Monday, January 16, 2012

Dark Days 7: Lessons Learned from Winter Squash

This week, I bring you two tales of good intentions and not-so-good outcomes.

Kitty happy meal?

I bought a pile of butternut squash and pie pumpkins from Musterfield Farm in September and put it in dry storage in our garage. I put it on a wooden tray up on a high shelf stacked on top of a bucket, which meant it was difficult to see and difficult to pull down.

Last week, I went through the hassle of pulling the tray off the shelf. Guess what I found - one completely putrefied and moldy squash and one icky pumpkin. Straight to the compost for those. I also found a squash with one small soft spot, so the chickens got a special squash treat.

The rest of the winter squash are still fine, but they do not last forever, so I guess we will be eating squash more often in the next few months.

Moral of the story - Check on your root-cellared vegetables frequently.

This week, the Dark Days Challenge organizers have posed a special challenge - the one-pot meal. I had roasted a butternut squash and a small pie pumpkin earlier, and had the puree hanging out in the fridge. Butternut squash soup with garlic and ginger was calling my name.

I didn't quite manage to answer that call. I used onion, garlic, carrot and dried celery as the base of the soup, and got the proportion of dried celery to fresh veggies wrong. Even though I used all local ingredients (except for the ginger), this week's challenge was a failure. The bottom line is that I have a golden-colored soup that tastes like celery instead of squash.

This is a disappointment, my first Dark Days failure. I have still been eating the soup for lunch at work, with chunks of bread thrown in to mop up my sadness.

Moral of the story - 1 teaspoon dried herbs equals 1 tablespoon fresh. Forgetting this rule equals a waste of time.

P.S. The photo above shows Magalloway scoping out the day-old chicks in their transport box. He decided that they were much too loud to eat, so we have the happy outcome of keeping chickens and a pet cat who is interested but afraid of them.

1 comment:

  1. Rachel- the real failure would be to stop trying! I am always so impressed with your eating fresh dedication and inspiration. Keep it up! (and keep an eye on the cat and the chicks- you never know!)