We will have squash at our Thanksgiving dinner, and the first and best option for dealing with squash – pumpkins, acorn, butternut, and spaghetti, just to name a few kinds – is to eat them. But the ample harvest this season (and the aftermath of Halloween) got us talking about what else one might do with a squash that is unfit for eating.
- Cook it up. Squash can be tricky and time consuming to peel, so we look for recipes that let us roast it with the peel on. We like this soup recipe.
- Hollow it out and use it as a vase. (If it’s a pumpkin you can save the seeds and roast them.) Voila, centerpiece for the grownup table.
- Offer a Thanksgiving buffet to the local wildlife. We learned this from the fate of our decorative Halloween pumpkins. We had to bust up a major squirrel party.
- Play pin the nose on the squash (see also Mr. Squash Head above). Outdoor fun while waiting for dinner to be ready.
- Drop it from a high place or catapult it and see what happens. Years ago David Letterman did this with melons in a New York parking lot and it looked a lot like a pastel fireworks display. Note: don’t aim it at the house or traffic and be prepared to clean it up!
- Do some squash math. You can have contest to guess the weight, guess the number of seeds, or compete to see how far you can roll it down the yard or driveway.
- Make candles out of squash. Leave it to Martha Stewart to give us a detailed tutorial on making candles out of a hollowed out squash
- Dig into your Toy Story toys and make a Mr. and Mrs. Squash Head. Perfect centerpiece for the kid’s table, right?
- Set up a game of squash bowling. Paint or draw numbers on several (ten if you want to be official) butternut squash, set them up on a flat stretch of lawn (you’ll have to rake the leaves out of the way, sorry about that) and bowl them down with a stemless pumpkin. Score!
- Make a bird feeder. More often this is done with gourds but hollowing out a squash and loading it with bird seed should work even if it will not last as long as the gourd. The challenge will be to find a way that feeds the birds but thwarts the squirrels – good luck with that.
Happy Thanksgiving from everyone at Tumblehome Learning!