CSA Newsletter–Week 20

newsletter with photo

Our biggest farm task of late has been getting the winter squash out of the gardens. We’re not done yet–several wheelbarrow loads at a time seems adequate on any given day. Moving slowly gives us a chance to wipe them down, and get them stored, and so far, the weather has allowed us to move as slowly as we want to. That said, you’ll have a selection of several different varieties in the Market every week from this point on. This week you’ll take home a Kabocha Squash as one of your two, and either another Spaghetti, Delicata, or Sweet Pumpkin.

photo by Kara Gash

photo by Kara Gash

I love squash season! It is such a versatile food. So far this season we’ve eaten “pumpkin” waffles, “pumpkin” bread, “pumpkin” soup, “pumpkin” bread pudding, “pumpkin” oatmeal, and winter squash as a side dish. I put pumpkin in quotes because sometimes we were eating a sweet pumpkin, but this week it has been the Kabocha I cooked up to experiment, and earlier in the season it was a Butternut I baked to see if they were ready yet (not quite). Every one of these delectable squash is my favorite.

This Friday is Fall Break at George Fox, so Mark and I will be heading out after the harvest. We’re going back to Sakura Lodge in the Columbia Gorge/Hood River area. We so enjoyed the time away last year during Fall Break, and figure we might make a tradition of it. Kara and Ed will be in the Market to greet you Thursday afternoon, and help with anything you need.

The warm autumn weather has been delightful. I’ve spent more time than usual arranging pumpkins and corn stalks outside this year, and traipsing through the woods with my grandchildren whenever the opportunity arises.

We’ve not harvested in the rain yet, though a good number of you have picked up your crates in the rain. We welcome it when it comes, knowing Oregon’s flora is ready for some good deep thirst-quenching rain.

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Anticipated in the Marketwinter-squash

Kabocha Squash
Choice of Sweet Pumpkin, Spaghetti, or Delicata Squash
Russet Potatoes
Enterprise Apples
Beets
Amarillo & Snow White Cherry Tomatoes
Assorted Beefsteak and Salad Tomatoes
(Heirloom Copia, Celebrity, Iron Lady, Rutgers
Listada de Gandia & Black Beauty Eggplant
Cortland Onions
Leeks
Collards, Kale & Chard
Sweet Bell Peppers
Hot Peppers (Cayenne, Jalapeño, Pepperoncini)
Sage & Marjoram

Pick Two

Last of the Slicing Cucumbers
Last of the Summer Squash
Last or nearly last of the Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans
Turnips
Extra Salad Tomatoes
Extra Braising Greens
Extra Eggplant
Broccoli florets

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New from the Field
Kabocha Squash

This Asian Heirloom is also commonly called Japanese Pumpkin. It has a beautiful dark orange color, and a strong, yet sweet flavor. It’s texture is moist and fluffy. I ate some as a side dish this week, with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, a dab of butter, and a touch of honey (which wouldn’t have been necessary). Kobocha is sweeter than a butternut, and equally versatile. Did I mention that it was one of my favorites?

Shiitake Mushrooms available This Week Only!shiitake

Several years ago now Mark and I inoculated a couple oak logs with shiitake spawn. (Here’s a description of that process). This year has been the first year that we’ve had more than we can get through. I’ll dry a good number of them, as their flavor deepens in the drying process, but they are also so delicious fresh that we are making a couple bags available for those who would like to try them. They are considered medicinal in Asia. Shiitake is the equivalent of our “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” motto. We’re selling 1/2 pound bags for $6. Enjoy them while we have them–I certainly have been! I made a Shiitake & Roasted Pepper Penne with some of ours this week.

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Recipes of the Week

Need some ideas for how to use your eggplant that don’t take long to prepare? Here’s a pasta dish using eggplant from Cook’s Illustrated.

And here’s some inspiration for using your Kabocha, though remember that you can use it as you would a butternut, pumpkin, or hubbard squash.

Baked Kale-Stuffed Delicata Squash (Adapted from Serious Eats, submitted by Kara)

Ingredients

  • 2 medium to large Delicata squashes, halved longways and seeds removed
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 2 medium to large leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned of grit, split in half lengthwise, and sliced into 1/4-inch half moons
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bunch kale, rinsed, thick stems removed, shredded (about 2 loosely packed quarts)
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup packaged or fresh unseasoned breadcrumbs, plus more for topping
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into 8 small cubes

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Rub squash with 1 tablespoon oil and lightly season with salt and pepper, then lay on a baking sheet. If squash halves do not sit flat on baking sheet, use a vegetable peeler to trim a strip or two away from the bottom to allow them to lie flat. Bake until flesh is starting to turn tender and a paring knife inserted shows just a little resistance, about 25 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing. Heat remaining olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the apples and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, raisins and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add kale, cover pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is mostly wilted, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. (OPTIONAL: Add cottage cheese, eggs, breadcrumbs and Parmesan.) Mix well. Remove squash from oven and divide filling evenly among 4 halves. (OPTIONAL: Sprinkle squash with additional breadcrumbs and Parmesan, and dot each squash half with 2 cubes of butter.) Return to oven and bake until squash is tender and stuffing is nicely browned, about 20 more minutes.

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