CSA Newsletter Week 17

newsletter with photoThe Autumn Equinox occurred this weekend, officially transitioning us from summer to fall. We celebrated with friends on Saturday–eating from the summer/fall garden: eggplant parmesan, bruschetta, roasted vegetables, braised greens, and baked pears stuffed with raisins and topped with the last of the ever-bearing raspberries. Then we went down to the gazebo to listen to poetry and tell stories and reflect on transitions. Mark recited, “Casey at the Bat,” a poem he memorized in 9th grade and only needed a bit of help recalling… A good evening all told–even the rain falling while we were in the gazebo added wonderful autumn smell and sounds.

All ya’ll should get in the habit of having people over to note the changing seasons. They make for memorable gatherings. And did you see the Harvest Moon as it lit the night sky last week? Further evidence of fall’s arrival. I figure we can all start putting out gourds and pumpkins–especially the delightfully ghoulish black-turns-to-mottled orange Futzu pumpkin–which you’ll see in the Market this week.

You’ll see some other transitions in the Market as well–the summer squash dwindling (finally!), the slowing of tomatoes and tapering of beans (finally!). But kale loves the fall–as do carrots, leeks and Brussels sprouts–especially after the first kiss of frost yet to come.

One addition you’ll see is several varieties of winter squash each week from this point on, and we encourage you to try a variety of them in soups, breads, pies, roasted, as side dishes… the possibilities are nearly endless. Some of you only have a few more weeks in your CSA season–others of you still have some good time yet– we hope all of you will take advantage of the opportunity of fall to try new things.

From Field to Market

Spaghetti, Sweet Pumpkin or Futzu Squash
Super Sweet Corn
Assorted greens (chard, collards & kale)
Turnips, Fennel, Artichokes
Broccoli florets
Carrots
Parsnips
Walla Walla Onions
Summer Squash Varieties (what’s left)
Blue Lake Pole Beans
Fortex Heirloom Beans
Variety of Tomatoes
Marketmore, Diva, & Lemon Cucumbers
Cabbage
Pablano Peppers
Banana, Habermas (HOT) and Jalepeno Peppers
Eggplant
Liberty & Enterprise Apples
Waternmelon
Mint & Sage
Garlic

New from the Field

Spaghetti Squash is yellow oblong winter squash can be used in place of pasta topped with an assortment of good foods, or served as a side. It’s spaghetti like interior falls like spaghetti noodles (al dente!) when teased out with a fork once you’ve cooked it. For a simple recipe–top the mound with marinara sauce, or simply with a dab of butter, salt and pepper.

If you’ve never made a pumpkin pie from scratch–cook up a sweet pumpkin and you’ll be amazed at the difference! Or use it to make bread, or soup, or pumpkin bars, or simply eat it as you would any other winter squash.

futzaFutzu is a Japanese heirloom pumpkin that works great as a table decoration through Thanksgiving and then is as tasty as it is funky looking, with a flavor similar to sweet pumpkin or butternut.You can eat it anytime–the skin changes color but the squash is ready to eat now. Like all winter squashes, these will keep well for several months. No need to refrigerate them–your garage would be a fine place to store winter squash until you use them, unless you want to put them on display on your front porch or dining room table…

Pablano Peppers are mild peppers that I’m most familiar with as Chili Rellenos. When they are dried they are often referred to as Ancho Peppers, and Anaheim peppers are often substituted for them, as they are in the recipe I’m linking below for Chili Rellenos. Cook with them as you would any pepper–but these fill well–with cheese or other fillings, which is why they are most famously known as the Chili Rellenos pepper.

Habanero Peppers are new for us this year, and I couldn’t remember how hot they were. So I took the tiniest bite of one in the field on Thursday. It was HOT! When I looked it up later this is what I read, “for the uninitiated even a tiny piece of Habanero would cause intense and prolonged oral suffering.” I must be a bit initiated, though, because the intensity of suffering was manageble, even if I was looking around for something else in the garden to eat to cut the heat. So use these cute little orange peppers with caution!

Recipe Ideas of the Week

Since we have some new foods I want to highlight a few of them with recipes, starting with the Pablano Peppers. I’ll be making Chili Rellenos this week, and likely using this recipe, which comes right from the internet. You’ll find quick and easy Chili Rellenos recipes if you look for them, and some Chili Rellenos casseroles.

CSA member, Joan, made cucumber soup and shared the link with me. I’ve always been skeptical of cooked cucumbers but don’t think I should knock it until I’ve tried it… Joan makes some substitutions–which I hope you know by now you can do with any recipe. Here’s what she said: “I used a red onion, apple cider vinegar, vegetable broth, potato starch, dried sage, and plain greek yogurt.  It was very tasty.”

Butternut Squash Bars. I adapted this recipe from Simply in Season last February, using the last of my Butternut Squash. This is technically a Winter Squash Bar, because pumpkin is just as good as Butternut Squash, or Speckled Hound, or Blue Hubbard. So use what you have–and enjoy these tasty bars.

And remember to sign up for the Potluck next Sunday when you pick up your crate if you haven’t yet!

 

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