Up to our crooknecks in squash

As the avalanch of summer’s yellow squash builds momentum, it’s time to take action and be prepared.

You’ll see mounds of squash at farmer’s markets, conga lines of it growing on your own vines or zip-top bags full offered in desperation by overwhelmed backyard gardeners.

So, start jotting down notes on how to use this old friend. It has a lot going for it. Its mild taste makes it compatible with so many other ingredients. You can grill it, saute it, broil it, chop, puree or pickle it. What more can you ask of a summer vegetable?

Our friends have come up with great recipes over past summers and we have added a few favorites to our menus as well. The newest idea? Our friend Paula uses squash instead of cucumbers to make bread and butter pickles. Makes you want to blow the dust off the canning equipment, doesn’t it?  I’m including my mother’s instructions, just in case.

Here are a few recipes to get you started on your squash emergency response. I hear the rumble getting closer…

Bread and Butter Pickles

1 cup salt

7 quarts sliced squash

1 large onion, sliced thin

Combine ingredients, add enough water to cover. Soak for three hours.

Rinse and drain well.

Prepare 8 pint canning jars by sterilizing them in in a large pot of boiling water. Also, boil a large metal spoon or tongs. Keep the water on a simmer to process the pickles.

For brine:

5 cups sugar

3 cups white vinegar

1/2 cup water

1 Tbsp. tumeric

2 tsp. dry mustard

2 tsp. celery seed

2 tsp. mustard seed

Bring all ingredients to a boil in a very large pot. Add drained squash and onions. Simmer and stir occassionally until squash gets limp and turns gold.

Bring the simmering water used to sterilize the jars back up to a boil.

Using the sterilized spoon or tongs, place the pickles in the jars, leaving 1/4 inch of head room. Cover pickles with cooking liquid. Place caps on jars and screw lids on loosely. Place jars back in boiling water and process for eight mintues.

Remove jars from water bath and cool to room temperature. Screw lids on securely.

Melissa’s Easy Apps

3-4 yellow squash, sliced into thin rounds

2 Tbsp. basalmic vinegar

1/2 cup shredded parmesan or romano cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Coat two cookie sheets with nonstick spray.

In a bowl, toss the squash with vinegar.

Place the squash in a single layer on the pans. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake until squash softens and cheese browns – about eight minutes.  Let cool slightly and let guests pick up their appetizers straight from the pans.

Sausage Squash Scramble

Serves four

Really, it’s two ingredients. The seasonings in the sausage are all you need. You could guild the lily by topping it with grated cheddar cheese.

1 pound mild bulk sausage

3-4 small yellow squash, chopped

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, cook the sausage thoroughly, breaking it up until its is crispy and crumbled. Remove sausage from pan. Lower heat to medium, add squash and saute until slightly browned.  Remove pan from heat, add sausage back to pan and stir to combine.



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