Photo Parade of our Weekend

Let’s start this week right with a photo parade of our weekend.  Our weekend actually turned out really well.  No horrible food mishaps. Yeah!


Our extended CSA distribution from Red Fire Farm! Look at the abundance in time for Thanksgiving: Butternut squash, leeks, kale, lettuce, sweet potatoes (of three different varieties) carrots, onions, green tomatoes, beets, celeriac, rutabaga, parsnip, garlic, and as always eggs.

Friday Dinner: Chicken Breast with Potato, Onion, Carrot, Parsnip and Garlic. It was a nice and easy crockpot meal that turned out very well, and was our nourishment after a long week and tiring distribution (lots of heavy produce!).

Friday Dessert: A chocolatey creation that Theresa made with the last of our light cream (thatcher farm), cocoa powder, and a the last pieces of our Taza chocolate.

Purple Eggs and Ham? Saturday Breakfast: Purple Veggie Egg Scramble using some purple kale, hakurei turnips, purple carrots, onions, and sweet potato. Served with some shredded cheese and mustard.


After a leisurely breakfast on Saturday morning we drove down out to Amherst and picked up more produce from the Amherst Farmer’s Market’s last outdoor market for the year (so sad…. so many vendors will not be returning for the indoor market during the winter).  So, we enjoyed it for one last time for the year, and picked up a boatload of squash.


Leeks from Old Friends Farm

Turnips from Atlas Farm

Buttercup Squash from Atlas Farm.

Someone totally loading up on the veggies in their bike bags.

Local Flowers, and mostly dried flower arrangements.

So, Atlas Farm had this awesome sale on winter squash: buy 40 pounds of winter squash for 30 dollars.  How could we ever ever ever pass up an offer like that?!  So, we started filling our bag with winter squash, getting predominantly kuri, buttercup, and abobora, types of squash that will last eons if well stored- because we have a long winter to look forward to on this challenge.  I think my favorite type of squash are of the kabocha variety (which happen to include all of those three types).  We were thrilled- well maybe mostly me.  Theresa took pictures while I began hording.  I filled up my bag till it got heavy, and went to go weigh it.  Only 19 pounds… this was going to be serious.  So serious that when they found out I was going for 40 pounds of squash, they gave me a box.  Hurray!  So, I filled the box up with more lovely squashes (Atlas Farms has a lot of really nice kabocha style squashes) and finally got to a little over 40 pounds.  I paid my 30$ and was totally psyched.  Then, I lugged the 40 pound box to the car.  And how much squash is 40 pounds?

A pretty decent amount of squash, if you ask me.

They are so pretty! We still don't know where we are going to store them.... probably some with the rest of our winter squash stash on our back landing (on shelves we put together a little while ago) and down in our root cellar of sorts.

We also got some more Black Currant Cordial from Bug Hill Farm (we got to meet Kate the farmer of Bug Hill Farm at last winter's NOFA conference) and try her delicious cordial and were immediately hooked. At the market, we got to try the Rhubarb Rush and (yum!) had to get that too, along with Red Currant Vinegar. Very exciting. We were not expecting Bug Hill Farm to be at the farmer's market.


We also got a little bit of Cheese from Chase Hill Farm- they were running out of many favorites by the time we got there- very sad.  We also got more burdock root and some maple syrup.  And the rest we left at the farmer’s market with a sad good bye.

We met up with a lovely family from Red Fire’s CSA and spent some time in the park, and then headed out to Wheatberry Bakery for a quick lunch before going to pick up our grain CSA shares.

Wheatberry Bakery is owned by Ben and Adrie who also run the grain CSA and Wheatberry Farm. It is a lovely little bakery that serves local food products, including bread make of local grain, milled and baked on the premises.

The tiny Wheatberry Bakery, as cute as could be.

The working bakery is open to the small eating area. Here you can see one of the free standing mills where they grind their grains, ovens, etc.


They get local dairy, local produce from Red Fire Farm, Eggs from Red Fire Farm, even local pottery is used to serve food.  The place’s mission statement is like our local food challenge: support small sustainable local food suppliers and businesses. Everything in the store is reusable or compostable (and compost  and reuse they do). It is so refreshing!

We enjoyed lunch with Jedtell and her family (the family that we have gotten to know through the CSA) who were also going to pick up their grain CSA share.

The locavore: Whole Wheat bread with Chase Hill Farm Cheese and Scrambled Red Fire Farm Eggs on top.

Theresa's Sandwich, I don't remember anything about it other than it had Chase Hill Farm Cheese on it.

Then we headed off to the Pioneer Valley Heritage Grain CSA in Shutesbury.  We arrived and found that the distribution was in Ben and Adrie’s house.  We tentatively headed in and found the CSA line snaking out of the kitchen.

The CSA line in Ben and Adrie's living room.

They had a little demo area in the living room showing off what we'd be getting in our share.

In the Kitchen we got to measure out our grain allotments.

We will post later in more detail our grain CSA share and the awesomeness of the CSA.  We were totally excited to get our grains, though a little sad that our grain mill is still out of commission right now.  I hope that it will all be handled this week, so we can finally make some nice flour with these grains!


