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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Share

As you butter up the bird this year or stuff your vegetarian squashes, preparing for a special feast, pause a moment to reflect on the food you are about to consume. I am always filled with the wonder of feeling rich whenever I am blessed with such bounty. And to eat a meal that has been almost entirely grown outside my door is...well...I don't even have the words to express. It feels safe, sustainable, heroic. But then I remember all those generations before me that have grown their own food, so simply to live, and eaten the fresh taste of fresh and it brings me back around to feeling thankful. Thankful that this earth can still sustain us. And thankful that those little seeds and baby animals still have the spirit in them to grow and be fruitful. I thank them.
These last few days have been all about Potato Rolls : ) Those light, fluffy, devilishly buttery rolls of greatness. I am not usually a "baker", but it has been fun to change things up abit. Be surrounded by flour and balls of dough. Plus it makes the house cozy warm and smell like sweet pastries. The biggest challenge has been to keep the cats and the husband from eating them. (I did burn a few, by accident I promise, although it did mean we got to eat them :) They have been known to make grown men weep, they are so good.

This photo is for those folks who baulk at fitting a 25# bird in their oven. Mine is tiny and I have fit a 42#er in there! Over the last 3 days I have baked over 480 rolls and the cookie sheets that I had to buy (because the 2 that I owed just weren't going to cut it) wouldn't even fit! But alas I made it work. Anyway, I hope you enjoy them...last year I heard many of them were eaten by moms and kids before they ever got home--sorry dad!
Thank you for sharing in local food production. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.
Blessings on your meal, Keena
This share's loot: apples, potato rolls, cranberries, winter squash, pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnip, brussel sprouts, fennel, spinach, lettuce mix, kale, chard
Mashed Rutabagas and Potatoes
3 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 to 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces, about 5 or 6 medium
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
2 teaspoons chopped parsley, optional
Cook rutabaga and potatoes in salted water in separate saucepans. When both are tender, remove from heat. Rutabaga will take about 30 minutes, and potatoes will take about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain; puree or mash rutabaga well, then mash the potatoes. Combine mashed rutabaga and potatoes; add butter, milk, pepper, and nutmeg. Beat well. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Baked Apples and Rutabagas
6 cups shredded rutabaga, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 large apple, peeled, cored, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons butter
Mix turnip, about 3/4 or the chopped apple, brown sugar, salt and pepper in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle remaining apple over the top of rutabaga; dot with butter. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours, or until rutabaga is tender.

Vegetarian Stuffed Pumpkin1 (5 pounds) pumpkin
2 to 3 cups brown rice, cooked
2 cups crumbled dry whole wheat bread (or part corn bread or other bread)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 cup chopped celery and leaves
2 apples (tart and unpeeled), chopped
1 cup roasted chestnuts or a handful of cashew nuts, cut in half
Herbs: Sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, and paprika to taste
1 to 2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter, melted, or safflower oil
Soy sauce or salt to taste

Sweet Potato and Sausage SoupBon Appetit, October 2007
We ended up using spicy chorizo (yee-ouch!) but it played off the sweet potatoes perfectly, saving me from death by cayenne.
Gourmet note: This hearty soup gets rich flavor from linguica, a delicious pork sausage from Portugal seasoned with garlic, paprika, and other spices.
Makes 8 servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided1 10- to 11-ounce fully cooked smoked Portuguese linguica sausage or chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (Spanish chorizo can be substituted)2 medium onions, chopped2 large garlic cloves, minced2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 large), peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices1 pound white-skinned potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices6 cups low-salt chicken broth1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain. (I poured off some of the oil in the pot at this point, but the original recipe doesn’t think this is needed.) Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add all potatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in pot. Add browned sausage to soup. Stir in spinach and simmer just until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and serve.

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