I was worried about this week, but despite the 20 degree temps on Sunday night we were still able to harvest cauliflower on Monday afternoon! We harvested the last of the peppers on Saturday before the hard frost, and the kale, sage, and root vegetables are all able to tolerate very cold temperatures. Because it’s such a root-veggie heavy week, it’s a great week to make roasted vegetables with fresh sage, or sweet potato fries with cinnamon. If you’re a fan of creamy soups like winter squash or carrot-ginger, you can always add depth and flavor by roasting your vegetables before adding them (not only will your soup be delicious, but your home will smell awesome as well!)
As I mentioned on Sunday, we will have a special Thanksgiving share this year. Quite a few people have asked about the size of the share, and while we haven’t worked out the exact details, I can say that the share will be about 25 percent larger than a typical “small” CSA share. My best guess is something like: 12 oz cranberries, 2-3 lbs onions, 3 lb apples, 5 lb potatoes, 2-3 lb sweet potatoes, 4 lbs squash, 2 lbs carrots, 1 bunch kale, and 1-2 lbs beets or parsnips. The retail value of the share will be about $30. You can reserve 2 or even three shares if you’d like. Payment ($25 for CSA members, $28 for non-members) is just due at the pick-up for the share, which will be Monday November 23rd from 12 to 5 at the Essex farm. If you’d like a share you can e-mail me or just add your name to the list at sign-up this week or next.
Buttercup squash is Ambercup’s green-skinned cousin. It is yellow inside, sweet, and very dry. Due to the drought this year normally dry squash like buttercup is especially dry, so I’d advise cooking it face-down in a dish with some water so that your squash bakes and steams at the same time. You can then mash it up with butter and maple syrup and cinnamon, or flip it over for the last few minutes of baking and brush it with a glaze (maple-soy, as in this recipe, is a good choice).
We were able to harvest 5 large bins of sweet potatoes, and while they’re not beautiful, they are certainly tasty. Because we are unable to cure our sweet potatoes (too cold and damp), they will have a less “fluffy” texture when baked than a sweet potato from the grocery store (which are usually grown in the south and cured for a significant amount of time). My favorite way to enjoy Vermont-grown sweet potatoes is in the form of roasted sweet potato fries. Vermont sweet potatoes also are tasty mashed, or in curry.
Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
(Adapted from Tablespoon.com)
2 lbs sweet potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment
Peel the sweet potatoes if desired. Cut each potato in half, and then into quarters. Then, slice into fry shapes, about 1/2 inch wide.
Place the sweet potatoes into a resealable plastic bag. Add oil, salt, paprika and cinnamon. Seal the bag and shake well to thoroughly coat the fries. Spread the potatoes out onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
Cook for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, until slightly browned. Serve warm.
This Week’s Produce
Everyone gets 1 bunch sage or 1/2 an extra option
Single shares: 5 options. Small shares: 7 options. Large shares: 10 options
1 head cauliflower
1.3 lbs carrots
1 lb sweet cubanelle peppers
1.5 lbs sweet potatoes
1 large or 2 small buttercup squash
1 large or 2 small spaghetti squash
5 decorative gourds
5 mini pumpkins (jack-be-littles)
1 large or 2 small heads cabbage
3 lbs potatoes
1 bunch kale