Saturday, December 08, 2007

Orchard Luck

What a bumpy week! I'm still grappling with this sinus/respiratory infection, and it's really slowing me down in the kitchen. I'm not complaining, as I'm still on track to get my holiday baking done, but... oh, man, I am beat.

I did get holiday goodie boxes sent out to friends this morning, after getting the baklava made the other evening, so at least the first round is done. Let the rejoicing begin!

But the food adventure of the day entails a field trip. My Dear Papa picked me up this morning for a trip out to the recycling center, and on the way back, we stopped at the Local Orchard.

How delighted I was to see the older gentleman who runs the place! We chatted about the success of this year's farmers' market, and while my father picked up honey and apple butter, I roamed around, picking up an unexpected bounty of local foods to carry me into winter.

My Dear Papa has a stash of fresh cider in his garage, and he's saving it for Christmas night, after our big family dinner. When he told me that, naturally I needed to pick up a half-gallon for myself! But I also gathered up a bag of Honeycrisp apples, two huge butternut squashes, a handful of sweet potatoes, a small Hubbard squash (a new variety for me), and a jar of locally grown and produced sorghum, a sweetener akin to molasses. I've never tried sorghum, but in looking through the family cookbook recently, I found a number of old-fashioned recipes that called for it, so I thought I'd give it a try.

After the end of the farmers' market, I assumed that my local-foods options would narrow to my own stash. How could I have forgotten about the Orchard? It really made my morning to find that I could go home with more fresh produce from a local source, and I thanked My Dear Papa profusely for the opportunity.

What luck! And you'll see more of these foods again soon!


At 12/09/2007 10:17 AM, Blogger Tina said...

Hooray for the orchard!:-) Glad you still have another source of local foods now that the farmer's market is closed. Ours goes all year long on Saturdays, but there are definitely fewer farmers during the colder months. I made it yesterday after my group run, and was it COLD! It was the first time I'd ever been there in December, and there were far fewer farmers, but the Maple Syrup man, my favorite orchard (where I get my cider, jam, and apples), and a few other hardy souls were there. I'll definitely have to wear more layers on future trips, especially when sweaty from running. Brrrr!

At 12/09/2007 11:35 PM, Blogger foodperson said...

Hey, Jennifer,
Do you have an RSS feed? I can't find it, and I'd love to subscribe! Thanks. Janet

At 12/10/2007 7:17 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Tina, I don't know how far into the year the orchard will be open. I know they will probably have cider until Christmas, but I seem to remember them being closed the early part of the year. Still, any extra local food I can get is great! (I'm still jealous of you and your market, though... maybe I should get up to visit you this winter or spring!)

Janet, I think if you look in the address line in the browser header, you should see an orange box with white lines in it. Try clicking on that and setting up your RSS feed. If that doesn't work, let me know, and I'll check the Blogger help page to figure it out.

At 12/14/2007 2:07 PM, Blogger Bri said...

What a treat that your Dear Papa took you to the orchard. I just remembered a small farm and stand about two miles from my house that I should check out, and your orchard story is good impetus to go. I also looked up sorghum. I'm so curious to find out what it tastes like. Apparently sorghum is good animal feed and drought tolerant. How great! I'm curious to see what you make with it.

At 12/14/2007 2:10 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Good luck with finding wonderful stuff at the local farm, Bri! I had read something earlier in the fall about sorghum being grown locally and making a good substitute for molasses, so that made me curious enough to pick up the jar when I saw it. I suspect I'll be baking with it soon, so stay tuned...


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