Thursday, September 29, 2011

CSA - SCVWD - September 28, 2011

What's in the box? 
Cucumbers,  Sweet Corn, Romano Beans, peppers - the round are sweet, the pointed ones are hot,  (the itty bitty ones are Thai peppers- lookout!)  The wrinkled ones are Jimmy Nardello-Sweet, Eggplant, Onion,  Winter Luxury Pumpkin, Carrots, tomatillos, & Heirloom Tomatoes.  

This week's special gifts:  Eggs, Pumpkin Bars and either pickles or BBQ sauce

Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkin
Okay, the name says it all this is your Thanksgiving Pie Pumpkin, unless you are like me and can't wait and have already made the pie and eaten it too.  Burp.  The seed was introduced by Johnson & Stokes in 1893.  The white netting is the sugar escaping from inside.

1. Winter Luxury Pie pumpkin should be baked whole, pierced for a few tiny vent holes, stem trimmed, at 350*F until it "slumps" and softens after an hour or so. If you wish, you can cut a lid, remove the gunk and seeds, and replace the lid loosely before baking (this method yields a drier pie).
2. The cooked pumpkin is hotter than hot potatoes: Be careful when you cut out or removed the lid. Seeds and strings, if left inside, come out easily. Take a large spoon and simply scoop the pumpkin out like ice cream. The flesh peels away from the desiccated rind without a shudder and leaves it flat.
3. Puree the flesh in a blender, adding liquid if needed. A 5-pound pumpkin yields approximately 2 1/2 pounds or 4 cups of pulp, enough for two pies.
4. Insert your favorite pie recipe here.

Or here's something you can bake that's super easy. 

11 is Winter Luxury
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
1 (16 ounce) package pound cake mix
3 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (8 ounce) package cream
cheese, softened
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened
condensed milk
2 c. cooked pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees C (175 degrees C). Coat a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan with non-stick spray.
In a large mixing bowl, on low speed, combine cake mix, 1 egg, margarine, and 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice until crumbly. Press onto bottom of prepared pan.
In another large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk, then remaining two eggs, pumpkin, remaining 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and salt; mix well. pour over crust; sprinkle with pecans.  Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until set.  Cool, then chill in refrigerator. Cut into squares. Store covered in refrigerator.

10 - Ornamental Edible
Pumpkin Butter

3 1/2 cups cooked pumpkin
3/4 cup apple juice
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Juice of half a lemon
1. Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently. Adjust spices to taste. Stir in lemon juice, or more to taste.
2. Once cool, pumpkin butter can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

Now what can I do with pumpkin butter?
Use it to top waffles,  mix it in with granola or oatmeal, sit and eat it with a spoon, top ice cream with it.

Pumpkin Waffles

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk or sour milk
1 cup cooked pumpkin
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted or (olive oil)

Start up your waffle iron to preheat. Mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices. Whisk eggs in a large bowl with buttermilk, pumpkin, and butter until smooth. Whisk in dry ingredients just until combined.  I use non-stick spray on my waffle iron.  Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook.  These won't last long.  If you prefer a fluffier waffle, try separating the eggs and gently folding the whites in at the end.

Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
Gourmet, November 1996

Three 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained or your own cooked beans
1 cup chopped peeled tomatoes
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
4 cups beef broth or vege broth
1 1/2 c. cooked pumpkin
1/2 cup dry Sherry
1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8-inch dice (optional)
3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar

In a food processor coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.
In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Just before serving, add ham and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Serve soup garnished with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds if you like.

October is almost here, so be prepared to eat, drink and be scary.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

People and Planet CSA - September 22, 2011

What's in the box?
Melons or Asian Pears, Cucumbers,  Sweet Corn,Onions, Romano Beans, peppers - the round are sweet, the pointed ones are hot,  Eggplant, Onion,  Kakai Pumpkins, Basil & Heirloom Tomatoes. 

This week's special gift:  Green Salsa and Eggs
2 Kakai Pumpkins and One Little Green Seed 

Kakai Pumpkins
Grilling up Green Salsa
This is your designated Halloween Pumpkin.  The flesh is NOT edible.  However, the naked green seeds inside are fabulous.  For those of you who don't remember, scoop out the seeds, and put give them a quick rinse to separate them from the placenta.  Give them a quick stir fry in a dry frying pan until they pop, or toss them on a sheet in the toaster oven and bake at 350 degrees until you hear popping.   The Little Green Seed is the newest in this development, a pie pumpkin with naked seeds.  I just love it.  Hey, but don't worry, I'll send out pie pumpkins pretty soon, and of course every other squash I've picked. 

