Big things from the garden

Exhibit #1: A ridiculously large sweet potato


Shown with a grapefruit and my hand for some sense of scale, what this guy lacks in beauty, he makes up for in size, weighing in at just over 12 pounds.  He suffered some damage from voles during the growing season, and his growth outpaced their eating.

I made a huge, way-too-thick batch of this sweet potato peanut bisque, which I originally read about over on Spatoola, with half of it.  I roasted the other half in big chunks, and stuck them in the freezer for a future batch of mashed sweet potatoes.

Exhibit #2: Lunga di Napoli winter squash


Unlike the sweet potato, which was abnormally large, this lunga is rather par for the course for this variety.  It’s just a big ol’ squash.

We sliced and roasted about a fifth of it as a dinner side earlier in the week.  For the remainder, I roasted big chunks to puree into a simple soup consisting of squash, coconut milk, grated ginger, and a bit of salt.  This very simple soup perked up significantly with the addition of some carmelized onions, plus Paul’s beans.

I actually thought this big guy would go further, perhaps yielding some extra puree for pumpkin bread or pumpkin butter.  I guess that will wait for the next squash.

After a failed attempt at pumpkin butter last year, I finally figured it out several weeks ago.  Turns out that it’s pretty simple — you just have to let it simmer for. ev. er.  That’s the trick.  Anyhow, we’re about finished with my first batch, and I’m looking forward to making more.

Browns’ Green Garden delivery service

Matthew has continued selling limited quantities of winter squash to Five Bistro throughout the winter.  For previous deliveries, he dropped by on his way home from the garden in the car.

For last week’s mid-week delivery, I loaded up the bike trailer, since we already had the produce at our place: fifteen pounds of squash and fifteen pounds of sweet potatoes.


A flatbed trailer would be much better suited to hauling cargo than the child trailer, but I manged to fit the produce AND a passenger.


With a squash on either side of him and sweet potatoes under his feet, Sir was a bit cozy on the way there (about 3 miles, I think), but he didn’t complain.  The delivery went smoothly and we visited a new park before heading home.

Here’s a recent menu item with our squash (in bold):

Benne‘sFarm half chicken,
Brown’s [Green] Garden buttercup pumpkin,
Ozark Forest oyster mushrooms,
Rissi Farm potato, braised napa cabbage,
bacon, grain mustard & pan jus

Fun to see our name on the menu (even if that’s not exactly the squash variety — I’m guessing they chose a simpler, more self-explanatory name for diners?)!

Amazingly enough, I’ve posted every. single. day. this week — pretty much a miracle.  The timing of this post is also amusing, given the inches of snow and ice currently covering our streets — I would not be attempting this delivery today unless I could get there on foot!