Processing squash for pies


Today was the beginning of getting our squash harvest ready for pumpkin pies!  We also have plans for soup, bread, pancakes, and pumpkin rolls using this same method.  First we cut open the squash.  Sometimes with a native squash this can be difficult so we often use a clean sharp hatchet for the job.  This time we just used a good knife and some leverage.20131115-113442.jpg

Once the squash are opened, we can see the seed inside.  The seeds and pulp are removed and rinsed through a colander to rid of the pulp.  We compost the pulp, which we determined to be squash umbilical cords, and save the seeds as in the last picture of this post.  The inside of the squash is scraped clean with a spoon to remove all of the pulp, which is bitter in taste compared to the “meat” of the squash.  We then preheat the oven to 400 degrees.20131115-113510.jpg

The squash come out as in the picture above.  Some are placed directly on the oven rack.  The squash are cooked until the skins begin to char, making the skin easy to remove, about 2 hours.20131115-113852.jpg

We then peel off the skin and place the squash “meat” in a bowl.  The skins are great for compost or better, to feed to chickens.20131115-114106.jpg

We then let the squash “meat” cool in the bowl and then place in a freezer bag.  Of the seven squash we processed, we got three freezer bags full.  We will later thaw them out, put spices and other ingredients, and place them in the pie crust we will make in the near future.20131115-114124.jpgNo AIRE activity is complete without seed saving.  These seeds will be given to the students of the Taos Schools for their field day activities in 2014 when we start to plant Parr Field all over again…

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