Monday, September 29, 2008

Newsletter week#18

Red Springs Family Farm
September 25, 2008, Week #18

This week:
Lettuce Kale Apples
Tomatoes Peppers – all shapes and sizes
Basil Arugula Parsley
Sorrel Garlic Nasturtiums

Leaves are twinkling and falling in the sun outside the window, layering the road and slowing the creek water over the rocks.

Good news has come from some of our share-holders – the Kincaid’s second child, daughter Quinn Rose Kincaid arrived Wednesday September 17 at 12:52 a.m. And, Randy and Jenny’s new little girl, Harper Moon, was born September 23. Two babies! We’re so happy for all of them and send special welcomes to little Quinn and Harper!

Eat these flowers tonight. Nasturtium do not keep well. They are a beautiful and peppery garnish to salads or whatevers. Just a seasonal treat.

Who can tell the difference between the Autumn tomatoes and the summer ones? The late tomatoes are the giants in the bunch – some of them striking pineapple variety – yellow with red streaks emanating from the blossom end. We wish there were more, but their placement has created a lesson in companion planting. I’d always heard not to put nightshades too close to corn, as they could share pests, but this is the first year I’ve found corn ear worms in the hearts of ripe tomatoes. Oh well. Our small farm has these limitations. There’s still enough tomatoes to be enjoyed, and sometimes, the worm leaves enough of the pineapple tomatoes to still make it worth eating. We hope you will enjoy these precious late garden jewels.

Time to remember greens. So good!!!

Here’s some information from our friends up at Angelic Organics:

Kale comes in blue-green, reddish green, and red varieties and may have flat or curly leaves. All varieties of kale have jagged-edged leaves and thick stems. Kale has a mild cabbage flavor and aroma when cooked. A longer cooking time I usually best, as it tends to bring out the natural sweetness of these greens. Kale is such a hearty vegetable that a little longer cooking shouldn’t result in a mushy texture. Complementary flavors for kale are caraway, dill, thyme, marjoram, tarragon, nutmeg, allspice, and coriander.

Just prior to use, swish leaves in a large basil of lukewarm water. After any grit has settled to the bottom, lift the leaves out carefully. If the sink is full of dirt or your leaf sampled tastes gritty, the greens probably need to be rinsed again.

How you prepare green for cooking can make or break a dish. It’s fine to leave the stems on small greens, but many green, kale included, have thick stems that cook more slowly than the leaves. To remove them, fold each leaf in half and slice out the stem. De-stem several leaves, then stack them up and slice them diagonally into 1-inch-wide ribbons. If you want to use the stems in your dish, slice them ¼ inch thick and begin cooking them before you add the greens.

Here are a couple of good uses for your kale….

Kale and Walnut Pesto (a contemporary spin on the classic dish)
This makes 1 cup.
¼ cup chopped walnuts 1 Tbsp. + ½ tsp. salt, divided
½ lb kale, coarsely chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup extra virgin olive oil ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Freshly grated black pepper to taste

1. Toast the walnuts in a dry pan until they start to brown and become fragrant (careful, they burn quickly). Transfer immediately to a dish to cool.

2. Bring two quarter of water to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp. salt, then add the kale. Cook until tender, no more than 10 minutes. Drain

3. Put the garlic, walnuts, and kale in a blender or food processor; pulse until well-combined. With the processor still running, poor in the olive oil in a steady, smooth, pencil-thin stream.

4. When everything is thoroughly combined, transfer to a bowl and stir in the parmesan, remaining salt, and pepper. Serve hot.

Sautéed Tuscan Kale with Garlicky White Beans from Mediterranean Grains and Greens
Serves 2-3 as a side dish (I would immediately double this recipe)
12 small to medium leaves of kale 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, + more for garnish
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced thick ½ cup cooking liquor from the beans
1 ½ cups cooked white beans 3 cloves garlic cooked in beans
Salt Freshly ground black pepper

1. Remove the center rib from each leaf and if the leaves are long, tear each into 4-5 inch lengths. Wash and pat dry. In a 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil, gradually add the leaves, and cook, stirring, until they wilt and sizzle in the hot oil, 2 minutes. Reduce the heat. Add the sliced garlic, cover and cook the leaves until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the bean broth by the tablespoon as needed, to keep the leaves from drying out.

