Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December 15 - Just We 3 - CSA

What's in the box:
Potatoes, Eggplant, Patty Pan, Sweet Dumpling Squash, Carrots, Beets, Parsnips, Corn!, Celeriac, Garlic, Spaghetti Squash, Swiss Chard and Parsley.

Also, Eggs, Bread & Salsa

Sorry for not posting, it's been hectic here. Well with the 20th anniversary, wow, check this out: Golden Gate taken through the car window. I've been getting ready for the holidays, ordering seeds, clearing out the garden, preparing to paint the living room, chasing cats and chickens.

Corn: Oops, it's been in the fridge. I ate some for lunch. It's a little starchy. Make it into corn chowder. Speaking of corn use the canned corn chowder, I sent last week, whir it in the food processor, heat it up and add a half of a jar of half and half and a pat of butter.

That's it for the Eggplant. The last minis came out of the garden. Aren't they cute?

Looking for a quick appetizer?
Saute eggplant in oil until mushy. Add onion and garlic to the pan, saute until translucent. Saute a few peppers until soft. Add everything to food processor, whir with a splash of soy sauce.
Serve with crackers.

I always thought it would be nice to have a house with a moat. These folks have gone one better.

Of course, no November Honeymoon would be complete without chains...

Roasted Vegetables
1 onion
Couple of Cloves of Garlic
1 small celery root, peeled and cut into wedges
6-7 whole carrots whole
3-4 Beets
4 potatoes, halved
3-4 parsnips, peeled and quartered
2 T. olive oil
1 T. of Holly Herbs
1/2 cup white wine (if you prefer, serve this to the cook)
2 cups Vegetable Stock, or low-sodium canned
One Jar of Salsa
1 bay leaf
2 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees.
2. In a heavy roasting pan, combine the vegetables and olive oil and toss to coat. Roast 20 to 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, until the vegetables are nicely browned.
3. Meanwhile. Transfer the pan to the top of the stove. Add the wine, stock, salsa, and herbs and cook over high heat for 15 minutes. Stir in the Swiss chard and cook 2 minutes more.
4. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, spoon the vegetables and sauce over the polenta.


4 cups vegetable stock (I used Better than Bullion)
1 cup polenta
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup Romano or Parmesan Cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the polenta slowly, whisking each addition very briskly. If the polenta is added too quickly, lumps will form.
2. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes or until the polenta is thick and creamy. Add the milk and Cheese, stir to thoroughly incorporate. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

And yes, I hope Leo keeps me for another 20 years. Here's mud in your eye.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

CSA- November 18 - Just us 3

What's in the Box:
Oh my! Sweet Potatoes, red potatoes, onions, garlic, Queensland Blue Squash, Spaghetti Squash, Eggplants, Strawberries, Pomegranates, carrots, beets, peppers, flowers, eggs and herbs.

This weeks special gift: Pumpkin Bars

'Queensland Blue' is an Australian squash with jade-green skin and smooth deep-orange flesh, whose high sugar content makes it perfect for pumpkin pie.

What's coming in the garden: Greens of all nations, today I spotted baby bok choy. What's leaving the garden? Today is the last of the zukes and strawberries. Okay the berries are very pale and not up to my standards, but hey we have to wait all the way till May to get them again, so what the heck, I picked them anyway. Tomorrow it will freeze. I am confused though, the pictures say it's spring...check out the paper whites and the falling walnuts. Hmm. I must say I have never picked peppers the week before Thanksgiving.

A bumper load of eggplant and peppers. I will be making salsa of all kinds. Tomorrow I begin canning tomatoes (again!). I pretty much going to call this the year of the pepper. We have never had such big bells, Anaheims, or Anchos...ever.

You all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and Hooray for Pumpkin Pie!

Messy & Picky's Queensland Blue Soup Recipe

1 QB Squash, seeded and roasted
Stick it in a 400°F oven for about 1 hour. You may have to cut the squash further to get the innards nice and soft in a reasonable amount of time.
1 can of unsweetened coconut milk (the original recipe called for an 8 oz. can, we used 13.5 oz. and it tasted awesome)
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small onion chopped
1 clove of garlic
3 aji Dulce Peppers (the little ones)
6-8 cups vegetable stock
splash of dry sherry
salt and pepper

Saute the onion, celery, garlic, and peppers. Toss in the stock, cubed cooked pumpkin and coconut milk. Cook for about 30 minutes. Make it smooth with an immersion blender...or get with messy and put it in the food processor and give it a whirl. Ladle into bowls and give it a bam of sherry.

