This year marks my third fall in Colorado. To be honest I’ve really been missing the Northeast over the past few weeks. Don’t get me wrong, the aspens are B-E-A-Utiful and you would be hard pressed to find anything like that back east. The stark contrast between the vibrant yellow, the deep green of the evergreens, and our seemingly endless, crystal clear, blue sky is less complex but no less stunning. And it’s not necessarily the leaves changing that I miss, it’s the woods, the sounds, the smells. The woods of upstate New York, and the Northeast in general, just have a different feel to them and I have yet to experience that feeling here in Colorado. I think it’s the difference in tress, deciduous vs coniferous. This time of year the deciduous forests start to go to sleep and it’s a tangible change. Perhaps I’m simply more comfortable with the sights and sounds of those deciduous forests and the plants and animals that inhabit them. Perhaps I don’t spend enough time in nature out here to truly feel the subtle changes. Perhaps I am just craving change. This time of year I tend to reflect on these feelings a lot more and right now, I miss autumn in the Northeast. And apples. I miss apples.
My personal feelings about fall aside, autumn HAS arrived and with that comes… Squash! I’m a big squash fan, it’s hard to get sick of squash. I could eat Zucchini every day of the summer, preferably grilled. Winter squash comes in many varieties and can be prepared in a plethora of delicious ways so I don’t see how one can tire of it. Plus, I have serious respect for the genus of vegetable that can be stored for months to help sustain us through a long, cold winter. The same goes for root vegetables. I’ve been looking forward to squash season almost as much as I’ve been looking forward to wearing leggings and sweaters on a daily basis. What a great time of year! I love being bundled and cozy when it’s nippy outside. Does anyone else crave the cold during this time of year? Am I just a weirdo?
Farm A – Week 20
This week was a great mix of end of summer and early fall. I got my (likely) last tomato of the season which I have yet to enjoy. These peppers are just adding to the huge bowl of peppers sitting in my fridge waiting to be eaten/prepped for storage. I’m really not sure of the best way to store these; I think I might roast them and add them to my overflowing freezer. Any thoughts/ideas? Peppers last a surprisingly long time in the fridge, at least these two varieties have. What’s with those green onion tops? I wonder if the onions were rotting or something, hrmm.
As I mentioned, squash has been long awaited and I’ve had this recipe bookmarked for weeks. I finally got around to making it last night with a few adjustments based on what I had available. My versions consisted of the delicata squash, chorizo, chard, Havarti cheese, onions and garlic. It was amazing and I can’t wait to eat the other half for lunch in about an hour.
Over the past week all three of my CSAs have been bombarding my email with options to buy various types of meat and Farm B is offering a ‘winter storage’ share. I wish I had enough room in my freezer for a pork side, or even half of a side, but I don’t. I was also offered an option to do a winter share (monthly distributions, January – May) through the farm that I get my chicken from which I am considering. We wouldn’t have the option to get chicken during those months but we could get eggs, pork sausage and ground beef. Everyone is offering turkeys but I’m going to pass due to lack of freezer space. One of my main goals for next year will be to step up my meat game and possibly invest in a small chest freezer. Realistically buying meat through local farms is not more expensive than buying top quality meat at a natural food store.
The ‘Winter Storage Share’ from Farm B sounds very intriguing but I’m not sure if it’s worth the money. They’re asking $75 for a bushel of veggies and apples that can be stored for a few weeks or months. The farmers were nice enough to send me a picture (below) of what they will be putting in the boxes so I could get a better idea of what I’d be getting for me money. The box includes a bag each of carrots, beets, apples, potatoes, turnips, winter radishes, and sunchokes. As far as winter squash you get 4 butternut, 3 acorn, 1 red kuri, 3 delicata, 1 spaghetti and 1 pie pumpkin. I’m planning to head to Natural Grocers to price this out to see if it makes sense for me. It is a TON of food so I want to be sure about this before I go for it. I’m also hesitant because I have three more distributions from Farm A left and I’m sure I’ll get winter squash and similar goodies in those shares. But when stored properly the squash could last months! Oh decisions, decisions.
[Update:] After doing the rough math (which included guessing weight,I tried to low-ball it) I arrived at $89.06 for the produce pictured below if I had purchased it now at Natural Grocers. Sunchokes are $7.09/lb right now! So in my mind, it’s a good deal. Unfortunately, this has not made the decision easier.