Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Snowflakes & Hubbard Squash

It has been a rather dreary, snowy November.  The snow is wonderful but then it is followed by rain, which makes it dull and dreary.  In order to combat the gray days we enliven our little shouse with laughter and industry.

After the busyness of canning Miss Serenity's deer, we embarked on a new endeavor - Hubbard Squash.  Hubbard is HUGE!  A fierce-some squash, Hubbard is definitely not for the faint of heart, but, because they are so large, they yield a plentiful harvest.  With visions of pie and decadent squash bread floating through my head, I pressed forward to the goal and slay the Hubbard.

The tricky part, when dealing with a large squash, it cutting it open.  More than once I considered resorting to a hatchet to breech the rind but, in the end, I just hacked it open with my largest butcher knife.  After slicing it into pieces, I scraped the seeds out, cut it up into smaller chunks and arranged it on foil covered baking sheets to cook in the oven. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour at 400° to render the squash soft and ready to mash.

Finally broken into!
Scraping seeds
Cut into chunks ready to bake
Once the squash had been cooked, Miss Serenity and I scooped it out of the rind with spoons and put it in a huge bowl (we cut off, and discarded, the thick skin that develops on the squash as it cooks).  Our 25# Hubbard yielded about 16 cups of prepared squash.  What I didn't use immediately, I left in chunks and put in the refrigerator for later use.

Soft and ready to scrape from the rind
A bowl of squash
Pureed in the blender and ready for anything
As I mentioned, I had pie and bread on the brain and so I went to work.  Maid Elizabeth made a delectable pie crust as I mixed up the squash for a pie.  As the pies were being prepared, Miss Serenity went to work on bread.  Everything was ready at the same time, so into the oven went two Hubbard Squash Pies and three humongous Decadent Squash & Chocolate Chip loaves.  Oh, the scents that wafted through my kitchen!  There is nothing like dreary weather, a cozy shouse and wonderful smells mingled with wood smoke to make my heart go pitter-pat!

Rolling the crust onto the pie pan
Ready for filling
And to the oven
Decadent squash bread, ready for the oven
As the pies and bread baked and I cleaned the kitchen, the children gathered at the table for one of our "first snow" rituals.  Armed with scissors big and small, the children folded, cut and snipped the most beautiful of creations - paper snowflakes.  As each child held up their masterpiece for me to behold, I applauded their genius and encouraged yet another flake.

A stunning creation
Princess Dragon Snack is quite pleased with her scissor work!
Each one is unique and different - just like our children!
Swaying gently in the breeze of the fan
Finally, the paper cutting frenzy ceased and the children cleaned up the billions of snippets of paper that littered the floor.  After the paper was cleared, Maid Elizabeth strung thread through each snowflake and hung them from the tracks of our garage door (yet another benefit of living in a shouse!).

And so, we welcome winter - with paper snowflakes and Hubbard squash.

A Lot of Pie Crust 
1 egg
1 T vinegar
1/2 C ice water
4 C flour
1 T sugar
2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 C shortening (or butter, or lard, or a combination of any)

Beat the egg with the vinegar and water.  Combine the flour, sugar, salt.  Cut the shortening in with a pastry cutter.  Add liquid a little at a time until the crust forms a ball.  Work dough until smooth.  Either roll right away for put in the refrigerator for later.

This recipe makes enough for 2 double crust pies, with leftovers!

Hubbard Squash Pie
2 1/2 pounds of Hubbard squash - cut into chunks and seeds removed
1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 C heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 T salted butter, melted
1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 400°.  Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Arrange squash on lined baking sheet.  Roast in preheated oven until the skin is browned and flesh is tender, about 45 minutes; allow to cool before handling.  Remove flesh from squash using a spoon.

Reduce temperature on oven to 375°.  Place 2 cups of squash in a food processor and process until smooth.  Add the brown sugar, eggs, cream, pumpkin pie spice, salt and butter;  process until smooth.  Pour the squash mixture into the pie crust.  Bake until the filling rises, about 1 hour.

