Blue Hubbard Squash

The temperature dipped below freezing last night, we are past the point where the frost is on the pumpkins. Our heating needs, at this mild initial stage of the season of snow and ice, is completely taken care of by our air source heat pump. It will continue to heat our home until the outdoor temperature falls to -7C, then the oil furnace will take over. It will be interesting to note the date when the oil furnace starts up for the first time.

We thought about taking a drive out to the Rideau Camp today, but decided against it. Well, Attila decided against it, I didn’t really have a preference one way or the other. The bedroom window project needs to be finished and the curtains rehung for the winter, and he says he has a long list of small projects he wants to tackle this weekend. Who am I to deter a man with a mission.

When I look out the front window of our house, I can see 11 large pumpkins on people’s front steps, which have now been exposed to a night of below freezing temperature, rendering them unsuitable for processing as food. They will be thrown into the garbage. It seems a shame, that is a lot of food to throw away. It is difficult to believe that children go hungry in a country where food is used as a disposable decoration. But they do. They don’t usually live in pleasant urban subdivisions, or have adults around them who would know how to cook a pumpkin, even if they had the facilities to do it in.

Waste Not, Want Not
“This proverbial saying was first recorded in 1772 but had an earlier, even more alliterative version, willful waste makes woeful want (1576).”
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Does our species believe we have outgrown this adage?

It never gets old, or does it! We are processing the large Blue Hubbard Squash today. Attila estimates it weighs over 40 pounds, he is usually quite accurate in these kinds of estimations. It is difficult to cut, so Attila took on most of that job. Personally, I think a wielded machete or ax would be the most appropriate way to get these monsters cracked open. Attila used a small knife very effectively. After removing the seeds, the sectioned squash filled two large roasting pans, the ones we cook 20 lb. turkeys in. I managed to lift them into the oven, and luckily they both fit on the rack. The rack sagged under the weight of the squash, but retained its integrity. After baking for an hour and half the squash was ready to be removed from the skin, to be processed in the food processor. I always wait until the squash is completely cooled to begin this process, which is tedious and time consuming. This squash yielded eight litres of squash puree.

DSCF1503 Blue Hubbard Squash: The Big One

DSCF1526 Blue Hubbard Squash: Ready To Puree

We have three more Blue Hubbard Squash, and two Butternut Squash, still to process.

Sister-The-Middle-Girl is visiting her daughter, who is in Medical School, and there is a nearby Maple Syrup producer that I have favoured for the last 25 years. She just texted me that she has picked up two 4 litre jugs of maple syrup for us, which I can reimburse her for the next time we connect. What a treat this will be. I do not consume much sugar, but I do enjoy a teaspoon of real Canadian maple syrup in my morning coffee. Maple syrup just like Grandpa used to make.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 11:00 AM EDT Saturday 4 November 2017
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 103.0 kPa
Tendency: Rising
Temperature: 4.0°C
Dew point: 0.6°C
Humidity: 78%
Wind: ENE 14 km/h
Visibility: 24 km


“It is great wealth to a soul to live frugally with a contented mind.”
First century BC

“Frugality includes all the other virtues.”
106 BC – 43 BC

“Thrift is the best means of thriving.”
Charles J. Hare
1796 – 1855

“The cost of a thing is the amount of what I call life which is required to be exchanged for it, immediately or in the long run.”
Henry David Thoreau
1817 – 1862

“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.”
Pablo Picasso
1881 – 1973

Funny though, I doubt any of these fellows would be preserving pumpkins, or squash, for the winter.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patricks Day to all.

St. Patricks Day this year turned out to be rather special. It is March Break here in Ontario, which means that the Grandbabies had a week off school. Luna and Janus brought them all to visit their Auntie Terra and Uncle Lares for a few days. They invited me to join them visiting a sugar shack at a conservation area today, and since I always love seeing the Grandbabies, I accepted the invitation.

I drove Tank to the Conservation Area, I was taking no chances on ruining their day. If my knee gave out, I would be able to transport myself home immediately, without needing assistance or having to interrupt their outing. Elf decided he wanted to ride with me in Tank, so we spent a half an hour chatting during our trip there. It is always interesting listening to the perspective of an eight year old. We talked about many things, and he had a lot of questions. I told him what I thought, he told me what he thought, we both enjoyed ourselves!

There was a lot of walking during the outing, and I declined ascending a steep set of stairs to observe an exhibit at the top of a ridge. By that time I had walked some distance, and had been standing for over an hour. I felt it was best not to push my luck. A good time was had by all. As we prepared to leave, I invited them all for supper, and it was decided that this would be a grand idea. So the three Grandbabies hopped into Tank with me, and off we went, while the other adults headed off to do various errands before making their way to my house.

We had a great time singing as we drove back to the little house in the city. When we arrived the Grandbabies immediately found our stash of toys and got busy entertaining themselves. I headed down to the freezer and found some meat to make a spaghetti sauce. Everyone enjoyed a big spaghetti dinner, and then they all bundled themselves into their van and set off for the three hour journey home.

The only down side of the visit was that Attila was not here to see them, they asked where he was over and over again. I gave them all big hugs for him, which was fun.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 2:00 PM EDT Tuesday 17 March 2015
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 0.4°C
Dewpoint: -12.7°C
Humidity: 37%
Wind: NNW 31 gust 54 km/h


“All things great are wound up with all things little.”
L. M. Montgomery
1874 – 1942