What's New at the Farm

October 16, 2017

Common Harvest Members,

There are a number of messages from the farm this week so keep reading to make sure you have all the information. 

REMINDER:  This week’s delivery on Thursday, October 19th, is the last delivery of the regular growing season.

NOTES from the FARM

Winter Shares:  For those of you who purchased a winter share, the delivery dates are November 16th and December 14th.  More information about where you will pick up your winter share will follow and that drop site location could be different from your regular drop site.  Questions or concerns. to Margaret at commonharvestfarm@gmail.com or 715-294-2831.

Winter Conversations:  Once again this winter we want to explore ways to deepen connections between farm members and the land. We will be hosting conversations and are hoping you can join us.  Look for an email with details and dates later.

Bags and Boxes:  If you have stray bean/pea cloth bags or vegetable boxes at your house, please bring them to your drop site as you pick up your veggies so they can be properly stored for the winter.

Recipes on the Common Harvest Web Site:  Jenny Larson manages the Common Harvest web site and now she has very graciously created a recipe page where you can find all this year’s recipes listed by title in one convenient place.  Here’s the link http://commonharvestfarm.com/new_at_the_farm/recipes.html  THANKS, Jenny!

EXTRA PURCHASE OPPORTUNITIES

First, extra squash is available for you - a 25 lb bag of squash (acorn and butternut mix - or specify your preference when ordering) for $20 a bag.

Also a 10-15 lb box of curly kale for $10 a box.

Get your order for squash and/or kale to us at commonharvestfarm@gmail.com or 715-294-2831 by Monday, October 23rd.  Write "squash, kale or both” in the memo line of your check and send your payment to

Common Harvest Farm

212 280th Street

Osceola, WI 54020

Your order will be delivered to your drop site on Thursday, October 26th. You can take the box and bag with you and return them next season.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Cabbage, purple

Carrots

Celery leaf

Kale, Lacinato

Leeks

Peppers

Potatoes

Squash, acorn

POSSIBILITES

Broccoli

Cauliflower

Spinach

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

RECIPES – No recipes this week.  I know all of you have lots of yummy ones at your fingertips.

Each year as the season ends I reflect on the messages and recipes that you’ve sent in during the season to share with the larger Common Harvest community – all so very much appreciated as well as delicious.  AND each recipe makes the weekly messages such a pleasure to get together.  THANKS to all of you for reading and contributing!  

Look for your 2017 contract in the mail in late February or early March.

Until next growing season,

Susan

 


 

October 9, 2017

Common Harvest Members,

This is a fruit delivery week, the final one of the season.  If you purchased a fruit share, look for the box of apples and pears with your name on it at our drop site and take ONLY that box to avoid confusion.  Take the box and all with you but do continue to leave your vegetable box for reuse at Common Harvest.

As a reminder, NEXT week, October 19th is the last vegetable delivery for the 2017 growing season.  If you have bags or boxes in your possession, bring them to the drop site this week so they can be stored for the winter at Common Harvest rather than at your house.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Broccoli

Cabbage, green

Carrots

Cauliflower

Kale

Onions

Peppers

Potatoes, yellow

Squash, butternut

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

 

Recipes (Attached and Included Below)

This week the recipes are focused on vegetables that could be crowding vegetable drawers across the Common Harvest realm.  Your regular way of using cabbage, onions and peppers could seem a bit mundane at this point in the growing season, so these are 3 recipes to add a little pizazz to your veggie dishes.

The first recipe this week, Cabbage and Caramelized Onion Tart, was sent in by Marya Hart specifically as a tasty way to use the bounty of cabbage and onions we have.  The recipe did not contain directions for the yeasted oil crust, so I found one for your reference.  It’s also a good recipe to use for a galette you might be creating.  If you have a good thin crust pizza recipe, use it instead OR use a purchased pizza dough that you like – though not a prebaked crust since it likely wouldn’t conform to your tart pan.  It appears the idea is to keep the crust VERY thin as you bake the tart.  Sounds YUMMY.  THANKS, Marya!

