The first frost and what’s left of summer

Despite the warm weather most of these days and nights (even now, with the rain), we had our first frost in our lower field, a natural cold sink where all the cool air flows to at night.  It wasn’t a hard freeze, but it was enough to kill the winter squash plants and the tomato and pepper plants that were growing in that space.  We hadn’t yet harvested the winter squash because they were a little behind this year, and just two weeks ago they were not yet ripe.  Thankfully, by the frost most had ripened, and we got a good harvest, our best yet.  Now they are curing, although we have started eating the acorn and delicata squash–yum!!

We pulled all the ripe peppers as well, and both ripe tomatoes and any that had started to turn in color.  Those unripe ones will finish ripening in storage.  Thankfully, we had tomatoes planted in our upper field too, so there are a lot still on the vine, and those are covered, so the first early frost we get in that field (most likely in the next few weeks) won’t kill those plants and we should have tomatoes for quite a while still.

The rest of the early fall glut is slowing down though, just like that.  This week we didn’t bring cucumbers or summer squash to market for the first time since they started this summer.  It always surprises me how fast this happens, and I joked with the farmer that he should have warned me–I want to know when I am eating the last of something for the year.  Even when I take great pains to enjoy every flavor while it is in abundance, I would pay special attention to that last bit of something for the year!  Luckily, I am sure the kids and I can go glean some of these vegetables for ourselves, since they really are not completely done, just not prolific enough anymore to take the time to harvest for market or the CSA.



So this week, I plan to enjoy the last tastes of summer:  a few more meals of White Lebanese summer squash, simply sliced and roasted with olive oil and sea salt (everyones favorite!) or stuffed (so good!) and yellow summer sqaush diced and sauteed until browned. A few more cucumbers to throw on our salads and as many more as there are eaten out of hand by the children.  Eggplant in some of the last few eggplant recipes I wanted to try this year:  this and this!  And also in some of our favorites that we haven’t yet made this year:  moussaka and white bean and roasted eggplant dip (since as much as I love eggplant, I don’t love baba gonoush).  These alongside yummy winter squash and apple cider soups, turnip and turnip greens soup, and roasted pear, arugula, and balsamic vinegar salads.  The best of both worlds for another week, two if we are lucky!  And then it will be good-bye to summer meals for a good eight months;  it’s no wonder summer veggies are so prolific in their turn, they really have such a short window of time to bear fruit.

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