Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Bread is hmm hmm good

Campbell's, I claim your slogan fits the pumpkin bread I made much better than your soups.

I have more pumpkin puree than I know what to do with, much like the apple situation around here. I made 2 loaves of pumpkin bread, thinking that I wasn't a huge fan but I needed to make something with the goo besides the cookies Caleb and I made.


This bread is amazing. I added a 12-oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the recipe. I used 2 cups of sugar instead of 3. I used 2 9x5 pans instead of 3 7x3 pans. Words cannot express my full enjoyment of this bread. Just make this bread. You will NOT regret it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Dinner Success!

Tonight's dinner was definitely a success on a few fronts.

First and foremost, it was ready by the time Aaron walked in the door! I also managed to do some clean up from it before he arrived at 6pm. That dinner was ready to be served before he came home is truly a miracle as both kids were home today. Caleb was under the weather, clingy and needy. Ellie was your typical 17 month old - alternating between completely content and "I NEED YOU NOW!" Entirely too much television was watched today, but we made it through the day and a yummy healthy dinner was produced along the way.

Second, I managed to use up half of a very large butternut squash and the remainder of our swiss chard (rainbow chard). I made crustless swiss chard quiche and classic butternut squash soup. I served leftover buttermilk biscuits because I'm not so very motivated to bake bread when I'm dealing with sick kid + 17 month old + my own doctor appointment AND the downstairs is chilly because the *@!# thermostat has a low battery again after we changed the batteries within the last month.

Third, everyone enjoyed it and ate most of it. Aaron thanked me for making dinner. Caleb thanked me for making yummy dinner. Ellie ate and did not throw food. Yes, there are leftovers, but that is a good thing since I am out tomorrow night and Aaron will need to figure out dinner.

My next task - figure out what else to make with all of my squash, including lots and lots of pumpkin puree.

Sick kid(s) = Menu changes?

I'm trying to decide whether making a soup today will work out. Caleb is sick and needing my attention. I didn't get a soup started in the morning as a result. Plus I had a doctor's appointment in the late morning, so the time has gotten away from me. On the bright side, I have finished my teaching prep for tomorrow (am terribly behind on other prep), so perhaps I *can* make soup.

Of course, Ellie is choosing to vocalize instead of sleep. I don't mean talk. I don't mean cry/fuss. I mean vocalize. High pitch swooping down to low pitch. Over and over and over.

And Caleb isn't really sleeping. I can hear him coughing.

So can I whip up a squash soup on a gray cool day? Magic Eight Ball says "Signs point to yes." Hmph. We'll see about this.

What to feed sick kid(s)

Caleb is sick with a cold or something like that. Fever, runny nose, some coughing, a bit irritable (though that may be normal). He also has less appetite and is a bit pickier than usual. Well usually he isn't all that picky. Huh, food. I eat. So what does one feed a sick kid to nurse him back to sleep?

Nurse. Hmm... those were the days with him. Back when he was nursing, I would have offered him more nursing opportunities. I swear nursing is why Ellie isn't sick yet - or at least seems healthier. Caleb weaned a little over a year and a half ago, so that's not an option.

Soup. He ate a bunch of pea soup last night. Today - not so much. :( I suppose I should learn to make a decent chicken noodle soup.

Other fluids. I gave him apple cider this morning. He happily downed it. I'm pushing the water, telling him that he needs to drink so that he can be healthy enough for gymnastics tomorrow. I've tried seltzer which he always asks for and supposedly likes. No dice there either. Applesauce is almost a fluid, but he didn't touch it at lunch. :(

I seem to recall that I'm supposed to starve a fever, and he does have a mild fever. Maybe sleep, water, and cider will be enough.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Menu - Oct. 23-Oct.29

Here is my first attempt at this week's menu.

Friday Oct. 23
Fish - variety depends on availability, likely salmon, maybe tilapia or trout
Broccoli or brussel sprouts - steamed

Saturday Oct. 24
We have a dinner hour birthday party full of potential sweets. I think a Crock-Pot meal is in order. Split pea soup is striking my fancy and delegates cooking to Aaron. I'll bake a loaf of 5 minute artisan bread. If there is leftover quiche from Thursday, it would go well with both.

Sunday Oct. 25
I'm out all day teaching, but Aaron can set out chicken in the morning to thaw. Perhaps he will make fried chicken since it also makes good leftovers. Sides will be green beans, maybe corn from freezer?

