Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No Spray Fruit

I get asked quite a bit during peach season if they are "no spray" peaches.

No spray.

What does no spray look like?

Well, rest easy knowing that unless you have a peach, apple, pear, etc. tree in your back yard that you most likely haven't seen or consumed true "no spray" fruit (there is a very short list that can be an acceptation to this but let's stick with apples, pears, and peaches for this post). Even the organic guys are spraying something. Most likely copper to control disease and then what ever approved insecticides they can to help control loss. Or they might be using a clay to coat the fruit to help save them.

The reality is in a commercial setting there is a lot of money on the line.

But beyond that my question to you is:

Is what we want...really what we want?

Well by today's standards, I'm going to say "No!"

How do I know this...well, for example, week after week I have watched every single heirloom tomato get handled and turned over because we are looking for the "best" one...the most perfect, un-cracked, unmarked heirloom tomato.

"No spray" and aesthetic perfection as far as orchard fruit goes...don't really go hand in hand.  

To demonstrate, please feast your eyes on this photographic display of no spray apples (courtesy of my Mom's back yard) and low spray pick-your-own apples....

no spray apples vs. low spray apples

left: low spray and right: no spray

low spray apples

no spray apples
Now just to be fair to the "no spray" apples I ate one...I didn't eat the skin but I cut it open, sliced it and took a bite....

It was delish!  We have no idea what variety they are but they are very good. So just goes to show you can't judge a "book by it's cover."

But my question to you is...if we had the no spray apples and the low spray apples sitting next to each other on our table at the farmers' market, which one would you buy?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chocolate Sweet Potato Pie

chocolate sweet potato pie
Chocolate sweet potato pie is a great way to mix things up. I love how it starts with the chocolate and ends with the sweet potato.  

I used my Mom's Pumpkin Pie recipe as a base since that's what we use for all pumpkin, butternut, and sweet potato pie and made some adjustments to accommodate the chocolate.

Chocolate Sweet Potato Pie 
1 1/2 cups sweet potato puree
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Add dry ingredients to a bowl followed by eggs and sweet potato. Gradually mix in cream.  Pour into a pie shell and bake at 400 for 45 minutes to an hour - until when knife tested the knife comes out clean. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Delicata Galette

delicata galette
Delicata are kind of the "cool kids" of the winter squashes.

Why?

No need to peel the skin...you can eat it! How fantastic is that?  So when you slice and cook the squash they keep their cute stripes and ruffled appearance.

So here's an easy way to enjoy the Delicatas you pick up at the farmers' market....

Delicata Galette

Supplies:
Pie Crust, homemade or store bought
1 medium red onion
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
goat cheese
1 large delicata
salt and pepper

Prepare your pie shell if you're taking the homemade route.  Or roll out the pre-made shell onto a parchment lined baking dish.
Slice Delicata in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and then cut into slices horizontally.
Slice onion and add to a pan. Add balsamic vinegar toward the end of cooking.
Spread onions on pie shell leaving enough room around the edges to fold it over. Sprinkle generously with goat cheese and then layer Delicata slices on top. Fold over the edges.

Bake at 410 for about 30-40 minutes. Test with a knife to make sure the squash is tender before removing it from the oven.  


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