Butternut Squash

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by chefbillyb, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

    Messages:
    2,120
    Likes Received:
    466
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    I had a butternut squash for dinner last night that is left over from last years crop. I store them in cold storage at 56 to 62 degree range. I have 8 left from a crop of 40, how long could I expect to keep them in good condition??? I figure my window on cold storage will stop when the weather starts to warm up in March
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  2. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    In theory, Billy, the higher the brix number (in English, the sweeter the squash), the shorter the storage life.

    As somebody once said, however, in theory, theory and reality are the same. In reality, they're not.

    Last time I grew butternuts I had several last almost a year before we ate them. Well, into July at any rate. My feeling is they'd have held longer if we hadn't finished them.

    As I may have mentioned, my squash of choice this year was KY Flat Tan Pumpkin, which is even sweeter than butternut. John Coykendall, from whom I got the seed, recently told me that he has one that's been sitting on his mantel for two years that still hasn't turned soft.

    So, yeah, they should last you at least until spring. But don't be surprised if they hold even longer than that.

    If they do start to turn, no reason you can't roast, puree, and freeze the flesh---in which case it should last two days longer than forever.
     
  3. chefbillyb

    chefbillyb

    Messages:
    2,120
    Likes Received:
    466
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Hi KYH, thanks for the info, it's nice having something form last years garden on my home menu. I wish I could say Tomatoes were on that list, The BLT's  just aren't the same without the home grown tomatoes. The Tomatoes I buy for the Cafe are about $30 a flat and as tasteless as could be. The Butternut squash has a higher sugar content than most I have had, they are pure enjoyment with every meal. We are only a few weeks away from the snap pea planting, the days are getting a bit longer, it's all downhill from here...................Thanks again............Bill
     
  4. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    The sad fact is, Billy, I don't eat tomatoes 8-9 months of the year. I refuse to pay that sort of money for wet, colored cardboard.

    Naturally the squash you grew tastes sweeter: in your garden it ripened to maturity before it was harvested. The same isn't true about store-bought. Tomatoes aren't unique. All produce has to fit into the needs of the food distribution system. And that generally means harvesting unripe.

    Plus there are several strains of squash sold as butternut, some sweeter than others. Do you know if your seed was open pollinated? If so, I'd suggest saving seed from some of the ones you have in storage.

    BTW, if you'd like to try the KY Flat Tan pumpkins (which have been identified by at least one top pastry chef as the finest culinary pumpkin you can find) PM me and we'll set something up to get you seed.

    My winter squash of choice for this season is the White Boer Pumpkin, a South African variety. It's got a white skin and deep orange flesh, and is also said to be very sweet. Time will tell.

    the days are getting a bit longer, it's all downhill from here.

    From your lips to God's ears! But it ain't gonna happen here, I don't think. Today is gorgeous; sunshine, warmer temps. Very spring like. But we're bracing for yet another winter storm; icy cold, snow, the whole routine.

    Our traditional (English) pea planting date is Valentine's Day. Me, I think I'll wait until March. The good news is if spring is like the rest of this year we'll have a good pea season. English peas (and their relatives) are problematic here. Normally we have about 36 hours of spring, and then we're into high summer. But every third or fourth year spring hangs around. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.