Here is my produce haul from my local stand: 7 zucchini, 8 butternut squash, and 12 acorn squash. I threw in a snake gourd to round it out and drove away with $10.00 worth of produce. This is a new food to my home. Yes, you heard me right. In 42 years of life, I have never tried any of these three home grown foods. Can you believe that? Me, the lover of the pioneering spirit, forager of natural sources of food, the woman that nearly choked off her flower bed with an incorrect placement of spearmint, has turned her back on this popular veggie source all of these years. (Of course, I cannot account for the Gerber years of 1968-69.) So what was the final push to make me buy?? A simple trip to the post office.
You can learn a lot in a small town post office, and the lady who fills in for the post master is a wealth of farming knowledge. Oh and by the way, she has a local produce stand at her farm! I have had people in the past tell me the glories of eating squash and zucchini bread, but the clincher was when this kind lady told me that butternut squash could be made into a pie similar to pumpkin. I do love pumpkin pie! How could that be? I would have to give it a try. Then she informed me that she still had a few left for sale. How lucky is that? I ran out to her farm and bought all of her butternut squash for 50 cents a piece. Then I spied the zucchini in a crate, I took all she had at 25 cents a piece. I moved on to the acorn squash that has been praised by many of my friends. I bought those for 3 for $1.00. Not bad! Off I went on my merry way with my bounty.
Now I must say that I do can and freeze other fall veggies and fruits, so time and space is always limited at this time of year. The answer was to store these items for use in the future. After checking the Internet and questioning the locals, I picked the most popular way of storing each item. I also picked up some new recipes to use them in!
Maybe I should ask for a food processor for Christmas? LOL The zucchini's were very large. I chose to grate them for use in bread. After some research, there is debate over blanching and freezing or just straight freezing. The unanimous vote from the preservation pros around here is grate, pack in Ziploc bags, and freeze. I made sure to squeeze the air out of the bag and made a note that many of my favorite food preservation bloggers praise Food Savers for keeping items fresh. (Another item for the Christmas list!) I also froze them in 2 cup measures which seemed to be common in many zucchini bread recipes. With this task done, I look forward to trying my new recipes and sharing them when the harvest season slows down. :)