2. Push the leaves to one side of the skillet; add the beans, salt, pepper, cooked garlic halves, and enough bean liquor to keep the dish juicy; cover; and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve warm with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.

Obviously, this recipe assumes that you cook your beans from the dry state. If you don’t I recommend that you try it. They are so good. Soak 1 cup (or more) overnight, drain, then cook with bunches of raw garlic, and a spice bag that may contain: sprigs of thyme, slices of carrot, celery, parsley, bay leaf, peppercorns, etc. Bring the mixture to boil, then reduce to simmer and let it go for several hours until the beans are completely tender. Salt towards the end of the cooking. Keep the bean liquor and garlic; discard the spice bag.

We hope you enjoy the greens, and everything else as well!

Have a great weekend and we’ll see you next week.

Your gardeners,
The Entwistles

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Newsletter week#17

Red Springs Family Farm
September 18, 2008, Week #17

This week:
Lettuce Kale Tomatoes Eggplants
Peppers – all shapes and sizes Patty Pan Squash
Tomatillos Carrots & Beets Arugula
Parsley Basil Celery Red Onion
Potatoes Apples

By next Thursday, Autumn will have officially arrived. Wow.
If you ever find that we have neglected to give you something in your basket, please let us know. We’ll be happy to correct our error – either by leaving the veggies at the store for you to pick up the next day, or by bringing you a replacement the following week.

Our friends at Bugtussle Farm and Long Hungry Creek Farm helped fill out the baskets this week. We’re happy to live where there are several small organic farms with friendly folks to share and support each other. Wouldn’t it be great if there were even more?

You’ve got a BIG handful of parsley this week. It needed picking. Medicinally, parsley is not recommended for pregnant and nursing mamas. Don’t hesitate to feed it to chickens if you can’t eat it now. For those of you looking for something to do with this super-green, try this:
Tabouli (adapted from From the Tables of Lebanon)

½ cup bulgur, washed and drained ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
Combine ½ cup boiling water with the bulgur in a small bowl; cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Squeeze water out. Pour lemon juice over the bulgur and let stand at room temp for 5 minutes.

BIG bunch of parsley, cleaned, washed, and finely chopped (food processor helps!)
4 medium tomatoes, finely chopped 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 cup finely chopped mint (I’ve used ¼ c. dried) 1 small red onion
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp. salt 1 tsp. allspice
Mix all vegetables and add to the bulgur. Add the olive oil, salt, and allspice, and mix thoroughly with the vegetables. Serve in lettuce leaves or with pita bread and other such yummies.

Arugula has arrived! If you don’t know it by sight, it’s the dark, round-lobed green in the salad bag. The flavor is unmistakable – pungent, spicy, clean – there’s really not much like it! If the flavor is abit too sharp for you raw, then chop it up and throwing it on top of a pizza, just for the last five minutes in the oven. It also melts well into lasagna layers.

Try sautéing the tomatillos and patty pan squashes together. Chop a fresh tomato and sprinkle basil over the top. Remember to caramelize the onion before adding the tomatillos and squash.

The little tiny herb in your bag is thyme. It’s great in beans and stews, and would be tasty and aromatic roasted with the carrots, beets, and potatoes.

Oh yes, potatoes. They won’t be coming every week, but now and then, for sure. Small baskets have 3 lbs, larger 6 lbs. One pound of potatoes yields 2 cups mashed potatoes or French fries, or nearly 3 cups sliced or diced. If you want to stock up and store some for the winter, we will be making them available for bulk sale a little later. There are still apples for sale, too, 50 cents per pound, for storing or making applesauce. It’s a great year for apples!

