of course when i then potted up the seedlings from the seed tray i forgot to label them.... i knew i had butternut squash, pumpkin and acorn squash - but other than that they all looked so similar and i knew until the fruit started to develop i would be none the wiser. An element of suprise in the garden is always fun! i also managed to aquire a few self set plants as well!
so here's a photo diary of a squash plant's life and death:
I harvested my first butternut squash the other night (7th October), grinning like a proud parent. it was the smaller of the 2 that has grown but it seemed to have started to crack and split. initially i didn't think it was ripe as the skin still had green is on the outside, however when i gave it a tap it sounded quite hollow, so i decided to bring it in and have it for dinner.
i left it on the windows sill for a couple of days, in the hope it might ripen some more. i'm not sure whether it actually did anything to help or not. however what i was suprised to find when i cut it in half was the lack of seeds, however this was also some thing i noticed with Nan's home grown Romero peppers (she has the luxury of a greenhouse so has far more success with these than i do - my plants haven't even managed flowers this year. i think i left it a bit late though)
anyway the flesh felt firm yet juicy and tasted superb, so i decided to proceed and put it in the over to bake, which gave to time to decide exactly what i was going to create with this prescious vegetable. i decided on a butternut, fennel and goats cheese bake with red onion.
one the butternut was cooked i peeled off the skin and mashed it with the goats cheese, mixed in the diced/chopped fennel and put a layer in the bottom of my new individual gratin dish (no expense spared - 99p from wilkos!) then i put a layer of sliced red onion and topped with another layerof the butternut mix.
i had a bit of the cooked butternut left over, a nice little snack with some balsamic vinegar, while i was waiting for dinner to cook! i certainly wasn't going to waste any of my beautiful butternut.