Thursday, June 21, 2012

week 5

 Attention - If you haven't already - please pick up a CSA Membership Information sheet - or ask us to email you one.  It's summer vacation time, so please make arrangements for your basket if  you are going away! Thanks a million...

Lettuce                        Green Beans              Fresh Garlic
Chard             little Beets                   Summer Squash
Parsley                        Sorrel Cilantro          Dill     Basil    

Elegant solutions will be predicated upon the uniqueness
of place. ~ John Todd

The summer solstice was yesterday - as hard as it is to believe, we are now beginning our earthly journey tilting away from the sun.  The days are hot hot hot and we're making the most of the mornings and evenings to finish the mulching and continue irrigating.  We've had some mighty good help from good friends lately.  That's a lot to be grateful for!  The gardens look amazingly beautiful for as dry as it has been.  The corn and beans keep growing.  Some plants are moving a little slower in the drought.  They are spending their energy reaching deeper to find the moisture they need.  One of the beauties of our low hollow location is that there is water for them to find under the ground!

A good thing about all the sun is that it will be bringing the tomatoes on a little earlier.  The larger fruits are looking less green, showing just the faintest blush. The eggplants and peppers are blooming profusely now and setting small fruit.  Watermelon and cantaloupe vines are stretching their tendrils long.  I'm sweating it out for the first cucumbers to fill out.  The first planting got lost in the heat and shuffle, so we're a little behind on those cooling fruits.  Summer squashes are fully on a roll now.  Send us your best squash casserole recipes.  Here we go!

These sweet little Beets were getting just right for salad.   We enjoy them curled onto the salad with a potato peeler.  The slices are thin enough to crunch right into the salad, adding a great color element and great rooty sweetness.  Feta cheese and toasted sunflower seeds are nice compliments as well.

All recipes this week are from the Mennonite Central Committee's excellent cookbook:
Simply In Season.

Stacked Vegetable Quesadillas
1/2 sweet onion, thinly sliced                       saute in 1 Tbsp oil until translucent

1 clove garlic (or more) minced                    4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, julienned                                        1 summer squash, julienned
1 green or red sweet pepper, thinly sliced
Add and cook 5 minutes more just until vegetables are tender.  Salt and pepper to taste.

12 corn tortillas                                              1 1/2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded
Assemble 4 stacks simultaneously on a baking sheet.  Start with a tortilla, top with a large spoonful of vegetables, some grated cheese, and then another tortilla.  Repeat layers, ending with a third tortilla. Place stacks in preheated over at 400F for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and stacks are hot.  Cut into  quarters and serve warm with salsa, sour cream, avocado and/or chopped fresh cilantro.

Thai Green Beans
5 cup green beans                  Steam 5-8 minutes until bright green and lightly crunchy.

1/2 onion, chopped               2 Tbsp ginger root, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
In a frypan or wok saute in 2 tsp sesame oil over medium heat until onion is tender, 5 minutes.

Add to taste: 3 Tbsp soy sauce                       2 Tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce

Add and cook 5 minutes:            1 cup firm tofu (cubed or crumbled, optional)
Add steamed beans and stir to coat with sauce.  Simmer over medium - low heat for 5 minutes.  Serve over rice.  Garnish with toasted cashews, sesame seeds, or slivered almonds.

I love these kinds of recipes!  perfect for summer birthdays...

Secret Chocolate Cake
2 cups beets, cooked, peeled, chopped         1/2 cup applesauce
puree until smooth, set aside.

1 1/2 cups sugar                                            1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup plain yogurt                                     3 eggs
combine a large mixing bowl.  beat with electric mixer 2 minutes.

1/2 cup baking cocoa, sifted                         1 1/2 tsp vanilla
add along with pureed beets; beat another 90 seconds.

2 1/2 cups flour, white, wheat or mixed     1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt                                                     1 tsp cinnamon
Gradually sift into the batter, mixing it in with a spoon but stirring only until blended.

1/2 cup chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts
Stir in.  Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350F until knife tests clean, 40-50 minutes.  To bake in a bundt pan, pour half of batter into the greased pan, sprinkle chips or nuts evenly on top, then add remaining batter.

Variation: substitute 2-3 cups shredded raw summer squash for the cooked beets.  Use ground cinnamon and add 1/2 tsp allspice.

Paul is in the midst of fixing the tractor PTO.  Another truckload of hay is in order to mulch the melons.  Corn needs thinning.  Cucumbers need a trellis.  Lulah needs to spend most of the day up to her neck in the cool creekwater while Levon tries his hand at rock skipping and the various possibilities therein for good sound effects.  We're busy folks here, so I'll not tarry.

You be well and enjoy the harvest.

Paul, Coree, Lulah and Levon

1 comment:

Barb Schanel said...

Love the idea of beets in chocolate cake. We are having the best beet harvest we have ever had, so it's nice to find creative ways of using them.