Farmer's Marketing Saturday, September 22, 2007

   Salem Orchard Apples and Grapes

Salem Orchard

Beautiful concord grapes showed up last week from Salem Orchard. So sweet and seedy, they taste like the jar of jelly except 1000 times better. They don't stay long so get yours soon. The green ones taste the same as the purple but are called Niagara grapes. Salem also had some unusual varieties of apples. I bought Greening and Grimes apples and combined them with some Macintosh I had at home to make a fantastic apple crisp - so good we ate it again for breakfast.  Totally tangential mad fun a propos of concords -  you should see Flight of the Conchords. Choose carefully which ones to watch with your mother.

Tantré Farm

Did I mention that we split our Tantré Farm share with another family because it's more than B. and I can eat?  This week's half share included: celery, green beans, fingerling potatoes, green zebra and brandywine tomatoes, black radish, acorn squash, greens, garlic, and sweet red peppers. Maybe an eggplant too. The vegetables say it's soon time for minestrone. But the faux summer weather has us still madly eating insalata caprese. When the fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil are done it means summer has finally shuttered up and gone home.  The party is almost over now, but not quite yet. 


Up north in Onaway, Michigan there is a great part of the state, with beautiful sandy-bottomed lakes, sinkholes, pine forest and big tw0-hearted rivers.  GardenWorks is a certified organic "truck garden and greenhouse farm" and they are selling lots of kinds of potatoes - including the lovely white-fleshed Onaway potato, introduced in Michigan in the 1950s. 

Shetler's Farm

I asked the boy selling squash for Shetler's farm which one was his favorite. His hand immediately went out to the sweet dumpling. But he considered a moment and allowed that kabocha were also among his favorites. I was won over by the traffic-cone orange kabochas with their starchy, sweet flesh that feels like a potato but tastes like squash. I'm planning to use mine to make this recipe. UPDATE: I made these little babycakes and they were fantastically moist and delicious!

Kabocha Squash Cake with Brown Sugar Cream

Brown sugar cream:
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 large egg whites

2 cups 3/4-inch cubes peeled seeded kabocha squash (from one 3-pound squash)
1 cup whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
6 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup lager (mild-flavored beer)
1 large egg
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

For brown sugar cream:
Place 1 tablespoon water in cup. Sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand 10 minutes to soften.

Stir cream and sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Add egg whites and whisk until mixture thickens, about 12 minutes (do not boil). Add gelatin mixture; whisk until dissolved. Strain into large clean bowl. Chill until cold. Cover and chill overnight.

For cakes:
Combine squash and milk in heavy small saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Partially cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove vanilla bean. Drain squash. Place in processor and blend until smooth. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray six 3/4cup ramekins with nonstick spray. Place 1/2 cup squash puree in large bowl (reserve remaining puree for another use). Add sugar, oil, beer, and egg to puree and beat to blend. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt over; beat to blend. Divide batter among prepared ramekins.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Cool cakes in ramekins. Turn out onto plates. Beat brown sugar cream to firm peaks; spoon alongside cakes.

Makes 6 servings.

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