Green Salsa
This is not very hot, and it makes a great guacamole.  We like it with Shrimp, and chips and sour cream and....

Well that's it for melon season.  There's one watermelon left, so, I guess I'll have to eat it.

Drying corn

Corn and Beans
I've been picking dry corn and beans like a wild woman.  Lots of work here.  My neighbor is going to come and help me next week.  The shelling of the beans takes a lot of time, so it will be weeks before they are all shelled. This week the first beans went out.  Everyone will get to try one kind and give me your opinion on them.  Each week I will send out a small bag of dry beans and I'd like you to make them your favorite way and tell me how they compare with what you buy and whether you think I should grow them again.  I'm trying to narrow down the 20 kinds of beans into 5 varieties for the farm.  So this week one of you got to trial Insuk's Wang Kong, a beautiful runner bean from Korea.  Coming soon, Painted Lady Beans, and Spagna Blanca.    In the coming weeks you will receive your first ever corn flour from Foothill Farm.  Once my dear neighbor helps me get it off the stalk, I have to hull it and take it to an organic mill.  If we all like having flour and polenta, I will see about getting a farm mill and putting in more corn. Every year is an experiment in what I can grow and what you like.  We learn; we grow.  As the price of food in the markets is rising, I'm trying to keep things level and add items that will help us be more independent.  This year's experiment may become future year's staples with your help and support.

Have a good week. Eat your veges.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

CSA September 14 - SCVWD

What's in the Box:
Some of these squashes.
From the back:
1.  Musque de Provence
2.  Naples Long
3.  Marina Di Chioggia
4.  Ornamental Edible
5.  Sweet Dumpling
6.  Butternut
7.  Kakai Green Seed
8.  Little Green Seed
9.  Delicata
10.  Ornamental Edible  Note that there is a lot of variety in this group, so if you don't see your squash here, it's because you may have received the only one of that type.
11.  Winter Luxury
12.  Sibley

Also this week:  Eggplant, and Tomatoes Assorted Heirlooms.  Early Girl = EG, the bags are labeled for your discovery. 

Chickens were slow this week so no eggs.

Lots of gifts:  Salsa, Enchilada Sauce and Tomato Sauce

Hulless Seed Pumpkins
Kakai Green Seed..This is a rare pumpkin used just for oil production. In tests the oil increases prostrate health. The pumpkins should last till Halloween. Carve, scoop out the seeds, whir the seeds in a food processor. Or they can also be roasted, toasted or fried. I use them in baking for those with nut allergies. Remember the shell of this hulless seed pumpkin is NOT edible. This is one of Leo's favorite pumpkins that we grow.  These are naked seeds, they don't have a hull.  This is the pumpkin we use for our jack-o'lanterns.

Little Green Seed.  Wow this is new, a cross between Baby Pam and Kakai, it's an edible Green Seed pumpkin.  I have trialed 3 of these and if you get one WITHOUT Green seeds, let me know.  I'm keeping track of them.  Next year, I'm going to plant a 100 of these.

Thank you Judy for the new Squeezo!
Pumpkin Nut Muffins
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon molasses
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
1 cup cooked pumpkin
All the pumpkin seeds from inside (toasted or sauteed)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin-pan cups, 2 1/4 inches in diameter.

Stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.  Beat together the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, molasses, vanilla, sugar and pumpkin in a large bowl. Stir in the dry ingredients, all at once, just until moistened. Fold in the seeds. Spoon into the prepared muffin-pan cups, filling almost to the top.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the cups and cool on wire racks. Serve warm.