Monday Oct. 26
Time to make use of the eggplant on my counter before it gets squishy. Cheesy eggplant casserole, bread from Saturday.

Tuesday Oct. 27
Do something with squash!
I need to make sure there isn't summer squash in my refrigerator. If we have summer squash, then summer squash casserole it is. If we only have winter squash AND the pea soup is mostly to all gone, I may try another butternut squash soup - a less sweet one. If we still have plenty of soup, then I may just roast up the squash to go with leftover chicken.

Wednesday Oct. 28
Ball in Aaron's court as I will be teaching at dinner hour. I see pasta in the kids' future.

Thursday Oct. 29
Homemade pizza. Dough either from 5-minute bread OR Trader Joe's whole wheat.

We're missing a night with beans other than green beans with the chicken. I wonder if I can revamp it to include some other types of beans.

Lunches are nearly always leftovers of some dinner, PB&J, or Annie's mac n cheese. Breakfasts are oatmeal, fruit, and sometimes a quick bread. On weekends we do eggs, pancakes, turkey sausage/bacon (not all at once necessarily).

Now I just need to make time to process those apples!!

Meal Planning Without the CSA

I miss our CSA.

When we picked up most of our produce on Mondays, I could plan the week of food based on whatever was in the box. I didn't have to think about vegetables. Meals practically made themselves, once I got into the groove of figuring out what to do with all those vegetables.

And now?

No more weekly pick ups. How sad for us. I'm thankful to have our weekly local farmers' market. BUT... I actually have to plan meals before going to the market now. It's like I've forgotten how to decide what I want to eat since I got used to being told "here are your vegetables for the week." Well, I could eat chocolate morning, noon, and night, but that isn't exactly the healthiest option. ;)

I keep passing the list of "possible meals" we have posted on our refrigerator and feeling rather uninspired and as though the meals are not quite good enough. Not balanced enough, not flavorful enough, not interesting enough. It's rather frustrating since I KNOW we all like those meals.

So what are we going to feed the kids tonight? It's supposed to be pizza night for me and Aaron after the kids go to bed, but I'm craving vegetables oddly. In the vegetable category, we have a large bunch of beautiful swiss chard waiting to be enjoyed. I'm thinking about making Crustless Swiss Chard Quiche because we haven't had it in quite a while, and I remember LOVING it. Besides swiss chard, we have plenty of squash, including pumpkins that I promised to share with Caleb. Caleb wants to make pumpkin cookies from a recipe he saw in a book by Jane Breskin Zalben called "Don't Go!" Maybe they will be nut-free and I can send them to school with him!

This post is dreadfully rambly, but I think it reflects how I'm feeling about meal planning without my CSA pickups. Perhaps I need to return to the habit of meal planning once a week, and I can post those weekly menus as a reminder.

Winter Squash to Preschool

On Tuesday, one of Caleb's teachers asked me if I would bring to school some of the "gourds" I mentioned on my last visit. She wanted to have the kids check out the seeds and see the variety and so forth. She said they are talking about crops and farming. Basic sensory experience, as far as I could tell. We have a large bowl overflowing with "gourds," so I was happy to oblige.

By gourds, she really meant winter squash. Before I started to cook more from scratch, I didn't understand what people meant by winter squash versus summer squash. I definitely didn't realize I could eat most of what I saw as decorations, let alone know HOW to prepare winter squash. When we started going to the farmers' market, Caleb inevitably would pick up something that neither Aaron nor I recognized and beg to buy it. We would ask sheepishly what the thing was and how to prepare and eat it. The answer was usually to cut it in half, add olive oil or butter, salt and pepper, and roast until done (tender, soft, edible).

The first winter squash Caleb introduced us to was delicata squash. The link takes you to a beautiful food, garden and cooking blog. Delicata squash is the shape of a fat cucumber, light yellow in color with green stripes. The interior is a yellow or light orange usually. It is a sweet and tender squash. It makes a delightful side dish to any number of meals.

This year we received many kinds of winter squash from our CSA: butternut, acorn, sunshine (looks like a smooth slightly darker orange pumpkin), carnival, sweet dumpling (looks like a delicata squash in color but is round), and at least a few that I don't know the names of yet.

