Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Battle of Orange Food: Season Two

Last year saw a strange response to squash and sweet potatoes from the Kiddo — rejection. These once favorite and healthy foods were dismissed with a "Nasty!" and ignored. Thus began the Battle of Orange Foods. It was a long conflict that tested my creativity and repertoire of recipe ideas to serve up anything orange and have it succeed. At the end of the season, I thought I had finally won with Vanilla-Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan-Brown Sugar Crust.

I tested the waters early this season and got mixed results. Baked sweet potato "fries" passed muster. Honey-Sage Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Shallots got dissed. Using my best counterintelligence tactics, I managed to get one bite of the latest creation under the radar. It survived. Let the games begin. I am optimistic. I am ready. And I have a ton of squash. Or at least 100 lbs. of it.

In fact, I have added a couple more heirloom pumpkins to the mix above. The recognizable faces in the line up are of course Butternut, Acorn, and Sugar Pumpkin. The new ones are a deep orange one called a "Cinderella," a New England Cheese (flattened light tan), a small Hubbard (gray-green at far left), Sweet Dumplings (the orange and green striped ones that look like Acorns) and Delicata (the long oval-shaped ones), and a Turban. I added a couple Musquee de Provence, French heirloom pumpkins also referred to as "Fairytale" pumpkins. I was eyeing the mother of all full-size Hubbards weighing in at around 35 pounds. But I resisted.

The Delicatas had a light sweet taste like a cross between a Yukon Gold potato and a sweet potato. The flesh was dry and firm, good for roasting. It is an heirloom variety, and was a nice surprise. I will buy this one again this season most likely.

Delicata Squash with Red Rice, Cranberries and Pecans
Looking for this recipe? It will be part of an upcoming book co-authored with Ali at Cleaner Plate.


katiez said...

That tan one looks familiar..the pumpkins I bought in Spain were a greenish-tan color.
I once worked with a woman who wouldn't eat green food... I could kind of understand the green jello but salads?!?!? and just because of their color?

Kalyn said...

It sounds great to me. I think I like all orange food!

Rachel said...

gorgeous photo there, Beth. Did you buy these all at your local farmer's market? I can't remember if you planted veg in the home garden.

Among all other things I admire about you, I love the way you can make the food look as delectable as it tastes. Mine all look, ahem, "rustic" in presentation. I am not gifted at all in these things!

The Expatriate Chef said...

The tan one is a Long Island Cheese, an heirloom from the 1840s. The Spanish ones were likely Musquee de Provence, European heirlooms that are flattened as well and have a lot of flesh for their size. Both are supposed to be great for eating.

I didn't grow any this year, but I am saving seeds for next year.

Katherine Gray said...

I neglected my compost pile all spring and by June we had several varieties of pumpkins growing! We let them mature until we took down the fence they'd climbed (which we'd already planned to do).

So many great recipes! Not sure where to start.

Scribbit said...

Oh I LOVE squash, and my children (who are not as enthusiastic) get dragged along behind me in my love of the orange stuff. :) These look great!

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