17 October 2009

PNW Farm Tour: Berries, Veggies, Honey, Jam

Who needs souvenirs from a trip when you can bring home fresh produce?
Confession here! The farm owner's presentation of beautiful apples was a LOT more beautiful before I picked out a whole bunch to buy:) I've developed quite a liking for baked apples and these were fantastic to cook with! For a quick treat with not quite as many calories as a pie (although I love them too) I like to bake or microwave some sliced apples in an ovenproof/microwave safe baking dish with a bit of raw sugar (and/or honey), some apple pie spice and chopped walnuts. A very yummy and quick snack or dessert.
Now for a GREAT recipe for apple butter you might want to check out another Aimee's (momzoo's) blog: http://momzoo.blogspot.com/2009/10/apples.html
Aimee has an amazing attitude when it comes to food preservation/gleaning/gardening! :)
The farm/farm store owners were also kind enough to give us permission to wander down to their fields. The views were beautiful as were the veggies we found growing there!
Beautiful, isn't it? I LOVE rural America. Wherever I go -- be it in the PNW or elsewhere -- I am drawn to the country (and of course the mountains!)
Makes me hungry to think of baked squash; the ornamental gourds and corn make me want to decorate -- but I need to wait until the BIG project is done before even thinking of one more small project (except for Aimee's apple butter that is!)
Now this reminds me of my teen years when our church group made an autumn trip to a farm nearby where we enjoyed a hay ride up the hill there and other fall activities. They offer those here too. Speaking of autumn activities, does anyone remember 'bobbing' for apples as a kid?
One more picture--at least for now. A rainstorm has moved in and it's time to go eat anyway:) A big thank you to the farm owners for permission to post these photos here and for making us feel right at home while at their farm!
Blessings to you, your family and all whose lives are touched by you!
Farm: photos taken while at Koch Family Farm, 4745 Raybell Road, St Paul, OR. Besides the produce and ornamentals pictured above they carry green beans, tomatoes, peppers, honey and jam. They also have fruit in summertime.
Note: If you are in this area you might want to stop by Champoeg State Park area nearby. Very nice trails through a forest and by a river....oh and they have yurts too! Also need to say I am not in any way associated with the farms I am posting or park either but just wanting to share with any readers some great places (and people) I've found during my travels in the PNW!

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.
- -
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!

13 October 2009

Missing You (& the rest of my out-of-state family)

Dear Baby Granddaughter,
Yes, it's true

as I do laundry in the bathroom, in a somewhat strange pose as of late -
with Grandpa's & my favorite new friend 'Irwin' always close by;
and the days pass since you spilled Pepsi all over your mom and I,
I find myself missing you more & more
(and that goes for all your family & dog family too)!
Love & blessings always,
Grandma Aimee
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