Friday, September 19, 2014

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

Okay, I'm giving in...goodbye summer...
hello fall.

The summer of 2014 will be remembered by the Colvin family as a great year of learning the balance of farming for CSA and the eight farmer's markets we serve...

The year of my accident here on the farm...the helicopter taking me to Chattanooga for emergency treatment...and the long road of recovery that has lasted most of the growing season.

The summer of several good bean harvests...

The summer loved bloomed for my young men that had waited "patiently" on God for His provision...

After a hard 2013, we had plenty for CSA, and on table sales!

We're thankful for a great melon season.

For the first time ever we've been able to harvest and dry the whole garlic crop!
I'm proud of you boys!
We're delighted with our greatest melon year
2014 will also be known as the year
of the abundant okra harvests!
2014 was a year to sell out of shares early. We really appreciate allllll our faithful share
holders that have supported our growing
family farm.
Peppers galore! We've had all sizes,
shapes, and tastes.
We won several awards for our "best tasting"

All we can say is that God has been
very good to us, and blessed our farm.

But now, it's fall...and I'm switching mental gears. 

The winter squash have been around awhile, but
now they are part of my kitchen decorations, and
it just feels right somehow.

My personal favorite of the winter squash is
acorn. They look pretty in fall decorations

This picture was taken two weeks ago, so there
is more color now than there was then. We've been
having coool nights and mild days. That's the perfect
recipe for fall colors!

I love to decorate with fall's
bounty. I can change it weekly and have a new
look with colored leaves, baskets, pumpkins, winter
squash, or whatever I see on my walks. This is the time of year that the children help decorate the table with colored leaves...I chose a color a day for
the younger children to hunt for which keeps their eyes trained to spot the new, and pretty changes about them.

The squirrels are busy too!

We are thankful for a record Butternut Squash
harvest. The boys got to fill several galords of them this week. We'll have them throughout the winter for sale at the year-round markets, and on our online store. My youngest children love to find the small ones and bake them for a personal sized lunch treats!

Use Butternut Squash in any recipe that calls for pumpkin. Click this link for directions from my blog on how to bake them easily for use. After baking them you can scoop them out into freezer bags in 2 cup portions as this is the amount most recipes call for.

Here is another of our family's favorites that can be made with pumpkin or squash.  It's called Pumpkin Roll, but I also make it in mini angle flood pans for individual desserts. These too sell out at our markets in Crossville. Any that may happen to bring home are quickly divided up at the next meal. I also make them for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Roll/ Pumpkin Roll Cake
3 eggs
2/3 C. Pumpkin
1/2 t. cinnamon
1 t. baking soda
3/4 C. self rising flour (I make my own)
1 C. sugar

  1. 1.Grease jelly roll or 1 piece angle food pan. If using a jelly roll pan, line with parchment or wax paper.
2. Mix wet ingredients together in mixer. Add sugar and mix well.
3. Add spices. Mix well.
4. Add flour, mix.
5. Pour into pan and bake at 375 degrees till toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Watch the edges of a thin jelly roll as they burn easily.)
6. Place the pumpkin roll onto a thin towel that has been dusted with confectioners sugar. Roll the towel up to cool. Refrigerate the roll for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
6B. Place the cake onto a cooling rack, and cool completely.

Directions for Pumpkin Roll Cake~ Using a piece of dental floss, cut the cake in half horizontally. Place top half onto the cooling rack. Place the bottom onto the cake plate. Spread a good layer of the filling (below) onto the cut side. Place the top onto the cake. Spread filling over the top, and let it "fall over" the sides. (I do not frost the sides usually.) Garnish the top with a few pecans for a finished look. Serve.

Directions for a Pumpkin Roll ~ Unroll the towel containing your roll cake. Spread filling over the  cake and reroll. (Careful, mine crack easily) Sprinkle with confectioners sugar. "Glue" a few pecans in the center of the roll with some filling. This is an extra special Thanksgiving treat on the farm.

Pumpkin Roll/Cake Filling
1 C. chopped nuts (we use Pecans)
1 C. Confectioners Sugar
1, 8 oz. Cream cheese
1 tablespoon Butter
3 T.  Vanilla

1. Cream butter, cream cheese and vanilla till light.
2. Add confectioners sugar a little at a time. Whip well.
3. Add chopped nuts. Either mix by hand or on slow speed.

Well, now my secret fall recipes are out...but here are a few more ideas I use.
1. Make pumpkin cinnamon rolls by spicing up well drained pumpkin and using it for the filling.
2. Make pumpkin muffins to go with your hearty fall stews and soups. They really round out a meal and fill the "hole" in hungry men.
3. Simply fill a casserole dish with mashed pumpkin or winter squash, and top with mixture of ground nuts, oatmeal, cinnamon, brown sugar (optional), and butter. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

We like to see how God changes His palate in early fall. When the bright yellows and purples dominate in mid-August, we know fall is right around the corner.

Just around the corner is really the lingering thought in most minds here on the farm...fall...a time of more laid back days of harvest (after the remaining 2 CSA deliveries), fewer plantings, school beginning, longer, cooler nights, and God working miracles in the landscape. We all need to keep our eyes open for His finest work will be wrought all around us in the weeks to come. If we're too busy we may miss Him proclaiming His greatness in the orchestra of color painting the mountains and valleys where we live.

Charity encourages everyone to buy a pumpkin this weekend and make her favorite fall treat...

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

2 scant cups brown sugar
1 C. oil
1 1/2 C. cooked, mashed pumpkin
2 eggs
3 C. flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda

 1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves

1. Cream sugar and oil.
2. Add pumpkin and eggs. Add flour, salt, baking powder, soda, vanilla, and spices. Mix well.
3. Drop by heaping teaspoons onto greased cookie sheet. (Parchment) Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.
4. Make sandwiches from 2 cookies filled with the Whoppie Pie filling below.

Hints for Success

Use Coconut oil and freshly ground whole wheat flour for the exact whoopie pie we sold the last few seasons in Crossville. We always sold out! Choose the size you'd like. I make big ones for market, but used to make tiny ones for my little ones.

Whoopie Pie Filling

1 egg white, beaten
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup confectioners sugar

1. Mix. Then add one more cup confectioners sugar and 3/4 cup shortening. (This year I'm going to try coconut oil.)
2. Spread a "dab" (ha ha! That's my favorite part!) of filling on the flat side of cooled "cookie".
3. Top with another cookie to form a sandwich.
Savor the taste of fall!

Fall means muffin season in the farmhouse.
We made our first batch of the season this week. Faith Anne made "Wilder Muffins" (thanks again Madeline). She shook some cinnamon sugar on top for a yummy treat for supper. 

Look for your fall favorites at your market this weekend. They make great decorations now, and then winter treats later!
"The mighty God, even the Lord, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun until the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined." 
Psalm 50:1,2

Abundant Blessings,
The Farmer's Wife,