The next winter squash Caleb introduced us to was blue hubbard squash. It is NOT a pretty squash, in my opinion. Big, bluish-gray, bumpy. It is delicious, once you crack it open. The microwave is fantastic for softening up winter squash skin.

And so this morning I picked 4 different squash - butternut, delicata, carnival, and sweet dumpling - and gave the teacher instructions for how to prepare them:

"Microwave them for a few minutes to soften the skin. Cut them in half. Add butter or olive oil. Salt and pepper OR brown sugar. Roast until done."

I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fruit and Cheese Defeat the Blueberry Muffin!!

You read it here first. My 3.5 year old son chose a fruit and cheese plate from Starbucks over a blueberry muffin. I would have picked a muffin for myself, and I had offered him a muffin as soon as we walked in. He saw the strategically placed fruit and cheese plate and asked if he could have that instead. It cost twice as much, so I wanted to make sure he really wanted it. I held it up to the muffin, and he still chose the fruit plate. I told him he would need to share with Ellie - surely a dealbreaker - and he still wanted the fruit plate, with apple juice.

Totally fine by me.

The kids ate very happily. Ellie rejected a piece of cheddar cheese, wanted more grapes when there were no more to be had, but happily chomped down on brie. Yes, my nearly 17 month old daughter chose to eat brie. I showed her the remnants of the divided fruit and cheese plate, and she picked the brie over the apple slice. I cannot stand brie unless it is cooked into some fancy appetizer (think puff pastry with fruit and cheese gooey goodness). Yet she took a small first bite and then ate half of the wedge!

Again, totally fine by me.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tips for Cooking with Toddlers/Preschoolers

Earlier I wrote about how important it is to involve kids in meal preparations. Yet it is not easy. Cooking with young kids can take significantly longer than if we adults just do it ourselves. It isn't easy to convince older kids to cook with us instead of doing whatever is more enjoyable to them (I can only guess since my kids are young and I only teach older kids). And let's be real: it isn't practicable to cook together every day of the week.

Since I only have experience cooking with toddlers and preschoolers, I thought I'd write about what has worked for me and Caleb. Maybe it will give you some ideas you'd like to share with me!

1) Start simple and with something familiar.
Caleb started helping in the kitchen by washing vegetables. The first thing he helped to cook was probably instant oatmeal. We soon moved to brownie mixes, and he helped to stir by holding the top of a large spoon while he gripped it lower on the handle.

2) Make cooking steps accessible.
That is, can your kid reach the counter somehow? We use either a folding step stool or one of our kitchen chairs. When Caleb made his own oatmeal, he didn't know how much water to add. We set out a measuring cup for him. When that cup wasn't available, we gave him the next smaller size and explained to use it twice. See? Math skills! :) But my real point here is to find ways to make cooking possible, doable for your kid.

3) Let them taste ingredients.
If you think an ingredient will hurt your kid, should you be using it? Other than really hot peppers, Caleb has tried everything from flour, sugar and salt to raw onions. I let him taste different herbs and spices too. Here Caleb is at about a year old, sampling an onion.

I'm sort of hoping his experimentation will help him develop an intuition about food which I lack somewhat.

4) Take the time to answer and ask questions.
Ask your child(ren) what they think something is for. Answer their questions with both answers and questions. I believe it is through this dialogue that we connect with our children. This dialogue validates their curiosity so that they will want to learn and do more.

5) Make it FUN!
For Caleb, this meant being able to use my electric cooking tools like the hand mixer or pushing the buttons on the food processor. For Ellie, this means looking at a pot of boiling pasta and telling me it's hot or that it's PAAASSTAAAA. For both of my kids, it means getting samples of the ingredients and getting to try the final product. You need to figure out what makes it fun for your kids. Maybe your kids want to pick what you cook. Maybe your kids like to gather ingredients or clean up after (Caleb enjoys cleaning the counters - weird.). Figure it out and use it to your advantage to make wonderful cooking memories.

Cooking with Preschool

Last Thursday I volunteered in Caleb's preschool classroom. The teachers asked all families to send in recipes of their kids' favorite snacks and to volunteer for 30 minutes to cook with the kids. Being indecisive, I sent in 2 recipes: applesauce and zucchini bread. My volunteer date eventually arrived, and I packed up all the stuff I thought the school wouldn't have (food processor, zucchini, raisins, loaf pans).

