Thinking outside the classic pumpkin | VailDaily.com
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Thinking outside the classic pumpkin

Sarah MausolfVail, CO, Colorado
AE Pumpkins PU 10-19-07
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Swing by any supermarket just before Halloween and the classic pumpkin abounds. Round and orange, this holiday symbol certainly makes for good eating, but some of the stranger squash can yield tasty Halloween treats as well.Sure, warts and blue skin sound like turnoffs, however, some of the most bizarre-looking squash at the Wildflower Farm in Edwards are the best performers in the kitchen.For the past three years, the farm has been recreating the pumpkin patch in an environment hostile to growing pumpkins. This swath of the Rocky Mountains has a growing season two to three months shorter than the season in the foothills and below.As a result, the pumpkins fail to really mature before the frost sets in.To compensate, the one-acre Wildflower Farm on Highway 6&24 brings in a wealth of weird squash from Boulder and Delta. So silence your superficial side and try some of these curious delicacies.

Its the butternut squash on steroids, said Shawn Greenfield, hydroponics specialist at the farm. This squash is tan like the butternut squash, but it has a long, crooked neck arching off its round seed bulb. Weighing in at 12 to 15 pounds, it features a sweet, dense meat that makes for an excellent puree, said Carley Schreiber, merchandising coordinator for the farm. This is a good squash to slice up and roast or bake, she said. It can be substituted for butternut squash in any recipe, Schreiber said.

This blue-grey oddity is round with a hard, smooth shell and orange meat inside. It has a very sweet aroma to it, Schreiber said. I would eat that one by itself. Its awesome for baking. It has a really distinctive flavor to it. Ranging in size from five to 20 pounds, this Australian squash is perfect for pies, she said. Seasoning such as nutmeg, cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla work well with it.



Crusted with sugar scabs, this round, squat squash typically weights in at seven pounds. It has sweet, dense meat great for purees or baked goods such as cookies, bread and pies. I think its an awesome piece to use for decoration for the season, Schreiber said. Its so unique that I think a lot of jaws would drop and then it would be something you can turn into wonderful food. Season this unique squash with nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla or brown sugar.Arts & Entertainment Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 748-2938 or smausolf@vaildaily.com.


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