When it rains…it doesn’t rain that much

There is an old saying that goes something like “When it rains, it pours.”  Well, not lately.  When it rains, it sputters is probably a more accurate statement.  As you can imagine, I’m always checking into the NOAA weather website.  When I see anything above a 40% chance of rain, I get all giddy; visions of a tropical downpour fill my mind…I get all excited because I’m getting tired of moving irrigation around.  So, when it comes, it’s one big disappointment.  I really am thankful for anything at this point, but my mind builds up every possible rain event to be something it isn’t.

I know a couple years time is far from a trend, but I’m terribly worried that the weather pattern of the last two years is our new normal.  Sometime in July the spigot gets turned off followed by weeks of dry heat.  Tomatoes ripen up nice in this, which is a plus, but, if this year tracks last year, the big issue is not having enough moisture in the ground before freeze up.  Typically ground moisture works the ground through freezing, but last year the same big dirt chunk in the fall was just as hard in the spring.

In the box:
Pontiac Potatoes
Napa Cabbage: The big green cabbage.  You can use much the same as you would a traditional green cabbage in a slaw or something, but it’s ideal in a stirfry.
Rutabaga: Yes, I know you may have gotten one of these big monsters last week too, but I assure you this will last in your crisper til January.
A mix of Peppers: if you still have a bunch sitting around from previous weeks, you can easily preserve peppers by cutting into strips and freezing in a freezer bag (no need to blanch or anything).
Tomatoes: The end of the line on these guys.
Eggplant
Small Beet Bunch
Parsley
Eggplant
Butternut Squash: The big tan one.  You can bake as you would any winter squash like buttercup: cut in half, scoop out the guts, and bake flesh-side up on a cookie sheet with a little water in the pan. Store all winter squash in a dry, sunny place.  Butternut keeps under these conditions for months, so no hurry (the flavor actually improves with time).  You may try this recipe below for a glazed/caramelized squash recipe.
Delicata Squash: The little stripy ones.  These are also called “sweet potato squash.”  The shell is thinner than a lot of winter squash, so you shouldn’t put in a water bath like butternut, but bake dry instead.

Caramelized Butternut Squash from food.com 

Ingredients

    • 2 medium butternut squash ( 4 to 5 pounds total)
    • 6 -8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/2-1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut off the ends of each butternut squash and discard.
  3. Peel the squash and cut in half lengthwise.
  4. Using a spoon, remove the seeds.
  5. Cut the squash into 1 1/4″ to 1 1/2″ cubes (large and uniform is best), and place them on a baking sheet.
  6. Add the melted butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  7. With clean hands, toss all of the ingredients together and spread out in a single layer on the baking sheet.
  8. Roast for 45 minutes to 55 minutes, until the squash is tender and the glaze begins to caramelize.
  9. Turn the squash while roasting a few times with a spatula to be sure it browns evenly.
  10. Adjust seasonings if needed.
  11. Serve hot.
  12. Enjoy!


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