Sunday Morning Garden Chat: Winter Squash


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Halloween special, from master gardener / photographer Ozark Hillbilly:

This is a Galeux d’ Eysines squash, a French type they favor for soups but I dearly love for its oh-so-sweet flesh. They say the more warts it has the sweeter it is. I use it a lot for baking.
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I love growing winter squash. In the spring one makes the mounds, amends them with plenty of compost and some fertilizer in the center, put 2 or 3 seeds in each mound, and then forget about them. By midsummer their foliage is so thick I can’t see the ground or what is growing down there. At least until the plants start dying back, usually late August/early September for me. And then I get to see what gustatory treasures await me.


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The big blue squash is a Jarrahdale and the 2 oblong ones on top are Delicatas.


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It was a while before I spotted this Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkin hanging on my bean trellis.


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Got to brag to the postman. L to R, Galeux, Winter Luxury, Jarrahdale, Kamo Kamo, Winter Luxury, and 3 Sweet Dumplings. Not pictured are the Delicatas and the Flat White Boer pumpkin.


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A Strawflower, just because.

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What’s going on in your gardens, this week?






103 replies
  1. 1
    Mary G says:

    That Galeax must be delicious, because it has plenty of warts! The first picture looks like a pile of packing peanuts stuck on a giant wad of used chewing gum. Very cool. I don’t think I have ever heard of any of these varieties or seen them in a store or a farmer’s market. Your postman is rightly impressed. Thanks for sharing, including the strawflower. They are a favorite.

  2. 2
    Elizabelle says:

    Beautiful squash. We need a squash recipes thread, too.

    And then I get to see what gustatory treasures await me.

    Yeah, that’s local hillbilly vernacular. LOL.

  3. 3
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    A robot called Sofia has been granted Saudi citizenship.

    Unfortunately she was later jailed after being caught trying to drive home.

  4. 4
    eclare says:

    I think I have seen Delicatas at the grocery, but that’s it. Great photos and agreed, recipes needed!

  5. 5

    Beautiful squash, and beautiful photography, too.

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Elizabelle: Ah has a thesaurus n’ Ah kin reads it too.

  7. 7
    Zinsky says:

    Beautiful pictures and a very interesting garden, Anne! You grow things I didn’t even know existed! Here in Minnesota, we got our first snow last Friday, so the gardening season came to a screeching halt! The week before we had 70 degrees, so go figure. Still have some outside work to do though, like taking down some trellises and cutting back some perennials for winter. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely Sunday!

  8. 8
    JPL says:

    Warts and all! Thanks Ozark for the pictures.

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    By midsummer their foliage is so thick I can’t see the ground or what is growing down there.

    Creepy.

    Cool photos, OzarkHillbilly.

  10. 10
    Bostonian says:

    Here in Boston I haven’t planted my garlic yet because I’m still picking tomatoes. I don’t recall ever seeing tomatoes growing this late before. We’ll be picking them in November.

  11. 11
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Elizabelle: @eclare:

    French Pumpkin Soup This is my 3rd year growing the Galeux and before I only had one mound for them and only got one pumpkin. Not a very productive plant but ohh what a payoff. This year I did 2 mounds and got 4 of them. I gave one to a gardening friend for them to fall in love with and even then with 3 I feel rich beyond all my dreams. This is the first year I feel I have enuf to try some soups, so I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe.

    Butternut Squash Soup from the French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook Every grocery store everywhere has butternuts so I don’t bother growing them. This is a similar recipe to one I have used and is good.

    For the Delicatas and Sweet Dumplings a good basic baking recipe (works for Acorn Squash too) is to split them in half, scoop out the seeds, score the flesh with a knife, liberally rub some butter around the insides, liberally sprinkle brown sugar in them, put them into a baking pan with 1/4″ of water, and pop them into a 400 degree oven for an hour, (or more in my oven) It’s hard to overcook them. They should be browning around the top and the flesh nice and soft all the way to the skin. Some add maple syrup to the butter/brownsugar mix (pro tip- always bake with REAL maple syrup, baking with the fake stuff doesn’t work, the maple flavor bakes away and all you are left with is corn syrup). Sometimes I like to add cinnamon or ginger.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    eclare says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Thank you!