Baked Eggplant “Lasagna” (from Angelic Organics Kitchen)

Olive Oil for greasing pans and coating eggplant and peppers
1 large eggplant, in ½ inch slices salt
1 bell pepper, in ¼ inch rings 1 cup ricotta cheese
3 large egg whites, lightly beaten ¾ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. finely chopped basil 2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
Pinch cayenne pepper 1 cup tomato sauce, divided
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated 1/3 cup pitted, finely sliced black olives

1. Preheat oven to 400. grease 8-9 inch square baking dish.
2. Arrange eggplant slices on the a baking sheet, season with salt, and brush tops with olive oil. Bake until eggplant is soft and golden (20 min). Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. Reduce oven temp to 350.
4. Toss the peppers with a few dashes of olive oil in a medium bowl. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
5. In a large bowl, mix ricotta cheese, egg white, ½ cup parmesan, basil parsley, cayenne, (add some chopped arugula here!) and a generous dash of salt until well combined.
6. Arrange half the eggplant slices in the baking dish. Spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the slices. Pour half the tomato sauce evenly on top. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Arrange the pepper and olives on top of the mozzarella. Top with the remaining tomato sauce. Add the remaining eggplant slices and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake until all layers are heated through and the cheese is melted (45 minutes).

We don’t cook like this much at home, but this recipe sure sounds great to me:

Earth Apple Torte (from Vegetarian Times)
1 large baking potato, or 1 cup mashed 1 ½ cups sugar or substitute
1 ½ cups finely ground pecans 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves 4 large eggs
1/3 cup seedless raspberry preserves ½ cup fresh raspberries (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter and flour 8 ½ inch springform, or 9 inch round cake pan.
2. Peel baked potato while still hot, and put into food processor. Add 1 cup sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and cloves, and process 30 seconds, until uniform in color. Scrape into a bowl.
3. Separate 3 eggs, reserving whites. Add three yolks and remaining whole egg to potato mixture and beat until smooth.
4. Place whites in a separate bowl. Beat until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining ½ cup sugar, beating until glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat.
5. Using spatula, fold 1/3 of egg whites into potato mixture until lightened. Fold in remaining whites until non white streaks remain. Pour batter into prepared pan, and place on baking sheet.
6. Bake 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack. Spread raspberry preserves on top. Garnish with fresh raspberries and mint, if desired.

Thank you all for sharing the harvest this week.

Hope to see you next week again!
Your gardeners, Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

“The sun is still high in the sky, giving warmth and glee.
Fruit and flowers all colorful, glow with good cheer.
So come and dance with me, for Autumn’s here.” – Elsa Beskow’s Autumn Song

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Week #16 Newsletter

Red Springs Family Farm
September 11, 2008, Week #16

This week:
The last Melons, Cucumbers, and Summer Squashes
Tomatoes Lettuce Greens (Yokatta Na/Senposai)
Peppers Yellow Wax Beans Carrots
Sorrel Cilantro Parsley Basil
Green Onions Eggplant Garlic Apples
dried Sage Hot Peppers, if you like

No one will ever forget where they were the morning of September 11, 2001. I’m sure we’ve all taken our moment of silence to honor that memory today.

There is so much to learn about being contented, and trusting in what we have. This week Coree has been fretting about having enough for the delivery. And here it is, the most diverse delivery of the season so far! Some items may be dwindling in abundance, but maybe it’s a relief to you to only have one cucumber to eat this week. Each week, we seem to be able to harvest just the right amount of everything. We thank you for your part in making this work.

REQUEST: Next week, September 18, Paul will not be able to come to Cookeville. If anyone has time and inclination at about 3:45 to help Coree unload the veggie-mobile, we would be so grateful for the help!

If you haven’t yet, please take a moment this week to nibble on the white patty-pan squash raw. It has a distinct, delicious nutty flavor, unlike any summer squash we’ve grown before. This may be the last of the summer squashes and cucumbers for the season. Farewell until Spring 2009!

You’ll need to start remembering how to cook GREENS again. The varieties available this week are Yokatta Na, with dark shiny oval leaves and flattened, sometimes purple stems, and Senposai, with the round bright green leaves and round green stems. Both are Asian-influenced cross-bred greens that we’ve found particularly delightful. Steam, stir-fry, or cut fine into salad for maximum enjoyment.

Broiled Eggplant with Crunchy Parmesan Crust
I hear that this is made even better by the addition of a nicely spiced tomato sauce.
Angelic Organics Kitchen (adapted from Recipes from a Kitchen Garden).

oil for greasing the baking sheet
eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch slices
freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

1. Preheat the broiler. Lightly oil a baking sheet.

2. Spread mayonnaise sparingly on both sides of each eggplant slice, then dip the slices in the grated Parmesan cheese, thoroughly coating both sides.

3. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the oiled baking sheet and place under the broiler until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the slices and broil until golden brown and crunchy on top and the eggplant is soft, about 3 minutes more.

Spiced Carrot Salad
In this exotic recipe from Morocco, carrots are blanched until they are barely tender, then marinated in a lemony-sweet spiced dressing. Slivered dried prunes and/or chopped black olives (both common Moroccan ingredients) or a handful of currants make great additions to this recipe. Serves 4 to 6

2 cups diagonally sliced or julienned carrots 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 cloves garlic minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon sugar 1/3 cup olive oil
lemon slices

1. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the carrots; boil until barely tender and still brightly colored, 1 to 2 minutes.

2. Drain the carrots and immediately run cold water over them to stop the cooking. Drain well.

3. Transfer the carrots to a large salad bowl. Add the parsley, cilantro, and mint; toss to combine.

4. Mix the lemon juice, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, and cayenne in a small bowl. Stir in the sugar. Slowly pour in the olive oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly, until the dressing is thick and no longer separates.

5. Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

6. Let the salad come to room temperature before serving. Top each serving with a lemon slice.

A separate recipe posting is going up on the blog ( this week for Baked (not fried!) Jalapeño Poppers. We’re about to have an incredible over-abundance of hot peppers (any shape, size, and intensity you would like). If you are a fan of HOT food, please please please – take all you want.

We’re wondering lately why so many peppers in the store are green. Any pepper will change from green to red, yellow, orange, or purple, when ripe, yet very few peppers are available in the peak of their ripeness – including Jalapeños, which are so strikingly RED and juicy. It’s hard to wait for them, but surely these good things are worth waiting for!

Speaking of peppers, we’re grateful to our neighbors at Long Hungry Creek Farm for tossing in a few extras this week.

Next week, look for more greens, and potatoes.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Your gardeners,
Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

“Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere.” – Abraham Lincoln, from the September 11, 1858 speech at Edwardsville, IL

Baked Jalapeno Popper Recipe

Jalapeno Poppers
12 fresh jalapeno peppers,
halved lengthwise, stems, seeds and membranes removed
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or less, to taste
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
8 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
1 cup panko crumbs, or fine dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
In a bowl, cream together the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, cumin, and cayenne.
In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, and 2 teaspoons of the Essence. In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs and remaining 4 teaspoons of Essence. In a third dish, combine the flour and remaining 2 teaspoons of Essence. Spread 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture into the middle of each jalapeno half. One at a time, dredge in the flour, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat. If necessary, repeat the process. Place the coated peppers, cut side up, on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately with cold beer.

*Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning): 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika 2 tablespoons salt 2 tablespoons garlic powder 1 tablespoon black pepper 1 tablespoon onion powder 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup

Recipe from "New New Orleans Cooking", by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Newsletter for week #15

Red Springs Family Farm
September 4, 2008, Week #15

This week:
Cantaloupe or Watermelon
Cucumbers Summer Squashes Tomatoes Lettuce
Peppers Beans (wax or roma) Carrots Sorrel
Cilantro Parsley Basil Green Onions Tulsi

It seems so much longer than a week ago that we made the last delivery. This time, the weather hasn’t changed, but the garden sure has! Those of you who pick up regularly will notice the decline in tomato sizes – the main season tomatoes are wearing thin. Squashes took a dive this week as well. Summer is coming to a close, and Autumn will be arriving soon.

There may be a break in our tomato-share, but we do hope to be able to give you some more before the frosts come. We have a second planting growing strong with large green fruits in abundance. Hang in there – more tasty tomatoes are on the way!

Some of you may actually be glad to see the decline of the summer squash. In some ways we wish we had another planting started, but mostly, we view summer squashes as a seasonal delight that can make way for different delicacies as we continue our annual journey around the sun.

Besides the joy of seeing the multitude of seedling bursting from their trays move to be multitudes of seedlings bedded into moist rows of soil, we also celebrate our Entwistle anniversary and Paul’s birthday this week. Being laborers, many important things happen to us around the time of Labor Day!