Pumpkin Pie
1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 t. vanilla
1/2 allspice
3 eggs
2 C. cooked pumpkin, whirred in food processor
1 can evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Combine sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs lightly in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Pour into pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees F.; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

CSA - November 3, 2010 - SCVWD

This is the last box of the season. Thank you all for being such wonderful customers and keeping the farm going. If you want to sign up again for next season, see Leo.

What's in the Box
Banana Squash, Sweet Potatoes, Corn, Pomegranates, Peppers-Sweet and Hot, a few tomatoes, Eggplant, Potatoes, Chives/Cilantro/Parsley, Spaghetti Squash, Eggs, Delicata Squash & a Sweet Dumpling Squash.

This weeks special gift: Cranberry/Pumpkin Seed Bread or Coffee Cake or Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars.

Thank all of you for saving egg cartons during the off season. I'm out of cartons and packing eggs without cartons is precarious. You can give cartons and jars during the off season to Leo.

Banana Squash is simple, cut it in half, spray a pan with olive oil and the squash. Sprinkle with brown sugar and bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. You can also butter the squash, honey the squash and add orange peel. We like even just salted.

8 oz. Jack cheese, cut in 12 strips
12 peeled chiles. To peel grill peppers till they are blistered and scrape off skin. (This can be done over a gas burner as well).
8 eggs
2/3 c. milk
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 c. Cheddar cheese

Put cheese strips in chiles and arrange on a greased 8x13 pan.
Beat eggs, milk, flour and baking powder until smooth. Pour evenly over chiles. Sprinkle with Cheddar cheese.
Bake uncovered at 350°F for 45 minutes.

“Sun-Dried” Tomato Pesto
Makes 1 cup

1 cup packed “sun dried” Tomatoes
2 small garlic cloves
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
About 4 tablespoons or more light olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place all of the ingredients in the food processor and pulse to grind. You can make the pesto a bit grainy or process to a smooth puree. Taste to adjust seasoning, and have fun with the ingredients. If you want more garlic, add it. If you crave a little tartness, add a squeeze of lemon. You may need to add more olive oil.

Cover with a bit of light olive oil and refrigerate. Holds for about a week. Or freeze for up to 6 months.

I have sent the farm survey to each of you by e-mail. I must order seeds by the end of November, so vote early and often.

For those of you who asked again for the chicken and jam recipe:

Jammin' Chicken
2 T. any yellow jam
2 T. olive oil
2 T. Soy Sauce or Teriyaki Sauce
6 chicken thighs

Mix the first 3 ingredients, pour over chicken thighs and bake for 30-40 minutes. We have tried this with the Melon Ginger Jam, the Apricot Pineapple and the Peach Pepper Jam. All are good. Zack and Casey like Melon Ginger. With a side of rice and baked banana squash, you have dinner!

Have a great winter, see you in January.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

CSA - October 28 - P&P

This will be the last box of the season for the Thursday CSA delivered to People and Planet

The rain has shut me out of the fields. Look at these beautiful beans, alas farming is a lot like gambling you plunk down your beans and the dealer takes them. The temperature is plummeting and I don't think we'll get these.

The sweet potatoes are still in the field. If, it dries up, I'll dig them and drop you an e-mail.

What's in the box

Corn, Pomegranates, Tomatoes, Peppers, Eggplant, Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkins, Spaghetti Squash, Melons, Potatoes, Cilantro, Basil & Dill, and Zukes.

This week's special gift: dried tomatoes or apple roll-ups

I know that some of you asked me to not give you corn or potatoes, but since this is the last box of the year, I have included everything. If you really, really don't want them, y
ou can leave them with Mike.

The pumpkins and potatoes will last until Christmas.

The poms should also last several weeks. Pomegrante is great in salad.

Grilled Eggplant with Pomegranate Sauce
1 large eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup pomegranate syrup

Minced parsley
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds. Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch slices and place on paper towels. Sprinkle slices with salt, weight them down with heavy plates or a board for 30 minutes, then pat them dry with paper towels. Lightly brush with olive oil and place eggplant slices on grill. Grill them for 3 minutes on each side, or until they are lightly browned on both sides. Remove from grill and arrange the eggplant overlapping on a serving dish.

In a mortar, crush garlic cloves with 2 teaspoons salt to a paste. In a non-metallic bowl, combine the garlic paste and pomegranate syrup. Spread a little of
the mixture on each eggplant slice. Sprinkle the slices with minced parsley and pomegranate seeds for garnish and chill covered.

