2008 October

Blue Pumpkins Are Here

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Although prettier than your average halloween pumpkin, these little blue treasures are much more than ornamental. Heirlooms, these pumpkin seeds have been passed down for generations because of their fine flavor and cooking qualities. To begin with, many cooks are familiar with following a pumpkin recipe that starts with “open a can of pumpkin puree.” If you want to use your pumpkin, you’ll need to back up one step and make your own puree. It’s not complicated. Smash your pumpkin (don’t try this on your countertop; I give this job to one of my kids: take it outside and throw it down on the sidewalk or driveway. ) Once opened, remove seeds and bake at 350 until soft. Scoop out meat of pumpkin, and throw away the outer skins. You can now put in a blender or cuisinart to perfect your puree. From here, you can follow any pumpkin recipe. This pumpkin makes a fine pumpkin soup, pumpkin muffin, pumpkin pie or pumpkin gravy. A winter squash, you can enjoy the ornamental qualties of your pumpkin today, and eat it a month or two down the road if you’d like. Unlike summer squashes, winter squashes, particularly the heirloom varieties, can be stored.

Here’s the super easy soup recipe:

Directly from the shell of the pumpkin, place cooked pumpkin in Vitamix or other blender with a clove of garlic, very small amount of grated Jalapeno, a few macadamia nuts, milk, dash of olive oil, salt to taste. Blend. Adjust thickness with more milk if necessary. Heat, and pour into separate bowls. Crumble a few macadamia nuts on top of each serving if you’d like.

Basil Pesto

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This is a really quick, easy meal if you have a cusinart. Boil pasta, set aside. Throw in cusinart:

All the leaves of one bunch of our basil.

Two cloves of garlic

Quarter cup of walnuts

Half cup of olive oil

Salt to taste

Little bit of water if it comes out too thick

Puree in cusinart. Then add an additional, small handful of chopped walnuts to add texture. Stir over pasta, serve immediately.

October 22, 2008 Pick List

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Here’s this week’s planned pick list:

Reed Avocados

Persimmons

Juice Limes

Apples

Carrots

Basil

Jalapenos

Heirloom Dried Red Peppers

Radishes

Swiss chard

Heirloom Blue Pumpkin (culinary)

Garlic

Fioja Guava

Head Lettuce

Dill

Cukes

Green Peppers (maybe just in large baskets?)

Macadamias, large baskets only

It's not even related to a tomato, it's a persimmon!

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It’s not even related to a tomato, and is actually a tree fruit. For years the coyotes beat us to the punch and ate every one. We pruned the trees last year, so the trees couldn’t be easily climbed by Wiley anymore, and so this year is the first ever that we have a good crop. Hopefully Mr. Coyote won’t turn to my avocado trees instead…. Anyway, you can eat these persimmons when they are still somewhat hard (although as they soften, they are sweeter). Don’t confuse this Fuyu persimmon, which can be eaten hard, with a Hichiya, which is longer and pointier. You eat one of those before the dead ripe stage and you with never, ever, make that mistake again. The unripe fruit’s taste is bad, and I think, just to make myself clear, the word taste, is an understatement, you are more likely to look back on it someday, after getting over it, as a culinary train wreck, The ones in your baskets this week are good to eat at any stage. They can be peeled and sliced into a fruit salad, thrown in the blender for a smoothy, chopped into cubes and used in a cookie batter as you might raisons, or baked into a pie as you would apples. In fact an Asian pear- Fuyu persimmon pie, recipe below is worth trying.

Gingered Persimmon and Asian Pear Crisp

2 Fugu persimmons, not overripe, peeled and sliced

2 or 3 Asian pears, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup lime juice

4 Tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated

Topping:

4 Tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

1/2 teaspoon lime peel, grated

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon cinnimon

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 teaspoon nutmet

Preheat oven to 375F. Combine frut, juice, salt and giner in an 8-inch square baking pan. In a separate bowl comtine topping ingredients. Sprinkle topping over fruit and bake for 40 minutes.

Applesauce is That Easy?

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Hardly a recipe, but applesauce is so easy, it’s really not worth ever buying. Peal your apples, squeeze a little lime juice, drop a couple drops of stevia if you think it needs to be sweeter (make sure you get the good stuff that isn’t cut with sucrose or other additives; get the pure stevia extract) and put everything in a Cuisinart. Puree. I buy little disposable containers from Smart and Final and add these little treats to my kids’ lunches.

Financial Markets Affecting Morning Song Farm

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As many have been challenged by recent economic issues, Morning Song Farm’s CSA program lost 25% of its supporters this last month. Wow! We sure are passionate about continuing our CSA program, but do need our local community’s support. I thought perhaps I should consider offering a Laguna Beach, Hungtington Beach or Orange drop off. If anyone has a friend or organization that might be interested in joining or hosting in those communities, please let us know.

Few Weird Things in Basket This Week

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Greetings!

What a scorcher of a week! Fruit photo at right is a Fioja Guava. Some people slice long ways and scoop out the contents. I like the spicy skin and eat the whole thing. Try it both ways and see what you think. Photo at right is sage, which you’ll find in your baskets as well this week. The garlic is another heirloom, and is medium hot, and fairly easy to peel.

Garlic Butter:

Either churn your own butter like I do, or buy butter and toss a cube in the Cuisinart. Add a couple cloves of garlic and salt to taste. Puree. Remember that garlic adds “heat” to a dish, as well as the familiar garlicly taste that at least I’m addicted to. So add as many cloves as you like to your butter as it’s being pureed, but make sure you don’t overdo it. If you do, just add more butter.

Use the finished product on baked fish, as a dip with cheese and crackers, on toast in the morning, on your baked potato, or over steamed green beans,
Following is this week’s basket contents:

Sage

Limes

Heirloom Melon

Avocado (Reed)

Apples

Asian Pears

Jalapeno

Weird long, heirloom hot pepper, requires drying

Eggplant

Arugula

Radish

Carrots

Baby Swiss Chard

Fioja Guavas

Rosemary

Mint

Basil

Heirloom Garlic

Baby Lettuce (large baskets oly)

Head Lettuce

Green Onions

Cilantro

Beans