squash expounder . . .
 
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Ahahaha your oven pic is too funny!

When seed saving I was always taught to get most of the goop off but then allow the slime covered seeds to ferment in water for 2-3 days which will remove the rest of the slime nicely.   It seems to work.   Otherwise they tend to stick together because of the slime in my experience.
 
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I think most of the time, planting seeds from store bought squash will produce squash like the parent. Farmers aren't mixing up seeds, they're planting five acres of this squash, then five acres of that. I haven't had any variation I can think of, at least.

I find the tastiest squash, the maximas, unfortunately have the thickest, woodiest hulls on their seeds. Not really worth eating for me. The pepos usually have nice seeds with thin hulls, and I think moschatas are generally good, too.

When I roast squash seeds, I always leave the innard slime on them. I get pick the big chunks of stuff out, but the slime and the odd stringy bit stays. It gives a lot of extra tastiness to the roasted seeds.
 
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My garden was an absolute disaster this year - first we had a rabbit plague in the spring, and then the wet summer was slug heaven. I have fenced the veggie area now, and will be starting again in the spring. No nice pumpkins for me this year from my own garden.

Last year we grew Queensland Blue. Gorgeous large pumpkins, blue green skin, yellow flesh, great flavour. They lasted ages on the shelf.

Not my picture, but this is pretty typical of what we grew:


We have a really good kitchen knife for this - practically a cleaver, and I had to seriously sharpen it -  but they defeated all the other knives in the place. Getting it started with a hatchet was seriously considered. I collected loads of seeds but germination was dubious - they kept popping up over about 4 months, and I had none for ages. Then when eventually planted out the slugs obliterated them in a week :( The year before they were absolutely rampant, so I'm blaming the rubbish weather.

What I did really love about them was how well they lasted into the Autumn and winter. We were still enjoying pumpkin into late December. Downside - they were taking up surface space indoors for months. We don't have a suitable larder to store bulky veggies long term.

This year I'm going to have to come up with a different plan for the ones we buy. Some of them lasted OK outdoors on the patio, under cover, but they all started turning to mush after the first hard frost. How do you store them to keep them good?

 
Michael Cox
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Pearl Sutton wrote:Eating the seeds depends on how small you are willing to crack. I have some seeds that are just huge, the Turban had small ones, not much to them.  All are edible, it's a matter of how much work you want to put into them.



Do you know any particularly good squash for harvesting seeds for eating? Mine last year were large, but had thick husks.
 
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Michael: Nice squash pic! That looks very much like the Blue Dolls I get, wonder what the actual name is of any of them, or if there even is one. I end up with Blue Doll holding in storage till at least March.

Try my chisel trick on mean squash, beats a cleaver, and even beat the hatchet (tried that too!) It's more focused, easier to control, and incredibly effective. I freeze a lot of things, and my kitchen utensil drawer always has a 1 inch wood chisel and a small hammer in it. Gets used for a lot of things.

As far as storage, depends on what space you have. I have weird space, due to being in a  rental, and weird stuff to work with due to dumpster diving, and I made kind of sliding drawers that go under a workbench in the garage out of milk crates. Gives the squash a bit of air flow, and keeps them in the coldest part of the garage. The coldest non-freezing space you can find. That said, I HAVE kept them in a heated space, with some air flow, and kept them dark, and had most things last at least a few months, shorter than if they were stored well, but better than zero, which was my other choice at that point.

So look for a cold area, that doesn't freeze, and they do not have to be on a surface, they can be slung in nets hooked the ceiling, or on shelves, or in the bottom of a coat closet. Make sure to check them every week or so if they are stored in a weird place, if they start to go bad, cook them immediately.

If freezer is an option, cooked and frozen takes up less space. I take my cooked chunks, pack them into 2 inch cupcake pans, freeze them, take them out of the pans, and put them into bags neatly stacked like LifeSavers. They take up much less space after cooking, and then you can just grab a chunk or two out of the freezer as needed. We  call those "Pucks" and throw pucks into all kinds of foods, including our blended green shakes we like.

As far as seeds to eat, I don't know names of varieties, sounds like Jan, above, knows more than me about it. Jan: Can you tell us more about it?

:D
 
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Michael Cox wrote:How do you store them to keep them good?