If you would like to be in the CSA again next year, now is the time to let me know. I have already made some plantings for winter. Our season begins again in late January, early February. You can leave a $25 deposit with Mike to hold your space. If for anything happens on our end, you will receive a refund. Your $25 buys next years seeds.

I have mailed each of you a survey, please send it back at your convenience. Help to make us better.

For the beginning of next season: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Spinach, Carrots, Beets, and Asian Greens.

Thanks to all of you, our customers, who make it possible for us to keep farming.

Happy Holidays. Leo & Holly

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

CSA - October 20 -SCVWD

What's in the Box?
Tomatoes, Zukes, , Spaghetti Squash, Potatoes, Strawberries, Peppers Hot and Mild bagged separately, Corn , Eggplant, Rosemary, Zinnias and Eggs.

This Week's Special Gift: Baked Goods, either pumpkin, zucchini, or plain. Nuts/no nuts and GF!
Yes, I think of each and everyone of you when I bake. & Dried Tomatoes.

We are almost at the end of the season. beets & banana squash.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

CSA - October 14 - P&P

What's in the Box?
Tomatoes, Zukes, Hulless Seed Pumpkins, Spaghetti Squash, Potatoes, Strawberries, Peppers Hot (Ancho/Blocky, Anaheims/Skinny Red or Green =2, Habaneros = 10 on the Scoville Scale and Mild bagged separately, Last of the Tomatillos, Eggplant, Cilantro and Basil, and Eggs.

By the way, I put a mild pepper, the new Aji Dulce in the bag with the hot peppers. It looks just like the orange Habanero, but is red. Compare them so you recognize them later! To the right, Aji Dulce Pepper

This Week's special Gift: Salsa.

Hulless Seed Pumpkins
This is a rare pumpkin used just for oil production. In tests the oil increases prostrate health. The pumpkins should last till Halloween. Carve, scoop out the seeds, whir the seeds in a food processor. Enjoy the oil. Hulless means there is NO shell on the seeds...they're naked. They can also be roasted, toasted or fried. I use them in baking for those with nut allergies. Remember the shell of the hulless seed pumpkin is NOT edible. This is one of Leo's favorite pumpkins that we grow.

It's been a very poor year for most pumpkins and squashes. The spaghetti squash has out lived all comers, but many of our very delicate and delicious pumpkins and squashes will not be seen this year.

Baked Shrimp with Tomatillos

This is a one pan dish, going from stove-top to oven, so use an oven-proof pan.
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped, about 1 cup
1-2 Anaheim chiles, seeded, minced
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lb tomatillos, chopped
1/2 cup clam juice OR 1/4 cup water*
1 lb shrimp, cleaned, deveined
1 cup Cotija queso seco cheese (can substitute feta)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Lime juice
Black pepper
An oven-proof sauté pan or cast iron pan *
Heat oil in the pan you will use for baking. Add the onions and jalapeños, cook for 5 minutes on medium high until the onions begin to brown. Add the garlic and cook a minute more. Add the tomatillos, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes, until the tomatillos are cooked through, but still hold their shape. Sprinkle salt over the tomatillos as they are cooking.
2 If using clam juice, add to pan, turn up the heat and reduce by half. If using water, just add the 1/4 cup of water without reducing.
3 Add the cheese and shrimp.
Cook in a preheated 425°F oven for 10 minutes. 4 Remove pan from the oven. If using a pan with a handle, such as a cast iron frying pan, put a hot pad over the handle for safety; it's so easy to forget that pan has just come out of the oven, and you grab the hot handle by mistake. Right before serving, mix in the cilantro and sprinkle with lime juice and freshly ground black pepper.

This is a recipe from "Simply Recipes" and we loved it. I have made this using the green chili salsa that I made for you all. One jar of salsa, the cheese, shrimp, garlic and onions. Wow was that fast and easy.

Coming soon: Corn! Yes, it's almost ready... and dried herbs, dried beans, dried tomatoes....and spaghetti sauce. That is if the weather decides to pretend it is fall. Summer in October. Well it's good for the sweet potatoes, which are coming along albeit slowly since they never had a summer.

Well, if we don't have a winter, we'll just keep going along.
Have a great week.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CSA - SCVWD - October 6

What's in the Box?
Tomatoes, Melons, Zukes, Pumpkins, Spaghetti Squash, Potatoes, Strawberries, Peppers Hot and Mild bagged separately, Eggplant, Cilantro and Basil. A few of you received eggs.