Decadent Pumpkin (squash) Bread
1/2 C butter, softened
2 2/3 C sugar
4 eggs
2 C pumpkin (or squash)
2/3 C water
3 1/3 C flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
2/3 C chopped walnuts (optional)
1 1/4 C chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar together;  beat in eggs, pumpkin and water.  Blend in dry ingredients; fold in nuts and chocolate.  Divide and pour into 2 greased 9"x5" loaf pans; bake at 350 degrees for 65 minutes.


  1. wow those are some huge squash. I've seen people use machetes on coconut and pineapple, perhaps it would help with those monsters as well? By the way, what does squash pie taste like?

  2. When I was a small child, we were required to eat everything mom cooked or that was served to us by whomever, with two exceptions: shrimp cocktail, which was served in the mess hall when we ate with daddy's troops; and anything made from squash. Mom and dad just ate them for us! How clever they were! We felt like we were getting off the hook and they benefitted from our childish way.

    I remember when I had an opportunity to try shrimp years later, and how good it was. I knew immediately, that we children had been tricked on the squash business, as well. I never let any kind of baked squash or squash product escape my lips after that.

    To that effect, I've used a hatchet on some of the ones I've cleaned. One squash, I remember thinking was going to get the best of me, but I persevered and took the squash with the embedded hatchet back into my house, knelt down, hoisted the whole shebang into the air and brought it down with considerable force. Success, I didn't even break the hatchet head on the concrete. I gave up on the thought of cutting it into smaller pieces and put each half into my largest corning ware dishes with a little water and baked it into submission. Oh, my, how good it was with butter and salt and pepper.


  3. Enola,


    Them Squash look to be pretty good size. We use chainsaws on our squash down here in Texas..

  4. Thanks for the bread recipe! Too many squash here!!

  5. A machete works real good, but I cheat.I just tell my husband if he wants pie, he has to cut it up for me,and he always does.

  6. Wow! I never knew such a squash was even in exsistance! I am in Awe!
    Thank you so much for the time it takes to put your posts together.
    You are inspiring and much appreciated!

  7. Did you save the seeds for planting next year? Or I do hope they were heirloom seeds and you will have a bunch to do the same and passalong to the young ones for generations. The pies and the breads oh, they look so delicious. I could almost smell their deliciousness as I was reading about them.I'll bet your home just reaked of the spicy, yummy aroma as they were baking.

  8. Enola,
    Some friends at church who grow hubbards every year have a machete that is only for the hubbard squash. My uncle used a hatchet on one he had years ago. We grew hubbards for the first time this year, along with gold nuggets, butternut, and acorn squash. We have not had the "pleasure" of breaking into one of the hubbards yet. I am thinking of getting a new machete for my husband to use to open them before it is time.
    We also love taking pumpkin bread or cookie recipes and substituting other squash or sweet potatoes or bananas for the pumpkin. Each one is unique and tasty.

  9. It is much easier and safer to use a carpenters hand saw and cut the squash lengthwise. Then put it on a cookie sheet [cut again if necessary,] and bake it at 350 degrees until you can shove a fork through it. About 1 1/2 hours depending on size. Then scrape the squash out with a large spoon and put it in one quart ziplock bags and freeze. You can put up a lot of squash in one day this way. Or can if desired all in one operation.

  10. To make the pies and or bread can you use any kind of squash? Thanks squash is a new adventure for me and seeing it in the stores makes me curious to find yummy uses.

  11. I'd suggest a 6" drywall keyhole saw; a very sturdy blade with an aggressive tooth pattern.

    We've grown Boston Marrow squash in the past. They're an heirloom you may also enjoy, growing quite large and having a good flavor.

    Saving those recipes, everything looks excellent!

  12. I've always cooked my squash whole, for 5 or 10 minutes, then cut it open and scoop out the seeds. The hardness of the shell is greatly reduced, and is easily halved. Try it!

  13. I wanted you to know that your second recipe above (Decadent Pumpkin Bread) is pasted on the side of my refrigerator -- where I put it after printing right after you posted it here. We have made this recipe no fewer than 30 times over the winter -- because we had a bumper crop of cooking-type pumpkins, which kept well in the cellar and we gradually processed over the cold months. I LOVE this so much I have the recipe memorized -- we would go through a two-loaf batch in half a week! (we make it minus the walnuts and chocolate chips -- we prefer it without either). I am so glad you posted this recipe!!