Sunday, January 29, 2006

the (partly) homegrown dinner

This is one of two "Rainbow" winter squash that I harvested. They are rather small, about 6-8 inches, with medium orange flesh and a rich, aromatic flavor. They obviously store well, as I just used one last night in one of the unnamed, stew-like concoctions I like to cook.

With all of the posting I did last year about gardening and canning, I realize I have not posted much about the good part--enjoying the harvest. And with garden planning time at hand, I thought it would be useful, even to myself, to post about some of the meals that I enjoy from my own garden.

I don't have a name, or even more than a vague recipe, for last night's fare, but I noticed even the kids, who tend to eye my new creations with suspicion, enjoyed it. I started with some leftover ham and three precooked chicken/apple sausages which I cut up and heated in a Dutch oven. I put in a quart of canned tomatoes, drained, and half a pint of tomato sauce (all tomato products homegrown!). Then some chopped onion and garlic (not homegrown; hopefully my garlic crop I planted last fall will yield more this year) and celery, which I have never tried growing. Then I peeled and cubed the Rainbow squash, added some oregano and basil, a splash of red wine, and let the whole thing simmer until the squash was tender, about 30 minutes or so. The stew was served over organic brown rice. Delicious.

The Rainbow squash seeds came from Sand Hill Preservation Center in Iowa, although I could not find them in last year's catalog; I'll have to save the seeds from last night. I don't know if I've ever had a squash with such rich flavor.


Floridacracker said...

Not a squash lover, but this did sound pretty tastey.

Eleutheros said...

Squash lovers are made, not born.

Many, many has been the time that someone has declared (on visiting this farm), I'm not a fan of {greens, beans, squash, beets, life} but given the Real McCoy out of the garden and prepared using a Food Sense, they discover they were fans all along.

We grow great heaps of squash (want some seeds, Deb?) and make baked squash (sweet or savory or cheesey), squash soup, squash pies, squash caseroles, squash fritters, squash fries (like French fries), etc.

For the non-gardeners, you can pick up squash and pumpkins (pumpkins are a type of squash) very cheap at produce stands after Thanksgiving (when they are no longer marketable as decorations) and they will usually keep until summer.

Melissa said...

Squash is one of those vegetables that continue to surprise and delight. And the nutritional value is amazing. There is so much packed into and between that tough skin. Hard when dry, soft when warm. Mmmmmm.

Liz said...

Nothing beats having dinner in January with food that you grew the previous summer. And if it includes squash, then so much the better.

Deb said...

FC- I did not begin to appreciate squash until I was well into my adult years. It grows on you.

Eleutheros- What kind of squash do you have? Yes, I would definitely be interested in a few seeds. I don't have much to trade, although I recently put together a CD of my music, scraped together from practice recordings, for Jim at Earth Home Garden. You can email me at if you're interested.

Melissa- Squash is definitely good stuff! My husband saw your recipe for cauliflower and penne pasta, and he was so excited about it we're going to make it tomorrow night.

Liz- Glad you stopped by here! I just love eating something in January that's not completely store bought.

Rexroth's Daughter said...

Definitely a squash fan here! That sounds like a delicous meal. We're still eating butternut and acorn squash from last summer. Yum. We've still got lots of frozen pureed zucchini soup with basil to eat too. Thanks for the recipe and the reminder to eat our squash!

Rurality said...

Interesting looking squash! I don't think I've ever seen one of those but it looks good.