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  • October 05th, 2011

As I flipped the calendar over this weekend, it’s hard to believe this is the last month of our CSA this season.  I guess time flies when you (we) are having fun!   We were hoping the lettuce would be ready to cut for this week, but it’s not.  So, postponing our fresh salads, we get to enjoy other tastes of fall this week with pumpkins and apples, greens, along with a few other tail-end harvests of summer.  I’m sure your kitchen will be smelling like fall so no need for the scented candles with a bag of goodies like this.  The apples alone bring sugar into the air!  We know you will enjoy. 

Speaking of apples—-you have a beautiful selection from Mulberry Orchard, our friends Matt and Amanda.  If you are in the area this fall (Friday through Sunday) you really need to treat yourself to some of their apple cider!  You can take a hay ride out to the pumpkin patch, enjoy a cider smoothie or even apple cider donuts.  

I had a good time collecting recipes for this week because of the variety and changing season.

We were at my parents’ house on Sunday and Mama was so excited to share this recipe she had clipped.  How appropriate for the season!  I can’t give credit where credit is due ‘cause I’m not sure which farming magazine it came from….but sounds wonderful and think it would fill the house with a sweet aroma as it cooks!

Cider-Braised Spicy Pork Stew

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 cup apple cider

1 cup chicken broth

1 tablespoon dried or fresh chopped parsley

2 ½ teaspoons original Tabasco brand pepper sauce

3 cups butternut squash chunks (or any type of winter squash)

2 cups brussels sprouts, each cut in half if needed

1 large apple, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped  (Apples from Mulberry Orchard are a must!!!)

 Combine flour and salt in a bowl; add pork pieces.  Toss to coat well.  Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook pork pieces in batches until well browned on all sides. Repeat with remaining pork.  Remove pork to slow cooker.  Add onion, apple cider, chicken broth, parsley and Tabasco sauce.  Cover and cook on high for two hours or on low for four hours.  Stir in squash, brussels sprouts and apple.   Cover and cook two hours longer, stirring occasionally.  Serve with crusty bread.  Makes six servings.


How to Cook Pumpkin

I have to say that last fall I fell in love with cooking pumpkin.  Don’t really know what it was, but found it very rewarding.  Maybe it’s because of the taste of pumpkin is a taste of comfort to me—-remembering Thanksgiving with my family—-one of my favorite days of the year for sure!  I’d bake it and puree and pop in yogurt containers to have when we were ready for pie.

Baking is the most reliable and easiest method for cooking pumpkin.  Simply take the pumpkin or squash, cut it in half, remove the seeds and pulp, and place both sections face down on a cookie sheet. Bake for 30 minutes (or more for larger pumpkins) at about 350 degrees. A fork should easily pierce the skin and flesh.  After cooling, spoon out the now soft flesh and use as you would canned pumpkin (you may wish to puree it at this point, or add some water to adjust the consistency).   With the pumpkin in this solid form, it can be used immediately, refrigerated (for about a week), or frozen (for up to a year).

Pumpkin Spice with Nutmeg, makes 8 tsp.

Mix together: 4 tsp. cinnamon, 2 tsp. ground ginger, 1 tsp. allspice, and 1 tsp. nutmeg.

Pumpkin Spice with Cloves, makes 6 tsp.

Mix together: 4 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, 1/2 tsp. allspice.

Brother Boniface’s Pumpkin Bread (from Southern Living),

compliments of CSA member and farmer, Melissa Ballard

 4 C all purpose flour

3 C sugar

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground allspice

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp ground ginger

4 large eggs

1 C vegetable oil

1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (or farm fresh, of course)

2/3 cup water

1 C chopped pecans – I use these sometimes and leave them out sometimes

 Beat first 14 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Fold in pecans (if you are using).  Spoon evenly into 2 greased and floured 9 x 5 inch loafpans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans and cool completely on wire racks.


Pumpkin Pie-cicles

2 1/2 lbs. butternut squash or a pie pumpkin

1/2 cup pure maple syru

2/3 cup light cream

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

 To make a batch, cut a butternut squash or pumpkin into quarters and scoop out the seeds.  Boil, bake, or microwave the squash until it’s soft. Let the squash cool a bit before scooping its flesh into a medium-size bowl.  Add pure maple syrup, light cream, and pumpkin pie spice to the bowl. Use a potato masher to mush the squash and blend all of the ingredients.  Spoon the mixture into ice pop molds (we were able to fill 10), add sticks, and freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.


