Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter THANKSGIVING SHARE November 18, 2023


The other day someone noticed that the colors of a woolly bear caterpillar were almost completely light rust brown with none of the usual 13 black bands, which supposedly according to ancient, woolly bear folklore, indicate a warm winter. Whether the winter is warm as the woolly bear might suggest or cold because of some arctic inversion, we will not have much choice in the matter for these next few months. Sometimes we actually hope for some of the frigid temperatures of winter to force ourselves to slow down, to find more time for quiet contemplation whether outside walking or skiing while traversing the leafless landscape or snuggling inside next to a warm fire. It is a time to go inward, to quiet our actions and our mind, to help us attain more peace and balance between our heart and our brain. It is an important time for dreaming and planning for next year, similar to the brown caterpillar dreaming of metamorphizing into an Isabella Tiger Moth when the warmth of spring comes back to the land. 

An important part of this inward winter equanimity is creating delicious, simple salads, soups, stews, hot dishes, and baked goods that warm our house and our insides. We are pleased to have so many people choose this Thanksgiving Share of local, seasonal vegetables, and through celebrating this contemplative season, we hope you too will find a refuge of nutrition, flavor, and connection. We are very thankful to all of our farm crew, the men and women, who have shared the hard work this season. So many people have helped in so many ways, and it’s been an enjoyable season with the mild weather and good rainfall. This is such a wonderful time of year to feel nurtured and valued by each other in the sharing of meals together.  

The vegetables for this bountiful distribution have been compiled into 2 big BOXES, so please make sure that you take 1 brown box and 1 white box. We will also have a choice of a spotted Romanesco Cauliflower (see explanation below) on the side at the Farm, the AA Farmers Market, and at the Washtenaw Food Hub, and others will have them in your box, so check for that. You may want to bring your own containers or bags, if you don’t want to haul these boxes home to keep. You can also return them at anytime to the Farm, the Washtenaw Food Hub, or the Ann Arbor Farmers Market throughout the rest of 2023. Most of the following items can be stored for long-term (especially the root vegetables) or preserved very simply, so please note storage or simple cooking tips listed below, or on our website. **Also, if you’re having trouble identifying any unfamiliar produce, please look for “Veggie ID” on our website under CSA INFO or RECIPES tabs.

Thank you for buying locally and seasonally. We are proud to share this collaborative Thanksgiving offering with thanks to our friends’ additions from the Brinery and Second Spring Farm. We wish you a safe, healthy, and enjoyable Thanksgiving!
 –Deb, Richard & the 2023 Tantre Farm Crew

1. BLACK FRIDAY PLANT WALK at Tantre Farm – Nov. 24 from 11 AM -1 PM: Plant walks are excellent learning opportunities for those with beginning to intermediate foraging skills, and for anyone wishing to increase their knowledge of the local flora with local foraging expert, Rachel Mifsud from “Will Forage for Food”. Our discussion will include information about identification, methods of harvest, preparation, and use. We will explore the area and talk about edible, medicinal, or otherwise useful plants and mushrooms that are currently in season. Dress for the weather. You may want a notebook and pen. Unlimited class size, drop-ins welcome, and cost is $25. To register ahead of time or to find more information, just go to this site and https://willforageforfood.square.site/product/black-friday-plant-walk/110?fbclid=IwAR3nvxA58LvXqxapdZFjrNimJESQU7s8hHIdBsbZ3Uvo-JG2u6brplHQRlw

2. NO IMMUNE BOOSTER CSA and NO WASHTENAW FOOD HUB FARM MARKET on Nov. 25:  We are taking a little break from the Immune Booster CSA and are closing the Hub Farm Market on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Hopefully most of you will stock up on holiday feasting items this coming Saturday at Agricole Farm Stop and the Hub Market, and will have plenty of Thanksgiving leftovers!  We will be back in action for our next Immune Booster menu on Sunday, Nov. 26, regarding Tantre Farm’s Immune Booster CSA Share, Week 173, for pick up on Dec. 2 with all kinds of delicious local food!  We will continue offering our collaborative, weekly IMMUNE BOOSTER CSA (http://www.tantrefarm.com/how-does-our-immune-booster-csa-work) throughout the winter.

