As October progesses, tomatoes are on their way out. Looks like next week may be our last week at the farmers’ market. I guess for everything there is a season, and for tomatoes, October is not a happy time. It is, however, the beginning of winter squash.
My favorite exchange of the day:
Customer (buying tomatoes and some squash): Gotta put these in the bag carefully so I don’t squash the tomatoes.
Me: Yep, that’s exactly what you would be doing. Squashing the tomatoes. Ba-dum-ch!
Painful jokes aside, at $1 a pound, I’m inclined to say winter squash is one of the best deals out there. These babies are usually between one and four pounds, with the smaller ones being more than enough for a hearty two person serving.
A visual squash guide:
- Sugar pie pumpkin – pretty recognizable
- Acorn squash – dark green, pointed end
- Carnival squash – I believe these are a hybrid of acorn and delicata
- Delicata squash – longer squash
We get a lot of people who buy these for decoration. Understandably so, since winter squash will keep for about a month at room temperature, and even longer if kept somewhere cool, dark and dry like a garage. I’ve even had a few people ask if they’re edible — I guess before this year I usually thought of them as just decorative also! Gourds are, however, not edible, and the jack-o-lantern pumpkins at pumpkin patches aren’t going to taste nearly as good as the sugar pie pumpkins.
Each week brings a few of these tiny cabbages — literally petits choux — that everyone always likes. I’m tempted to joke that they’re giant brussels sprouts.
This was the cutest one today — less than one-tenth of a pound! I like that they’re the right size for a one-person coleslaw or something.
I definitely took advantage of all the seasonal produce October has to offer. I snagged some beautiful kale and rainbow chard, some dried torpedo onions, some pears (Bosc, Warren, and Asian), Pink Lady apples (there were some incredible Galas today too), and a giant amount of squash.
There’s also some slightly droopy flowers from last week’s market in there. The pears are destined for muffins, the Asian pears and apples are probably destined for eating by hand, and the squash, well… let’s just say that if the apocalypse does happen, I can survive on squash.
In the face of crazy amounts of winter squash (Acorn, Delicata, Pumpkin, Carnival, and Butternut), I declare from now until (U.S.) Thanksgiving SquashFest 2008. More to come…
ETA: I have more varieties of squash than I thought! Internets inform me that the smaller green and white ones are Sweet Dumpling Squash. Interesting…