Next we went off to a yarn store and spent time in Northampton until we went to dinner at Tabellas, a farm to table restaurant in Amherst.  We had made reservations for 5:15 and were dorks that showed up at 5:15 to an empty restaurant.  That’s fine… we were hungry and happy that unlike the previous weekend, our food plans had not backfired on us.  We did not take pictures of Tabellas, since we wanted to enjoy the meal without an eye through a lens.

Tabellas is a restaurant that serves local, sustainably grown food that is provided by a network of small farms along with a farm specifically for the restaurant (Tabellas farm).  It serves gourmet local food and is so very community focused that it has a Community Supported Restaurant (CSR) Program. Yet again, very refreshing to see an eatery so dedicated to the same principles we ascribe to.

So, what did we have to eat?

  • Starters:
  • An All Local Pate of Misty Knoll’s open pastured chicken liver, wrapped in organic bacon, and served with horseradish sauce and El Jardin Sourdough Bread.
  • Savory Organic Pumpkin Chickpea Fries, served with Tabellas farm smoked jalapeno aioli
  • Main dishes:
  • VT Family Farm heirloom Pork Shank Osso Buco, with organic sundried tomatoes, olive and pine nut relish served on top of potato mash.
  • Pan seared Rainbow Trout with a lemon cream sauce served with a cornmeal fritter.
  • Dessert:
  • Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Tapioca pudding with, cream, congac  and vanilla.

Everything was absolutely delicious.  The carrot cake was the best we had ever had… and that’s saying something. We also really enjoyed the pate, something we don’t normally have the opportunity to have (Especially since a liver and onion expedition of the previous year made me wonder if I’d ever enjoy liver).  We had a lovely, delicious evening and serenely drove home. We felt like our previous weekend of food fails was somewhat healed by this lovely  and indulgent day of fine local eating.


Sunday Breakfast: Baked Potato Slices with Scrambled Eggs and broiled Cheese on top, served with greens.

Gratuitous Marion Eating breakfast for us picture.

Sunday Lunch: A little less inspired since we were short on time; Baked Sweet Potatoes with Black Quinoa and Shredded Cheese. I will admit, not having flour around has been making some quick meals difficult.

Sunday Dinner: Stuffed Acorn Squash (from two acorn squashes picked up from Atlas Farm, just for this reason) Stuffed with sausage, oat berries, apple, onion, butter, and maple syrup. YUM!

Sunday Dessert: Nothing fancy, just Sidehill Farm Yogurt Sweetened with Honey.

Lastly: us using our CSA oat berries in Monday's breakfast, with yogurt, maple syrup, and our homemade blueberry jam. These oat berries are dlelicious!

All in all, it was a really nice weekend.  We rectified some of our previous food mishaps and had a really nice time procuring food and eating out.  We also have a lot to look forward to this week: Thanksgiving!


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6 Responses to Photo Parade of our Weekend

  1. Rebecca says:

    I love kabocha squashes, and last year for my father’s birthday made a squash cake for the family celebration. Here’s a great recipe for it: I’d recommend not using just any lager, but the Berkshire Brewing Company Oktoberfest; it adds some great spice to the flavor of the cake.

    • That sounds absolutely delicious! We have fallen hard for kabocha squash this fall and are excited to try all kinds of new recipes with them. Brown sugar cream and kabocha squash, it sounds like a match made in heaven!

  2. lorraine says:

    Your 40 pounds of squash look awesome, makes me wish I had a root cellar. When we store squash it often softens before we can get it all cooked. You both are able to find a variety of ways to cook with your CSA share distribution, that is a different style of cooking than I am used to. I love reading about what combinations you put together and how you cook them. Keep up the good work on eating local, I know you can make it through the winter with style!!

    • We choose our squash carefully, trying to avoid nicks, scratches, potential bruises, etc. I think some people at the farmers market thought we were crazy, inspecting each one of our squashes carefully before carefully putting it into our box. We also do an inspection at least once a week, and cook up anything that looks questionable. We’ll freeze it or bump a meal to save a squash.

      We’d love to have some of your recipes! Especially for squash (and sweet potoates). We get into a food rut of sorts, and would love some suggestions for other combinations. Isn’t it funny how what we think are ‘normal’ and ‘everyday’ combinations are unique to other people?

  3. Magda says:

    Just had to say how jealous I am. I LOVE squash, and I’m hoping I can make it to our farmer’s market in the next couple weeks before it closes down for “winter”… I suppose one good thing in living in the south is that it’s still tomato season, so that’s always delicious, but my brain gets stuck because it SHOULD be cold and time for squashes and root veggies… I suppose I try and trick my brain a bit by eating some of the proper foods, but I can’t avoid the fresh avocados when I go home to Florida 😛
    All of this looks so beautiful, I hope next year I’ll have a real winter wherever I live, despite the fact that I’ll probably panic the entire time!

    • We can’t wait for fresh avocados in Florida! And enjoy those tomatoes for us, we miss them a lot!

      Push comes to shove, we will bring you a little squash for christmas this year. We have plenty, as you can see, and we bought more during our Thanksgiving shopping! Where will we put it all? In our tummies.

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