Well, here we are back in the 70s and 80s. After last week’s frosty mornings, it has been nice.
Saturday was beautiful for the Boyle County Farmers Market Fall Fest. We had music playing throughout the day, thanks to John Wyatt. Painted pumpkin judging was done by visitors to the market. The winning pumpkin was a scarecrow face complete with raffia hair and a straw hat painted by Douglas from the Boyle County Schools Day Treatment. Thanks to all participating students.
Another date to remember is Dec. 10. We will return to the brown metal building located behind our current Farmers Market location at the fairgrounds for our 3rd Annual Christmas Sale. We will post more information here as the date approaches.
Come check out the Boyle County Farmers’ Market offerings for this week:
Veggies and fruit: apples; butternut squash; collard greens; cushaw squash; eggplant; kale; okra; onions; patty pan squash; peppers; potatoes; pumpkins; spaghetti squash; sweet potatoes; tomatoes; winter squash — sun spot, acorn, buttercup, turks turban, red warty thing, jarrahdale; yellow squash
Meats: beef; chicken; lamb; pork; goat
Other: fresh eggs
Baked goods: sourdough breads and rolls; granola; friendship breads
Canned goods: apple butter; jams and jellies; relish
The Boyle County Farmers Market is located at the Boyle County Fairgrounds in Danville. The market manager is Gary Taylor of Knobview Farms; his number is (859) 332-2539. Hours for the market are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Available now: Our first cookbook, “FARM FRESH RECIPES from the Boyle County Farmers’ Market.” This collection of our favorite recipes, using fresh fruits, vegetables and meats offered at our market throughout the season, is a keeper.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy, see any of our vendors. The cookbooks retail for $10.75.
From the Farm: The gardens are beginning to look sad. Brown cornstalks and frost-burned plants cover most of the three plots we grow. Beets, turnips, kale, collards, broccoli and Brussels sprouts are the only deep green and healthy-looking plants at one end. These veggies don’t care for hot temperatures. Barrie is keeping them irrigated and the cool nights contribute to their success.
In the first plot, the pepper plants look pretty good, too. They always seem to have nicer peppers when fall arrives. Maybe it’s all those bright colors. Yellows, oranges, reds and greens fit right in with the changing leaves on surrounding trees.
Our eggplants, cucumbers and melons are done for the year. We did pick enough eggplant to put up in the freezer, and enough cucumbers to make a couple more batches of bread-and-butter pickles.
I am concentrating on making dishes with our winter squashes now. During the weekend, I decided to cook one of our Argonaut squashes. If you like butternut squash, you will love Argonauts. These squash are huge. I sliced the neck in 2-inch thick rounds and cooked them in the microwave until tender. I cooked the remainder in the same manner.
I put the pulp through a food mill to make puree. This squash yielded well over a gallon of puree. I use this for Winter Squash Bars, cakes, pies, dips, soups and more. Any leftovers can be frozen until needed.
Saturday, I brought samples of Winter Squash Dip served with gingersnaps. Vanilla wafers, graham crackers, apple or pear slices are also good. Basically, this is pumpkin dip made with winter squash puree instead of pumpkin. If you have a favorite pumpkin dip recipe, try substituting winter squash next time you make it.
Here is the recipe I served at the market:
Winter Squash Dip
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 cups winter squash puree (butternut, Argonaut or similar)
1 teaspoon orange extract (or add 1 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate)
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
Whip cream cheese with mixer until smooth. Add confectioner’s sugar a little at a time, mixing until smooth with no lumps. Add squash puree, orange and spices, beating until smooth.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.