  14. 14
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mary G: This is my first year growing straw flowers. I did 3 pots with them, 2 came up and one did not. Of the 2 that did, one pot never flowered. The pot that did, did not flower until August, but it is glorious: White and pink flowers, about a dozen blooms. I’m thinking I have them in the wrong place, afternoon sun only. Or it might have been just too hot for them. I will try them again next year in other locations.

  15. 15
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I love winter squash! I’m lucky because so do the farmers around here so every kind you grew plus more are easily available. I never knew the warty pumpkins were especially tasty though. Right now I have a cheese pumpkin, two butterkins, two small pie pumpkins, an acorn squash, and a buttercup squash in my cool pantry to tide me through winter.

    A good squash guide is here.

  16. 16
    satby says:

    @Bostonian: We had a frost a few days ago but it wasn’t enough to kill the vines. I was letting a few green tomatoes stay on until the next frost warning just to see if they keep going, but I pulled all the good sized ones to ripen inside. I agree though, almost November for garden tomatoes in the north seems so wrong.

  17. 17
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: That looks really good.

  18. 18
    satby says:

    @eclare: another recipe tip, look for grade B maple syrup to use for cooking or baking. It’s darker and stronger flavored so it holds up to baking better, giving more of the maple flavor.

  19. 19
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I make it a couple of times a year. It’s a nice change up from the usual squash soup. I put chunks of pumpkin or buttercup squash in my curried vegetables too, instead of sweet potatoes.

  20. 20
    eclare says:

    @satby: Thanks! And that recipe looks great!

  21. 21
    satby says:

    @eclare: The only trouble with both recipes is that I need to cut them in half or I have too much for just one person!

  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😐😐😐

  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    The pictures are beautiful. Everything just looks so Fall-ish.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning.

  25. 25
  26. 26
    satby says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: you know, I tried them this year with very similar results. Got one out of three growing but never got flowers at all. I may yet, because I brought the pot inside to overwinter in a sunny window.

    I grew a beautiful begonia this year, never had luck with them either. Now have to decide if I should repot it and bring it inside while it’s still blooming or let it die back and just lift the bulb.
    Anyone have any advice on begonias?

  27. 27

    @satby: You could make the big recipe and freeze individual portions. Think of how nice it would be to warm one up on a winter night.

  28. 28
    satby says:

    @rikyrah: Good morning ☕!

    @Raven: she looks great!

  29. 29
    satby says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): I have done that, yes. Now I need to confess my freezer sins 😱.

  30. 30
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: She went out in public like that. She can’t complain too much. Looks fun.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @Raven: Did you dress up as a bee?

    ETA: 🐝

  32. 32
  33. 33
    eclare says:

    @Raven: What was that costume? PS congrats on Dawgs, as expected, my Vols lost.

  34. 34
    satby says:

    It’s twenty to 8 and just beginning to lighten outside. Next week is fall back and I can’t wait. I want light in the morning!

  35. 35
    rikyrah says:

    @Raven:
    Great costume

  36. 36
    Raven says:

    @eclare: some plant we have in the front yard

  37. 37
    HeleninEire says:

    @satby: Clocks went back last night here. Which means it will be dark by 5 tonight, 4:15 in a few weeks. UGH.

    While the morning light is lovely, it doesn’t really matter here. In about a month it’ll be 8:15 when the sun comes up. And that is my ONLY complaint about living here.

  38. 38
    Raven says:

    @HeleninEire: yea, when we go to the beach in November the sun goes down at 4:30. Too!

  39. 39
    Raven says:

    @eclare: what an ass whippin, the Dawgs are on a rampage!

