Appalachia Gardening

Yellow Squash

Yellow Crooked Neck Squash

Yellow Squash has been a favorite veggie of mine since I was a child. I’m hoping this year’s garden brings a bumper crop. Last Summer’s tremendous rain fall caused our squash plants to grow to gigantic proportions and then sort of bust from the extraordinary amount of moisture leaving most of the squash rotting on the vines.

Sow True Seed, which sponsors the Blind Pig Garden, generously donated enough squash seeds for me to share with Blind Pig & the Acorn Squash Reporters @ Large this year.

The donated seeds were a combination of several different varieties of squash-from yellow crooked necked to pumpkins-with more than a few that I had never heard of.

 

I ask Pap and Granny if their parents grew yellow squash when they were kids. Granny said the state took their garden to build the new 4-lane, and she couldn’t remember what her mother planted before that.

Pap said-they grew a different kind of squash. By his description-I’d guess it was a Cushaw. He remembered it lasted longer than yellow squash, was a light orange tan color and seemed tougher like a pumpkin. His mother cubed it then fried it with sugar and water-kinda like sweet potatoes.

Seems everyone in our area grows yellow squash. Pap said it was in the early 60’s or 70’s when yellow squash first became popular in this area.

Not one of my myriad of squash have blooms so far-but I’m thinking it won’t be long. I’m anxious to see how the new varieties turn out for me-as well as for the reporters @ large. I know some of you are interested in seeing how it all shakes out too.

Tipper

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19 Comments

  • Reply
    Quinn
    June 13, 2014 at 7:26 am

    My squash plants are just beginning to get their leaves, so actual squash is quite a ways off! It’s been a peculiar Spring here, and I’m just trying to be patient and watchful, so the bugs don’t get more than their share of anything. Fingers crossed!

  • Reply
    Lanie
    June 12, 2014 at 8:19 am

    I’m getting a ton of yellow squash from my sow true plants! We love squash any way you cook it. My favorite way is just stewed with onions.

  • Reply
    Roy Pipes
    June 12, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Once squash comes in it to hard to keep them picked off.
    Once in church the Sunday School director told the congregation to be sure to lock their cars. If you don’t someone will put squash in your car.

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    June 11, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    It’s been fun reading how other people eat them. The only way I’ve ever had them is creamed.

  • Reply
    RB
    June 11, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    I never had yellow squash (which some call “crook neck”) until I moved down south to Atlanta, then I loved it no matter how it was cooked. My favorite way though is in fritters or just crispy plain fried, but I do love them in casseroles and just plain stewed too.
    When I worked in Atlanta, I had a boss who grew them one year nearly as big as baseball bats (no kidding). On a visit up to NYC, he took one along to cook for some friends there who’d never had them, and security stopped him at the airport there to ask him what the heck it was. Nowadays, they’d be frisking you and making you put it through all their machines. How times have changed, huh. LOL
    God bless.
    RB
    <><

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    June 11, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    We raised several varieties of squash when we lived on the farm, now I stick with yellow straight necks which I love raw in salads, fried or in casseroles. I am already gathering squash and my plants are full of remaining blossoms.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike, PhD
    June 11, 2014 at 7:06 pm

    Tipper: I don’t have the courage to try to grow many vegetables. We have strawberrie and tomatoes behind a wire fence. As for squash,I have grown accustom to the KROGER variety. Like someone noted our storm yesterday would have just ruined a garden.
    Jim is doing good on the mandoline and plays along with THE GANG when I have them singing. Keep it up!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes
    June 11, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    My True Sow Yellow Squash have blooms, but not a single squash. I am hoping the heat does not kill them all. The Red Greek variety has stalled, big green leaves and very few blooms. The Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Squash have blooms finally, but are still lagging behind. I planted them the last week of March.Wish me luck.

  • Reply
    dolores
    June 11, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    I have never tried to grow squash as I am the only one who loves to eat it. I did see in a catalog that there is a type of dish that can be placed under the vegetables with holes in it to keep the vegetable from laying on the ground directly. Maybe just a piece of plastic with drainage holes would work the same. I sometimes am lucky enough to receive some from a garden friend. Then I eat squash for many nights with dinner.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    June 11, 2014 at 11:26 am

    Tipper,
    When I was growing up we had Patty Pan,
    Candy Roasters, Cushaws, and Crook Necks. I didn’t plant any this year at
    all, unwelcomed visitors cleaned mine
    out, all but 3 last year. If this daily rain and storms don’t end soon, it’ll be just like last year. Yesterday, when
    the shade came over, I started putting
    in bean stakes and got run out by these terrible wind storms and rain. My power got knocked out for over 4
    hours too…Ken

