We had a very successful day mudding the bunkhouse on Thanksgiving Monday! Thanks to all who came and helped. Ken has been working away on it all since then and we are slowly progressing. We have found out that the exterior lime plaster coat takes five weeks to cure before it freezes so… we will have to wait until spring to do that. Hopefully, the two layers of mud plaster will be finished this fall. We have to tarp it all if it rains and the dry time between coats takes longer so we will see. I will try to keep up with some pictures as we go.
Michelle had her first pick-up on Tuesday and the produce looked beautiful. She still has some shares for sale.

Well, we are finally ready to work in the bunkhouse again. We will be mudding on Monday, October 13 (Thanksgiving Day) and welcome folks to come and join in the fun.
pot luck lunch.
The plaster mixture is made of clay, sand and straw. Ken had to pull out the threshing machine to chop the straw for the plaster. The clay and straw are from our farm and the sand from a gravel pit just down the road. We can’t get much more local building materials that that! Not to mention being user friendly and non-toxic. Rubber gloves might be helpful for some and a change of clothes in case you get really into the mud…

Vicky King is a long time member of our CSA and several years ago she shared her Grandmother’s secret Pumpkin Honey recipe with me. Vicky’s Grandmother always won 1st Prize at the fair with her Pumpkin Honey and kept the recipe secret! I have special permission to share it with the CSA! It has the consistency of apple butter. It makes a lot so you can make a big batch and give it as Christmas Presents or you could half the recipe. Everyone who tastes it likes it. Especially lemon lovers.

Pumpkin Honey

10 cups cooked strained mashed pumpkin
8 cups white sugar
1/2 pound butter
grated rind and juice of 4 lemons

Simmer all together 20 minutes or until thick – do not boil

Pour into hot sterile jam jars and seal . (I cover the jars with an inch of boiling water in a large pot and bring to a boil for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from water and make sure the lids are tight.)

The old fashioned way is to boil the pumpkin in lightly salted water, drain and mash. You can microwave it and put it in the food processor if you wish. ( I just poke the pumpkin to break the skin and bake it whole in the oven until it is soft. I then let it cool, cut it open, remove the seeds, scoop out the pumpkin flesh and puree it in the food processor. Long Pie pumpkins work well for this recipe.)

Great on toast, biscuits and in tarts.

Amazing Squash Pie

Cook a variety of squashes.
1 1/4 cups cooked squash
3/4 cups brown sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
3/4 tsp. ginger
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten lightly (but not abused)
1 tin of evaporated milk (370 ml or 1 1/2 cups)
Mix together and beat until fluffy. Pour into chilled pie shell.
Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees; put pie in oven and reduce to 350 degrees.
Bake for 50-55 minutes. Check to make sure the centre is not runny.

This recipe is sent in from Don Ditmer. He told me in the pick-up room that it was the best “Pumpkin” pie ever and promised to share the recipe with the “Blog”.

Just a reminder to everyone that the Orchard-Hill Farm 2008 season is drawing to a close. Thanks to all of you for your support over the season and for the recipes that you have shared. I will continue to post recipes if you send them to me. The last Tuesday pick-up is October 7 and the last Saturday pick-up is October 11. If you would like to ensure your spot in the 2009 CSA please sign up soon with your $25 deposit. We have brochure/applications in the pick-up room.

Michelle still has room in her Fairmeadow Fall/Early Winter CSA. Check out her blog at http://www.fairmeadowfarm.blogspot.com/

Here are two recipes sent in by CSA member Karen Brennen:

Roasted Vegetable Soup
Serves 6 to 8
From: For the Love of Soup by Jeanelle Mitchell

1 whole head garlic
1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
2 medium carrots, scraped and cut into chunks
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into chunks
1 large baking potato peeled and cut into chunks
2 tbsp. olive or safflower oil
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or ½ tsp dried rosemary
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock ( home made is preferable)
2 cups water
1 cup low-fat milk (optional)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Garnish: chopped fresh Italian parsley or chives

Preheat oven to 400F

Cut ½ inch off the top of garlic. Place garlic and vegetables on a baking sheet that is covered in parchment paper or foil. Drizzle oil over vegetables and sprinkle with rosemary and thyme. Roast in oven for 40 minutes, tossing occasionally. Transfer vegetables to a large saucepan. Squeeze garlic out of peel into the pan.

Stir in stock and water; bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until vegetables are very tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Puree soup in the saucepan using an immersion blender or transfer soup in batches to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return soup to saucepan, stir in milk ( optional) and simmer until heated. Do not boil. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with parsley or chives.

Broccoli and Potato Soup
Serves 4
Adapted from Chef Michael Smith

3 Tbsp. olive oil
3 onions, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
6 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock, or water
2 large potatoes, diced
1 head of broccoli, stems peeled and cut into chunks, florets chopped for later
Salt and pepper
1 large pinch of nutmeg
1 cups grated cheddar cheese

Place a 4 quart pot over medium-high heat and add oil.
When it is hot, add onions and sauté until they have softened
Add garlic and continue to sauté for another minute. Add stock, diced potatoes and broccoli stems
Season with salt and pepper and simmer until they are tender.
Add florets and continue to cook, 2-3 minutes until they are softened
Add nutmeg and adjust seasoning and puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor.
Add cheddar cheese and reheat gently for about 5 minutes.
Or omit adding cheese into soup and sprinkle on soup as a garnish when serving.

*** This soup works equally well using cauliflower instead of broccoli.

—– Original Message —–
To: kmlaing@execulink.com
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2008 10:08 AM
Subject: Eggplant parmagiana recipe
Good morning Martha and Ken,

Thanks for an absolutely outstanding pot luck yesterday!!!! Food was tremendous and we enjoyed ourselves thoroughly 🙂

Here’s my recipe for Eggplant Parmagiana. Easy and delicious.

1 eggplant
1 egg beaten
sea salt
parmesan cheese
pasta sauce (we like it spiced with basil, spinach and romano)
mozzarella or cheddar cheese grated

Slice eggplant into thin slices and lay them on papertowels. Sprinkle salt on top and let sit for about 15 min to bring out the moisture. Pat dry. Dip slices in beaten egg and coat with parmesan cheese on both sides. Bake slices in oven on cookie sheet approx 15-20 min at 350 til tender – turning to brown on both sides.

Layer in casserole dish eggplant, pasta sauce and grated cheese and repeat until all eggplant is used. Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Cover and bake approx 20 min-1/2 hour until hot and bubbling. Serve immediately and enjoy!!
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