Friday, October 22, 2010

What to do with All This Squash?!?!

With So Much squash coming from the 6 crookneck plants, I became overwhelmed at times. I froze a bunch, delivered bags and bags to neighbors and family and tried to find new ways to cook it so we wouldn't get bored!

Chris "invented" the deep fried squash recipe above... and I must say, they were yummy! Though he does not recall exactly what he did, it worked out and we'll be trying some fry recipes again next year.
Aside from the usual saute, we Love our veggies on the grill! This particular recipe is simply sliced squash (we also like zucchini, portabello mushrooms, asparagus, bell peppers - and pretty much any other vegetable! - this way) marinated for about 10 minutes in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with some pressed garlic. On this particular evening, I topped them with the green onion, jalapeno and white onion I had from the garden! Yum!

Even though we were getting tired of it, I managed to freeze quite a bit, and we're looking forward to summer squash in our winter dishes!
In August, the zucchini finally started to show! Now to add more time in the garden searching for and picking all of the yummies!
Here is another look at the 100 lb. pumpkin plants! Coming right along. Though it may be difficult to see, at this stage we're at about the 30+ lb. mark.
And another look at Auntie Annie's sunflowers! They're getting tall!
So in August, this became a typical twice a week harvest. There are bell peppers and sweet peppers in this pick, though those plants did not fare as well as some of the others. Also in this Load are zucchini, yellow crookneck, cucumber, jalapenos, an onion and tomatoes.
Having a husband who "swears" that he "hates" tomatoes... unless they're in salsa or pizza sauce, of course... makes things a little difficult when we have tomatoes in our yard! So... one afternoon I decided to give salsa a try! Chris has made it before, but this was my first go.

I chopped up some tomatoes, jalapenos, white onion, green onion and peppers from the garden and added some (gasp!) store bought garlic :)! Wow! The tomatoes were so juicy! Needless to say, it took about 30 minutes to chop everything up and only about 7 minutes for him, ok... Us, to devour it! *A side note on the garlic... rumor has it you can plant a single clove and it will grow! We will absolutely make room for some garlic next year, as we are a "garlic in everything" household!
Since we had way more than we could handle, we set up a roadside stand to sell the "Excess" bounty of our harvest. At first Clayton was reluctant (we'll call it separation anxiety) to part with "his" veggies... but once he realized that there would be cash in the box, he quickly came around! For rookies in the roadside department, we did better than we expected. Once the stand is closed for the season, Clayton will get to choose a family outing to spend his hard earned stash on!
And a final look at Auntie's sunflower garden! Not bad for a $1 purchase, each of the 10 plants bloomed! You can see a smaller bloom peeking out between the two plants. Each plant had about 3 smaller flowers bloom lower on the stalk. These are a very small variety, so we were not able to "harvest" seeds from the flowers, but they were a very pretty addition that we hope to see again next year!
When the zucchini started to crowd the roadside, I knew it was time for some sweets! This Zucchini Crisp recipe came from a family friend and has been a favorite to all who have tried! It comes in extra handy when I miss a zucchini under one of the plants, or don't make it out to pick for a day or two. One or two of the Large zucchini are perfect for this recipe... I even prepped and froze zucchini for more desserts to come!

Zucchini Crisp

4 cups flour, 2 cups sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 cups butter


8-10 cups of peeled, seeded, cubed zucchini (about 4-5 lbs.),
2/3 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly; reserve 3 cups. Pat remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of a greased 13x9 baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, for filling, place zucchini and lemon juice in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 6-8 minutes or until zucchini is crisp-tender. Stir in sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; cover and simmer for 5 minutes (mixture will be thin). Spoon over crust; sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 16-20
In early October, the pumpkins started turning orange, so I set 2 of them at the roadside stand to see how they would do. I went back 45 minutes later to restock the baggies and they were Gone! After the kids have their pick, the extras will go to the roadside to top off Clayton's adventure fund.
The rest of the pumpkins are looking great and ready for tomorrow's Kid Pick! While the large ones did not quite reach the 100 lb. mark, there are a few that are pretty close; the one below stands at my knee.

The roadside had a much greater variety later in the summer... Tomatoes, zucchini, jalapenos and pomegranets from the tree in our yard. The acorn squash (below) have been a hot item, with two ladies regularly cleaning us out!

The tomato plants may have gotten a late start, but they are definately making up for lost time! With 8 plants, 6 different Heirloom varieties, we are really enjoying them!

Hhhmmm... Tomato sandwich on toasted whole wheat; Salsa; Sliced tomatoes with oil, vinegar and pepper; Chopped over a salad... the possibilities are endless!
What started out as 3 or 4 rows of yellow onions, seemed to not do so well, and we only picked about half a dozen. The other day I went to yank the weeds and clean up... and what do you know... we have a full on Onion Patch! I guess it should have occured to me that we planted (what would eventually grow into) bulbs and they'll fare even if they're dormant for a while. I bet there are 7 rows of onions and we are So Excited to see them doing so well, even under the neglect of what we thought had turned to dead space!
And finally the Pumpkin Squash... these babies are serving as the perfect fall decor, topping off two baskets in the house. Nothing like home grown decorations!

Thanks for joining us for the tour of our Great Garden! We can only hope that we'll meet our own expectations for next year! Happy Gardening!

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