Saturday, October 27, 2012

Weekly Newsletter

I finally found a little time to sit down and write a newsletter! I apologize for letting it go.  Life is just so busy as I am sure you all know.  But I really enjoy doing it especially since I know many of you appreciate the information, updates and recipes.  Hard to believe it is that time already, but for all except our full-season members today is the final box pick up.  It has been an eventful and successful year, and now we find ourselves deep in the depths of apple season, which means lots of picking and sorting.  We have even got our 5-year-old Wyatt involved in helping – we pay him 25 cents a bucket to pick up the windfall (or ground) apples.  These are the only apples we sell to Martinellis for juice.  The rest of the “culls” or “seconds” we press ourselves., or to fill orders for others, mostly to make hard cider.  We had such great feedback from last year’s students that we are once again offering our Beginning Hard Cider Classes here a the farm – I have printed the flyer for anyone that might want it.  As CSA members we will extend an extra special couples deal for anyone that signs up.  It really is fun and easy, and a great way to spend time together learning something new.  If you are interested or know anyone that might be please feel free to spread the word.  We are trying to keep the stand stocked with glass jars of fresh pressed cider (never frozen!) as well as another welcome addition – eggs! The hens have really started to lay and w are getting several extra dozens every week.   I just hope they keep it up as the days get shorter.   Thank you so much for helping us through another wonderful year.  We plan to have the farm stand open indefinitely – there should be eggs and cider of course and there are still plenty of apples to come off the trees as well as persimmons in November in addition to winter crops and hopefully some holiday wreaths too.  Enjoy the season and we will see you all soon!

Winter Squash

You have all been receiving several pounds of winter squash in your boxes over the last couple weeks.  If you have not used it yet because you are unsure of what to do with it, never fear! I am here with some info about each type and some ideas of what to do with them.  Generally to prepare them for any recipe they should be cut in half lengthwise, and the seeds and pulp should be scraped out with a spoon. 
Delicata A really wonderful tender tasty squash! I think a friend summed it up perfectly “If Butternut Squash was even more awesome it would be a Delicata”. My favorite way to eat: Start by cutting off the ends and peeling the squash.  Then Prepare squash and slice into 1” pieces (they will be kind of crescent shaped).  Put into a baking dish and using your hands coat pretty heavily with olive oil.  Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and roast at 425° for about 20 minutes, or until tender and golden brown on bottoms.  Sprinkle with more salt if needed and enjoy! Better than sweet potato fries!

Butternut Squash – Is probably the most commonly known and used winter squash.  It is really wonderful roasted as well.  Here is another yummy way to make roasted squash.  Peel and Prepare 1 medium butternut squash, cut into large uniform chunks.  Coat with 4 tablespoons melted and cooled butter, 2 TB packed light brown sugar, ¾  teaspoons salt and1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.  Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Roast for 45 to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize.  Turn the squash while roasting a few times with a spatula to be sure it browns evenly.

Buttercup Squash Part of the Turban Squash family this dark green flattish squash has a sweet nutty flavor.  Prepare squash, (do not peel) place cut side up in a baking dish.  Make a mixture of ½ cup chopped tart apple, 2 tsp packed brown sugar, 2 tsp butter, softened, ½ teaspoon lemon juice and 1/8  tsp ground nutmeg.  Fill squash halves with mixture, cover and bake at 400° for 40 min or until squash is tender.
Acorn Squash – A particularly nice one for stuffing.  Here is a delicious recipe to try!  Prepare 2 acorn squash.  Place cut side down, in a large baking pan. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes or until just tender.  In a large skillet, cook ¾ lb bulk sausage, ½ c chopped celery, and ½ c chopped onion until meat is browned and vegetables are tender. Drain well. Combine 1 beaten egg, 1/3 c parmesan cheese, 3 TB brown sugar, and 1 small chopped apple; stir into sausage mixture. Turn squash halves over so the cut side is up. Mound sausage mixture into squash shells. Cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until sausage mixture is heated through.
Spaghetti Squash - Spaghetti squash works well baked.  Prepare and place cut side down in a baking dish with enough water to cover the bottom of the dish.  Bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes or until tender.  Use a fork to scrape apart the stringy spaghetti like strands of squash.  Eat like spaghetti – topped with sauce and/or cheese.
Pumpkins – Of course are great for pies, muffins and breads as well as soup and other recipes.  Prepare and bake as the others, until tender, scoop out flesh, puree to make smooth and use in for your thanksgiving pies!

If you still don’t feel ready to use your squash, or want to save them for when the cooler weather comes they will store nicely if kept in a cool, dry, dark place.  Be sure to clean and dry them first and store them no lower than 50°.  Eat Delicata within 6 weeks. Butternut will store for 2-3 months.  Buttercup should be good for 3 months and Spaghetti even longer.

Pasta “with the” Broccoli
This is a recipe my family has made for years.  My great grandmother made it for my grandma who made it for my mother, she made it for me and I now make it for my son.   The Sicilian dialect that flavors my entire families speech has us pronounce our P’s hard, as a B sound – so we have always called it “Basta with the Broccoli”! Hope you enjoy.  It is a simple dish full of flavor and super healthy too.

1 head of broccoli, trimmed into “florets” (1 lb)
1 big can crushed tomatoes 
1-2 cups chicken broth
6 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
olive oil
salt and pepper
I lb spaghetti

In a large pot of boiling water cook broccoli for 5 minutes just to par boil.  Meanwhile heat oil over med heat  in a large pan and sauté garlic but don’t brown.  Using a slotted spoon or sieve remove broccoli from water and place in pan with garlic.  Don’t dump water – bring back to a boil.  Cook spaghetti until al dente in the broccoli water.    Sauté broccoli in garlic for a few minutes then add can of tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper to taste.   Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until spaghetti is done.  Drain spaghetti and toss with broccoli.  Top with more pepper and parmesan cheese.

Thank you all once again! Keep in touch and don’t forget to check our website this winter for any updates and news.

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