Mark your calendars for October 1 at Noon. The date is set for our Fall Harvest Party. Please bring a dish to pass and a chair to sit on. This has typically been a day to relax, see the farm, take a tractor ride, and meet some of your fellow subscribers. We will have carving pumpkins, Indian corn, and cornstalks free for the taking.
The warmer weather has been a blessing, for it is giving our eggplant and peppers a chance to ripen up. We planted many different-colored peppers, but they are not turning colors yet. The cool August weather may have contributed to the problem, but there are plenty of green ones!
The PUMPKINS (and CUCUMBERS) this week come from Jake’s parents “garden gone crazy” – a big “thank you” to them for all of their hard work! The pumpkins are considered to be among the best pie pumpkins for flavor and texture. They do not have a terribly long shelf life, but should store for a few weeks in a cool dry place. You will see more of these as the season goes on. What to make with them? You can practice making pumpkin pie or custard for Thanksgiving. Or you can amaze you friends with a zesty pumpkin soup. Or make the Pumpkin Waffles below. To use the PUMPKIN, simply slice in half, scoop out the seeds and strings (separate the seeds and soak them in water overnight; then drain them, sprinkle seasonings on them – curry, salt ‘n’ pepper, nutmeg ‘n’ cinnamon, cayenne – whatever combo you like, and roast them in the oven or in a skillet ‘til golden – great snack!), put both halves upright in a baking pan, fill “caves” with water, and bake at 350 F until soft (about an hour, depending on the size). After that, simply scoop out the softened flesh and puree it into recipes (blending it with a liquid, of course), or freeze in old yogurt containers until you are ready to throw it into a recipe. Pumpkin can be substituted for most varieties of winter squash in recipes.
EGGPLANT (for the Half Shares this week) is the purple vegetable in your bags. It is best peeled, sliced thinly, salted (to remove its bitterness), and then fried in whatever recipe you desire. See below for a recipe suggestion (or look back at your Aug.24th newsletter for another one); otherwise look in vegetarian or seasonal cookbooks for more great ideas. Eggplant is a very versatile vegetable (like zucchini); have fun with it!