Now that March is here I am happy to say goodbye to February. It has been a dreary, cold and disagreeable month, and I am thinking March could only be an improvement! It will be a busy month for me with lots of seed starting activities, but it is one of my favorite times of year. The new garden is still full of hope and promise, and any problems are far, far away. I think most gardeners are optimists at heart, and I know I am.
Last week I cooked up another of the Thai Rai Kaw Tok winter squash. The one in the above photo weighed a little over six pounds, and was almost too pretty to cut up and eat. This time I cut about one third of it into thick slices, skinned it then cut into chunks. I used the chunks in a Squash and Tofu Curry recipe from Food52. Of course I modified the recipe to use the Thai squash instead of Kabocha, and it turned out to be a real keeper.
I had been craving a Thai style curry dish, and this one fit the bill. The tofu, squash, and a chopped red bell pepper are simmered in coconut milk and broth that has been seasoned with onions, garlic and curry paste. I used green curry paste instead of the red the recipe called for, plus added a bit of chopped cilantro near the end of the cooking time. Once again, cilantro was the only fresh harvest of the week, and I am happy to have this fall planting hanging on in the greenhouse. I know it will bolt soon, but until then we will enjoy it for sure. While I am a big fan of whole grains, I served up this curry over a fragrant Thai white jasmine rice.
Of course there was still more than half of the squash left, so I baked it and made it into puree. Some of that puree went into a Black Bottom Pumpkin Cake, and the rest went into the freezer. The only negative I can think of for these squash is that they are big! But it is not a bad ‘problem’ to have, and we have lots of uses for the puree after freezing. Maybe there will be a pumpkin soap in our future, who knows? I made the cake from whole wheat flour, and half of the batter has some cocoa added for the black bottom part.
I also cooked up the 2014 harvest of dried Good Mother Stallard beans. I usually use them much like a would a borlotti or cranberry bean, and this batch wound up in some Pasta e Fagioli we cooked up last week. I love how they hold their shape after cooking, plus they have such a rich flavor. I think they will be my next featured bean, after I do a bit more research on them.
Last week had me working on an article for Love IT! EVV, which is a quarterly online magazine about the local area. I wrote a piece on fall gardening for the Fall 2014 issue, and I guess I must have done okay because they asked me to do another one for the Spring 2015 issue. This time I submitted an article on growing salad greens in containers. I love writing, and while this isn’t a paying gig it’s a good way to sharpen my skills. And it’s another avenue to spread my passion about growing food. It also prompted me to update the photo of me I use for my online presence. It was taken last fall, before I grew my beard back in for the winter.
I hope you have enjoyed a look at what’s happening here. To see what others are harvesting and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays. I’
Unfortunately for us, March came in like a lion, snowed most of yesterday, estimate is 5-7 inches. Your lettuce in a salad box will be ready to harvest pretty soon.
It came in more like a lamb here. Though snow is on the forecast later this week.
I’m probably going to be planting up greens in some pots in a few weeks. Somehow I think my soil won’t be unfrozen by then. And the squash curry looks so good. Curry goes with a lot of vegetables, but I think squash is particularly good.
Curries like that are high on my list of comfort foods. I’ve always got curry paste and coconut milk on hand, and fish sauce too (addictive stuff). That really was a gorgeous squash, it would have been hard to put a knife to it if it were mine.
As I was reading your first paragraph, I just kept nodding my head – couldn’t agree with you more! I have had MANY curries in my life with my favourite being Thai curry. I usually only make it at lunch using greens or eggplant in addition to chicken, fish or tofu. I do recall making a curry years ago with squash – it was one of Nigella Lawson’s recipes – and it was so good. I think I may have to pick up some squash soon…
Even cut up, that squash looks wonderful! Such a great colour. And I’ve never been so happy to say goodbye to February as I was this year …
Yum~ the curry looks so good!
What is the texture of this Thai squash, is it dry like Kabocha or it’s on the more watery side
Not as dry as a Kabocha, but not real watery either. And not real sweet, so it worked well in the curry.
Thank you for commenting on my blog. We grow Crown Prince squash and the skin is so hard we almost need a saw. Yours looks ready portioned,. I hadn’t thought of pumpkin cake.
When I have a bit more time I’ll pop back to read more of your posts,
Still loving that squash. How wonderful that you will be featured again. CONGRATS!