Archive | September 2013

CSA week 15

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Today’s share is a base box of a small sugar pumpkin, a spaghetti squash, bell pepper, carrots, tomatoes and dry edible beans. At pick up, members can choose another store-able squash: a Spaghetti squash, Small Sugar pumpkin or Cinderella pumpkin. Both of the pumpkins are great for eating! If you are looking for different ways to use the spaghetti squash, here are 25 different ways to serve it up! Just scroll through the photos on that link. It’s easy to preserve the pumpkin for later. You can wash it down with a 10:1 water to bleach ratio and keep them cool, but not cold for several months. You can also very easily freeze, dehydrate or can them. Please note that a pressure canner is needed to can pumpkin and any non-acid food. You should NOT can pureed pumpkin only cubed. Freezing is the best method for pureed pumpkin.

Left to right: Spaghetti Squash, Small Sugar Pumpkin, Cinderella pumpkin

Members can also choose 2 peppers: a basket of chili peppers, habaneros, jalapenos or another bell pepper. The red jalapenos are more mature than the green, therefore hotter, but also a sweeter taste. Any of the peppers can be chopped to your desired size, put into a freezer safe container and will last you several months. We used the last of our 2012 peppers this July and they held up quite well.

Clockwise from top left: red chili peppers, green jalapenos, sweet bell peppers, red mature jalapenos, habenero peppers

Clockwise from top left: red chili peppers, green jalapenos, sweet bell peppers, red mature jalapenos, habanero peppers

The dry beans are a variety called Jacob’s Cattle. So pretty! We haven’t tried these yet, but they are supposed to be very tasty. I just finished winnowing these today, so I was happy for the wind to help.

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This is the last CSA box for the 2013 season. We’ve learned a lot from this way of marketing and we hope to learn more from our members in the near future. A one page survey will be included, we hope you’ll fill it out and send it in so that we can make any necessary changes for next season. That said, there are already things that we plan on doing differently next year if we choose to continue the program! Thanks to all who participated, and to those who have shown interest in purchasing shares in the future. Look for information on Facebook, here on the blog, or in your mailbox this winter.

CSA week 14

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It seems as if we will make it to 15 weeks this year! Many gardeners are already done due to a frost last week. We didn’t get that one, fortunately, so we still have time to get more produce out.

This weeks box includes cabbage, tomatoes, a variety of hot peppers (jalapenos, the long red ones are chili peppers and the orange ones are habaneros), beets, sage and potatoes. The cabbage, tomatoes and peppers would go well in this Creole Cabbage recipe. Instead of the can of tomatoes and rotel, use some fresh tomatoes and your choice of peppers the jalapenos are generally the milder and the habaneros the spiciest! Any peppers that you don’t immediately use can be frozen. We slice or chop them then freeze directly in freezer bags to use in cassaroles, stir frys and scrambled eggs as needed.

The amount of sage in the box is probably too much for most recipes, so I would encourage you to preserve it for later. Here is a great photo tutorial on how to freeze any herb in oil for use later.

Unfortunately, this is about it for the potatoes. We had issues with gophers in the garden that really took a toll on the potatoes and some of the beets too. The skins are slightly imperfect so they won’t be good for saving. It should be a good amount to use quickly.

CSA week 13

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In the box today: this will be the last of the corn, bell peppers are still going strong, as are the summer squash and tomatoes for now. You’ve also got a good amount of carrots and a few small onions. Our onions didn’t get very big this year, I’ve heard from one other gardener that had poor luck this year too, not sure what the problem was with those.

Here is the first of the pumpkins! This is called ‘Small Sugar’ and is a great one for baking pies with it’s sweet flesh. If you aren’t into pumpkin pies how about Roasted Pumpkin Soup or Pumpkin Pancakes? Pumpkin bread made into french toast is one of our favorites! The recipe for the pumpkin soup has a run down on how to cook and make a puree from your whole pumpkin.

CSA week 12

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We’re very excited about today’s box, We will be using the same ingredients for supper (tonight and probably for a few more!) The tall yellow-ish squash in the back is spaghetti squash. Click here to find out how to cook this baby. Once cooked you can shred the insides to use it as the pasta in your spaghetti, hence the name. The rest of the ingredients can be used for a yummy homemade pasta sauce and then some. The rest of the box is tomatoes (all ripe regardless of the color!), onion, oregano (the smaller leaved herb), basil, bell peppers of varying colors, summer squash (the round, flat white squash) and an eggplant. Several boxes got 2 bell peppers instead of an eggplant as our plants haven’t been producing much.

The eggplant and summer squash are optional ingredients in the following recipe. If you choose to use them, peel and either chop or slice them to your desired size and saute at the same time as the onion and bell pepper. Or, click here to lean how else to use the eggplant, and here to find out about the summer squash.

Square Peg’s Pasta Sauce

Ingredients:

3 lbs tomatoes roughly chopped (seeded or not, your choice)

1/4 cup chopped onion (add more if you like more onion flavor)

1 cup chopped green pepper (more or less to your taste)

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cup chopped summer squash (optional)

1 cup chopped mushrooms (optional)

1 cup chopped eggplant (optional)

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

Splash of white wine or balsamic vinegar (optional, but recommended)

salt and pepper to taste

Add olive oil to your pan on medium heat. I always use my large cast iron skillet. Once the pan and oil are warmed, add onion, pepper, squash eggplant and mushrooms to the skillet and saute till the onion is translucent and the other vegetables are tender. Add the garlic basil and oregano to the mix and stir constantly for about a minute. Stir in the chopped tomatoes and the vinegar of your choice and allow this to start to bubble, turn heat to med-low and simmer until the consistency is how you like it. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over spaghetti squash or pasta.

If you prefer a smoother texture, pop it in your food processor or blender when done or blend all the ingredients and add to a stock pot to simmer until it reached the desired consistency.

This is just a base recipe, I don’t often cook it from a recipe and just add what sounds good!

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