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applestar
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But kabocha skin is soft and edible when cooked.... Acorn squash too, actually.

Mature Tromboncino skin gets too hard to eat, and so does Spaghetti squash. Typical pumpkin also has hard outer skin -- that's why you make soup bowls out of them.

What about the others?

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digitS'
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PunkRotten wrote:BTW I made some french fries with the Kabocha squash they came out amazing. I peeled the whole squash, that was a pain in the butt.
Well, I've never sliced and deep-fried squash! Had sweet potatoes that way.

Getting thru the squash rind? I began my career as the pumpkin (squash) pie baker waaay back when I was about 12 years old. We grew Pink Banana squash just for the holiday pies! I'd start off at the wood pile with an ax and the chopping block . . :wink: .

These days, I can't grow banana squash because of their need for too many days to mature. I can use a big knife, a good strong cutting board with a cheap platter under it. I use the kitchen table because it is lower, start by cutting the squash in half because with cut-side down, it's more stable on the board . . . and really watch where I put my . .

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Yesterday I opened up my 97 pound Cucurbita maxima pumpkin. I wanted the seeds, but to be fair, I took a chunk of it in to eat. The texture was just a bit stringy, not too bad. Flavor wise it was a washout. Not much flavor. It tasted like a pumpkin but real mild flavored. Not too sweet. What surprises me about this pumpkin is that it has been outside all this time and it had not frozen and went squishy. We have had some pretty low temperatures. It is, after all, December. I guess these big pumpkins could be called food, but not delicacies?

My best flavored squash this season was a hybrid between a Hubbard and a Banana squash. (Cucurbita maxima) It was not stringy and had a very nice sweet flavor. Earlier I had Delicata, spaghetti, and acorn. This maxima squash had flavor that beat them all. Actually I think all the maximas have better flavor than the pepo squash. That is why I always say, "Use a Hubbard for the best pie." (Most pumpkins are Cucurbita pepo.)

Butternut, Cucurbita moschata, is a very nice squash and one of my favorites. It is also small enough that it is not a problem to take care of it. Since it is the only moschata I grow, I can save the seeds and they will come true to type. They are advertised as an 85 day variety so they have time to make it in my rather short season. If you haven't tried eating a Butternut, you should.
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jal_ut
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About cutting the big squash. Yes they have flesh 2 to 3 inches thick and they are firm. At first it may seem a daunting task. Here is what I have found works best. Use a knife that has a 4 inch stout blade. Start by cutting the squash in half midships. Use a firm pressure and push the blade into the squash. Apply pressure while changing the angle of the blade back and forth a bit as you do rather than trying to put it straight in. When you get the blade in to the hilt, move forward with the same swaying motion. It really goes quite well. Far better than trying to cut the whole squash with a long blade.

Steve, can you grow Butternut there?
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DoubleDogFarm
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That is why I always say, "Use a Hubbard for the best pie." (Most pumpkins are Cucurbita pepo.)
Libby's agrees with you.
It turns out that some canned pumpkin is actually – gasp! – squash. Some manufacturers make "pumpkin" puree from one or more kinds of winter squashes such as butternut, Hubbard, and Boston Marrow, which can be less stringy and richer in sweetness and color.

But before we start crying fraud, it is interesting to note the rather fuzzy distinction between pumpkins and squashes. There are three varieties of winter squashes: Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, and Curcubita moschata. C. pepo includes the gourds we traditionally think of as pumpkins, such as the kind used for jack-o'-lanterns. Hubbard and Boston Marrow squashes fall into the C. maxima category, while C. moschata includes butternut squashes as well as the Dickinson pumpkins used by Libby's, the producer of most of the canned pumpkin in North America.

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applestar
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Oh cool! I'm pondering which large fruited moschata to grow and sustainableseeds describes it as
C. moschata
Nearly round to elongated fruits, 18 inches long by 14 inch diameter, up to 40 pounds, slightly furrowed but smooth buff-colored rind, sweet orange high quality flesh, for canning and pies.

This is the pumpkin of choice for Libbey's canned pumpkin . 
115 days though so that's a strike against. I would have to try to start it earlier somehow, but I'll add it to my candidates. 8)

Sand Hill lists them too:
Dickinson:  115 days.  (C. moschata) A nice, blocky, oblong cheese type. Fruits are a buffy tan, slightly ribbed and grow to 40 lbs. Flesh is sweet, orange and excellent for pies. Pkt. $2.00 OG
Last edited by applestar on Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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digitS'
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jal_ut wrote:. . . Steve, can you grow Butternut there?
Yes, and the Early Butternut variety does quite well here, James. They have a good flavor.

