Russ Dirks, a teacher at Landmark Elemenatary school, has been doing some amazing things. He has built a green house with some interesting heating systems. He gets his students to start plants at school and then bring them home to transplant and grow over the summer. He wanted to close the loop and help the students and parents learn how to cook, bake and preserve with those wonderful vegetables they started at school. Fruit Share Steinbach was the perfect partner for him!
We ran a workshop with 6 parent-child pairs where we taught everyone how to make Curried Squash Apple Soup and Apple Crisp. The apples, squash and onions for the recipes were all from local gardens.
Many people are baffled as to what to do with a squash...how do you get the hard rind off? What do you do with that gunk in the middle? We helped everyone through these struggles:
You cut a flat bottom for the squash so it doesn't slip around on you and then you hack off the rind with a sharp, large carving knife.
You scoop out the seeds and gunk, soak them in water, separate and clean the seeds and then roast them with oil and salt for a nice snack.
Russ and I have been discussing developing a kit that could be used in any Hanover school to run these workshops. It would be amazingly empowering to share these skills with all the students and parents of the larger Steinbach community.
Squash and Apple Soup
2 tbsp butter
1 large onion, peeled, chopped
6 cups cubed, seeded squash
3 medium apples, peeled, cored, chopped
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp salt
3 cups water (chicken or vegetable broth)
1 1/2 cups apple juice or cider
In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add the squash cubes and the chopped apples, stir to mix, then add the curry powder and salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Don't let the ingredients brown, just soften. Finally add the water and cider, bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Simmer until the veggies are cooked. Blend with an immersion blender or in a counter-top blender. Return to the pot and serves. Garnish with yogurt or sour cream.