Green-Striped Cushaws

green striped cushaw

Ever hear of a green-striped cushaw, aka Tennessee Sweet Potato Squash? It can be used as a fun decoration or eaten as a tasty “pumpkin” pie. I first grew it about twenty-five years ago when we lived south of Kansas City, well over one hundred miles south of our present home. I’d forgotten about them until last winter when I noticed them in a seed catalog and decided I need to try them again.

I started one green-striped cushaw seed last May in a grow/light box and transplanted it to our clay-filled hill garden. The plant spreads like a pumpkin—all over the place, and it’s normally prolific. However, this summer has not been a normal growing season. The excessive rains made it the worst gardening season I’ve ever experienced. The cushaw kept setting on fruits but they would quickly rot. Finally, two fruits persevered and matured. The picture above shows one of them.

sliced cushaw

 Cushaws are great for autumn decorations, but they’re also great for pies. I processed this cushaw just as I would process a fresh pumpkin. I removed the stem, scooped out the seeds, and cut it up in large slices.

                                                                                             cushaw in pans

I placed the slices on baking sheets, drizzled them with olive oil, and set them in the oven for about 40 minutes at 450 degrees. After the slices had cooled, I peeled off the skins, put the meat or pulp in a food processor, and pureed them. I put 2 cups of puree in each freezer bag.

                                                                           cushaw puree

I think any pumpkin pie recipe would work great for cushaw, but here’s a recipe from American Food Roots for Sorghum-Sweetened Cushaw Pie that I plan to try during the holidays this year. Oh my, it’s not even Halloween and I’m already planning for the holidays!



Zucchini Brownie Recipe

By now,  zucchini plants should be in full production and gardeners everywhere are wondering what to do with all of their zucchini. After all, there is only so much bread a person can make!  One of the great things about zucchini is that it takes on the taste of anything you wish to put it with.  So chop it, shred it, slice it and add it to your spaghetti sauces,  your soups, your casseroles, your pizzas, and even your brownies.   Brownies???

Here is a great zucchini brownie recipe that came from The DeKalb County (Missouri) Sesquicentennial Cookbook that my mom gave me back in 1994.  Enjoy!


2 cups zucchini, shredded                                                    1 1/2 tsp baking soda

2 cups flour                                                                             1/2 cup cocoa

1 1/2 sugar                                                                               1/2 oil

2 tsp vanilla                                                                             1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt                                                                                   1/2 cup nuts (optional)

Sift all dry ingredients into a small bowl.  Combine zucchini, vanilla, and oil.  Gradually stir into dry ingredients. Add nuts. Lightly spray 10 x 15 jelly roll pan with cooking spray.  Pour batter into pan.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.