Eggplant puzzles us. When we pick up one (or two) as part of our CSA share, we just place it in the crisper bin, and spend several days trying to figure out what to make. We always think of something; depending on the season, it might be Ratatouille, or perhaps, Eggplant Gnocchi, or even Crispy Eggplant Strips. It seems to grow well enough that there’s always more eggplant to use, someway, somehow.
When we were on vacation last month, we planned part of it to allow us to stop in at Hell’s Backbone Grill (HBG) for lunch one day. This isn’t a place you think of 15 minutes or so before you want to eat, because it’s not just around the corner (well, for the people of Boulder, UT, population about 225, it might be, but, for pretty much everyone else, you really have to think about getting there). It’s pretty much out in the middle of nowhere in southern Utah, with only stunning landscapes nearby. We selected it as a stop because, the way they make and source their food is the way we believe everyone should try to do: local, sustainable, seasonably, and with care, thought, and passion. We weren’t disappointed. While waiting for our meal, we noticed HBG has a cookbook coming out, and, the card seemed to indicate that they’d published one prior. When we got home, we checked our library, and, sure enough, the book was in the collection! We checked it out immediately.
Well, it’s true. This week we picked up green lemons as part of our share. You might think, “why didn’t they wait until the lemons were ripe to pick them?” They did. It turns out that, in warm areas such as the desert southwest, lemons are often still green in coloration when they’re perfectly ripe. It’s the temperatures that drive the color. When it’s warm, the peels still contain chlorophyll, so they look green. When the weather cools, that chlorophyll leaves the fruit (just as in tree leaves in the fall), and it turns yellow. So, yes, we have ripe green lemons this week.
Our share from Farmer Frank:
- Green lemons (3)
- Tomatoes (3)
- Lemon cucumbers (6)
- Roasted green chilies (1 bag)
- Cushaw squash (1)
- Salad mix (1 bag)
- Dill (1 bunch)
And, from the surplus basket, one small cantaloupe.
The spaghetti squash we picked up from the CSA (community supported agriculture) last week was so big that we had to turn it into two meals. The first was the Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Maple, Sage, and Pecans, and this is the second. Unbeknownst to you, while we were making the former, we roasted the other half of the squash with butter, salt, and pepper. A minimal version because, at the time, we didn’t know what we’d do with that half. So we just roasted it, scraped out the insides, and packed it away for later.
We call these Betterfingers because we think anything you make at home is bound to be better. For one thing, it’s fresher; for another, you control the quality of the ingredients and choose the best you can afford, while manufacturers choose the cheapest they can get away with. So, how exactly do you make these Betterfingers? Read on.
Well, these probably aren’t really Irish; we tend to think that they’re more French, but we’ll call them Irish, anyway. We think that most people from Ireland might have at least a wee taste.
We came up with the idea for these as a possible dessert for the upcoming holidays, and, naturally, we had to try them first. We’d surely hate to make them for Thanksgiving or Christmas, and have a dessert we don’t like.
When we picked up a large spaghetti squash at the CSA, we were slightly crestfallen that there wasn’t another squash option. Sometimes we can choose from among several winter squashes, or sometimes there’s a good variety in the sizes. Not this time. It was a large spaghetti squash. We were disappointed primarily because we find it difficult to do something great with spaghetti squash. After some thought, we figured we might be going about using spaghetti squash the wrong way, and that we need to turn everything on its head.