New Hours this Week! The Farmstand is open today and Thursday from 2 – 5:30 PM, and Saturday from 9 AM – 1 PM
Last week started pleasantly enough. The warm October ‘heat wave’ continued, and we began planting garlic. By Tuesday it was clear a big change was looming. Temperatures were projected to plunge into the low 20’s by the end of the week. But first, a huge blob of moisture was working its way north, packing a couple inches of rain. While the rain was much needed to bring moisture levels back to normal in our state, it sure made preparations for the freeze pretty difficult.
Our intrepid crew spent three days in steady rain building ‘low tunnels’ in the field to protect tender crops, covering more hardy crops with row covers, and mass harvesting crops we could store for a bit in one of our coolers. And on Friday, right on schedule, a north wind picked up, blew out the rain and ushered in some very cold temperatures. We awoke on Saturday to a new world of icy whiteness.
The cold brings out some truly great flavor in crops like spinach, kale, and collards, and we have plenty of greens and stored roots to last us until early winter! Please check the farm newsletter or our website each week for changes in farmstand and farmers’ market schedules.
We hope you enjoy the farm and the produce.
Paul and Rebecca, for Lauren, and the Fort Hill Farm crew
Available autumn veggies:
salad mix, arugula, pea shoots, head lettuce (6 varieties!), curly green and lacinato kale, rainbow chard, escarole, radicchio, red cabbage, Collards, spinach, parsley, sage, and thyme, red radishes, salad turnips, red beets and Chioggia beets, sweet fall carrots, garlic, fresh leeks, storage onions (at the farmstand), celeriac, fennel, limited sungold cherry tomatoes, heirlooms, beefsteak, and green tomatoes, limited sweet peppers, green bell peppers, Jalapeño, poblano, cayenne, and shishito peppers, Classic Italian, Rosa Bianca, and mixed Asian eggplant (limited), Dark Red Norland, Blue Gold, and Satina Gold, Kennebec, and gold fingerling potatoes, Carnival and Butternut squash, pie and Jack O’ lantern pumpkins, sweet potatoes, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, fresh baby ginger (ON SALE AGAIN THIS WEEK!)
Pick Your Own:
Perennial herbs – for your fall soups and roasts:
Oregano, Sage and Thyme – Trim the tops 4 ” down
PYO begins 30 minutes before and goes 30 minutes beyond barn hours.
Recipes, suggested by Rebecca Batchie. For more recipes, check out the Fort Hill Farm Recipe Database
Butternut Sage Scones
2 cups (about 9 oz. or 255 grams) all-purpose unbleached flour (I use King Arthur)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top of scones
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
Scant ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Scant ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh sage (optional)
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 cup butternut squash puree (see below for directions)
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on top of scones
1 large egg
8 small sage leaves
Cinnamon drizzle, optional
- When measuring flour, fluff with a whisk, scoop it up with a spoon, sprinkle it into the measuring cup, and sweep off the top with the flat edge of a knife or spatula. But when I make scones, I always weigh flour, and bypass all that extra work.
- FOR THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH: Pierce a medium butternut squash all over with a fork or tip of a knife. Place on microwave-safe dish and cook on high for about ½ hour, turning every ten minutes or so, until soft and mushy. Cut squash down the middle. If it’s still hard in the middle, nuke it a little more. Scoop out seeds and pulp. Scoop out the soft squash, mash it a bit, and place in a mesh strainer over a bowl. Let drain for a couple hours, or overnight. Depending on the size of your butternut, you’ll probably have extra squash, as this recipe only uses ½ cup. Make soup with the rest. Or double the scone recipe. And make a little less soup.
- FOR THE CINNAMON DRIZZLE: mix 1 cup confectioner’s sugar with ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Add 2 tablespoons warm water. Stir until smooth. I always do this by sight, so if too loose, add more sugar. If too thick, add more water. If not cinnamon-y enough, add more cinnamon. It should be thick like corn syrup. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, place the dry ingredients and the chopped sage, and pulse to combine.
- Add the butter, and pulse about 10 or so times. You want to retain some small pieces of butter. Don’t blitz the heck out of it. Transfer the flour mixture to a large mixing bowl. If you’ve got some really large butter lumps, just squish them with the back of a fork.
- In a large measuring cup, place the squash, egg and heavy cream. Mix well. Pour into flour mixture. With a dinner fork, fold the wet into the dry as you gradually turn the bowl. It’s a folding motion you’re shooting for, not a stirring motion. When dough begins to gather, use a plastic bowl scraper to gently knead the dough into a ball shape.
- Transfer the dough ball to a floured board. Gently pat into a 6” circle. With a pastry scraper or large chef’s knife, cut into 8 triangles. I use a pie marker to score the top of the dough circle and use the lines as a guide.
- OPTIONAL BUT RECOMMENDED: Place the scones on a wax paper-lined sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once they are frozen, you can store them in a plastic freezer bag for several weeks.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place frozen scones on a parchment-lined sheet pan, about 1 inch apart. Brush with cream. Take the whole sage leaves, brush front and back with cream and place on tops of scones. Sprinkle tops of scones with sugar.
- Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, turning pan halfway through. They are done when a wooden skewer comes out clean. When cool, drizzle with cinnamon glaze.
- Slather with clotted cream and fig jam, if you feel like gilding the lily. But if not, these are pretty darn good with just plain ol’ butter, too. These are great the next day, warmed in the microwave for 15 – 20 seconds. They freeze really well, too, and can be reheated in a 350 degree F oven until warm. Enjoy!
- BAKING TIPS: Last but not least, I highly recommend you get an oven thermometer, if you don’t have one already. The success of quick breads like this depend upon a really cranking hot oven, and if your oven fluctuates, like mine does, then you can adjust your oven temp accordingly. Mine always runs cooler, so I crank it up until the thermometer reads the temp I want. Also, if you are baking less than a full batch, double up on your baking sheets, which helps prevent scorched bottoms.