I told you I was growing squash for the first time on our allotment. Well I'll certainly be growing them again. We have had a bountiful harvest and I wish I'd grown more varieties, so I will next year. The only thing is that one variety has gone completely mad and covers a good half of my new allotment plot... added to which these particular ones are from plants my mother gave me and she can't remember where she got the seed from, or what variety it is! We thought they were marrows, but they look more like white squash of sorts. We have hundreds of them! The butternuts took a long time to get going and we do have some to harvest but they are not very big. The plot next to mine had a successive crop of courgettes of which I had to resist the temptation to be envious of, so I grew some of my own - albeit rather late in the season. I'll get a few. Next year I'll start them earlier (for lots of chocolate cake!) and throw in some cucumbers too.
I gather the secret to success is to plant them in nutrient rich soil - on a compost heap or with plenty of well rotted manure. All my plants seem to do better with plenty of manure - as long as it's applied at the right time. Some, like carrots don't like being planted in freshly spread manure or they develop forked roots, so you have to check first.
My problem now is what to do with them all! I gather I can store them in nets in a cool place until mid-winter.... that's a lot to store and we'd better start eating them soon. But how? Well apart from the obvious roast butternut squash chips I've been hunting for some more recipes. This is my collection so far. I haven't tried all of them yet, but if they are not GAPS legal as they stand they look easy to adapt.
Cut the squash into 'chips', pop them into a roasting tin, scatter
knobs of fat (I use lard) over them and bake - I use 180 deg C. and
just cook until done, but often put them in with other foods at
lower/higher temperatures and I adjust as necessary until they are
Butternut Squash Soup
Use a GAPS legal fat rather than heating olive oil in this recipe from Mary Berry
Butternut Squash Pancakes
Not just for the GAPS intro diet. GAPS legal as it stands.
Quick 'How To':
Peel a butternut squash:
The easiest way I find is to first cut off the ends and then use a vegetable peeler to peel longwise down the squash, just finishing off at the top and bottom as necessary at the end. I then cut it in 2 inch chunks. Each chunk I then slice and cut into chip shapes.
Roast a squash:
Don't peel. Cut in half longwise, Then lay face down on a baking tray with a little water. Roast for about 45 min at Gas 4, 350 deg. Having roasted it until the flesh is tender, leave it to cool and then you can scrape the flesh out and puree it. I use it to thicken sauces/soups, or we have it mashed with butter and salt.