I had SO much fun watching the kids mix and pour. I had SO much fun sharing the zucchini with the kids. I brought an extra one so the kids could pass it around. Zucchini make excellent horns, by the way, and acting like they are horns gets a lot of 3-4 year old giggles. I managed not to scare any of the kiddies with the food processor by giving them warning that it makes a lot of noise. And apparently the kids liked the bread just fine, though Caleb said some of the kids thought it was strange. I guess Caleb and I are going to have to get used to people thinking I'm strange. :)

When I entered Caleb's classroom, one of his teachers helped me find a place for my bag of tricks. She then told me that Caleb has the healthiest lunches she has ever seen in the school and that he eats really well. She told me he doesn't throw food and that he rarely needs reminders to finish eating or to clean up when he is done. I just beamed. I can't take full credit as Caleb is his own individual and makes his own choices, but I'm super glad that he is making choices that we wanted and encouraged him to make. I'm also delighted that the lunches I've been sending have been noticed.

OK, so self-congratulatory comments aside, I also found it interesting to watch how the kids responded to a cooking project. Some of the kids were fascinated and were begging for turns at this or that. Other kids wander to and from the table. I figured this was normal preschool behavior until another teacher said "You can always tell which kids cook at home." I asked her to explain even though I knew what she meant. The kids who cook at home or see cooking at home stayed at the table. The kids who aren't involved in food preparation at home wandered. I thought about that on my way home.

Why do some people cook with their kids while others do not? When do I choose to include Caleb and when do I ask or tell him to find something else to do?

Cooking with kids takes time and patience. Most people are lacking one of those two requirements. I don't have a lot of patience, and sometimes I don't have much time. Yet I like cooking with Caleb. It does take longer. It can be messier. It is rarely peaceful, and I like to cook as almost a spiritual or meditative experience. I like cooking with Caleb because I want him to know how food is made. I want him to know how to provide good real food for himself and others. Yes, I know that cooking can teach lots of other skills - math, science, the value of family traditions. I want Caleb to know that food doesn't always come from a box or the freezer to the microwave.

I'm not sure why I want Caleb to know this. I know I am passing on to him something that Aaron and I enjoy doing. I know I am passing along recipes and "techniques" that work for us. I guess I want Caleb to have a healthy relationship with food. And yes, I do believe we have a relationship to food. I think that we can develop a healthy relationship to food by knowing where it comes from, how it is prepared, and how our bodies and minds use it. Participating in our CSA, going to the farmers' market, and shopping together shows Caleb where our food comes from. Cooking with Caleb and talking about how we made things shows him how raw ingredients become the foods he enjoys. And as we eat the foods we make together, we can talk about what we like doing so that we can focus on how food gives us the energy to enjoy life.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thoughts on Kid Breakfasts

As I was scrambling around this morning in the kitchen, I realized that I have a very hard time figuring out breakfasts that are quick, healthy, and enjoyed by my kids. For my own benefit, though I suppose this may help someone else, I wanted to document what I currently offer the kids for breakfast as well as what I would like to offer them.

Offered Now
Instant organic oatmeal
Cereal with or without milk
Scrambled eggs
Bagels, muffins - various toppings like peanut butter, jam, cheese
Pancakes, waffles (when Aaron cooks)
Turkey bacon/sausage (when Aaron cooks)

Would Like to Offer
Oatmeal from oats rather than from microwave. Maybe in the Crock-Pot??
Convince them that eggs with "stuff" like vegetables and cheese are good
More well-rounded muffins. How do people get protein with these?
Smoothies. I think I could incorporate (read: sneak) really healthy stuff in them.
Fruit salad

Overall, I want to move to less processed foods, more cooked from scratch foods. I also want to try to offer a breakfast with a reasonable balance of protein, vegetable and grains. I feel like their breakfasts are very grain/carb heavy, and I think they would feel more satisfied with a more well-rounded breakfast.

What do you feed your kids for breakfast?

Apples, apples, apples

As a result of our trip to Stillman's Farm in New Braintree on Monday, we have apples. I don't mean that we picked a peck of apples. I mean we have APPLES. We have 2 large reusable grocery bags of apples, probably about a bushel all told. Let's not forget we had about 7 apples leftover from our last apple picking outing AND another small bag (8-12 small apples) from our last CSA pickup. The challenge with apples is to get through them before they become compost.