3. MORE ITEMS AT THE FOOD HUB MARKET: Over the next few months we will continue adding new items gradually to the Hub Market.  This weekend Harvest Kitchen will be supplying more pot pies and their popular, frozen lasagna.  Fluffy Bottom Farms will have yogurt, feta cheese, and different kinds of hard cheeses.  Zingerman’s Bakehouse will be providing 4 different varieties of bread.  Zingerman’s Creamery has extra cream cheese and pimento cheese spreads available. The Brinery has replenished their kimchi jars and well-loved, pickled carrots along with a few more tempeh products. Elder Farms from Milan is supplying free-range, USDA certified eggs this week.  Hope you plan on taking some extra time to walk around the market and see if we can help replenish your pantry before your Thanksgiving meal. 

4. CONTINUOUS TANTRE PRODUCE: Please feel free to give us a call or e-mail throughout the fall, winter, and spring, if you are interested in a refill of any of the following produce. We are planning on being at the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market on Wed., Nov. 22, for any last minute Thanksgiving purchases. We will continue coming to the Ann Arbor Farmers Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout December, as much as the weather allows us. If you have “liked” us on Tantre Farm’s Facebook page or Instagram, you will know when we are coming, since we will try to keep you updated. Also, throughout the fall and winter, we will continue delivering our produce into Ann Arbor to the People’s Food Coop, Argus Farm Stop on Liberty and Packard in Ann Arbor, and Agricole Farm Stop in Chelsea.

5. SUMMER CSA 2024 & SAFE LISTS: Registration for the Summer CSA of 2024 will open in mid January, so watch for that email and make sure that tantrefarm@hotmail.com and info@tantrefarm.com are on your SAFE LISTS, so you don’t miss any emails. Several members end up with Tantre Farm emails in their spam folders, so don’t forget to check routinely there as well.

INSIDE BOX #1 (1-bushel)
BEETS (Red Ace): round, smooth, deep red roots with sweet flavor.
-How to use: roots good in juices, soups, stews, roasted, boiled, steamed, excellent grated raw into salads or baked goods.
-How to store: store unwashed in plastic bags in hydrator drawer of refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS: 1 quart of these tiny, green cabbage-like sprouts with mildly pungent, mustard-like flavor.
-How to use: Boil or steam for 5-10 minutes without overcooking, so they are still bright green; toss with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, or a pat of butter; excellent roasted or stir-fried.
-How to store: Refrigerate for up to a week or more unwashed in a plastic bag in hydrator drawer.

“Second Spring Farm’s” ORGANIC RAINBOW CARROTS: A carrot is a root, whose skin color can be white, red, purple, or yellow, but more commonly known for their bright orange color; high in all kinds of various nutrients based on their color. Thanks to our former intern (2003)-turned-farmer, Reid Johnston, owner of Second Spring Farm from Cedar, MI. http://www.secondspringfarm.net/
-How to use: can be used raw as carrot sticks, grated in salads or juiced; steamed or sautéed, in stews, soups, casseroles, stir-fries
-How to store: refrigerate dry and unwashed roots in plastic bag for up to 2 weeks
CAULIFLOWER (Romanesco): lime green, spiraled heads with pointed, spiraled pinnacles; crisp and mild; vary in size from small to medium. We decided to put this cauliflower on the side for some locations, because we found that some of them had developed a black spotting that unfortunately occurs with too much moisture and warm conditions. We were not expecting it to invade one of our favorite cauliflowers, so we thought you might appreciate the choice of taking it or leaving it, so it doesn’t all go to the pigs. Most of this spotting is only on the surface, so can easily be cut off. We were able to put some in the boxes at Pure Pastures, Agricole, and our Private Location, so if you don’t see an extra large box of cauliflower on the side at your location, then you will find it in your share box. Thank you for your understanding of Mother Nature and her unpredictable waving of the black speckle wand! Great in soups!!
-How to use: raw for salads and dips, steamed, sautéed, or roasted.
-How to store: sweetest and best when used within a week when stored in the refrigerator, but probably cook this sooner than later.