Enchilada Sauce begins with roasting tomatoes and tomatillos
Roasted squash bites with pumpkin seed pesto

(makes 24-30 bites)
2 delicata's cut in half, seeded and baked till soft
pumpkin seeds
 from a Kakai
2-3 T. finely grated parmesan and 1 T. aged pecorino

4. T pumpkin seed oil
 or olive oil
salt, pepper
, sage for savory or cinnamon for sweet

Peel and core the butternut squash, then cut into bite-sized chunks.  Using a melon baller or small spoon, cut the squash into shape, making space for the pumpkin seed pesto. Arrange on a baking tray and spray lightly with oil. 
Toast (dry-roast) the pumpkin seeds in a non-stick pan, stirring continuously, until they're throwing blisters and starting to brown. Remove from the pan to prevent them from burning. Throw them in the food processor then combine with the parmesan and oils and season well. 
Assemble the canap├ęs by putting each squash bite on a skewer, topping with a generous dollop of the pumpkinseed pesto and roast for about 10 minutes.  Serve with little toothpicks.  Using a larger squash this can be made crowd size.  I have actually even used the cooked pumpkin in the pesto and served it on top of crostini, potatoes, rice, or pasta.

Coming soon - cornmeal
Butternut Squash Apple Cranberry Bake Recipe

    •    1 large butternut squash, or several assorted ornamental edibles peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes  (It's easier to peel these if you cut them in half and roast them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees).
    •    2 large tart cooking apples cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
    •    1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
    •    1/2 cup brown sugar
    •    1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
    •    1 Tbsp flour
    •    1 teaspoon salt
    •    1/2 teaspoon ground mace (can substitute ground nutmeg)

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice and peel squash and apples.
2 Put squash cubes in ungreased 7x11-inch baking dish. Place apples on top and then cranberries. Mix the flour, salt, sugar, and mace and sprinkle on top. Dot with butter. Bake 50-60 minutes.
Serves 8.

Clearing out the squash and melons to make room for the fall garden
Have a great week.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

September 8, 2011 People & Planet CSA

What's in the box? 
 Melons, Leeks, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Peppers-Sweet and Hot, Eggplant, Basil, Flowers, Carrots.

This week's special gift:  Mustard & Eggs

Peppers - Green Jalapenos-Hot, Bulgarian Peppers-sort of hot, Red Peppers-mild.  These are Sheepsnose Bells, perfect for a salad or little stuffers.

This is the last week for leeks and these leeks are the difficult to find Juane de Pitou yellowish leeks.  They were rediscovered in a small village near Alsace, France where William Woys Weaver was hunting regional vegetables.  They were very popular in the 18th century and thought to be another vegetable that disappeared, but a French seed shopkeeper and her neighbors would eat no other kind and so another vegetable preserved for the love of eating.  So go ahead make yourself a bowl of foudue aux porreaux!

Here on the farm we are busily transforming beds from summer to fall.  Canning up tomatoes for all kinds of wonderful treats.  I have started harvesting dry beans and and my first peek at the polenta corn.  The squash have all come out of the fields, and you can look forward to some great varieties to taste.   A seedsaver from New Zealand send me a Whanga Crown Melon, which I'm pretty sure I've never seen in any store.

Speaking of heirloom vegetables, Leo and I are going to the Heirloom Vegetable Exposition in Santa Rosa next week.  Anyone who wants me to add something to the farm, let me know.  I hardly ever get to see a pile of seed vendors in one place.  And I'm hunting the best vegetables.  Have a great week. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

August 7, 2011 CSA - SCVWD

What's in the box?
Melons, Cucumbers,  Potatoes, Leeks, Green Beans and Tomatillos, peppers & Tomatoes.  This week I have separated out Indian Stripe tomatoes for you to try.   Please let me know what you think. The original seed came to Carolyn Male of NY from Donna Nelson, TX, who found this variety growing in the garden of Clyde Burson, a neighbor of her relatives in south central Arizona. Mr. Burson has been growing this variety for as long as he can remember.

What about those tomatoes
This week's special gift:  jam

In the garden:
This is probably the last week for melons.  Everyone sigh.  Ohhh.  Next week something special.  I have spent most of Labor Day canning and harvesting with Leo.  175 pounds of tomatoes came in.  And now, they must go to you.

Next week, your boxes will consist of canned goods and a bountiful quantity of squash for fall.  Squash is heavy and difficult to slip into your boxes.  And I don't have room for all of this.  So, there will be no fresh greens, consider this the doomsday box.  In case I never leave Sonoma and all is doom and gloom, you can always open a jar of salsa and think happy thoughts.  Leo and I will be going to Santa Rosa for the Heirloom Vegetable Exposition.  Zack has a painting in the show and I'm hunting the ever rare and elusive vegetable for you.

Sorry the blog was so late.  It was a hundred degrees and I was a little fuzzy this afternoon.