Many Hands Make Light Work

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A big thank you to all who were able to attend our fall pick up and harvest celebration! Many hands do indeed make light work, and it was just as exciting for me to see the empty(er) garden at the end of the evening as it is to see the first seedlings coming up in the spring. After a long season of rewarding work, we are definitely feeling ready to move into the winter slowdown (hence my less regular blog posts than during the summer season!).

First though, we need to finish the fall work. Top of the list this week are chicken butchering and carrot harvesting, with some garden clean-up fitted in as possible. As I write, I can hear Tom and the team out the window, picking up the vines we didn’t get to on Sunday.

I think carrots are our most popular vegetables (and I know we gained at least one member through carrots shared at a potluck), so it is highly satisfying to see the cellar filling up. Your enthusiasm makes the many afternoons of carrot digging and cleaning well worth while. Of course, it also helps that carrots are our family’s favourite vegetable. We could easily eat as many as I can clean and 2 pounds a day would not be at all unusual. Since we eat most of our carrots raw, I don’t have a ton of carrot-focused recipes. We simply don’t need them.

Instead, I thought I’d share a few recipes to inspire you as you prepare the various types of squash that you took home with you on Sunday, beginning with the chili I made for the potluck:

Vegetarian Chili

5 cups dried beans, soaked and cooked

1 cup red pepper, chopped

1 cup green pepper, chopped

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 cups tomatoes, chopped

1 Tbsp salt

1 Tbsp honey

1 Largo winter squash

1 Hot Hungarian wax pepper

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

Saute the peppers, onion, and garlic in 1 Tbsp oil. Add tomatoes, salt, and honey and heat to boiling. Add beans, squash, hot pepper, chili powder and cumin and simmer for 45 minutes.

As for pumpkins, we have a favourite soup (with parsnips so I’ll post it once they’re dug), but our all-time favourite way to enjoy pumpkin is in muffins. Here’s our recipe:

Pumpkin Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup bran

1 cup white flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp each ground ginger, nutmeg, cloves

Mix together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add:

2 1/2 cups cooked and mashed pumpkin

4 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup honey

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Stir until just mixed, then pour into muffin tins and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes.

 

I have to admit that vegetable spaghetti is my least favourite of the squashes (though this may be because I tend to overcook it!). One way I do enjoy it at this time of year is in this salad:

1 spaghetti squash

8 cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 green pepper, chopped

4 scallions, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Prick the squash with a fork and bake at 350 until it’s easy to make an indentation in the shell with a spoon (about 45-60 minutes). Cut in half and remove the seeds and stringy flesh. Using a fork, gently scrape the remaining flesh to remove spaghetti-like strands of squash. Combine in a large bowl with remaining ingredients. Serve at once.

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