On a visit to the local pumpkin patch last weekend, I was set on picking out just the right pumpkin. Even though I wasn't carving it, I selected a pretty standard orange guy, convinced that I was playing it safe. I loved the gray and green varieties but wasn't sure whether they could be eaten. Boy, was I wrong:Turns out the gorgeous silvery green variety I was so drawn to visually is an heirloom squash that's packed with taste: the Jarrahdale. Inside of that beautiful skin is a thick, bright orange, sweet flesh. Upon learning this, I made a quick jaunt back to the patch just to pick one up. Move over, orange carving pumpkin (which really isn't bred for eating, but for ease of carving), and make room for your new green friend!
Just a quick plug for the amazing local pumpkin patch I'm frequenting (it's sure to become a tradition): It's Schaake's just outside of Lawrence, Kansas, where the crowds overflow every autumn weekend. There are 35 varieties of pumpkins available for you to pick from the vine yourself out in the Schaake family's 24-acre patch.
For a beautiful look at and more information on 8 heirloom pumpkins, check out this New Green Cuisine feature at Daily Green.
Have you prepared heirloom pumpkins and squash for any fall dishes this year? Let us know how you're using them!
(Images: Regina Yunghans)