Squash – It’s Not Just a Game
Good day, everyone! Today I want to touch on the subject of a certain goose necked fruit. That’s right, yellow squash or summer squash or crook neck squash, depending on where you are. As stated in a previous post, I understand that biological processes behind germination, pollination, and fruition of edible plants. However, this is the first year that I have a garden that I have been involved in a garden from start to finish.
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I may or may not be guilty of purchasing seeds, starters, et cetera and leaving them to remain in seed form, die in the starter pot, or dehydrate to the point of being flower jerky. It’s far too easy for me to get excited and want to do all of the things only to become distracted or get busy (Had a baby last year. So many flowers died. **moment of silence**).
Thankfully, Hubs has recognized that my mind has a tendency to wander and usually nags (i.e. respectfully reminds me) that I need to be doing more in the garden. I do have a pretty ironclad excuse most of the time; Squeaker gets very vocal if she’s in her stroller too long. The garden is also in full sun so I cannot wear her during the day and pull weeds (I have royally burned myself not once, but twice in the past month). She’s not yet to the age where I can pull her in a wagon and have her stay there. And let’s not forget the several different varieties of “stickers” growing in the garden patch so she isn’t allowed to roam free.
The biggest and shiniest reason that she’s not allowed on foot is I saw the queen of all black widow spiders wandering at the edge of the garden. This was the first time I’ve ever seen a black widow in real life and I, of course, living in Florida was traipsing around in flip flops. Thank goodness that it was so big because it was smack dab in the middle of where I was going. Though it is not entirely preventable I refuse to be taken out by something that makes a milkshake out of its prey.
I legitimately thought they were smaller (this one could have covered a nickel spread out and her body was about the size of a dime). I thought that they were hidey spiders and stayed in overhang and most definitely not on the ground. Screamed like a little girl, made up several new cuss words, had to hype myself up to murder it with a garden hoe. Typically I have a “Live and Let Live” ideology, but this was too close to home. Long story short, Squeak keeps me from working as much as I need to in the garden (we’re working on that).
Back on the Farm
I got excited when my MIL brought in the first shirtful of young squash. Never really liked squash until very recently, so I commented that I’ve just started eating it. Her response was along the lines of I’d better learn to like it because we were going to have an abundance. Surely she jests. She jested not. Not a teeny bit. I have been flabbergasted at how much squash has come out of the garden. It has been nothing to pick my child’s weight in squash in a day at least once a week. See Exhibits A & B.
The squash gods have smiled upon us.
See? I was in no way, shape, or form exaggerating our squashy yield. Needless to point out, I have learned to like squash. So what did we do to invest in such a bounty? Not a whole lot, truthfully. Apparently squash is an abundant producer (I didn’t remember this particular fact from childhood) and there is nothing special really needed. We did fertilize when they were planted and ensured they were watered during the several dry spells we’ve had here in The Panhandle. Summer squash like full sun with soil that drains well and they need about an inch of rain (or water) a week.
It gives me tons of hope for attempting future squash varieties. I want to attempt Pattypan mainly because I enjoy saying Pattypan. The biggest threat that we’ve had to the garden in general, but the squash especially is the Southeastern Lubber Grasshopper or Georgia Thumper. These jokes are almost indiscriminate eaters but prefer to eat the stalks leading to the blooms. I’ve noticed this trait in both floral and vegetable gardening. Being the little turdsicles that they are, they will only chew halfway through the stalk. Enough to kill the bloom, but it is still there so the stupid jerks can say that they didn’t eat all of it. There has been a great culling here. They erupted in the hundreds in spring. Super plus side, my calves look amazing from all of the grasshopper stomping I’ve been doing.
There is all of this squash and I thought I was going to run out of ideas to use it. Thank goodness, for the wonderful bevy of information on the internet. I have found some divine recipes that I’ll share after I have the chance to tweak them. One recipe is a squash bread with cheese which I am modifying to make a vegetarian version of as well as a low protein version of. I will be sure to mark these as such for anyone who may have special dietary restrictions.
How do we eat the non-banana long, yellow fruit? Hubs tried to convince me that the only way he likes squash is battered and fried. I don’t fry food often for health reasons and I don’t like the smell of grease. I haven’t poisoned him yet so he tried my version and might prefer them to fried. My favorite way of serving these delicious squash is sautéing them. This is a new-ish recipe for me, but it is super simple.
Salt and Pepper
Everglades Seasoning (it may be regional, but it’s a spice blend with a bit of a kick)
In a medium to large sauce pan (I actually use a wok with a handle), warm a dollop of coconut oil until it melts. Slice yellow squash into 1/4 slices and add to the coconut oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper (season to taste) and stir and flip with a spatula to coat both sides of squash. Cover and stir occasionally. I typically cook on a lower heat for approximately 20 minutes. Halfway through cooking sprinkle Everglades or any additional seasonings, stirring to distribute. Squash is cooked when the centers become translucent. I usually take the squash and drain off any excess oil. Then add it back to the pan for another minute or two to lightly brown the squash. Serve and enjoy!
Download the recipe here.
I am still actively working towards finding and modifying more recipes. Any yellow squash lovers have any requests?