Notes from the Farm
Thanks to some hardworking friends our onion harvest is underway. And they look good! In this week’s veggie box are some sweet onions. We have had sweet onions last until February or later, but generally their shelf life is about mid November due to their high water content. The red onions are also harvested you will see those next week.
We also eagerly dove into the squash patch and we are, well…..slightly bummed. This crop is growing underneath the canopy of sunflowers to the south of the driveway. The foliage is beautiful but much of the squash is squishy! Yes, the beautiful summer of occasional rain and mild temperatures didn’t do the squash any favors. Many fruits are simply immature and would need another month of warm temperatures to ripen, and others are ripe but moldy. You will still get winter squash in your shares, but not the quantity as in years past. On the bright side everything else is rocking so there is no shortage of good eats.
This Week’s Veggie Feast
Paprika Peppers, Jalapenos, Carnival Squash, Leeks, Purple Potatoes, Sweet Onions, Beets, Assorted Tomatoes and Cucumber
New This Week
The paprika is probably best known as a ground spice. These sweet peppers are thin skinned and perfect for drying into homemade paprika powder. If that is not your thing they can also be thinly sliced and added to a sautee, a baked entree or an egg dish.
As for all “spicy” peppers, heat intensity can vary widely. If you slice the tip off each pepper you can usually smell the spiciness, or taste a small portion. We have grown jalapenos ion the past that had the heat intensity of a bell pepper (impressive, huh?) and other years were there was a bit of a kick. Pepper roulette.
Carnival winter squash are a type of delicata. The skin is thin, which means you could peel it if you really want to. The flesh is a light yellow with a mild flavor. Since our squash crop is compromised we are not sure how long the fruits will store. Could be a few weeks or could be months. If you do plan to keep it for later just check it every week for soft spots, especially on areas where the skin has a nick.
Is it really that time of year for leek soup? Why, yes. Or try out the recipe below and see how fermentation goes for you. A friend gave me a taste of her fermented leeks last year and I am now inspired to make my own.
Spicy Fermented Leeks in a Jar
- 3 Small leeks
- Handful of fresh dill
- 1 Small dried hot red pepper
- 3 Garlic cloves
- 1/2 Tablespoon of sea salt
- 1 Teaspoon of coriander seeds
- First, wash the leeks, making sure that there’s no dirt in between the leaves.
- Next, remove the roots and thinly slice the leeks, discard the dark green portion of the leaf, and place in a bowl.
- Finely slice the garlic cloves, and add the salt to the leeks, so that it can begin to release their liquids.
- Now, depending on how spicy you like your food, I added 1 small dried red pepper, but you can go wild. Grind the red pepper and the coriander seeds.
- Finely chop the fresh dill and add to the bowl.
- Now, give it all a good massage.
- Finally, cram it all into your glass jar, with an airlock, and fill with water.
- Weight everything down, I use a plastic sheet and a shot glass, close the jar and leave out at room temperature for 3 – 7 days, away from direct sunlight, then transfer to the fridge. Leave them for a few more days, for the flavors to perfectly infuse. Then, dig in.
Source: Let’s Brighten Up
Carnival Squash Chowder
- 3 lbs Carnival Squash peeled and diced
- 2 oz jamon or prosciutto finely minced
- 1 medium onion finely minced
- 2 gloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme minced
- 2 tbs unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup ap flour
- pinch nutmeg
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 0.5 oz dried porcini mushrooms re-hydrated and chopped
- 1 tbs fresh sage minced
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
Peal and dice the squash in to half inch cubes. Finely mince the ham, onions, and garlic.
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, brown the ham for 5-7 minutes over medium-low heat. Add butter and onions and sauté for 5 minutes until tender. Add the garlic, nutmeg, and thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Add the flour and stir in with the other ingredients for 2 minutes.
Slowly whisk in the vegetable and chicken broth an bring to a simmer. Add the bay leaf and porcini mushrooms and simmer until the squash is fork tender, about 15 minutes.
Once the squash is fork tender, remove the pot from the stove and turn off the heat. Use a potato masher to smash some of the squash leaving some larger chunks. Incorporate the freshly minced sage and vigorously whisk the chowder. Whisk in the cream just before serving.
Source: Eat Up!