Northshore Magazine

November 2014

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 187 of 259

186 such as Fresh, exposing America's over- processed and overmechanized food in- dustry. "People really want to know where and how their food is grown," says Susan Wood, Appleton Farms' kitchen program manager, who has run educational pro- grams for the farm for the past seven years. She has also farmed at Appleton for four seasons and then worked as a farm-based educator at Appleton for two years, and un- derstands the challenges that farmers face. "Drought, too much rain, or blight can wipe out a whole crop. New England also has a shorter growing season than other parts of the country—it is so seasonally driven here," she notes. Set on 1,000 acres, Appleton Farms is the oldest continuously working farm in New England, established in 1638 when Samuel Appleton received a land grant. Over the centuries, the farm has been used for timber, beef, and dairy production as well as to cultivate a plethora of produce. The farm had been home to nine genera- tions of Appletons, and Joan Egleston Ap- pleton was the last Appleton to live in the farmhouse. Her husband, Col. Francis Ran- FARM SQUASH WEDGES WITH NUTTY GINGER STREUSEL 6-8 servings PUMPKIN PIE BISCUITS 1 1/2 dozen 2" biscuits dall Appleton, left the land and its buildings to The Trustees of Reservations, giving Joan a life tenancy. She left the farm in 1998, releasing it formally to The Trustees. Since then, The Trustees have been reviving this pastoral landscape of rolling grasslands, stone walls, and historic farm buildings. In 2002, Appleton started a com- munity supported agriculture (CSA) program, which offers residents in the area shares in the harvest. More than 540 households participate and currently there is a waiting list. CSA manager Ryan Wood and assistant manager John Berube work with four apprentices to cultivate the 24 acres designated for vegetables. "We receive hundreds of applications each year for the four ap- prentice slots. They are mostly from college graduates who love working in the open air. Farming is still looked at as a counter-culture, an alternative lifestyle," says Susan. "The farmers are up at 5 a.m. every morning and toil until 6 p.m. It's strenuous work—you really have to love what you do." The CSA Preheat the oven to 350°F. Leaving the skin on, cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Place in a shallow roasting pan with cut-side facing down and add a small amount of water to completely cover the bottom of the pan ( approx. 1/4" ). Cover the pan with foil and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the squash is just tender when pierced with a knife, but not mushy. Remove from the oven, uncover, and turn the pieces over, allowing them to cool completely. Note: The squash can be cooked one day in advance and stored in the refrigerator. Prepare the streusel by combining the butter, both sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Blend ingredients with your fingers until a moist, crumbly mixture is formed and mix in the crystallized ginger and pecans. Note: The streusel can be prepared up to two weeks in advance and refrigerated, or made further in advance and frozen. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Carefully slice the cooked squash halves into large wedges or random pieces, and arrange cut-side up on a baking sheet. Season the squash with salt and pepper and top generously with the streusel mixture. Bake in the top half of the oven for 30 minutes or until streusel is golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to a serving platter. *Note: Extra streusel is delicious baked over seasonal fruit! Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a large bowl and blend well. Add the cold butter and blend with your fingers until well incorporated and only small bits of butter remain. Separately, whisk together the pumpkin and 3 /4 cup of milk, adding this mixture to the dry ingredients. Blend the wet and dry ingredients just until a moist dough is formed, adding the additional milk, if needed. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, patting evenly 1/2" in thickness. Using a floured biscuit cutter ( approximately 1 1/2" in diameter, although any size cutter can be used ) cut the dough into biscuits and arrange in rows on an ungreased baking sheet with biscuits slightly touching each other. ( Scraps can be gently re-rolled and cut. However, do not overwork the dough. ) Brush the tops of biscuits with melted butter and sprinkle generously with cinnamon-sugar. Note: The biscuits can be prepared to this point and frozen. Do not thaw before baking. Bake fresh biscuits for 12-14 minutes or just until the center is cooked through ( allow 2-3 minutes longer for frozen biscuits ). *To make fresh pumpkin purée, cut a small sugar pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, and place in a shallow baking dish cut-side down. Add water to cover the bottom of the pan, cover with foil, and bake at 350°F until the pumpkins are completely tender. Remove from the oven, drain and cool, and scrape the flesh from the skin and mash. Store in the refrigerator for up to five days. 3-4 lbs. mixed Appleton Farms winter squash ( such as Buttercup, Acorn, Red Kuri, Delicata, Butternut ) STREUSEL 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature 1/3 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed 3 c. all-purpose flour 2/3 c. granulated sugar 1 tbsp. baking powder 1 tsp. baking soda 3/4 tsp. salt 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. nutmeg 1/3 c. granulated sugar 1/2 c. all-purpose flour Pinch salt 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. nutmeg 2 tbsp. candied ginger, finely chopped 1/4 c. pecans, finely chopped 1/4 tsp. allspice 5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 c. Appleton Farms sugar pumpkin purée* 3/4-1 c. milk 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted Cinnamon-sugar blend Optional: Dried cranberries, golden raisins, nuts

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