Farmyard With Cushaws

Remember the farm couple who gave me the massive hunk of pork liver the other day? Yesterday I pulled in to their farmyard, as I do every day. The night before I had washed out the bloody Ziploc bags which had contained the liver and bound them into a bundle with a rubber band.

The shamelessly racist farmer was nowhere to be seen, but his wife came out to get her paper. I suspect she was waiting for me to arrive, perhaps a welcome break for her in a long autumn afternoon.

I told her about my experiences with the hog liver and she was impressed that I had actually bagged and frozen what I hadn’t consumed. I tend to get along well with elderly farm wives. Often they are the gardener and cook of the family or couple, two of my interests, so there is common ground to cultivate.

We talked of the gardening year, the difficulties involved in raising a crippled fawn to adulthood, the pickiness many people have concerning okra and liver, cooking and preserving techniques — what’s that phrase from Lewis Carroll’s epic poem The Hunting of the Snark?

Of ships and shoes and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings

She said, “Do you want some squash? We have a big pile of them over there by the pump!”

“What kind are they?”

“We call ’em cushaws. Come over here and take a look!”

I got out of the car and we walked over to the squash array. I ended up taking home a twenty-pound cushaw and a small nameless orange squash. A photo of the harvest:

Such a scene! I was particularly intrigued by the set of iron wheels on a post, right next to the green pump. I’ll have to ask about that on a future visit. Notice the leaning martin house in the background.

I’ll conclude this illustrated screed with the enigmatic last line of The Hunting of the Snark:

“For the Snark was a Boojum, you see!”

Larry

3 comments on “Farmyard With Cushaws

  1. bev says:

    I’ll be interested to hear how the cushaw squash cook up. I tend to like the drier textured winter squash such as the various Hubbards, Buttercup, Turbans, etc… Butternut is also nice.
    Often I have found that farm wives can seem shy and quiet when overshadowed by their husbands, but if you get the chance to speak to them on their own, they can be quite outgoing and have much to say — usually on more practical matters. Most tend not to come off as political or socially opinionated, prejudiced, etc…
    It will be interesting to learn more about those wheels. I am thinking they look like something that might be used on a cultivator of some kind, but can’t say I have ever seen their like.

  2. Larry says:

    I’ll report on the cushaw quality and the mysterious wheels before long, Bev. BTW it’s always fun to type a sentence which most likely has never been written before!

  3. Larry says:

    Oops! The “cabbages and kings” quote is actually from The Walrus and the Carpenter, also by Lewis Carroll, not The Hunting of the Snark. Thanks, Joan, for spotting this!

    The entire stanza:

    “The time has come,” the Walrus said,
    “To talk of many things:
    Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
    Of cabbages–and kings–
    And why the sea is boiling hot–
    And whether pigs have wings.”

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