Gardening The Patty Pan Squash Cymling

Friends Drift Inn Farm – Gardening

Patty Pan Cymling Summer Squash on the Vine

What’s that awful looking brown thing you ask? That’s the blossom, as it wilts away. Brush it off. Wash the squash. You are ready to go!

Flying Saucers, Granny Squash, and Fries

Edna Lewis, heralded as one of the founders of the “New Southern Food Movement”, is an author that speaks to me daily through the pages of her cookbooks. Being from the “Upper South” her food traditions mirrors much of my own food experiences.

Heirloom Summer Squash by Any Other Name

But then there were the “Cymlings”, scalloped summer squash sometimes called “Patty Pans.” Jake thinks they look more like flying saucers than a “Symnal Cake” supposedly the origin of the word “Cymling.”

Patty Pan Squash Yellow and Green

Patty Pan “Cymling” is not in my early food history. I think Grandma grew them one summer just as a novelty. I do not recall them making it to the table; they were just part of the fall decorations at the farm stand. They grow in several colors, white and yellow being the two most common.

It was Ms. Lewis that prompted me to put out a large run of Patty Pan Squash this year. They are supposed to be a bush squash. “Bush” you know something that behaves itself and stays confined to rows. Hello?

Let me tell you something. Patty Pans do not vine around like pumpkins and cushaws taking up the last forty acres, but they sure do not stay in a neat little row like my beloved Yellow Prolific Straight necks. They were neatly contained until they decided to start producing. Now they sprawl across the row, making me play a game of hopscotch just to get to them.

Loving my Patty Pans!

Patty Pan Summer Squash Fries Recipe

Patty Pans are a little late for a summer squash requiring about 50 days to reach maturity. Mine took longer, but they are finally coming on. Not a heavy a producer like the Yellow Straight necks, Patty Pans can go a couple of days between pickings. It’s recommended to pick at about 3 inches across, but if you miss some the bigger ones will not go to waste.

Patty Pan Cymlings have a firm texture. They make an awesome “squash fry.” Their flesh is not watery….so fries are heft up some Bourbon Tomato Jam Recipe Oh glory!

This may have been my first year with the Patty Pans….but it won’t be my last. Hope you will try some in your summer garden. The possibilities are endless.

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More Summer Squash
Zucchini and Summer Squash 2011 Garden Picks
How to Pick Summer Squash
Patty Pan Cymling Squash Fries
Summer Squash

About Joyce Pinson

Joyce Friend Pinson is a regional farm-to-table columnist for the Appalachian-News Express. She is a local television host. Her column show and blog, Friends Drift Inn, explores food, gardening, and real life farm-to-table stories from the perspective of a baby boomer in Appalachia. Joyce has a background in agriculture, media, and small business. Joyce is an heirloom gardening addict and home canner. She has a penchant for big hats, pointy toed shoes, and bourbon. Along with her husband Charlie, Joyce really does live in a barn where they ballroom dance. And laugh. And cook. And giggle.