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The season has changed and the local farmers markets are winding down. Fortunately I was able to find some fine vegetables on both of the past 2 weekends.  National trends are indicating a focus on healthy neighborhoods, so this bodes well for our cities.

If you want to oven roast some fall vegetables like the ones in the photo, this is what I used (with apologies for the blurry pic.  *A perennial  reminder to double click on the pic any time you want to see things POV):

2 medium sized, fresh rutabagas, unwaxed

2 small carrots

a medium butternut squash

about 2 cups of very small brussels sprouts

a pound of scrubbed and trimmed baby beets

a small root of celeriac

Dice everything to approximately one inch cubes and toss with 1/3 cup of olive oil, along with a generous tsp of grey salt and a full tsp of freshly ground black pepper, in a shallow 9 x 13 baking pan.

Cover all with foil (remember to recycle the foil, if your county supports it) and bake at 400F for a good 3/4 hour.  You could add some sliced fingerling potatoes, onions, a few whole cloves of garlic, and some sprigs of  fresh or dried thyme –or bay leaves.  This is one of the reasons I love Fall.

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The Native American students involved with the Dream of Wild Health Network recently held their last sale of the summer at Little Earth-  There was a wild summer storm that afternoon in Minneapolis, and we stood protected from the warm tempest… and admired the harvest.

Of course I made a few things right away – cold Borscht, coleslaw and icebox (cucumber) pickles.  When I was growing up in the prairie provinces in Canada, I had Russian and Ukrainian friends.  Borscht was and the famous pysanky, or Ukrainian Easter Eggs were very popular.

I gradually learned how to make borscht over a period of years, particularly after I spent some time in our hippie vegetarian collective with one of our head cooks, who was Ukrainian American.  She could make borscht; and she has a fund of family heirloom recipes with poppyseed.   Actually everything she cooked was quite amazing.  I keep my borscht simple – veggies sauteed lightly, seasoned with salt, pepper, bay leaf, caraway seed and a little dried dill- and lots of good fresh cabbage and shredded beets.  Caraway is very good for digestion and it tastes good.   I simmered everything in chicken stock and let it cool before taking an immersion blender to the whole soup pot (always remember to take the bay leaves out).  Chilled, in the summer, with a little yogurt or sour cream.  Some people have been known to put a suggestion of orange zest in borscht- and it’s tasty.

Cole slaw originates in Dutch language- the word for salad I believe.  I like my cole slaw simple, but I also added pineapple from a little can, as a tribute to country-church basement dinners.

The other two dishes that came out of this trip to the Native garden stand were cucumber ice-box pickles, and some skillet cooked summer squash.  The cuke pickles have maybe 6 ingredients in total: cukes, shavings of red onion, a bruised clove of garlic, vinegar, salt and a bit of sugar.  Mix a light pickle and keep the thinly sliced cukes in your fridge.  It’s very refreshing in the heat of summer.