FRESH HERBS: Please keep in mind that these herbs have been through some hard freezing temperatures and have bounced back, but may not be in supreme “summer” shape though the delicious oils and aromas are still in tact. You will receive Sage (an aromatic herb from an evergreen shrub in the mint family with long, narrow, grayish-green leaves; a musky aroma and a warm and spicy taste; perfect for Thanksgiving stews, breads, butters, and teas, roasted in vegetables) AND Parsley (Most of you will receive Curly and a few of you will receive Italian Flat. Parsley has dark green leaves; high in vitamins A and C, and other minerals, such as iron; especially good in omelets, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, soups, pasta and vegetable dishes, as well as, sauces).
-How to store: Place in plastic bag and store in refrigerator up to a week or put herb bunch in jar with 2 inches of water. Sage will dry very easily by hanging upside down in a well-ventilated and dark area for a week or two. Then break off leaves into a jar and store long-term for up to a year. Parsley can be chopped and frozen in a freezer bag for long-term storage.
KALE: You will receive 1 bunch of Green Curly (well-ruffled, curly green leaves on green stems; this variety makes a good, roasted “kale chip” and kale salad) AND 1 bunch Red Curly (well ruffled, red leaves with red stems; gets redder after a frost). These bitter greens are remarkably sweeter after several frosts!
-How to use: Boil or steam until color brightens; great in omelets, quiches, lasagna, casseroles, soups, stews, salads, and smoothies.
-How to store: Refrigerate unwashed in plastic bag for 1 to 2 weeks.
POTATOES: You will receive a net bag of Carola (yellow potato from Germany; smooth, creamy texture that is good for baking or frying)
-How to store: keep in cool, dark place in paper bag; ideal temperature is 38-45 degrees with high humidity (80-90%). A basement or very cool closet will work.
RAINBOW DAIKON RADISHES: You will receive Alpine (the smooth, attractive roots are white with green shoulders; looks like an overgrown green carrot, but with a slightly mild radish taste; crunchy and sweet texture; good macrobiotic root that is good for the gut), K-N Bravo (looks like an overgrown carrot with internal color ranging from pale purple to white with purple streaks; sweet with a mild kick), and Red King (looks like an overgrown carrot with brilliant red skin and white inside; mild, crisp, and juicy; good, sweet, eating quality).
-How to use: excellent julienned, sliced, used in a salad or tossed with your favorite vinaigrette; good eaten fresh, cooked, or pickled
-How to store: store dry and unwashed in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks; can last for 2-4 months if stored in cold, moist conditions like beets.
WATERMELON RADISHES: an heirloom Chinese variety of Daikon radishes; large, round root with unique dark magenta flesh and light green/white skin along with a remarkably sweet, delicious taste.
-How to use: cooking does minimize the intensity of their color, but can be braised or roasted like a turnip, or mashed like a rutabaga; color is vibrant when served raw in a salad or in a veggie plate with some dip; can also be pickled.
-How to store: refrigerate in plastic bag/damp towel for 1-2 weeks.
“The Brinery’s” PICKLES & KRAUT: We are pleased to offer TWO jars of the Brinery’s products: 1st jar will be Stimulus Package Sauerkraut (The first kraut ever fermented at The Brinery embraces Old World traditions and flavors. The brightness of crisp cabbage mingles with the sweet warmth of caraway seeds in this classic. Ingredients include green cabbage, filtered water, sea salt, caraway seed) and 2nd jar will be Root 31 Turnip and Beet Pickles (A beautifully pink, garlicky and thinly-sliced turnip pickle is a delight to behold. They will enliven any dish, from salad to a cheese plate. Ingredients include turnips, beets, garlic, filtered water, sea salt). The Brinery is a local foods business, specializing in naturally fermented local vegetables and operated by long time Tantré farmer alum, David Klingenberger. For more information, please visit www.thebrinery.com
-How to use: use as a condiment with any dish, especially meat dishes, salads, roasted veggies, or sandwiches.
-How to store: Must be REFRIGERATED up to 1 year or longer depending on how you like the flavor, since it will get stronger with more age. *NOTE: These fermented products have NOT been canned, so store in refrigerator.

