Saturday, November 1, 2008


A whole herd of these pumpkin-like squash mysteriously appeared on my back stoop on Halloween. No note. No phone call. Spooky! They appeared to be freshly cut from their vines, so I bet they're from a big-garden buddy.

I grabbed the biggest one (about the size of my head) that looked most like a pumpkin, and took it to The Chatterbox. I planned to carve a scary face and leave it for a Halloween night decoration. So I spread my newspapers on one of the patio tables and tried to cut the top off. I could not! That baby was solid! I needed a crowbar to pop the lid. Further exploration showed the seed core was about the size of my fist. The flesh part was nearly three inches thick! Oh, what beautiful flesh it was! This squash had a higher calling than decoration. It was destined to be dinner!

I'm sorry David, Chatterbox owner, missed the comical carving attempt. He was home donning his Sarah Palin costume for the evenings festivities. I hope there are photos!

After seeing the inside of the squash, I'm betting it was from my buddy, Rich. I bet it's this year's incarnation of his family's (ahem) illegitimate squash. His grandma saved seed her whole life. Now he and his dad save seed. The squash has cross-polinated every summer for gerenations. They never know what the squash will look like when they plant the saved seeds. But it's a good bet it will be tasty in all pumpkin recipes. I've had their illegitimate squash before. That year the flesh was orange. This year it is more yellow.

I brought my squash home and baked it. I cut the flesh off the lid piece and diced it. I baked it with some brown sugar, butter and a squeeze of lime juice. It was so delicious I ate all I could. There's enough left for two more meals! That was just the lid! The rest of the squash will become soup or a casserole or a dessert - maybe all three.

Here are some Fall sights around Kay's Leaning Tree Farm.

This is my little sugar maple. I caught a glimpse of it while pulling okra stalks out of the front garden. My bonfire pit is just to the left of this photo. I'll cut down my sorghum stalks today, so there's another entertaining fire in the making.

My burning bush is really on fire!

A few anemones popped open to cheer me. I guess it's Indian Summer.

This is the seed pod on my unusual dogwood.

The raccoon has been gleaning my last tomatoes. Of course, he washes them in the pond before eating. He spits out the seeds. That's okay. A flock of robins used my pond for a bird bath this morning. They ate the seeds.

Daddy Cat says, "I don't know who brought them. They just appeared. Halloween magic, I guess."


glutenfreeforgood said...

What a great post! And I loved visiting Kay's Leaning Tree Farm.
Thanks for the tour. Ohhh, and that squash sounded so good.

Shirley said...

Those pictures are great, Kay. I love all your tales, too ... Sarah Palin costumes, illegitimate squash, raccoons, robins, your cat, etc. Those squash showing up on your back stoop are so funny ... little orange ghosts! ;-)

Here's the pumpkin bars recipe. Read all the way through so you'll see my notes and won't think it's too complicated. It's really very easy. I know you can't eat corn so you won't want to use my GF flour recipe, but others might. You can use any GF flour mix. Hope you make them and enjoy them! Let me know. :-)

Pumpkin Bars

Gluten-Free Bar Ingredients:

¾ cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup pumpkin
½ cup oil
1/6 cup water
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup GF flour*
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon each: ground cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon

Gluten-Free Bar Directions:

Beat egg. Add other wet ingredients and mix well. Add dry ingredients. Bake in a greased glass 9” x 13” pan about 30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Bars will be nicely browned and very thin and moist. Let cool.

If desired, you may frost following directions below, but these bars are great without frosting.

Gluten-Free Frosting Ingredients:
¼ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon milk
up to ½ pound powdered sugar

Gluten-Free Frosting Directions:

Melt butter. Add brown sugar and milk. Heat to boiling and cook 1 minute. Remove from burner and add powdered sugar gradually, stirring until good frosting consistency. Spread onto bars. (The frosting hardens quickly, so mix it up and spread onto bars immediately while still warm. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time so you don’t add too much and dry out the frosting.)

*I used my usual international white rice flour/cornstarch mix (3 parts rice flour, 2 parts Argo cornstarch), which I make ahead and use measure for measure like wheat flour in all recipes.

Shirley’s Notes: This recipe does not require xanthan gum—that is not an omission. If I use fresh pumpkin which is more watery, I just use 2/3 cup of that and skip adding the water. I use 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice in place of the cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon usually. I haven’t used frosting because I don’t think the bars need it. (I have sifted a little powdered sugar on them to dress them up a bit when giving to others.)

Anonymous said...

I love the part about the raccoon. Too cute.

Gluten free Kay said...

Melissa - Come by any time. The tour changes with the seasons.

Shirley - Thank you for the recipe. I hope others try your tasty pumpkin treats. With all my pumpkin-like squash, I may be able to try a zillion pumpkin recipes this fall! Yahooey!

Sarah said...

Thanks for the pictures. They're beautiful!

Vittoria said...

I wish The Great Pumpkin visited herds of Illegitimate Squash on me. :D

Maureen "Hold The Gluten" said...

Illegitimate squash?! Tomato washing raccoons?! Daddy cats who speak?! I love it :) Your posts always make me smile! BTW, love the sound of roasted squash with brown sugar, butter & lime juice. Sounds fantastic!

Carrie said...

Kay -- I just had to tell you that the comment you made about writing letters to me since my grandma had passed away made me just sit down and cry. Thank you so much for saying that! I really appreciated your heart-felt words and encouragement! You are such a sweetie! I hope you are having a great day!!