Wednesday, September 10, 2014

CSA For September 9th!

Farmer Man digging potatoes first thing: Fresh is
what we're all about!
I must admit that I had my snow pants on this morning.  And a toque.  It was seriously that kind of chilly!  And I'm a bit of a pansy where working out in cold weather for extended periods is concerned.  I still have light-weight summer chinos out for wearing - the heavier denims and corduroys are put away so something had to be done!  There was just enough wind that my legs were cold so...the snow pants were easy to find!

Veggies are getting a bit more 'field to fork'!  Our help has gone back to university, so Jes and I are doing everything ourselves.  Once again we ran out of time to do very effective cleaning.  Usually things harvested first, like potatoes, are put into our crates to air out and dry off.  Today, nothing much dried, so the dirt was sticking to the potatoes, onions, carrots and beets.

Part of the experience of CSA is really seeing, and eating, the cycle of the growing season.  Lettuce, peas, beans came and went.  The summer squash appeared, and just never ends!  Winter squash has started to appear.  As we go through this little cold spell, notice how the weather changes your veggies. The skin on cucumbers and summer squash gets a little thicker.  Swiss chard gets a little 'chewier'.  As we go through the next few weeks, if there is a little frost, do you notice the carrots and the beets getting any sweeter?  Some of interesting veggies are ready: today we've got the all-blue potato Russian Blue and some purple carrots!

Here comes the winter squash!  Winter squash is different from summer squash in that it is ready later, and you don't eat the skin.  The seeds aren't eaten unless you roast them.  Things like pumpkins, butternut squash and acorn squash are some of the best well as spaghetti squash which is unique in that the flesh comes out in strands like spaghetti.  Most winter squash, cooked, is rather more like potatoes in texture except for nutty, often sweet flavour!  Winter squash is often interchangeable in recipes, you just get a slightly different version of the dish.  We've made muffins, for example, with butternut, Sugar pumpkin, acorn, Hubbard, Boston marrow, Delicata, buttercup and Kabocha.  They are all wonderful - just different flavours and textures!  And please, please, please make any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin and just substitute your fresh, roasted Winter squash for fabulous flavour!  Wash and half a winter squash, roast in the oven at 375 C. until the skin is easily pierces with a fork.  Some recipes call for the cut side down on your baking sheet, some call for cut side up and buttered or oiled.  Doesn't really matter.  The roasted flash scoops out of the skin quite easily and is ready to use for muffins, loaves, soup and pies!  Everyone got a Delicata today: a small oval with ridges.  It is known as the sweet potato squash because it tastes vaguely like sweet potatoes.  Some CSA members love this one for fries!

Will the broccoli finish?
That being said, these Pumpkin Roll Bars sound fantastic!  Our Full Shares got Vegetable Marrow today - a large beige oval.  This one has less flavour than many winter squash, but excels at absorbing flavour.  We always stuff them, then serve out slices.  Use any recipe you might stuff something with: turkey stuffing, green pepper stuffing, leftover rice, name it1

Yes, there is still summer squash!  Look back through the links in the blog for something new to try!  This Zucchini Boat with Mediterranean Rice Salad, found over at the Hedley's Health Hut Facebook page, sounds really good and quite easy!

FULL SHARES: Slicing cucumbers, Largo, Patty Pan and Papaya Pear summer squash, vegetable marrow and Delicata winter squash, beets, Russian Blue and Viking potatoes, chard, carrots, onions and jalapeno pepper.

PART SHARES:  Slicing cucumbers, Largo, Patty Pan and Crookneck summer squash, Delicata winter squash, beets, Russian Blue and Viking potatoes, carrots, onions, bell pepper.

SINGLE SHARES:  Slicing cucumbers, Largo and Patty Pan summer squash, beets, Russian Blue potatoes, carrots, onions. 

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