The second recipe this week, Sweet Peppers Soup, is one that was “test eaten” at Common Harvest last week.  It comes originally from the Moosewood Cooks at Home cookbook so is well researched.  One thing I would try the next time I make this soup is to omit the lemon juice and dill so don’t let a lack of those ingredients keep you from trying this soup.  Either way – it’s a tasty way to use peppers if you have enough in the freezer already.

The third recipe this week, Three Peppers Soup, from Margaret.  It includes poached eggs and toast in the simple preparation that comes from a monastery cookbook – always a good source of bread and soup recipes.  THANKS, Margaret.

This week's recipes

 


 

October 2, 2017

Common Harvest Members,

There’s a new veggie for long time as well as new members in this week’s box, golden beets.  Look under Facts/Uses for Produce to learn a little bit about how to use this veggie if you don’t already have it in your repertoire.  These golden nuggets are different from the more tradition red beets.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Beets, golden

Broccoli

Cabbage, green

Cauliflower

Green beans

Leeks

Onions

Peppers

Squash, butternut

Swiss chard

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

 

Facts/Uses for Produce

Golden Beets

Facts

  • The Gold beet is made up of both an edible root and edible leaves.
  • The root is pale orange, swollen and globular, reaching sizes of up to four inches in diameter.
  • The root's variegated golden-orange flesh is firm, earthy and sweet.
  • Gold beets are available year-round with a peak season during the autumn months. Beet greens are actually more nutritious than the beets, containing twice the potassium and are exceptionally high in beta carotene and folic acid.
  • Beets have the highest sugar content of any vegetable.
  • Beets are high in fiber.
  • Golden beets are milder tasting than red beets and much less messy -- no red juice everywhere.

Uses

  • Steaming and roasting bring out the best flavor that the golden beet can offer.
  • The skin must be peeled, which is easiest after it has cooked, as it simply slips away from its flesh.
  • Beets pair well with cheese, bacon, apples, fennel, citrus, potatoes, shallots, vinegar, walnuts, smoked and cured fish.
  • Beets will keep, refrigerated, for up to a week or longer if their tops are removed.

Geography/History

Golden beets are descended from a wild seashore plant called the sea beet. Beets prefer a cooler climate although they are tolerant of heat. They can be harvested any time during their growth cycle. Growers say the faster beets grow, the better the flavor.

This week's recipes

 


 

September 25, 2017

Common Harvest Members,

No specific messages from the farm this week.  Enjoy the fall bounty!

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Cabbage, purple

Carrots

Cauliflower

Celery, cutting

Lettuce

Onions

Peppers

Potatoes, yellow

Squash, acorn

Tomatoes, cherry - the last time for this season

Zucchini

POSSIBILITIES

Broccoli

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

 

Facts/Uses for Produce

Celery Leaf/Cutting Celery/Chinese Celery/Smallage

1.    Celery Leaf, etc. are terms that are used interchangeably (as far as I can tell) for a plant that looks like a large leafed version of Italian Leaf Parsley with thicker, hollow stems.  In fact the two are related and part of the larger carrot family (Apiaceae).

2.    There are 3 types of celery – that purchased in the grocery store, celeriac (grown for its bulb) and celery leaf, etc. (grown for its leaves).

3.    Both the leaves and stems are usable with the stems being more flavorful but becoming more fibrous with age.

4.    The plants are hardy, grow well in containers for home gardeners and produce multiple cuttings in the same growing year.

5.    This plant has been used as an herb in Europe and the Mediterranean for a long time – even said to be among the leaves of garlands found in King Tut’s tomb!

Storage

1.    The plant is a good keeper in the refrigerator (or even in a glass of water on the table for a day or two).  Just rinse, wrap the plants in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag.  

