26th Harvest Week <> October 22nd - 28th, 2001

Many members converged on the farm last Saturday to get their pumpkins. More than one requested pumpkin-type recipes for this week's newsletter. "Good idea!" I said. - Debbie.

Regarding Pumpkins and Winter Squash

"If you are planning to bake pies and/or cakes with winter squash and have a choice, choose a squash with dry flesh," says the new Joy of Cooking. The good news is that we're getting butternut squash in our shares this week, whose flesh, 'Joy of' says, "...is rich, sweet, dry, and superb." In contrast, my experience (back in my pre-CSA days, mind you) with your typical Halloween-carving-type pumpkin was that it had a pale, disappointingly-watery flesh when cooked. Consequently I haven't tried cooking a Jack-o'-lantern since (mostly because I prefer to carve them!). Which means I haven't tried cooking one of Tom's pumpkins yet either. My negative experience may have been because I steamed the flesh – so I bet if you baked it instead, you'll have better results. 'Joy of' suggests baking a pumpkin whole: deeply pierce it in 4 to 5 places around the top with a knife – air vents to keep it from exploding. Set squash in a baking dish or rimmed baking sheet (it may ooze sugary juices) and bake in the middle of a 375 degree oven until flesh tests tender when pierced with a thin skewer or knife. A small squash may take 45 minutes... a larger one up to 1 1/2 hours. When done, cut squash in half, scoop out and discard seeds and strings, and use flesh as desired.

Winter Squash Ideas
(from my various Bon Appétit clippings)

<> Pureé roasted butternut squash with orange juice and a touch of ginger.

<> Season chunks of roasted pumpkin with walnut oil, brown sugar & ground ginger. Toss with dried cranberries.

<> Mash winter squash with apple butter and a little chicken broth. Top with crispy bits of bacon and fresh thyme.

<> Pureé roasted pumpkin with chicken broth and a little garlic; use it as a sauce for purchased cheese ravioli.

<> This one I love: pumpkin pie bruleé(!) Bake your favorite standard pumpkin pie recipe (i.e., not a chiffon type). Refrigerate until thoroughly cold -- at least 2 hours and up to one day. (It is important to do this chilling step or the pie will not glaze properly under the broiler.) Preheat broiler. Sprinkle pie evenly with 2 tbsp. sugar. Broil until sugar melts and begins to carmelize, turning pie for even browning, about 1 minute. Let pie stand until topping hardens, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle pie evenly again with 2 more tbsp. of sugar. Broil again until sugar browns, about 1 minute. Refrigerate pie until topping hardens, about 30 minutes. Serve or keep refrigerated no more than 2 hours longer (or hard sugar crust will begin to liquefy).


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