17 October 2009

PNW Farm Tour: Autumn Produce

When my kids were smaller I used to enjoy shopping at a nearby market/farm where I could actually talk with the farmer as I browsed among his fresh produce and checked out the other foodstuffs he had brought in to sell. Unfortunately -- 'progress' arrived; the farm and market were replaced with something else and now I do most of my grocery shopping at a supermarket where honestly I don't see much that is 'super' about it. Yes, it has a great selection of fruits, veggies, meat, etc but it just isn't as pleasant as my old shopping experience was.
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During recent travels I got to relive a bit of that old time market/farm experience....and, yes, I loved it! So here is a little PNW farm tour for you to enjoy! Note: since we visited quite a few farms in this area of Oregon I may divide them into several posts to make it easier for me :)
I am really into squash & gourds this year;
they come in so many varieties and the colors make me think autumn!
Last night I baked a Golden Nugget squash--my first this autumn. Here is how I did it (although I am sure you all know how to cook one already.)
Wash squash and remove seeds (I placed these aside after rinsing them to dry in hopes of planting them next year). Cut squash in half -- the hardest part of the whole thing! Place the halves, cut side down in an ovenproof baking dish. I added a small amount of water to the dish and covered it loosely with a cookie sheet since the foil was no where to be found. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (no I did not preheat the oven). When fork tender I scooped out the orange yummy sweet flesh and pureed it, adding a bit of butter, pumpkin pie spice and raw sugar. It was very, very good and my house smelled very, very earthy!
We also had some of the potatoes I got from here, pan fried with some bratwurst sausage and tart apples. YUM! My son and I liked it but agreed that the apples need to be added closer to the end of the cooking as they soften too much for our liking.
Aren't veggies beautiful?

This farm had an amazing variety of squash, gourds, potatoes (even a purplish one), flowers, peppers and more! It was a pleasure to walk the fields there and browse through the displays of harvested produce! The farmer owners were awesome people and I thank them for letting me post the photos I took there on this blog! May they be blessed as they continue to work the earth they've been given and may those people who share in their bountiful harvest also find blessing in their lives!

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