|Pineapple Sage Flowers|
|Loofah before drying|
|Loofah after drying|
Our Halloween passed somewhat uneventfully. Though we did enjoy a fun late afternoon carving pumpkins and enjoying pumpkin soup and pumpkin beer at a friend's house, Vera didn't go trick-or-treating and wanted absolutely nothing to do with her gnome accessories. She put the hat on for just a moment and I snapped a very quick photo. I think it will fit next year so perhaps we'll try again then. By then she should be able to talk enough that I can train her to say "Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!" like my mom taught us.
|Blackberry cane wreath|
This week I decided the contents of my fridge's bottom shelf--including our complete carrot and leek harvest--needed attention. I recently read an article in the Summer 2010 Urban Farm Magazine about creatively storing your preserves (canned, frozen, dried, and cellared). There were some tremendously clever ideas including behind books on shelves, under beds, and behind couches. Those ideas don't necessarily fit our home, but I had the idea to better utilize our vestibule--the enclosed area between our front stoop/door and entryway/front "hallway." I've killed a few plants in this area by not pulling them officially inside before the first frost. So it must be perfect for storing root vegetables, no? I found some cute baskets at the thrift store and layered all of my carrots between dried leaves (you could also use mulch or sand), covered them with a cloth, and hung a temporary, seasonal curtain over the north-facing window to keep the winter sun out. I will check them periodically this winter to make sure they're storing alright. I'm also planning to store apples there.
I've been trying to get more raw vegetables into my diet lately. With all the squash that's available right now I though I would adapt a carrot salad recipe to use winter squash. After marinating a bit, it's very easy to chew what we usually think of as a vegetable that can only be eaten cooked.
Grated Winter Squash Salad
Adapted from a recipe in Fresh From the Farmers' Market by Janet Fletcher
|Raw Winter Squash Salad|
1 1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil (can sub. half of fully with flaxseed oil)
1 T. fresh lemon juice (or sumac concentrate)
1 small clove garlic, finely minced
2 t. chopped fresh chives (optional...if available)
salt, to taste
Cut squash into slices that will fit into a food processor feed tube and shred (can also grate by hand with a box grater.) Transfer to a bowl and stir in oil, lemon juice, garlic, chives, and salt to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning.
I'm also working to put more clean, antibiotic-free, hormone-free meats into my diet. I get most all of our meat from Ruegsegger Farms Natural Meats, who sells at the new Indoor Winter Farmers' Market at St. Ann's Center. I created this recipe using what I had on hand--as seasonal eaters try to do--including the winter squash puree and roasted red peppers mentioned in previous blog posts. Choose your favorite marinade or use the one recommended below.
Skirt Steak Quesadillas with Winter Squash, Roasted Peppers, and Greens
Makes 2 9-inch quesadillas
|Skirt Steak Quesadillas|
2 T. chili powder
2 T. dried rosemary
1 c. sumac concentrate (or orange juice)
1 c. olive oil
1 T. smoked paprika
8 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large onion, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 2- to 3-pound skirt steak, thinly sliced
In food processor or blender, puree all ingredients for marinade except onions. When pureed, add onions and salt and pepper, to taste, then cover flank steak with marinade for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
1 c. winter squash/pumpkin puree
1/2 c. sauteed/steamed tatsoi or other greens (spinach, swiss chard, kale, etc.)
1/2 c. roasted red peppers, chopped
1/2-1 c. shredded mozzarella or other melting cheese
4 whole grain tortillas (I prefer sprouted grains)
Butter, ghee, or grapeseed oil for cooking
Sour cream of plain yogurt
Heat a large skillet, using a slotted spoon, remove meat from marinade and saute until fully cooked. Adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside. Rinse and dry skillet, heat over medium-high heat and add butter or oil. Place one tortilla in pan, spread with squash puree, top with greens, peppers, meat, and cheese. Spread squash puree on another tortilla and place on top in pan. Cover for a couple of minutes to help melt cheese. When first side is lightly browned, quickly flip over and brown second side. Cook second quesadilla. Cut into eighths and serve with sour cream or yogurt.
I'm watching the election returns right now (I hope you all voted today.) Remember that even if today's mid-term election didn't go as you'd hoped that you must keep voting with your dollars, particularly when it comes to food. Tell the farmers you want clean, pesticide-free, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, pastured, free-range, minimally processed foods. Support your local producers and markets. Grow your own vegetables. Make a statement through your food choices. Eating is a political act!