When I lived in your neck of the woods, I kept them in my garage on wire shelving. It wasn't heated but the garage was attached and my 1930's house leaked enough heat that it never dipped below zero. I'm guessing you don't have a garage as you were storing them on the patio. I read that you're a maths teacher . . . does your school have some outbuildings or similar where you could smuggle a few squash? Under our school gym stage would have been perfect - cold and dry but never quite freezing. Or you could go down the root cellar road and build one under the patio.
 
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Michael Cox wrote:
Do you know any particularly good squash for harvesting seeds for eating? Mine last year were large, but had thick husks.



For winter squash, all the pepos are worth a shot. Some are better than others, bit  they're all decent. Most common ones (here, anyway) are acorn types and delicata. All the jack-o'-lantern pumpkins (blech!) are pepo, and so are all the usual summer squash - courgette, patty pan, crookneck - so you can always let a few of those go. The best seeds from a pepo I ever had were from a crookneck.

The moschatas, the butternut types, are usually pretty good for seeds. Long island cheese and musque de Provence, while looking pumpkiny, are also moschata. Those varieties are supposed to be very good, but I've never tried them. Confusingly, Rouge vif d'etampes, which looks very like the last two I mentioned, is a maxima 🙄.

Maximas have the worst seeds, but the best flesh, in my experience. Pretty much all the squash Pearl mentioned in her companion thread are maxima. Queensland blue is maxima. Kabocha, buttercup, hubbard, kuri, turban, all maxima with big woody seed hulls ☹️

Joseph has a thread somewhere with pictures of stem shape so you can identify the species that way.

Cucumber seeds are really nice to eat, too!
Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

Joseph Lofthouse's excellent post on Identifying squash: https://permies.com/t/46560/Maxima-Moschata-Pepo#371682

Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

And the better version on his web site: http://garden.lofthouse.com/how-to-identify-squash.phtml#grouped

 
Jan White
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For storage temperature, 10-15° is just fine. So if you have a spare bedroom or something you can close off and keep cool, that's perfect. Most store bought squash is picked immature and won't last as well. If you can let your own squash stay on the vine until the stem is dried out, it'll last the best. Also make sure you leave an inch or two of stem on the squash. If you break the stem off where it attaches, you'll get mold growing there fairly soon. And it's good to flip your stored squash around occasionally, so they're not always sitting in the same spot.
Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

10-15 degrees Centigrade = 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit

 
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The split thread really confused me for a minute there!

Now that this has become a cooking thread, I'll throw in my current favourite recipe. I use butternut squash, because it is easily available from the supermarket, but you can substitute any squash/pumpkin I expect.

Take a chunk of squash. Carefully slice the skin off to get a block of the flesh. Then slice to thin sheets, and slice again to skinny "chips". Add some fat to large frying pan (I use beef dripping), heat it up then add a chunk of chorizo sausage chopped into 1/2cm cubes. Fry the chorizo on a medium high heat until the oil has lots of the lovely smokey flavour and the sausage starts to crisp up. Then add the "chips" and fry on a lower heat for 15 minutes or so, turning occasionally.

It makes a fabulous base to any meal - full of flavour, simple ingredients.
 
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Michael Cox wrote:
Do you know any particularly good squash for harvesting seeds for eating? Mine last year were large, but had thick husks.



There is a variety of small watermelon grown in northwest China for seeds particularly. Seeds are big and meaty with hulls easy to crack open. 黑瓜子is the name. You may be able to find roasted ones in oriental stores but I haven't seen anywhere carrying viable seeds.
 
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I'm curious about Jack-o-lanterns. I'd always been told they were not pleasant to eat, but I'm really not sure why.

Next year will be a squash/ pumpkin bonanza at our place! We are going to use them to protect our tree saplings.  The prickles on them helped with 3 Sister Gardens this season, and we'd like to experiment.
 
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Kate Medland wrote:I'm curious about Jack-o-lanterns. I'd always been told they were not pleasant to eat, but I'm really not sure why.

Next year will be a squash/ pumpkin bonanza at our place! We are going to use them to protect our tree saplings.  The prickles on them helped with 3 Sister Gardens this season, and we'd like to experiment.


