The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Gem squash

gem squash“We’re going to have a gem squash for supper tonight.”

I produced the dinky vegetable for Danny to see.
“How do you cook it?”
“Prick the skin in a few places and simmer for 20 minutes. Cut it in half and serve with lashings of butter and ground black pepper.”
“So it’s tasteless then?”

I knew that I would have a bit of a fight on my hands to get him to taste the squash. So I thought up a delicious supper menu that would allow the squash to be slipped surreptitiously under the blanket, so to speak.

I went up to the Rat Room and announced the menu to Danny.

“Lamb cutlets, flash fried in bacon fat with tarragon, cardamom, allspice and white wine. Individual ramekins of creamed potato with a parmesan topping, Lightly mashed flageolets with creme fraiche and Tabasco and scattered with crisp, streaky bacon. And squash.”

He heroically waved the squash through. Who wouldn’t on a Wednesday evening?

The asparagus steamer was handy for simmering the squash (I knew that it would be useful outside the asparagus season). I sliced it in two when the rest of the meal was ready and had a teeny taste before D rumbled downstairs. It was sweet and tasty. Delicious.

Danny’s fork hovered over the plate. Would he eat the best or worst bit first? He bravely scooped out some gem squash and tasted it.

“This is the first time in my life that I have enjoyed a squash. How much do they cost? I must look out for them in the remaindered bin at Waitrose.”

A good move as they have a long shelf life. However, the fresher they are the better. Gem squash are a delicacy.

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  1. Jane Baker

    Grew 7 seeds of gem squash this year. Despite mildew harvested about 350 gems. Am giving them away because we need to eat 2 each day for 5 months to get through them. Bought the seed from for £2. Pretty good return.
    Glad to have further use of aspargus cooking pot. Had the most superb crop of onions from their sets.

    • Hi how did you prepare the soil / grow them? I planted seven seeds and have about 30 not 300?. I am in Wales so perhaps a bit cold damp and not enough sun, they were delicious though

      • Fiona Nevile

        Hi Madge, Squash are quite greedy feeders so add a good general fertiliser when digging over the soil. They also need quite a lot of water. If you have a compost heap in a sunny spot they would love growing on that.

  2. I have managed to find seeds and have grown plentifull. We are so happy!!! I have also discovered a gem which tastes exactly the same but the outside flesh is yellow and not green. As soon as I find out where we got them, will post the link.

  3. Hi , we currently live in the uk and the wife managed to grow gem squash very successfully in our green house.Seeds were planted into grow bags .Bought the seeds online.

  4. Hi, there are many gems available in UK but not THE gemsquash we South Africans are looking for. The variety at the TOP/beginning of this site is the one we are all looking for…… I went one to the link provided above and no longer available.

    • Kathy Smith

      The one I would like to find is the softer skinned paler green gem squash I knew when growing up in South Africa. Is it that you have not been able to find? This year I have grown the dark green tougher skinned type successfully outdoors, though I have limited space. I grow squash vertically as far as possible.

    • We brought some seeds back with us at Christmas and have loads ,if you are near Loughborough,in Leicestershire ,you could come and have some for free ?

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