Sunday, July 31, 2016

THWARTING THE CRITTERS

Have you ever had this happen to you? I might have but a stop to it if I hadn't been away for several weeks. When I came home from vacation one year I found something had been having a fine old feast on my butternut squash. Just look at those teeth marks.


This year I decided to make their job a little more difficult and it paid off. I have quite a nice crop.


Early on in the season, just as the fruit were starting to develop, I covered them with the mesh bags I have been saving all year. They came from onions, grapefruit and even the green expandable bags with which they protect wine bottles. I left on vacation feeling comfortable that they were safe. I just wish we had had a little rain in our 5 week absence. However, most of them are just perfect for 2 people. Butternut squash risotto is the favorite but roasted is also a favorite. Halved, drizzled with  olive oil, sprinkled with salt, pepper and dried oregano and roasted in the oven until tender. Then, as a main course, topped with sautéed red onion, yellow bell pepper, left over barbecued corn and topped with parmesan cheese.


You can eat every scrap-even the skin. With a side salad it makes a great vegetarian meal.

7 comments:

  1. You're clearly reaping the rewards of thwarting the critters this year! I tried both mesh bags and paper bags on my grape clusters last year - they kept away the birds and squirrels but not the raccoons and the grapes didn't ripen properly. For some reason, this year the raccoons left us at least some of the grapes. I've given up on vegetables entirely.

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    1. My son tried to do the same thing with his grapes in Phoenix and had the same experience.

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  2. I am laughing. One year somebody carried off an almost fully grown +12 inch Tromboncini squash without leaving a sign. Whodunnit? Today I had my first Armenian cucumber after removing the thigh high nylon stocking. Same problem for gardeners everywhere, eh?

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  3. What a great harvest! That dish looks incredible. My mouth is watering.

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  4. Looks and sounds yummy. And how nice to hear that someone has managed to outwit some critters!

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  5. Butternut squash risotto?! Do share a recipe please!

    We use butternut squash (and other squashes) for soup here all autumn and winter long :)

    PS - What the heck attacked your butternuts the other? A chupacabra?

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    1. I use Rachel Ray's recipe. Half it for 2 people and roast the cubed butternut squash.
      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/butternut-squash-risotto-recipe.html

      I have no idea which rodent did this but he sure had a feast.

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