Special request – a couple weeks in advance – on Thursday, September 18th, Paul will not be able to accompany our weekly delivery! We’d love someone with a strong-enough back to volunteer to arrive 15-20 minutes early (3:40 pm) to help Coree unload the coolers from the roof of the car. Just drop us a line if this is a possibility for you. We’d be grateful for your help.

Tulsi, or Holy Basil, is a very close relative to sweet basil. This variety is a new tea herb. It’s got the long flowering seed heads, and to me is smells like a cool wind on a hot day. Just throw a sprig of this herb into boiling hot water and cover it to steep for a few minutes. Stir in a dab of honey. In India, basil is regarded as a holy plant to be kept in every household. It is said to open the heart and mind, strengthening faith, compassion and clarity. Medicinally it is recommended for sinus congestion, colds and coughs, headaches, arthritis, fevers, and abdominal distention. We hope you will use it to ease the physical stress of the season’s change.

Seeking basil-ish information in our library, I ran across this recipe, which seems rather irresistible!

Basil Cheesecake (from The Real Dirt on Vegetables by John Peterson) serves 10-12

1 ½ cups crushed vanilla wafers or graham crackers 6 Tbsp. melted butter, divided
¾ cup + 1 Tbsp sugar, divided 2 lb. Cream cheese, softened
Pinch salt 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 egg yolks, room temp, lightly beaten 1 cup finely sliced basil
1 cup sour cream 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 ½ tsp. vanilla
Fresh basil leaves for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Mix crumbs with 5 Tbsp. melted butter and 1 Tbsp. sugar in a small bowl.
3. Grease a 9-inch springform pan with remaining butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and press with the bottom of a glass to forma solid, tight crust.
4. Bake until light brown (10 minutes). Remove the pan from the oven and raise temp to 450.
5. Put the cream cheese in a food processor in half pound batches; process at low speed to break it up (electric mixer in a large bowl works well, too). When all the cream cheese has been processed, add a pinch of salt and process for a few seconds more. Add the eggs and egg yolks, basil, sour cream, remaining ¾ cup sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla; process on low speed just until thoroughly combined.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Bake the cheesecake until it is set and slightly puffed around the edges, but still slightly moist and jiggly in a 3-inch circle at the center (30-40 min.). The cake will continue to cook and set after you remove it from the oven. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for 30 minutes.
7. Carefully run a knife around the outside of the partially cooled cake to loosen it from the sides of the pan. Leave the cake in a pan, on the rack, to cool completely, about 1 hour. Cover with plastic wrap and transfer to fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
8. At least 1 hour before serving, remove the cake from the refrigerator. While it is still cold, carefully and gently remove the sides of the springform pan. With a sharp knife dipped in hot water and dried, or with a long strange of waxed dental floss, divide the cake into 10-12 wedges. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf.

A few of us have had conversations about crock pickles, and so finally I’m sending these instructions – Mason Jar Crock Pickles – adapted from Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation.

1 Prepare a wide mouthed Mason Jar and a Pint jar – clean, inside and out.
2 Rinse cucumbers. If they are not processed the same day as received, soak them in very cold water for a couple hours to refresh them. Slice the cukes to your preferred thickness.
3 Dissolve 2 Tbsp. salt (I use sea salt) in 4 cups of water (you won’t need this much, but...)
4 Place a couple grape leaves, a couple cloves of garlic, and a teaspoon or two of fresh or dried dill leaves or seeds. Dried peppercorns, hot peppers, and sliced onion can also be added.
5 Place cucumbers in the jar.
6 Pour brine over the cukes. Fill the pint jar with water and then place it in the wide mouth jar so that it pushes the cucumbers beneath the brine. Add more brine if necessary.
7 Cover the jar with a dish towel or cheesecloth to keep out dust and flies. Store in a cool place.
8 Taste the pickles in a few days – within a week they should be tasty brined pickles. A white filmy substance may form in the brine exposed to air – just skim it off – everything submerged in the salt water should be safely fermented. When the pickles are done to your taste you can just cap the jar and keep it in the fridge for as long as you like.

This is a tasty and very healthy way to keep enjoying your cukes when you’re tired of cucumber salads (and when cucumber season ends!).

