Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Meals with Autumn Abundance

I know I've been absent for a while... I promise there will be a posting on the roof by the end of the week. Life has gotten crazy for us, to say the least, and the blog fell to the back burner.

Lately, we've been taking advantage of the local abundance of produce from a variety of sources. Much of it has come from our CSA, which ended a few weeks ago, but others have been scavenged and foraged. I love fresh, local produce, and getting it for free is just an added bonus.

We were able to forage several grocery bags full of apples from a friend who has a tree that was loaded this year, since ours didn't produce this year. We've used the apples to make homemade applesauce using our food mill. The applesauce has been a great side dish for lunches, an addition to homemade breakfast breads, and a substitute for oil in baking to make things lower fat. Some of the appelsauce was turned into apple butter using the crock pot and then I canned it for gifts and to spread on toast for breakfasts this winter. The rest of the apples were sliced and peeled for apple crisp, apple pie, and were chopped with sausage and butternut squash and served over rice for a yummy supper.

I also acquired over a dozen butternut and acorn squash with an activity my students did for science class (they only harvested the seeds). So, we've been eating our favorite squash chili, pureed squash and cream sauce for pasta, and steamed squash as a side dish. I also puree it and freeze it to spread on tacos and burritos throughout the winter or put it into bread recipes in place of canned pumpkin. This is about the third year we've done this with the students, so I was prepared to make the most of the squash this year, so we didn't get sick of it before we used it up!

We've also enjoyed some summer preserves friends put up for us, including hot pepper jelly with goat cheese on crackers and some blackberry jam on earl grey tea rolls.

What fall dishes have you shared lately? Have the made use of local produce or an abundance of an ingredient? I'd love to hear about it!

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