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Squashes in all shapes and sizes and colors grace our Harvest Boxes in the fall and winter.

They can be intimidating. They can pile up. Many folks look at a squash and think, "soup".

I look at squash and think, "baking".


I have four children; two of whom are teenagers, one of whom is a 15 year old boy whose favorite phrase is, "anything to eat?".


As I write this, we are rounding the first half of the school year heading towards Christmas. Some people count down the days, I count down the number of school lunches still need to be made. How many school lunches do I have to make sure they can make to bring until I don't have to think about that for awhile? I can't wait for a break....but until then, lunches will be made and a baked good is a must. I usually wake up thinking about baking. I run the Rolodex in my brain of what I should make. Cookies, muffins, cake...what have a got on hand?


Today as I scrolled my thoughts I landed on the kobacha squash I had roasted the other day. Bingo.


This particular squash does have an edible skin but this time I was only interested in the flesh, the rest will go to the worm compost. I pop the squash as a whole in the oven at 350 on a cookie sheet and bake until an inserted knife goes in nice and easy. I let it cool then separate out the seeds and the cooked flesh.


My squash wasn't as smooth as I wanted so I softened it a touch more in a pot on the stove with a bit of water and butter. Then I plopped the heated up squash into my blender and pureed until I was satisfied with the consistency.


Ok, enough talking already. I know you came for the recipe so let's get to it.


Here's the goods:

- 1/2 cup melted butter (I put it in a small pot and melt on the stove until melted)

- add 3/4 cup organic granulated sugar to the pot

- add 2 eggs

- add 1 cup pureed squash


In a medium sized bowl combine:

- 2 cups of flour (I did 1 cup organic all purpose, 1 cup Red Fife)

- 1/2 tsp salt

- 1/2 tsp baking soda

- 1 tsp baking powder

- 1 tsp cinnamon

- 1/2 tsp ground ginger

- 1/2 tsp nutmeg


Pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and mix until fully combined then add 3/4 - 1 cup of chocolate chips.


Scoop out into prepared muffin tray.


Bake at 350 until an inserted knife comes out clean (or in my case, until you smell them baking and remember you've got something in the oven!) About 20 minutes give or take.


These babies turned out better than I expected. Moist and fluffy, my kids were pleased.

This recipe made 14 large muffins.


So, if you've got some squash waiting for attention, give this recipe a try! You'll be glad you did!


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Last June Farmer Dan and I hosted the first Valley to Shore Farm Tour. About 40 people of all ages made the trek out to Local Harvest in Chilliwack. It was a great time for folks to hear from their farmer and learn more about where their food comes from. We had fun picking strawberries, learning about the role of the pigs and feeding the alpacas.


This fall we are doing it again! Come out October 1st and meet us in the parking lot for 10am.

We don't like to rush and we want to make the most of our time out there, so the tour will be about 4hrs total with lunch in the middle. Bring your walking shoes, dress for the weather, hopefully we'll be treated to a sunny autumn day, and be prepared to learn and be inspired.


Knowing where your food comes from is a real gift. Living in the city, it's easy to become completely disconnected to that which is supposed to nourish us and the hard working people that grow for us. Take this opportunity to walk the fields with your farmer. Hear him teach about Local Harvest's farming practices and see with your own eyes the food that just might end up in your next Harvest Box.


The wood fired pizza oven will be on and the market will be open as well. Here's the link to register, just so we know approximately how many smiling faces to expect. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/fall-farm-tour-tickets-417753490937


See you at the farm! Reach out at dana@valleytoshore.com if you have any questions!



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"Who knew the hardest part of being an adult is figuring out what to cook for dinner every single night for the rest of your life until you die."

I have been a wife for 17 years to date. A mother for 15. I've cooked thousands of dinners. For many years I resented having to come up with something every single night. It felt like prison. The monotony was crushing. I even made a Facebook group called "What's for Dinner?!" Yes, with the exclamation point too. I discovered through that group I wasn't the only one struggling to figure out what to prepare night after night. If the clock dipped past 4pm and I hadn't started my prep or at least have a direction, I could feel the cold sweat coming on, the rise in heart rate. Just gimme something easy and quick so I could move on with my life. Until the next day. You know how it goes. I'd purse my lips and squint my eyes glaringly at those bloggers who would fawn over their housewife role as meal maker. How they loved it. How they saw it as their God given privilege to feed their family, complete with pictures of smiling children and candle lit table settings and matching plates. Liars, I thought.


A large part of my conversion to happier homemaker (I say happier, cause let's face it, some days it's still a slog to get that dinner on the plate), has been using ingredients that I know where they came from. I can picture the person who grew that produce. I revisit the memory of picking up the meat right from that farmer. I've walked the lands and shaken the hands of the folks connected to the the food I am preparing right this moment. It makes me appreciate it so much more. It's personal now. I know in part, of the work that has gone into growing this food and I want to honor it and thereby honor them.


When you pick up food from the grocery store, it's like inviting a stranger for dinner. You don't know where they came from, how they were raised, how far they've traveled, what they've been sprayed with or when they were harvested. They are unknown, a mystery.


I have discovered when I cook or bake with food I know personally I am much more creative with it. It has sparked something within me and brought joy into my kitchen. My family can also taste the difference. My Pinterest searches have broadened from the 30-Minute meal to how to make gnocchi with parsnips or how to cook with lemon leaves. The food has become a canvas. I am an artist and creating has brought me great satisfaction. Knowing I am actually nourishing my family because I know my farmers has grounded me and given me confidence as a mother and wife.


Of course I don't often cook with 100% known food. That's a real winner meal when that does happen. I shop at the store and pick up my mystery guests and bring them home to introduce them to my known food. Y'all play nice now and be delicious m'kay?


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