Buttercup squash is one of my favorite varieties of winter squash. This year we had a nice crop of it growing in the garden. The seeds I plant are an heirloom variety of Buttercup squash. The squash was still growing when the plant itself looked to be dead. I left it in the garden as long as I could, until we had some frost and I had to harvest it. Then I left it to cure on the front porch for a week or so. If you have a brown, dried up looking stem, then it usually means that the squash is ready to be picked. I know some of the information I read says to leave it in the garden even if you have frost, but I don’t trust doing that. I’d hate to lose it.
The buttercup squash didn’t look real big, at least not compared to my Hopi Pale Gray Squash and Butternut, but it gave me sixteen quarts. I am quite happy with that. If you can your winter squash and pumpkins, you have to can them cut up in cubes. Don’t puree it, as that is not safe for canning. I have been canning all my winter squashes for a long time now. I know it good to store them fresh in a root cellar or wherever you have space, but I like to can them so we can eat them over a longer period of time. We don’t have to hurry up to eat them before they go bad. Because they never go bad!
I cut the buttercup squash in half, then scoop out the seeds. I was able to peel the skin off with a peeler. The other squashes, Butternut and Hopi Pale Gray, I couldn’t do that with, because their skins were too tough. Then I cubed them up and put it in a stock pot with enough water to cover them. Jackie Clay’s canning book has the instructions I used. She said to boil them for 2 minutes, then follow the directions for canning them.
I spread the seeds out on a paper towel lined tray to dry out, after removing the strings of squash from the seeds. The buttercup squash seeds will dry out over a period of days and then I can put them away to use in my future gardens. Don’t put them in an oven or on another heat source. I dry them in the open air of my house. Keep them dry, labeled and separate from all other seeds.
After canning the buttercup squash you will have a supply all ready to eat. Just heat it up or use it in a recipe. Winter squashes can be substituted for pumpkin or sweet potatoes. We love it! How about you? Did you plant any buttercup squash in your garden this year?
Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2014 Kathleen G. Lupole