From the Market Manager
Last week it was 90 degrees, this week as I write this, it’s 40 degrees cooler. Gotta love New England weather.
If you think about it, the weather we have in our part of the region isn’t so terrible especially when you compare it to other parts of the country.
I like the change of seasons; some seasons I like more than others. I’m not fond of snow, but I generally don’t have to go out in it since my children are all grown up, and I don’t have the kind of work where I HAVE to go out if the weather is lousy.
Farmers have many things to be concerned about, foremost among them is weather. They certainly can’t control it, but they surely are controlled by it. This growing season was cool and rainy to start. Last year we had a drought. Farmers who grow hay have to be careful about when they cut and dry it before baling. If it’s too wet, it can get moldy. If our weather is too dry, it doesn’t grow well. Kind of like Goldilocks and the 3 Bears—they need conditions to be just right.
This market ends at the end of October every year. If you have WIC or Elder coupons, you must use them by then; they don’t carry over.
You know that expression that it takes a village to raise a child properly. It also takes many people to make our market successful. This year we thank the Davis Foundation, Concerned Citizens for Springfield (our sponsor), Robyn Newhouse, the Springfield Parks and Recreation Department, TD Bank at the X, and YOU.
1. 4 things to remember about the new HIP program. You MUST have a balance in your EBT account or the vendor can’t swipe your card. The money goes back on the card when your HIP transaction is done.
2. It goes from the first of the month to the last of the month. It doesn’t matter when your benefits are applied to your account.
3. The HIP money you don’t use does NOT roll over to the next month. If you don’t use the benefit during the month, it’s gone for that month.
4. It’s automatic; it doesn’t show up in your EBT balance.
This market is also held here in Forest Park. Enter through the Trafton Road entrance. The old monkey house is the second building on your left. The hours are 10-2, twice a month on Saturdays usually the second and fourth. Our first one is November 11th. The wooden coins are used at this market also. Also, HIP will be available, and we expect to have more produce than we did last year. We hope to have some people who will have prepared food, so you can have lunch there.
This ‘n’ That
Use your car’s ashtray. I saw someone toss a butt from a car on the highway the other day. It’s been dry. That butt could have started a fire if it had landed on the grass.
Put numbers on your house that can be read from the street, AND put them in an obvious place.
Take down tag sale signs. It’s so annoying when they’re left up. Some people are so lazy. Also, if you have a broomstick, whack down the signs that some folks put up on poles. They’re illegal and ugly.
Do you shop at a store that has litter in front? If so, please say something to the management. If enough people do this, perhaps the business will care enough to clean up.
You can freeze peppers without blanching them first. Wash, take insides out, and put in freezer as is. They defrost very quickly when you want to use them.
Buy extra cranberries at this time of year. You can use them right from the freezer throughout the year.
When you make applesauce, you can mix the variety of apples that you use.
Put Cider Days in Franklin County on your calendar. It’s the first full weekend in November. You can find all kinds of information on their website. You’ll be amazed at the many varieties of apples you’ll see. It’s throughout Franklin County.
ReGreen Springfield will be hosting an event to celebrate the harvest at Appleseed Orchard on October 21st from noon to 3PM. This season has produced apples, pears, blueberries, and cherries. They will be harvesting apples at the event and will have additional fruit from local orchards for eating and sharing.
Appleseed Orchard is located at Johnny Appleseed Park at the corner of Rifle and Locust Streets. They will also be having a community tree planting field day on October 25th from 8:30 AM to 2:30 PM. It will be held on Middlesex Street in the Upper Hill area of Springfield. It will include the planting of over 50 trees, a box lunch, community engagement and lots of fun.
Contact regreenspringfield.org/planting for more information.
Complete Streets is a transportation policy and design approach that requires streets to be planned, designed, operated, and maintained to enable safe, convenient and comfortable travel and access for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Complete Streets make it easy to cross the street, walk to shops, and bicycle to work.
Check them out. Go to CompleteStreetsProgram@dot.state.ma.us.
Pasta with Red Bell Pepper Sauce
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 medium red bell peppers, chopped (about 4 pounds)
½ tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 T. chopped fresh basil leaves
1 T. chopped fresh oregano
½ cup white wine or water
¾ pound spaghetti or other pasta, cooked drained and set aside in a warm place
1. Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onions and garlic and sauté over medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes.
2. Add the bell peppers, sugar, salt and pepper and stir to mix. Cook over medium heat until the peppers are soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil and oregano and continue cooking about 1 minutes more until the herbs are wilted.
3. When cool enough puree the mixture in a food processor until as smooth as possible. Return to the pan and stir in enough wine or water, up to ½ cup to thin the mixture to a saucy rather than paste consistency. Reheat over low heat, pour over pasta and serve right away.
Holiday Apple and Onion Bake
This is an unusual recipe that I found.
Butter for greasing baking pan
1 ½ pounds firm, not too tart apples such as Jonathan, Gravenstein, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious or Fuji
1 large onion, sliced 3/8ths inch thick and separated into rings (3/4 to 1 pound)
¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 ½ cups coarse bread crumbs, panko would be perfect
2 T. butter, cut into small pieces.
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
2. Butter a 12 x 8” baking pan
3. Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping layer in the baking pan.
4. Top with a layer of the onion rings. Sprinkle the sugar and salt over the rings and top with the bread crumbs and bits of the butter. Cover with foil and place in the oven.
5. Bake for 3 hours, remove the foil, and continue baking for 30 minutes more, or until the juices are evaporated and the bread crumb topping is browned. Cool slightly then serve.
Dementia/Alzheimer’s Caregiver’s Support Group
Baystate Brightwood Health Center is having a Spanish language support group for caregivers the second and fourth Fridays from 11:30-1PM at the center located at 380 Plainfield St. in Springfield. Please call lea Stein or Liz Santos at 794-2815, or 302-4348 to respond. It’s free.
Donate Cook Books
If you have cookbooks that you’re not using any longer, bring them here and put them into the blue bin. What you don’t want, someone else might. You can bring cooking magazines also. No other types of books please.
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