Part 1. Autumn Mood
Part 2. Squash Mystery?
Am I the only one who is puzzled with the shown squash shape? Not every squash, but the type shown above, with a distinctive ‘hat’? I never thought about this unusual shape before, but this year it struck me. How in the world can a vegetable have such two unique, absolutely different parts? I was thinking… and thinking… and thinking til I got the idea: it is not a real vegetable! Well, it’s real, but it’s made from parts taken from two different squashes. They took a squash and put a ‘hat’ on it. Where did they take a ‘hat’? Cut it from another squash! My boys joined my ‘brain storm’ and even tried to separate the two parts. “It’s glued” was their verdict! Only when I found a two year old picture of the piles of weirdly shaped squash on a farm we visited, we realized that the squash with a hat was real!
They just couldn’t cut and glue so many vegetables. They would need to hire dozens of people to do that. Can you imagine such a picture: at night, under the light of burning torches, dozens of people sit around a pile of squash and craft acorn-like vegetables to fool the customers the next day?
So, it’s real! But was it like this all the time or has it been hybridized in some agricultural labs? My Internet search didn’t give any results, although I learned more about squash than I ever wanted to know.
Turban squash (Cucurbita maxima turbaniformis)
is a winter squash. As the name suggests, its shape resembles that of the Turkish hat, turban. Although, I personally would name it Acorn squash, because it looks exactly as an oak's acorn!!!
I actually thought it was the acorn squash, but was corrected by Clare from Curbstone valley Farm (http://curbstonevalley.com/blog/)
The following information is about an acorn squash. It is easy to grow. “Seeds are started after all danger of frost is past and the soil is warm or within 3–4 weeks before the predicted last frost date in the area. Seeds directly sown are placed one inch deep, 5-6 to a hill; hills are 6 feet in all direction from other hills. Roughly 85 days after germinating, acorn squash are ready to be harvested. Curing takes a week to ten days in a sheltered area outside, or a warm dry place such as a garage, protected from frost”. (Wikipedia).
The seeds of the squash are also eaten, usually after being toasted. Acorn squash is most commonly baked, but can also be microwaved, sautéd, and steamed. If you lack beta-carotene, you’d rather eat other winter squashes, but if you need a good source of dietary fiber and potassium, then acorn squash is a good choice. It also has vitamins C and B, foliate, thiamin, magnesium and manganese.
If you want to try an acorn squash dish, they say that baking an acorn squash is quite simple. In the easiest form, you can simply halve the squash, scoop out its seeds with a spoon, and bake it for approximately an hour. Some people cover the squash, or bake it in a dish surrounded with water so the top layer of the acorn squash does not harden. It isn’t necessary to peel the acorn squash. This can easily be accomplished after it is steamed or baked, or it can simply be served in its shell.
Acorn squash pairs well with sweet spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. In pureed form, if you really want to be decadent, you can add some butter and a bit of brown sugar for a sweet winter side dish. You should also consider acorn squash as one of the great winter squashes for vegan or vegetarian dishes. The size makes it perfect for individual stuffed portions, and it makes for a hearty meal. This info is from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-acorn-squash.htm
While I was pretending that I have nothing more to do than browse the Internet for more squash information, I found some very interesting and funny vegetable pictures here: http://www.frogview.com/show2.php?file=1508 Check it out, and you will never look at the vegetables the same way. You can show it to your kids too! My favorites are the cauliflower sheep, eggplant penguins and crying pumpkin (Missy( http://missyhomegarden.blogspot.com/) thinks it's an orange. She is probably right, but hey, it's pumpkin time! Let's pretend it's a pumpkin!).
Have a wonderful autumn, fall or whatever you prefer: 秋季 , podzim, efterår, herfst, sügis, syksy, automne, der Herbst, φθινόπωρο, ősz, haust, musim gugur, autunno, 秋 , 가을, rudens, ruduo, høst, jesień, outono, toamnă, осень, jeseň, jesen, otoño, höst, sonbahar, فَصل الخَريف !
P.S. I am still curious about how they managed to make turban squash wear a hat??? If you know anything about it, please let me know!
Copyright 2010 TatyanaS