Thursday, October 19

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Potato leek soup, baked squash, roasted root veggies, a pumpkin pie…  I can almost smell them cooking and feel the warmth of the kitchen on a cool fall day.  We are in the heart of a bountiful fall harvest, with new long-season crops ready to harvest each week…  from acorn to butternut squashes, sweet potatoes to parsnips, leeks to Brussels’ sprouts.

Today we harvested a bunch of fall veggies to go into our soups for this Friday’s Celebrate the Harvest dinner and fundraiser at the new farmhouse at 70 W. Delavan.  We hope you’ll come taste the treats of fall, all while enjoying music by the campfire and festive games for the kids and kids at heart!

Fall is the time I’m always excited to head into the kitchen and cook up great dishes to share with family, friends, and neighbors.  Cooking over the stove or turning on the oven on a hot summer day just doesn’t sound fun, but as the days get cooler I find myself more prone to cooking, canning, and baking.  Some of the fall varieties of produce coming from the farm also make it fun to cook in the fall.

We’ve traded in summer onions for fall leeks.  While leeks aren’t so good fresh, like an onion, you can use leeks in anything you’d use cooked onions in, such as a quiche or a casserole.  Better yet, mix them in with our fall varieties of potatoes, like the red-skinned yellow-fleshed Desiree potatoes, to make a creamy soup.

While making soups, celery is a must!  Celery thrives during the hot summer months, but needs a lot of time and water to make those thick stalks we use for fresh eating.  There is so much flavor in the greens of our celery, you won’t need to add as much to bring out that flavor in your soup stocks.  One of the last crops to come out of the garden is celery root, or celeriac.  The root can be peeled and then chopped like a potato.  When cooked it will take on the consistency of a cooked potato as well, while still adding the celery flavor to whatever dish you add it to.  Long after your celery stalks are gone, when stored properly (like under some potting mix in a bucket in your basement) these roots can last all the way through to next spring.

Parsnips are another veggie that can be overwintered to spring.  These are best left right in the ground, and then pulled as the weather warms and soil thaws in late March or early April.  However, be sure to pull them early in the spring before they get woody and tough.  During that time of the year I love to cook them up candied in some of our fresh batches of maple syrup!

For the sweet tooth, fall provides both the sweet potatoes, great cooked up in waffles, pies, or fries (which are also great dipped in maple syrup or even honey), as well as the pumpkins and squashes.  Throw an apple along with some ginger into a sweet and creamy butternut squash soup.  Butternuts and their even sweeter cousins, buttercups, are often the squash used in commercially produced pumpkin pie filling.  Personally, my favorite is the Hubbard squash for pumpkin pies.  We grew a baby variety this year that makes cutting and cooking these squashes much more manageable.  These squash are being used to make the pumpkin pie that will be raffled off as one of the amazing prizes we’ll have at Celebrate the Harvest this Friday night.

So stop by and taste the bounty of fall at the farm.  Come out to both support and celebrate 5 Loaves Farm, and all the good things growing here!

More details on the event can be found on our Facebook page.

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