Weekly Weed Archive

Week Four

November 17, 2010

What’s is your basket this Week?
Pumpkins, Persimmons and Pears o my!

  • Hundred dollar Pumpkins
  • Fuyu persimmons
  • Pears from New Harmony
  • Watercress
  • Radishes
  • Butter Crunch
  • Oak Leaf
  • Bulls Blood
  • Gourmet mix,Includes varieties such as Outredgeous,Tango,Dark Lollo Rossa, and others.
  • Tomatoes

Ideas for Eating, Cutting, Cooking and Keeping the new stuff:

Pumpkins, As both farmers and a family who loves to cook, we prefer to use whatever we’ve grown  or is local in our cooking. We did not grow these, one of our share holders did with great determination and expense!Knowing he was hosting our  Share Holder Fall Harvest Pot Luck and Pumpkin Pick he wanted pumpkins. Planting late in the season he had to heat his entire pumpkin patch.So he pulled a trailer to Idaho to buy smudge pots.These have to be seen to be believed.The trip nor the pots were free or even cheap.Diesel from Maverick is what burns in these babies. No,Maverick had no sales or freebies for an insane man heating  a 1/4 acre pumpkin patch.Before he purchased these while he is working out of town his pregnant wife and children were hand covering with blankets and tarps every night! Did I forget to tell you they are on city water, I will tell you the water bill was in the 3 digits.To recover some of the cost they decided to invite the public and charge not enough for a pumpkin and corn maze. They gave away hot chocolate and funnel cakes.You do the math.Thus the name $100. pumpkins! Yes, we had pumpkins to take home ,the corn maze, funnel cakes and now more pumpkins for share holders.

Pies made from these fresh pumpkins are incredibly better than what you get from canned pumpkin. And it is so easy.Easier then going to Costco and yes I think their pumpkin pie is good.Here are the steps I will also put them on the exchange.

Step One:  Clean Your Pumpkin

You’ve probably seen those teeny pumpkins in the grocery stores labeled pie pumpkins.I’ve made pies out of all sizes of pumpkins and have yet to notice a taste  difference between large and small. Varieties yes but not necessarily size. I think they are called pie pumpkins because one small pumpkin equals one pie. A medium sized pumpkin will make 2 – 3 pies. Don’t worry if you don’t need that many pies. I will tell you how to preserve leftover pumpkin.

Cut your pumpkin in half around the middle. Then scrape out the “innards” thoroughly with a large spoon. Cut out the stem from the top.

Step Two: Cook Your Pumpkin You can microwave your pumpkin or roast it. The microwave can do the job in about 20 minutes, while roasting can take up to an hour and a half. I believe that roasting provides a bit more flavor and is healthier.

If you use the microwave, you will need to put your cleaned pumpkin into a covered dish. This helps to evenly cook the pumpkin.  Start at 20 minutes on high. then check it with a fork. You want the fork to easily slide into the pumpkin in several spots. If it does, remove to cool. If it does not, cook some more.

To roast your cleaned pumpkin, grease with spray ,olive oil etc. a rimmed cookie sheet . Place your pumpkin halves cut side down and put into a 375 degree oven. When the skin of the pumpkin is a smoky orange and the pumpkin halves have collapsed, they are nearly done. Test with a fork as above (The skin will be crispy). If not yet done, return to the oven. If close to done, return to the oven but turn the off the oven.

Which ever method you use, when your pumpkin is done, set it out to cool. Scrape the pumpkin “meat” from the skin into a large bowl. If you roasted your pumpkin in the oven, the meat falls right off the skin.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe I am putting a recipe on the exchange that is a modified canned recipe (they now donate the can and use fresh pumpkin)It is a very easy recipe. I am also putting a fabulous  chocolate black bottom recipe on their.You can use your pumpkin in any recipe you like. Simply weigh or measure your cooked pumpkin and add as directed.

Persimmons, For our St George friends you might have a neighbor or grow them yourself but up here not a chance and we do not have a Harmon’s so probably not even in a store.This is Thanksgiving in California,memories…

I love these so much and wanted you all to have some that I traded milk for them from a wonderful family in Toquerville.I did not want them to go soft on my watch. If you keep them cold maybe you could wait until Thanksgiving and eat them in your salad.Mixed greens, toasted nuts and persimmons.Here is a link to my favorite reciepes including the salad.http://www.bonappetit.com/search/query?query=Persimmons&qt=dismax&sort=score+desc&global-search-submit.x=52&global-search-submit.y=5&global-search-submit=submit&allRecipes=true

There are two types of persimmons generally at the market. The first is called the Fuyu and is small and somewhat squat and is what is in your basket today! There is also the Hachiya variety. This type is longer and shaped like an acorn. Both begin a deep orange. The Fuyu should be eaten while firm, like an apple. The Hachiya, on the other hand, are to be eaten when very soft; when they look like they’re just about to go bad. If you have ever eaten one and it coated your mouth with bitter pith this was the variety.Once they’re to this stage, you can use them in  baked goods or freeze them for later use.You almost did not get any as Sara and I can not stop eating them.They are like peas in spring they get eaten before you get home!

Greens,new this week Butter Crunch,and the Gourmet mix.

Watercress, not grown at the end of the stream bed which would be frozen anyway but grown in a cold frame in the green house. Has healing properties,a lovely addition to salad or sauces. Our favorite way to eat is on tea sandwiches.I am waiting to see some new post from everyone for this.

Radishes,If you want your radishes to last longer in the fridge, cut the tops off and store the roots in a Ziploc in the crisper.Some people love the spicy bite of a  radish, but if you want a less spicy mouthful, peel your radishes. All of the heat is in that red skin; the meat of the radish is tender, juicy and sweet.Also, radish tops are great in stir-fry (they belong to the same family as mustard greens). Don’t toss ‘em – chop them up and saute with a little rice vinegar, tamari or any other seasoning.

NEXT WEEK Share Day will be TUESDAY 10 a.m. for St George (Dixie College). At the farm you can come as early as you would like. If you will be later then 2 please let us know.We are planning on  Potatoes,Winter squash,Beets,Carrots,Salsify,Onions, Leeks,Rosemary,Spinach,Pears again and greens for the most beautiful Thanksgiving salad ever.

I think that when we eat local and in season we are much truer to the moment. Without thinking much about it we tend to ignore foods that are at the far end of the season and gravitate toward those that are enjoying their prime.The weather itself,the air on our skin,tells us what to eat.There seems to be a moment when all the glossy vegetable fruits of summer are there alongside the somber roots and tubers of fall and the last of the season ,heirloom tomatoes,red bells,are no longer appealing.Where as just weeks ago it seemed like days ago in fact that we had waited 10 months for there arrival! It simply isn’t summer anymore.I feel a twinge of guilt about not being more grateful for still having what I had so recently desired.Now I want sage and baked pumpkins instead of bushels of tomatoes and basil.But it also feels good like I am in tune with nature and aware of the seasons.

With much Thanks for the season.

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