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This year, at the Alaska State Fair in Palmer, several new records were earned for produce. Although our summer season is very short, the sunlight and warmer temperatures made for wonderful growing conditions. The highlight was the 942 pound pumpkin grown on the Kenai Peninsula. Other state records were: watermelon 168.6 pounds; Marrow (zucchini-like squash) 90.05 pounds; winter squash 569 pounds; parsnip 4.25 pounds, corn height 13’3”; table beet 32.45 pounds; white radish 13.15 pounds; and yellow zucchini 14.25 pounds. Last year’s state records and world records were a cantaloupe, turnip and kohlrabi. The paper didn’t list the weights for those. This year’s largest cabbage was 85 pounds.
The 11 year old girl that babied that large cabbage to full size said, “We had to make sure the moose didn’t get it.” Moose seem to have their sonar out for cabbage, broccoli, and other crops and visit the gardens the night before you plan to harvest.
Much of the produce entered into the fair is donated to a homeless center in Anchorage to help with their feeding program. They also benefit from some of the roadkill moose.
I baked up a couple really good cakes this week. One was a Maple (syrup) and Walnut coffee cake using spelt, kamut and oat flours. The other was a large Carrot, Pineapple and Walnut cake. I used spelt and kamut flours with that one. When I went to bed last night there were still 8 squares of cake on the plate. When I went into the kitchen this morning there was nothing left! I’m betting that the twins snacked before they went to bed. Either that or a burglar broke in and decided the cake was too tempting to bypass.
Wheat flour is easy to replace and baked goods taste even more delicious when I use a combination of spelt and kamut flours. Sometimes adding oat flour seems to give a heartier consistency. Next, I want to try adding in some amaranth flour (about 15%) to see how that holds up and tastes. I’m almost to the point of blending large and proportionate amounts of the flours into a big container for less hassle when the baking urge hits. Then I’ll only need to scoop flour from one container instead of three or four.
Till next time…