Sunday, September 19, 2010

Pumpkins Galore!

It is pumpkin season! Before you stop and choose your pumpkin, check out all of the different kinds we grew this year at Green Barn!

Think about the creative ways you can use each kind. Carve a witch with the warty 'knuckle head' pumpkin, make luminaries or carve skulls with the white pumpkins, decorate your table with the cute little mini pumpkins, or use 'Wee Be Little' as place holders at a party and write each persons name on a pumpkin! The possibilities are endless.

Here are the names of each variety above starting in the upper left corner and moving clockwise: 'Jack Be Little', 'Baby Boo', 'Wee Be Little', 'Batwings', 'Autumn Wings' gourd, 'Lumina' white pumpkin, 'Cinderella', 'Knuckle Head' pumpkin with warts, 'Wolf' pumpkin with thick stems, and our traditional assortment of pie pumpkins and full sized pumpkins. We also have 'Small World of Color' with a unique pink-orange pale color on the right side of the group pumpkin picture above. Also watch for giant 'Prizewinner' pumpkins.

Enjoy pumpkin season!

Name that Squash!

Green Barn grown squash is now ready! It can be a challenge to decide which squash to buy. Here are brief descriptions of each squash pictured above:

Acorn: (lower left corner) A very popular squash that is great for roasting, baking, steaming, mashing, or stuffed. This is a nice size to work with. Acorn is fibrous and moist.

Golden Buttercup: (Second from bottom left) Dry, sweet, bright orange squash.

Spaghetti Squash: (Third from bottom left) This squash can be baked, boiled, or microwaved after cutting and removing the seeds. After cooking, this squash is very stringy. The strands can be "raked out" with a fork and used like pasta with sauce or with butter.

Butternut: (Third down on right side) Another very popular squash that is sweet and moist and very smooth. This is easy to peel and sauté quickly. This is popular for soups since it is not stringy and mashes or purées very smoothly.

Buttercup: (Upper right corner) This is a very popular sweet, creamy, dry squash.

Sweet Dumpling: (second down from top left side) This is a small squash that has a sweet, nutty flavor and is tender and easy to make for one or two people. This is easily presented whole, cut in half or stuffed.

Carnival: (upper left corner)This is a small, sweet squash with flavor comparable to sweet potatoes. This squash can be used in soups. It is also baked or steamed and served with butter and herbs.

Blue Hubbard: (second from top left) This squash can be peeled and boiled, roasted, or used for pie. These can be very large, so they can be cut up with a large knife or by placing in a plastic bag and dropping it on concrete (fun family activity?!). This large squash has a long storage life.

Golden Hubbard: (third from top left) Fine grained and dry, this squash is good baked or used in casseroles. Golden hubbard also makes good pumpkin pie filling.

There are many recipes for baking, boiling roasting, and creating dishes with squash that can be found in cookbooks or online.

Tip: If the squash is difficult to cut for your recipe, pierce and microwave for 3 minutes and then cut the squash in half and scoop the seeds. The squash can than be baked, roasted, peeled for recipes, or you can continue and finish cooking the squash fully in the microwave.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Zucchini Recipes

Hopefully your gardens are now thriving this July and your gardening efforts have paid off providing a plentiful harvest. At Green Barn, we have been busy with harvest season and, like many of you, are trying to find new uses for the fresh produce! We would like to share recipes with you and welcome you to submit your favorites to share.

Today, we will feature ZUCCHINI! If you have every grown zucchini, you know that it doesn’t take very many plants to produce more than you and all of your neighbors can use!

Judy is a staff member at Green Barn that is always baking tasty things to share. This week, she made chocolate zucchini cake and we thought you may like to try this one if you have a few extra zucchini. Enjoy!

½ c. butter or margarine

1 ¾ c. white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/2 c. flour

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

2 cups grated zucchini

1/2 c. vegetable oil

2 eggs

1/2 c. milk

1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Topping: 1/2 c chocolate chips and 1/2 c. chopped walnuts

Cream margarine, oil, and sugar. Beat in slowly eggs, vanilla, and milk. Combine dry ingredients. Beat into creamed mixture. Add 1/4 c. nuts and zucchini. Blend well. Pour into lightly greased and floured 9 x 13" pan. Sprinkle with chips and nuts for topping. Bake at 325 degrees F for 40-45 minutes.

One of our other favorite zucchini recipes is this zucchini bread. I make this regularly and it is very moist and tasty. One tip I suggest for this recipe is to drain off (squeeze lightly) the extra liquid from the grated zucchini before adding.

2 eggs

2/3 c. vegetable oil

1-1/3 c. sugar

1-1/3 c. grated zucchini

1 tsp. vanilla

2 c. flour

1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

Beat eggs. Add next 4 ingredients listed. Combine dry ingredients and add to mixture until blended. Pour into greased loaf pan. Bake 325 degrees F for 1 hr or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (may take 1 hr. 15 min)