  40. 40
    JPL says:

    @Raven: I love the costume!

  41. 41
    satby says:

    @HeleninEire: @Raven: oh I know! I just adapt better to earlier light because I get up so early. Purely a personal preference because I don’t do a lot in the evening, I get home from my job close to 8 pm, when it’s time to wind down anyway.

  42. 42
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @satby: Back when I was working real jobs I hated the lack of AM light. One job, I was hanging drywall and we had to bring our own lights just so we could see what we were doing. A real pain in the ass.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    The squash are great looking and this is a great little squash story too- fun to read.

  44. 44
    Immanentize says:

    Ozark,. Excellent gourds. Do you make pie with the pie pumpkins?

    I still have celebrity, Roma and a few purple Cherokees on my vines here north of Boston. More, my peppers are still producing like crazy! Anaheims, poblanos, jalapenos, Tabasco. But my tomatillos are pretty much tapped out. Herb garden is also still going. What a weird year. We will probably get another 100 inch plus snow-winter as punishment.

  45. 45
    MazeDancer says:

    So impressive a harvest!

    And so many pepitas ahead, too!

  46. 46
    debbie says:

    We don’t get blue squash out here in Ohio.

  47. 47
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize:

    Do you make pie with the pie pumpkins?

    This is my first year growing them and I did so with that specific intent.

  48. 48
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I have my grandmother’s pumpkin pie recipe. No “all spice” for her — but a wonderful combination of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger and mace. So yummy.

  49. 49
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: that’s the best way!

  50. 50
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: I just pulled my sweet potatoes yesterday, got some ok sized ones and several small ones. The lack of rain hurt even though I tried to keep up with watering.
    I have the box of potatoes I planted late still going too. We may have another frost tonight, so we’ll see.

    Going to go get to figure out what pot to transplant my begonia in to bring inside. I should have done it before now, according to the growing guide I found online.

  51. 51
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: I want.

  52. 52
    Immanentize says:

    @satby: I assume you are planning some sweet potatoes pie?

  53. 53
    satby says:

    @MazeDancer: hey you! Long time, no see, but then I’m not on much at night when everyone comes out to play.

  54. 54
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I thought you might say that — i’m out of the house right now, but I will pull it out and leave it here soon.

  55. 55
    oldgold says:

    Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter?

  56. 56
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: not really enough for that and to just eat too. Pumpkin dump cake with some of the squash, for sure (with B grade maple syrup instead of the white sugar in the recipe). Yum!

  57. 57
    satby says:

    @oldgold: knowing you, I am a bit afraid to ask 😁

  58. 58
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou….

    I always want Grandma’s recipes.

  59. 59
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @oldgold: A headache?

  60. 60
    Immanentize says:

    @oldgold: Pi!

  61. 61
    satby says:

    I now have a dilemma. One hour until I have to get ready for work, do I repot a begonia, plant some more bulbs, or try to make the dump cake I suddenly crave? Decisions, decisions.

  62. 62
    oldgold says:

    A: Pumpkin pi.

    Afraid of me? Hell, Friday night someone here accused me of being a secret Rooskie. My neighbor DeeDee Plorable has suspected this for years!

  63. 63
    satby says:

    @Immanentize: I was afraid of that.
    @oldgold: Good one!

  64. 64
    satby says:

    @oldgold: afraid I would be of insufficient wit. And I was right, my old math professor would be ashamed of me.

  65. 65
    Spanky says:

    @Immanentize: Send it to Tamara so it can get front paged. I think it might be more popular than you may think. :^)

  66. 66
    MomSense says:

    Those winter squash look fantastic, OH.

    Happy Sunday, everyone.

