Last weekend we drove on over to Soergel Orchards in Wexford, a place that holds many precious fall memories of hayrides, cornstalk mazes and sticky candy apples. But those days are long gone and now the barn where the cider is made interests us more than face painting (thank goodness.) The whole building was filled with the sweet smell of apples. It was really pretty neat how the fruits were mashed and spread on a riveted tray. Then the trays were stacked until there were about twenty all piled up; then they were squished with a large steel “presser.” The cider ran off the sides of the stack, into a filter and then to a pipe that transported that sweet juice into another room for pasteurization. I love the mechanics of food processing, so I could’ve stayed here all day.
And I love Soergel’s, but my favorite place for pumpkins is the farmland near Lancaster. The farmers put out giant piles of pumpkins on the side of the road. Folks stop by, select their pumpkins (top price. . . one dollar . . . no kidding) and put the money in a little metal box near the pumpkin pile. It’s the best pumpkin deal around (okay, it does take a few hours to drive there) and the lack of commercialism is downright charming. Last year I bought a nifty metal stand at an Amish store which allows me to make fun pumpkin piles. Look at the great selection that I chose for my front porch decor . . all at a total cost of about $2.75.
On to other squash. I love butternut squash. Nutterbuts as we call them here. But acorn squash are another story. Why don’t I like them? Why? I feel sorry for the four or five acorn squash on my counter right now. I’ve been accumulating them each week from my CSA box. They’re so cute, but . . . ick. If anyone has a good recipe for acorn squash, please send it my way. In the meantime, I am getting out my fave oldtimer vegetable cookbook. The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash. Maybe tomorrow I’ll post photos of my acorn squash cooking results.