Tonight I canned a few jars of squash. If you are a person who likes your veggies crisp and barely cooked, canned squash definitely doesn't fit that bill. Canning squash does cook it thoroughly and makes it soft. However, if you cut it up chunky, it doesn't turn to mush in the jar.
If you are a hardcore locavore, or just someone who tries a bit to have local food, canning your own local squash solves the problem of variety out of season. And talk about soups! Canned squash is perfect for smooth, creamy soup. It reduces both the prep and the cooking times. These recipes have my mouth watering:
Summer Squash Soup with Parsley Mint Pistou (which is a French version of pesto) from Epicurious.com
Creamy Summer Squash Soup which sounds delicious with a lemony, creamy taste.
Thai Red Curry Squash Soup which has me drooling, although personally I'd likely go easy on the red curry paste. For Max, I'd have to cut back on the ginger.
When you can squash, the safety requirements say it should be processed in a pressure canner for 30 minutes for pints. If you slice the squash thinly, this turns it to mush. If you slice it more thickly, it retains its shape and texture better.
Canned squash is perfect for that middle-of-the-winter sore throat most of us get every year. It can be heated and sprinkled with Parmesan or cheddar cheese. It can be heated and buttered. It can be used in a casserole. As mentioned above, it's perfect for soup.
For can of summer squash, each pint takes about 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 large squashes, 6-9 inches long. I cut the raw squash in slices about a half inch thick. I slice the neck of the summer squash in half-inch slices. When those slices begin to get too large, I halve the squash and get another 2-3 slices off of each half. Then I quarter the halves and slice those into 1/2 inch slices.
I raw pack squash - packing room temperature squash into cold jars, adding salt, and covering with boiling water. I process the squash for the recommended 30 minutes for pints.
You can tell the solid texture of the canned squash by the pictures. You can tell the size of the cut squash by the pictures. This should allow you to determine if you think it's worth your time to can squash or whether you and your family really wouldn't eat it.