Farmers’ Market/CSA Report #14, September 2017

The farmers’ market was a joy this week, with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and baked goods to choose from. As you can see, I struggled to restrain myself, and it looks a bit like I brought home a little of everything. I promise I didn’t. I could not resist the cinnamon rolls and lemon ginger scones, though, and I’m glad I indulged, because they were wonderful treats.

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The little yellow fruits with the papery husks are husk tomatoes, also known as ground cherries. They have the most remarkable, hard-to-describe flavor, that actually changes while you are chewing them. They taste sweet, buttery, and grape-like to me, but others have said they taste a bit like pineapple, caramel, and even corn. They are fun to eat right out of the husk, but I have also had good luck cooking them with peaches for a quick jam (they contain a lot of pectin).

All the fruits are so beautiful and jewel-like this year, I will be sorry to see them go. I am glad there were some more baby beets, and maybe one last batch of broccoli, before the frost comes. It’s market days like this that can make you forget that winter is coming, except for the appearance of sweet potatoes. They do serve as a reminder.

Here’s the next to last CSA share.

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The share has more winter squashes, and more potatoes, and more tomatoes, typical for the time of year, but the Swiss chard and scallions were a nice surprise, as were the tiny yellow bell peppers. I bought a tub of goat cheese, also available from the CSA, to stuff them with. They may end up in the freezer, stuffed and ready to batter and fry sometime in the winter when we need a perky pick-me-up. I’ve already made chili with the large bell peppers, some tomatoes, and the shelled beans from the farmers’ market, and another batch of tomato soup and salsa are in my plans. The flat Italian green beans may end up blanched and frozen for winter vegetable soups, because they are pretty large and will stand up to such treatment.

Today is the Fall Equinox, the first day of Autumn, with equal parts day and night. From today, the days will get shorter and the nights longer, very quickly, and the temperatures will drop along with the leaves that have already started to flutter down from some of the trees. It’s time to start looking for recipes that are warmer and heartier, full of spice and love, as we prepare for the dark, cold winter.

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