If you live in the northeastern United States, November brings to mind early evenings, leaves skittering along the sidewalks, the weather getting cooler, and the smell of something delicious coming from the kitchen. This is the time of year when the last treasures from the garden must come in. At Chewonki this means that our root cellar and freezers are overflowing with food that the community will share all winter long.
No matter where you live, these next couple of months present opportunities to gather with friends and family. To talk around the table, to reconnect with each other, and to celebrate your heritage through the food you eat.
At Chewonki, community and food are at the heart of everything we do. Whether it’s around a table at breakfast or around a campfire out on the trail. To help you recreate some of those memorable summer moments we are proud to introduce “What’s Cookin’ at Chewonki”.
With best wishes from all your friends at Camp Chewonki!
News From The Neck
From the Farm
A Blurb about Butternut
(The Story of a Squash)
One of this fall’s heaviest harvests was our butternut squash. With the help of Chewonki students, the farm crew harvested over 2250 pounds of butternut in September, but the squash’s story started long before the harvest.
In January, the farm purchased Waldo butternut squash seed from Johnny’s Selected Seed here in Maine. The seeds were planted in plastic seedling trays in mid-April, the seedlings graduated to the garden in mid-May, and the plants flourished all summer. Squash leaves are prickly and quick to vine, and many smooth-skinned butternut squash steadily grew under each plant.
As the leaves started to die back, students and farmers clipped the squash from the vine, weighed them, and moved them into storage in the Udder Way Out (the back entrance to the dining hall and a room that gets its name because it also serves as the entrance to Chewonki creamery where farm milk is pasteurized). The butternut squash needed to cure for a few weeks for the skin to harden before the kitchen can start to use the crop. Storage vegetables like butternut squash will last for a long time if kept in the right conditions: potatoes, beets and carrots like to be kept cool and damp, onions and garlic want to be cool and dry, but squash prefer to be kept in warm and dry conditions. The Udder Way Out is the right temperature and humidity level to keep our butternut usable through May of 2022, eight full months after they were harvested and just about the time that the next round of squash seedlings go into the garden. Here’s looking forward to plenty of soups and roasted squash in the coming months!
From the Kitchen
Butternut Mac n’ Cheese
Serves 4 – 6 people
Total prep time 1 hour
- One small butternut squash (or half of a large)
- One box pasta, any shape
- 2 cups shredded cheddar, monterey or any cheese of choice or a combination
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed into three tablespoons milk
- salt and pepper
First roast your squash until very tender, about 30-45 minutes at 375 degrees. (peel your squash and take the seeds out with a spoon). When squash is very soft puree or mash well until smooth.
Heat your milk, add salt and pepper. When it is almost boiling add your milk and cornstarch slurry. Stir well. Your sauce will start to thicken. Remove from the heat and add a cup and a half of cheese. Stir well and add your pureed squash to your sauce. Add warm pasta and mix well. Transfer to a buttered baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes until bubbly.
We hope you enjoy this mac n’ cheese. Sometimes we add a dash of nutmeg or cayenne pepper depending on who’s coming to dinner. We also make it frequently with gluten free pasta and this recipe can easily be made vegan: omit the cheese and use soy or coconut milk and add nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavor. See you next summer!
Susan and Russell
From The Camp Office
- Camper Directory
At the request of many camp families we have put together a Summer 2021 Camper Directory. Families who “opted in” and shared contact information should have recently received an email containing info on their child’s cabin or trip group. If you have not received it please get in touch with Andrea in the camp office. (email@example.com).
- 2022 Enrollment
Wow! We’ve already started waitlists for some age-groups and programs. Please reach out to Leslie (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions on program availability. Click here to access your account and complete an application.
- Chewonki Store
Looking for holiday gift ideas? We have some fun new items in our store for the campers in your life (young and old). We’re offering a 15% discount on all orders for camp families! Use discount code SEEYOUIN22 at checkout. Click here to visit our store.
- Packing Lists
We are currently updating our packing lists for the 2022 season. Please feel free to review last year’s lists in the meantime. Packing Lists