Butternut squash

I used to grow my own butternut squash…

The most successful were called Avalon. They have a lovely flavour for soups and pies and are easier to chop up than some of the larger varieties. They did well in large pots on my balcony, loved our rockery before I’d planted it properly and filled in the gaps, and did not do so well in pots in the rockery. The problem is space. I don’t have a “vegetable patch” as such. In addition they need a lot of watering in our (mostly) dry summers in order to produce fruit of a decent size.

And that is time-consuming and back-breaking work. So this year I just concentrated on the zucchini (a bumper crop!) and …

I bought seven butternuts (and a couple of other winter squash) at the local market to store over winter!

Why store them? Well, in Bavaria word hasn’t spread to the supermarkets that butternut, and in fact many other  pumpkins, are good all through the winter. Try looking for any kind of pumpkin by Christmas and you’ll have difficulty… Here they tend to stick to the better known winter veggies like potatoes and cabbage…boring!

Liven up your life with a pumpkin!

By the way, did you know the Halloween pumpkins originated from a German tradition which was exported to America only to return in a new form? In actual fact it was a turnip or sugar beet that was hollowed out and lit with a candle, and then carried through the streets (no fancy costumes!) on an evening, round about November 1st – All Souls’ Day, which is a Catholic holiday here. This varies from region to region, and has different names and rituals where it is still celebrated. Sadly it has been turned into Halloween in many places, since pumpkins are easier to find than turnips, and the children love the dressing up part of Halloween. The origins are uncertain, but it is clearly linked to commemorating the dead at this time of year.

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