A quick note on the kale….remember the kale we had before?  You won’t believe this comes from the same plants.  As it has cooled, the insect pressure has lessened, so the new, young leaves of the kale plants are ready for harvest and aren’t bug-bitten to shreds!   Kale, like our Swiss Chards is something that can be harvested repetitively since they re-grow their leaves.  Makes for a great item in the garden!

Sautéed Greens

1/2 cup diced onion

4 cups chopped kale

1 TBS + 1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth

3 medium cloves garlic, pressed

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste


Heat 1 TBS broth in a 10-12 inch stainless steel skillet. Sauté diced onions in broth over medium- low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add kale and 1/4 cup broth.  Cover and simmer on low heat for about 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Toss with pressed garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serves 2


What to do with the long, slender, Japanese eggplant??

The skins aren’t as thick and tough and the flesh is sweeter…enjoy!

 “Do a simple fresh herb, balsamic, olive oil marinade. slice them in half lengthwise and marinate and throw on the grill”


Wash the eggplant, trim off the caps, halve lengthwise, and place them in a greased baking dish.  Spray canola oil, and give the cut surfaces of the eggplant another spray to keep them moist in baking. Chop a big pile of garlic and sprinkle over the eggplant to your preferred density, then drizzle the eggplant with a bit of olive oil.  Grind fresh pepper over the top, and sprinkle with Cajun spice and/or a bit of salt.

 Optional additions:

scallions, parsley, etc can be chopped in with the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, rosemary, or the spice/herb of your choice to sprinkle on top.

 Put the pan in a 350F oven for about 30-45 minutes. The eggplant will thin and curl on itself a bit, and the garlic will become a crisp and nutty brown on top. At this point you can remove the eggplant and eat them directly, but I prefer to shut off the oven and let them slowly cool. This extra hour sitting at low temperature dries the eggplant out a bit more, concentrating and mellowing the flavors.



Grilled Peppers and Veggies

(Everyday Grilling by Southern Living)

¾ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 medium yellow bell pepper

1 medium red bell pepper

1 medium green bell pepper

3 medium zucchini

2 large yellow onions

1 medium eggplant

 Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl.  Cut bell peppers into large pieces, discarding seeds and membranes.  Cut zucchini in half crosswise, then each piece in half lengthwise.  Cut onions crosswise into 1/3-inch slices.  Slice eggplant crosswise into ½-inch slices.  Add vegetables to marinate; too to coat.  Marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.  Remove vegetables from marinade, reserving marinade.  Grill over Direct Medium heat until tender and charred, about 10 to 12 minutes, basting occasionally with reserved marinade.  Serve vegetables warm, at room temperature, or cover and chill up to 24 hours.  Yield: 6 to 8 servings.



Poblano Peppers

Want an authentic Mexican meal?  Try this with your toppings of choice and side of rice and beans.

 Chiles Rellenos (Stuffed Peppers),

compliments of

4 fresh poblano chile peppers

1/2 pound lean ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

3 eggs, separated

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup corn oil

 Place whole peppers over an open flame (gas burner) or under the broiler. Roast, turning frequently until evenly black and blistered. Remove from heat, place in a plastic bag, and let them sweat for a while. This will allow the skins to peel of easily.While the peppers are sweating, place the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring to crumble, until evenly browned. When beef is fully cooked, add the onion, garlic and tomato, and cook for a few more minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove the peppers from the bag, and peel off the burnt skin. You may wish to wear protective gloves. Run peppers under cool running water to rinse away any burnt pieces. Make a small vertical slit in the side of the peppers, and remove the seeds and veins. Stuff each pepper halfway with the ground beef mixture, then fill the rest of the way with shredded cheese. Close the slits, and secure with toothpicks.  Whip egg whites in a large glass or metal bowl until thick and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, and whip for a minute to blend in.  Meanwhile, heat 1/4 inch of oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the stuffed peppers with a light dusting of flour, then dip them in the egg so they are fully covered. Carefully place in the hot oil, and fry on both sides until golden. Drain on paper towels, then serve on a large platter. (or you may want to add a little enchilada sauce and/or cheese then warm for 10 minutes in the oven at 275F.)

Enjoy the good, hearty meals of real food from a real farm!  Thanks for the honor.

Lovin’ growin’ for you, 

Mary and extended family of workers


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