Seasoned Shopper – December 2020


    The Orinda farmer’s market remains open! Since 1997, the final market of the season was the Saturday before Thanksgiving, but with the requests and support of the community, you’ll be able to visit the market every Saturday going forward. Rain or shine, growers and vendors are ready to bring their best.
    Produce changes with the season so bring your bags to fill with persimmons, pomegranates, greens, root vegetables, early citrus, Asian pears, nuts, dried fruit, honey and jam.
    Hardy squash is a highlight of the season. Winter squash are allowed to ripen on the vine to develop a hard shell. They are as diverse in their shapes and colors as in their flavors and textures and perfect candidates for making pies, cakes, breads and soups.
    Kabocha (Japanese) squash is prized for its fluffy texture and sweet flavor. When baked, the intense yellowish orange flesh can be scooped and mashed with butter to make a delicious side dish. The skin also softens up nicely when cooked and is completely edible.
    Delicata squash is another market favorite and easily recognized with its green or orange stripes. As the name suggests this squash has a delicate flavor and texture and is easy to bake, microwave, sauté or steam. Try stuffing the squash with a meat or vegetable mixture to make a meal-in-one dish.
    Spaghetti or vegetable squash can be your go-to pasta! Once the squash is cooked, remove the flesh using a fork, to produce long, spaghetti like strands. Serve with or without sauce as a substitute for pasta and roast the large seeds for a tasty snack.
    Choose your favorite squash to make this moist cornbread for the holidays.

(Barbara Kobsar, Photographer)
Delicata squash and other winter squash are waiting for you at your local Orinda market.

Squash Cornbread
¾ cup yellow corn meal
¾ cup flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter at room temperature
¼ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 cup cooked and pureed winter squash
¼ cup milk

    Combine corn meal, flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Cream butter, add sugar and beat until light. Add eggs, lemon juice, squash, and milk. Beat together, then gradually add dry ingredients until well combined. Pour batter into a greased medium size loaf pan. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove and cool on rack. Enjoy!
    The Orinda market is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Orinda Way in Orinda Village. More information is available at, and Instagram@OrindaFarmersMarket or call the market hotline: 925.431.8361.

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