Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Sweet Dumpling


Sweet Dumpling is my favourite squash this year. It has the most pleasing colour and shape and the flavour's one of the best. It makes a fine soup owing to its hint of sweetness and is lovely when roasted or pan fried. Some pumpkins turn out a bit mealy and floury in their taste, but not this one. It's also a good size for NAH and me as a whole pumpkin will make enough soup for us without any head scratching over what to do with the kilos of flesh left over. There's usually plenty of fruit on each plant and I've found they store well into January or February too.

The only drawback thus far has been its tendency to take a looooooong time to germinate. I'd almost given up on having any this year, but I'm glad I held on for a couple of days before consigning the compost to the bin. It took a whole 4 weeks for the first seed leaf to appear. I suspect our very cold start to the growing season didn't help, but sheesh 4 weeks is a long time in my experience all the other cucurbits I sowed at the same time couldn't wait to get going.

But seeing these three on my table outside last week and all is forgiven. What's been your favourite squash or pumpkin this year?

12 comments:

  1. Curious to know whether you've tried roasting them with skin on ?

    We grew some potimarron this year & when de-seeded, cut into chunks and roasted (seasoned & with splash of olive oil)they were superb. As the name suggests, they had a sweet chestnut taste & texture. Definitely one to try again next yr & perhaps a taste test v. your sweet dumpling. :-)

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  2. They look gorgeous! I love 'Jack-be-little' as you can roast them whole in the microwave for a quick snack, but I've not had much success growing squash in pots. This year the butternut took over the patio and we only got 7 fruit from 3 plants. Might try another smaller variety next year.

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  3. Will be interested in the feedback you get on favourite squashes as I willactually have space to grow some next year and I love squashes.

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  4. They are beautiful, pure art, they are almost to pretty to put I knife in.

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  5. Hi. Lovely pretty squashes. We grew butternut squashes (Harrier F1) which were disappointingly small in both size and number - taste good though. We also grew Crown Prince for the first time, which are amazing - large fruit with cool grey skins and wonderful deep orange flesh that smells like melon. We have roasted the innards of one so far and it was really sweet and tasty - looking forward to more. We also grew some pumpkins "Giant Pam" which weren't very giant, but we got a good crop most of which are around 1.5kg - big enough for soup or curry for 5-6 people per fruit, and the seeds roasted are very tasty too... Next year I have some more exotic varieties to try instead of the butternuts, which are apparently not good growers in the UK, and our anecdotal evidence this year would concur...

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  6. how much space did your sweet dumplings take?

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  7. I grew Sweet Dumpling last year but got 1 measly fruit which was about 4" across. I was sure they must grow bigger than that as the flesh inside mine was almost non eistant.
    This year I grew Small Sugar and Sucrette - both excellent, not overly large and and with tasty deep orange flesh. I recommend both.

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  8. I haven't grown any but I have become a butternut squash addict this year - some great recipes in the recipe book 'Spooning with Rosie'

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  9. Sowed what I thought were pumpkins this year but they turned out to be courgettes :( Usually grow 'Rouge Vif D'Etampes' - Cinderella like - good for soup. Also like 'Uchiki Kuri'.

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  10. I grew Vif d'etampes and uchiki kuri this year. The plan was that both varieties would be small and numerous - didn't turn out like that. The uchiki kuri I only got three of and they were all small - but a wonderful shape and colour (a pic of one is the wallpaper on my phone!). The vif d'etampes grew into monsters which I wasn't expecting. I also grew butternut squash - terrible germination and only 4 fruit - but 4kg each! Mad. Texture and flavour of all three so much better than the monster Hundredweight I foolishly grew last year.

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  11. I grew the mini pumpkin Hooligan and have ten of them on the windowsill in the spare room. All are going a lovely warm looking yellow to orange colour except one which is white and green just like your Sweet Dumplings!
    Flighty xx

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  12. Simon - yes I have and they're superb :)

    Janet - I've grown Jack be Little too - another good one. Squash won't fare that well in pots - they're very hungry feeders. I often stick my plants in the manure heap up at the allotment and they love it!

    PG - looks like there's lots of suggestions for you to try from my fellow commenters :) Also did you see the GI article about them this month. Can't fault the recommendations there either.

    Tyra - that's exactly what I thought, so I took a 'still life' of them first.

    hillwards - welcome! Giant Pam sounds good for just the 2 of us. Crown Prince is very good, but just a tad too large for us. Interested in your roasting seeds - are they coated seeds which you then have to extract the edible part from? I have grown a variety without the seed coat, so they weren't as fiddly, and were delicious.

    Petoskystone - I grew 4 plants in a 4ft x 10ft plot. They did try and escape from there though!

    EG - last year was a bad squash year all round because of our cool, wet, sunless summer. Quite the opposite to what squashes want! I like the sound of your varieties from this year :)

    Mark - I reviewed a squash and pumpkin recipe book a couple of weeks ago and I've very much enjoyed trying out the recipes from there

    Anna - I've heard mixed reports on yr first one, but I had some great Uchiki Kuri last year.

    Lu - yours was one of the good reports I was thinking of!

    Flighty - another one to try methinks!

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