Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Never Ending Pickles and Squash

My cucumbers look like they have about 10 more cukes setting right now despite the cold weather. I wear my jacket out in the garden in the morning and you can see my breath. Brr. I still haven't turned on the heat yet. I remember I used to turn the heat on around September 19th. I remember the date since it is my son's birthday. But in the last five years or so it hasn't been as cold in the fall - or maybe I just put up with it better. This morning it was 64F in the house which is quite tolerable, especially since it doesn't last long. Our house has a lot of windows and if there is any sun, it heats up fairly quickly.

Hmm I seem to have digressed from my cucumbers. I wasn't going to make more pickles since I was keeping up with the cukes, but now they seem to be over taking me. I've been collecting them in the fridge and not eating them all. So I made more pickle juice and started putting them in jars. This way I'll only have to eat one fresh cucumber a day and the rest can be saved. I can probably save them and bring them to Thanksgiving. That would be nice. I will have to hand off a jar to my friend though as I still have way too many pickles.

That was this morning and I barely finished the pickles before I had to run off to work. This afternoon I stopped at the farmer's market. Jennifer from Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings, really made me want to try delicata squash. Now I had just picked up two butternuts from our local farm, but I'm thinking more squash must be good. So yes I was looking for more this afternoon.

I found three different looking squashes that were all labeled delicata. One which looked like I thought delicata was supposed to look like, was an elongated squash with yellow and green ribbing. The next was the same shape but yellow and orange (a riper version perhaps?). The third was a squat version in the green and yellow color. It sat on its end. I loved the way it looked so bought that. Right now I'm busy cooking it all up - including the butternuts (in a roasting pan filled with water each half lightly brushed with olive oil at 400F). I'll mash it once it is done and freeze it in cup servings. One of the delicata halves I'll be eating tonight. I put some maple syrup and butter in the hollowed out section. That ought to be yummy.


  1. Yum, I love pickles & squash! We would never have too many, my boys eat them like their candy. :)

  2. Well my pickles are weird sort of sweet and spicy dill pickles. I have one of my friends addicted to them. The squash though really is like candy. I couldn't believe how good it was. I need more delicata squash. It goes perfectly with maple syrup. Though really it is sweet enough without it. I love the flavor. I wonder what it would be like in a pie. I have to try that sometime this fall.

  3. Sounds like you have had some chilly mornings. That is really cool that your cucumbers are still producing. And homemade pickles at Thanksgiving or as a gift is a fantastic idea. I'll have to keep that in mind for next year. I didn't get a boiling water bath canner until most of my harvest was already, well, harvested and gone!

    I LOVE that picture with all the squash! Those butternut had to have been huge!!

    I noticed that there seemed to be a bit of variation in the shape and color of the delicatas when I was at the market.

    Oooooh, I love how you are preparing your delicata! That sounds like it would be perfect. Yum, now I'm hungry!

  4. At first I thought all that squash came from your yard. I was beyond green with envy! Delicata is my favorite. It's so sweet that I don't put anything on it. We had our first go at canning pickles this past weekend. It didn't turn out so well--picles tasted great but we didn't have proper canning equipment and non of our pots were big enough so we're not trusting the shelf life to be too long. We're treating them as refrigerator pickles.

  5. Gosh, reading about your garden I am overcome with envy, now that I'm back on campus I MISS my garden! I really enjoy your blog, BTW.
    Ali in Maine

  6. Jennifer: Thanks. The funny thing is that I think the bright orange flesh of the butternuts are so pretty. The delicatas are a little washed out in color, but the delicatas are so much tastier. Yumm. Thanks for making me buy them.

    weed wackin' wenches: I wish it came from my garden. The borers always get my squash. The only winter squash I grew this year was the pumpkin and it just didn't make it. And it is true the delicata really needs no sugar, but the maple flavor was so good with it that I'll probably do it again anyway. It ranks up there with a dessert not a vegetable at that point.

    henbogle: Thank you. Teaching must be a good mix with gardening in the fall. Most of the gardening season is over anyway. And I saw that photo of your full freezer. I'm envious. It must be hard in the spring though. That is the busiest gardening time for me.