Thursday, August 13, 2009

Newsletter Week #12

Red Springs Family Farm
August 13, 2009, Week #12

Vegetable medley:
Tomatoes Lettuce
Summer squash Peppers
Garlic Eggplants
Carrots & Beets Cucumbers
Cantaloupe/Watermelon Roma Green Beans
Herb bag: Basil, Green and Purple Dill Sorrel

Well, August feels like August after all, doesn’t it? July may have acted like September or even October, but August will not disguise itself. We’ve been back to the creek frequently. Busy in the hot kitchen, hot garden, grateful for every bit of shade, it’s definitely August again.

Have no fear, sweet corn will be back next week.

The upper garden is still a wild living chaos. Our friend and garden helper Wilson remarked that the watermelons were invading the tomatoes. It was clear though that they had little choice, since the Jumbo Pink Banana squashes had thoroughly invaded the watermelon rows. Squash vines are thinning a little bit, revealing loads of butternuts and acorn squashes. As we pulled out the first planting of corn this week, we found nearly full grown squashes growing almost all the way through the corn patch. We thought we were growing bushier varieties of acorns this year. If these are the bush varieties, the vining varieties must be amazing.


Thank you, Dessa, for this very good simple recipe:

Roasted Ratatouille From Cook’s Illustrated Family Cookbook

One large eggplant, diced into ¾” chunks 2 squash, diced into ¾” chunks
28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained, reserve 1/3 cup juice
one red onion, halved pole to pole then sliced ¼” thick and separated
5 cloves garlic, sliced 1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
¼ cup olive oil 1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl, including reserved tomato juice. Place in 13x9 baking dish. Bake one hour, stirring halfway through cooking time.

As for cucumbers, try this one:
Refrigerator Cucumbers

Several cucumbers Several Onions dill garlicpeppercorns bay leaf salt Rice Vinegar, alone or mixed with white vinegar

Slice the cucumbers and onions. Layer in a large glass bowl or jar with the dill, sliced garlic, a few peppercorns, and a couple of bay leaves. Mix the vinegar(s) & salt (about 1/2 teaspoon per cup of vinegar) and then pour over cucumbers. They can be eaten within the hour or in several days. Keep in refrigerator. (Experiment with a salt/vinegar ratio and spices and flavorings that work for you.)

August is long, but fast. We feel the earth’s tilt toward Autumn speeding up.

We are so grateful to have found this simple little trailer for our truck. Today is its maiden voyage, so I can’t rave too much just yet. Nonetheless, it’s a relief to travel together again. Traveling in both the truck and car for delivery was no fun. Even though freezing, canning, and transplanting Fall crops has taken precedent for the moment, we’re still on the lookout for the perfect veggie vehicle.

Pulled from Epicuriuos:

Cucumber Gazpacho
1 3/4 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped (about 3 1/4 cup), plus 1/4 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into small dice for garnish (about 1/4 cup)
2 scallions (white and green parts), coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (loosely packed) assorted fresh herbs, such as basil, chives, and mint, coarsely chopped, plus ¼ cup finely chopped (for garnish) 1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, chopped
1 small clove garlic, coarsely chopped 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 pound large shrimp (31 to 40 count per pound) peeled, cooked, and cut medium dice (8 shrimp)
1/2 cup seedless watermelon or cantaloupe, cut into small dice

In blender or food processor, combine coarsely chopped cucumber, scallions, coarsely chopped herbs, ginger, garlic, olive oil, and yogurt and process until smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and hot sauce, then transfer to large airtight container and refrigerate 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Before serving, stir together shrimp and remaining cucumbers, herbs, and salt.
Fold watermelon or cantaloupe into soup. Divide soup evenly among 4 chilled bowls and top each with dollop of shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.

Dill is such a beautiful herb. I’m hoping we can manage another flush of it for a Fall harvest. I’ve used it with great success on poached salmon. It blends nicely with cucumbers. I recommend using it separately from the basil, so that the depths of its flavor are not overpowered. Rumor has it that the smell of dill can cure hiccups. It is a cooling herb, and a gentle digestive aid.

Please send us good recipes, bring us back blueberry clamshells, and clean grocery bags.

We wish you fun and good meals with these abundant mid-season harvests. Also remember that you have a standing invitation to visit the farm (pick your own cucumbers), wade in the creek, and see how we do things out here. Give us a couple days notice so we can make room for you in our day.

Thank you for taking part in our garden.

Paul, Coree, and Lulah Entwistle

Eating with the fullest pleasure - pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance - is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and powers we cannot comprehend.
– Wendell Berry

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