Week #22; Dismantling summer

In the home stretch.

It’s hard to believe but we only have three more regular-season CSA deliveries, including this week.  Let’s review our schedule.
October 17/18 (this week) = EOW/green
October 24/25 = final EOW/purple week and final Sampler/sun week
October 31/Nov. 1 = final delivery for Weekly shares and EOW/green.

Extension & Storage share members, I sent you a confirmation email on October 2 for each share.  That email has your Extension or Storage delivery date.

Dismantling summer


Skeletal cherry tomato plants

Frosty nights this past weekend finished off our tomatoes (a merciful end) and two of three pepper fields.  We built those fields just a few months ago, pounding posts for tomato trellises, pulling weeds around each pepper plant.  When the tomato posts are pulled, the skeletons of exhausted, frosted plants still stand, ready for mowing.  On the other hand, peppers remain vigorous and loaded with small young fruits that will not mature on cold-damaged plants.  Such promise!  But not in Wisconsin.

We hustled to bring in tender crops before the frost.  Sweet potatoes were a priority because they are so sensitive to cold temperatures.  We dug our final two beds last week and tucked them into a heated, insulated box.  We cure them at 85 F for a week to convert starches to sugar.  Tomorrow, we’ll drop the temperature and gives them lots of air circulation to set the skins. 


The crew loads freshly dug sweet potatoes into an insulated truck box.  


We hurried to strip pepper fields before the frost.  You’ll get a mix of green bell peppers and ones that are half green and half red.  We are out of time for those to turn fully red so let’s enjoy them now.  In the photo above, you can see that the tops of the plants are brown and wilted after frost on Sunday night.  Steve chopped the pepper plants down so we can get the field seeded to a cover crop.


This field has a nice stand of rye and hairy vetch cover crop.  The plants will keep growing until the ground freezes then will re-start growth in early spring.  The cover crop keeps the soil covered and anchored over winter, then enriches the soil in spring when we till in the fresh organic matter.


Even the bees are packed up and returned home to our beekeeper’s farm!


Steve surrenders!  Actually, he’s just pulling marker flags before tilling the finished sweet potato field.


Of course, we’re still harvesting fall crops.

Enjoy the Indian summer this week.  We sure will!
Beth & Steve

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #22, October 17/18, 2019
– Weekly shares
– EOW/ green

Green cabbage
‘Nutterbutter’ butternut squash
Bell peppers, ~3, green or red/green
Purple or white cauliflower
Some sites get a 2nd cauliflower, some get broccoli.
Carrots, 2 lb
Parsnips, 1.5 lb
Yellow onion
‘Roulette’ not-hot habanero chiles, 3 or 4
Garlic

Next week’s box will probably contain bok choy, peppers, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, ginger and more.

Green cabbage – This cabbage will last for a long time in your refrigerator.  Cut off chunks as needed.

‘Nutterbutter’ winter squash – We’re growing more and more of this early-season butternut variety.  It cures quickly and is ready to eat within three to four weeks after harvest, letting us deliver winter squash over a few months.

Bell pepper – Most of your peppers will be “suntan.”  That’s farm lingo for half red and half green.  We stripped the peppers before frost, knowing they would never mature to fully red.  Heck, it’s mid-October!

Purple or white cauliflower – These can be used interchangeably.  When cooked, the purple cauliflower darkens to an inky blue.  Still an intriguing color but no longer purple. 

Parsnips (These look like large white carrots) – Those long, white roots are not carrots, they are parsnips. The two vegetables are related.  When cooked, parsnips are sweet and starchy.  For the best flavor, brown them to caramelize the sugars.  Here are a few ideas for parsnip preparation:
– Caramelize the parsnips by roasting them in a vegetable medley.
– Parsnip fries are delicious: cut like French fries, oil lightly, place on a cookie sheet and roast in a hot oven until brown and cooked through.
– Try substituting grated parsnips in a potato pancake recipe. They brown beautifully and are very tasty.
– Steve loves pan-fried parsnips with onions and garlic.

