Delicata Squash Dream Boat
(courtesy of Pearlstone Farm)
Cut two medium sized delicata squash lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and dispose. Put squash upside down on rimmed cookie sheet; add 1 cup of water to the sheet. Bake at 350 for half an hour.
Turn squash boats over and put a pat of butter and 1 tablespoon of real maple syrup in each cavity. Roast at 450 for an additional 10-15 minutes or until browned and soft. Remember that the delicata’s skin is tender and not bitter so eat whole!
It’s no secret that the farm-to-table movement is growing all over the country. From proliferating farmers’ markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, to specialty restaurants like Baltimore’s Woodberry Kitchen, people are taking a new interest in where their food comes from and how it is produced. The Pearlstone Center in Reisterstown, MD is leading the charge on the farm-to-table movement in Baltimore’s Jewish community.
The farm to table movement is just what it says—a movement to bring food directly from the farm to your table. Restaurants that hold themselves out as being a part of the farm-to-table movement are ones who source their food from a farm, usually one close enough to visit. And if you can visit the farm, speak with the farmer, see the animals grazing or the crops growing — there is a good chance the farmer has nothing to hide.
Farm-to-table restaurants are putting in the extra effort to source ingredients that might cost a little more because it is more expensive to produce crops when the workers are paid reasonable wages and animals are treated ethically. But the increased costs may be partially offset by lower delivery costs due to local sourcing.
The Pearlstone Center is proud of its growing farm-to-table program. Pearlstone’s perennial crops include divers fruit orchards, brambles, perennial herbs, asparagus and gourmet mushrooms on just over two acres of land. For the past four years, Pearlstone’s onsite farm has been gradually supplying more and more of its own kitchen’s seasonal produce. This year was also the first year Pearlstone began working with other small, local farmers to source more ingredients from nearby for its own kitchen.
Pearlstone also supports local restaurants in their efforts to join the farm-to-table movement. Pearlstone’s farm supplies specialty items such as culinary herbs and log-grown shiitake mushrooms to some of Baltimore’s top restaurants. Pearlstone’s farm also makes weekly donations of fresh produce to a local homeless shelter during the growing season.
In 2014, Pearlstone’s educational programming included opportunities for guests to participate in the preparation of a farm-to-table meal, and then to enjoy a meal comprised of ingredients harvested from our farm that same day. By all accounts, the meals were superb.
Also in 2014, Pearlstone started creating in-house jams, jellies and preserves to support year-round local offerings. During the shmitah year, when Pearlstone plans to take a step back from production farming, we hope to vastly increase our purchasing of other area small farmers’ produce. Putting dollars in the pockets of small local farmers is one of the best things we can do to support the local food industry.
Stay tuned for more exciting farm-to-table developments at Pearlstone, such as seasonal outdoor farm feasts, sustainable simcha offerings, and a line of home-made locally sourced products for sale in our gift shop.
Steamed Collard Greens
Wash one bunch collards and cut into one inch strips – you can trim the base of the leaves but keep the thick ribs intact.
Place in large covered pot with one inch water in bottom.
Steam covered for 20-25 minutes or until center ribs are tender.
Drain liquid and add butter, lemon, maple syrup (optional) and salt and pepper to taste.