Kate: Welcome to Permies!!
The variety of pumpkins that are generally sold commercially for Jack O Lanterns were bred for looks: perfection of shape and color, and the flavor went by the wayside. The ones I have tried were just watery mush with no flavor no matter what I did to them. With all the excellent eating ones out there, seems a shame to pay for something that bland and dull.

If I had a bunch of them and I really wanted to do something with them, I think I'd go for making a gluten free flour by baking them so they can be worked with, mash them really well, spread to dehydrate, (will take work to dehydrate them, they will be wet, but I've dried worse, keep turning it and breaking it up.) When dehydrated, pulverize them into powder, make sure it is VERY dry, then store it. I have jar of stuff like overgrown zucchini I have done that too, mixed, and when I bake bread I put a scoop of it in for extra nutrition and a bit of odd flavor. This is not "oooh pumpkin bread!" the commercial Jack O Lanterns don't have enough flavor to do that in any good way. They are edible, just incredibly insipid and bland.

We want to see pictures on permies of your squash bonanza next year! That's the kinds of things we like here!
I think you may like Permies
 
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Dear Growers of all things squash.  Vine borers...

Tinfoil around the stem at the base .Yes its time consuming but anything to keep those darn squash vine borers from laying eggs at the base of the plant!

Inspect weekly. Any holes with frass (poop)?  Inject BTK  organic pesticide to kill the grubs which eat the vine from the inside out.

Good luck!
Staff note (Pearl Sutton) :

BTK = Bacillus thuringiensis kurstaki

 
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Most of us do not have acres and acres that we can plant in cucurbits. We have cultivars that we really like, and others we would not cross the street to get a free taste. Right now, the stores are replete with all kinds of gourds, winter squashes, pumpkins etc. It is time to try different things.
If you purchase the seeds, can you trust that it will give you the promised fruit and not some weird SNAFU? Yes if you buy from a reputable company. But after a while of purchasing expensive seeds, you may want to save them.
I want to have different cucurbits, however, and that is where it gets interesting. There are different groups, within the cucurbit family:
C. pepo, C. moschata, C. maxima, and C. Mixta.
Whenever you save seeds, you may want to write exactly what you have. Not just "Butternut" but "Butternut [moschata]"
I love the Butternut, which is a "moschata", and the Buttercup, which is a "maxima". I like the spaghetti squash too. That is a "pepo".
Technically, I could plant all three in my garden because since they belong to different groups within the cucurbit group, they should not cross pollinate. I said "should not". (If your neighbor plants a competing moschata, maxima of pepo, you will get mutts).
The problem comes when you attempt to grow 2 in the *same* category. Those will cross pollinate unless you take drastic steps, like totally isolating them with a cover and then cross pollinate. I've never done that, but if you are thinking of saving seeds for resale, that might be an option.
I have planted seeds I got from a grocery store, and I'm not scared that I will get a Frankenstein for the following reason: commercial growers that sell to a grocery store want to stay in business and keep selling. If they were to sell, say a moschata that was cross pollinated with another moschata, then their seed line would be compromised and they could not stay in business.
Here is an article from Dave's Garden that is pretty good, although it doesn't mention the Mixta, which is more of a miniature for decorations anyway:
https://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/5-tips-for-avoiding-squash-cross-pollination
 
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Pearl Sutton wrote:If freezer is an option, cooked and frozen takes up less space. I take my cooked chunks, pack them into 2 inch cupcake pans, freeze them, take them out of the pans, and put them into bags neatly stacked like LifeSavers. They take up much less space after cooking, and then you can just grab a chunk or two out of the freezer as needed. We  call those "Pucks" and throw pucks into all kinds of foods, including our blended green shakes we like.



I took a pic of some pucks while I was digging in the freezer. Very good use of space for very versatile amounts of squash.  

Squash pucks in the freezer
 
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For cutting open the varieties with really hard shells, I recommend a bone saw. Up to you if you want the kind sold for processing meat, or the kind sold for medical use. I use a stainless steel surgical bone saw. It can even handle Shark Fin squash, which has a shell more solid than a coconut, and the shell gets harder when cooked!
 
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This is a great thread! Hi Pearl! This happened on the small triangle of rock by my driveway. I failed to move my Jack-o-lantern and small white decorative pumpkins last year and got this surprise. I didn't think orange and white could create green and yellow. Should I try cooking them? Can they be poisoned by nearby toxic plants? Is it possible that the squash fairy played a trick on me and planted some wonderful old heirloom?
20211001_120403.jpg
Pumpkin Squash
Pumpkin Squash
 
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I had problems with squash borers.
It was posted on here to wait until after June to plant them
so I planted them in pots and waited until June was over to put them in the ground.