‘Roulette’ chiles (small, shiny, bright red or orange) – This is the second time we’ve delivered this new variety bred to have the aromatic taste of habanero chiles, with almost no heat.  Lo and behold, habaneros have a wonderful fruity flavor.  No one knew because the blazing heat of a traditional habanero sears your taste buds and you cannot taste the chile itself.   Snack on them to enjoy the flavor, or add them to any dish.  To reduce all chances of spiciness, remove the seeds and midveins.  I like these a lot.  Even a few of these chiles will flavor a dish.


‘Roulette’ chiles – these are flavorful and mild.

RECIPES

Visit our 2019 Recipe Log or our 2018 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics or Cooking 101
Japanese Street-Style Cabbage Fritters
Braised Chickpeas with Butternut Squash and Cabbage
Veggie Packed Dal with Dried Apricot
Pot Roast with Parsnip and Carrot

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes aka Cooking 202
Chipotle Cabbage Pepper Slaw
Chili Roasted Winter Squash and Parsnip Bruschetta
Cumin and Turmeric Roasted Cauliflower
Cheesy Parsnip Soup

LOCAL THYME/ Quick & Easy Meal
Sesame Noodles with Carrots and Cabbage

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RECIPES FROM LAUREN

LAMB RAGU
Inspired by this James Beard recipe
Takes 2 hours.
Makes 6 cups of sauce.
Serves 8-10 over pasta.

6 tablespoons bacon fat (or neutral oil if you don’t have bacon fat lying around)
2 pounds ground lamb (pork or beef are fine substitute if you don’t have access to lamb)
3 carrots, finely chopped
2 parsnips, finely chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
3 roulette chiles, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup red wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups tomato sauce (preferably homemade and frozen though store-bought is also fine)
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 pound cooked pasta, for serving

  1. Add bacon fat to a Dutch oven and heat over medium high heat until smoking. Add the lamb and break up until it forms an even layer. Leave the meat to cook for 10 minutes without moving. It will brown significantly on the bottom. Don’t worry, this is where the flavor comes from. Stir and cook for 10 more minutes without moving.
  2. Add the carrots, parsnips, onions, peppers and garlic to the pot. Stir to combine and then don’t touch for 5 minutes. Again, browning is good. Saute for 5 minutes until vegetables are softened then add the tomato paste and thyme, and cook for 5 minutes more.
  3. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the liquid is evaporated then add chicken stock, tomato sauce, salt, caraway, pepper, and cumin. Cover the pot, reduce to a simmer and cook for an hour. Uncover and reduce until it has reached your desired consistency (thickened but still a little loose). Taste and add salt if needed.
  4. Serve over cooked pasta. My favorite is a fresh or Italian brand rigatoni. I like to use a little bit fancier pasta for this dish but you wouldn’t have to.

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FALL CABBAGE, SQUASH & CAULIFLOWER GRATIN
Adapted from Food & Wine

Takes 90 minutes, much of it inactive
Serves 6-8

1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/4 cup olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing pan
4 garlic cloves, peel and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 head cabbage, cored and thinly sliced
2 cups milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
4 ounces mild white cheddar or Fontina cheese, shredded
1/4 cup water

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Once preheated, toast hazelnuts for 12 minutes, until fragrant. Coarsely chop and set aside.
  2. On two baking sheets, combine butternut and cauliflower with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Toss to coat and then sprinkle with garlic, 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 30 minutes until softened.
  3. In a large saute pan, heat the remaining two tablespoons olive oil. Add cabbage and season with remaining salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until wilted.
  4. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with olive oil and transfer the cabbage to this dish. Top with roasted squash and cauliflower.
  5. In a medium sauce pan, heat milk until it just comes to a boil then reduce to low. In a measuring cup, whisk together cornstarch and water until it forms a sort of slurry. Whisk until warm milk until thickened, about 1 minute.  Add cheese and season with a little extra salt and pepper. Pour cheese mixture into baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, until bubbling.
  6. Turn the broiler to high. Transfer dish to the top rack of the oven and broil about 2 minutes, until exposed veggies are browned in spots. Sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts and serve warm.

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