Fall Fest: Mad Squash Stash

By: Liz Gray

We're teaming up with other food and garden bloggers to host Fall Fest 2010, a season-long garden party. Each week we'll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you're harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. To join in, check out awaytogarden.com.

Pumpkin farms are so seductive, with their fields of fresh squash and piles of pumpkins. From carving pumpkins to butternut squash to sugar pie varieties, I never want to neglect a single one. So, I come home with more pumpkin than any one person should keep in their apartment.  The pile of pumpkins on the kitchen counter is calling -- here's how I'm planning to put them up for the winter.

Pumpkin Butter (pictured above)

This slow-cooker pumpkin butter from Baked Bree is as easy as it is tasty. She makes it in the slow-cooker to avoid the pesky sticking on the stovetop and flavors it with maple syrup, lemon juice and pumpkin pie spices. Yum!

Pickled Pumpkin

This Estonian-style pumpkin pickle traditionally accompanies a Christmas meal of black pudding, roast pork, sauerkraut and potatoes.  Nami Nami makes this spicy pickle with thick-grated pumpkin flavored with cloves, fresh-grated ginger, cinnamon and allspice.  Save it for the holidays or serve on toast, as a relish or atop pasta.

Pumpkin-Ginger Soup

Pumpkin soup is a classic, but I'm saving it in the freezer so I can enjoy it year-round.  This version from Elena's Pantry nixes the cream that's in many recipes in favor of a little coconut milk and ginger.  Plus, it's both vegan and gluten-free.

Pumpkin Bread

Alton Brown's pumpkin bread uses grated fresh pumpkin and fresh-roasted pumpkin seeds instead of the canned stuff, resulting in a carrot cake-like texture and nutty flavor.  I'm doubling (or tripling) the batch and keeping these loaves in the freezer for breakfast, dessert, and (if I have any left) holiday gifts.

A loaf of Brown Pumpkin Bread with one slice removed that is placed on a plain white surface

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Food Network

Tara Donne, Food Network

Homemade Squash Puree

If you like to keep your options open, turn your pumpkins and squash into puree and throw in the freezer for approximately 1 million possible applications.  The Pioneer Woman has a beautiful step-by-step post about freezing your favorite variety.

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More Preserving Stories From Friends and Family

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