One of the things you learn when you garden and really eat the food you grow is how to use everything. Yesterday, I got a little bit caught up on some cooking that I had been wanting to do. There was a dishpan full of squash that I planned to cook then freeze in 2-cup servings. Got that done. Then we had this pumpking-looking thing that we had bought from a friend who was selling it at a local farmers’ market. She said it was a Hubbard squash:
But it was big and green and we swore it was a pumpkin. We took her word for it and bought it anyway. It’s been sitting in the kitchen turning orange for a couple of months, so I finally decided I would slice it, cook it, and freeze IT in 2-cup batches, too, as G says she only needs 2 cups of pumpkin for a pie.
I cut the big thing in half with my Chinese knife, which looks like a cleaver, but definitely isn’t:
As I split it in two, I saw that one of the many seeds had actually sprouted while inside the squash/pumpkin and was on its way to making a 3rd leaf already. I promptly plucked out the little sprout and put it in some water. If I can keep it through the winter in a pot, I’ll have a head start on next year’s squash/pumpkins! Then I decided I would take the seeds of whatever vegetable this was, dry them and roast them for a snack. If you’ve never had roasted pumpkin seeds, you’re in for a treat!
Finally, I laid the big chunks of pumpkin/squash on foil-lined cookie sheets, and baked them in the oven for a couple of hours. Then I scraped the tender flesh out of the rind, mashed it up and got 6 cups’ worth. The actual flesh seemed more like spaghetti squash than anything else, but had a sweet, mild flavor that will make a good pie or even just baked with eggs and seasonings like a custard. The possibilities are endless.
Of that large pumpkin/squash thing, all that is left now is the soft, baked rind, and that is headed back to the compost pile to be turned once again into food-producing soil. There is nothing left…nothing to “throw away”.
Using up things like this makes me feel so good. And it makes me realize that everything we already have can have other uses as well, we just need to toss in a little creativity to figure it out.
We can do more things with our things than create floating garbage islands out of them.
Don’t you think?