I am thankful for the last month. The weather has changed so much and so recently that we have found ourselves willing to play a card game after breakfast, read one more book with Waylon and not go back to projects after dinner. I feel rested and mellow, deliberate with my energy. We are settled into a different pace, tying up loose ends while restoring and regaining strength for next year. Enter over-winter mode!

    Coffee Creek has proven to be a place of transition, constant only in that it is sure to change. 2010 brought many challenges, but with them came opportunities to grow, learn, and transcend the limitations we place upon ourselves and others. Our community has changed completely, from the folks to the flock. Francis, myself and our son, Waylon, are currently living on the farm, building a hoop house and tending a flock of 23 chickens, 17 chicks, 2 turkeys (not by the time you are reading this!), one cat and one dog. The delivery of your Thanksgiving CSA boxes marks the end of the “work” season and without much in the gardens to care for, we will focus our winter months on plumbing projects, board games, and blackberry demolition. This truly is a time to celebrate the hard work we have put into our year and Give Thanks!

    I am so happy to be a part of your thankful celebrations this year, though I must tell you that we were all a little sad to see the turkeys go. They were such a joy to have on the farm that we are planning to raise another rafter next year! Your turkey was dressed on Saturday the 20, and has not been frozen. The meat cures during the days of refrigeration giving you the freshest, tastiest bird for your platter. Plan on dedicating your oven to roasting for some time, as your bird’s hanging weight was over 21 pounds! Giblets and necks are included for gravy or pate.

    A special project I have taken on during recent cold and rainy days has been perfecting my pumpkin pie recipe. And much to your benefit, because this lovely Cinderella pumpkin is not only a great centerpiece, but a tasty desert as well!

Pumpkin Pie (makes 4 small pies or two 9inch deep dishes)


3 cups flour

1 cup coconut oil

½ cup butter (you can use 1 ½ cups of shortening instead)

1 egg with enough water pored over to make 2/3 cup

2 tbs. vinegar

Cut oil into flour until well blended and crumbly. Stir in egg, water and vinegar. Knead until smooth then cut into four or two balls, roll out and shape in pans. Bake scraps with a little honey and sugar for a special treat while you are waiting!


4 cups pumpkin or squash, cooked and blended

5 eggs

1 cup of cream, half and half, milk or favorite substitute. Cream is my favorite, but they all work well.

1 cup sugar

1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. cloves

    Mix all ingredients together until smooth and pour into prepared crusts, Cover the exposed crust with foil to keep them from burning before the pie has fully baked, and place in a preheated 400 degree oven for about one hour, or until a knife comes out clean. Cool in oven, with door open to prevent cracking.

    I haven’t tried to half the crust recipe, but I have frozen this crust in a pan for later use. I have been successful at making one 8 inch pumpkin pie by using 1 c. squash, 2 eggs, ¼ c. cream, ¼ c. sugar and spices to taste. This all comes together very quickly with leftover squash (or sweet potatoes!), and can be a life saver when you forget about a potluck until the last minute!

How to prepare your squash for eating or baking:

    Cut squash in halves or quarters and scoop out all seeds. Place in a glass dish and bake at 350 degrees until pierced easily with a fork, about 30 minutes. At this point you may butter, salt and enjoy, or cool in refrigerator until it is comfortable to handle. Scoop the meat out of the skin and mash, food process, or blend before using in your favorite pie, cookie, or muffin recipes!

    Squash seeds may be rinsed and soaked in salt water for a couple hours before draining, seasoning and roasting lightly at 200 degrees for about 15 minutes.  

    The preserved goodies you will find in your basket today include Tomatillo Salsa, a versatile and mild sauce that is yummy on chips, and downright delicious on a pork burrito. This may not fit into your Thanksgiving meal, so squirrel it away for later. These little gems can warm up the dead of winter! “The Joy of Relish” is my rendition of a Joy of Cooking favorite and may be served on a cracker and cheese platter, used to dress up leftover turkey sandwiches, or enjoyed on a bagel with cream cheese. Fresh produce includes one red onion, one bulb of garlic, 2 pounds of Russet potatoes, 1 ½ pounds Cameo apple, and one Cinderella pumpkin. Sorry, I cannot harvest greens in the freezing weather without the danger of losing the whole plant.

    There are also two flavors of Kombucha. The larger bottle contains a green and black tea blend with eggnog spices, a perfect companion to a large and festive dinner, and the small bottle contains my personal favorite: Double Bergamot Earl Grey. I am pleased to say that my Oma, who is 84 and had been suffering from C. Dificile outbreaks for the past year has been convinced. She has not tested positive for this naturally occurring (but very harmful when out of balance) gut bacteria since she began drinking Kombucha over a month ago! What better time to keep your digestive and immune systems in top notch order than this next month and a half of delicious foods, holiday stress, and sniffles. Drink to preserve your health!

    One dozen eggs for each have come again from our friends at Rose of Sharon Farm in Chehalis, with a little fun bonus: Turkey Eggs! These super-jumbo eggs have a very hard shell, so you may have to use a butter knife to get through. But once you do you will find a rich and luxurious treat that is great for baking or breakfast! I will begin my day of deliveries tomorrow with Huevos Rancheros, which is simply a pan-fried corn tortilla topped with pinto beans, one turkey egg, a dollop of plain yogurt (sour cream), and Tomatillo Salsa. Just thinking of that makes me want to get into bed immediately to promptly sleep off any time between myself and that breakfast!

    A note about your returnable packing materials: First off, thank you all for returning (and donating) reusable packing materials such as wax boxes, plastic bags, canning jars, egg cartons and berry containers. This has been a tremendous help for us, as these items are essential and costly. This is our last delivery of the year, but I will be passing through town on Friday the 26th and Wednesday the 8th of December. If Friday is too soon after the holidays to drop off, no worries! But please be sure to not drop anything off until my next visit, so the gracious Lovedays may enjoy their porch unadorned for a spell.  You may be planning to make pies from scratch and stock from your turkey carcass…but maybe you aren’t. I am! If you don’t think that big ole pumpkin will make it to the oven before the compost, feel free to use them as decorations and then return them. I will also pick up frozen carcasses and send you a jar of the soup I plan to can after the holidays! Send me a note, text or call to let me know when I can pick them up.

    Thank you for your participation in our CSA. You have expanded garden delight by more than you can imagine. It has been an honor to grow a portion of your nourishment this year.

    I hope your day is fine, your Holiday is hearty, and your winter is full of snuggles!

Best Wishes from Mokey, Francis and Waylon at Coffee Creek Community & Gardens