2.    Dry or dehydrate the leaves for storage as you would any herb.

Uses

1.    Add it to gazpacho; seafood; zucchini; tomatoes; rice, pasta, chicken, potato or tuna salad; or as a “leaf” on tuna (or other) sandwiches.

2.    It can also be used in mirepoix - the French combination of carrots, onion, and celery - for soups, stews, roasted meats and other fall dishes, e g. sauté some with onions and use as a soup base.

3.    Use it instead of, or in addition to, celery in dressing for turkey, chicken or pork entrees.

4.    Make a slurry of water blended with the leaves and tender stalks, pour the slurry into ice cube trays, freeze and use later in soups and stews where a celery flavor is desired.  

5.    Make a pesto – Put 4 large cloves garlic, chopped; about 6 cups of celery leaves, no stems, loosely packed; 1 1 / 2 cups full-flavored olive oil;1 cup walnut pieces; 1 1 / 2  teaspoons sea salt into a blender and blend.

6.    Use in place of cilantro for that “clean” taste.

7.    Add it to pretty much anything that calls for a refreshing bite or any recipe where you traditionally use celery.

NOTES

  • ·         Margaret chops the leaves and top part of the stems into chicken salad for the celery flavor without the grocery store celery.
  • ·         Dry the leaves to use soups for a celery flavor.
  • ·         Keeps a long time in a vase on the counter.
 

 

September 18, 2017

Common Harvest Members,

NOTE FROM THE FARM

Thank you to all of you who were able to make it to the farm on Sunday. The pizzas you created were amazing. It felt so good to gather with all of you to enjoy a beautiful September day at the farm.

As we move further into the fall, we want to let you know that the last delivery of the regular season will be October 19th. The fall garden is beautiful and looks bountiful, so there are still five more weeks to enjoy Common Harvest vegetables.

A thank you to all of you for getting bean bags back to us. We will be using them again this week for the green beans.

The surprise of the week is the discovery of good field tomatoes. Our blight resistant varieties, Defiant, Mountain Merit, are still producing! We are feeling the positive reinforcement of diversification and are happy to add these tomatoes to your box this week.

Dan and Margaret

Thank you to Aaron Achartze who took some absolutely stunning pictures at the Fall Festival on Sunday.  He captured the whole pizza making process for those of you who have never been to a pizza gathering at the farm as well as some unique candid shots of the event.  I wish all the pictures could be included.  THANKS, Aaron!

INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITY

For the past 5 years, Dan and Margaret have had a connection to Macalester Professor Bill Moseley’s class People, Agriculture and the Environment as they study CSA’s.  Attached is a detailed invitation to participate in an anonymous survey regarding questions about climate change, more variable weather patterns, and the impacts on the CSA model that distributes risk to members.  Professor Moseley is looking for volunteers to participate in interviews with a student from the class.  Deadline to respond and set up an appointment is Friday, September 22nd.  

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Broccoli

Cabbage, Chinese

Green Beans

Kale

Onions

Peppers

Potatoes

Squash, Butternut

Tomatoes from the field

This week's recipes

 


 

September 11, 2017

Common Harvest Members,

There are a couple of messages from the farm this week.  First and foremost, be sure to get your dough reservation in if you plan to attend the Fall Festival Brick Oven Pizza event THIS Sunday, September 17th.  At the bottom of this message you’ll find all the details from last week so you know what you will need to bring.  There are two other pieces of information to add to that list.  First, please let your dogs enjoy a relaxing afternoon at home while you are at the Fall Festival.  Second, the Osceola Bridge will be closed on September 17th so the route you may have taken in previous years across that bridge will not be available.  See below the list of vegetables for alternate directions to the farm that will take you across the newly opened St. Croix River Crossing Bridge – a treat if you haven’t seen this unique bridge yet.