Sauerkraut Background & Recipes:   www.timesunion.com/living/article/Sauerkraut-on-New-Year-s-a-Pennsylvania-tradition-561496.php
SPINACH: You will receive a bag of crisp, dark green leaf; good source of vitamins A and C; delicious flavor when juiced.
-How to use: toss in fresh salad, add to sandwiches, sauté, steam, braise, or add to crepes, quiche, lasagna, and soups
-How to store: refrigerate with a damp towel/bag for up to 1 week
TURNIPS: You will receive White Hakurei (round, smooth small roots with sweet, fruity flavor; roots are a good source of potassium, calcium, and delicious raw in a salad) and Purple Top (traditional, Southern U.S. variety with smooth, round roots with white below the soil line and bright purple above).
-How to use: roots can be roasted, steamed, or sautéed; great in soups, pasties, mashed with potatoes.
-How to store: roots can last up to 1-2 weeks in refrigerator.
INSIDE BOX #2 (1 5/8-bushel – brown box)

GARLIC (Chesnock Red): a Purple Stripe variety of garlic with excellent flavor, especially when roasted, giving garlicky sweetness to cooked dishes, without overwhelming heat; garlic is believed to help in fighting infections and bolstering the immune system.
-How to use: excellent minced raw in salad dressings, sautéed and added to stir-fries, meats, vegetables, soups, stews.
-How to store: store for several months in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated place in a basket or a paper bag; if cloves begin to get soft or moldy, break off bad part, chop, and pack into small jar filled with olive oil, then refrigerate (great gift idea) or freeze.
“Second Spring Farm’s” ONIONS (Patterson): medium-large, blocky bulbs with dark yellow skin and thin necks; excellent storage onion. Thanks to Reid (former 2003 Tantre intern and farmer) for providing this organic produce from “Second Spring Farm” from Cedar, MI. http://www.secondspringfarm.net/
-How to use: good in French onion soup, great for salads, soups, stirfries, sandwiches, slices, grilled.
-How to store: can last for 3 to 6 months if kept in a cold, dark place in a basket or paper bag. If any start to go soft, just cut out the bad part, chop up the rest of the onion and freeze in bags.
PIE PUMPKINS: bright orange skin with dry, sweet flesh; the traditional American pumpkin was used by the New England settlers and Native Americans several hundred years ago
-How to use: excellent for pies, muffins, cookies, cakes, breads, etc.
-How to store: store whole pumpkins at room temperature up to a month or for 2 to 3 months in moderately cool conditions (45-60 degrees with 60-75% humidity)
“Second Spring Farm’s” ORGANIC SWEET POTATOES: edible roots related to the morning-glory family that have dark red or orange skin with a vivid orange, moist, sweet flesh; high in vitamins A & C. Thanks to our former intern (2003)-turned-farmer, Reid Johnston, owner of Second Spring Farm from Cedar, MI.
-How to use: prepare like potatoes–baked, boiled, sautéed, fried; can be made into pies, waffles, pancakes, breads, and cookies.
-How to store: store in a cool, dark place like winter squash. Note: Do not store in plastic or in fridge, unless cooked.
WINTER SQUASH: You will receive most of the following varieties: Acorn (small, green ribbed squash with pale yellow flesh; great stuffed with rice, breading, or soups), Starry Night Acorn (a delicious acorn that stores through the holidays; unique, pixelated color pattern with attractive speckled dark green and yellow-colored skin, smooth creamy texture and sweet flavor), Carnival (multicolor Sweet Dumpling with colorful patches and flecks of dark and light green, orange, and yellow; sweet flesh and edible skin), Chirimen (a traditional kabocha, Japanese Yokohama-type squash; bronze-orange skin with flesh deep orange, moist, sweet), Delicata (small, oblong, creamy yellow colored with long green stripes, only slightly ribbed; pale yellow, sweet flesh; edible skin; best eaten within 4 months of harvest), Jester Acorn (about the size of Carnival squash, but with better eating quality; an oval, yellow ivory-colored squash with green striping between the ribs that is tapered on both ends with small to average ribs), Sweet Dumpling (small 4-inch diameter, coloring is like the “Delicata”, but round, flat-topped shape; makes a great bowl for stuffing with rice, breading, or soups), or Tetsukabuto (5-6 pound Japanese squash; nearly round with dark green rind, ribbed; sweet and nutty flavor with yellow, thick flesh).
-How to use: bake, roast, boil or steam chunks, or until tender, mash cooked squash with butter; puree cooked squash for creamy soup, or add uncooked chunks to soups or stews; add small amounts to yeast breads, muffins, cookies, pies, oatmeal, etc.
-How to store: Keep for several months (depending on the variety) at 45-60 degrees with 60-75% humidity; will also store at room temperature. **Here is a great link, which offers good advice for storing winter squash: https://bonnieplants.com/library/how-to-store-winter-squash/

