Tuesday, July 1, 2014

week 5

Red Springs Family Farm 7/1/14

In one bag: Fresh Garlic Green Onions
Wax Beans Yellow Crookneck Rainbow Chard
In the other bag: Lettuce First Tomatoes!
Parsley Sorrel Basil

July already? I guess so. With all this beautiful rain, everything is growing inches every day. We're working to keep the weeds in check, and the harvest intensity is picking up speed. Personally, I'm looking forward to cucumbers (coming soon). The tomatoes are a thrill. Each one is precious right now, but soon they will be abundant.

Yellow Wax beans are the french fries of the bean world. There will be more next week.

Here's a tip for your basket this week – everything in one bag – the one with the beans and squash and chard – will be excellent cooked with butter or olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Everything in the other bag will work well in salad – of course the herbs can go either way. Even sorrel (long, bright green leaves with the strong lemony flavor) can be cooked in a quiche, but we prefer it raw. Adding sorrel and basil to a salad nearly eliminates the need for a salad dressing. Notice I said “nearly”. We DO still dress our salads, though only lightly in the summer.

Here's a simple recipe for your chard stems. This is the time of year when it becomes more difficult to just chop them up and cook them with the leaves. They are so large and a little tougher than they were in the Spring. But so beautiful. Best find a way to use them...

Chard Stem Gratin (adapted with gratitude from myrecipes.com)

1 tablespoon salt Stems from Swiss chard, trimmed of discolored ends
1 clove garlic, halved About 1 tbsp. butter, softened
1/2 cup panko or fresh white bread crumbs 1/2 cup grated Parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add salt and chard stems. Boil until stems are tender to the bite, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Rub a medium-size shallow baking dish with the cut sides of the garlic clove halves. Butter the dish and then put in the chard stems. Mix bread crumbs, Parmesan, and 1 tbsp. butter. Sprinkle mixture on stems. Cook until top is browned and crisp, about 15 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
    I know it can be challenging to actually cook in these busy times. Even though we are surrounded by great fresh food here at our house, there are times it's all I can do to crank out a salad and a pot of rice. But, it's worth it. Every time I take the time to make something that takes just a little more effort, my family is grateful, and I am fed again, not just by the quality of the meal and the grateful family, but the act of connecting myself to this food. I hope you can be fed that way too.
    We're trying to make sure these little newsletters get onto our blog. If you would like to receive them that way, just sign up on the email link. We only post once a week for the half the year, so we won't fill up your inbox. The blog can be found at: www.redspringsfamilyfarm.blogspot.com .
    Thank you for eating well! Paul, Coree, Lulah and Levon

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