Yesterday and todayPosted: October 25, 2009
(155: Late October storms moving in.)
Yesterday was the kind of day that makes the fall colors POP. The bright oranges, yellows, and reds really stand out against the dark grays of the sky.
(Today’s view of the pond.)
Today, as you can see, the clouds are moving out and we’re having bright and beautiful weather, perfect for hiking or (as M is doing in the above photo) working outdoors around the property. I will probably go out later to saw, chop, and haul wood. I need to get a few loads of laundry done first.
It will soon be time to bring the boats in for the winter. Sometime this week I’m going to winterize the garden. The plan is to start working on it tomorrow since the weather is expected to be nice for the next few days. It’s too wet, after yesterday’s rain, to work out there today. I wouldn’t want to disturb the asparagus. Come springtime I will be harvesting it for the first time (provided I don’t do anything to kill it off before the spears start shooting up out of the ground next year).
A friend recently mentioned making risotto which reminded me that I have about 90 or so risottos to make if I want to make my way through the 100 Ways to Make Risotto cookbook I bought a few years ago (not sure if that title is correct and I’m too lazy to run upstairs to look — will correct later if I think of it). So, I flipped through the book in search of a risotto with pumpkin.
You may (or may not) remember the mention of Audrey II, a ginormous squash plant growing in the garden and the compost pile. It produced some ginormous fruit (squash) that turned out to be hubbard squash and I have about a half dozen or more hubbards as a result.
There are different types of hubbard squash. Some are gray/blue and some are green. As you can see from the picture above, my volunteer hubbards are green. I find that kind of odd because the seeds came from a gray/blue hubbard that I bought last year at Hilgert’s Farm Market. The hubbards are big. I’ve found that I get about 16 oz. of “meat” from one-quarter of a hubbard. That’s a little more than you would need for, say, 4 pumpkin pies (or, in this case, hubbard squash pies).
The hubbard (I mentioned this last year) is frequently what you get when you buy canned pumpkin because hubbards are cheap and the taste, texture, and color are, as far as I can tell, pretty much the same as pumpkin. They are also said to be consistently sweet.
My search for a risotto and pumpkin recipe was really a search for a way to use some of the hubbards. Lucky me, there was (as I recalled) a risotto and pumpkin recipe to be found in the cookbook. I cut and cleaned out the seeds and strings from the hubbard, baked it, and then scooped out the flesh, freezing most of it for later use. I cubed one-quarter of it to use in the risotto.
It was a wonderful risotto, full of flavor, creamy, and a lovely pumpkin color. Or hubbard squash color. Tonight I will be using some of the hubbard to make a Thai-style spicy pumpkin (hubbard squash) soup.
One of my goals has been to eat locally and seasonally. Seasonally means we will be eating a lot of winter squash, greens, cabbages, and root vegetables over the coming months. It should be both interesting and delicious.
If I could only learn to like kale…
Of the origin of the Hubbard squash we have no certain knowledge. The facts relative to its cultivation in Marblehead are simply these. Upwards of twenty years ago, a single specimen was brought into town, the seed from which was planted in the garden of a lady, now deceased; a specimen from this yield was given to Captain Knott Martin, of this town, who raised it for family use for a few years, when it was brought to our notice in the year 1842 or ’43. We were first informed of its good qualities by Mrs. Elizabeth Hubbard, a very worthy lady, through whom we obtained seed from Capt. Martin. As the squash up to the this time had no specific name to designate it from other varieties, my father termed it the ‘Hubbard Squash.’
Letter by James J. H. Gregory, December 1857, The Magazine of Horticulture