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Serves 6 – recipe by Courtney McDonald

-2 medium winter squash, such as acorn, kabocha or butternut
-3 Tbsp. local honey
-4 Tbsp. salted or unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
-8 sprigs fresh thyme
-salt and pepper, to taste
-8 slices bacon, cooked to your liking

Preheat oven to 425. Carefully cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lay out the squash on a rimmed baking sheet or large glass baking dish, cut side up. Drizzle evenly with the honey and butter pieces and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place a sprig of thyme on each piece of squash.

Add a few tablespoons of water to the bottom of the baking dish, cover with foil and bake until squash is tender, 30-40 minutes. Remove foil and allow to caramelize for another 5 minutes. Add the cooked bacon slices just to warm and serve immediately!

Recipe by Courtney McDonald
Serves 6

-2 Tbsp. olive oil
-6 pork loin chops
-2 Tbsp unsalted butter
-8 fresh thyme sprigs
-3 tart green apples, peeled, cored and sliced ¼ inch thick
-2 Tbsp honey
-sat and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Season the pork chops to taste with salt and pepper and add to the pan (in batches if they won’t all fit together). Avoid crowding the pan or the pork chops will steam. Cook the chops until well-caramelized on both sides and cooked just under your liking. Remove chops from the pan and set aside to rest.
Wipe excess oil from pan and add the butter, thyme, apples and honey. The apples will start to release moisture and absorb any browned bits left from the pork chops. Cook this mixture, stirring occasionally, until apples begin to soften – about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Once apples are soft, place the cooked chops back into the pan, on top of the apple mixture. Put the whole pan in the oven to heat through – about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Serves 6 – recipe by Courtney McDonald

-3 fuyu or gosho persimmon, pits removed, cut into 8ths
-4 radishes, washed and thinly sliced
-2 cups winter greens such as arugula, mizuna or spinach,
washed and torn into bite-size pieces
-2 crisp apples
-juice and zest of 2 meyer lemons
-1/4-1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
-1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
-salt and pepper, to taste

Place the persimmon wedges, sliced radish and greens into a large mixing bowl. Dice the apples into large chunks and add to the bowl. While tossing gently, slowly add the meyer lemon juice and zest. Next add the olive oil and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer salad to a serving bowl, top with the chopped walnuts and serve immediately!

Recipe by Courtney McDonald

Serves 6

-1 ¼ cups strained plum puree (about 1 pound plums, pitted and pureed in the blender)
-1 ¼ cups strained apricot puree (about 1 pound apricots, pitted and pureed in the blender)
-1/3 cup- 1 cup sugar (to taste, depending on the sweetness of the fruit)
-1 Tbsp. vodka (optional)
-a few sprigs opal basil, for garnish

In a medium mixing bowl, mix the fruit purees. Whisk in the sugar gradually, until fruit puree is quite sweet (the sugar will keep the finished sorbet from freezing too hard). Stir in the vodka, if using (this will also help the final consistency of the sorbet), and continue stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Chill the sorbet base overnight in the refrigerator, then freeze according to manufacturers instructions on your ice cream machine. Serve immediately, garnished with the basil, or let set in the freezer for a few hours. Enjoy!

Serves 6; Recipe by Courtney McDonald

-2 pounds small potatoes, any variety, washed
-1 bunch collard greens, stems removed, washed well and sliced into ½ inch ribbons
-2 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
-2 leeks, cleaned well and sliced thinly crosswise
-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
-salt and pepper, to taste
-1/4 cup heavy cream

Cut the potatoes into bite-size pieces and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the garlic and leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes or until leeks are translucent. Season well with salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, collard greens and broth to cover. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Once potatoes are cooked, remove the pot from the stove and add the cayenne and heavy cream.

Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve immediately.

Recipe by Courtney McDonald
Makes 1 quart jar

-5 Meyer lemons
-1 mandarin
-1/3 cup kosher salt
-2 whole star anise
-1 cinnamon stick
-2/3 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice (from about 5 lemons)

Scrub lemons and mandarin and dry well. Quarter lemons and mandarin lengthwise, leaving 1/2 inch at bottom intact. Toss fruit with salt and spices and transfer to a sterile quart-sized mason jar. Use a wooden spoon to press lemons to fit. Add lemon juice and any remaining salt. Seal jar tightly and shake to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 3 days, shaking jar each day. Transfer to refrigerator for 3 weeks until rinds are soft. Rinse before using the rind, and pulp can be used in salad dressings and marinades.

Serves 6; Recipe by Courtney McDonald

-2 heads cauliflower
-2 asian pears, any variety
-2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
-1 yellow or white onion, diced
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 tsp. lemon or meyer lemon juice
-1/4 cup heavy cream
-salt and pepper, to taste

Remove any leafy green parts from the cauliflower and cut into 1” chinks, stems and all. Peel and core the pears, then dice into 1/2” chunks. Set both aside.

In a medium soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet and translucent (about 10 minutes). Add the cauliflower and pear and add enough cold water to barely cover. Season generously with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until cauliflower is completely soft, about 30 minutes.

Remove pot from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked vegetables to a blender and puree with just enough cooking liquid to make pureeing easy. Be sure to get all of the onions and garlic. Discard any unused cooking liquid or save for another purpose.

Transfer pureed soup back to the original cooking pot and stir in the vinegar. Heat to desired temperature, finish the soup with the heavy cream and adjust salt and pepper seasoning to taste. Serve with crusty bread or buttered croutons.

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