Help! Summer squash invasion! Recipes needed! : LUSENET : Beyond the Sidewalks : One Thread

I am already overwhelmed with summer squash, and they've just STARTED producing! You may or may not remember my seedlings/transplants adventures. I started 2 yellow crookneck, 2 yellow hybrid 'Papaya Pear', and 2 Delicata winter squash. I destroyed one yellow crookneck, by accidentally breaking all the stems. The others looked so spindly and weak, I was sure they weren't going to make it. So, I bought 2 yellow crookneck transplants and 2 Delicata transplants and put them in too . . . AIYEEEEEEEEEE! They've all done just miraculously well, huge bushy plants, thick stems, and starting to produce!

The 'Papaya Pear' are first out of the gate, and they get BIG, very FAST. I have a bunch of them the size of softballs. They'd be better picked at tennis or hardball size, but they get away from me.

So, I'm thinking, perhaps they should be 'stuffed' to make a full meal? Probably any recipes for a stuffed vegetable would be good. So, anyone got any? Or any other bright ideas what to do with these? I don't think summer squash freezes well, does it? Is canned any good?

I cooked one softball size and one tennis ball size -- those filled up the entire steamer!! The jury is out on the flavor. It seemed quite mixed -- some parts kinda funky tasting, some kind of tasteless, and some VERY tasty. Who knows why! :-/

I am going to make an effort to pick them much smaller, especially since the crooknecks are starting to get little yellow fruits. I'm sure I'm going to die under an avalanche of squash . . . but it I hadn't gotten the extra transplants, no doubt everything would have just died! Actually, my cuke transplants DID croak, so it was good I had some boughten ones to plunk in place. They're starting to produce little green fingers too. Picked a bunch quite small. I'll have to see if they're good at this stage or if I have to let them get a bit larger. There aren't quite enough to make pickles, but probably will be too many for me to eat! {sigh}

Just had a thought about the yellow squashes -- should I chop them up and freeze them to put into soup in the winter? Some of them anyway? Or how would I 'preserve' them? Neighbors . . . beware of me! {snicker}

-- Anonymous, July 21, 2003


Here's where I get to say 'i told ya so!" about the summer squash. One plant will keep your singular self supplied with coming out your ears squash. Rumor is during august country folks lock their car doors so the neighbors can't sneak over in the night and dump their extra squash in it.

summer squash does not freeze well.....gets squishy. Doesnt have all that much taste anywho, at least not to me. I put it in stir frys and stuff it with cheese and hamburg or ham mixture and bake and grill it with garlic butter and parmesan.

-- Anonymous, July 21, 2003

I've chunked up my extra summer squash (zucchini and yellow), froze it and then added it to soups and stews throughout the winter. Don't thaw it, just throw it in the pot as the last ingredient! I also make a squash casserole with yellow squash, onions, grated carrots and sour cream. Really good!! Oh yeah...I've used zucchini in place of cukes for sweet pickles. Maybe yellow squash could be pickled?? Maybe you should set up a roadside stand with a sign..."Free for the Taking" :-)!!

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2003

I picked some tiny zucs tonight, chopped up some celery and onion (plus the zucs), and then steamed them all until crisp tender. Served with sticky white rice. The combination of those vegetables is interesting and good.

I think the best recipe for big-sized zucchini is zucchini bread. I think there must be a ton of recipes online.

If nothing else, chickens like to eat squash!

-- Anonymous, July 22, 2003

Okay...since the subject here is recipes, does anyone have any good recipes for Kale? I threw some seed in the garden this past spring when I was planting the Swiss chard and it took me awhile to figure out that it had actually grown and I wasn't looking at some "weird" chard leaves :-)!! I already have a recipe for Portugese kale soup. And...when do I pick this stuff? It's about a foot tall right now. I know that kale is loaded with vitamins so I really should use it!!

-- Anonymous, July 23, 2003

Marcia, have you ever had colcannon? It's an Irish dish, basically it's just mashed potatoes with kale mixed in. It may have leeks in it too. My friend Liz makes it for us every year at Samhain. Unfortunately her email isn't working right now so I can ask her for the recipe. I've never grown kale but when I've seen it in the stores it was about the same size as a bunch of redleaf lettuce, so if yours is around a foot tall I think you should harvest it. All of my gardening and cookbooks are still packed so I can't look up any more specific info for you.

Joy, you can send the yellow crookneck to me! I love yellow summer squash but the squash vine borers get mine every year. :)

-- Anonymous, July 24, 2003

Marcia, we eat kale all the time! It's delish! Especially in cream sauce. I separate the stemmy parts first and chop em up, put those in the steamer first, then a little later add the chopped leaves.It'll shrink way down like most greens. Takes longer than spinach to cook. Then make a little white sauce with cream and onion, maybe throw in some bacon if you have some around.

Yes, chickens do like summer squash. My chickens always got lots of it! And also sometimes the horses/donks would munch it, as well as the turkeys, sheep, goats and cattle.

-- Anonymous, July 24, 2003

Sherri...I just did a search on "colcannon" and came up with several recipes for it...along with many other delicious-sounding Irish recipes :-)!!! Thanks for the info.

E.M...I love ANYTHING with cream sauce on it and that sounds really good! BTW...should I harvest the whole plant or just take some leaves? Will it keep on producing like spinach and chard does?

-- Anonymous, July 24, 2003

Before this thread dies I was wondering if anyone knows how to tell when an Acorn squash should be picked? I know its a fall planting but but for some unkown reason I have one growing and its about the size of a cantalope. I've never planted one before so I'm lost! ....kirk

-- Anonymous, July 24, 2003

Hi Kirk,

I always let my winter squash go through one frost (not hard freeze!), enough to kill the vines, before I picked it. It's supposed to make it sweeter, although I've never tried it any other way so don't know if that's really true or not. Anyway when the fruit is ripe the skin isn't shiney anymore, and looks hard and dark green, almost black. It'll keep a couple of months in a cool, dry place (50's is best), and don't let them touch each other.

Marcia, Kale is another crop that tastes better after a frost, in fact it does fine even after a hard freeze, as long as it wasnt too sudden a temperature drop, and continues to grow even tastier in the cool fall weather. Supposedly hardy down to zero! (?) If your plants are a foot tall already (next year plant them later?) they may be in danger of bolting, so I guess I might try harvesting the middle leaves (outside ones probably are tough already, but you can try em) and let the baby ones in the center of the plant continue to produce fresh leaves for you into the fall, then notice how much better they taste after first frost.

-- Anonymous, July 25, 2003

Thanx, E.M. I thought that kale might need a frost to really develop flavor since it's in the same family as broccoli, etc. I only have about ten plants so I'll just go along and pick a few leaves occasionally and add them to mashed potatoes or whatever!!

-- Anonymous, July 25, 2003

Thank You EM!

-- Anonymous, July 25, 2003

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