I'm already feeling a bit like Bubba from Forrest Gump (the line is close to the end of the clip) - apple crisp, apple bread, apple pie, applesauce, apple dumplings, apple cobbler, apple jam, apple butter, apple pancake... OK, I haven't made all of those things yet, but I see it in my future. We already have about 12 quarts of applesauce frozen. More is forthcoming because those 7 leftover apples aren't good for much else. I'm sure I have 1-2 loaves of apple bread in the chest freezer.

Now I have this bushel of apples to get through before I have a big ol' pile of compost and fruit flies on my kitchen counter. Every day I see the two bags sitting on the counter, reminding me that I need to eat, bake, cook, and otherwise consume these apples. Apples, like all real food, have a limited shelf life. I need a plan. Right now I'm approaching the apples rather haphazardly, hoping to use them up and enjoy them at the same time. I want a plan that focuses on enjoying the apples first. I want a plan that maximizes the apple experience. It's too easy to take 20+ apples and make 2+ quarts of applesauce. Apple crisp also uses a fair amount of apples, but it isn't the easiest to store long term. Apple bread only requires 1 cup (approx. 1 apple) per loaf.

Today I made 2 dozen apple muffins because I think I can freeze them for breakfasts and snacks in the winter. I think I'm going to have to see how I can incorporate apples into meals and not just into snacks or desserts. If anyone is reading this and happens to have favorite apple recipes, do send them along. I'm off to AllRecipes and RecipeZaar to see what I can find!

Monday, October 12, 2009

CSA Farm Visit!!

I am SO excited about what we did as a family yesterday! We visited our CSA farm, Stillman's Farm, in New Braintree, MA. Last Monday was our last CSA box pickup, and the farmers had extended invitations to all members to visit the farm. We *finally* got around to it today, and I'm so glad we did.

To get there from our house took about an hour and change, mostly highway miles with some state highways as well. Like driving in the Boston metro area, there is no straight way to get anywhere else in Massachusetts either. Once we were off of the Mass Pike (I-90 for the non-Massachusetts residents), we were surrounded by beautiful country hills, fall foliage, and all that New England imagery you see in movies when the characters have nice vacation homes in the country.

I fell in love when we pulled up to the farmers' home. The Stillmans live in a picturesque white colonial farmhouse with lots of add-ons from a rich history. The house sits at the top of a small hill from which you can see some of the fields. Immediately surrounding the house are beautifully maintained gardens and very old wise trees, gnarly and full of character. I felt such peace and a sense of home and warmth just standing there breathing it all.

Genevieve greeted us, gave us some ideas of where to look around, what produce would be good for picking, and perhaps most important - a map. We started at the raspberry fields - rows and rows of raspberry bushes with bright red berries just asking to be picked and enjoyed. Caleb and Ellie had a fantastic time picking the berries. They probably ate about a pound of them as Aaron and I picked some for home. The berries weighed themselves down and began to squish each other, so we reluctantly moved a few rows over to the apple orchard. The apples actually glistened on the trees. We picked about a bushel and a half of Empire and Cortland apples before returning to the car to lighten our load a bit.

On our way back to the car, we met up with Glenn (Genevieve's husband) who answered our many questions and pointed us to the best places for broccoli, squash, and tomatoes. Aaron also asked about potatoes, and we learned about the flooding problems which reduced their potato crop this year. Glenn also expressed surprise and congratulations that we managed to grow about a dozen tomatoes in our backyard. I was honored and touched to get a compliment from an actual farmer.

Glenn also mentioned that they had some pigs we could visit on our way to the vegetable fields. I don't think I've ever seen such happy pigs ever, and my uncle raised pigs for many years. My uncle was kind to the pigs, but I don't remember seeing the pigs look joyful, and the Stillman pigs had a twinkle in their eyes. The kids enjoyed meeting the pigs as well as the other animals (chickens and 2 border collies), but we had serious vegetable picking ahead.

To get to the broccoli fields, we passed by more kale than I've ever seen in my life. Not only was there a ton of kale, but there were several varieties too. We also passed many rows of brussel sprouts. Aaron thought it was interesting to see the similarities between kale and brussel sprout leaves as well as similarities between those and broccoli. We snapped off several bunches of broccoli, went back for some brussel sprouts, and decided we would finish up with tomatoes and squash.

