It's pumpkin season at Farmers Market
By Sue Davis
For the Salisbury Post
B.W. Corriher has buff skinned pumpkins. You could store a whole, uncut pumpkin in a cool dry place for several months or you could create puree for a pie.
According to the Web site www.allrecipes.com, there are three ways to prepare a pumpkin for pie puree. I prefer the microwave method because it takes less time. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the stringy insides. Separate the seeds out and save to roast, if desired. Cover the flesh with clear wrap. Microwave each half on high for seven minutes per pound. Turn the pieces several times during cooking if you do not have a rotating turntable in your microwave.
Corriher can tell you roughly how much your pumpkin weighs. Remember that you are microwaving half the pumpkin at a time, so the cooking time is for half the total weight. When the flesh is tender, remove from microwave, let the cooked pumpkin cool and scoop out the flesh.
Another method is baking the pumpkin. Cut and clean as described above. Place the pumpkin pieces in a pan, cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for about 11/2 hours or until the flesh is tender; scoop out the baked pumpkin flesh and cool. Lastly, you can boil the pumpkin in water. You will need to cut the pumpkin into chunks, place in a pot and cover with water; boil the pumpkin chunks until tender. Scrape the flesh from the skin.
Once the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, place it in a food processor to puree or push it through a sieve. If you have pumpkin chunks, you can mash them with a potato masher or food mill. Pumpkin puree can be kept refrigerated for three days. It can be frozen for up to six months.
New this week
Oxendine Farms of Woodleaf has North Carolina Mountain corn. It is very good. Both Oxendine and Eagle Farms have North Carolina sweet potatoes as well. B.W. Corriher has both watermelons and pumpkins. Eagle Farms have Stayman or Winesap apples, along with several other newer varieties.
Joyce’s Greenhouse has many mums in a variety colors and types. These plants are large with many blooms. If they are kept deadheaded, they should continue to produce color until frost.
Fruits and vegetables
There are lots of types of greens available: Tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, butternut squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, hot peppers, stringless Derby green beans, half runners, okra, and several varieties of purple hull peas, crowder peas and October beans are all available. Dawn’s Greenhouse has dried and fresh-cut herbs and herb plants. Country Garden Greenhouse and Dawn’s Greenhouse have cole crop plants like cabbage, lettuce and collards for your home garden. Why not take home a lettuce bowl with both red and green leaf lettuce and romaine lettuce for your patio or porch? These bowls will last up to six weeks, and can be replanted and kept on a porch for many months. Picking lettuce for a fresh salad right outside the kitchen door is a real treat.
The Bread Basket has breads and pumpkin bars and peanut granola and maple granola. How Sweet It Is has a good variety of pies and flat breads. Posh Pasta has added candles and scented items to her cakes and breads.
T&D Charolais Beef has a variety of cuts of top quality beef. Their cuts of beef are great for grilling, roasting or slow cooking.
Kellers Koop has fresh eggs from their 24 urban chickens. The eggs are organic and hormone free. They offer a discount if you return paper egg cartons when you buy a dozen eggs. The Bread Basket also has fresh eggs.
A good selection of aprons, hats, shopping bags and other fabric crafts are available.
The Rowan Master Gardeners are taking orders for fall bulbs for delivery in mid October. You can place your order at the market. Pay at the time of pick up. This fund raiser supports the many activities they do in the community, with 4H and in schools.
Sue Davis is a Master Gardener Volunteer for the Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.
The Farmers Market, open Wednesday and Saturday mornings, is located at the corner of South Main and Bank streets.