This weeks special gift: Salsa...Medium Hot.

Fall is here and with it a change in the weather and pumpkins. Make no mistake...these are your pie and baking pumpkins. There were 2 kinds of pumpkins this week, Sugar Pie or Winter Luxury Pie. Naturally to get the pumpkin puree for these recipes, you must pre-bake the pumpkin. Whack the pumpkin in half (yes, whack is a technical cooking term). Scoop out the seeds and slime. Lightly spray the surface of the pumpkin with cooking oil. Place pumpkin shell side up and bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until pumpkin slumps. Do not put any water in the pan. Freeze in 1 cup amounts and you've got what you need for most pumpkin recipes. (A pie takes about 2 cups).

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Bars Recipe

These flavorful bars are moist and tender. Not to mention, they make the house smell like pumpkin pie. Add some raisins or dried cranberries, if you like.

2 large eggs
1/3 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 and 3/4 cups Pamela's Ultimate Baking Mix or a dairy-free gluten-free flour mix with 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 3/4 teaspoon xanthan or guar gum added
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice- or a blend of nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger
1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan or line the pan with greased parchment.

Beat the eggs till blended; add the oil and beat to combine. Add the brown sugar and beat until smooth. Add the pumpkin, beat till smooth; add the vanilla, beat to combine. Add the baking mix and spices; and beat just until the batter is smooth. Add in the nuts and stir by hand to combine.

Dump the batter into the baking pan and spread the evenly. Bake in the center of a preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the bars are firm, and a wooden pick inserted into the center emerges clean.

Pumpkin Ginger Nut Muffins Recipe
1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup pumpkin purée

1/3 cup melted butter

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans

2 Tbsp well chopped candied ginger

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. Mix the pumpkin, melted butter, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, until just incorporated. Do not over-mix. Fold in the candied ginger and chopped nuts. Spoon mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, it's done. Cool on a rack.

Sauteed Peppers and Pears

Hot pears laced with sweet pepper strips are a delicious accompaniment to roast chicken, pork, or ham or served with rice or pasta.

6-10 Jimmy Nardello Peppers, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch strips

3 tablespoons butter or margarine

3 medium-size firm-ripe pears or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices

3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded jack

In a 12- to 14-inch frying pan, combine peppers and 2 tablespoons of the butter; stir over medium heat until peppers begin to get limp, 7 to 10 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon of butter and fruit. Cook uncovered, stirring often, until fruit is soft and tender when pierced, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Pour into dish and immediately sprinkle with cheese.

Pumpkin Chili

2 c. peeled and chopped tomatoes

1 can of red kidney beans 

2 c. cooked squash or pumpkin

1 chopped onion.

1 chopped bell pepper.

1 c. of cooked barley, or bulgar

1 chopped chili

1 T. chili powder

1 garlic minced

1 t. ground cumin

1 t. of salt

Drain and rinse the beans. Put all ingredients in a large pan. Simmer for 35 minutes.

Coming soon: Sweet potatoes!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

I'll be Jammin'

A wee bit of Jam in the cupboard?

My list of using Jam:

1. Add 1 T. to your plain yogurt.

2. Make a BBQ sauce: Add 2 T. jam, 2t. soy sauce, 1 T. oil and spread on anything approaching a grill. We've tried it on chicken, beef and veges.

3. Make a vinaigrette: 2T. jam, 1 T. rice vinegar, 1 t. dry mustard, 1 T oil. Shake it up.

4. Make thumbprint cookies and fill them with jam. Google: Joy of Cooking Thumbprint Cookies.

5. Make Jam Tarts -
Google: Martha Stewart - Mini Jam Tarts

6. Fish Marinade: 2 T. jam, 2 T. sake, 1 t. soy sauce. Marinate for 10 minutes and grill.

7. Make a Monte Cristo Sandwich.

8. Add some to your next blender of smoothies.

9. Use as a topping for a sundae.

10. A little jam in the daiquiris is pretty darn good. Try any flavor with Banana or any berry with Strawberry daqs.

11. Make surprise muffins...put a a little batter in the muffin pan, put in a dallop of jam, put in a little more batter.

