29th Harvest Week <> Nov. 22 - 28, 1999

Winter Squash Info

Storage: Ideally, keep them in a cool (not refrigerated) place with low humidity and they'll last for a couple months. They will also keep in the warmth of your kitchen, but not for as long a time.

Yield: According to Sylvia Thompson (the Kitchen Garden Cookbook), roughly speaking, 1 lb. of untrimmed winter squash will come out to about 13.5 oz. of trimmed squash and yield about 1 3/4 C pureed cooked squash.

Simple Preparation: Acorn squash is at its best when it is simply baked. Cut them in half, scoop out seeds & strings and place cut side down in a baking dish. Bake at 350 to 375 degrees. Check for tenderness after 45 min. (squeeze or poke to see if its getting soft). The average time is about an hour. I find that it is better to err on the overdone side than the underdone. When they are cooked this way, the flesh is sweet and very creamy in texture. Turn halves over and dot with butter. Serve halves  as their own little 'cup'... the flesh just scoops right out. Some folks like to add a little brown sugar or maple syrup as well, but if the acorn is as good as the one I had last week, its just not needed! Winter squash can also be roasted or steamed. For either, cut squashes open, scoop out seeds/strings, peel, and cut in chunks. Steam over scant inch of water until tender, 15 - 20 min.  To roast, lightly toss peeled chunks in vegetable oil, spread in a baking dish, sprinkle w/salt & pepper, and bake at 350 - 375 degrees for 45 min. to an hour (check by piercing with a sharp knife... there should be no resistance). For added flavor, tuck a few sprigs of fresh rosemary in amongst the squash pieces, and/or scatter in several unpeeled cloves of garlic.

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