Ideas for massive squash please

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Pawty
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Ideas for massive squash please

Postby Pawty » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:46 am

Last year my husband and I took trip through France and Italy. Along the way I bought lots of interesting looking seeds. So, this year I tried to grow a few in my allotment include the a squash called ' zucca lunga piena di Napoli'. The result is two squashes over a metre long which will require two people to carry. Apparently they store well, but once I start using it I will be committed to eating it for a good month unless I give slices to friends.

So, apart from the usual soup, risotto and mash, does anyone have any good recipes or ideas on how to preserve it?

Thanks. Paula.
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby peter » Sun Sep 20, 2015 9:55 am

Roast it, mash it ready to use, then freeze it in blocks, ice cube trays, or larger.

Add blocks to whatever you choose to make. :)
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby Primrose » Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:02 am

Keep the cut surface area tightly covered with cling film whenever you cut another slice off and store them in a cool place. Usually they're far too large to store in the average do estic size fridge.

Another way we use up our bigger squashes is to make a vegetable curry with chunks of squash, potatoes, butter beans, onions and red peppers. It makes a tasty inexpensive meal and is obviously suitable for vegetarians.
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby Pawty » Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:14 pm

I think I'm going to need a bigger freezer!

Great ideas, can't wait to start eating them (along with the other twenty or so other mixed squashes which are being revealed as the leaves die back). Although, when you do start eating squash it really does make it feel like autumn.

Now to start thinking about next year and get my garlic in.
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby Pawty » Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:58 am

So, I decided to go for it (picture below - lovely colour and looks like the picture on the seed pack cover) - however the squash is nothing like I expected. It has a really high water content (almost poring from it) and the texture (when cooked) is almost spaghetti like. Because of the high water content I'm really not sure about how best to cook it? Any ideas would be much appreciated.

Paula
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby Primrose » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:30 am

You may have to share some of it with friends of family, but roasting usually brings out the best flavours/sweetness of squash. Then you can serve with roast meat, cook down for soup (although you may need to add a dash of lemon juice and mix with other veg if it's over sweet) or serve as part of a vegetable curry.

I think the problem with all members of the squash family is that they can often get cross fertilised and you can sometimes end up with something which doesn't always end up as the packet suggests. My experience with most squashes is that the flesh is invariably quite dry which makes it ideal for roasting. If yours is that wet, it may be more of a problem to cook. I wonder if you left it long enough to temper before cutting open? The skin needs to be quite hard and dry and most people probably leave their squashes for two or three weeks at least to harden off before starting to eat them . Perhaps somebody else on here who has greater experience of growing squashes than I do can advise on this aspect.
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby peter » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:55 am

A picture of the whole fruit would be useful in identifying it. :wink:

Looking at the colour and lack of seeds I think it is a squash not a courgette/marrow.
However your description of the water content does sound like a courgette, so perhaps it is not a winter squash.

As for cross fertilisation, that should only affect the fruits of any offspring grown from the seeds of the cross fertilised fruit. :D
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby alan refail » Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:31 pm

You are right, Peter. Zucca lunga piena di Napoli is a variety of Cucurbita moschata, as are the butternut squashes.

Vilmorin-Andrieux "The Vegetable Garden", English translation 1885, lists it as Carpet Bag Gourd or Naples Squash.

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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby Pawty » Sat Oct 17, 2015 4:27 pm

Many thanks. Really interesting that it was listed so long ago. It's exactly as discribed. I wonder if it's a bit too ripe? Anyway, I boiled some, then mashed with butter, salt and pepper, and ovened it to get rid of water. It was lovely. I might try and oven some from raw, like I normally do, I just wonder if it's a bit too wet.

My butter nuts were fine, however my sweet summer lightening's were devoured over a couple days by what must now be very large rats. Gutted - you watch something grow for six months, from seed, and the rats didn't even eat the flesh that we want - just the seed.

The question is, which varieties next year? Never had rats eat them before. Given the rats at the allotment are obviously lazy, bay be just butternut??
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby peter » Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:38 pm

Crown Prince is superb.
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:27 am

Yours looks to have the butternut texture - very nice. I saved seeds from an excellent shop bought butternut squash last year and they have produced lots of medium sized orange pumpkins which was a bit disappointing. I've not tried one yet but have them finishing drying out and ripening on all the conservatory windowsills. Just hope they taste nice.
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby Pawty » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:40 am

Crown prince is a fantastic tasting squash. My only reservation is that I've had mixed experience in 1) getting the seeds to germinate and 2) fruit actually forming on the plant - some none, others only one. I've never been overly successful at squashes but I keep trying. Is it normal to only have one fruit per plant? Is there a way to get more? Varieties like summer lightning and butternut, not a problem.
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby Primrose » Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:46 am

This ability to produce unolanned results (apart from space limitations) is the reason I've stopped growing winter squashes after similar disappointment. Now we go to a lovely farm in Sussex every autumn who make a speciality of growing them and stock up with various varieties to see us through the winter. Crown Prince and Sweet Dumplings are particular favourites. If they had a fault, it is that they seem to store for months and months and it's easy to forget about them tucked away in the garage.
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby peter » Sun Oct 18, 2015 10:20 am

Provided you buy the seeds you get what you paid for, saving seed you'll be in a lucky dip.
A heated propagator and fresh seed generally gets Crown Prince to germinate.
I use Edwin Tucker's for my squash seeds, good variety and always Crown Prince available.
I plant a 30' square with as many plants as I can get going, including cucumbers along at least one side.
This year I got a heaped builders barrow load of squash, some years it has been two or three.
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Re: Ideas for massive squash please

Postby Westi » Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:48 pm

Hi Pawty

If they flesh is quite moist try pumpkin scones. Google the recipe but basically use the flesh and not milk. Made a batch yesterday & enjoyed one on lottie during a little break today. They freeze well also.

My personal favorite is Queensland Blue, but that's just because I grew up with them, but you do need a sharp knife & a bit of welly to cut them. Crown Prince is very similar but damn easier to get into.

Westi
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