Saturday, February 26, 2011

Squash: Summer and Winter

In checking through my stored veggies this past week, I looked at the Red Kuri Squash I've had squirreled away in a coolish corner of the garage.

I only had four of them left and three of them looked like the one above. Not bad for this time of year. One, for some reason, was on its way out with many bad spots on it so that one was sent out to the poultry. And I cooked one of the good ones for dinner so that leaves me with just two more.

Last fall I was afraid I didn't have good enough conditions to store the squash in so I cooked up most of them and froze the puree. Besides heating up the frozen cooked squash and eating it regularly as a vegetable with our meals, I've been using it in all recipes calling for pumpkin. It really makes a mighty fine "pumpkin" pie. Wanna know how many cups of the cooked pumpkin I still have in the freezer? Oh, maybe enough to last until mid-2015. The day I checked the whole squash I tried to give one to a friend who was here. She gave me a sheepish look and declined saying she still had the last one I foisted on her.

Looks as though my Red Kuri Squash is starting to be as big a problem as zucchini is in the summer time. Speaking of zucchini . . .

This past Thursday, Fiona at Rowangarth Farm did a post on a way she used some of her zucchini squash this past summer. She made Gingered Zucchini Marmalade and, oh my, does it look wonderful.

It so happened that on the same day I read her blog post, I opened another jar of my Zucchini Relish which I make each year. I first discovered this relish when hubby was teaching and one Christmas brought home a gift of the relish from one of his students. It was so good that I called the boy's mother and asked if she would share the recipe. She was kind enough to do so and I've been making it ever since.

This relish is on the sweet side and goes very well with most any meat especially, to my taste, beef. It's also good on hot dogs in a bun. With the hot dogs done over a campfire. Mmmm-mmm!

I thought I'd post the recipe now so you can tuck it away for the busy summer months when we all have more zucchini than we can possibly use.


10 cups shredded zucchini (I like to mix both green and yellow [when I have it] zucchini which makes for more color in the relish. Also, unless the squash is very big [older], I never peel it.)
4 cups chopped onion
1 chopped sweet red pepper
1 chopped sweet green pepper
3 tablespoons salt

Combine the above ingredients in a large bowl and let stand over night. In the morning, drain, rinse and drain again.

Put zucchini mixture in a large kettle and add:

2-1/4 cups cider vinegar
4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 cup mustard seed
1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon celery seed
3-1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)

Mix well and boil gently for 1/2 hour. Stir frequently as it is very thick and could settle and burn on the bottom.

Pack in sterilized jars to within 1/2" of top, adjust caps and process in water bath canner for 15 minutes. Makes 5-6 pints.

Between this recipe and Fiona's marmalade, we should be able to put much of our zucchini crop to good use this coming summer!


Erin said...

I'm STILL laughing at Fiona's zucchini plans... I am not jumping on that bandwagon since I end up with it even though I don't grow it LOL. Another blogger friend posted a photo last summer of her 4 year old daughter pushing around a baby carriage with a massive zuchhine with a painted face and dress that's a resourceful mama! :)

Those Red Kuri are beautiful!

Anonymous said...

I grate my zucchini and put it in the freezer, then make loaves of zucchini bread through the year... I still have way too much frozen zucchini tho... LOL

Amy Dingmann said...

I love hearing about people who have a lot of zucchini. That's supposed to be a joke, right? That you plant one seed and get a billion zukes?

Its never happened here. Ne-vah.

And I love zucchini. Maybe this will be the year that I have more zukes than I can eat. :)

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

While you have squash that just doesn't seem to go anywhere, I have zucchini relish. I canned so many things last year that I really do not use in any regularity. I have relish, jams, chutneys, pickles in massive amounts just staring back at me. At the time of canning I figured that in the middle of the cold long winter those things would look really good to me. I am still waiting for that to happen.

growmyown said...

We have a few red kuri's left also. They are so good and really the best keepers. One use is to give a bit to the dog every day. It helps keeping their stool firm. A spoonful a day keeps the vet (and his/her bills) away.

I also would love to have an overabundance of zucchini's. Not a problem in our garden.

Anonymous said...

That does sound tasty! I got my water bath canner recently and hope to make lots of preserves this summer. I can't wait to try it out. I didn't know squash could last so long, that's great! I love the stuff, I usually make a nice butternut squash and curry soup when I'm lucky enough to find some on sale. I thought about trying to grow some this year in the container garden...just a thought for now.

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Some of us struggle with an over abundance of zucchini, some of us struggle with an over abundance of peppers! Is there a cure for us?

Mama Tea - What is wrong with you, Girl? I've never (ne-vah) heard of anyone who can't grow them!

Jane - I know exactly what you mean. I think it's because when you cook for just two people 90% of the time, you just don't consume that much stuff! Because we've been off bread for a while now, we aren't consuming any jam. I have four gazillion jars of it (pick a flavor, any flavor) on my shelves.

growmyown - I had never heard that about feeding a dog a little squash. Ya learn something every day!

Mama Pea said...

Rain - Funny, I keep suggesting squash soup to my hubby and he keeps vetoing it!