Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cooking and Storing Winter Squash

Baking is our favorite way to cook winter squashes.
To bake squash, all types of squash, cut them in half lengthwise, scoop the seeds out and place them on a baking pan with the open side facing down. And don't forget to season them! You can opt for any seasoning you wish: from a little olive oil with salt and pepper to a sweeter butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon combo. Place them in the oven at 400 degrees and let cook for 40 minutes to 1 hour and a half, depending on size and texture. You really want your squash to caramelize to eliminate excess moisture and release its natural sugars. Once out of the oven, scoop out the pulp and use it to make soups, purées, sauces, pie fillings and other wonderful preparations. Just pick a good recipe!

Store most winter squashes and pumpkins as close to 50 degrees as possible, and for best results, try to keep the humidity between 70 and 80 percent. Good air circulation in the storage area is also helpful. Do not store pumpkins and squash in layers. Avoid storing them near the ground or floor where the humidity is highest.

Avoid storing them on paper or in paper or plastic bags, as bags tend to hold in too much moisture. An attic or high garage shelf, if kept above 50 degrees, may work well.

Under proper storage conditions, pumpkins last about a month, acorn squashes will last from five to eight weeks, butternut, delicata and dumpling squashes from two to three months. Keep an eye on your stored pumpkins and squash and remove any that are turning soft.

Patti's recipe in the Oceana Herald Journal!

from Andrew Skinner:

I did manage to get away from the interwebs long enough recently to give Patti Kreilick’s Eggplant Fajita recipe a try.

I met Patti, who is interning at Earthscape Farm, in Hesperia, and their CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program, earlier this month at a Shelby High School football game.

Patti said she enjoyed my work and cooking column, so as I do with anyone brave enough to say they actually read my column, I asked her to send me a recipe… and she did.

Patti says she came up with her recipe for Eggplant Fajitas after some of the CSA participants said they had a hard time enjoying eggplant.

“I started playing with different combinations and came up with some things that I liked,” she said.

When Patti first mentioned eggplant during our original meeting I was a little worried. I couldn’t recall ever eating the large purple vegetable and had no idea what to expect; but I figured like most people she would never send me a recipe.

Being a first time eggplant(er) I was unsure if I should cut the skin off. According to my friend the interwebs, I should — which I did — this was also seconded by Patti in a later e-mail.

Just in case you were wondering, according to the interwebs I had a female (lots of seeds) eggplant. That is why I love the good old interwebs so much. It is filled with so much useful and useless information.

Anyway, back to the recipe.

My first taste of raw eggplant reminded me of a cucumber, just dryer.

As I started cooking the cubed eggplant — since my chopping/cubing/measuring skills are lacking my cubes were 1/3 inch rather than the suggested 1/4 inch — and added the spices, I became worried I had chosen a pan that was too small. Lucky for me it cooked down and I had room for the rest of the ingredients.

The addition of the rest of the ingredients went just as planned. No fingers were sliced off or nicked during the chopping process.

The only problem I may have had relates back to my lack of measurement/size differential skills. I may have added a bit too much onion. I realized this about halfway through chopping one of those huge sweet onions. To me that is a large onion. aAs I stared at the mountain of onion on my cutting board I realized Patti probably meant a large regular size onion.

Prior to taking a few pictures of the finished fajitas, I decided to give one a try — and almost downed the entire batch.

The fajitas have a nice and spicy taste. Just like a fajita, with meat, the eggplant holds onto the spices, making for a wonderful meal.

I think I may like eggplant fajitas more than regular (meat) fajitas.

Thanks for one of my new favorite recipes, Patti.

I will no longer fear the (egg)plant.


4 Fajita shells

1 large eggplant, peeled, cube 1/4”

1 tsp chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

pinch cayenne

1 sweet pepper

1 large onion

1 clove garlic

1 hot pepper (optional)

4 oz. jalapeno cheese


• Over medium heat saute eggplant in olive oil and add spices.

• Chop and add each ingredient individually. Follow the order of the recipe.

• Warm the fajita shells on the stove top

• Let everything cook down pretty well at a low temperature.

• Put the filling in shells and let the cheese melt a little.

Monday, September 27, 2010

This is the last share week for 16 week shares

There may be a few things in your boxes this week that we want to be sure you get, and we have 2 more weeks to get them to 20 week shares.

