Meet the blue hubbard squash. Kind of creepy, no? Like a ghostly brain one might find washed up on the sea shore. Or in the old mother's cupboard? As an added testament to their strangeness, the sign above in the left-hand photo reads, "What are these?" Despite their chalky exterior, the blue hubbards are yellow-orange inside and can be used like other squash to make soups, pies, and other baked squashy dishes. For some quality literature on this squash's origins, take a look at "Blue Hubbard Squash: the Mystery Unveiled." Apparently the best way to crack it open is to put it in a plastic bag and drop it on the ground. Call it the farmers' piñata, if you will.
I saw these last November with Erin and our friend Paula at Oak Hill Farm, a produce fantasy land in Sonoma that also operates a flower stand at the S.F. Ferry Building market. I didn't actually buy one because I had already spent more than was advisable on other beautiful vegetables and flowers. The whole place really is magical.