The Farmers Market’s Last Hurrah
By Tom // Posted 13 February, 2010 in: Farmers Market
The season at the Midtown Farmers Market officially ended in October, though some obsessive hoarding and a special winter market before Thanksgiving kept us supplied with fresh local produce into the beginnings of winter. Eventually though, we ate our way through our fresh supplies, leaving only a few cans of pickles and tomato sauce as well as some increasingly questionable ‘storage’ shallots. For some reason – and that reason might very well have been a severe case of squash fatigue – there was one fresh vegetable that just wouldn’t go away: a Delicata squash that spent month after month untouched in our fruit bowl. That squash served as a reminder of the warmer, sunnier days of fall as we fought our daily battle of survival in the harsh Minnesota winter.
Eventually, though, the squash was due to meet its end, and there seemed no more appropriate time than our feast in celebration of Martha’s birthday. Cutting into our friend the squash – easily four months after it had been picked in mid-October – I was surprised at how well it had weathered the winter. It was certainly a bit dried out compared to what it would have been in the fall – especially the delicate threads on the inside – but the flesh was still firm and moist. I cut the squash cross-wise into rings, tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roasted them for twenty minutes. The flavor was as good as ever: sweet and tasting of pumpkins. Providing delicious local flavors in the dead of February, it’s enough to make one not revile the very thought of squash.
But, sadly, that is it for our fresh vegetables from Midtown; we’ll have to wait until the market starts to hit its stride again in late May before we can enjoy such treats again.