  67. 67
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MazeDancer: Oh yes on the pepitas. My total harvest was the 4 Galeuxs, 2 Jarrahdale, 1 white boer, 4 winter luxury, 10 delicatas, 10 sweet dumplings, and about 2 dozen kamo kamos. They were knew to me this year and had no idea how productive they could be. I’ve been giving them away left and right. I don’t know they’re strong points for cooking so I’m going to do the basic baked squash to start with and see how that turns out, then I’ll start experimenting.

  68. 68
    oldgold says:

    Poets remind us how difficult it is to mend a broken heart.

    Fortunately it is easy to mend a Jack-o-lantern.

    Q: How?

  69. 69
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Hail to the chief: cyclist gives Trump the middle finger picture.

    Last week I saw where some guy mooned him from his apartment as trump went by. He said he wanted to do something to express his displeasure and it was all he could think of.

  70. 70
    raven says:

    @satby: I just finished making a sweet tater salad that my bride is taking to a women’s election event this afternoon.

  71. 71
    oldgold says:

    A: a pumpkin patch

  72. 72
    debbie says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I read about this last night, but it’s very cheering to see the photo.

  73. 73
    Immanentize says:

    My Grandmother (on my mother’s side) was born in 1891. Very Victorian power woman — raised on the farm, so smart, could do anything, was a grade school teacher for most of her adult life. Her first husband died of Tuberculosis at the TB Sanitorium on Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks. She was widowed at 24 with a daughter. Generally married women or those with children weren’t allowed to teach school. Luckily, her cousin (my mother’s namesake) was the school principal…. She remarried and thankfully had three more kids, my Mom included. Sometime I will share the story of her buying a car in the 20s after she recovered from yellow fever….
    Anyway, her pumpkin pie — Simple but perfectly delicious:
    Note:. She used to bake her pumpkins in the oven — deseeded and destemmed, cut in half and face down on baking trays. The fresher the spices, the better the pie. Recipe is for 1 pie:
    Pre-cook a pie crust in a10″ pie pan (I still have hers) or a 9″ deep dish…
    Then preheat oven to 450.
    2 cups cooked pumpkin
    3/4 cup brown sugar
    2 lg eggs beaten
    1 and 1/2 cups (whole) milk
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/ tsp ginger
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1/4 tsp mace
    1/4 tsp cloves
    Mix in order above; pour into prepared pie crust; bake @ 450 for 10 minutes; then @ 350 until pie is firm (toothpick test). Time varries (depending on pumpkin filling), but about an hour is average for my oven.

  74. 74
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @oldgold: Ouch.

  75. 75

    The squash at the top of the page looks like someone knit it.

  76. 76
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Immanentize: Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou…

  77. 77
    oldgold says:

    This year , with my usual attention to detail, I mistakenly bought white pumpkin seeds for West Eden.

    The Grandkids were quite disturbed by this. “Grandpa we like orange pumpkins!”

    Saved the day with them by informing them they were Vampire Pumpkins. They squealed with delight and ran for the house. One problem solved and another created. Now my daughters are pissed!

  78. 78
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @oldgold: I told the young’uns it was a ghost pumpkin. I like vampire better.

  79. 79
    cosima says:

    I cut back everything that needed cutting back last week, including a bit of dead-heading of my 5+ foot tall sunflowers. The sunflowers are still getting new blooms, which amazes me. Not sure if it will last, as the UK is supposed to see below zero (C) temps this week. My buddleia did have a butterfly visitor recently, but they are nearly gone, and not much insect interest in my sunflowers. I did not even know that I’d planted seeds for the sunflowers, must have been part of a wildflower mix I threw in a raised bed in the back, so no idea how to repeat my success with them next year. I can’t have them in the same bed, because they nearly killed other perennial plants in there that needed the sun they were blocking…

    Today I posted on my facebook page offering little Mother of Thousands plants to nearby friends. Those plants are fascinating, and propagate like crazy. I’m giving indoor plants a try again, after years without anything other than orchids (that I somehow manage to keep alive) and an xmas cactus that Little C got at a school bake/plant sale years ago that looks awful and never flowers, but has stayed alive somehow.

