While the calendar says October, it still feels like summer outside, so we did our best to have your shares represent that this week. A bizarre fall for sure, but one that we will hold onto just a bit longer….because if we hold onto this weather it means less time with cold and snow, right? We shall see about that, but that is what I keep telling myself.
Looking at the calendar, one month from now the farm will look like a completely different place. Right now, I look out my office window and see a parking lot full of pumpkins and squash. Our warehouse is full of apples, squash, and the remaining summer crops we continue to harvest. The crews are busy and there is always something going on around here. One month from today, it will be an entirely different scenario. The lot outside my window will be empty, the warehouse cleaned up, and the majority of our seasonal staff will have gone home for the winter. We always look forward to a little rest after a busy season, but it gets pretty quiet around here come November. Until that point, there’s lots of work to be done so we will keep on keeping on until the end of the month, getting as much done as possible before the 2023 season wraps for good. Let’s dive in and take a look at what’s included in your shares this week.
Honeycrisp Apples: Truth be told, I have not always been one to eat an apple a day. I would eat them occasionally, but the tables have turned this season. All of the apples have been incredible, and Honeycrisp can now be added to that list as well. While I’d love to recommend you bake or turn these great apples in to applesauce or a pie, I think you’d be missing out on their true flavor. Plain or dipped in a little peanut butter is my favorite way to enjoy these, but if you are looking for something a little more decadent, slice up the apples and drizzle with a little bit of caramel. Yum! As a kid I always remember my dad coming home with caramel apples for us in the fall, so this is a good substitute.
Honeydew Melon: Melon is October? I’ll take it. I like to slice up the melon as soon as I get it home and put it in a Tupperware so I can enjoy it throughout the week. Plain, drizzled with a little lime juice, or mixed with some cottage cheese are all great ways to enjoy the honeydew melon. I know melon season in Minnesota is just about over, so this will be a great ending to the season.
Oneida Gold Potatoes: While it is a little hot today to make a batch of Potato Leek soup, I do think this will be on the agenda for the weekend once it cools down a bit. I made a batch the last time we sent potatoes and leeks and gave it to my parents. It’s so easy to throw together and tastes amazing. If soup isn’t your thing, these potatoes are excellent for mashing as well. With some slightly more seasonal weather on the horizon, mashed potatoes would make an excellent addition to a weeknight dinner.
Leeks: I’ll be adding mine to soup this week, but these leeks are so mild they can be added to just about anything. One way I like to use leeks is to thinly slice them and then sauté them in butter. You can then add them to mashed potatoes as a topping or mix them in. You can add them to stir fry or your morning scrambled eggs as well.
Kale: A fresh batch of kale chips is on the menu this week. Typically, I take out a big baking sheet and rip the kale leaves from the stems. Once the leaves are all removed, I drizzle some olive oil over the leaves and massage it in so each leaf is coated. Sprinkle with a bit of garlic salt and toss in the oven at 400 for 15ish minutes. I make sure to check the kale often, tossing it around on the pan so it doesn’t burn. Truth be told, sometimes the kale chips are my dinner…I don’t make anything else. But, if you’re a much more rounded person than myself, these pair well with any type of protein for a great addition to dinner.
Slicing Tomatoes: The end of the tomato season is probably the hardest for me to get over because I just don’t want to go back to buying grocery store tomatoes. The flavor just isn’t the same, so honestly, my tomato consumption dips drastically in the winter months. One last round of BLTS and maybe a round of burgers with a giant slice of tomato will be on the menu this week. Both of those meals are true summer staples in my mind, so getting them in one more time before we bid farewell to this growing season seems fair.
Sweet Corn: Yes, we will have corn in October and it tastes incredible. Boiled or grilled, enjoy this last round of Minnesota sweet corn because it will be quite a while until we get it again….about 9 months to be exact.
Honey: Peanut butter and honey sandwiches, honey buttered English muffins, or a drizzle in your morning tea, honey can be used in many different ways. Local honey has a bunch of health benefits, especially when it comes to allergies. If your honey starts to get hard (crystalize), don’t worry. Make sure the top is on tight and place the jar in warm water until the honey returns to its liquid state. There is absolutely nothing wrong with crystalized honey, it’s just a bit more difficult to spread, that’s all.
Garlic: A couple of heads to roast up and add to mashed potatoes or soups. I use garlic quite often when I’m cooking, especially as the weather cools down and I find myself in the kitchen cooking a bit more.
There you have it, week number 16. Just one week to go! As I sit here writing at 3am, I am like how did the season go so fast? I know I say this every year, but I do think each year goes by just a little bit faster than the last. Week 17 is always a big week, so we have been working on putting together a list of items that will leave you all satisfied as we wrap up the 2023 season. It’s always a bittersweet week as we wrap up that part of our season, but I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ll talk more about that next week. Until then, have a great week!