Summer of Squash Wrap Up

As usual, my frenzied August food preservations put me behind schedule in other areas of life.  So instead of updating my count of squash consumed, I’ve been busy canning, freezing, and/or drying tomatoes, sauce, peppers, apples, and peaches.  Even though everyone else is probably finished eating squashes, I am going to share how my August-September squash have been put to good use.

Yesterday, we at the last squash we had picked, and with a few puny plants left producing we may have a couple more to add to the final summer squash total . . . or not,  It is hard to say.  Powdery mildew really affected the squash plants this year, but after you eat 60 plus squash in a 2 month period, you don’t really mind.

  • Squash 56 and 57 were added to two different batches of roasted summer vegetables.  Toss peppers, squash, halved cherry or plum tomatoes, onions, garlic, eggplant, beans, or any other summer vegetables with olive oil and lemon juice then cook on baking sheet for about 20-25 minutes at 425 degrees to make your own version.  It also makes a great pizza topping.
  • Squash 58 was added to a tabouleh salad.
  • Squashes 59, 60, 61, and 62 were 2 double batches of zucchini pancakes. At about this point, my son asks me if we can have “regular pancakes” when we are all out of squash.
  • Squash 63 made another zucchini bundt cake to share at a work picnic.
  • Squash 64, 65, & 66 were made into zucchini fritters.
  • Squash 67 and 68 were “zucchini pillows” or basically a zucchini casserole with flour and cheese, instead of cornmeal and cheese.
  • Squash 69, 70, and 71 were stuffed with beef, peppers, tomatoes, and rice.
  • Squash 72 (it was a big one!) became 2 loaves of zucchini bread which were frozen for later.  One went with us on a recent out-of-town wedding trip and other is still waiting for us!
  • Squash 73 & 74 made another double batch of pancakes.
  • Squash 75 was roasted with other summer vegetables and then used to top a pizza along with a basil-oil topping and homemade mozzarella cheese.
  • Squash 76 and 77 were eaten raw on consecutive days by me and my son after being topped with baba ganoush according to recipe in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.  I’ll admit that I tricked my son into eating it by peeling it and telling him it was a yellow cucumber.  For some reason, he’ll eat that but not a yellow squash.
  • Finally, squash 78 and 79 became another (final?) double batch of zucchini pancakes.

I sincerely hope that a few more squash will mature so we can push our final number to 80 or above.  But it is hard to say what will happen with the days getting colder and shorter.  Since this may be my last squash post for the year, I wanted to tally up some stats.

So far:

  • 8 squash are still preserved to be eaten later as bread, zapplesauce, or squash relish
  • 7 squash given away to others who needed and wanted it more than we did
  • 10 squash purchased before we had as many of our own (next year, I’ll trust in the garden to provide as we clearly didn’t need these)

Which means:

  • 76 is the total number of squash produced in our backyard garden from June 29 until today (September 16) by our 3 zucchini and 1 yellow squash plants.
  • 68 is about the total number of squash eaten by my family from July 1 until September 16.  To get this number, I’m subtracting the ones still to be eaten and ones we baked and gave to others.

I’m pretty proud of those numbers because they represent food we grew ourselves and local, seasonal food that formed the basis of our diet.  Focusing so strongly on seasonal eating over the last few years has been such an amazing experience.  Through each month and season, our whole family moves from excitement over a new fruit or vegetable, to a relief when a new season dawns.  As we teeter on the edge of a possible 80th squash (and loads of tomatoes, beans, and chard) we hotly anticipate the butternut and delicata squash ripening on our vines and long for more lettuce that has been missing during the hottest summer months.  Believe it or not, we are all wishing for cabbage soup, and roasted winter vegetables, and sweet potatoes (dear god the sweet potatoes!).  I know they’ll be here before too long.  And if a final squash or two makes it in before the first frost, I’ll enjoy that too because we won’t be expecting more until July 2014.

Mid-August garden harvest.

Mid-August garden harvest.

 

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