It’s that time of year with lots of squash, and other storage veggies.  That time of year when we can finally take some extra time to cook and experiment. 


We have the new Chef Michael Smith cook book, “Family Meals” which Jeff got for his birthday from myself and the Chef himself.  There are lots of tasty recipes in it, and we are going to start trying some of them.

The first one I wanted to try was Baked Butternut Barley.  This is due to knowing we will be running out of the butternut squash soon.  Squash has never been a big favorite in our house, more because I never ate it growing up and was not exposed to it.  It wasn’t until we became CSA members back in 2004 that I discovered there was more than just Acorn squash.  That is when I learned they all had different flavours, textures and uses.    It might have been a few years before that when Jeff went to a cooking class and made squash soup that I first learned but not too sure.  I did live a very sheltered life in some aspects.

Chef Dave Mottershall introduced me to barley risotto a couple years ago and I fell in love with it.  So the thought of adding some squash to it made it even better.  Olivia isn’t a big squash fan but really enjoyed the meal.

We used our squash, fresh thyme, onions and garlic. 


This is what you need:


2 tablespoons of butter
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves
1 butternut squash (peeled, seeded and diced)
1 cup of barley
4 cups water

½ teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper
a few sprigs of Thyme

Butternut squash peeled and halved

Fresh thyme. - some days we are so spoiled to have fresh ingredients at our door step

Just out of the oven

For the full recipe please see the newest cookbook which can be ordered online or purchased at a local book store.


Preheat oven to 325F

Melt butter in medium sauce pan,  Add garlic and onions   Cook for 2-3 minutes as they cook through.  Add the squash and stir.  Heating it through and softening it.  About 4-5 minutes. 
Add the barley and water, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  Cover and place in oven 
Bake until barley and squash are tender, and water is absorbed, about 45 minutes.  Just before serving stir in thyme.



We also have some extra Kale after preparing Chef orders and I thought we should include it in our meal.  Jeff made up the Bacon Kale recipe on page 211 of the “Family Meals” cook book.  We used our kale, and bacon.  Our bacon is smoked by Island Taylor Meats.

Bacon Kale

4 slices of bacon, diced
1 bunch of kale
¼ cup water

Toss bacon into a pot and add water.  The water helps cook the bacon evenly.  Cook for about 10 minutes  stirring often until water is evaporated and bacon is crisp.  

Meanwhile strip out the stems of the kale.  Slice the stems as finely as you can.  Cut kale into 6-8 pieces. 


Bacon chopped and ready to be fried.

When the bacon is crisp pour off half of the tasty fat.   Add another ¼ cup of water.  When the water simmers toss in the kale stems.  Cover and steam until tender about 3-4 minutes then add in the kale cover and steam until tender, Stir and serve.


Mixing the kale in with the barley when it is all ready to serve was very tasty as well.


It was a nice hearty meal for us to enjoy after a day of harvest and working in the fields.  We will be looking for more ideas heading into the cooler months.