How Does Your Garden Grow?

An opportunity arrived for Scarlett to go back to Georgia and visit an old friend over the July 4th holiday. The location was Greensboro, GA just outside of Madison ( a historic part of GA where Sherman did not burn all of the antebellum homes on his way to Savannah). This area is full of lovely plantation homes lacking the plantation land as it goes for a premium for development both commercial and residential. But, don’t think for a minute that they lack beauty. Most being in historic areas, they have been kept up and shine with lovely gardens and curb appeal. The trip came with little internet, little cell phone service and no TV. What a great chance to unwind and take in the peace and quiet of a front porch on a farm away from the city lights and noise except for the occasional train in the distance.

Scarlett’s gal pal owns this shop and has been on This Old House and the Antiques Road Show many times as a historic home authority.It is located in Greensboro, GA (formerly in Savannah, GA).

We shelled beans, fed donkeys and cats, watched sunsets over a glass of wine, enjoyed a local jazz concert and had a few of her friends over for a country eatin’ July 4th BBQ of smoked ribs and turkey, beans with small potatoes, squash casserole, a fresh salad and a glazed pound cake with berries with fireworks in the background. The sunsets from the porch were awesome every night and every day brought the bluest of skies with puff clouds floating thru looking as if they were lit from within by the sun. It was heaven.

A beautiful Southern afternoon
A typical sunset from the front porch…ahhhhhhh!

A few times she called home to make sure the new garden she had planted was being watered and that those at home missed her, of which they did. Once home again, she ventured out to see what veggies may have started coming on when to her surprise there were zucchini, cucumbers, a few pole beans and patty pan squash as big as your head! No kidding they were as big as a dinner plate and there were 5 of them already. So, what do you do with squash that large? You make Squash pizza, you make squash stir fry and you make an old fashioned squash custard pie. There are two recipes below to try and see which you prefer.

Bring a little Southern country to your next dinner table. Turn off the TV put the phone up sit on a front porch and enjoy some pie. Take in the beauty around you and be grateful for the day…

As big as your head Patty Pans

Patty Pan Squash Pie Recipe:

2 cups of steamed and pureed squash

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk (half and half or cream if you prefer)

1/2 cup sugar with 1 Tbsp of flour mixed in

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp. salt

½ tsp ginger

1 9″ pie crust bottom only

Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. (cool the squash first) Pour into the pie crust and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and or nutmeg if desired. Bake on middle rack of oven at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes. Insert a butter knife in the center, if it comes out clean it’s done.

Tastes like custard pie and is delicious warm or cool.

Another Patty Pan Squash custard pie

In Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375F

Find a deep-dish, 9-10″ wide pie plate and use a pre made pie crust shell

Filling Ingredients:

20 oz. patty pan squash (or other summer squash such as crookneck, or zucchini), peeled, seeded, and sliced

1/2 cup sugar, with 1 tsp flour mixed in

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ginger

1/2 tsp nutmeg

3 eggs

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup milk

Make the filling:

Check over the raw squash, ensuring that the fluffy portion in the center which contains the seeds is cut out.   Steam the squash until done.

Drain the squash thoroughly, then put the cooked slices on a couple of paper towels and flip once to remove any excess water.

Put the cooked squash in a food processor bowl with blade attached.  Process until very smooth puree (15 to 30 seconds). 

Add the sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger, and nutmeg.  Process until blended.  Then add the eggs and process until combined.  Finally, add the cream and milk, processing until blended.Ladle filling into the refrigerated crust. Bake at 375F for about an hour or until puffed, and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Ladle the mixture into the pastry shell and bake at 375 for an hour.
(If the edges are browning too much or too quickly, take a long strip of aluminum foil, fold in half, then fit it lightly around the crust.  You can also reduce the temp. to 350 and extend the time by 10 minutes if necessary.