It has been an amazing week here, I don’t even know where to start. With a final cider pressing and glorious apple jubilations, concrete trucks churning out 6000 pounds of cement for the footer of our new root cellar and the best darn Halloween party I can imagine, I might just have to write a long tribute to the week just passed. We had some high hopes going into the week. With the season winding down, we wanted to make some serious progress on our root cellar. Paul and I headed off early in the day Tuesday towards Lowe’s with every intention of purchasing an ungodly number of bags of quickrete for the 12 by 16 footer of our cellar. Alas, with Lowe’s unable to deliver until late the following day, just when a big rain was predicted to roll in, we walked the hardware aisles and contemplated our strategy. I am not sure how many of you have mixed concrete by hand, but it is no easy feat. Heck, just moving the 80 pound bags into position takes some muscles. With a quick call to our friends at metcalfe county ready mix, we discovered not only is the cost of the concrete truck pouring the footer comparable to mixing our own, but they could come just when we wanted them to, past noon on Wednesday. Wow. Ecstatic, I saw Paul’s back soften with relief immediately. (the figures don’t take into account the sheer joy of my boys watching said truck!) we returned home with the framing materials and plenty of happiness.
Next stop highland orchard. That very afternoon was slated for our final apple cider pressing of the season followed by an apple themed pot luck and cider taste off. I had frozen and labeled a cider from each of our 10 week long pressing season for sampling. With apple smoked pork, curried apple squash bisque, honey apple challah, roasted sweet potatoes with leeks and apples, two types of cabbage apple slaw, two batches of apple sauce a bourbon apple cake and a skillet apple pie adorning the long tables, we all feasted and celebrated what has been a phenomenal apple season.
Finally, last night, we hosted a grand Halloween party. Madeline was in charge of costuming and there seemed to be quite a few Harry Potters in the house. Paul cooked burgers and fries (in freshly rendered beef tallow from our own calf, wow). The girls contributed apple cider donuts (these fried in freshly rendered lard, double wow). The entertainment was a walk down memory lane: I pulled out our old slide shows from years gone by and we enjoyed tours of Australia, Indonesia, and Chicago along with some glimpses into the early years here in the hollow. The overall theme was no overhead lighting, so we had beeswax candles in each corner of our house and even Sasha said it was great fun. It has been a full and delightful week that will draw to a close as we see you all at market, sharing another basket of produce from the farm, enjoy!
Roasted Winter Squash and Arugula Salad
2 cups arugula
about 1 1/2 cups chopped and peeled winter squash
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
for dressing ~
3 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 orange
1/2″ knob of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
pinch of salt
squeeze of honey
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and lightly spray with a nonstick cooking spray. Scatter the squash on, sprinkle with a little salt and place in the oven to roast for about 30 minutes, until golden and tender. Remove and let cool slightly.
Divide the arugula between two places. Top with squash and goat cheese.
To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, fresh ginger, orange juice, salt and honey in a small bowl or mason jar. Stir or shake until well combined then drizzle dressing over the salads.
Fall week 7 in your basket:
celeriac or ginger