Then, please bring the cloth bags that contained your green beans (one of those delightful surprise additions to the box a couple of weeks ago) a couple of weeks ago.  Just leave the bags at your drop site as you pick up veggies this week.  Common Harvest does reuse those bags to limit the number of plastic bags necessary to get your veggies to you. 

Lastly, both this summer’s interns have returned to their regular lives but they may be at the pizza event this Sunday.  So look below the directions to Common Harvest for a little information and a picture of these young ladies so you can visit with them if you’d like to do so.  It’s been an outstanding intern summer this year as you’ll see when you read Addie’s and Regan’s discussion about their summer at Common Harvest.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Beets

Broccoli

Eggplant

Garlic

Green beans

Kale, lacinato

Onions

Potatoes

Parsley

Peppers

Zucchini

POSSIBILITIES

Cauliflower

Onions, green/bunching

Tomatoes, cherry

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

This week's recipes

 

DIRECTIONS TO COMMON HARVEST

1.    Take MN Hwy 36 toward Stillwater and cross the new St. Croix River Crossing Bridge.

2.    As you cross into Wisconsin, the highway changes to WI Hwy 64

3.    Continue on Hwy 64 toward Somerset

4.    At Somerset, exit Hwy 64 to WI Hwy 35 toward Osceola.

5.    Follow WI Hwy 35 to East Farmington (you will not go all the way to Osceola)

6.    In East Farmington, turn left on to 30th Ave, which is between 2 businesses and sometimes hard to see.  The businesses are Sue’s Place and Ken’s Keyboard.  Watch for them.

7.    Stay on 30th Ave. until it comes to a T with 280th.

8.    Turn left, south, on 280th.

9.    Common Harvest is on the left about 3 / 4 mile down 280th.  The big red barn and all the cars will be your signal to stop and park!

Addie Washington

Like so many of the interns at Common Harvest, Addie heard about Common Harvest through a friend who is roommates with one of last year’s interns – the connections to Common Harvestwork in many intertwined ways through the years.  The key for Addie signing on as an intern was the farm’s values that were relayed as discussions took place because, as you will see, Addie has a passion for learning - often outside the box. 

First, though, a little bit of history.  Addie is a graduate of River Falls High School though her family (Mom, Dad and 2 brothers) moved around a lot when she was young – first in seminary in Pennsylvania, later in Nepal and Florida.  She’s a graduate of Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin.  She chose Beloit College because the college has an emphasis on strong learning and good thinking skills.  She graduated with a double major in Sociology and Comparative Literature (French and English) and studied abroad in Senegal in West Africa.  She cited several teachers who taught their classes by teaching their students how to ask good questions and how to interact with people, sometimes of another culture.

After graduation, Addie completed a year in the Episcopal Service Year program and has worked at a small nonprofit before joining the staff of the Minneapolis Academy of Whole Learning.  In fact, she left Common Harvest in mid-August to get ready for this year’s school year.

As far as vegetable farming, Addie has taken with her a font of knowledge relating not only to vegetable farming but to life in general.  As we all know, the hail storm early in the spring and then the late tomato blight has made for a very different kind of year at Common Harvest with more variables than normal when growing food.  The planning that had gone into keeping the boxes filled, the attention to detail required all along the process, what to plant in which season, getting down to the nitty gritty of what’s feasible when problems occur, and the really huge life time learning skill “get what you need when you need it”.  A lot of philosophy in a short amount of time it seems!

As far as particular vegetables, this has been a green pepper year and Addie has especially enjoyed picking these gorgeous green gifts from such small plants likening it to a treasure hunt as she put them in the picking knap sack slung over her shoulder.  She did find out, however, while picking eggplant in the tunnels, she’s likely allergic to some of the pollen or plant “particles” on eggplant – causing her a lot of sneezing.  She’s happy to find out that the allergy is just with the plants not the food.  In fact she says that she’s learned to like eggplant and fennel this year at the farm.  She’s been a vegetable eater all her life saying in response to a question about her favorite vegetable, “Is there one?”  AND, she’s pretty sure that healthy greens and more fresh food will be a part of her future diet.

