Squash

When you cut open a Winter Squash, especially if you grew it yourself, you want the beautiful squash flesh to be uncontaminated by dirt.

Always wash your Winter squashes before cutting them open. Squashes grow in dirt, are loaded onto trucks and sit in barns and warehouses. These are places where the people working wear heavy footwear, step in poop accidentally (if they also have farm animals), are around fuel, etc. It's not a place where you would walk around in bare feet.

dirty carnival squash
cleaned carnival squash

See the dirt on the skin of this carnival squash in the photo above? It doesn't look like much, but it does have tiny microbes that you would not want to eat or contaminate the squash flesh as you cut it open. 

In the photo to the right, you can see how clean and shiny the squash is, after I have washed it with soap and water. I have my dedicated fruit and vegetable washing sponge and my handy recycled ketchup bottle filled with Instant Liquid Soap.

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How to Wash Winter Squash

How to wash Winter squash is easy. Simply, put a little Instant Liquid Soap on your dedicated fruit and vegetable washing sponge and soap up the squash as if you were washing a dish. Rinse it off and you are ready to cut it open to make a variety of wonderfully satisfying and foods to keep your belly full and provide you with warmth and a sense of well being. 

Pumpkin custard

I love custard. It's smooth texture and sweet flavor goes well with main courses and deserts. Custard is extremely versatile, especially if you don't add any sugar. My recipe is below.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Custard:

1 pie pumpkin 

2 cups water

2 cups milk 

2 eggs (farm fresh if you have access. Wash with soap and water before cracking them open)

3 tablespoons flour

ground cinnamon and cloves to taste

2 tablespoons butter

2 apples

Directions:

Wash the pumpkin with soap and water by following the directions for washing Winter Squashes above.

Slice the pumpkin in 1/2, scoop out the seeds and give them to your chickens or toast them for a yummy snack or compost them.

Place the squash in a sauce pot or stock pot with 2 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes.

Leave the pot covered, turn the heat off and let it sit for another 30 minutes to finish steaming. This will allow the flesh to gently pull away from the skin.

Leave the now flavored stock water in the pot, and remove the pumpkin halves.

Scoop the flesh out of the skin and put it in the stock water. Give the skin to your chickens or put it in the compost.

Use a bean masher, fork, whisk or stick blender, and whiz bang your pumpkin to make a smooth paste.

Add the milk and whiz bang that in.

Add the flour, whole eggs, cinnamon and clove to taste. Whiz bang it all together. 

Cook the custard on the stovetop on a low heat. Whiz bang it with your stick blender every 30 seconds for 5 minutes, while the custard gently simmers. Do not boil this or it will curdle. 

Decant the hot custard to a bowl. 

Wash your apples with soap and water, peel, remove the cores. Add the peels and cores to your chick treat dish or compost. Grate the apples, and fold them into the hot custard.

Cover the bowl with a plate and let it sit on the counter for 3 hours to slowly cool (if your eggs are farm fresh and your milk is organism grass-fed and not homogenized). If you are using commercial eggs and milk, cool the custard in the refrigerator.

Serve warm, room temp or cold as a side dish for any main course or top with nuts and fruit for desert.

Bon appetite!

Butternut Squash Soup

Here is a very simple recipe for Butternut Squash Soup.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

  1. Wash the squash with soap and water and rinse.
  2. Do not cut, score or anything. You don't even have to dry the squash. Place the whole squash into a dry pyrex baking pan and put it in the oven on a rack in the lower 1/3 part of the oven. Bake for approximately 1 hour.
  3. When you smell the sweet squash aroma, slide a knife into the squash. If it's like soft butter, it's cooked to perfection. I turn the oven off and leave the squash to slowly cool overnight.

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  1. Scoop out the seeds for your chickens or for toasting as a snack for yourself. Scoop out the squash flesh into a 3-5 quart sauce pan. Cover with water or milk. Puree with a stick blender. 
  2. Add a few tablespoons of oil, butter or meat gelatin and some of the fat-only if it's organic. (I personally only add the fat if it is pork or chicken, since I do not prefer beef fat) 
  3. Add ground chipotle powder, ground white pepper, and salt to taste.
  4. Add milk or more water to fill up the pot. Mix well and heat til piping hot. Serve. The suggestions below I add per serving, so it can be different every meal, making it a fresh new dish.
  5.  This soup is great with cooked grain, such as pasta, quinoa, kasha, whatever you have, or toasted bread with butter and cheese. You can also add leftover vegetables, like cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage...whatever you've got. 
  6. bon app├ętits! 
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