I love the fact that as a seasoned gardener I still get surprised by things….I mean really surprised, to the point of almost mirthful laughter. I recall being astonished a few years ago to discover the shovel-headed flatworm (Bipalium sp.) in my school garden.
|Not exactly cute, but remarkable nonetheless, though the creature did drop in my esteem when I discovered it preys on earthworms.|
I later found out that it is invasive, so perhaps it had just arrived, but I had the distinct sense of having missed it right under my nose for a good, long time. Same goes with the asparagus beetle. Oh, there’s a red beetle on the asparagus fronds, must be a ladybird….NOT! One day, for whatever reason, I looked at it closely and realized it was something different, which sent me running to my Garden Insects tome for an ID.
|Clearly not a ladybug, but I hadn’t looked closely enough to know.|
Such was the case when I recently found a Tromboncino summer squash, which heretofore I have regarded only as delectable in its immature stage.
|Here is what I associate with Tromboncino…a tender, tasty summer squash.|
In fact, I have never even let one go past the tender green stage because my goal has been to get as much harvest as possible from this delicious, firm-fleshed, almost comical addition to the summer table. Well, lucky for me that one vine crept under a bush, put out a flower, and grew a squash to maturity, all hidden from my view. With winter’s die back, I recently found a rather large, completely tan curlicue which I took home to cook and finally got in the oven last night.
|And here is what I now have to include in my mental Tromboncino file – a not so bad winter squash as well.|
Wow! What a surprise! It was like learning that a good friend, who I already knew was a painter, was an accomplished pianist as well (no fair!). That darn summer squash was now also a winter squash, and as I cut into it, I could have sworn that it was a thin Butternut. It held up to cooking pretty well, too. It was a little more watery than a Butternut, but not much. Plus, good maple syrup covers minor defects in winter squash pretty well.
|Are there any who would dispute this flesh is not Butternuttish enough for you?|