12. Make French Toast.

13. Mix it with cream cheese and put it on celery.

14. Make crepes.

15. Put it on top of custard or pudding.

16. Make a trifle:


  • 5 cups cubed angel food cake
  • 1/2 c jam
  • 1 (8 ounce) container plain yogurt (mix with jam)
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon flaked coconut, toasted
  • a few more spoonfuls of jam.
  1. In each glass or bowl, put in some cake cubes, combine the yogurt and 3/4 cup whipped cream; spoon over the cake. Top with the strawberries and remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with coconut, and add a little bit of jam on the very top.
17. Make a fruit pudding by mixing, vanilla pudding, fruit and jam.

18. Make your own jello from powdered gelatin, fruit juice and jam.

19. Make jam turn overs. Roll out a pie crust, take out some of those cool cookie cutters you have stashed away and cut out shapes. Stack with jam in the middle, about 1 T., seal the edges and bake.

20. Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

21. Joy of Baking has a good recipe for Raspberry Oatmeal's jam heavy and easy. Swap the Raspberry Jam for something you have in the cupboard.

22. Baste a ham with jam.

23. Fill your squash with jam about midway through the baking process.

24. Make chicken salad: leftover chicken, any berry jam, nuts, raisins, chives or celery and mayo.

25. Sweet and sour sauce: 1/2 cup jam, 2 T soy sauce, 1 T. Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 c. mild vinegar...simmer 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

26. Yet another BBQ Sauce: 1/4 jam, 1/2 c chili sauce, & 2 T. steak sauce.

27. Add it to your tea instead of sugar.

28. Add 1/2 c. berry jam to your favorite brownie or cake mix.

29. Put a T. of jam on top of a 1/2 of grapefruit and broil. (Boy I was in Florida too long!)

30. Fruit salad dressing: Mix with sour cream or whipped cream (2 parts cream to 1 part jam).

31. Make waffles.

32. Make toast.

33. Stir it into your scrambled eggs.

34. Mix it with salsa, and chopped fruit for a fruit sweet/hot salsa.

35. Put it on top of your morning hot cereal instead of sugar.

36. For those of you who cook carrots....add 1 T. of jam and 1 T. of butter to the saute pan.

37. Buy a store bought pound cake, Cut it into horizontal layers. Spread with jam and re-assemble. After slicing, give it a squirt of whip cream.

38. Make low fat ice cream: 1 qt of buttermilk, 1 c. of jam, 2 cups of berries. But it in your ice cream maker and let 'er rip.

39. Put any jam with fruit in a pie shell (skip the sugar). Apple butter is absolutely the bomb in apple pie or apple cake!

40. Make filled donuts.

41. Mix it into plain vanilla cake icing. Put it between the layers of the cake.

42. Start a CSA and ply your customers with it.

43. Give it as Christmas gifts, and buy your favorite CSA a box of jars :). Hey, I like that idea!

44. Trade in any flavors you loathe for one you love. Just e-mail me.

Have a good week. You'll all be happy to know that there will be no more jam for this season. Salsa and Spaghetti Sauce....but no more jam.

CSA - September 30 - P & P

What's in the Box?
Tomatoes, Melons, Zukes, Delicata or Sweet Dumpling Squash, Potatoes, Strawberries, Peppers, Eggplant, Chives and Basil. A few of you received eggs.

This weeks special gift: Apricot or Apple Conserves

Conserves are not "jam" instead they are a condiment. I like the Apple Conserves stirred into Pumpkin Soup. Try either of them on roasted chicken or turkey.

One of Leo's favorites is on Short Ribs:

Dry the Short Ribs thoroughly with a paper towel. Damp meat doesn't brown well. Brown it well on each side. Add a chopped onion to the pan and saute it. Add 1/2 c. apple juice and 1 c. of conserve. Let it cook for 30 minutes, covered. After 30 minutes plate up the meat and reduce the sauce by about 1/2. Serve on meat.

Delicata Squash
Winter squash are one of those comfort foods I always look forward to each fall and winter. Unlike summer squash, winter squash which have been properly cured store quite well. When stored in a cool (45 to 50 degree) dry place such as a basement or garage, the large hard rind winter squash can be stored up to 3 months.
1 Delicata squash
1 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
Pinch of salt
A pinch of fresh ground pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Using a strong knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise. Spoon out seeds and stringy bits in the center of each half. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Rub 1/2 Tbsp. butter on the inside of each half. Add a pinch of salt (and black pepper, if you wish), add 1 Tbsp brown sugar to each half, then drizzle each half with maple syrup. Adding a little water, about 1/4 inch, to the bottom of the baking pan will help keep the squash from drying out. Bake for an hour, or until the squash is very soft. When serving, if there is any of the sugary butter sauce left, spoon that over the squash.

