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Monday, September 12, 2011

September 13th and 16th

Signs of Fall 
Asters and goldenrod flood the fields...


 The corn is finished and pumpkins pop out beneath the cover.

And apples are the fruit of choice.

The air is crisper, the sky bluer, even the sounds are a reminder that fall is here.  Can't believe it really.   I still sort of feel like I am waiting for summer to arrive.   I mean I know it was the hottest and most humid summer on record (or if it wasn't, my count of sleepless nights make it seem like it was), but for some reason I kind of feel like it blew right by.  That is okay, I welcome fall.  I love the colors, the smells the cooler nights.  I like bedding the fields for winter and seeing the colors of pumpkins and winter squash emerge from the withering vines. 

This week we will see the first of our fall crops in the share--spaghetti squash.  This squash is canary yellow and has a delicate flavor.  Some folks love it, others not so much.  I like its crunchy texture and its versatility.  Since it is light in flavor, one can add pasta sauce, cheese, pesto, beans and the like to add flavor.  Have fun with creative cooking!

This Week's Loot: Spaghetti squash, melons, onions, carrots? lettuce/spinach and garlic

How To Cook Spaghetti Squash
  • Bake It -- Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer and place in baking dish. Cook squash in preheated 375F oven approximately 1 hour or until flesh is tender.

  • Boil It -- Heat a pot of water large enough to hold the whole squash. When the water is boiling, drop in the squash and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on its size. When a fork goes easily into the flesh, the squash is done.

  • Microwave It -- Cut squash in half lengthwise; remove seeds. Place squash cut sides up in a microwave dish with 1/4 cup water. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on size of squash. Add more cooking time if necessary. Let stand covered, for 5 minutes. With fork "comb" out the strands.

  • Slow Cooker or Crock-Pot - Choose a smaller spaghetti squash (unless you have an extra large slow cooker) so that it will fit. Add 2 cups of water to slow cooker. Pierce the whole shell several times with a large fork or skewer, add to Crock Pot, cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours.
Once the squash is cooked, let it cool for 10 to 20 minutes so it will be easier to handle, before cutting in half (if it wasn't already) and removing the seeds. Pull a fork lengthwise through the flesh to separate it into long strands. (See photos.) You can do these steps ahead of time, then prepare spaghetti squash recipes whenever the mood strikes.

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