  80. 80
    Baud says:

    Kudos to LGM for fighting Glenn Greenwald so we don’t have to.

  81. 81
    Elizabelle says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    @satby:
    @Immanentize:

    Good morning again, all. Thank you for all the gorgeous squash recipes.

    Gonna be a houseguest for the latter part of next month, and think the French pumpkin soup would go over very well.

    Lot of pumpkins at a good farmer’s market nearby. Now I will check out the less glamorous squashes more avidly.

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  83. 83
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    The squash photos and recipes are grand. Thanks, all! We’re planting daffodil bulbs today, in part because I likes them and partly because they are reputed to ward off pocket gophers. Fingers crossed.

    Has there been further news from/about efg?

  84. 84
    Gelfling 545 says:

    My sole gardening activity today was pulling the Black Magic elephant ears out of the pond. They will spend the winter in their pot, sitting in a bowl of water in my only sunny window. This is not how they are supposed to be overwintered but it seems to work for me. I don’t have much luck overwintering bulbs in the recommended ways. My callas will stay in their pot under a table in the unheated front entry. No water, no light, no attention. They’ve bloomed for me for 5 seasons with this treatment.

  85. 85
    laura says:

    We netted four Hubbard squash that range from size of a human head to lift with your legs, not your back. Three are going to need a hatchet to split and I’m looking foward to curries and soups.
    Speaking of soup, who doesn’t like the idea of breakfast soup? Potato, pumpkin and miso are all swell for breakfast on a cold blustery day.

  86. 86
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @laura:

    who doesn’t like the idea of breakfast soup?

    Heh, I just had a bowl of spicy potato soup leftover from dinner last night.

  87. 87
    NotMax says:

    @Immanentize

    Nothing wrong with allspice, which contrary to what its name suggests is not a combination of things but rather a separate spice derived from the dried berries of a tree grown in the Caribbean and Central America.

  88. 88
    laura says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I like your style! Toast makes a good bowl scraper btw.

  89. 89
    Elizabelle says:

    @O. Felix Culpa: re efgoldman: Coincidentally, just sent him an email, to an address I had from a 2014 meetup.

    Passed along the jackals’ best wishes; told him he was missed. Will let you know if/when I hear anything.

    Going out for a few hours, but will be watching for any response.

  90. 90
    Elizabelle says:

    Squash mavens: once cut into, can we freeze raw squash? Or is it best to cook it and then freeze?

    Wondering how someone who does not need 8-10 servings would handle one of the larger squashes.

  91. 91
    Jeff says:

    I was out this morning shoving foxglove, gallardia and columbine seedling in bed hastily semi cleaned out bed before the heavy rain started. The deluge has begun. One to three inches with some areas getting four to five.

  92. 92
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Elizabelle: Thank you. I’ve been worried about him. The jackal commentariat is not the same without his insightful and sometimes (ahem!) acerbic contributions. My love to him and Mrs. efg.

  93. 93
    amygdala says:

    Late, but a couple of recipes, since part of why fall is my favorite time of year is winter squash.

    African Squash and Peanut Stew with Coconut Milk and Quinoa (Food52): If you don’t like quinoa, you can substitute rice, couscous, millet or whatever grain you have handy, or leave it out entirely, use more liquid, and call it soup. I usually use kabocha squash, because it doesn’t require peeling, but I think any winter squash (or sweet potatoes or yams) would work. The veggies are also flexible–I often use kale instead of spinach. You can easily add chicken or whatever meat sounds appealing. I’ve substituted baked tofu cubes for the garbanzos (or used both). Haven’t experimented with other nut butters, for the peanut-allergic, but will say that a sprinkle of toasted nuts or seeds at the end is worth the modest extra effort, for those who aren’t allergic.
    ETA: This freezes well.

