After an early night to sleep I woke up feeling rested but still not excited about my 6:00AM drive into New Jersey. Today I was contented to know that I didn't have to drive all the way to Vernon, New Jersey, but still wary of the state in general. I may have even reconsidered some of my harsh peanut references from yesterday. Some of them.
This morning I exited the apartment and was greeted by a harsh arctic blast of wind accompanied by pouring ice cold rain. As I tried to get into my car the umbrella turned inside out and I struggled to get control of the apparatus and turn it back inwards. As I reached up and pulled on one of the extending metal bars my hand slip and sliced my finger clean open, spilling blood all down my arm. This was the same finger that I'd foolishly cut open with a razor blade a month or two ago.
Frustrated I simply forced the opened umbrella into the backseat, causing it to buckle and collapse.
There in the back seat was my Windbrella, an umbrella my mother purchased for me for such occasions. I think I even heard it trying to suppress laughter as I grumpily took my place in the driver's seat and wiped the rainwater from my face.
My trip home from work was much more uneventful. I took the car by the farm share, avoided any unpleasant run ins with any traffic cops, and picked up this week's haul:
1 sugar pumpkin, 1/2 pound of arugula, 1 1/2 pounds of potatoes, 1 1/2 pounds of turnips, 1 head of lettuce, 1 head of garlic, 4 chiles, 4 pounds of pears and a 1/2 gallon of cider. After I got home I realized that I'd missed the 3/4 pound of braising mix but I think we'll be okay for this week.
After not getting a sugar pumpkin yesterday and not being able to find one at the supermarket earlier in the day I was delighted to get the pumpkin in our share. I hadn't been expecting it because farmer Ted hadn't mentioned it in his weekly email. I quickly hollowed it out and toasted the seeds with a little olive oil, cayenne, cumin, and salt. I cut up the pears and served them over the lettuce and arugula we'd just gotten with a drizzle of olive oil and finished it with some shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.
I normally don't take much care in salad making but I was quite happy with the way this salad turned out.
I immediately tossed the hollowed, seasoned pumpkin into the oven to roast it and soften it up. While it was roasting I prepared a stuffing for the pumpkin out of the farm onion, pepper, garlic, jalapeno, and even some diced potato. I added some ground beef, cooked it down and then fortified it with some plain bread crumbs at the very end.
This stuffed pumpkin has been a family tradition for years. My mother made it around this time of year every year when we were growing up. Jen got the recipe from my mom a few years back and has made it for me here but with Jen working late tonight I realized that I did not have the recipe or know how to make it. I chose to improvise my version of the stuffed pumpkin instead.
For dessert I sliced up some pears and apples, made some whipped cream and finished up the last of the pomegranate. It was pretty tasty but I wished I'd had more time to bake it into some sort of delicious cake instead.
Today was a much-needed improvement over the fiasco that was yesterday. That is unfortunate considering that we both had to work today.
Somehow we managed to eat half of that massive pumpkin tonight. I look forward to tomorrow when I polish off the rest.