Friday, October 28, 2011

Harvest Dinner

It all started with a sweet dumpling squash and an acorn squash. There were many varieties that were planted in our garden this year and these two were handy when dinner time rolled around tonight! The squash was cut in half. First the acorn squash was cut lengthwise and then the sweet dumpling was cut across the top, just low enough to open the seed cavity. They were both scraped clean, then a little salt and pepper were sprinkled over them and baked at 350' for about 45 minutes.

Next the garlic, onion, and apple were chopped and ready for the skillet. These were also grown right here on the farm as well as the squash. The acorn squash grows very well in Southern Oregon. Last year a student brought in seeds from an acorn squash she and her family had eaten. We dried the seeds and then one day my class went out to guerrilla garden! This is a form of gardening that uses vacant land, landscaped beds, city lots, or in our case, a raised bed built by a previous class of mine. The target bed had been pseudo planted by another group of students with lettuce. but the deer had nibbled quite a bit of it. We just helped embellish their planting with the seeds from one acorn squash. In the end, my class this year harvested 73 acorn squashes, hey, talk about the "Pay It Forward" mindset! The little third grade students are nearly convinced that it was magic! Back to the cooking..

The vegies in the skillet were sauteed until the onion started to soften and lose its shape. Then it was time to add some farm raised pork sausage. We have really enjoyed the sausage from the pigs we raised, along with the ham, pork chops, steaks, and get the idea! The students were sharing how and what they have done with the squash. Some of them had never seen or heard of an acorn squash and some of their parents were so curious why their little backpacks were so heavy this week! One of the families made acorn soup with cinnamon in it, another family roasted the squash, and another one is planning to use the squash as part of the centerpiece for Thanksgiving, then they will cut it open, save the seeds and cook it! By the way, one of the dearest ladies I work with at school talked about cooking her acorn squash this way and it inspired me to do the same. My class just wouldn't be the same with out our precious Mrs. Suits.

Rosemary. Mmmmm, there is nothing so savory delicious as the smell of fresh rosemary. This was picked by Grandson Tyler at his home and given to me yesterday along with the mint picked by granddaughter Anna so that "Papa and Nana could drink some tea". xo

The rosemary was added to the skillet of browned and drained sausage, apples, garlic, and onion. This was the perfect flavor addition and by this time the kitchen was smelling terrific! The apple was a golden delicious and all but three slices were used for the dish. The three escapees were devoured by yours truly in the making of dinner!

The roasted squash was removed from the oven and the sausage and vegie mixture was used to fill the open cavity of the squash. There were only a few bites left and Tim taste tested that while waiting on the finished dinner. After the meat mixture filled the squash, a little Parmesan cheese and some pumpkin seeds were placed on top to finish off the sweet dumpling and acorn squash. Then the pan was returned to the oven for another fifteen minutes for the cheese to melt and the pumpkin seeds to roast. Meanwhile, two carrots and a quarter head of cabbage were cooked to accompany the stuffed squash.

The finished product at the end of this gorgeous October month that allowed such a long season for harvesting. It is interesting to look back at all the hands and hearts that go into putting food on your table. If you can trace back the people that influence your dinner time, it is easy to realize it takes a village! For crisp! Thanks to my dear Tim for all of the picking and peeling! xo

1 comment:

  1. Your food always inspires me. Well done on your successfull guerilla gardening venture.