Addie, the passionate learner, took a number of lifelong influences with her as she returned to her school tasks.  Her summer at Common Harvest has given her a good opportunity to simplify her routines, she’s been invigorated by the physical work, she’s been reminded of the sustenance of good friends, she’s certain she will be more intentional in the future about what she consumes -  among other things.  What’s she’s enjoyed most, though, about her summer at Common Harvest is meeting and getting to know Dan and Margaret – as is so often the case as I’ve written these intern vignettes over the years.  The place is stunningly beautiful, even in the face of much weather relate adversity this growing season, but it is the people at Common Harvest that are the real treasure beyond measure.

Lest you think Addie is all seriousness, you should know that she’s an avid singer – continuing that activity after her school years, she was a swimmer in high school, and she loves games – both board a video – particularly enjoying games with her dad and brother.  AND she wants you to know she’s “goofy” which I don’t think anyone would have guessed from all that’s gone before.  For instance, she and Regan, the other intern this year, have spent the summer in the fields talking in varying accents – keeping going until they had them perfected.  You might want to ask her to speak to you in an accent if you meet her at the Fall Festival.  Whatever the case, please wish Addie well as she continues in her passionate learning ways likely into grad school in the future.

Regan Fuhr

Regan’s connection to Common Harvest Farm is a strong one - she and Grace Guenthener became friends while students at Macalester well before an internship was even in the offing.  Grace graduated this spring and Regan has just started her senior year in the last few weeks.  Regan’s time as an intern at Common Harvest ended several weeks ago so she could return home to Helena, Montana, for a good visit before her basketball team began its practices and classes began.  Her brother has just started his freshman year at Montana State University in Bozeman and the “big sister” in Regan planned a visit there to see how he’s doing – certain the answer would be “GREAT”.

Regan came to Macalester not only because she was recruited to play sports but also because she has roots in the upper Midwest with her mom having grown up in Milwaukee and her dad, though born in San Francisco, had lived in North Dakota before moving to Montana.  Though she’s enjoyed her time in Minnesota, she’s pretty sure she will find herself after graduation farther west in Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico or Arizona.  You might note an arid trend in those states and less humidity is exactly what she’s looking for in the new place that draws her after she finishes her degree.

At Macalester Regan is finishing a degree in Geography and, as is often the case, one of her favorite professors has had a definite influence on her interest in a GIS focus leaning toward map making in both the public and private sectors.  She has actually worked, through a Macalester program, on an urban GIS project in partnership with the Northside Achievement Zone to focus on closing the learning gap in the family structure.  She has a strong interest in the environment – more focused on the human base rather than the scientific base - and hopes to use her degree to facilitate human activities in a way that is not so destructive to the environment.

Regan took away with her as she left Common Harvest a heightened sense of how dependent human kind is on the weather – and not just hail or tomato blight but storms that blew over the farm during the day and especially at night.  She learned from all that close to nature observation how to “roll with the punches and make the best of what you’re given”.  A good life lesson taught by a summer outside – one of the things that drew her to the internship in the first place.  She’s especially enjoyed the ability to not be concerned about a computer 8 hours a day and the access to fresh produce that has proven to be a boost to her vegan diet.

As far as veggies goes, she loved searching for the peppers – large and lovely fruits on a very small stalk – and picking cherry tomatoes in the tunnels with the CAVEAT at times when the mosquitos were otherwise occupied.  The zucchini and squash, however, deposited their sticky underside protective coating on her resulting in terribly itchy skin.  She’s very certain a wide variety of vegetables will be in her diet 10 years from now - with squash, zucchini, garlic, onions, and kale being on the list – and has learned to like cucumbers this summer because they are so crisp and refreshing at the farm – something she hadn’t found with purchased cukes.

