Sunday, August 10, 2014

A Tale of Two Squashes AKA the story of PunkinStien

Harken back to the glorious days of spring when the temps were cool and the anticipations of nature's bounty was yet to be realized (Okay you got to admit that was a totally good sentence).  My Darling Husband planted seeds we believed to be pumpkin.  We were excited and a little nervous when the whole row germinated and was going gang busters.  What would we do with all of those pumpkins?  Canning some, freezing some, giving some away, were all thoughts that passed thru our little noggins.  Later we realized these weren't acting like normal pumpkins.  They were shaped more like spaghetti squash.  OK, change of plans.  We now have an abundance of spaghetti squash.  No biggie.  I can turn on a dime; roll with the punches so to speak.  When we thought we had a couple to try, I picked them and baked them, but I must have done something wrong cause they didn't act like spaghetti squash either.  Well now we didn't know what to do.  So like most people when faced with indecision, we did nothing.  We just left them alone until the area was so over grown my DH had to get to them with the weed eater.  DH sharing my desire to not throw anything away if even remotely useful, piled all of the "squashes" up.  We got a good many.  Bout 15ish.  We started taking a good long look at said squashes and determined they looked an awful lot like pumpkin in color and texture, but not in shape.  One or two looked pumpkinish.  So looking to file this in "Things that make you go Hmmmmm", I grabbed up one of the bigger ones to check it out.  Bringing it into the house, I washed and dried it and then took my heavy duty butcher knife to cut it open.  Swing!  Thunk!  The knife barely went into the skin.  Hmmm  I know what I need.  I need a hammer!  Honey, where's the hammer?  Honey says, in the tool box in the shed.  Oh.  UGH.  I really didn't want to exert myself to go out to the shed.  What to do what to do.  Ah  Eureka!  A scrap piece of 2x4.  Yea that'll work.  And it did.  It took a bit of whacking the knife all around the punkinstien (Or Franken Squash depending on your ideological bent), but I got it split.  Well low and behold it was yellowish orange on the inside much like pumpkin.  I cleaned out all the seeds and into the oven it goes cut side down.  It baked about an hour and then it was out to cool.  The peel was still tough, but the pulp inside was soft and actually pulled completely away from the peel.  In fact, you could probably use the peel for a bowl.  LOL  I know appetizing.  Anyway, once cool I needed to find out if it would work like pumpkin.  If this failed I didn't want to sacrifice a lot of other foods, so I made 1/3 of a pumpkin pie recipe minus the crust.  I just need to know the filling would work.  I poured the filling into 2 custard dishes and they are currently in the oven baking.  Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock.........

And now!  The result is.........! Well it tastes good.  It makes a pumpkin pie that passes the Rubic test.  He is our pumpkin pie guy.  However, in order to process all of these I would have to can them and that would require peeling and cubing the fruit.  I think with the peel as tough as it is that would be a long drawn out affair.  I saved the pulp from tonight in my freezer and got 4 cups, 2 cups each container.  Maybe pumpkin butter.  Hmmmmm.   Not sure.  This maybe my only chance for something akin to pumpkin.  Some kind of beetle has made a beeline for my pumpkin plants and I think it is too late to fix it with the rain we have going on now.  It would keep me from spraying anything for a while.  Since we found the frankensquash,  I also have also realized a bed of speckled lima beans, which had been planted next to white limas,  are now mostly white, we are considering the thought that there has been some cross pollination...inter-fauna hanky panky going on in the garden.  Hey you never know what those plants can do when your back is turned!

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