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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Bounty

Today is Sunday, the 27th. And summer bounty is coming in.

The one ball and cue ball squash have been growing like crazy. Been picking a couple every couple of days. A few of them starting off off got a bit too big but there weren't enough for stuffing for four, and so I had to figure out what to do with them. Came up with a squash casserole, southern style- it's yummy! So much so we have had it a couple times recently.

Squash casserole- 9x13 pan
1 box stuffing mix
2 sticks butter
3-5 squashes, a couple pounds worth, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
2 medium onions, juilenned
1 can water chestnuts, drained- I used diced ones
2 cans mushrooms, drained
1 pound cooked and cubed meat- I've used ham and chicken, both are good. The meat is optional.
2 t dried thyme
1 sleeve butter crackers- I've used Ritz butter garlic
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup sour cream
1 cup grated carrot

Start out by piling up your sliced squash in heavily salted water. Bring to a boil, let boil 5 minutes, then drain, rinse well with cold water to cool it down fast, and then let drain really well.
Mix the grated carrot, sliced onion, cream soup, sour cream, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and thyme in a big bowl.
Once the squash is cool and well drained, pull it out of the strainer, leaving any seedy bits behind, and fold it into the creamy mix. Using your hands is easiest for this.
Melt the first stick of butter, and mix it with the stuffing mix. Make an even layer of the mix in the bottom of the pan. It won't fill in the bottom completely, but should have pretty decent coverage.
Layer in half the squash mix- using your hands is easiest for this. Make sure it is spread out completely over the stuffing mix, and pat it down well.
Layer in your meat, spreading evenly.
Layer in the other half of the squash mix, patting it down.
Melt the second stick of butter. Crush the sleeve of crackers, and mix it with the butter. Then spread it evenly over the top of the casserole.
Cover the casserole, and bake it at 350 for about 45 minutes. Uncover, and bake for another 15 minutes. Then kill the heat on the oven, and let it rest for another 10 minutes in the oven.
Serve up, yum! Yep, sounds like a billion calories, but it's well worth it. Makes a nice moist casserole, the onions are tender crisp, the squash stands out yet blends with everything else.

Dunno what I'm going to do with the rest of the ball squash I've already picked yet, there are a lot of possibilities. Zucchini has started coming in, and I decided to try out a recipe from one of my bread machine books- a wheat zucchini bread. It's not a quick bread, it's a true yeasty bread. That turned out pretty darn good too.

The banana peppers have started cranking the fruits out- I've picked a couple batches and stowed them away in greenie bags till I had enough to warrant canning up a batch of pepper rings. Todays pickings gave me enough, and I made up a half dozen pints of the things.

Dill seed and Spanish Black Round Radish seed are coming in right fine, already picked a bunch of both, with more to come. Parsley seed is coming along too, but not ready for harvesting yet. I can hardly wait till next year when I get to really start harvesting leaves and seed, woot!

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