Well, it’s that time of year. The abundance of fall has passed, the snow has fallen (at last!), and even the parsnips are on hiatus until spring. It’s time to settle into the routine of winter staples: potatoes, carrots, beets, rutabaga, and, this year, Jerusalem artichokes.
If you still have squash on hand, this is also the time to begin checking them more frequently for signs of spoilage. With proper care, you can be enjoying winter squash for several more months. But left to their own devices, your squash may leave you with a mound of multiplying mould! The key places to check are around the stems and on the bottom of the squash, where it rests on the ground. If you find signs of spoilage, cut off the bad spots and use the rest of the squash quickly. If, like mine, your family is on the verge of squash revolt, you can always freeze or dry the cooked squash for use at a later time.
Also, another word on those Jerusalem artichokes: it seems that even if you are not aware of “gastrointestinal distress,” raw Jerusalem artichokes can cause severe gas due to the long-chain starch (inulin) they contain. If this is a problem for you, the simple solution is to cook them. One of our members, Evelyn, has provided a scrumptious recipe that is now at the top of the list in the recipe section of this blog.
And for those of you who are feeling overwhelmed by potatoes, here is the recipe for a fabulous soup that we served to Saskatoon folks who came out to pick up veggies and meat on Saturday. It’s from Simply in Season, a cookbook which I highly recommend!
Potato Soup — serves 3-4, I recommend doubling if there are more than 2 of you! I made a quadruple batch on Saturday!!
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup onion
3 cups diced potatoes
2 cups broth (vegetable, chicken, pork …)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 cup celery with leaves (chopped, optional)
1/2 cup carrots (diced or shredded, optional)
1/8-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, dried marjoram, celery salt, dried dill weed, or paprika
2 cups milk
3 Tbsp flour
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add potatoes, broth, salt, pepper, celery, carrots, and seasonings. Cover and cook until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. For a creamier soup, remove some of the cooked potatoes, puree them, and return to the saucepan. (Or, as I do, mash the soup with a potato masher.) Mix the milk and flour together until smooth. Add to sup and cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Enjoy!
And finally, a reminder about picking up your veggies: please keep in mind that even though winter veggies do not wilt the way lettuce does, proper storage is still important and the member who has come out to the farm does not have the ability to store your veggies in optimum conditions. Please pick up promptly!