Saturday, November 3, 2012

Weekly Newsletter

I am so pleased that we still have tomatoes to put in the boxes this week! The little bit of rain hasn’t affected them too much, considering how late in the season it is.  The latest planting of beans still seems to be going pretty strong too.  We are already picking the first persimmons now, they are a little on the early side this year.  I am so glad we will have plenty of ripe ones for Thanksgiving – we always sell quite a few at the downtown farmers market the day before.  There really are so many great things to do with them, I will definitely share ideas soon!

Winter Squash and Kale Soup with Bacon

I hope last weeks winter squash tips inspired everyone to get creative and use their winter squash! Here is another great way to use it that will warm you up on these chilly nights!


·                     4 strips bacon
·                     1 medium onion, finely chopped
·                     1 bunch kale, thick stems removed, leaves finely chopped
·                     4 cups winter squash puree (about 2 squash, or 4 lbs).  I recommend that you halve and roast the squash, but you can simply bake them whole or microwave them. Either way, once cooked scoop out flesh and puree. 
·                     3 cups chicken broth
·                     Coarse salt and ground pepper


1.                  Cook bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate; set aside.
2.                  Add onion to bacon pan, and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add kale; cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.
3.                  Add squash puree and chicken broth  (add more if necessary to achieve desired consistency); bring just to a boil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Serve, garnished with reserved bacon.


Baked Apples

·                     4 apples
·                     1/4 cup brown sugar
·                     1 teaspoon cinnamon
·                     1/4 cup chopped pecans
·                     1/4 cup currants or chopped raisins
·                     1 Tbsp butter
·                     3/4 cup boiling water
1 Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash apples. Remove cores to 1/2 inch of the bottom of the apples. It helps if you have an apple corer, but if not, you can use a paring knife to cut out first the stem area, and then the core. Use a spoon to dig out the seeds. Make the holes about 3/4-inch to an inch wide.
2 In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, currants/raisins, and pecans. Place apples in a 8x8-inch square baking pan. Stuff each apple with this mixture. Top with a dot of butter (1/4 of the Tbps).
3 Add boiling water to the baking pan. Bake 30-40 minutes, until tender, but not mushy. Remove from the oven and baste the apples several times with the pan juices.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream on the side.

Hachiya (left) and Fuyu (right)
This week you are receiving both types of persimmons we grow here on the farm -  FUYU  and HACHIYA. Fuyu’s can be eaten when firm and crisp like an apple, unlike their cousin the Hachiya, which must ripen to a very soft and jellylike state before using.  The 2 types can be distinguished from one another by their different shapes.  Hachiya’s are sort of teardrop shaped with a pointy bottom, whereas Fuyus have a more squat shape with a flatter bottom.  The Fuyu’s are ready to go – eat out of hand or try slicing some into a salad or tossing with apples, raisins and nuts for a yummy mix.  The Hachiyas will need some time to ripen.  The best way to do it is to lay them on their stem end on a dish or tray with 1 apple for every 3 persimmons, then wrap tightly with an opaque plastic bag and keep at room temp.  They will be ripe in 7-10 days this way.  If left in a fruit bowl they may take longer and not ripen as uniformly.  When ripe there are many ways to enjoy them! I will share some ideas and favorite recipes next week when they are all ready to use.