The Magical Mystery Squash

Remember how I had those volunteer squash sprouts this past spring? (See the picture to below to refresh your memory. )As my zucchini, cucumbers, and pumpkins were being eaten by an adorably evil woodchuck family, the two mystery sprouts were happily growing in my front yard with only the occasional nibble by a local rabbit. Then this happened:

How cute is that? It was small and striped and I had no clue what it was. I was hoping for a squash or melon that was recognizable, but this looked like nothing I had grown before. After a few hot, humid weeks this little squash twisted easily off the vine, which is kind of the universal sign for “this is ripe”. The green stripes had darkened in the mean time. The shape was a little different, but the colors were starting to look sort of delicata like. Mr. Food it Yourself and I formulated two possible hypotheses.

1. This volunteer squash plant grew from the seed of a delicata squash we tossed into the compost pile last year.

2. This was some funky hybrid of squashes grown by us and/or other people in our neighborhood; bees did some funky cross-pollinating and squirrels moved the seeds around.

There was only one possible test and it involved our shiny, new oven. Behold!

Slice that baby in half. I put the seeds aside in case this is something brand new.

 

Drizzled with alittle oil and lightly salted and peppered, the mystery baked at 350F for about 45 minutes.

 

A mysterious part of this delicious dinner!

 

The results- this is a delicata. It was not super sweet, I think it might have gotten waterlogged during our very damp July. However, the nutty-popcornish scent and creamy texture were a dead giveaway. Mystery solved.

This has been an emotionally charged gardening season for me. I rant about it later, trust me. However, I had fun uncovering the Mystery of the Squash. Also, I think I might grow some delicatas on purpose in 2019. What is the greatest surprise that ever cropped up in your garden? Share in the comments!

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