The Stillmans and their crew had picked all of the tomatoes the night before due to frost. They had sorted the tomatoes into large boxes in a gigantic greenhouse. I think most grocery stores could fit at least half to 2/3 of their produce section in this greenhouse. We chose a few nice tomatoes, explained a bit about greenhouses to Caleb, and returned to the barn where we earlier had seen a true cornucopia of squash. From the squash harvest, we picked up several delicata squash (a favorite here), a few butternut squash, and 1 or 2 squash we didn't know by name.

When Aaron and I talked about visiting the farm, we guessed we would spend about an hour there. By the end of our visit, we had spent 2.5 hours there and didn't feel at all ready to leave. We thanked the Stillmans again for sharing their home and work with us. We promised to share recipes and return next season.

If only next season weren't so far away...

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mother-Son Opposites

Aaron and I have noticed a trend in Caleb's eating. He likes nearly every food that I don't like. I like most foods, but I strongly dislike the few I don't like. About once a year, I try these disliked foods, hoping my palate has changed. So far no dice. Maybe you're curious about these foods I don't like? Here's the list:
  • Olives (yet I like capers and cook with olive oil)
  • Tomatoes, uncooked (cooked/processed is fine)
  • Melons (I actually gag when I try them, and I *want* to like melon)
  • Peanuts and cashews (I tolerate cashews a bit more, and I love peanut butter)
Besides those foods, I also generally do not like fruit WITH chocolate. I don't like chocolate-covered fruits (yes, including strawberries and cherries). I don't like chocolate candies that have fruit in them. Oddly I do like raspberry filling with chocolate cake.

We all have some variation of these quirks. Aaron, for example, does not like sweet potatoes ("neither sweet nor potato," he says). My son has few food quirks - doesn't like crust on his sandwiches (normal preschool thing, I think), not a big fan of cooked greens (e.g., kale), hasn't liked ice cream until very recently and I still don't believe him.

But guess what? He does like every single food I don't like. His lunch today was sliced turkey, an entire sliced tomato, and some applesauce. He finished the tomato and didn't have room to finish the applesauce. When we had salad a few weeks ago, he whined for olives the entire meal. He looks at me like I'm nuts when I say no thank you to his offer to share any kind of melon. He also offered me peanuts during a football game and did NOT want to take no for an answer.

Funny kid. I wonder whether his tastes are genuinely his or whether he just wants to push my food buttons. :)

October 10?!?

How did it get to be the second week of October?

Anyway, food continues to be delicious, but we have reached a new challenge. This past Monday was our final CSA pickup. :( Granted, we got more food than we can go through even in two weeks, but what will we do for fresh local conscientiously grown food after that? *sigh*

For the record, here is what we received in our final CSA pickup of the season:

Half of the full share:
1 HUGE butternut squash
1 carnival squash
1 delicata squash
1 stalk of brussels sprouts
1 yellow/gold cauliflower
3 ears corn
1 bunch arugula
1 head lettuce
1 bunch kale
1 savoy cabbage
1 napa cabbage (it's quite large)
1 large eggplant (white)
1 HUGE green pepper (I've dubbed it Darth Pepper)
a bag full of various hot peppers
a bag of apples (maybe about 8-10 small-medium?)
1 pear (I gave my neighbor the other 2 because we have a few already)
1 tomato

We ate the brussel sprouts for dinner last night, and they were amazing. I actually liked brussel sprouts even before trying these, but these did not have the weird aftertaste. They were phenomenal, and all I did was steam them. Besides the brussel sprouts, we also enjoyed a blue hubbard squash - roasted with butter and brown sugar. Caleb periodically insists that we buy some unknown food from the farmers' markets.
It is through Caleb's curiosity and persistence that we discovered not only blue hubbard squash but also delicata squash. Both are great. If you think you don't like squash, you might want to revisit them with the simple farmer "recipe." When Caleb finds his prize, we end up asking the farmer what the object is and how to cook it. Usually the farmer tells us to cut it in half, butter/oil it and roast it until it is soft. Give it a try - you might like it!

Aaron already has polished off the arugula by adding it to his turkey wraps. He is so very proud of his professional-looking wraps. I must say that they are very tasty and do look quite professional - but less expensive. :)

Tonight's adventure will include more squash as well as a modified Kielbasa y kapusta, Kielbasa and Cabbage. Since we don't eat kielbasa, I'm going to substitute the casing-free chicken sausage from Trader Joe's.

I'll report back soon!