Vegetables and Fruit forum: Winter Squash and Pumpkins........

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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
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Paul2032
Oct 8, 2014 4:32 PM CST
Ever since was a small child I have loved pumpkins and each year I look forward too winter squash, one of my favorite seasonal foods. Here are some saw this morning.....
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Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Oct 8, 2014 6:11 PM CST
They sure look good! I'm with you, one of the things I like best about fall is a nice baked squash smothered in butter and brown sugar!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 8, 2014 6:44 PM CST
Now I'm motivated. Some kind of winter squash "volunteered" in an idle part of my garden, I assume some squirrel stole a seed from a neighbor.

It was the most vigorous-looking thing there, so I left it until all the leaves turned white and sickly. I was cleaning up, so I chopped it down and brought 4 squashes indoors. (I would never deliberately plant winter squash, but would think about zucchini if I had more square feet.)

How would I know if winter squashes were unripe?
What temperature would you bake them at, and how long?

Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
Image
Paul2032
Oct 8, 2014 6:51 PM CST
The simplest method that I use to determine if a winter squash is mature is to try to stick my finder nail into it. If the nail goes in and the skin is moist is probably isn't mature. The harder if feels the better. I bake mine in the micro-wave. I clean a piece, wrap in plastic wrap and nuke for 5 minutes. If it is not soft I do it for a few more minutes until soft. Then add the butter or I sometimes add sour cream. Salt and pepper.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Oct 8, 2014 7:00 PM CST
If the winter squash is mature enough, you can't make a dent in the skin with a finger nail. If it's not ripe enough, you can just wait a few weeks, and it should ripen even if it's not on the vine.

The length of time for baking depends on it's size. An Acorn squash which is small will bake at 350 degrees in about an hour. Larger squash will take a while longer. I just stab them with a knife so they don't explode in the oven, and put them in a pan and bake them with the seeds inside. They stay nice and moist then. When they are fully cooked, you can squeeze them and they are soft. If they are firm, then bake them longer. I then take them out of the oven and put them on a cutting board and cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. I put them back into the pan, cut side up, and put in a big chunk of butter about 2 Tablespoons, and about 1/4 cup of brown sugar and put them back into the oven until the brown sugar is melted into the butter. If I have a larger squash, I ususally scoop out the meat of the squash into a bowl and mash it with butter and brown sugar. Or, you can cut it into 4ths, and do the oven butter/brown sugar melting trick. Try it you'll like it.
Sometimes I have a butternut squash. Those I like to cut up raw into one inch cubes and put them into a covered casserole dish. I pour in a can of chunk pineapple with the juice, and bake it covered until it's tender.
Do you know what kind of squash you have Rick?
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
Image
Paul2032
Oct 8, 2014 7:03 PM CST
It is also good cut into cubes, coated with a little olive oil and sea salt, and roasted on a cookie sheet in a hot oven, until tender and browned.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 8, 2014 8:02 PM CST
Thanks very much! They seemed very hard, so I'll stick them with a fingernail before cooking. And I can let them continue ripening off the vine? Cool!

I guess the plastic film doesn't melt INTO them!
The baking sounds simplest so I'll try that first.

Is roasting the same as broiling? You can see that I'm not an experienced cook, the same way the Pope doesn't have much experience with raves.

>> Do you know what kind of squash you have Rick?

Nope. Green, shaped like a ball or a pear, 3-4 ridges per squash, just about fill two hands in size. I just hope it is edible and not ornamental!

I'll have to take some photos and post them.

Thanks again.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
Image
Paul2032
Oct 8, 2014 8:08 PM CST
Plastic wrap doesn't melt in the micro. I roast them on a cookie sheet on a middle rack of the oven. Other fall veggies are good roasted also.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Oct 8, 2014 9:22 PM CST
Rick, don't use the broiler to roast them, just the normal "bake" setting. (and don't use plastic wrap in the stove oven, just the microwave!)

