Ever since I got the enormous spaghetti squash from Front Step Farms, I've been nervous about cooking it. This squash is enormous.
So enormous that I needed two pans to roast it! I weighed the squash before cutting it and half: 8 pounds. My main fear has been knowing what to do with all the cooked squash. Recently, I found out that cooked spaghetti squash can keep 3 months or so in the freezer. That's all I needed to hear.
Here's the cooked squash after I "spaghettified" it. Spaghetti squash come out of the oven looking more or less like any other squash. But with its tendency to break up into strands, you scrape it with a fork, and it ends up looking like pasta. Of course, it still tastes like squash.
I kept the dish simple with tomato sauce. It was a light tasty meal. And I've got plenty of left overs.
Although I still have beets, carrots, and a few other veggies in the fridge, today I decided to break out the frozen corn.
Today, I cooked the corn simply. I brought a small amount of water to a boil, then added the corn. The result was slightly soggy, but otherwise tasty. I did not blanch the corn before freezing. I just cut the corn off the cob and froze it. Perhaps blanching would have helped the texture. Or maybe I don't need to add water before cooking the corn. I might try using the corn in dishes where it can be a little mushy, like soup or shepherd's pie.
The potatoes also came from the farm. Over the next week or two, I should finish the potatoes. Because I only have small potatoes at this point, I'm mostly roasting them.
I still have quite a few onions, and I have enough garlic to last until spring. Before frying the burgers, I flavoured the oil with garlic.
This time, I started by sautéing garlic in a bit of olive oil, then added the butternut squash pieces. When the squash was soft enough, I added the chicken. Finally, I added peppers and a bit of hot sauce.
The sweet of the squash was nicely balanced with the tang of the hot sauce. And, as you can see, served with a side of beets.
I still have quite a bit more cubed butternut squash. Perhaps I'll cook more soup. However, I don't have to add as much liquid as the previous recipe indicated. The soup should be thick and creamy.
I am still cooking and freezing veggies from the farm. The other day, one of the butternut squash started to get soft in spots. I cut off the bad bits, peeled the rest,cut it into cubes, and stuck it in a bag in the fridge. I also froze the hot peppers, as I recently read that I could freeze them and scrape off bits of pepper as needed. I froze the last of the eggplant.
I had three containers of potatoes in the pantry. Tonight, I roasted the contents of one container.
I roasted beets. And I made a stir fry with a handful of butternut squash, orange bell peppers, and chicken. This bag of cubed squash is convenient.
I still have vegetables in my fridge. However, I'm starting to see some free space. Eventually, I'll start eating the frozen vegetables. Just not anytime soon.
Between the wind and the dropping temperature, I am feeling the approach of winter. Going home in the dark doesn't help either. Fortunately, I had picked up beef cubes for stewing. Yes, I still had all the needed veggies and potatoes from the CSA. Except for peas, which I purchases frozen from the supermarket.
Ah, stew, the perfect cold-weather comfort food. Farm-fresh veggies include potatoes, garlic, onion, carrots, yellow bell pepper, and pumpkin. You probably can't see the pumpkin, as I mixed in the last of my pumpkin mash.
I'm looking forward to left-over stew. Stew often tastes better the next day.
For dessert, I enjoyed pumpkin pudding. This is my new favourite autumn dessert.
I'm taking the edX MOOC The Science of Haute Cuisine. Fortunately, there's a lot of flexibility for completing the labs and homework. For the first lab, I checked out the accuracy of my equipment. My oven seems to be 6F hotter than it indicates. However, I should probably try the test again. The test was to melt something with a known melting point - in this case, granulated sugar. My kitchen scale is off by 37 grams. As I had to weigh a cup of two different items, which I measured in different measuring cups, I'm fairly certain that the scale is off. I'll have to get something more accurate.
The homework included two recipes. I don't have to prepare them, but the eggplant recipe looked interesting. Also, I had eggplant from the CSA.
The dish looks beautiful, adorned with pomegranate seeds. It tastes ok, but wasn't amazing. It would probably taste better if I didn't have to substitute non-dairy ingredients for buttermilk and yogurt.
Over the past month, I have been lax about freezing my extra produce from the farm. My freezer is full of corn and zucchini, but I have plenty of other veggies that won't keep long. When I picked up my final CSA basket of the season, it hit home that I better freeze some veggies now, so I can enjoy them later.
Last night I chopped and froze all the bell peppers, except for the ones I got in yesterday's basket. This morning, I froze the last of the mint and parsley. I also chopped and froze the Swiss chard.
Today is weeks 20, the final week in Front Step Farms CSA program. Not surprisingly, this November basket is smaller than previous weeks. The harvest season is over, and winter is drawing near.
This week's basket included: white potatoes, red potatoes, hot cherry bomb peppers, coloured bell peppers, garlic, butternut squash, sweet mama squash, onions, gala apples, and honey. As the farm is closing until spring, I bought a jar of dill pickles.
Fortunately, I have enough produce, jams, and pickles to last a few months.
To fit a pumpkin recipe into the limited evening time after work, I cooked and puréed the pumpkin one night. And another night, I made pumpkin pie pudding.
I substituted almond milk for skim milk, and it still came out delicious. This was the perfect dessert for Halloween. As you can see, I still have more pumpkin purée. Perhaps another batch of pudding?
While waiting for the pudding to cool, I stir-fried chicken with peppers and green onions.
How are you cooking autumn vegetables?
This is week 19 of the 20 week CSA program from Front Step Farms. This summer, we had an incredible amount of vegetables! It's quite overwhelming for only two people. But the flavour of these local fresh fruits and veggies is amazing. Even after the program ends, I'll still be eating squash, carrots, onions, and garlic for at least a month. I have a freezer full of corn and zucchini. My pantry is well-stocked with jams, pickles, and hot sauce.
But, I shouldn't get ahead of myself. This week's basket contained: Roma tomatoes, small white potatoes, sweet mamma squash, a large white onion, a large red onion, coloured bell and shepherd peppers, cherry bomb hot peppers, garlic, assorted apples, strawberries, and a jar of pickled garlic.
Can you believe fresh strawberries at the end of October?! They are so sweet and full of flavour.