This summer has influenced her good habits – getting up early and to bed early, reinforcing that an active lifestyle is a good one, and true proof positive that a strong work ethic is necessary for success.  However, it is the deep friendships she’s forged over the short months the crew was together that will be the lasting memory for her.  Dan & Margaret, of course, but her fellow intern, Addie, and Grace & William Guenthener have enjoyed accents, movie quotes, and other assorted “field camaraderie” that Regan is sure will make them lifelong friends.

She’d like you to know that she enjoys board sports – snowboarding, wake boarding (being pulled behind a boat on a board), skate boarding, etc.  Probably not a surprise since she is an athlete.  What she thought might be surprising about her is that she loves to quilt.  Her mom got her started and she’s done small projects like wallets and pouches as she was growing up, expanding into T-Shirt quilts from her various sports experiences.  She makes quilts as gifts often and especially loves the meticulous nature of how the pieces go together.

Please send your warmest wishes Regan’s way as she heads into her senior year of college.  If you live close to Macalester (or even if you don’t), you might even want to attend a women’s basketball game there to catch a glimpse of her playing.

 


 

September 4, 2017

Common Harvest Members,

NOTE FROM THE FARM  All is not lost! You will find a few regular tomatoes in your box this week. These are from the field and were not mowed down because they are truly late blight resistant! The varieties you will find are Defiant and Mountain Merit. Because diversity is so important, we always plant several varieties. These two are always in the mix, but this year they have proofed themselves. Hope you enjoy!

Dan and Margaret

The most important scheduling message from the farm this week is to make sure that you have your dough reserved for the Build Your Own Pizza Fall Gathering Sunday, September 17th.  See after the produce list for details.  The weather is looking knock your socks off gorgeous, so plan to visit western Wisconsin to enjoy the bluff lands, some farm camaraderie and an outstanding brick oven pizza.  The pizza baking process is a slow one so use the opportunity to walk around the farm to see what’s going on where your veggies are grown.

THIS WEEK’S PRODUCE

Broccoli

Cabbage, purple

Eggplant

Garlic

Onions

Peppers

Potatoes, gold

Squash, acorn

Swiss chard

Tomatoes, cherries AND slicers J

Zucchini

CAVEAT:  This list is always subject to change according to availability

FALL FESTIVAL

What:     Common Harvest Fall Festival

When:     Sunday, September 17, 2017

Time:     Gather around 2 p.m.

              Pizzas baking from 2:30 until 5:00 p.m.

RSVP by:  Tuesday, September 12th to CommonHarvestFarm@gmail.com and/or 715-294-2831 with the number of pizzas for your group

PLEASE NOTE:  there is a limit of 2 pizzas per group until all are served.

What to Bring

1.    Toppings for your pizza, chopped and ready to go on the pizza,  PLEASE NOTE:  if you plan to bring meat for your pizza, be sure it is cooked before you get to Common Harvest.  There won’t be cooking/chopping/shredding/preparation facilities available. 

2.    Pizza sauce if you won’t use the Common Harvest red sauce,

3.    Gluten free crust if your diet requires it,

4.    Any other food you would like to accompany your pizza,

5.    Drinks for your group,

6.    Plates and eating utensils for your group, and

7.    Something to sit on if you so desire.

Parking:  You may park in the Standing Cedars Nature Center parking lot across the road from Dan and Margaret’s driveway if there is room.  Otherwise, look for some direction as you arrive or along the road’s edge as there is room.

KINDLY NOTE:  Common Harvest will not be recycling plastic plates or utensils so plan to take any plastics home with you for disposal.  A huge THANK YOU to those who took any plastics home with them in past years– it makes clean up after the Festival so much easier!

