August 7, 2013 - Today I Got Unsquashed and Depeppered!

I was wondering what to do with my glut of yellow crookneck squash, when I read Dave's post, over at Our Happy Acres, about what he does with his yellow squash and zucchini.  Dave freezes his and adds them to his smoothies.  He said you can't taste the squash.  I trusted Dave (he has some great recipes), so I cubed a crookneck last night, then froze it in a single layer on a tray.  This morning I added 1/2 cup of the frozen cubes to my fruit smoothie,  Dave was right, I couldn't taste the squash at all!  Hooray, I'll be adding extra nutrition to my morning smoothies, and using up the seemingly unending summer squash harvest!

 A week's worth of yellow crookneck squash, diced and ready for the freezer.  I didn't even blanch it.  Once it's frozen, I'll transfer it all to a gallon bag, and use it up in smoothies or soups.

That took care of the excess crooknecks, but I still had a gigantic zucchini to deal with.  Instead of grating the zucchini, I cut out the seed cavity, peeled it, then pureed the firm outer flesh.  It made two loaves of zucchini bread.  The puree made a finer crumb in the bread, almost cake like, but delicious.  Of course, we had to test it out, warm from the oven.  Yes, Sue, I used butter on mine! 

 Then there were the peppers to take care of.  This was this morning's harvest of sweet peppers.

 The crookneck cubes, nearly a full gallon, were bagged to free up the big tray for freezing pepper strips.

The pretty, colorful mix of peppers will make lots of fajitas for me (Mr. Granny doesn't like fajitas.  Or peppers).  I taste tested the varieties as I prepared them for the freezer.  I wasn't impressed with the flavor of Lavender Bell (or what I assume is Lavender Bell).  It sure is pretty, but it doesn't have the sweetness that the yellow and red peppers have.  The color doesn't go all the way through, either.  The inside is a pale cream color.

I would have had tomatoes to deal with, but the youngest son called and talked me out of a big bag of them.  I had just picked over 12 pounds this morning, so I was happy to share with him.  Since I was making the trip across town, I took the second loaf of zucchini bread for them as well.  Son called a couple of hours later to say he needed more, because it was already all gone!  Sorry, that half loaf will be eaten by us!




19 comments:

  1. Holy Yum! Especially that zuke bread.

    I have 5 or 6 zucchinis I need to deal with, and another 7 or 8 coming by the end of the weekend... I think I may end up just pulling out the zucchini early, but it's my best producer so far, so I feel a tinge of guilt about it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I felt a bit of guilt when I pulled 2 of the 3 crookneck plants, but my refrigerator was overflowing with them. We were getting a bit sick and tired of eating them, too. My zucchini seems to have slowed in production. I only picked two this week, but one was another almost four pounder that was missed earlier.

      Delete
    2. You can also donate to your local food pantry Or homeless shelter

      Delete
  2. That tray of peppers sure looks pretty. Do you blanch peppers before freezing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, I don't do anything but wash them and cut them into strips or dice. I did let them sit on the tray, under a fan, for about an hour because they were quite wet and my tray wasn't large enough to lay them in a single layer. I hope they don't stick together too badly, because I like to bag them in gallon ziplocs to use as needed.

      Delete
  3. That's a genius idea, putting it frozen into smoothies. I love breakfast smoothies, so quick and easy. I also like a cooked breakfast/lunch too, which is how I use up my summer squashes, in a veggie hash with two poached eggs. But I don't have anywhere near as many as you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alison, I've been tossing slices of crookneck in a bit of olive oil, adding salt and pepper, then grilling them in the George Foreman. I've always liked them just diced or sliced and added to green beans or corn. Next I'd like to try Spicy Zucchini Quesadillas, which I assume could be made with either zucchini or any summer squash.

      Delete
  4. Very nice harvest! Rita made some "zucchini" bread today using yellow summer squash, which is what we have right now. It is delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they are pretty much interchangeable. I never did like zucchini, except as an addition to breads/cakes or in sweet relish. For just plain eating, I prefer the crookneck. I grew a white pattypan one year, and liked it a lot. But it was worse than the butternut for taking over the garden!

      Delete
  5. I'm not a big fan of zucchini. The only way I really enjoy eating them is sliced thinly and then fried in butter with Thyme. I also dislike peppers - or rather, they dislike me! I grow them mainly for their ornamental value, but I have recently begun to experiment with making paprika, so I have some sweet peppers on the go this year as well as my usual chillis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mark, Mr. Granny loves them sliced, dipped in beaten egg then saltine cracker crumbs and fried in a mixture of oil and butter, with lots of salt and pepper. I don't know why I even bother growing them, I could buy one or two a year which would suffice!

      Delete
  6. LOL!
    So, does Mr Granny eat butter? Cuz, he's starting to sound like a difficult man..............

    That pepper mix is gorgeous. Fajitas.....so yummy. How do you season yours?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue, only when I cook with it. For years and years, all he would eat was Imperial margarine. I just recently weaned him to a tub margarine. I mix my butter with canola oil to make it easier to spread, but it still tastes, melts and cooks like butter.

      Fajita Seasoning

      3 Tbsp. cornstarch
      2 Tbsp. chili powder
      1 Tbsp. salt
      1 Tbsp. paprika
      1 tsp. to 1 Tbsp. sugar (I like mine on the sweeter side)
      2-1/2 tsp. crushed chicken bouillon cube
      1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
      1/2 tsp. garlic powder
      1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
      1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
      1/2 tsp. cumin

      Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into small glass or plastic container, seal tightly and store in a cool, dry place. Makes the equivalent of 3 packets of commercial or purchased Fajita Seasoning Mix.

      Use 3 T. mix to 1/3 cup water

      Delete
  7. I think I might have enough zucchini now for making bread. I ought to try it pureed. My son and husband are funny. They love zucchini bread, but can't stand eating it as they see the green grated zucchini (I never peel it). Maybe I should call it spice cake and puree the zucchini. They would never know and I'd get to keep the skin on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daphne, just peel it and tell them it's apple!

      Delete
  8. I love fajitas! I have something tearing the peppers off my pepper plants, and taking a big bite out of them. I am so envious of your beautiful tray of peppers. I was only growing Jimmy Nardello to save seed this year. Next year I want to grow a rainbow of pepper colors! :-) robbie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Robbie, now I have enough peppers in the freezer for my fajitas for the entire year. What will I do with the gazillion pounds yet to come? They've only just begun, LOL

      Delete
  9. What beautiful peppers! Mine are awful this year. And in that mythical future where I actually have an abundance of summer squash I'll have to remember that smoothie idea of Dave's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nutmeg, I was surprised I couldn't taste the squash. I make my smoothies with frozen strawberries, yogurt and OJ. The squash probably made it the about texture of a smoothie made with banana.

      Delete