 About a dozen made it
and I'm not blaming squash beetles for the disappearance of  about 4 that didn't make it.
Could have been overgrown by weeds or grass.

I planted some seeds that I thought were kombocha but got a bunch of weirdos.
So I clicked on this topic.
Thanks for the links to  help indentify them.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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Kate Medland wrote:I'm curious about Jack-o-lanterns. I'd always been told they were not pleasant to eat, but I'm really not sure why.

Next year will be a squash/ pumpkin bonanza at our place! We are going to use them to protect our tree saplings.  The prickles on them helped with 3 Sister Gardens this season, and we'd like to experiment.




If you want a pumpkin that is both pretty and good to eat, you might want to try the Rouge Vif D'Etampes: It is bright red and pretty uniform but flattened. Versatile too. In France mom made soup with it but also preserved chunked in syrup. Here, I make pies.[ When in Rome...]. I'm not trying to put in a plug for Johnny's seeds but it gives the best explanation
It is a Maxima type. https://www.johnnyseeds.com/vegetables/pumpkins/specialty-pumpkins/rouge-vif-detampes-pumpkin-seed-614.html
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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craig howard wrote:I had problems with squash borers.
It was posted on here to wait until after June to plant them
so I planted them in pots and waited until June was over to put them in the ground.
About a dozen made it
.



Me too, and it is the first year ever that I have squash borers. My whole crop was ruined. This year, I planted it in a sheet of plastic with holes. I don't know if that had an effect. Below is the best site I found about how to deal with these pests: since they go down about 2" in the ground over the winter, I may be tilling lightly to see if I can kill them, otherwise, since the moths that emerge in June-July are good flyers, nowhere in my garden would be safe. You stated that about a dozen made it. Plants or squash? Do you think maybe it was just a bad year? I guess, once the soil is infected, it may not help to plant them later. Besides, I'm in zone 4b, so the season is short enough that I can't play very much with the calendar.
BT might be good to kill the borer in the Fall, when it is in the ground, outside of the squash, but once the moth emerges, we are in for another round of these pests. Good luck to you.
https://extension.umn.edu/yard-and-garden-insects/squash-vine-borers
 
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Cindy Baker wrote:This is a great thread! Hi Pearl! This happened on the small triangle of rock by my driveway. I failed to move my Jack-o-lantern and small white decorative pumpkins last year and got this surprise. I didn't think orange and white could create green and yellow. Should I try cooking them? Can they be poisoned by nearby toxic plants? Is it possible that the squash fairy played a trick on me and planted some wonderful old heirloom?


I'd say you had some heirloom seeds in there. Look to me like they cross bred with some of the little warty decor squash like this:


They look very edible to me, I'd try them. Cut one open, does all the flesh look good and solid, no bad or mushy spots or weird smell?  Taste a shred of the raw flesh, does it taste kind of like a summer squash, not bitter? If it looks smells and tastes okay it is worth trying. May or may not have a good flavor, but it will be edible. A good rule of thumb with weird squash, if you cut it and say "OH ICK! This looks, smells, or tastes bad!" don't eat it. Otherwise, try it. You can always compost cooked squash :) Save the seeds, if it's tasty, plant them again!
:D
 
craig howard
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Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

craig howard wrote:I had problems with squash borers.
It was posted on here to wait until after June to plant them
so I planted them in pots and waited until June was over to put them in the ground.
About a dozen made it
.



