fall week 7

What a time I have had since last I shared tales with you here, to Asheville and back with my littles and a minivan packed TO THE BRIM with our farm’s wool products. The adventure was grand and the learning curve steep. I placed myself and our farm’s product smack dab in the middle of 163 other fiber vendors and spent 3 long days in a whirlwind of knitters, spinners, weavers, felters, crocheters and fiber artists of all types. I learned so very much about every nuance of fiber, got one lesson after the next about all things wool and met some wonderful, welcoming folks. Whew.
I came back to a farm and husband knee deep in wood shavings. Yep, paul as we speak is setting up his woodworking at the nashville scene’s 2nd annual crafts and drafts event. He will display the items that you all have grown used to seeing: baskets and vases. Also appearing will be some items less familiar: stools, toys, blocks. Everything is of course hand crafted from reclaimed wood: cherry, sassafrass, pine, spruce, poplar, and even some treasures made from the now extinct American Chestnut. Needless to say it has been exceptionally fun to venture into these new spheres, professionally challenging to achieve the level of perfection we wanted to and just plain crazy to wrap up the season with so much NEW. We are not bored.
We will bid our dear apprentice Deanna a farewell this evening. She returned to the hollow in June for a second year of education. Unexpectedly pregnant she arrived, her future quite uncertain. We welcomed her despite the unknowns and the moments we shared as her first child grew in her belly and her farm skills were perfected will remain a treasure for each of us. I know we all bid her a huge Hill and Hollow blessing as she moves into her motherhood.
It has been a week of completion and transition and love and learning, a fine farm week indeed.
With such a series of days of course the harvest and delivery was perfect. Cool, rainy delightful plucking of greens. Top that off with the first in a series of ginger harvests and I really don’t know if things could get better. Have a great week friends, I know I am going to breathe a huge sigh of relief as I wrap up this series of events, might just linger a little longer over my sunday coffee!

fall week 7 in your basket:
pac choi
misato rose radish
buttercup squash

Squash Soup with Ginger
3 to 3 1/2 pounds winter squash, seeded and quartered
Unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Place the quartered squash onto a half sheet pan, brush the flesh of the squash with a little butter and season with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the white pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is soft and tender.
Scoop the flesh from the skin into a 6-quart pot. Add the broth, honey and ginger. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the mixture until smooth*. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with the remaining salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
*When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown, 2003

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