This week’s weather reminds me a little of spring in that it can’t seem to make up its mind. Monday was sunny and gorgeous, Tuesday was monsoon-like, and the rest of the week was a little of both on and off throughout the day. I am glad it has been warm overall, though. I am not looking forward to numb harvest fingers. Although really, any weather is better than what has been going on back east with hurricane Sandy. I will gladly accept our rain showers without complaint. Nature is humbling, that is for sure.
What’s In the Box:
carrots-orange and red
garlic-music and California late
beets-either cylindrical or round red
Today’s box has a few unusual items. First we have celeriac, AKA celery root. It is the round, rough, whitish root-ball that smells like celery. Much like chard and beets are related (one being bred for big roots and the other for big leaves), that is how it goes with celery and celeriac. Celeriac is mild in flavor and is a nice addition to soups, gratins, and even mashed potatoes.
Next we have rutabaga. It looks a lot like a turnip; purple shoulders, white body, though a little rougher looking. The flavor is similar to a turnip, but is a little crisper, sweeter, and more refreshing. My neighbor, who grew up in Iceland, told me that her mother would give her and her brother sliced up raw rutabaga as an after school snack if they complained about being hungry. (Tell that to your kids when they whine for cookies and junk after school!) You can cook rutabaga as well as enjoy it raw, after school or otherwise. Add it to soups, gratins, root roasts, pot roasts, and the like.
Cauliflower, though not unusual in and of itself, is unusual for us because we have not had good luck growing it over the past few years. Bugs love it, the sun damages it, and it in the ground a long time, taking up valuable real estate. I have been threatening to to quit growing it, but I always put a little in each year. I just love it so much I can’t help myself. I think we need to just grow it in the fall. My favorite thing to do with it is to make a creamy cauliflower potato soup.
Carnival squash tastes a lot like delicata. This is the first year we grew this type. I like it quite a bit. The skin is not quite a thin and tender as delicata, but the flesh is sweet, creamy, and dense. The seeds are good for roasting as well. I have been roasting all the squash seeds actually whenever I cook one for dinner. Just free the seeds from the pulp, give a quick rinse, put in a baking dish or pie pan, mix with a few generous splashes of tamari, and cook in the oven at anywhere from 350-400 degrees, stirring periodically until tamari has evaporated and the seeds are dry and crunchy.
Recipes: I spent a good chunk of last Saturday adding fall recipes to the website. I went through several magazines and cookbooks and found all sorts of recipes for winter squash, potatoes, leeks, and kale. See the “Recent Recipes” section at the bottom of the page or search by ingredient with the tag cloud.
I hope you all enjoy this next week and stay cozy warm with soups and oven-baked yumminess. (I know I will be.)
Oh, and for all you Facebook types, I just posted some new farm pictures on the Rising River Farm page.