Autumn weather tends to fluctuate quite drastically in Colorado. Often labeled “bring-a-jacket” weather, this time of year you’ll likely find all forms of footwear sitting next to the front door and it’s all about the layers. The end of October was marked by several bitterly cold, dark mornings and many hot, sunny afternoons. My favorite change during this time of year is the mountains getting their snow-capped peaks back! They just look off when they’re naked. The weeks leading up to daylight savings I always have a tough time motivating in the morning which means that I’m extremely thankful that daylight savings has ended and that the sun is back to greet me when I wake up. Unfortunately, this didn’t help me get to work at a decent time this morning. Not that anyone noticed.
In typical Colorado fashion it looks like summer will be making a mini appearance at the beginning of this week with temperatures getting into the 70s, followed swiftly by winter on Thursday and Friday with highs in the mid-40s and possible snow showers. I’m well over summer and ready for the snow but I will certainly enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.
This past week marked our 21st CSA distribution from Farm A. We have two more scheduled shares, the last of which will be distributed the Monday before Thanksgiving. Check out all the shares I’ve gotten so far this season here. I was thrilled to see celery and parsnips, the first time this season, and kale rather than chard. For some reason chard is one of the hardest things for me to get through. I don’t hate it, I just don’t enjoy it that much and we’ve gotten far more chard than kale over the course of the season. I used half of the kale this past weekend in a stuffed acorn squash and the celery is going to be a great addition to a soup (or two).
Prior to this year’s double CSA experiment I didn’t have much experience with turnips but over the course of the season they’ve really grown on me. I’ve pickled them, eaten them raw, featured them in a soup, and made a yummy gratin. The soup was great and I decided to leave it chunky for two reasons; 1. I couldn’t stop hearing Baba’s (my maternal grandmother) voice nagging me that pureed soups aren’t as good as chunky soups and 2. if I had pureed it there was a high probability that it would have resembled vomit in both color and consistency. The only thing I’d likely change for future versions would be to add grains, beans, lentils or pasta. I always forget about those components when I make homemade soup. As usual I do not have pictures of the process or the soup because that’s time-consuming and when it’s done I’m hungry and taking pictures is the absolute last thing I want to put effort into.
Apparently the vegetable gods heard me complaint about Colorado’s lack of potatoes and non-miniature onions because I got both this week! Fun Fact: I just discovered that there is a vegetable god, Priapus, in Greek mythology. No surprises there. Apparently Priapus was often seen as salacious fellow which should come as no surprise since his parents were Dionysus (god of wine) and Aphrodite (goddess of love). You should probably google him and check out some of the phallic-heavy imagery depicting him. Interesting things, folks.
I’m sure this comes as no surprise, I caved and purchased the winter storage box. It’s normal to geek out when you get a bushel of vegetables, right? The first thing I did was weigh everything in my box and the box I got for Meg. I’m glad I did because I had roughly 4.5 more pounds of Delicata squash than she had so I was able to even that out by giving her two more of those. Everything else was roughly the same weight. I’m realizing that I much prefer fall crops to any other time of year and I doubt I’m unique in feeling this way; everyone loves comfort food and fall is all about the comfort food. Above represents the squash portion of the storage box, below you can see the rest of the share (minus a bag of medium white onions which I forgot to grab for this picture).
You can view all Farm B shares, including this winter storage box, here.
So far I’ve used an acorn squash and I can’t wait to continue to dig into this goodness for months to come. I’m looking to make a pumpkin pie this week with a pie pumpkin that I got from a work event, and depending on how that goes this pumpkin might end up being my Thanksgiving pumpkin pie. Even if I don’t make a pie with it, I plan on using it for baking. Does anyone have experience with Red Kuri squash? Any favorite recipes? I’ve never had one before but I’m excited to give it a try.
Another newbie to my kitchen are these mammoth winter radishes. Meg tried the black one over the weekend in a stir fry type dish and mentioned that she wasn’t thrilled with the result. I’ll have to do some research into the best way to enjoy these. As you might guess, I’m thrilled to have more potatoes, carrots and beets. I’ve been Pinterest-ing (is that a verb yet?) various beet recipes including a Beet Tzatziki from Dishing Up The Dirt, which has quickly become one of my favorite blogs, that looks divine. If you’re participating in a CSA and experience weeks when you have no idea how you’re going to use all your produce, a.k.a. every CSA member in the history of time, you should follow this blog. Endorsement based solely on my love for this blog and all of Andrea’s amazing recipes. Those turnips will likely be made up into another turnip gratin since I haven’t enjoyed one since that first batch I made. Perhaps I’ll mix some potatoes in this batch….
On a final note, the amount of food currently in my possession is absurd. I’m food rich, flush with produce, and it might be slightly overwhelming. I haven’t made a final decision on the severity of the situation. Over the next few month I will have to be extremely diligent and meticulous in my consumption of my produce and the order in which I use everything so nothing goes to waste and/or spoils. Last night I discovered a bit of white fluffy mold on top of one of those beets so I chopped off the moldy parts and added that to my dinner. With this much food to go through, and a modestly stocked pantry, I shouldn’t have to do much grocery shopping for anything other than fruits, dairy and oils for quite a bit. Wish me luck, I might need it.