Thursday, July 25, 2013

weeks 6 & 7

OK - finally...

July 16, 2013 week 7

Tomatoes Peppers Yellow Wax Beans Lettuce
Garlic Cucumbers Eggplant Summer Squash
Fennel Green Onions Parsley Basil Sorrel
We're still shaking down the results of the nine inches of rain. The cutting herbs have recuperated fairly well. Some of the next patch of green beans took a hit, but we seem to be over-planting sufficiently to off set the loss. Your beans will be green next week!
The sun and heat is ripening the tomatoes. We'll be bringing increasingly more over the next few weeks. I try to vary the type, size, color, and ripeness in each bag so that you have some to eat now, some to last a little while, and a nice sampling of different varieties. We enjoy growing some really unusual looking but delicious tasting fruits. Please don't refrigerate your tomatoes. They are tropical fruits and lose flavor and texture in the cold. Hope you enjoy.
Eggplant came in thick this week. I only put what I thought you could eat in the bag. There will be more. Experiment with these beautiful fruits. They have the potential to be just as tasty as they are beautiful. Eggplant are also tropical by nature. You can leave them in a shady place on your kitchen counter and they should be fine. Sun will degrade almost anything. Recommended recipes to look up: ratatouille and baba ghanoush. I'm pretty sure there are a few renditions on our blog if you go poking through the archives.
We found our favorite treatment of fennel bulbs last week. Here it is. Maybe some of you still have a head of cabbage kicking around?
Simple Fennel and Cabbage Skillet. Thinly slice an onion (or leek if you've got one), a small head of cabbage, and a couple of fennel bulbs. Wash the fennel and cabbage, but don't dry it. Warm 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet. Throw in the onion, cabbage and fennel. Stir and cover. Check it in a few minutes to make sure it's steaming, not burning. Let it cook 10-15 minutes total. In the meantime, mince a couple tablespoons of parsley and melt 2-3 more Tbsp butter. Mix parsley and butter with a few Tbsp lemon juice (fresh is best). Drain any excess water from cabbage mixture and add the butter. Toss, taste for seasoning and enjoy.
And, a versatile recipe for putting SO much food to good use: Roasted Summer Vegetables
8 to 10 cups fresh vegetables. Cut into bite sized pieces for even cooking time. Toss with one of the seasoning options below. Then spread seasoned veggies in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve over cooked pasta or rice with parmesan grated on top. For a salad, cool the veggies and add some ripe tomatoes, feta cheese, and vinaigrette dressing.
Seasoning options: 1) Several Tbsp chopped fresh herbs, 1 Tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, 1-4 cloves fresh garlic. 2)1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp chili powder, salt, pepper, and dried thyme. 3) ¾ cup italian dressing. 4) 4 cloves minced garlic, 1/3 cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp fresh herbs, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 Tbsp dijon mustard, salt and pepper. Have fun with vegetables!

July 9, 2013 week 6

Tomatoes Peppers Yellow Wax Beans
Lettuce Garlic Cucumbers
Sugar Snap Peas Cabbage Summer Squash
Fennel Green Onions
We're getting into some serious veggies now, folks. Eat up.
Featured veggies this week: FENNEL. Those feathery wands of leaves poking from your bag? That’s fennel. At the bottom is a bulb. It has a strong anise smell and flavor. This is an old world vegetable. Let us know what you think. This is the only time of year we grow it, so if you don’t love it, just rest assured that it won’t last long. Some culinary suggestions for your fennel:
Cut the fine leaves into salads. Use the stems like celery. Chop stems and leaves fine and use them in cream cheese dips and flavored mayo. Store the bulb separately. Trim off the top and root ends and cut it in half or quarters lengthwise. Parboil it for a few minutes (7 to 10), drain it well, and thread it onto kebabs with the summer squash on the grill. Or you can roast it in the oven with potatoes and cabbage. It works as a gratin, too, and pairs well with potatoes.
This is the season of – how many cucumbers can you eat? They just keep coming. Our two year old Levon can polish off one a day. I hope you can keep up.
If the beans are too much for you – blanch them for four minutes in boiling water. Dip them immediately into cold water. Then drain them. Pack into a freezer bag and freeze for enjoyment when there are no fresh Yellow Wax Beans to be had. You can also blanch and cool them and use them in a salad – just like that.
One of my favorite fun things to do with a green pepper is slice it in thick rings, butter a frying pan, lay the rings out and crack eggs into them. It's egg-in-a-nest sans toast. Very fun food.
Wrap your cabbage up tight in a grocery bag. It will keep for a long time in the crisper drawer. You can also make a small batch of sauerkraut. Just shred the cabbage and salt it. Crunch it with your hands until it releases moisture and looks wilted. Pack it in a wide mouth jar. If it doesn't create enough liquid to cover the cabbage, add some salted water. Keep it on a room temp. counter for three days then store it in the fridge and enjoy your kraut. When the summer kraut happens, I start singing “Reuben Reuben, I been thinking....”. For more on kraut, look at our blog or look up
We finally ripped the broccoli out to make room for the late season tomatoes. The chickens are picking over those dark green leaves. I would have sent you more chard, but there's simply no more room in the bags. It will be back.
In the upper garden, the Sugar Snap Peas are just about finished. This should be the final picking. We look forward to clearing them out and digging the potatoes. Melons didn’t enjoy the rain that much, but everything else in the upper garden is holding up and looking good. Next week, there will be eggplants. Take care and enjoy your food!

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