Me too, and it is the first year ever that I have squash borers. My whole crop was ruined. This year, I planted it in a sheet of plastic with holes. I don't know if that had an effect. Below is the best site I found about how to deal with these pests: since they go down about 2" in the ground over the winter, I may be tilling lightly to see if I can kill them, otherwise, since the moths that emerge in June-July are good flyers, nowhere in my garden would be safe. You stated that about a dozen made it. Plants or squash? Do you think maybe it was just a bad year? I guess, once the soil is infected, it may not help to plant them later. Besides, I'm in zone 4b, so the season is short enough that I can't play very much with the calendar.
BT might be good to kill the borer in the Fall, when it is in the ground, outside of the squash, but once the moth emerges, we are in for another round of these pests. Good luck to you.
https://extension.umn.edu/yard-and-garden-insects/squash-vine-borers



I checked with all the suppliers at the local farmer's market a few years back and they all sprayed something on them.
I've been trying to grow my own for awhile. I sometimes get 1 per plant before they die.
So I feel for ya.
That's what I expect every year around here.
I'm in zone 5-5 so maybe the moths were already gone by the end of June
and still around in your 4b area.
I did start mine in milk cartons away from the garden but still outside.
With no screen or protection I'm probably lucky they didn't get infected there.

I usually boil squash
if I can find a pan big enough
or a squash small enough.
Throw a pan of water on the wood burner and ...
Then scoop it out and add it to something.
Or add something to it. Sometimes it's butter and black pepper.
Sometimes it's sugary.
 
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Apart from pumpkin pie, my family is not keen on squash - not the texture and not the taste. Sigh... I can hide little bits in soups and stews, but since I have a bumper crop of those climbing squash permies was sharing this spring, I've been hunting for recipes that might work. Disclaimer: I'm *really* lousy at following recipes - they're a guide not a rule, right? So I put what I did in red.

This one!!!

Bread Machine Pumpkin Yeast Bread -  from the Spruce Eats (link below)

Ingredients
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (5 ounces)
1 cup mashed pumpkin (or canned pumpkin puree)
4 cups bread flour 2 cups unbleached and 2 cups whole wheat
2 tablespoons vegetable oil  duck fat from one of my birds I'd cooked
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast

Steps to Make It
Add all of the ingredients according to your bread machine manufacturer's suggested order, with the default being the order listed in the ingredient list above.
I used the order that I put our regular mix in the machine.

Use white bread setting, light crust. The "quick" setting on my machine takes about 2 1/2 hours so I used that one, but didn't up the yeast.

Alternatively, if you want to use the quick cycle on your bread machine, use 3 teaspoons of instant/rapid yeast and choose medium crust.

Let your machine do its thing and enjoy the loaf when it is ready.

https://www.thespruceeats.com/bread-machine-pumpkin-bread-3051744

There are many recipes out there for baking soda/powder breads but they are also generally much sweeter. The 2 Tbsp of sugar in this recipe is the standard for a 4 cup bread in my machine's book, but I regularly use half that.

So this is a nice bread that apart from being slightly orange, just tastes like bread which means it's fine for sandwiches or toast in the morning. Only now I've got some bread with a veggie content that is quick and easy to make. I may just try it as "eggs on toast" for dinner tonight!
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
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And there I was complaining about my Buttercup squash that was ruined by squash borers! Well I walked in the chicken yard [which I had not done in a while since my chickens are now in the freezer or in cans]... and I found 3 enormous squash. They are the butternut type, with a long neck, as big as my arm from my shoulder to my fist!
Those were volunteers that escaped my attention [and the chicken's too].
I should put this in the Gratitude thread! They were barely ripe enough and  I suspect they grew this big because they were in the chicken yard, so they were groomed free of pests and well manured. When the chickens were dispatched, they just kept on growing.
We had a pretty hard frost 2 days ago [22F] so the vines died and I was able to see them!
I'm walking on air!
 
Jay Angler
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#2 son loves soft-style oatmeal raisin cookies. I wondered if I could find a recipe that hid pumpkin in it, and low and behold I found one. The sugar is relatively low compared to so many recipes that I was doubly impressed.  https://howtothisandthat.com/pumpkin-oatmeal-raisin-cookies/ Same as before, I put the changes I made in red.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Raisin Cookies:
Ingredients
1 stick Butter, softened
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour 1 cup unbleached+1/4 cup whole wheat+1/4 cup wheat germ
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup raisins +1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
Instructions
Preheat oven to 325.  We employ the ONE BOWL method!
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.
Add pumpkin and mix until combined.
Add all dry ingredients, one at a time, continue mixing.
Hand stir in raisins.
Drop 2" scoops onto a sheet pan. To freeze, wrap in plastic and store in freezer bag. I made it in jelly roll pan as "squares" because I do NOT have time to make cookies for everyday consumption by the local horde.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
Cool on rack.  
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