Thursday, November 10, 2011

~Butternut Squash~

Last Year's Butternut Squash Ready for Freezer
Oh, it was not an easy find the end of September.  Butternut Squash!  The orange colored tasty fall vegetable had a difficult growing season in some areas of Western MA this summer.  The heavy rains at the end of summer in my area were not beneficial to this vegetable.  Usually, I purchase a large quantity at Meadowbrook Farm in East Longmeadow, but it was not in the cards this year. 

So, my DH & I took a "road trip" up to Atkins Farms in Amherst.  Growing up in Amherst I remember when this venue was a small roadside stand.  Now, customers from that area shop year round in Atkins' large market in addition to having the opportunity to pick apples in designated orchards during the autumn harvest season. 

Our purchased stash of Butternuts from Atkins has been stored in our garage.  This fall has been hectic and I just never did get "round tuit" and prep them for our freezer.  Well Thank Goodness For That!  Any food in our fridge and large freezer was tossed during our long lived power outage.  Sitting on our garage floor are the untouched beauties that we purchased about 1 month ago.  Oh, yes!

As we are catching up on things, the Butternut Squash is on the top of the list!

Prepping Butternut Squash to Freeze

I usually prep 6 Butternut Squash at once. First, the Butternuts are rinsed/cleaned in cold water.  Then, carefully the skin is removed with the aid of my cutting board and a sharp knife.  Cut off & toss the stem and rounded top.  Then, the long top portion is cut into slices that are circles, and the skin cut off.  After removing the seeds, I do not save them, but do save as much of the orange veggie as possible in the surrounding area.  2" chunks of orange squash are placed in two large pots on my stove top.  (I use my 2 Dutch Ovens.)
Cut Chunks
After adding cold water (to reach up about 2" in the pots), the heat is turned up to High.  After a Boil is reached, lower the heat and simmer about 13 - 15 minutes, until pieces can be pierced with a fork.  During the cooking minutes, carefully stir the Squash pieces in the pot, so they soften equally.   After draining the squash using a colander, return the chunks to the large pots and mash.

Mashed Butternut
I pack about 2 Cups of mashed Squash in Ziploc Freezer BagsAfter labeling, store in freezer.  Whenever desired for dinner a bag is unwrapped and the frozen chunk of squash is placed in a Corning Ware container with a lid.  Reheat in the microwave.

There is no need to add any sugar nor butter/margarine.  This is a very tasty veggie and stands quite well on its own!

There will be Butternut Squash on our Thanksgiving Dinner table served in a number of recipes.  Soon, Ziploc Freezer bags will be located in our freezer containing this very delicious orange colored family favorite veggie.  Life is good!

Do you like the taste of Butternut Squash also?

We will enjoy!


Carol @ There's Always Thyme to Cook said...

We love butternut squash! Just the other day I roasted some and mixed it with pasta. Glad you didn't lose the squash!

Mary Bergfeld said...

Come the dark days of winter, the bags will be a real treasure. I'm sorry to hear that you lost the food in your freezer. That's always tough. I hope you have a good evening. Blessings...Mary

JG said...

Carol- Me too! Thanks! Your dish must have tasted similar to butternut ravioli. Yum!

Mary- So true! In the winter it's always a treat to pull out a bag of Butternut Squash that only needs to be reheated in the microwave. Throughout Western MA + CT we faced the same situation.


Renée said...

I'm crazy for the soup and it sure feels good to have it in the freezer ready to go!

Rita said...

I am so impressed; you are a smart lady. Happy you are back to normal.