I took these photos on the 31st August, I want to try to capture the Crookneck Squash growing under a dense canopy of broad green leaves, capture a glimpse of the bright yellows under the leaves. Capture a glimpse of what is to come.
Both me and my camera struggled, me on my knees bending and seeking a shot, bright sunshine all around then peering into the dark and under the canopy. Trying to focus on a particular flower or bud in amongst the jungle-jumble of leaves.
I wanted to capture a moment.
I’ve been waiting for these Summer Squash, ALL summer. It has taken them from sometime in mid June when I planted them to finally flower and produce fruit in September.
September means we are on the cusp of the last throes of Summer and the early sightings of Autumn. The seasons are changing and things are slowly moving on. Chatting with a friend at the weekend she said she felt like she is still waiting for summer to happen, I know how she feels. Just as I’m getting there the seasons are telling me other things. The first cool morning on Friday, sitting on the doorstep drinking tea I needed a fleece; Saturday a party and barbecue at a friend’s beach hut with a cool wind was blowing on the beach, meant I huddled under a mohair blanket for part of the afternoon, thinking I could do with a flask of soup not a salad. As the evening approached and I tucked into a fruit salad I thought us Brits are a tough old bunch!
The evenings are drawing in, the tides are at their highest and lowest exposing the shipwrecked Amsterdam, it is barely visible at other times of year, but around the equinox we see it. And as the equinox approaches I know change is around the corner.
I not sure if I’m ready for change, I haven’t had those prolonged hot days of summer, I’m not sure if I’m ready for dank autumn days or short cold-snappy winter days. It doesn’t feel right somehow.
Who knows what Autumn and Winter will bring, the plot needs a huge amount of work, a good thorough clean up and change around. More work needs to be sought. Maybe even a holiday thought of and planned. You see more change! Right now all these changes are making me feel uncertain and in part overwhelmed. So many things To Do. Decisions To Be Made.
The first decision needs to be to accept change, no matter what I do, sow or plant, harvest or cook the seasons are changing.
Today is a bright sunny blue sky day, without my sunglasses I squint into the sun as I sip my morning tea. The sun is weaker, lower, giving a different kind of light. It all feels a bit crooked. Topsy-turvey if you will.
Maybe we’ll have an Indian Summer? So three cheers for the last hurrahs of Summer, Summer Squash !
The last photo was taken on the 3rd of September three days after those first flowers emerged.
Crookneck Summer Squash ~ a warm salad for a warm evening
For a salad or side dish for two people use two to three small Summer Squash. Top and tail the squash, slice the long thin neck into rings and then slice the body lengthways into two and then again, then chop the slices into small chunks.
Peel and chop a clove of garlic, more if you like garlic
In a bowl add a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and a handful of chopped mint
Heat a frying pan with lots of olive oil, maybe 2 or 3 tablespoons full, when it is hot add the squash and fry and shake the squash for about 3 minutes, add the garlic and keep frying and shaking the pan until the squash and garlic are cooked – still crunchy but cooked and ever so slightly browned at the edges.
Add the squash, and the oil to the bowl of red wine vinegar and mint. Season with salt and pepper. Gently toss the squash so that all the oil, vinegar and herbs are mixed in. You can serve it straight away or leave to cool for 10 minutes, and eat it slightly warmed.