Pumpkins and Squash for 'Winter' meals!December 16th, 2011
I like both pumpkins and squash as Winter vegetables because they keep without canning, drying or freezing. Only a cool dry room is needed to store them. Use our Small Sugar Pumpkins first, they keep past Christmas. Waltham Butternut Squash keeps here into the early Spring. Combined you have dark orange colored vegetables for six months of the year.
Squash and Pumpkins are not hard to grow in large hills. You should harvest at least eight to twelve fruit from each hill. Our packets of seeds for both crops contain 25 seeds, enough for 5 hills. If you average 10 fruit which should weight more than 2 pounds each, per hill you will have more than 100 pounds of vegetable to eat in each 3 month season.
Most families would get sick of eating more than one pound of Squash or Pumpkin every day for 6 months. One great way to use this vegetable is to add it to breads. I make a wonderful Pumpkin Bread and we have many friends and relatives eager to get a loaf of it late each Fall. It can be made anytime of course. I use 1 cup of either vegetable with 2 cups of dry corn and it is a great way to 'soften' 100% cornmeal bread because it can be gritty. You can make a nice pumpkin or squash soup. Add it to pancake or biscuit batter for a change too. Neither vegetable is rich in calories needed for heavy work, but both taste great when sweetened with sugar, molasses, or Maple Syrup. Butter or cream really brings out the flavor too. A baked stuffed pumpkin can be filled with either a bread or meat stuffing, making a tasty dish. Dessert puddings and pies, often seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg can also be made from these versatile vegetables.
Squash and Pumpkins are easy seeds to save. You will need to rinse and dry them, but it is not hard to do. Many people like toasted pumpkin seeds to eat as a snack. Our chickens love to get any leftover cooked or uncooked squash or pumpkin.