October: News from the Pumpkin Patch - Pasquesi Home and Gardens
Pumpkins for decorating and cooking

October: News from the Pumpkin Patch

 

DIY: Pumpkins offer a wide range of colors, shapes and  flavors.

Pie pumpkins…smaller is better: These little orange guys look great in multiples…like little orange ‘Minions’ in the movie, Despicable Me. Line them up on porch stairs or sidewalks. Usually the sweet, Pie pumpkin is the pumpkin of choice for the youngest in the family because it is easy to handle! However, these little guys are known as Pie pumpkins for a reason. Since the larger, orange field pumpkins that are grown for jack o’ lanterns are too stringy for baking, the pint-sized, orange-fleshed pie pumpkins are perfect for pies, muffins, breads and soups. 

Jarrahdale pumpkin: Look for the eerie but beautiful blue rind and deeply ridged skin of this variety. This color is the perfect complement to your orange and white pumpkin groupings. It’s quite a surprise to see the orange flesh hiding under this mysterious, gray skin. The fine-textured, sweet fruit makes tasty pies, soups and stews. The average Jarrahdale pumpkin weighs 12-18 lbs.

Acorn Squash: The recognizable, acorn squash is small with dark-green and orange, ridged skin—weighing from 1-3 lbs.  For decorating, it is a perfect size for buffets or table centerpieces. For eating, simply slice in half and bake with butter. For extra sweetness, add a sprinkling of brown sugar.

Rouge Vif D’Etampes: You can’t miss this vibrant, red-orange, French heirloom in the autumn light. It is also known as the ‘Cinderella’ pumpkin because of its squat shape and resemblance to her fairy tale carriage. This is a popular pumpkin that first appeared in the Paris Markets in the 1880’s. Its flattened, shape is perfect for stacking. Make a pumpkin tower by sandwiching it between a blue ‘Jarrahdale’ and topping it with a white ‘Baby Boo’  pumpkin. If you wish to cut into this gem, the flesh is tasty in pies or delicious when baked with butter.

Turban Squash: The regal Turban squash is aptly named for its turban shape—a squat, bulbous shape that is spattered with colors from green to orange and white. It’s a popular squash that is used as an ornamental or it can also be hollowed out and used as a soup tureen. The mild, flesh is golden- yellow—tasting a bit like hazelnuts— good in soups and stuffings. Use in recipes that call for pie or sugar pumpkins.

Lumina: The Lumina’ pumpkin is mid-sized with white to cream-colored skin. Because of its traditional, round, yet slightly squat shape, it is one of the more popular varieties. These white pumpkins glow with ghostly splendor at dusk—which makes them a real stand out. For kids and DIY projects, the white skin is very easy to decorate with paint, markers or decals. The flesh is bright orange and can be used in any traditional pumpkin recipe. Use in pies, or try in waffles or oatmeal. If cubed and roasted, the pumpkin flavor enhances Thai curries, pasta recipes, soups or sauces.

Be wary and pick the best for both display and eating: For pumpkins and winter squash that will last the longest, look for hard firm rinds without spots or cuts on the skin. Pick one that is heavy for its size and sounds hollow when tapped. However, small variations in the skin color or patterning will not affect the look or the flavor. They are all Mother Nature’s unique creations.

 

Cooking Tips: Peal the skin with a potato peeler. Chop in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut off the stem. Cut into slices or cube to cook.

Boil: One-inch pieces about 10-15 minutes.

Steam: One-inch pieces about 15-20 minutes.

Roast: Cut into pieces, wedges or in half. Roast for 45-60 minutes in 350 degree oven– depending on size of pieces.


What’s the buzz? The sound of summer. Filling your garden with flowering plants that bees like is the perfect way to a part of the cycle of nature. Bees are hardworking insects—pollinating our crops and flowers for us and feeding themselves and their community at the same time. And, don’t forget the honey—one of nature’s simplest pleasures.

 

 

 

 

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