Archives for posts with tag: Winter squash

It has been very windy and dry weather the last few weeks. I try to avoid it, but I’ve had to water almost every evening. Now it has rained 9 millimeters anyway, so I’ve taken a break from painting the house, tilled the pumpkin patch and started to plant out the various pumpkins, squashes and maize.

Many vegetables have a slightly longer growing season than these northern climes allow. We start the plants indoors, some as early as the last week of April and others as late as mid May and take outside when weather permits.

When the risk of frost is over, we plant them out in a new tilled field.

Here is our procedure for kabotcha, Japanese pumpkins:
First we dig holes starting from the center of the crop circle spiraling outwards. We space them about one meter from each other and dig about one spade deep and wide. We put a spadefull of compost or old manure in each hole, fill with water, cover with dirt, claw out a hole and put a pumpkin plant in. A little more water is good, as well as packing with some more dirt to keep the plant from blowing around too much in the wind, which is a constant problem around here.

If you have only a few plants, putting them directly on the compost works great.

Uchiki kuri pumpkins

I’ve never been able to understand the difference between pumpkins and winter squash. Whatever they are, these are excellent for storage and cooking. They are also called red kuri and are considered a baby hubbard with a sweet nutty flavor.

These, along with the rest of the pumpkins, are mainly stored in the cool food storage room in the basement.

Others are stored with the rest of the stuff where ever there is extra space in the house. Here they make a colorful addition to the ‘interior design’ and are available to the kitchen.

We use uchiki kuri pumpkins in many ways. The easiest is baking. Just cut into slices, brush with oil and bake until soft (the skin is delicious too). They also make great sauces, pure’e, casseroles, soups and pumpkin pie. Deep frying cubes in a japanese tempura batter is my favorite. These cooking ideas go for all the different kinds of pumpkins we grow.

The most frequent favorite is pumpkin miso soup.

– pumpkin
– onion
– roasted sesame oil (or other oil)
– water
– miso

Do it:
– clean pumpkin and cut off skin
– cut into cubes
– cut onion into slices
– warm oil in soup pot
– saute’ onions first
– add cubes and saute’ slightly
– add water
– boil until cubes soft
– take off burner
– add miso

Serve with chopped greens like parsley and sourdough bread.

I like it thick and creamy.