  • Reply
    Mrs. K
    June 11, 2014 at 10:23 am

    We love yellow crookneck squash and eat a lot of it. I just either boil it or roast it and then add lots of butter and some salt, simple but yummy.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    June 11, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Tipper–They are just coming in, and already I see the bane of anyone anxious to be a squire of squash–bugs. From vine borers to squash beetles, I can’t think of any plant which gives me more consistent trouble. There’s a precious plenty early in the cycle and then a slow sure death at the hand of bugs.
    As for recipes, I like them most any way, but it is hard to beat them coated in stone-ground cornmeal and fried in grease left after browning up a few pieces of streaked meat.
    Jim Casada
    http://www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    June 11, 2014 at 9:54 am

    We grew both Cushaw and yellow crookneck squash on my father’s farm in Choestoe, Union County, Ga. Our favorite way to eat yellow squash was to slice them, sprinkle with both meal and flour and add salt and pepper to taste, and fry in a cast iron pan. Delicious! The cushaw came in later, and we used it to make “cushaw” or “squash” pies like we would pumpkin and also to cook as a vegetable, slightly sweetened. Yellow squash now has many recipes–not just our “old” fried recipe. But we didn’t do the batter of beaten eggs, dip the squash in it, and then add the flour/cornmeal mixture. The frozen squash bought now, if to fry, has this “cling to” mixture on them and need to be fried in deep fat.

  • Reply
    Barry
    June 11, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Tipper, those squash your Pap’s family cubed and cooked with sugar were likely a variant of the butternut squash. They grew nearly the size of a cushal. My mom halved them, put brown sugar and sorghum in them and baked them wrapped in foil under the fireplace grate.
    I still try to grow butternut squash but these we have today don’t get as big.

  • Reply
    Barbara Gantt
    June 11, 2014 at 8:42 am

    My Cushaw have sprouted and looking good. My yellow squash plants, not seed from Sow True Seed, are not doing well. A lot of people in my area are having problems with their yellow squash plants. The leaves are turning yellow then papery looking.
    I don’t remember my Daddy growing yellow squash. He grew Cushaw. Granny cooked them. My Mom never did. I had an Uncel that grew yellow squash by the time I was in high school, so mid 60″2. He would bring them to my Mom. She would slice them, roll in corn meal and fry them. Never heard of them cooked any other way until I was grown and married. Barbara

  • Reply
    Belva
    June 11, 2014 at 8:25 am

    I love yellow squash. I love to watch it grow. One morning you have a beautiful bloom and it seems like just overnight you have a squash ready to eat. My favorite way to eat them is to stew them down with butter and green onions until they start to brown in the butter. I usually add about a tablespoon of brown sugar and lots of black pepper. I love them in a casserole, grilled on the grill, roasted in the oven, and battered and fried. I guess you could just say I love squash period!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    June 11, 2014 at 7:59 am

    Tip, those older kinds of squash, like Pap is talking about, were a much hardier variety. They could be stored for a while. The newer yellow squash has almost no shelf life. You have to cook it soon or it falls apart. But, my goodness, it sure is good fresh picked!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    June 11, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Tipper,
    We picked one little pitiful looking squash this week. You know how sometimes the first one’s and last ones kinda give you a false start and end! We had lots of blooms and lots of female blooms so we should’ve had squash this week that is if…..we can get our plants back!
    Yep, we had a terrific, straight- line wind thunderboomer last night and I expect some of those blooms are over on the other side of the mountain. If anyone finds them before noon, you can pick them up, dip them in a good batter and fry them up for your lunch, please do so they at least, won’t go to waste!
    I can remember my Dad speaking of Crookneck Yellow Squash back in the fifties..Crookneck was the first squash he planted when he finally made him a postage stamp garden after we bought our little house. This little garden grew to a long rectangular shape, and was added more tomatoes, onions, radishes and his “love” crookneck yellow squash. Mom teased him that he must be gonna put in ‘baccer! He said, “H— No! that he had enough of the ‘baccer patch and fields when he was a boy!” He sure could fry up a pan Crookneck! I don’t know how he did it…I have tried many times to duplicate his fried squash but never get it to look and taste like his. He learned to cook when he was in college at one of those diners of the thirties!
    I love Crookneck many different ways. Of course fried, cut in chunks and steamed with butter (if they get too large). Cut in half and baked with a little sprinkle of garlic salt and parmesean cheese and spritzed with butter, pickled, small ones cut up in salads or sticks with a dip (healthy dip of course!)…My Crookneck squash sees company with other vegetables in soup and stir-fry too. Like Forrest Gumps shrimp, there are many ways and recipes for mostly the never-fail Yellow Crookneck Squash, unless of course a strong summer storm blows into another county…errr state!
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS..I always hear it referred to as Yellow Crookneck, always…do you know if there is a red, blue, orange or purple Crookneck!…Just pondering!

  • Reply
    Richard Beauchamp
    June 11, 2014 at 6:24 am

    I had my first yellow squash for supper last night. It was delicious , but the plants are not looking good . One has died and I suspect squash bores.

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