I’d Like to Pay With Squash

IMG_3118

 

I have a friend whose father was a country Doctor back in the forties in rural North Carolina.  Back then Doctors did not go in to the profession to make big money.  In fact my friend used to talk about the poor patients of her father would pay him in vegetables from their garden, put up canned tomatoes and if he delivered a baby that turned out to be a son, perhaps a whole hog.

 

Yesterday I saw on Facebook that my friend Laura had canned a mess of peach preserves and was wondering what she was thinking when she made such a big batch.  I’ve been the recipient of a couple of her homemade canned treats and I know those preserves are worth their weight in gold.  I’m sure she could trade them with someone for something she needs.

 

I’m having a bumper crop of Zephyr squash.  It’s not one you might know, but it is a yellow squash variation that is half yellow and half green.  It is very pretty, but after a while it is a little tiring.  Of all the things I planted it is by far my most prolific and by now my least favorite.  The ark needing rain is not helping the issue because I think this squash grows eight inches in 24 hours if it is getting rain.

 

I wish that I could take a bushel or two of my squash and give it to my dentist instead of paying him, but that form of barter is frowned upon these days.  Every week I give my housekeeper a bag and she tells me that it is about the only vegetable her grandchildren will eat.  So I know that my garden is doing a good deed.

 

I could be canning the squash with onions, but somehow there are not enough hours in the day to get that done, what with my words with friends addiction and my Christmas ornament needlepoint deadline looming and my writing assignments hanging over me.  So I will continue to give the stuff away, but if you have a strong desire for it and something to trade make me an offer.  You know I’ll just end up giving you what ever I have.


Yellow Squash, Fennel and Goat Cheese Custard

Kristin Hiemstra of The Art of the Potential radio show has created a TV show called Rock Your Life.  She and her camera guy came and spent the better part of the day filming me for her show.  Part of the filming was interviewing my while I created a new recipe.  Since the first of my yellow squash was coming in I made up this side dish.  Kristin is still in the throws of selling this show so if it airs somewhere I will let you know.  Until then, just follow the recipe here.  It was really quite tasty.

IMG_3017

4 Small Yellow Summer Squash- diced

1 Fennel Bulb -sliced and diced

5 eggs – beaten

8 oz. Fat Free Condensed Milk

10 Basil Leaves- minced

1 T. Fresh Thyme Leaves

5 Splenda packets

3 oz. Crumbled Goat Cheese

Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 350º.  Heat a non-stick skillet on medium high heat and spray with Pam.  Sauté the squash, fennel, salt and pepper for about five minutes until lightly browned and soft.  Set aside to cool slightly.  In a large bowl add eggs, condensed milk and whisk together.  Add herbs, Spelnda and the cooled vegetables and a little more salt and pepper and fold.  Spray Pam in individual ramekins and using a ladle fill each one with the mixture.  Dot the top of each ramekin with a little goat cheese.

Put the ramekins in an oblong baking pan and place in the oven.  Pour enough hot water into the baking pan to come up at least half way of the sides of the ramekins.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Makes six servings.


Pecan, Fennel and Squash Cake

 

This is not a diet recipe, but I figure you need a little treat and I still have too much squash.  I have made a ton of zucchini breads that are filling my freezer and being given away to everyone with a new baby or relative visiting.  I can’t remember where I got this idea for a cake but I know I read a recipe somewhere that inspired this one.  What is the difference between a zucchini bread and squash cake.  I am not a baker by trade, but breads are usually made with oil and cakes with butter.

 

I baked this one as a loaf and had too much batter so I baked this little ramekin cake.  I had one bite to make sure it was good.  I gave the rest to Russ who asked me if it had a lot of sour cream in it because it was so moist.  That was the squash.  It really does make a good cake.

 

6 cups of grated squash- I used zucchini and yellow squash

1 cup of pecans – toasted and chopped

2 t. fennel seeds

1 ¼ cups of butter

1 ½ cups of sugar

5 eggs

2 cups of flour

2 t. vanilla

½ t. salt

2 t. baking powder

 

 

Preheat the oven to 350º.

Grate the squash in the cuisineart and put in a colander and let drain for a half an hour.  Squish all the water you can out of it.

 

In a mixer put the butter and the sugar and beat together on med, high until if gets fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating.  Add the flour, baking soda and salt and just mix it enough to incorporate it.

 

Take the bowl out of the mixer and add the squash, pecans and fennel and just fold it all together.

 

Spray Pam in a 9 x 5 loaf pan.  Pour the batter in the pan and bake for about 1 hour.