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Freeze Winter Squash from Your Small Kitchen Garden

The Blue Hubbard squash I bought was 24 inches long and it weighed 27 pounds; 7 pounds more than the neck pumpkin it rests on in this photo… and, perhaps, 20 times the weight of the butternut squash from my own garden.

Some months ago I got all excited about winter squash and lamented that the only squash in my small kitchen garden this year was butternut. I bought a huge neck pumpkin at the farmers’ market, and a week later I bought a Blue Hubbard squash as the weekend flea market.

I canned the neck pumpkin in my pressure canner, and presented a two-part written documentary: Exploring Neck Pumpkin at Your Small Kitchen Garden and Can Squash or Pumpkin from Your Home Kitchen Garden. Then I promised readers a look at this amazing Blue Hubbard squash.

It’s been a long time coming, but here’s how I preserved the Blue Hubbard. This method is simple and valid for any winter squash you plan to use in pie fillings. If you want to freeze squash for later use mashed or in casseroles, leave it out of the blender; scoop the cooked squash directly into freezer containers.

I started by cutting off the rotten end of the squash. I removed about a half-inch margin of healthy-looking skin in case the rot had progressed farther through the flesh than what showed on the surface.

The Blue Hubbard Squash Review

I bought my 27 pound pod-people squash for $1.50. This resulted from a 25% discount offered when the seller discovered one end of the squash had started to rot. I had heard that Blue Hubbard is great for pies… but that seems to go for every winter squash I haven’t tried.

While the photographs and their captions tell the story of how to prepare squash for freezing, I didn’t freeze all of the Blue Hubbard. After cooking it, I scooped a sample to taste and was quite pleased. My Blue Hubbard was sweet and very flavorful; it has a much “squashier” flavor than the neck pumpkin. You could serve Blue Hubbard in place of butternut, and few people would notice.

The cut squash was gorgeous. I love the rich pastel orange that fades into pastel green near the rind. When I pressed on the flesh, it gave easily and fluid squirted from it, indicating rot. When I removed another inch of material, the flesh was firm.

 

I cut the remaining healthy Blue Hubbard squash lengthwise into thirds and picked out all the seeds to plant next year (I hope to give some away or swap with some of my readers). Then I used a spoon to scrape the stringy guts away from the flesh. I’ve no doubt you can eat this stuff, but I’ve never read anything encouraging me to do so.

 

I had to cut the sections of squash into smaller pieces to get them to fit into one of my largest cook pots. I stood the pieces on edge, and arranged them with air spaces between them. Then I added a few inches of water and covered the pot. It took about 45 minutes for the flesh to become soft all the way through on every piece. I used tongs to remove the squash from the pot, and then I scraped the cooked flesh away from the rind. Even cooked, the subtle pastel colors show in the squash on the spoon in the right-most photo.

 

Each scoop of cooked squash went into my blender (place the scoops directly into freezer containers if you intend to serve the squash as a vegetable… pureed squash is best for use in baking and soup bases). There was so much squash that I had to run the blender several times. I used the puree setting and made sure there were no chunks remaining in any load. Once I’d filled my largest bowl with pureed squash, I distributed the puree into freezer bags in 16 ounce batches; one bag is the appropriate amount for making a pumpkin pie. I wrote the date on each bag and set them all in the freezer… I’ll be able to make pumpkin pie, bread, cake, soup, and ravioli throughout the year.

 

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