On August 2nd, we were delighted to co-host a Community Kettle Dinner at the Bridgton Community Center (BCC). The Community Kettle Dinner is a tradition at the BCC, and is held every Thursday at 5 PM. We collaborated with the Baldwin Initiative for Food, which serves Oxford and York counties, to share our gleaned produce to create a three course meal. As is the nature with gleaning, we did not know what we would have for ingredients until the day before the meal. It was a fun challenge to come up with recipes on the fly.
The CCFSC gleaned cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, kale, and bok choy from our weekly produce pick up with Two Farmers Farm in Scarborough. Additionally, last month we gleaned strawberries with Jordan's Farm in Cape Elizabeth. To add to their shelf life, we processed them into preserves. We returned to Jordan's two days before the dinner and gleaned chard, summer squash, and yellow zucchini.
Don Kauber, of the Baldwin Initiative for Food (BIFF), gleaned zucchini, tomatoes, and spinach from BIFF's weekly glean at Sherman's Farm. He went on to glean 64 ears of corn from Pineroot Farm in Steep Falls.
Rosemont Market & Bakery donated loaves of day old bread to the dinner.
Joined by two volunteers, the CCFSC team produced a dinner for 42 in just about three hours. For our first course, we served a panzanella salad using our donated bread and gleaned tomatoes, as well as a cucumber dill salad. This was followed by a main of an ear of corn, mixed sauteed greens, and koosa, a hollowed squash and zucchini stuffed with tomato, rice, carrots, onion, mint, parsley, and cooked in a tomato, garlic, onion broth.
For dessert, one of our awesome interns took the reins and made a delicious strawberry shortcake! It was based off Nancy Harmon Jenkins' recipe, which has roots in Maine!
We had a great time out in Bridgton and loved meeting new people, discussing gleaning and local food, and sharing a meal. Many thanks to the BCC, BIFF, our gleaning partner farms, our two AmeriCorps volunteers Haley and Ryan, and Portland Public Schools for letting us store our gleaned product in their cooler until it was ready to be cooked!
The BCC is always looking for volunteer groups to collaborate on community meals. If your group is interested in volunteering, contact Carmen Lone at (207) 647-3116.
Jim's Koosa Recipe
Vegetarian Koosa (Squash) in Tomato Broth
For every dozen summer squash/zucchini prepare the following stuffing;
1 cup rice
2 cups chopped vegetables (carrot, broccoli, bok choy) Can also include tomato
1 small-medium sweet onion
1/2 cup fresh herbs (mint, oregano, parsley)
1/2 cups greens (kale, spinach, etc.)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon allspice or cinnamon
1/2-3/4 cup oil
Prepare the broth
1 1/2-2 lbs tomatoes, chopped
1 medium onion chopped
3-6 cloves garlic, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
2 TB oil or butter
Water as needed
Simmer broth ingredients as you core and stuff the squash
Leave about 1/2 inch space in squash for rice to expand
Pack squash upright and tight in simmering broth
Add enough water to immerse squash and bring to gentle boil
Return to simmer for 40 minutes, adding water to keep broth level at height of squash
Let rest 20 minutes before serving
Note: One pound of lean ground beef or lamb can be substituted for chopped vegetables
Cumberland County Food Security Council
The CCFSC is made up of engaged citizens, community leaders, and representatives from local organizations that are leading the fight against hunger in Cumberland County and across Maine.