Saturday is the Last Farmers Market of the 2012 Season
This Saturday, October 27th, marks the end of the 2012 Farmers Market season. We hope everyone will come out and shop one last time before winter. Many of us won’t see each other for the next sixth months, but if you are chatting with your favorite vendors you may find that some of them offer products year round or by special order. If so, be sure to get their contact information.
Last week I reminded everyone that now is time to stock up on your winter storage crops such as apples, potatoes, squash, onions, sweet potatoes, etc. This week is also a great time to stock up on your local meat products. Most of the meat vendors offer great deals on meat the last day of farmers market so be sure to arrive early if you want to get in on the savings. Also, it is wise to organize your freezer before you go to market on Saturday so you know how much space you have left to fill.
The weather this week has been so warm that I keep referring to it as Indian summer. However, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, true Indian summer refers to a warm spell that happens after St. Martin’s Day on Nov. 11th and before Nov. 20th. I don’t really know if this is based on true scientific records or old wives’ tales, however, I am enjoying the warm weather now and if there is another spell the second week of November, so much the better.
As I write this, it doesn’t look like the good weather is going to hold out until Saturday, which is very unfortunate, since my family has big plans for our annual Fall Party. We are going to make a big kettle of apple butter as part of the festivities. I have been busy preparing the apples all week by steaming them and running them through my food strainer. Let’s hope the rain holds off or everyone will be taking home a gallon of applesauce instead of a pint of apple butter.
This week’s recipe is from my friend Amy Kesting. Amy used to live in Zanesville and work at the Art Museum, but moved back to Columbus last winter. She is probably the best cook I know and I miss her evening calls saying, “Kristen, I have just made (fill in the blank). Come over and try some.” Since I’m too far away now to be her taste-tester I have to be satisfied just looking at pictures of her latest mouth-watering creations on Facebook. This is the dish I am going to make for my vegetarian friends attending Saturday’s party. I am going to make it ahead on Friday and bake it on Saturday.
Pumpkin and Swiss Chard Lasagna
· One Small cooking pumpkin such as long island cheese or sugar pie
· One Med-Lg. Butternut squash
· 1 bundle fresh Sage
· Two cloves fresh garlic
· Water or milk
· 2 eggs
· Salt and pepper to taste
· 2 lb. swiss chard or other greens such as spinach, chopped
· 1 jar marinara sauce
· 1 pkg. no boil lasagna noodles
· Cheese (Amy likes to use for pepper jack for a little kick)
· Olive Oil
To prepare the pumpkin layer: Cut pumpkin and butternut squash in half, remove seeds, and bake at 375º for about 40 min with some fresh sage. Remove the skin and puree in food processor with two garlic cloves and two eggs. Add a little water or milk to get a good consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. To make the chard/greens layer: Sauté chopped chard in olive oil; mix with about one cup marinara sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. To assemble the lasagna: Sprinkle olive oil to coat the bottom of lasagna pan and a little bit of the marinara sauce. Add a layer of noodles. Layer up with the pumpkin mixture, a little sauce, noodles, chard mixture, noodles, more pumpkin, more sauce, and so on. Top with cheese. Cover and bake at 375º for 60 minutes. Remove cover for the last 15 minutes of baking.