Anyone who reads my “Blog” knows by now that I am NOT a very frequent Blogger. It seems other projects always require more of my time and attention than sitting down to write. I trust that each time you pickup one of your CSA Boxes and delve into it, you realize that I spend the majority of my time managing seeds, plants, and produce!
The a fore mentioned groundhog has been vanquished, but not before doing damage to our storage area door. As I said before, he KNEW there was something inside that he wanted to eat and would stop at nothing to get at it! Wild animals are much smarter than we humans give them credit for being. Of course, this does not apply to those found flat on the road, but most are quite savvy.
Sweet potatoes are still coming up from the garden. Digging them is a laborious job which can only be accomplished with intermittent spurts of devoted energy. For the most part they grow vertically. Robert plants them on a mound, but you can see the length of some and I trust you understand why the potatoes sometimes are broken. The “wound” is not pretty, but it does no harm to the sweet potato flesh beyond the break. The largest thus far is just over four pounds! We have not measured lengths in inches. The bags of smaller ones are great for roasting–skin on or skin off as you please. They are even sweeter than the large ones because of the concentration of natural sugars.
Today a CSA Member questioned how to freeze spaghetti squash pulp. Our formula is to simply wash, cut in half, remove the seeds, and bake (skin side up) in a 350 degree oven until the skin begins to brown on top. By this time the flesh will be fork tender. Remove and let cool to the temperature where you can scrape out the spaghetti pulp. Go back to my September 4th Blog if you want to see photos of Robert doing this prep. I know this vegetable can be daunting to “get into.” But it is so worth the effort!
I let the pulp cool a bit longer before packaging it for the freezer. Use a quality freezer bag to get the full flavor when you defrost and eat the spaghetti squash later. If I use a “lessor quality, but still BPA free” bag for freezing, I then repackage into a vacuum sealed bag. TIP: This “double packing” means the vacuum seal bag stays clean and can be recycled. If you use them, you know they can be expensive. But if you “cut them long” and “double bag,” you can recycle many times as long as you cut it open in a straight line along the top.
I use spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute and put sauce and meatballs on top. Or sometimes I put sauteed green peppers and or eggplant on top. I have a spaghetti squash soup recipe on the web site under “W” for Winter Squash.” Recently I found an organic Sweet Carrot Ginger Miso salad dressing which is a delightful accompaniment to spaghetti squash. You can heat the squash or leave it cold and drizzle the dressing on top.
In the boxes look for sweet potatoes–some are beautiful specimens, some less so. Also, our specialty potatoes with the golden flesh which we think make the BEST mashed potatoes ever! (Yes, I even freeze dollops of them. Nothing goes to waste around here!) We still have plenty of spaghetti squash (they love our gardens and produce well). We have some acorn squash and carnivals left. Oh, and a few butternut which I have not even dispersed yet. There is still time before Thanksgiving Week! Our last boxes of the season will go out on Tuesday, November 26–the entire week in one day! I will email these details to each and every CSA Member in the near future so we can coordinate Thanksgiving Holiday schedules as needed.