Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My Own Foodstock!

Last Sunday’s Foodstock event in Honeywood, Ontario was a great success! Over the last couple of days, people have been sending me photos from their experience at this event cuz they knew that I was unable to attend.

My sister joined in the fun and had a plate of food for me! Thanks Sandra!!!!!

CBC radio had been promoting this affair and I’m sure that they were there to get some first hand interviews from the many who were there to enjoy all the great food as well as to learn more about what can be done to halt the destructive plans to turn my homeland into North America’s second largest open-pit mine!

Here’s a story from the Toronto Star newspaper – http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1070839--foodies-unite-en-masse-to-oppose-land-excavation#article

The struggle to halt this quarry will be continuing over the next year or so, I would suspect, and be assured that I will do my best to keep you updated.

Foodstock was a celebration of the land and the food that this land provides. Since Joanne and I had to stay close to home cuz our son could be born at any time now, we decided to have a Foodstock of our very own! A celebration of our own small peace of land and the food that we grew this year…

… like this pumpkin! This was just one of the eight pumpkins that we grew this year and the best thing about this is that if was free!! In the spring, I emptied our composter onto one small patch of our garden and all sorts of free food started growing from it.

The first thing to do with your pumpkin is to cut away the top centre stock. Make sure your knife is very sharp.

Using the same knife, cut your pumpkin in half, lengthwise. I find that an ice cream scoop is the perfect tool for scooping out all the seeds and innards of the pumpkin. Later, these seeds will be towel dried and sprinkled with a dash of salt and a drop of oil and using cookie sheets, we’ll bake them until golden. What a great little snack!!!

But, before we do that, the pumpkin halves are placed onto the cookie sheets and baked at 350 degrees for a little over an hour. When we first started learning how to cook squashes, we would steam the squash instead of baking it. We learned that a baked squash is much more flavourful and that it retains a lot more nutrients.

We let the baked pumpkin sit and cool for a couple of hours and then I use the ice cream scoop, again, to separate the pumpkin meat from the skin.

You can do quite a lot with just one pumpkin. As I mentioned, we grew eight of them this year, so you can imagine how much of this yummy stuff we’ve got in our freezer to enjoy over the cold winter to come.

I read that a baby’s first solid foods should be vegetables that are coloured orange and yellow. So, along with the many bags of pumpkin that we’ve stored in our freezer, we’ve got yellow beans and carrots that also grew in our garden, ready to be mashed into baby food.

To prepare a creamy pumpkin soup that will warm your house as well as your spirit, begin by sautéing 3 large onions and lots of garlic. We used a super tasty wild garlic that I stole from my mom’s garden several years ago and transplanted into my garden.

Once the onions become translucent – just before they brown – add 900 ml of vegetable soup stock and let simmer for 30 minutes. Then you add 4 cups of the baked pumpkin and simmer for another 30 minutes. Toss in several generous tablespoons of Rosemary during the last few minutes of this process.

I find that the Rosemary really seals to deal for this soup recipe. I’ll have to add this herb to my veggie garden next year cuz I love it so much!

We use a hand-held blender to create a nice even texture for our soup.

Now you remove the soup pot from the heat, add 2 cups of a light cream, stirring thoroughly and you are ready to enjoy!!!!

I love it when Jo’ makes this soup even better by baking a loaf of Beer Cheese Bread to go along with it!!!! Super Yum!

Our freezer now has many a container filled with this simple yet delightful soup and we’ll be enjoying these flavours throughout the coming winter!

I’m glad to share this recipe with you and I hope that I’ve inspired you to think about planting your own vegetable garden next spring.

As our societies begin to understand that humanity must undergo many profound changes over the years to come to ensure a habitable planet for future generations, the first questions that we all ask is, “What can I do?” The simplest step is learning how fulfilling it is to take care of our most primal need – food! After that, most other actions for change seem to just fall into place.


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