The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

Visit us on FaceBookGenerations of Memories
from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

Summer and Squash

By Susan M. Thigpen © 1992

Issue: May, 1992

"Summer and Squash" would have been a nice title for a Tennessee Williams play if he had been a gardener. As any southern gardener knows, you can plant two seeds and end up with the "more squash than you can eat, sell or give away" dilemma. To help you be more prepared this year to face the age old question, "What am I going to do with all this squash?" we are printing a few of our favorite squash recipes.

Fried Squash

The most traditional way to fix squash is to slice it thin, roll it in flour and fry it in a big cast iron frying pan. When it is brown, place it on a plate with a paper towel on it (to drain excess grease) and salt before serving. The type of squash fixed this way is usually yellow crookneck. If you long for this delicacy in the middle of winter, here is the next best thing.

When you have fresh squash, wash, slice into thin rounds and roll in flour. Place one layer deep on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper and freeze. When it is completely frozen, remove from cookie sheets and place in plastic bags. When you get ready to cook the squash from your freezer, drop it into hot grease while still frozen.

Stewed Squash

In a two quart saucepan, place about one-fourth cup of minced onion and two tablespoons of butter. Simmer on medium heat until onion is transparent. Add about a half of a cup of water. Put in sliced squash and salt and pepper to taste. Some people add a little sugar as well. Cover the saucepan and simmer until the squash is tender.

Candied Squash

Tastes just like candied yams, believe it or not and is prepared the same way. Slice squash (Butternut and zucchini are good this way). In a cast iron frying pan, place two tablespoons or more of butter. When butter is melted, place squash slices in butter. Add two cups of brown sugar and cinnamon to taste and fill pan with water up to about an inch or two from top of pan. Simmer until the water has evaporated and the sauce is thick. If water evaporates before squash is done, just add a little more water. Depending on the size frying pan you use, the ingredient amounts will vary. Once you have made this recipe once, you will be able to judge the amounts better.

Baked Squash

This recipe is so flexible you can vary the taste greatly by the ingredients you use. Use a butternut squash halved, with the middle scooped out, or slices of yellow squash or zucchini.

In a glass baking dish, place the squash. If it is the butternut squash halves, place them side by side, as many as the dish will hold. You can made a bread stuffing to fill the center or fill center with tomato sauce, adding grated cheese on top of squash in the last 15 minutes of baking. Bake in a 350 degree oven until squash is tender - about 30 to 45 minutes. If you are using sliced squash, layer it with stuffing or tomato sauce and cheese.

Stir Fry Squash

For those of you who like Chinese food, try using zucchini sliced into thin strips when you stir fry other traditional Chinese vegetables such as bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, baby ears of corn, snow pea pods, celery and cabbage. Serve over a bed of hot rice with soy sauce to season it.

Squash Pickles

For those of you who haven't tried this delicacy before, the squash are sliced like cucumbers are for pickling and they taste like crisp, bread-and-butter pickles. They're great with a big pot of pinto beans and cornbread. You can make squash pickles from almost any recipe calling for cucumbers.

Slice about a dozen young, yellow crookneck squash. (The younger the better - they won't have loose seeds and the middles will remain firm.) Chop 1 medium sized onion and 1 medium green pepper. Mix with squash.

Add 1/4 cup salt to the above ingredients and cover with cold water. Let stand one hour, use ice to keep cool.

2 1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 cup vinegar
2 teaspoons celery seeds
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon turmeric

Boil these last five ingredients for three minutes, stirring occasionally, then add drained squash mixture. Simmer for three more minutes. Pack into hot pint or half pint canning jars. (My family liked these so much I ended up putting them in quart jars.) Makes about 4 or 5 pints, double recipe for more.