Turkey Tracks: Sunday Night Dinner

Turkey Tracks:  December 18, 2017

Sunday Night Dinner

Some of you know that I grew some Blue Hubbard squashes this summer.

It was a riot.  The vines went EVERYWHERE.

Remember this picture from an earlier post?

I stored them in the garage until it go too cold.  Squashes don’t like cold. Then they came inside to wait to be cooked.  I think there is something that happens if you let the hearty winter squashes “sugar off” a bit.   Remember that Delicata’s, though, need to be eaten more quickly.  They don’t keep as well.

I really love the New England winter squashes.  I didn’t grow up with any of them because we lived in the south, for the most part, and these winter squashes really need a New England summer to develop their distinct flavors.  One of my favorites is this Blue Hubbard squash.  It’s delicious!!!  And a great keeper.  And you can get a lot of squash meat for the freezer from one of these BIG squashes if you halve them and roast them and scoop out the flesh and freeze it.  I love it mixed with cream, maple syrup, fall spices, and mixed with a blender until smooth.  A tiny bit of work gives you an asset to pull from your freezer–just thaw and mix in the other goodies.

Because of the summer drought, some of my squash did not get that big.  Were they still good I wondered?  And could I roast the flesh?  The answer, after last night’s Sunday dinner, is YES and YES!

I cut one of the small ones in half, seeded it, and cut it into slices for roasting–with garlic and fresh rosemary as Betsy Maislen and I did this past summer.

I cut off the rind and tossed the chunks in olive oil in a pan:

I come from the school that there is no such thing as too much garlic, as you can see above.  I grew this garlic and the rosemary.  I sprinkled rock sea salt over the mixture and cooked it at 350 for about 45 or so minutes.  Of course you could roast these with other ingredients.  Hmmmm.  Would they be food with maple syrup and cranberries?  Or with drizzles of orange and honey and basil preserved from your garden?

Before the first hard freeze, I cut all the rosemary and wrapped it in parchment paper and put it in one of the crisper bins in the refrigerator.  Now, almost two months later, it is still viable:

I had two chicken breasts.  Can I rant and say that chicken breasts today are SO BIG that they are obscene.  No way are ONE of these a proper serving for one person.  I layered broccoli and onion into the pan and used some Penzey’s herbs over everything.  I thought perhaps there was enough garlic already in this meal even for me.

This pan went into the oven alongside the squash.

I took out the veggies and let the meat “pop” for about 6 or 7 minutes with added temperature and the convection oven going.

The veggies look delicious and WERE.  I stored the extras for dinner tomorrow night and reserved these for tonight.

So, here’s my Sunday night dinner.  I added half of an organic Honey Crisp apple chunked up for dessert and a dessert cup of coffee and took everything downstairs to watch more of season 9 of PROJECT RUNWAY.  I seem to be hoarding the last two episodes of THE CROWN.


Turkey Tracks: Blue Hubbards Come Inside: Hacksaw to Follow

November 23, 2017

Blue Hubbards Come Inside:  Hacksaw to Follow

These guys have been hanging out in the garage.

But the weather is getting too cold for them out there now.

So I brought them in today.

Squashes actually like warmer storage environments than many of the other veggies.

That’s a haul, isn’t it?

I love growing them.  These hubbards are a bit on the small side this year due to the summer and early fall drought.

Blue Hubbards are terrific “keepers.”  And the flesh is so sweet.  It takes a hacksaw to cut them open (no kidding), but I then place them cut side down on a baking pan with a good lip and roast them until a knife pierces them–somewhere around an hour.  I scoop the flesh, add raw cream and butter, a bit of maple syrup, salt, and some fall spices if one tolerates them.  I then only have to smash the flesh with a potato smasher tool (or use a blender, I guess) while the mixture heats and smooths out.  One could then also put the mixture into a butter lined casserole and reheat that when needed.  This dish would be a great potluck dish.


Turkey Tracks: Blue Hubbard Squash

Turkey Tracks:  October 20, 2012

Blue Hubbard Squash

I’ve been fascinated with Blue Hubbard squash for some years now.

Last year, I planted seeds, but nothing came of them.  This year we had a very rainy, cool June, and I planted cucumbers and zucchini about five times before any of the plants really got going.  The zucchini finally produced enough for us to enjoy zucchini on a regular basis.  The cukes finally produced two small fruits in early September.  (Fortunately neighbor Susan McBride had plenty of cukes in her amazing hoop houses at Golden Brook Farm, so I made some of Sandor Ellison Katz’s New York pickles from his WILD FERMENTATION–and they were absolutely delicious.)

And, I kept planting Blue Hubbard squash in the long front bed where I also planted strawberries for next year.  Here’s what the vine looked like in late August–the pic is taken from the upper porch, looking down.

Nice, I thought.  Decorative even.  Lots of blossoms, too, but…  Then I noticed a pale growth underneath the leaves on the lower right, up next to the porch.

It was a BIG fruit.  Still green, still not blue, but a BIG fruit.  I held my breath about frost and left it alone.  I picked it about a week ago and put it into the garage to “sugar off” for a bit.  Squash almost always need to sit for a bit of time after harvest to get really sweet.

Here’s how BIG my Blue Hubbard got:

It’s as big as a chicken.  Bigger even.

Back in the day, folks would cut a hunk out of a Blue Hubbard for dinner and just leave the rest in a cool place for the next meal.  I’m sure I posted a blog on roasting one I bought last year–which is what I will do with this one.  I’ll cut it in half, scoop out the seeds, roast it in the oven (face down), scoop out the flesh and store it in meal-sized portions in the freezer.  It makes a nice pie, too.  The flesh is mellow, nutty, and lovely.

The squash I planted in the blue tubs also did REALLY well this summer.  Here’s a pic from sometime in, probably, July.

We harvested a box full of squash:  two beautiful little pie pumpkins, eight or ten butternuts, a buttercup, five or six delicatas, and an assortment of small blue hubbards that are probably edible.  I’ll plant squash here again.

Turkey Tracks: Blue Hubbard Squash

Turkey Tracks:  January 23, 2012

Blue Hubbard Squash

I bought a Blue Hubbard squash in the late fall to roast for the winter.

Blue Hubbards are HUGE.  And they are legendary for being really, really delicious.

I tried to grow them last year, but it just wasn’t a good squash year in my garden.  I’ve already ordered the seeds to try again next year.

I put the squash next to other items in the kitchen so you could tell how big it it.  John had to take it to the garage and slice it into two parts with a saw.  The seeds are also supposed to be terrific, and I love to roast squash and pumpkin seeds, but I didn’t this time around.  Too much going on with everyone here for Christmas.  A missed opportunity I now regret.

Here it is cut in half.  It has beautifully orange flesh.

I put each half cut side down in a large pan coated lightly with coconut oil or olive oil and roasted about an hour.  You can tell from the smell when they are done.  And, you can check for sure by piercing with a sharp knife.

I scooped out the flesh and froze it in serving sizes for us.  And, of course we ate it that night.  I put it in a pot, heated it, mashed it, and added some cream, some butter, some maple syrup, some salt, and some cinnamon and nutmeg.  Delicious!

Add some eggs, and you’d have a great pie filling.