Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Farm Updates - Mid November

We are busy putting the farm to bed for the winter. Now that we are farming a much bigger piece of land (the Ruff Garlick Patch) it is one helluva process. We have been working on it for over a month now starting with uprooting and picking the chile peppers. We roasted those and they are now stacked up like books in the upright freezer.

The next thing we picked was the red, yellow and orange bell peppers. Farmer Jeff roasted those and took them to the restaurant. It never ceases to amaze me just how much produce one restaurant can go through!

From there we picked the pumpkins and butternut squash. We have used a lot and sold a lot and still have a lot left. (over 100) Now we can see how many pumpkins and squash we can grow!!! Our farming partner, Larry, grew banana squash this year. I prefer the sweetness of butternut squash, but you can't beat how dang big these things grow! I took 2/3 of one squash. I peeled it and cut it into huge chunks, and bagged it. I used one bag for one big pot of soup: onions (homegrown) and apples (homegrown) sauteed in butter, chicken stock (homemade), sauteed jalapenos (homegrown), and when I realized it wasn't sweet enough and I was out of apples , I added some of our dried pears. That did the trick!

For the next pot of soup I used Larry's cauliflower, onions, garlic and sauteed it with a little cumin. I wanted more of a middle eastern flavor. Oh...and homemade turkey stock.

After all of that I still had a bag of squash left which I gave to a friend and the other I used in my turkey soup! I grew up on soup and am so used to making soup once the days are shorter and colder.

The corn patch was taken care of by a man and his wife that are raising cattle. They came in with machetes and hacked out the corn and hauled it away. Today the basil was about to be pulled up so I cut a garbage bag full and will make pesto tomorrow. I came home to a box of apples on the porch, left by a friend, and so I washed, cut up and cooked them in batches of 4 apples with a little water and cinnamon. I just cooked them until they were soft and then put them in 2 cup containers. I will use it for my weekly pot of oatmeal that Farmer Jeff and I live on!

Susan’s Steel Cut Oatmeal

4 1/2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
1 cup steel cut oats
2 - 3 apples, cored and seeded, diced
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. maple syrup

Bring the water and salt to a boil
Add the steel cut oats, stirring all the while you are adding it.
Add the apples, cinnamon and maple syrup.
Cook over low heat, stirring fairly often. It will take about 25-30 min for it to really cook into a nice consistency.

I guess I am still under the influence of Barbara Kingsolver's book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She and her family have inspired me more than ever to do what I can to preserve the harvest. I look forward to savoring the chiles, the jellies, the pesto, the dried fruit (if I can keep Farmer Jeff from eating all of it this month!) and soups for the months ahead.

Happy Thanksgiving and Harvest!

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