An update from Alice and Amy
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The Harvest Continues!


We continue to be surrounded by staggering abundance.  Last week we harvested more potatoes, onions, leeks, shallots, beets, carrots, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, lettuce, arugula, kale, mixed greens, apples, pears, and CHESTNUTS!  Tonight we canned 35 jars of pear jam and loaded 9 trays of pears into the dehydrator for drying.  Tomorrow will be pear fruit leather and Sunday will be pear chutney day.

Chestnuts are such an indulgent treat for me, and they evoke wonderful memories.  During my childhood, our special autumn and winter holidays were celebrated with artichokes, braised paprika-and-garlic-laden mushrooms, and breaded cauliflower with marinara sauce.  And the meal always ended with roasted chestnuts, tangerines, and nuts in the shell.  We would sit around after the meal, peel chestnuts and tangerines, crack nuts, and talk.  Later in my teen years I recall close calls with flaming zambuca, but that's another whole story!

When we moved to Cummington there was a huge chestnut tree on our land.  Research taught us that they need at least two to tango, so we planted quite a few chestnut trees around our property.  The first one we planted has come into its glory this year!  The harvest is a labor of love.  It begins with Amy walking out to the trees in late September and scything the grasses down, so that she can see the nuts when they fall.  Late every afternoon she walks out and sees what has fallen during the course of the day.  If she leaves them overnight, the critters will beat us to the harvest!  The husks on the nuts from the tree that we planted open on the tree, allowing the nuts (in their shell) to fall to the ground.  Harvest only requires walking beneath the tree and gathering them into a harvest basket.  But the nuts on the grandmother tree that has been here for many decades are stubborn and might even say wily!  They fall to the ground with their prickly husks still attached and mostly closed.  We can't tell by looking if there is a viable nut inside, so we have to kick every single husk open to see if there are treasures or duds inside!  It's a lovely daily ritual, and are we ever grateful for every single nut.  So far Amy has harvested over 15 pounds this year!  I'll make our traditional cornbread chestnut stuffing and roasted chestnuts for Thanksgiving, and maybe a pot of chestnut soup.  And there will still be some leftover.  Does anyone have favorite chestnut recipes or stories to share?  I'll offer a special harvest treat to the most interesting response! 
Community Supported Foods Membersclick here for this week's menu
A La Carte customers:  click here for this week's menu.

Please visit our website at for further information on all our programs.  We have many ideas about how Alice's Kitchen can help build and serve our hilltown community.  We're excited to share our resources in a myriad of ways.  Stay tuned for more details and let us know how we can best serve. 

It is a joy to provide delicious, nourishing, and beautiful foods, prepared with care and love, for our community.


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