By Chef John Zehnder, CEC, AAC, HGT
For over 50 years, the Fred Weiss family has grown the giant Blue Hubbard squash that we serve during the Fall and holiday season. Their farm, located just south of Frankenmuth, was a hub of activity on Friday and Saturday, September 21-22. A crew of Weiss family members and volunteers picked 57 tons of squash, loaded up farm trucks and delivered them to Zehnder’s Restaurant. Fifty seven tons is a bumper crop year – we average 45 to 50 tons.
Blue Hubbards weigh between 25 to 40 pounds each. I’m sure there were a few stiff muscles and sore backs when they were done.
Processing began almost immediately! We normally process after regular business hours and work through the night. It takes a crew of 6-8 workers and 8-10 days of cutting, cooking and scraping to complete this monumental task. Once processed, the squash is frozen and thawed only as we need it. The Blue Hubbard is a firmer meat squash similar to buttercup squash so it freezes very well. We add a little salt, butter and brown sugar when we bake the squash. That’s all! Sometimes simple is the best!
Many folks know about Zehnder’s squash and make a special trip to Frankenmuth during the autumn season just for the squash. I know – annually I get several calls and emails asking when squash will be on the menu. We serve it with our family style chicken dinners and squash can be ordered a a side dish. Be sure to make plans this fall to savor this seasonal specialty!
Chef John Zehnder, CEC, AAC, HGT