However . . . I like those C. maxima squash better :wink: . Blue Hubbard does okay but Buttercups are fairly fool-proof.

(It would help if Buttercups and Butternuts didn't have almost the same names . . . don't ya think?!)

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digitS'
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applestar wrote:Oh cool! I'm pondering which large fruited moschata to grow . . .
Oh Hey, Applestar! Posting almost at the same time!

The Early Butter.nut has a big fruit. It only seems to have a short vine . . .

Steve
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:D off to look up Early Butternut.... 8)

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Actually digitS', I didn't deep fry the Squash. I cut it all up and put it in a bowl, then added a little olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little chipotle powder. And then I put it into the oven at 350F for 30 mins. Came out great.

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digitS'
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Okay, PR .

I'll have to try that!

I've gotta use up too many parsnips this year and had thought I'd be roasting many of them. They might need a little longer in there but I can rotate the squash fries in and out . . . Maybe even try parsnip fries. Uummm, I don't know . . . need to think about that. I have liked the sweet potato fries!

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Here it is usually frost free from June 1 to Sept15. I can plant squash on May 5 and even the 120 day varieties usually make it. Any that require more than 120 days won't make it here. I haven't messed with starting them earlier in pots. You might gain a couple of weeks doing that.

Funny that I can plant squash a bit before the last frost date and they will be OK. By the time they come up, we may only get a day or two of mornings with frost. When the plants are still very small, they don't seem to freeze too easily as they are still close to the ground and the ground is warm enough to protect them. It is also possible to cover them with something when frost is expected.

No use planting cucumbers early though. May as well wait until June 1. They like it warm.
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I don't grow my own squash because I don't have the room. I get them locally grown from the Farmer's Market and a couple of locally owned vegetable markets that buy from local growers.

Hate the stuff at the supermarket. Not only does the produce taste like cardboard but it is more expensive.

Any way I grow my cucumbers and tomatoes vertically. A couple of years ago I tried growing canteloupe vertically - absolutely the best canteloupe I have ever had!

I heard that in Mel Bartholomew's new Square Foot Gardening book he talks about growing squash vertically! Sounds like an idea worth exploring for us gardeners with limited space. I have the original book and his new one is on my Christmas wish list.
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Squash will climb. I once had my squash next to a fence. One of the Hubbard vines decided to climb the fence, it then jumped into a Boxelder Tree and went 12 feet up the tree. It was fun to watch a 22 pound squash develop ten feet off the ground in that tree. It held on too until I picked it. Some of the large varieties send out some pretty long vines. You can prune them once you get a fruit set on.
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Yep, yep, yep - got to try it. Just have to figure out a trellace system since my plants will not be growing up a fence or a tree. I am thinking of upside down U shaped re-bar with some of that orange constrution barrier stuff to grow the squash up. My tomatoes and cucumbers grow up twine hung from re-bar frames.
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PunkRotten
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Yeah that is the only downer about squash is that it takes a lot of space. I have seen people grow them vertically though. I gave up on wanting to grow butternut, but I will try a smaller variety like sweet dumpling. I hear patty pan is good for containers but don't know about the taste and if it is worth it.

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Patty pan squash tastes a lot like zucchini. :)

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Punkrorten this is why the native Americans grew corn, beans, and squash together. So now they get three crops instead of one from the same space. Not only that the three complimented each other for higher yields.
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TheWaterbug
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jal_ut wrote:Butternut, Cucurbita moschata, is a very nice squash and one of my favorites. It is also small enough that it is not a problem to take care of it. Since it is the only moschata I grow, I can save the seeds and they will come true to type. They are advertised as an 85 day variety so they have time to make it in my rather short season. If you haven't tried eating a Butternut, you should.
I concur. I grew Butternuts for the first time this year, and despite almost total neglect I got 5-6 nice, edible squash, though none was very large.

I'd have had twice that many if I'd bothered to put cages over the babies to protect them from the varmints. But back then I didn't know how tasty they were. We just cut 'em up and roast them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. They taste buttery and nutty all by themselves ;)

I'm also becoming a fan of Jarrahdale pumpkins. They make really heavy, dense fruit that are dark orange inside, with very little volume lost to the seed cavity. I've made pumpkin soup a few times with these, and everyone has loved it. I haven't made pie with it yet, but I'm guessing they'd be good for that, too.
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PunkRotten
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I tried the acorn and gold nugget squash. I like the nugget a little more, but the Kabocha blows them both away in flavor IMO.