TANTRÉ FARM SLAW (A simple, easy salad!) Serves 4.
2 medium beets, grated
3 large carrots (any color), grated
1 watermelon radish, grated
1-2 white salad turnips, grated
sesame or sunflower seeds, toasted
2 tsp. olive oil
2 tsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Grate vegetables into a bowl. Chop onion, if desired, and add to bowl. Toast sesame or sunflower seeds. Add when cooled. Add olive oil and lemon juice as a salad dressing to suit your taste. Be careful of too much liquid. The tartness of the lemon should be prominent. Serve immediately or marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator. Variations: Add shredded cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, daikon radish, chopped parsley, etc.

2 large shallots
6 cloves garlic
4 Tbsp chopped, fresh sage
1 oz lemon juice
3 oz red wine vinegar
3 oz maple syrup
1 sprig rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste

Blend all ingredients together.  Drizzle in 2 cups of oil and about 3 ounces of water, as needed, to adjust consistency. Serve with lettuce mix or spinach salad or over steamed potatoes.

REDBOR KALE WITH RED BEANS, CILANTRO, AND FETA CHEESE (from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison) Serves 4
1 1/2 cups dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 white onion, finely diced
1 large bunch red curly kale (any variety)
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
3/4 cup chopped cilantro, or parsley divided
3 oz feta cheese, crumbled

Drain the beans, cover with plenty of water, and bring to a boil. Remove scum from surface, then add herbs, salt, and all but 1/2 cup of the onion. Lower the heat and simmer until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Slice the kale leaves from their stems with a knife. Chop coarsely into bite-size pieces and rinse well. Bring a few quarts water to a boil; add salt and the kale. Simmer until tender, 5-7 minutes, and then pour into a colander to drain. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the remaining 1/2 cup onion and 1/2 cup cilantro. Cook over medium heat until the onion softens, about 10 minutes. Then add the kale and beans with enough of the cooking liquid for plenty of sauce. Simmer together for at least 10 minutes; then serve garnished with crumbled feta and the remaining cilantro.

CAULIFLOWER CHEESE CHOWDER (from Rolling Prairie Cookbook by Nancy O’Connor) Serves 4
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 Tbsp. unbleached white flour
4 cups vegetable stock or water
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 medium potatoes, unpeeled, cut into cubes
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
Snips of fresh chives or parsley for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender, approximately 10 minutes. Stir often to avoid scorching. Add flour, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Slowly add stock or water, using a whisk if necessary to avoid lumps. Add cauliflower, potatoes, and salt. Bring just to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, approximately 20 minutes. Remove about half of the cauliflower and potatoes from the pot using a slotted spoon. Set aside. Let the remaining soup cool a bit and then puree the soup in a food processor, blender, or with a hand-held blender right in the pot. Return soup to pot, and add reserved cauliflower and potatoes. Heat to a simmer. Slowly whisk in milk, then grated cheese. Heat over low heat until cheese is melted. Season with black pepper and a small amount of nutmeg. Serve embellished with a sprinkle of freshly snipped chives or parsley.

1 cauliflower (about 2 lbs), cut into 1-inch florets
1 lb fresh Brussels sprouts, thawed and patted dry, halved if large
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp grated orange peel
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Orange slices
Additional chopped fresh parsley for garnish. 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl; toss to coat. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Spread vegetables on large rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until lightly browned and almost tender, stirring once, about 12 minutes. Pour orange juice over. Roast until vegetables are tender and juices evaporate, about 8 minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup chopped parsley. Transfer to serving dish; garnish with orange slices and chopped parsley.

AMAZING SAGE BUTTER SAUCE (from https://easysaucerecipes.com/sage-butter-sauce/)
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
4 fresh sage leaves
1 garlic clove, minced

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once it melts and begins to bubble slightly, add garlic and stir for 1 minute. After 1 minute, add chopped sage and continue stirring for an additional 1-2 minutes. Make sure you are constantly stirring and do not step away from the pan. The butter will turn light brown and give off a rich, nutty aroma. As soon as the butter sauce browns, take it off of the heat and serve with pasta, steak, chicken, and more! This easy but flavorful brown butter sauce is ready in 5 minutes.

