Saturday, February 13, 2010

What is it? And what do I do with it?

It's Pink Banana Squash!! Or, as my dear friend convinced her offspring: winter pumpkins. Yes, I've mentioned them here before, as I grew a slew of them this past season. And yes, we still have plenty. They store exceptionally well. I still have two full baskets of them stored in a cool, dry place.

Now that you know what they are, what do you do with them? Don't worry, it's not complicated and doesn't involve any sort of sacrifice, animal or human.

Wash your squash. Then cut open lengthwise. Scrape out seeds (an ice cream scoop works great). Place cut side down on baking pan. Bake at 350 until a fork pokes easily through the outer skin (time varies from 30 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the size of your squash). Remove from oven and let cool. Scrape cooked squash from skin using a large spoon or ice cream scoop. Or, remove from oven and serve with butter, brown sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon, etc.

You can use this squash in any recipe calling for pumpkin. Substitute two cups of squash for one can of pumpkin. Whatever you don't use right away can be frozen. If you freeze it in two cup measurements, that makes things easier for next time. Easy as pie! And, speaking of pie, here's my favorite recipe for Banana Squash Pie:

2 cups Pink Banana Squash (baked)
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
dash of ground cloves
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
Mix well and pour into pie shell. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 and bake 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

More pumpkin/squash recipes can be found here. (Hat Tip to Dearest Friend for the link.) Keep in mind that the nutritional information posted for each recipe will be different if you are using your very own fresh produce instead of the canned moosh listed in their ingredients.

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