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TheWaterbug wrote:I'm also becoming a fan of Jarrahdale pumpkins. They make really heavy, dense fruit that are dark orange inside, with very little volume lost to the seed cavity. I've made pumpkin soup a few times with these, and everyone has loved it. I haven't made pie with it yet, but I'm guessing they'd be good for that, too.
Hrmm. Here's what happens when you leave Jarrahdales outside. First the squirrels eat all the JOL pumpkins because the Jarrahdales are too hard. But once they eat all the JOLs they get hungry again:

Image

Another good thing about Jarrahdales is that they seem pretty immune to rot and mold.

A JOL with any kind of hole or wound would start rotting right away inside my house, but these Jarrahdales seem to be OK for days and days.

I still need to get around to cooking and/or freezing these.
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jal_ut
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Interesting!

Is this in the species Cucurbita maxima?

How big did they get?

Does it taste like a pumpkin or more like a squash?
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TheWaterbug
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jal_ut wrote:Interesting!

Is this in the species Cucurbita maxima?

How big did they get?

Does it taste like a pumpkin or more like a squash?
It's a C. Max.

I'm terrible at guessing weights and dimensions, but this PDF says they're typically 6-10 lbs and ~2 fruits per vine, which seems reasonable to me. They're way denser than a typical pumpkin.

Taste-wise, I'm not sure I can classify it. It tastes pumpkiny, but richer and sweeter. I tell everyone it's a "pumpkin soup" and no one says otherwise :)
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jal_ut
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Actually many of the big squash in the genus have been called pumpkins in some cultures. We tend to think of the orange ones that are sold at halloween for jack-o-lanterns when we hear pumpkin.

6 to 10 pounds is a nice size.

I have never had pumpkin soup. Recipe?
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TheWaterbug
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I made this up, so it could probably use some improvement:

1 medium pumpkin (choose a good eating pumpkin, not a watery Jack-O-Lantern pumpkin)
3 medium sweet onions
1/4 C. olive oil
salt and pepper
2 quarts chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 roasted, shelled pumpkin seeds (optional)

Time: about 1.5 hours

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Seed and peel pumpkin, then cut into 2" chunks. I didn't measure how much pumpkin I used, but I kept cutting until I could fill the serving tureen.

Coat with olive oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 F oven for about an hour, or until the pieces can be pierced easily with a fork. There should be some toasting or char on some of the pieces.

While the pumpkin is roasting, peel and slice the onions, then cook with some olive oil on low/medium heat in a covered soup pot, stirring frequently, for 45 minutes until well caramelized.

Puree the onions in a blender with some chicken broth until smooth.

Puree the pumpkin pieces in batches with chicken broth until smooth, and add to the pureed onions. Add chicken broth to get the desired consistency.

Add the cream, salt, and pepper, to taste, then let simmer for 15 minutes to blend the flavors.

Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds when serving (optional).
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ReptileAddiction
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Whenever I grow pumpkins I grow them vertically but never any success. My grandma grows cucumbers and stuff in a tomato cage and they take up about the same amount of space as a tomato.

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ElizabethB
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Got Mom's recipe for patty pan squash.

Peel and seed the squash. Cut into chunks. Cook in just a little water and butter until tender. Mash. Add a pinch of salt, some sugar, more butter, vanilla. Cinnamon or nutmeg if you like. Sorry for not being able to give specific amounts but the best I can get from Mom is "just a little bit of this and a little bit of that". It is rare to get an actual recipe from Mom. She just wings it.

Merry Christmas one and all.
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jal_ut
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Thanks for the recipes.
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Recipe for kabocha pumpkin

This is a recipe for Kabocha. It is a popular pumpkin in Hawaii and is usually added to soups and ethnic vegetable stews.
Japanese Pumpkin
2 lbs Kabocha(Japanese pumpkin)
1T dried shrimp (ebi)
1T vegetable oil
1T sugar
1T shoyu
2cups water
salt to taste
Cut pumpkin in half, remove seeds and rinse. (Leave skin on). Cut into bite sized pieces; set aside. Cook remaining ingredients in a stockpot over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add pumpkin and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Test for doneness by piercing pumpkin with a skewer or fork. Salt to taste.

If you like you can also add Pork. Cut 1/2 lb of pork shoulder into 1 inch thin strips. Saute two cloves minced garlic in oil until fragrant. Do not burn garlic. Add pork; saute until no longer pink . Add sugar, shoyu, and water and continue cooking as directed above.
Pork or chicken broth can be substituted for water. Adjust for the salt.
This is usually served as a side dish. The pumpkin is very hard to cut, but after cooking the skin is soft and edible. Keeping the skin on preserves the nutrients. Do not over cook or the squash will be mushy. :P
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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