Thursday, August 20, 2009

Newsletter Week #13

Red Springs Family Farm
August 20, 2009, Week #13

Vegetable medley:
Tomatoes Lettuce Corn
Summer squash Sweet Peppers Garlic
Eggplants Carrots Cucumbers
Watermelon Swiss Chard Hot Peppers
Herb bag: Basil Parsley

Should we apologize for having too many cucumbers?
It’s an ethical dilemma.

Lots of news around here this week. We found the veggie van – a white 1993 GMC Rally 12-seater (we wrestled a couple of the benches out of it to make room for the coolers) came into our possession this week. It’s not a young van, but seems to be well-maintained and strong, bought for a price we could manage. This is our maiden voyage. We’re glad to be able to ride together with greater spaciousness (and air conditioning).

Good news: We finally found some nice fat straight carrots out in the garden! Unfortunately, they’re the last ones we’ve got. August has taken a toll on the lettuce. We just eat it anyway, and hope you will do the same! Your patience will be rewarded with beautiful greens again in the Fall.

The tomatoes are taking a dive. We’ll feel lucky if we still have tomatoes to give next week. The tomato patch looks like it ordinarily would in late September, or even October. Our late planting is smaller, but doing OK, so there will be more tomatoes, just not quite so many.

This may be the last of the melons for the time being, too. We’re watching for another flush, and they should have a chance since the winter squash vines are dying back now.

This week’s corn picking is Ambrosia – our favorite. In spite of our well cleaned and charged electrical net around the corn, we are still giving up more of it than we’d like to critters. We have another week’s worth (maybe 2 weeks? Ask the critters.) of Candy Corn, on the way. The acorn and butternut squashes are beautiful. There will still be food, just different food.

We’re transplanting hundreds and hundreds of baby broccolis, cabbages, brussel sprouts, and kales into every open space we can find in the garden now. These spotty rains have been nice to moisten the soil. We’ll soon be ready for a real downpour, and it looks like one is coming our way today.

We’ve included some very creative cucumber recipes to help you with the harvest this week. You can find a truly astounding number of cucumber recipes at his web site (it will be hyperlinked on our blogsite):

Cucumber-Lemon Spritzer
3/4 cup water tablespoons brown sugar
1-1/2 cups diced peeled cucumber 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger 2 cups sparkling water, chilled
1 small cucumber, cut lengthwise into 4 spears
1. Combine 3/4 cup water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool.
2. Place sugar mixture, diced cucumber, lemon juice, and ginger in a blender; process until smooth. Cover and chill.
3. Combine cucumber mixture and sparkling water in a pitcher; stir gently with a whisk until blended. Serve over ice; garnish each glass with a cucumber spear, if desired. Yield: 4, 1 cup servings.

We haven’t tried this yet, but it sure sounds good. Recipe notes said it’s a well loved treat in Mexico.

Agua de Pepino (Cucumber Limeade)
1 cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks Juice of 2-3 limes
Sugar to taste (1/4 c or so is good) water and ice
Put cucumber, sugar and lime juice in blender with enough water to reach an inch and a half below the top. Blend well. Strain the pulp out of the mixture and serve over ice.

Su-no-Mono (Japanese Cucumber and Noodles)
1/4 c sake 1 1/2 oz cellophane noodles (mung bean thread)
1/3 c mild rice vinegar 2 T tamari soy sauce
2 T mirin 2 medium cucumbers
1/2 t salt 2 oz cooked crab meat OR 4 T chopped red bell pepper
Bring about 1/4 cup sake to a boil, immediately remove from heat, and cool. Reserve 2 tablespoons of boiled sake.
Cook the bean threads according to package directions (usually, boil for 3 minutes). Drain and place the noodles in a bowl of cold water. Run more cold water over the noodles until they are cool.
Combine 2 tablespoons of the sake with the vinegar, soy sauce, and mirin. Cool.
Peel the cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds, and slice as thinly as possible. Place in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and allow to sit for a few minutes. Squeeze the salted cucumber slices. Rinse well, squeezing out all of the excess water after rinsing.
In a (beautiful) bowl, place the noodles and then the cucumbers. Sprinkle on the crabmeat or bell pepper. Pour the marinade over all and serve.
From: Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant by The Moosewood Collective

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
3 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced 2 eggs, beaten
4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs 6 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1 (16 oz pack) mozzarella cheese, divided 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.
In a 9x13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

OH – Please note – Basil production has finally surpassed our ability to reasonably dole it out. If you want to buy extra, please let us know. We will sell it to you for $5/lb. Put up your pesto!

Thank you for your good eating and support. We appreciate you.

Your gardeners,

The Entwistles

“Man’s life on this earth – who has courage to face it? Yet there are the trees, against the dark sky, black bare trees, springing from the earth to flower, swaying in the wind, the low hollow moan of the wind. Who could live without this grace?” - Harlan Hubbard

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