It’s just about time for pumpkin, but what do we do with that last summer squash?

OK, not everyone is wondering that, but I don’t like to waste a thing, so that last cushaw has been taunting me.

While technically a winter squash, cushaws are grown in the spring and summer in the South. So I decided to bake a silky cushaw pie. And with a nod to cooler days ahead, I filled it with the flavors of fall — warm brown sugar and spices.

Cushaw pie is a great warm-up for the pumpkin and sweet potato pies to come. Cushaw is easy to cut, steam and purée for this pie, and for anything else in which you would use pumpkin.

And, with the turn of the calendar to October, that means it’s also time for that smaller round fruit we look forward to — persimmons.

They are just beginning to pop up at produce stands and will soon be at the farmers market. This delicate little fruit is substantial in pulp, meaning it has lots of fiber, and is complemented by warm spices, refreshing lemon or both.

Enjoy this change in the season for both weather and produce. It’s a beautiful time to cook in Louisiana. Dive in and make the most of the fall season the minute it starts. It will be gone before we know it.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. You can reach her at