Tuesday, July 22, 2014

week 8

Red Springs Family Farm 7/22/14

In one bag: Eggplant New Potatoes Cucumbers
Green Beans Yellow Crookneck Squash
In the other bag: Lettuce Celery Basil
Carrots Garlic
And then another bag of tomatoes.

Sometimes the garden season feels like a flood, a wave, a marathon full of flavor, heat, fun, and lots of heavy lifting. We pulled the potatoes out of the ground and down the hill last week and have made a serious dent in the onions, too. Tomatoes are an on-going harvest. The plants are already spilling over the top of the cages and reaching for each other across the five or six feet rows.

Just want to let you know: your feedback is crucial. How many potatoes can you eat in a week? How many eggplant, tomatoes, green beans? Is this basket sufficient, a challenge, or not enough? Part of the joy of staying small is being able to really absorb meaningful feedback from YOU. Be kind, and share your experiences. Thanks.

Oh carrots - there will be plenty more of these. Even thought we had a nice carrot soup last week, I definitely recommend eating them raw. They are sweet and crisp and don't much resemble those long skinny things grown in the California sand and sold in plastic bunny bags. We don't grow long carrots because we have dense and rocky soil, but we enjoy growing short, stocky carrots that taste the way a carrot should.

Two words for next week's harvest: corn, and watermelons. Need I say more?

I dreamed a recipe, literally. After a busy night's sleep, I remembered grinding garlic and ginger with tamari and how beautiful and tasty it was. All Purpose Homemade Teriyaki Sauce: Take about equal portions of FRESH ginger root and FRESH garlic cloves and grind them to a mushy paste in a food processor. Add an abundant amount of tamari or soy sauce and blend some more. Add some lemon or lime juice and either coconut oil or olive oil (or both) and blend until emulsified.

We used this sauce to marinade thick slices of eggplant and yellow squash before they went on the grill. We slathered it on them while they were grilling as well. That worked wonderfully. We made more and poured it on steamed green beans, and then took what was left and dressed a cucumber salad with it. It was simple, versatile, forgiving, and even the kids loved it. Have fun!

For other taste sensations, here's a simple blended gazpacho, adapted from Martha Stewart:
1 cup small pieces white bread (torn from day-old rustic bread, crust removed)
1 small clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces, plus 8 very thin rounds for garnish
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped (about 1 1/2 peppers) jarred roasted red bell peppers
2 pounds tomatoes, cut into quarters 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Stir together bread, garlic, vinegar, and 3/4 cup cold water in a medium bowl. Set aside.
Process cucumber, roasted peppers, and bread mixture in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Puree half of the tomatoes in the blender, and transfer to the bowl with cucumber mixture. Puree remaining tomatoes, slowly adding oil while blender is running. Transfer to the bowl; whisk to combine. Stir in salt; season with pepper. Refrigerate, covered, until chilled, about 30 minutes. Divide gazpacho among 4 bowls. Garnish each with 2 cucumber rounds.                                                                                   

Enjoy your week and your veggies!

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