Thursday, September 24, 2009

Week Seventeen: Transition to Fall

You can tell that the seasons are turning, despite the warm weather we've been having the past few days. Out at the farm we're beginning to see the end of summer crops like tomatoes and summer squash and melons (positively the last of those this week). As crops finish, the beds where they were have been tilled, and the fields are beginning to look empty and bare for the winter. In one field, all that's left is a bed of turnips, standing alone in an expanse of rich, brown earth.
Over the weekend a large crew of cooks processed 8 bushels of farmer's market tomatoes so that we'll have them for the Long Winter Kitchen program. On Tuesday I drove with Rena of Locavorious to the freezer warehouse she uses near the airport. It was quite an adventure to see a freezer twice the size of Home Depot--let me tell you that 200 qts of tomato sauce seem like a lot in my kitchen and nothing at all in the scope of that place! After visiting one end of the food system--where massive quantities of frozen food are shipped around the country on pallets--it was a pleasure to return to the farm and spend an afternoon harvesting peppers. Wednesday was another busy harvest morning--we had so many heads of broccoli to bring in it took many trips with the garden carts to transport them all.
This week's season-transformational share:
Broccoli - 2 heads
Cabbage or Cauliflower - 1 head (we chose both)
Eggplant - 2 (!)
Hot peppers - 4
Choice: small box summer squash or small box tomatoes (we chose both)
Kale - 3/4 lb
Basil - 1 plant
Assorted oriental greens (mizuna, tatsoi, arugula) - 1 bunch
Parsley - 1 bunch
Green onion - 1 bunch
Lettuce - 3 heads (!!)
Brussels sprouts greens - 2
Fennel - 1 plant
Sweet pepper - 4
Melon - 1 pc (positively the end of these rockstars!)

And the menu--
Cream of Broccoli Soup from Moosewood p. 23 (and vegan version from this site) simply the best way to devour so much tasty broccoli!
Cavolfiore Sauce from Moosewood p. 163 Pasta al Cavolfiore is a family favorite. Now you can enjoy it too! yum!
Pesto - I know you need more of this.
Roasted Eggplant-Pepper Salad I haven't tried this recipe from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd, p., but it uses so many of our ingredients this week I have no doubt it will be delicious!
If that doesn't use up enough eggplant, I may make Baba Ganouj as well.
Remember a few weeks ago when I said I'd make Melon Salad with Lime? Well, I'll really do it this time!
We're also going to try a recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living: Kristin's Green Pate is my farm colleague's adaptation of a treat from Martha. We're making a few surprise substitutions, but this is a tasty delight.
Fall Festival Salad with so much lettuce, scallions, mizuna, and tatsoi. Yum!

Phew! Must go get to work on this ambitious menu!!
See you Friday
Photos: 1. Ricardo, Nikki, and Anne hang out the Fall Festival Banner 2. Locavorious' pallet in the freezer warehouse. I wish the photo could show how cold it was in there! 3. Broccoli!!! 4. Kristin shows off the broccoli.

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