These behemoths are sending their seemingly endless tendrils into every garden recess and producing blossoms and fruit like there’s a cash prize for the most prolific plant.
Dave went down to Brooklyn today for the weekly restaurant run and so we did the usual early-morning-pick beforehand. In addition to all the other garden goodies, we sent him off with a huge bag of squash blossoms, a ridiculous amount of yellow crooknecks, a good haul of delicatas, some really crazy big cocozelles, and a single ripe butternut. As he drove away, I looked around the squash bed and realized that I was still, somewhat literally, up to my elbows in ripe squash. All of our picking hadn’t made a dent.
The real problem, though, is that none of us are particularly crazy about eating squash.
I mean, squash is okay; it’s just not something any of us get really excited about. Something else always sounds better when given a choice. But I was standing in my garden surrounded by all this beautiful fruit and had to make a decision. I started thinking about Squash Potential. I thought of squash fritters, squash cake, squash muffins. I thought about squash fritters again. Then once more. On my fourth fritter fantasy, I decided that it was time to freeze some squash so that we could enjoy these lovelies in the middle of the winter.
There are two way that I know to freeze squash. One is to wash it, slice it, blanch it in boiling water for 30 seconds, and then transfer it to an ice bath to stop the cooking. The squash is then ready to bag and freeze until you wish to use it. I did this with about 1/4 of the squash because this is not the format necessary for squash fritters and, if I hadn’t already mentioned it, I really like squash fritters.
The other method is to wash it, grate it on the large side of a box grater, and bag it. This is simpler and messier and more fun. I like to freeze grated squash in either one or two cup portions to make thawing for a recipe easier. This way, I’m not thawing more than I need.
So now I have enough squash to get through the winter but the plants just keep on producing. This is a wonderful problem to have and don’t think for a moment I’m not insanely grateful that our garden has succeeded this year. I’m just warning friends and neighbors ahead of time that there might be clandestine squash deliveries in the dead of night.