We had our first light frost this week. We felt the temperatures dropping as we dined al fresco last Saturday night. Paul and Andy had stopped by a fresh water shrimp harvest in neighboring Monroe county on the way home from market. With hopes of fresh shrimp, the arrived just in time to come home with 3 pounds. Once they returned to the farm, the grill was fired up and we enjoyed an incredible buffet of the shrimp along with grilled steak and vegetable medley. That ushered in a week which was so full, so precise and so well executed, words won’t do it justice. With grand goals for these October days: garlic planting, fall bed preparation, barn building and erecting a green house, we have not a minute to spare! The guys hit the ground running each morning by hauling load after load of aged manure from our neighbors barn: utilizing 2 trucks and a trailer, the piles of black gold quickly accumulated around the fields. Afternoons they donned their carpentry togs and went to work on an old barn site. Day one: site cleared and readied. By Wednesday, all the cedar posts were in place and it is clear we are going to have a building. The weather is so darn agreeable, it is hard not to be happy as we head into the final weeks of our season. This has been an incredible year. (you all did not think you would get a final main season newsletter out of me with out some sappiness??) Last year around this time when I discovered I was pregnant, my mind started whirling and our conversations often turned to: how are we going to get through next season with a baby born in MAY??? It all seemed so unmanageable, so overwhelming. Then, all of a sudden it was upon us. Our baby, William, born nearly 3 weeks early…and….blink….here we are on the eve of our final main season delivery. It has been a most joyous time and I feel so blessed to have shared it with each and every one of you. The support we have felt from you each week as we struggled to keep it all together, when often it seemed the odds were against us, was so sustaining. The fields responded with an unexpected bounty and our hearts swelled over and over again with the love of a baby and the support of an amazing group of individuals and families that are Hill and Hollow CSA. With the deepest gratitude to all, enjoy this wonderful final basket of the main season.
Please join us tomorrow for the celebration of Fall and the season’s end, details on back side.
The extension starts next week and runs until the Saturday just before Thanksgiving, please confirm your participation!
In your basket:
2 lbs. sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes)
Butter or oil for pan
Salt, freshly ground black pepper, freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup broth, cream, half-and-half, or some combination
½ to 1 cup shredded parmesan or other hard grating cheese
Preheat oven to 375. Scrub and roughly peel sunchokes.
Cut sunchokes into even, 1/4-inch slices. Butter or grease a 2-qt casserole or equivalent baking pan. Lay enough sunchoke slices in the pan to create a solid layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Make a second layer and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. You can add a sprinkle of cheese to this layer too, if you like. Keep layering and sprinkling — adding nutmeg only to every-other layer. When all sunchoke slices are in the dish, pour broth or cream over sunchokes, sprinkle with salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cheese. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake until just tender when pierced with a fork, about 40 minutes. Uncover and bake until browned and bubbly, another 20 minutes or so.