Not As Orange as I am Squash-Looking

One of these betrayed me. Read on to find out which. Dun dun dunnnnnnn.

As you can see I’ve managed to gather a respectable bounty of squash, mostly luck as the two smaller ones were under a placard marked exotic goods, alongside coconuts and passion fruit. Exotic?! They probably came from England! They weren’t even in the checkout scanner, but I’ve been here before and you won’t keep me from my squash for long. Just one recipe tweak before I get into this. There’ll be a lot of photos incoming so be prepared.

No doubt on some diets this constitutes a balanced meal.

I was lucky enough to have someone drop in some Turmeric Root. You can read all about the properties and benefits, no doubt blown out of all proportion on various sites,  elsewhere. I like turmeric, I’m sure it has plenty of benefits, but I won’t get sucked into the idea that it’s elevated above other spices to a lofty height due to undreamed of qualities. Is it good for you? Probably. Is it okay to eat? Yes. Fine. Done. I did add some black pepper alongside it as I’ve heard, not sure if true, but no harm no foul, that it helps access the nutritional good of turmeric. I was honestly just tickled pink to be able to try out so many new foods today.

I was carving Pumpkin and getting dinner. The gloves are a must for squash and turmeric alike.

So, you ask, why you wonder, hurry up you twit and tell us the recipe you exclaim. It’s just my bog-standard Chicken Curry, raised up from its bland standard by the addition of some apple, sultanas and fresh turmeric. The fruit adds a lovely sweetness and the turmeric gives it a real warm uplifting taste. The yellow is stronger with he fresh turmeric too, though unlike ginger the taste is pretty much the same, just more intense. I’ve seen it suggested that you should grate some turmeric into pumpkin based desserts for a better colour. Beats artificial colours any day. Just make sure to grate it on a plastic bag or cling-film as it will stain everything. Use gloves to save your hands too.

First up: The Pumpkin. This one was about 2 & 1/2 Kilos. Not too large, but a risk, concerning taste, regardless.

The one issue with Halloween pumpkins is that they’re usually grown for size and not taste. You can eat a carving pumpkin, but you’d be better with a sweeter grown variety. I’ve never had a pumpkin before (Hokkaido Pumpkin is actually a squash, then again so are pumpkins) so I decided to risk it. I used all I’ve learned from eating and growing squash to find a suitable one from the hoards of carving pumpkin and I was either lucky or bang on the money when I chose this one.

I’ll freeze it for future recipes. I just steamed it.

Quite a few seeds, but it wasn’t as messy as I’d have thought.

The taste isn’t that far from a Butternut, but it has something of it’s own character and it has a rich orange hue that should be wonderful in baked goods. As for carving and cutting, I used a potato peeler and went sideways rather than go down the ridges. Make sure you get all the fibres as there are quite a few. I also roasted the seeds and found them to be the nicest of all the squash seeds I’ve ever eaten. It’ll be a long time before I need to purchase another pumpkin.

Next is this…jerk. Ya bum! I’ll kill ya!…Ahem…The Turk’s Turban.

The seeds look like pebbles when raw. They haven’t got much taste. Might be a bad squash, rather than being indicative of all this variety.

You can’t see it, but after taking out the insides there was nothing left! I knew it was a tad small, but I took my chances and got burned. It looks like there is flesh, but that’s just its extremely hard exterior and a thin layer of flesh. No doubt it was just a runt, I doubt they’re all like this, but it certainly didn’t endear me to this odd looking squash. Onwards and upwards as they say.

I wasn’t sure if this was a Harlequin or not until I cut it open.

The seeds are small and crunchy. Similar to butternut squash seeds.

This one is actually a festival squash, similar in appearance to a harlequin squash, but more square and squat and more likely to be dual-coloured. The texture is somewhere between the soft flesh of a butternut and the crumbly, tuber-like flesh of a harlequin. I don’t know what it came from, the HQ was a mix between a delicata and an acorn, perhaps it’s somewhat similar. Maybe a reverse parent situation yields different results. It’s not as sweet as other squash, but there is still a tiny hint of mellow sweetness to it. It’d work best as a savoury squash rather than a sweet one.

It’s brighter than the Harlequin, when cooked, too.

Last up is butternut. It was two for a Euro so I couldn’t leave them!

The pumpkin seeds taste better, but a butternut ain’t bad either.

You can’t quite see it, but one of the had the more dark orange colouring I’ve ever seen. It’s tastes great I’m sure, it did get mixed with another so maybe not as much as it should have. You know what? Out of all the squashes I think butternut is best. It’s easy to prepare, it’s versatile and can stand in for most kinds of winter squash. It’s funny how I always imagined that other squash would be far superior to butternut when that’s all I had access to and now I realise that there’s a reason it’s so popular. You’ve heard me wax eloquent on this squash before so I’ll leave it at this.

25, 100g servings of squash. That will see me through a fair few months.


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