Organics to You October 26, 2009, and Apples!

by Sherri Koehler on October 26, 2009

Saturday saw us out in Parkdale with friends to check out the heirloom apple/pear/Asian pear tasting day at Kiyokawa Family Orchards. A fave from last autumn, we wanted to take our friends to enjoy tasting the many varieties they grow there as well as pick a bunch to make applesauce. Turned out the apples had all been picked, but we still had a great time trying many varieties we’d never heard of before. 31 pounds of fruit later (that’s just us), we were loaded up and off to our next stop.

Rasmussen Farms saw us leave with several fun gourds, a couple of pounds each of fresh, local walnuts & hazelnuts, ornamental corn, and 2 smallish Hubbard squash. Yes, I know we have a bunch of these in the basement, but these are the blue type we didn’t grow. Oh yes, and pumpkins. There are 7 of them on our front steps. 6 of them Christie and I picked out. What can I say, we were having fun.

Into this collection of squash and apples arrived our first box from Organics to You. I offered to take it from the deliver guy, but he then offered to put inside for me because, “its heavy”.

I ripped off the tape and opened the box to see a lovely bunch of red kale, some baby bok choy, radishes, chioggia beets, chunky carrots, onions, garlic, a huge head of broccoli, a head of purple cabbage bigger than my head (seriously), 2 big leeks, a half pint of kiwi berries and more fruit. 4 more apples, 3 more Asian pears and 3 red Bartlett pears. Uh yeah.

One good sized box of produce and a fridge already filled to the brim with mostly apples…

Yep, time to make the apple sauce. I chopped up 8 quarts of mixed varieties of apples and a few pears that needed to be used. Cooked until we had a chunky sauce and added the zest & juice from a medium sized Meyer lemon. That’s it. Nothing else needed for that much deliciousness. I’m waiting on the water in the canner to boil, 20 minutes in the bath then we have lovely applesauce for the rest of the year and to go into the little gift baskets we’re planning to do this winter for people.

That helped some. While the apples were doing the cooking thing I threw some Great Northern beans into the pressure cooker. Drained them when done and cleaned out the cooker to make soup. Into the pot I sauteed a bunch of garlic and most of the leeks, celery & Russet potatoes were added. Water, salt, pepper, and a sprig of fresh rosemary in the covered cooker, on high pressure for 8 minutes. Release valve, add in half the red kale that was delivered today along with half the white beans. Simmer with salt, some nutritional yeast, and more pepper. Serve with croutons. Yum!

The other half of the beans, more garlic and the remaining leeks have been stewed together with a little rosemary sprig, olive oil, tarragon, and some diced celery. This gives a lot more flavor to the Great Northern beans, which are not Christie’s favorite. These have been set aside for later this week when I’m going to revisit the whole squash/polenta baked casserole, but with the white beans and some fresh basil pesto.

By this evening’s end there will be lots of applesauce in jars, soup in the fridge, and some progress made towards Wednesday or Saturday’s dinners. I’ve had some ideas about the cabbage and how to use up all the produce that’s coming along with what we had already here. Right now I’m really enjoying the challenge of making food for us primarily based on what is brought each week.

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