I saw that last week that my local Kroger had winter squash on sale, so I got 2 HUGE butternut squash. I've really been wanting to try canning my own pumpkin and winter squash!
Some people might wonder why go through the work to can squash / pumpkin when it's already so shelf stable? Well, the idea appeals to me for several reasons.
1.) Laziness! It's a lot of work to somehow chop through these monsters and carve them up. It definitely does not qualify as a quick-and-easy weeknight dinner by any stretch of the imagination.
2.) They're huge! One butternut squash or pumpkin is usually waaaaay more than just 2 people can eat in one meal, and Jack's not a huge fan of leftovers.
3.) We might not like it! I don't have a huge repertoire of tried-and-true squash recipes (see reasons #1 and #2), but I'd like to. So that means I'll be trying new recipes that we might or might not like. I don't want to end up with a refrigerator FULL of leftovers from a meal we weren't wild about but now feel guilt-induced to eat anyways.
So I peeled and chopped the butternut squash into 1-inch cubes, boiled them for 2 minutes, and pressure canned them for 90 minutes per the instructions found here. The 2 butternut squash turned into 7 quart jars, which is exactly how much will fit into the pressure canner in 1 load so I was pretty happy about that.
Here is one of the recipes I can't wait to try with the canned squash, from the book "The Feast Nearby" by Robin Mather.
Thai-Style Squash Soup
4 c. chicken broth
1 quart squash / pumpkin chunks, drained
2 tsp fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c. peanut butter
2 TBS rice vinegar
2 TBS chopped scallions
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
1/3 c. milk
Combine the broth, squash, ginger, garlic, and pepper flakes in your soup pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to low, cover and simmer for around 20 minutes. Puree the soup until smooth, and whisk in the peanut butter, vinegar, scallions, milk, and a pinch of the cilantro. Serve, sprinkling more cilantro in each bowl.