Have a great Fall, Winter and Spring! Keep eating fresh and local, as much as you can here in Michigan. Come see us at Sweetwater Market!

Butternut Squash Heart of Gold Delicata Squash

celeriac_stalks200.jpg Here's a great link to a website about celeriac, including recipes:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Beans for freezing or canning

Mike and Amanda Jones have a lot of beans available in quantity. They put in a large late planting at their farm and so far the weather is holding and the beans are producing. Please email or call if you are interested in quantity beans. Their phone number is 861-2535.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Daikon Salad

Printed from COOKS.COM

8 oz. daikon radish
1 lg. carrot
1 tsp. lemon peel
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 c. rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Slice daikon crosswise and cut each slice into thin strips. Cut carrot crosswise into 2 inch wide pieces. Slice each piece and cut into thin strips.

In a bowl, mix daikon and carrots and sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and squeeze. Let stand 5 minutes. Rinse them under cold running water, drain and squeeze well. Cut lemon peel into thin strips and mix with daikon mixture, set aside.

Combine sugar, vinegar, lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour vinegar mixture over daikon mixture and let stand 1 hour. Makes 4 servings.

Masai Filet Beans

Masai Haricots Verts are a gourmet bean, quite time-consuming to pick. It takes the same time to pick a bean 1/3 the size of a normal green bean, but oh-the-flavor packed into this small bean! They are a favorite of ours and we like sharing them with you all.

DAIKON Radishes!

Snowy (F1) Daikon Radish (Raphanus sativus subsp. longipinnatus) is an everyday component of Asian cuisine. In fact, it is the most widely grown vegetable in Japan. You’ll find it with your meal at almost any Japanese restaurant. It can be prepared almost anyway you like, including raw, fried, grilled, boiled.

Eaten raw, Daikon has a spicy taste but becomes quite mild flavored when cooked. In addition, it has an almost magical ability to bring out other flavors in the dish.

Storage -Keeps well in the refrigerator if they are placed in a sealed container or plastic bag in order to maintain high humidity.

Preparation - This is an extremely versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw in salads or cut into strips or chips for relish trays. It also can be stir-fried, grilled, baked, boiled or broiled. Use the daikon as you would a radish. It may be served raw in salads or grated for use as a condiment (if you don't have a Japanese-style grater, use a cheese grater and grate just before serving), pickled, or simmered in a soup. They are also preserved by salting as in making sauerkraut. Daikon also is used in soups and simmered dishes. To prepare, peel skin as you would a carrot and cut for whatever style your recipe idea calls for.

A Japanese secret to cooking daikon is to use water in which rice has been washed or a bit of rice bran added (this keeps the daikon white and eliminates bitterness and sharpness}.

For Chips, Relish Tray Sticks or Stir Fries - Simply peel Daikon with a peeler and cut crossways for thin chips. Dip thin chips in ice water and they will crisp and curl for a Daikon chip platter with your favorite sour cream or yogurt dip. Cut into julienne strips for relish trays, salads or stir-frys.

Nutrition Information - Daikon is very low in calories. A 3 ounce serving contains only 18 calories and provides 34 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. Rich in vitamin C, daikon contains active enzymes that aid digestion, particularly of starchy foods.

Here's a link to recipe ideas.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

When does this year's CSA end?

16 week shares will end with Week 18, as you started on Week 2. That will be September 27th / 28th for Monday/Tuesday shares, or September 30th /October 2nd for Thursday / Saturday shares.

20 week CSA ends the week of October 11th.

We will continue to bring our vegetables and beef to Sweetwater Market on Saturdays 9-1. We'll also sell some veggies and beef at the farm. Call or email to make arrangements ahead of time.

Still to come:
Winter Squashes: Acorns, Butternuts, Buttercups, Kabochas, Delicatas, Dumplings
Pumpkins: Mini decorative, Pie, and at least some large jack'o'lanterns
Potatoes: Russets, Kennebecs and Fingerlings
Sweet Potatoes
Leeks, Onions, & Garlic
Celery & Celeriac
Broccoli & Cabbage (we hope!)
Carrots & Parsnips
Plus Kale, Chard, Peppers, Tomatoes, Eggplant and maybe some other vegetables.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Labor Day

We are still filling share boxes on Labor Day. If you can't pick up till Tuesday, just let us know and we will put your share in the walk in cooler.

Enjoy the change of weather and the Holiday Weekend!