    For roasted squash, toss 3/8 inch (or so slices) with olive oil, salt, pepper, a little brown sugar, and either pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon and maybe some nutmeg. Or if you want to be fancy, garam masala (easily found at larger grocery stores these days, if you don’t have an Indian market nearby, or can be ordered online from Penzey’s… or you can make your own). The squash pieces should be a little gritty with sugar and spice. Spread them out on greased or cooking sprayed or parchment-lined pans and bake at 400 or so for 20-30 minutes, flipping them halfway through (and rotating the pans, if your oven is at all temperamental). Time (and temp) will depend on the size of the pieces and how carmelized you want them. For chunks, 375 might be better, so the sugar doesn’t burn since it’ll take longer to cook. One of my favorite things about squash this way is that it’s good at room temp (since olive oil, unlike butter, is liquid unless pretty cold) as well as hot. So you can make a big batch and have it with dinner all week, or nosh on it as a fairly healthy snack.

  94. 94
    dexwood says:

    @Elizabelle:
    Mrs. dexwood tells me she always bakes squash and pumpkins first before freezing them. The texture is better once thawed, otherwise, she thinks they become too “gushy”.

  95. 95
    amygdala says:

    @Elizabelle: If the rest of whatever is in your cooked squash dish freezes well, you should be fine.

    Thanks to you, Siobhan, and the front-pagers who are reaching out to efg. He’s an original, and I miss him.

  96. 96
    Elizabelle says:

    @amygdala: Will let him know. Original, he is that, indeed.

    @dexwood: Thank you. Noted re the “gushy.” I’ve seen that with frozen produce.

    Excited to be getting into winter soups season. Still have the A/C on in central VA, although we have had some cool mornings. We have evenings that are light sweater weather.

  97. 97
    Waratah says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: great photos of your pumpkins,
    And thank you for the recipes.
    My mother grew strawflowers, she called them everlastings. I was surprised and disappointed when I tried to grow them and could not get the seeds to sprout.

  98. 98
    Waratah says:

    @Immanentize: I really like your grandmothers recipe uses the individual spices, I tried the pumpkin pie mix once, the individual spices have so much more depth and flavor

  99. 99
    Gvg says:

    @oldgold: introduce them the Bunnicula the vampire bunny series. Bunnicula sucks the juice out of vegetables, leaving them white. Main character is a neurotic cat and a long suffering dog. Funny IMO.

  100. 100
    Gelfling 545 says:

    2 recipes for squash I like.
    1 Soup
    Peel, seed and cube your squash. I like butternut & delicata mixed. Boil (or roast) until soft, then puree in the blender.
    Dice some cooking onion (you have to eyeball this depending on your amount of soup) cook in as all amount of olive oil in your soup pot.
    Measure your puree and add about 3/4 of that amount of chicken broth to the onion. Add a bay leaf and a bit of thyme. Bring to boil, lower heat, remove the bay leaf and stir in puree.
    Drizzle in a bit or maple syrup. Add a dash of salt and, if desired, some white pepper. Stir in a dash of nutmeg. Add whole milk, half and half or heavy cream by tablespoons until it looks and tastes right to you. Mmore maple syrup, nutmeg, salt and pepper may be added to taste.
    2 Stew
    https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/beef-and-squash-chili-51259220?mbid=nl_10262017_Daily_CTN_PM%20(1)&CNDID=28171051&spMailingID=12220242&spUserID=MTI5MTQzMjgxMTU2S0&spJobID=1262229647&spReportId=MTI2MjIyOTY0NwS2
    You can vary the peppers in this according to what’s available and increase/decrease for heat. I rarely have all the suggested toppings but it tastes just fine in a state of nature.

  101. 101
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Gvg: We loved Bunnicula when my kids were small!

  102. 102
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    @Gelfling 545: We did too!

  103. 103
    oldgold says:

    @Gvg:

    Thanks for the tip.

    Does Bunnicula attack Kale?

Comments are closed.