Freezing Squash

IMG_0040Our squash plants are taking over the northern hemisphere.  At least that’s how it’s starting to feel.

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.

IMG_0043There 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.

IMG_0046The 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.


About applewoodfarm

Restaurateur, farmer, bartender, beekeeper, friend, wife, mother, dog lover, cat tolerater, chicken hypnotizer, blogger, and sometime yogi
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7 Responses to Freezing Squash

  1. Ashley says:

    This is so exciting to me! Yay for food preservation! I’ve had some success with zucchini pickles and made some pattypan pickles I’m looking forward to trying as well… Relish? I’ve also found that freezing chopped squash in trays before bagging saves me a lot frustration later on. Looking forward to reading about your adventures in food preservation in coming years Shea family!

  2. Tell me more about this freezing chopped squash in trays…

    • Peter says:

      I think she means that if you freeze it loose on a tray and *then* bag it the pieces won’t be frozen together and you can get exactly how much you need. But I’m just guessing.

  3. Peter says:

    Right now, note how many plants you planted this year. Then plant half as many next year.

    Oh, and grate them on the grater insert on a food processor. It goes about 10x faster and with 100% fewer grated knuckles!

  4. Bill says:

    We love squash and have had a decent production in an otherwise crummy summer. But with all our other problems we’ve ended up using all the squash for our CSA (or we ate it already). So whereas we normally freeze a lot for the winter, so far we haven’t frozen any. So count your blessings. 🙂

    This year we added a new variety for us–Zephyr. We got the seeds from Johnny’s Seeds and it was amazing. Great production, good resistance to pests, and several folks told us it was the best squash they’ve ever eaten. You might try it next year. 🙂

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