**NOTES: Rather than melting the whole stick of butter in the pan, cut the butter into pieces first and melt it that way. Make sure to pull the butter from the heat as soon as it starts to brown. It is easy to burn brown butter sauce. Constantly stir once the sauce starts to form solids. Don’t step away from the pan.

WINTER VEGETABLE CHOWDER (from 366 Simply Delicious Dairy Free Recipes by Robin Robertson) Serves 6
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/2 cup turnip, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 cup winter squash, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup sweet red or green pepper, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme, or 2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
2 cups kale (spinach)
1 cup unsweetened soymilk or regular milk
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook onions, celery, turnip, and carrot for 5 minutes. Add sweet potato, squash, bell pepper, garlic, stock or water, and herbs. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Boil greens in lightly salted water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Puree soup in a blender (or use a stick blender in saucepan) until smooth. Return to saucepan. Stir in the soymilk, cooked greens, and salt and pepper to taste. Slowly heat the soup, being very careful not to boil. Serve.

TETSUKABUTO SQUASH PIE (from Backwoods Home Cooking)
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
2 cups mashed or pureed, cooked pulp of Tetsukabuto squash
1/2 tsp. vanilla
10 oz. evaporated milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. unbleached flour
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/3 cup chopped pecans

Thoroughly mix pulp, vanilla, and milk. Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, and ginger together and stir into the wet mixture. Pour into the pie shell and bake in 375° oven until the middle of pie is almost firm but still sticky. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with pecans. Continue baking until a straw inserted in the center comes out clean. Entire baking time takes 40-45 minutes.

MARTHA STEWART’S PUMPKIN SOUP IN A PUMPKIN (from www.recipezaar.com) Serves 6.
6 cups chicken stock
2-3 cups pared pumpkin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh sage
5 peppercorns
1 medium pie pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream, warmed
1 teaspoon chopped fresh, parsley

In a covered saucepan, heat the stock, cubed pumpkin, onion, garlic, salt, thyme, and peppercorns to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Remove 1/2 cup of the pumpkin with a slotted spoon; reserve. Simmer remaining pumpkin mixture, uncovered, 20 minutes longer; transfer to a large bowl. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Cut the top off the sugar pumpkin and remove the seeds. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes; set aside in a warm spot. Puree 2 cups of the pumpkin mixture in a blender or food processor; return pureed mixture to the pot. Repeat with remaining pumpkin mixture. Heat pureed mixture to boiling; reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Stir warm cream and reserved pumpkin into soup. Place the warmed sugar pumpkin on a platter; ladle the soup in and garnish with parsley. Serve hot.

GOLDEN NUGGET CUSTARD (from Capay Organic Farm CSA “Farm Fresh To You” website)
3 sweet dumpling, carnival, or acorn squashes
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup half and half
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (preferably) or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan cheese
6 sprigs fresh thyme, as garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Cut the squashes crosswise in half and scoop out and discard seeds and any stringy fibers. Trim the bottom of the squash halves so they will stand up on the baking sheet. Transfer to baking sheet, cut side up and cover each with aluminum foil. Bake the squash halves for 20-25 minutes to soften. Remove from the oven and set aside, keeping oven on. Whisk together the egg and half and half in a bowl. Add the thyme and whisk to blend. Spoon the egg mixture into the cavities of the squash, and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake for 20-25 minutes more, or until the squash is tender when pierced and the custard is softly set. Serve hot, garnished (if you like) with thyme sprigs.

POTATOES SAUTEED WITH SEA SALT AND FRESH SAGE (from www.grouprecipes.com) Serves 6
1 1/2 lbs potatoes unpeeled, cut in half or julienned
3 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 bunch fresh sage sprigs or leaves

Put potatoes in a saucepan and add water to cover by 2-inches. Add 2 teaspoons of the sea salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium then cover and cook 20 minutes then drain well. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When oil is hot add potatoes and turn them in the oil. Sprinkle with remaining sea salt, pepper and sage. Continue to cook turning until skins are lightly golden and sage is crisp about 10 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
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