ADDED FEATURE AT THIS YEAR’S FALL FESTIVAL

Melanie Heuiser Hill, a long time farm member and drop site coordinator at the St. Louis Park drop site, has her first middle grade children’s novel, Giant Pumpkin Suite, coming out on September 12th. We have invited her to do an Author’s Signing Event. at the Fall Festival. When Melanie first told us she was writing a book and that it had a giant pumpkin in the plot, we were taken in and have been following the development of this story ever since. This is a book about family, friends, and created community—also the hard work of growing things. We’ve been talking with Melanie about these things for years!

Here’s Melanie’s author website for you to peruse. http://www.melanieheuiserhill.com/index.html  

There will be a reading for interested kids and their adults at 3 p.m.and books will be available for purchase at the Fall Festival – cash or check ONLY.

Dan and Margaret

 

 Facts/Uses for Produce

Winter Squash Facts/Uses

1.    Despite their seemed diversity (in appearance) most winter squash are similar in texture and use.  They are orange and have a mild, sweet flavor. 

2.    You can interchange most winter squash in recipes.

3.    Store at room temperature for at least a month.  Store in a dry, cool (50-55°F) for several months.

4.    Winter squash is higher in vitamin A than its summer counter part and a good source of potassium.  It is also high in complex carbohydrates and fiber.

5.    1 pound of trimmed squash equals about 2 cups cooked squash.

6.    Boil or steam 1 1 / 2 inch chunks for 15 – 20 minutes.  Chunks can be steamed either before peeling or after peeling.

7.    Mash steamed chunks, top with butter and serve.

8.    Cook chunks along side roasting meat.

9.    Add small amounts of cooked squash to breads, quick breads, muffins, cookies or pancake batter.  The squash adds color along with moisture and sweetness.

10.  Use in place of pumpkin in a recipe.

11.  Puree the chunks to add to soups or stews.

12.  Bake by slicing in half, scooping out the seeds, placing face down on a cookie sheet with some water and baking at 350°F for 45-75 minutes depending on size.  Squash should be tender by not charred.

13.  Cook and freeze for later use in cooking.

For ease in slicing

1.    Wash whole squash.

2.    Bake at 300°F for about 30 minutes until the hard outer shell is slightly soft.  (Don’t overbake or the squash might explode.)

3.    NOW slice and cook as desired.

Freezing cooked squash

Have an overabundance of squash?  Consider cooking the squash (I like the bake, cut and bake some more method listed in For ease in slicing but use whatever method works best for you).  Then put the cooled, cooked chunks in freezer bags to use in baking or roasting as referenced above later in the winter.

 

This week's recipes

The first recipe this week, Elegant Eggplant Caviar, is a repeat of a recipe sent in by Helen Stefan10 years ago.  See her notes about how she returns to this recipe over and over AND how easy it is to prepare while you’re doing something else.  This is my absolute favorite type of recipe to send – a VERY tried and true idea for box veggies from farm members.

Then, in the spirit of cooking without a recipe AND because the eggplant are flourishing this year, give Grilled Eggplant Burgers a try.  1)  Scrub the eggplant, 2)  Slice it into ~1“ circles, 3) Brush the circles lightly on both sides with olive oil, 4) Sprinkle on seasonings (eggplant is rather bland) – salt, pepper, garlic powder, herbs (parsley, summer savory, oregano are all nice), 5)  Grill on each side 3 – 5 minutes until crispy on the outside, 6)  Put on a bun and garnish with your favorite burger accompaniments.  This preparation is similar to a Portobello mushroom burger.

For the last recipe, a (perhaps) new and different way to use up the bounty of peppers we are blessed with this season, Stir-Fried Rice and Black Quinoa with Cabbage, Red Pepper andGreens from the New York Times cooking archives.  There are a lot of steps to this recipe but don’t be daunted.  I think the dish comes together relatively quickly - just a lot of details from the NYT that really are common sense stir frying techniques.

Last but not least, a reminder that this bounty of peppers can be chopped into whatever size you usually use and tucked into the freezer for quick and easy use this non growing season.

Regards,

Susan