Dessert Squash

Last week we cooked up one of the last big squashes that were still sitting on the kitchen table.  This was a nice big pale green squash that looked a little like a sweet-meat / kabocha cross.  It came from plants raised from seed I saved in 2005, from the original very tasty squash that year that started me seed-saving.  I’ve been planting those seeds every year and they always produce a range of interesting and delicious fruit.  This year I manged to get two hand-pollinated fruit that were worthy of continued propagation from these plants.  But this squash missed my notice when it was a flower, so the seeds will not come true.  That’s a shame because this was a true dessert squash.

As soon as I cut it open, I could tell that this was a good one.  A fresh aroma of cucumber, a little incongruous for something that was harvested five months ago, confirmed that this was a good keeper.  I scraped out the seeds and put most of them in a pan to roast with a little tamari for good nibbles.  I could not help but to hold just a few of the crossed up seeds aside – just because.    I placed the cut up quarters in a couple of roasting pans on their sides so that the excess moisture would run to the bottom of the pan.  Then, into the oven at 325° until the squash steam aroma filled the house.  As the squash juice dripping to the bottom of the pan evaporated, the sugars turned to soft squash candy.  The sugary syrup infused the portion of the squash sitting on the bottom of the pan.  Another hour in the off oven allowed even more of the moisture to evaporate and the sweet intensity to increase.

This fine squash required nothing more to add to its delectable flavor. Almost too sweet for the main meal, this was truly a dessert squash.

This squash was a dead end for seed, but it represents the goal for my squash breeding program. Squash practice makes dessert squash perfect!

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