Next week, look for eggplants and cooking greens again! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

We wish you a wonderful weekend, the Entwistles

“The work of adaptation must go on because the world changes; our places change and we change; we change our places and our places change us. The science of adaptation, then, is unending. Anybody who undertakes to adapt agriculture to a place – … to fit the farming to the farm – will never run out of problems or want for intellectual stimulation.”
– Wendell Berry in his essay Agriculture from the Roots Up.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Tomatillo recipes

Here's one salsa recipe from Tom - we got to try a batch and it was fabulous!

This is a free form type of recipe which varies according to the time of year and availability of ingredients

I make this in a cuisinart in one batch. If you have to use more than one bowl to a batch, put some of the liquid in each batch and always pulse the final product so that it remains chunky.

3 Fresh tomatoes cut into wedges
2-3 Tomatillos
1/3 Sweet onion
1 oz hot sauce (Texas Pete)
2 oz rice wine vinegar
1/2 bunch of cilantro with some stems removed
Blend this group then add
1 can of roasted chili's (or sub fresh peppers that have been roasted)
1 small jar of canned tomatoes
Blend again and finalize to taste.

Hope this is specific enough for's how I do it, not just what goes in that is important.

AND another, loved by Cella, found on-line at epicurious:

1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and quartered
1 fresh serrano chile, seeded and chopped
1/2 large white onion, cut into 4 wedges
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Coarsely purée tomatillos, chile, onion, garlic, water, and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender. Transfer to a large heavy skillet and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cool to room temperature, then stir in cilantro, lime juice, and salt to taste.


August 28, 2008, Week #14

I'm a little late getting this newsletter out. Time is flying....

Red Springs Family Farm
August 28, 2008, Week #14

This week:
Cantaloupe or Watermelon
Cucumbers Summer Squashes Tomatoes Lettuce
Peppers Green Beans Eggplant Tomatillo
Cilantro Parsley Basil Lemon Balm

What a perfect rain! Three days of grey weather couldn’t have suited us better at the end of August! We had a reason to look back at last year’s seasonal records this week, and it made us remember last year’s drought, and how very difficult that was. This year has been so fruitful – so very very GOOD. You’ve all been a part of helping make it that way, too, so thanks for keeping us going.

The news from the garden is that the worst of the lettuce season is over. From now on the lettuce should improve – shorter days are helping hold the heads better, and cooler nights are better for germination. As much as we love summer, it is somewhat a relief to feel Autumn approaching. The garden has been producing cantaloupes and watermelons at just the perfect speed. After the fall transplanting is done, we will be hauling winter squashes out of the field and sending them home to you! We will also most likely increase the diversity of cooking herbs (sage, thyme, oregano…) to help spice up the change of season.

A few of you have been asking about the future of the season – how long does this go on? We’ve been trying to figure this out as well. Our plan as of NOW is to make this main season last 20 weeks. That will take us to October 9. We will then take a trip to visit Paul’s family in Canada for a week or so. After that, we’ll come back, hopefully for one more month, bringing you loads of greens, squashes, and sweet potatoes up to Thanksgiving. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Lemon Balm is included in your bag this week as a tea herb. It is unmistakably lemony, and best enjoyed fresh. Medicinally, it is a cooling and relaxing herb suitable for small children and their mothers’ too. In earlier times, this sweet Melissa tea was drunk to make the mind and heart merry, to revive the heart, to help people who sleep too much, and to drive out cares and melancholy.

Try out Teritar (from Recipes from America’s Small Farms)
½ cup walnuts ¼ cup olive oil 1 garlic clove
1 tsp. vinegar 2 medium cucumbers ½ tsp kosher salt

Combine walnuts and garlic in a food processor to a paste. Cute the cucumbers into large chunks; add to the walnut mixture and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add the oil vinegar, and salt; pulse until mixed but still somewhat chunky. Serve chilled or at cool room temperature.

Or Squash Pizza (same source)
3-4 summer squashes – varieties of shapes and colors, quartered lengthwise ¼ cup olive oil
1 spanish onion, diced thyme ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 diced tomato (at least!) 1 cup grated Cheddar cheese salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 400. Oil a baking dish. Spread squash, cut side up, in the dish. Drizzle with oil and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle on tomatoes, onion, thyme, and basil, then top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and squash soft.

Out of space and time for this week! Enjoy….
Your gardeners, Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle