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Savoring the Seasons

Savoring the Seasons: Savoring the unexpected


If you’re like me, when you think of a particular fruit or vegetable, you think of a few “normal” ways to prepare it. For me, apples are eaten raw whole or cooked into applesauce or baked into apple pies, summer squash gets sauteed with onions and tomatoes or sliced and grilled, and kale is made into chips or sauteed with garlic and tamari.

And, flowering plants in the garden are for looking at, not eating.

Now, my “narrow” view of what’s possible with apples, summer squash, kale, and backyard plants has been expanded. I hadn’t considered a raw apple pie until Cindy Snow sent me her friend’s intriguing recipe.

And, I thought only winter squash was good for soup until Emily Oppegard served me her mother’s very tasty summer squash soup. Check out their recipes below.

Recently, Wendy Marsden stopped by where I was standing in the Greenfield Weekly Peace Vigil and told me about a great new use for syrup left over from making sweet pickles. She said she puts the mixture of sugar, vinegar, and pickling spices on sauteed kale. Her kids particularly enjoy it if she cooks the kale in a little bacon.

Who knew that you can eat Hosta leaves and flowers, Daylily tubers, Kousa Dogwood fruits, and Spiderwort flowers and leaves?

I didn’t — until I found “Backyard Foraging: 65 Familiar Plants You Didn’t Know You Could Eat” by Ellen Zachos, at the Tilton Library in Deerfield. What a great book full of practical information about harvesting and enjoying food from plants most people think of as “ornamentals”!

Massachusetts Harvest for Students Week, Sept. 30 to Oct. 4: Massachusetts Farm to School Project promotes serving Massachusetts-grown food in school and college cafeterias year-round, especially during Harvest for Students Week. The Farm to School Project provides free, individualized assistance for sourcing crops from local farms. For information, visit www.massfarmtoschool.org.

This week we’re eating ...


By Emily Oppegard, Easthampton (learned from her mother, Juanita Oppegard, Denver, CO)

2 T. olive oil

2 large sweet onions

1 leek

6 garlic cloves

6 summer squash (3 pounds)

4 sprigs lemon thyme or thyme plus lemon zest

5 C. chicken broth

½ tsp. salt

2-4 T. fresh lemon juice

Hot pepper sauce

Parmesan cheese

Pine nuts

Lemon zest

In 4-quart saucepan, use oil to saute onions, leeks, garlic. Add squash, thyme, and cook for five minutes over medium high heat. Add broth. Cook at low boil for 20 minutes until partially cooked. Discard thyme. Puree soup, heat. Add lemon juice and hot pepper. Garnish with parmesan cheese, pine nuts, and lemon zest. Can be chilled and eaten cold. Makes 8 cups.


From Cindy Snow, Shelburne Falls (by her friend in California, Sarah Seelinger, who teaches “Farm Style Cooking For Kids” workshops at farmers markets)

for the crust:

2 C. pecans

1 C. walnuts

¾ C. pitted and packed, medjool dates

In food processor, combine crust ingredients until they become crumbly. Press half of mixture into 9” pie plate.

for the filling:

1 pint raspberries

6 medium pink lady apples, peeled and separated

½ C. pitted and packed, medjool dates

¼ C. raisins

2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. lemon juice

Sprinkle raspberries over pie crust. Peel and core apples. In food processor, puree 2 apples and remaining filling ingredients until smooth. Transfer this mixture into large bowl. Cut remaining 4 apples into large chunks and then process into smaller chunks in food processor, making sure NOT to puree into applesauce! Add these apples to puree. Spread filling over pie crust. Cover filling with remaining crust, sprinkling it over the top like a crumble.

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