It sounds like yours might be acorn squash, or at least about the size of acorns; try baking them whole as Tom described, then cut in half, scoop out the seeds, brush with butter, sprinkle with a little brown sugar, and put back into the oven for a few minutes. Smiling
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Oct 9, 2014 3:33 AM CST
Post some pics before you bake them to make sure they are squash and not a gourd or a cross between a gourd and a squash or pumpkin. There are some pictures of acorn squash in the data base.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Oct 9, 2014 12:28 PM CST
True! Since it was a volunteer, maybe it was from something cross-pollinated.


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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
tveguy3
Oct 9, 2014 1:00 PM CST
They look like acorn squash to me. you'll have to try one. If it's bitter tasting it would be a cross with a gourd, but it doesn't look like it to me. They look plenty ripe too.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 9, 2014 3:47 PM CST
Pushing as hard as I could with a thumbnail, there was just a hint of a mark. Not really much of an indentation, just a visible mark.

It's good to know what to watch out for: bitterness.

A friend is coming to visit in a few weeks. I'll practice on myself, then show off.

"LOOK! I cooked this in the thing under the stove top!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
tveguy3
Oct 9, 2014 5:31 PM CST
Just call him Emeral!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 9, 2014 5:56 PM CST
A chef?

Googling turns up some computer gamer and a version of Xanax marketed in Argentina.

I'm guessing a chef.

My quote came from "Married With Children". Peggy didn't know what" that thing under the stove" was for. I'm right up there with Peggy and Kelly Bundy. When kelly took a cooking class and decided to de4monstrate her skills by making Jello, she complained the the directions assumed you had "too much" prior knowledge.

Like just ANYONE would already KNOW how to do things like
"boil water" and "stir" ...

As she said, "it's as easy as 1 - 2 - C".
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Oct 9, 2014 8:21 PM CST
They look just like my acorn squash, Rick; the flesh should be quite orange, with a "fine texture" (not stringy), as well as sweet.

Emeril Lagasse -- "an American celebrity chef, restaurateur, television personality, and cookbook author" (Wikipedia)

A while back there was a show on the Food Network called "How to Boil Water" -- that would have been perfect for you (and for Kelly Bundy)! Big Grin
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
- John Powell / Cubits.org - A Universe of Communities
/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
C/F temp conversion / NGA Member Map
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Oct 10, 2014 3:26 AM CST
Love the Bundy's! Well I did back when I used to watch TV some. I don't watch any more.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 10, 2014 11:37 AM CST
>> "How to Boil Water"

EXACTLY!

It's so complicated ... first nothing happens for a long time, then it boils over. Then there's "simmering", "boiling" and "rolling boil". Salt, no salt. Covered, uncovered, pressure cooker.

Sheeze, how do people who really COOK keep it all straight?

I think I have the TV dinner methodology mostly mastered. It helps that the new stove temperature defaults to 350 F. Then it comes down to just time, and which sections to cut the plastic film away from. Or pierce.

Did you know how important it is to take the plastic tray OUT of the cardboard box before putting it into the oven? They don't TELL you that one in the directions, you have to figure it out or "just know"! What gave me the idea to try it "out of the box" was the instruction to remove portions of the plastic film. I used to open the box, cut the film, then tape the box closed again. But the tape caught fire which ignited the box. I liked the extra crispiness but not the charring. Then i tried it OUR of the box and that went better.

Of course, there is still the challenge of stirring the potatoes and the complications related to salt, pepper, garlic and butter.

Cooking is hard work!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
tveguy3
Oct 10, 2014 5:14 PM CST
Oh Rick, just order pizza delivered! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
Image
RickCorey
Oct 10, 2014 5:39 PM CST
If there were any GOOD delivered pizza, I would!

And weigh twice what I weigh now.

Actually, I eat a lot of "bachelor chicken" - pre-roasted and sold in plastic wintersowing tubs with clear clamshell tops.


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