It’s Fall: Go pick your own produce by Anjuli

Posted on 10-06-08 · Tags: ,

The harvest before first frost in mom's garden

My parents live in the woods in northern Connecticut. My mother has always had a garden and grown vegetables whenever she could. Matt and I had the good fortune of taking a final peek at her produce this weekend, before the frost steals the rest.

The amount of edibles growing in what she calls her “little organic garden” makes me feel like an ass for living in New York and periodically buying herbs that come wilting in little plastic containers for $4 when I’m in a pinch. A pinch for my mother would be attempting to procure mint in the backyard while throwing a dinner party for twenty during a hailstorm when everyone is just finishing their main course.

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Baked Acorn Squash by Anjuli

Posted on 09-30-08 · Tags: , ,

Baked Acorn Squash

These went fast, like within minutes. I’m picky about my squashes, but acorn squash has a soft, yammy texture and is not too sweet. Add in some fall spices, and it’s a savory dessert (before you have dessert, of course). The combination of sugars also caused some giggling and repeated reciting of Steve Brule. Yes, it has come to natural sugar highs. Maybe I’ve graduated from HFCS?

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Peppers: Put ‘em in your mouth by Anjuli

Posted on 09-24-08 · Tags: , , , , ,

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The "nightshades" are out in abundance. Members of the Solanaceae family, among them peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, eggplants, and mushrooms are being harvested and brought to markets all over the east. Many nightshades are rich in alkaloids, chemical compounds that act as the plant’s defenses and can be toxic to us. The effects of their toxins can range from irritant (chilies) to stimulant (cocaine) to death (mushrooms such as the death cap). So lets just say the nightshade family has given us some of the best and worst of edibles.

On my recent trip to the market I couldn’t resist the brightly colored bell peppers (Capsicum Annuum), the only capsicum with a recessive gene for capsaicin, the heat-producing alkaloid that irritates the pain and heat receptors in the mouth and nose, and basically causes us to sweat and reach for the milk when we eat good salsa.

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Stewed Apples by Anjuli

Posted on 09-22-08 · Tags: , ,

Oat scones with cheddar, rosemary, apples, and toasted walnuts

Apples are versatile, in season right now, and come in a wide variety to suit anyone’s taste. I am really liking them stewed right now, with some fall spices, and then put on top of salad, scones, or eaten alone as dessert or for breakfast.

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