Storage Tips: Gourdy, Gourdy, Look Who’s Forty

I’m probably just a little too pleased with that title.

So you’d have to be, like, totally inept not to be able to store winter squashes relatively well in the short term. It’s like they were designed with our needs in mind, and you’d have to be a real malicious jackass to mess em up before Thanksgiving, at the earliest.

But you can really go the distance with these little buddies if you’re diligent. Here’s how to avoid Squash Sabotage:

  • Squashes will last their longest when stored, undamaged, at around 55°F and 60% relative humidity. Warmer temperatures will make them lose weight and moisture. Colder temperatures risk damaging them, too. Garages, basements and root cellars are great options, but for us Brooklynites with limited space, perhaps consider leaving them near a front entryway to your home or near a cracked window– drafty air from outside will help keep them cooler and slightly moister than it is in the rest of your home.
  • The fridge is a sorta OK place to keep em, but chances are they will get moist and rot faster.
  • If you wanna get cray cray about it, you can wipe each one down before storing with a mild solution of vinegar and water (or bleach or hydrogen peroxide) to kill any mold or spores which may already be on the flesh. Be sure to dry them very very well!
  • You’ll want to inspect them for nicks and damage, and eat any ones with signs of wear and tear first.
  • Much like apples, they can be lightly wrapped in paper and placed in boxes, or you can just leave em out all cute and fall-time rustic style. It’s best to give them a piece of cardboard or fabric to sit on, as a hard surface can, after time, cause a mushy spot to develop.
  • I’ve also heard you don’t want to store pumpkins with apples, because they can off gas to one another….kinda like me and my boyfriend after the chili tasting contest we went to last weekend.
  • Butternuts generally last the longest, followed by big pumpkins and acorn squashes. Delicatas, like their name suggests, aren’t quite as hardy, but with diligence they can last well into the New Year!

And did you know that, much like pumpkin seeds, you can roast the seeds of other squashes?  Butternut, spaghetti, and acorn squashes all are fair game, brosef!

So bust out your cumin and olive oil, salt n’ stuff and get those little crunchy pepitas a-roasting!

Impress your friends!  Charm your date.  Give your kids a reason to like you!

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