Friday, October 25, 2013

Week Twenty: All Done

Sometime over the weekend, fall snuck up on me. Mostly it was the waking up in the dark all week that threw me – it makes Monday that much harder to start off when I have to fumble around the house in the dark. It also started getting REALLY cold at night… like frost advisory cold! Hard to believe that this time last year we were enjoying high 60s to low 70s and sunshiny days (and getting married! … oh, and prepping for Sandy!). 
Rainbow over Lexington Center.
We had our final pickup in almost total darkness – the farm parking lot isn’t lit (and had next to no cars in it), so I actually wondered for a minute if the pickup time had changed. But we turned the corner and there was the barn, lit up and waiting for us. We got lettuce, potatoes, scallions, broccoli, sweet potatoes, peppers, celery, a rutabaga, and parsnips. I went a little crazy with the last chance to get new stuff. The newsletter included a recipe for a yummy-sounding spiced rutabaga cake, so I definitely wanted to try that, and I’d never had parsnips before either.

The final harvest.
Last night our friend Sam had a Mary Kay party, so I needed (well, wanted!) to bring something over to snack on. This recipe for roasted broccoli queso popped up in the “other posts you might like” on Macheesmo, so of course that was going to be it! Perfect timing. It turned out pretty well, I think, although I probably shouldn’t have let it heat to nuclear temps in my tiny dipper crock pot… whoops! We still enjoyed it, though, and we had a great time getting makeovers and talking skin care and girly stuff.
Sam and the Minion!
Stay tuned later this week for a recap of the season. I may also start posting elsewhere for “other” cooking adventures, as this has been kind of fun!
We were allowed "two pounds" of rutabaga... which was, in my case, this bad boy.
 Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Queso Dip (adapted, not very much, from Macheesmo)

2 cups broccoli florets (I had about 1 cup of farm broccoli so I used up a bag of frozen broccoli)
1 four-ounce can of chopped green chiles (I did the best I could with the 7 oz can from Market Basket)
¼ white onion, grated or very very finely diced
¼ cup flour
¼ cup butter
2 cups milk, warmed
8 ounces grated cheddar cheese

Toss the broccoli with a little olive oil and salt & pepper, then roast at 350* for about 20 minutes. Stir everything around once or twice to keep from getting too brown and burn-y.

Make the queso while the broccoli does its thing:
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the grated onion and chiles, and let cook about 5 minutes so the onions get nice and soft and sort of start melting away. Add the flour and whisk, whisk, whisk! Cook another 4 or 5 minutes to cook out the “flour” taste – it should be golden/tan. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened and warmed through. Add the cheese in stages, stirring, until it’s all incorporated.

Let the broccoli cool a little bit before chopping it up even more, then gently stir into the cheese. Serve with chips, thinly sliced and toasted bread, or veggies.

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