Harvest time. Or how i learned to stop hating the cold and love the squash

AUTUMN!
Pros: sweaters, hoodies (with the hood up), tall socks, tea, colorful trees, crunchy ground…
apples, pears, squash, parsnips, soup, pomegranates…

Cons: no sun-kissed shoulders, no dresses (like slip on a dress and call it a day), no flip flops, brrr cold, taking apart the backyard, achoo! cold………

Embrace it, a mantra of mine. Go with the pros… and EAT LOCAL!
With that, i had my first winter squash of the season!

solo dinner for myself. spaghetti squash marinera.
Thanks to Featherstone Farm for providing the squash!
And to Paul Newman, for providing the pasta sauce so my cold, lazy bum didn’t have to make it from scratch AND for donating all of the profits of Newman’s Own to charities. Rad.
Plus wine and wild flowers. ❤

I was seriously so lazy that night I made the spaghetti squash… all I had to do was bake the damn thing and heat up the sauce. My foodie mind started reeling with additional flavors.
"I should press some garlic into this sauce," I thought, "And slice up that garden tomato!"
Eventually I did do those things but it took some convincing to myself that I could NOT be THAT lazy to not cut up a damn tomato.
Plus, it was so pretty.

Most of the tomatoes from the garden got big black spots on their bottoms. A few grew to be nice fatties. There are still green ones on the vine though!
Still pulling cooking greens out from the garden too. Stella loves to brag to her dad about the rainbow chard and dinosaur kale she harvested.
I pulled all of the carrots out. At approximately 26 carrots (counted by Stella) the majority were purple!
After a few meals, here’s what’s left of ’em:

and hot peppers!
We harvested a whole bunch more devil’s serrano and these little red belle lantern looking things, i forget their name. After dehydrating them, they now look like this:

another chili powder, perhaps?

Also on hot pepper news, we thought for sure that whatever has popped up from the garden will be it for the season. But wait! there’s more! JOLOKIAS!!!!
These two plants were planted late in the season and were crowded from the sun from how huge the tomato plants grew. I figured the hottest pepper in the world had a lost cause in our garden. A week or so ago Bob spotted three green jolokias clustered together. Now, we wait patiently for them to turn a fiery red. I’m considering building a cold frame just for them!

In other food news, we tried out Travail again last night.
This was my third visit, the first two had awwwwful service. The servers are total jackasses but the food is frickin’ spectacular! Also, the wait is insane but we knew this going in. We probably stood in the waiting area for like 40 minutes at least. Two rounds of drinks!

Travail is the fanciest, most artsy food you can find in MPLS (even though it’s in Robbinsdale and besides Victory 44) with the grungiest cooks (there’s an open kitchen) and the cheesiest decor (there are massive stuffed animals above the entrance/exit – the kind you win at a carnival and it takes up the entire backseat of the car and you can’t see out your rearview mirror.)

That’s really the only piece of decor besides the wall to wall black chalk board in the waiting area which also includes the wine menu on a chalkboard and a vertical bean bag toss.

The only booth in the restaurant is a few steps up into this fugly carpeted walled-off booth for like ten people. It actually looks like the Mutts Cutts dog van from Dumb and Dumber except in restaurant booth form.

This place also loves squeeze bottles. At first glance, it appears that the cooks are using various types of salad dressings or condiments from the array of squeeze bottles lined up along the ingredient counter. Since we had bar seats in front of the kitchen I could literally read the labels on the bottles. “Avocado puree”…”cauliflower”… etc. And they make fantastic art with these delicious items! I pulled this pic from their FB page. So cool!

Oh, I forgot about the other decor. There are a ton of these square glass jars that line the place on wooden shelves. They are full of fun ingredients. I like this piece of decor quite a bit. They even incorporated this simple theme, possibly coincidentally, into the restroom!

haha, and even the squeeze bottles. This is hand soap.

Yep. Food is awesome.
For dessert: I acquired this chocolate bar a little awhile ago. It’s crazy good!
Fearless Chocolates are made with organic raw cacao and rapadura (unrefined whole cane sugar from Brazil). A proceed of the profits are donated to something they call “Changemakers”, a organizations or individuals that work to improve sustainability. Very awesome.
And sweet packaging!

I must close with a new produce freak of nature. This was a piece that was a Wednesday collaboration. I found the parsnip legs.

Awesome.

MUSIC TIME
I recently heard this song on RadioK. Good gosh, i love it. A fun, clappy epic song.

And this song… k, i love your typical indie band but this song. this song. damn. it speaks to me. fun video too!

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