Stuffed Squash

2 sweet dumpling or two delicata squash
salt and pepper
¼ cup pecans
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup red pepper, diced
1/3 cup green pepper, diced
1 small stalk of celery, diced
1/3 cup sweet, white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
¼ cup raisins
½ cup brown rice
1 ¼ cup water

Add the rice and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 45-50 minutes. When it’s done, all the water will be absorbed and the rice fluff with a fork. While the rice cooks, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Take the squash & cut lengthwise.

Spoon out the seeds in each squash half. Season the cavity with salt and pepper. Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes. When it is done, you will be able to press on the skin, and it will give because the inner flesh will be softened.

While it cooks, heat up the oil in a large pan and saute the vegetables along with the salt and pepper. About half way through the cooking time, add the raisins and garlic. When the vegetable mixture is cooked till it is soft and slightly browned, transfer the mixture to a medium mixing bowl. Add the rice and the pecans.

Place the mixture into the squash halves. Over-stuffing is just fine! Bake another 20 minutes. You can also do the Delicata this same way and serve them side by side.

Squash Conserve
After roasting the Delicata or the Dumpling, you can spoon some conserve inside and bake them for about 10 minutes longer.


In October we will go to every other week on the box delivery.

OCTOBER 14 is the P & P Delivery Date.

Fall Sunsets on the Farm.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CSA - September 29 - SCVWD

What's in the Box?
Tomatoes, Melons, Zukes, Delicata Squash, Potatoes, Tomatillos, Strawberries, Peppers, Eggplant, and Rosemary. A few of you received eggs.

This weeks special gift: Salsa Verde

Melon Thieves
Once again this year, the melon patch has been struck by thieves. They took all second picking of the Rare Grover Delaney Watermelons. So, this picture is all you're going to get. It took 100 days to grow these melons. I hope that some of you have kindly saved me seed. Since I can't buy this seed, I can't replace it. Wouldn't it be a shame if this melon became extinct because of greed. Since my brother owns the farm, he won't let me put up a fence. Leo will not let me have a handgun. For some reason he thinks that angry farm women, missing melons and guns are a dangerous mix. Next year, I'm getting a goose. Nothing sets up a good racket like a goose disturbed in the middle of the night...

Farming is a stressful occupation. First there's the weather and then the pests. I have all the usual problems, gophers in the beans, beetles in the cucumbers,
diabolical dibrotica in everything they can chew, an infestation of squash bugs threatening the meager pumpkin harvest, and look to your right, some creature has taken it into their mind to show up at night and browse the sweet potatoes. And now I have the 2 legged pests back again. End of Rant. Segue the recipes.

Spaghetti Squash with Chili
1 Spaghetti Squash
1 lb ground beef or soy burger
1 onion chopped
1 garlic minced
1 Ancho & 1 Anaheim or a couple of bell peppers if you're filling puny
5-10 chopped tomatoes
1 can of pinto beans or 2 cups of already cooked homemade beans
2 t. chili powder
salt, pepper & Oregano to taste
Pepper or Regular Jack Cheese grated

To Microwave (shudder) a spaghetti squash, slice it in half (CAREFUL - the skin is tough), put the cut side down in a baking dish and add 1/4 c water. Cover and nuke for 15 minutes, Let stand another 5 minutes and without scalding yourself, remove and strand into a bowl. Keep warm while making the chili.

In a little oil, saute the onion and garlic, add the beef and brown. (If using soy burger, do not add the very end and they heat through till hot).

Flame the chilis over your gas burner and remove the skin. Chop and add to burger mixture. Chop tomatoes and add to burger mixture. Add the beans, chili powder, salt and pepper and simmer until it looks yummy, about 10 minutes if you're really hungry, or 20 if you can stand to wait. Plate up the Spaghetti Squash, spoon chili over top, garnish with cheese.

Salsa Verde Casserole
2 cups leftover cooked pasta
1 jar Salsa Verde
1 sack of cherry tomatoes/halved
1 onion chopped
1 garlic chopped
2-3 bell peppers chopped
1 t. chili powder
1 t. cumin
salt & pepper
1 cup of Mozzarella
1 cup of Pepper Jack cheese or regular Jack cheese
2 cups left over chicken (if desired) or shrimp.

Saute the onion, garlic and bell peppers, add the cherry tomatoes and spices and meat. Set aside. Spray the bottom of a LOAF pan with non-stick spray and put a little of the meat mixture in the bottom (about 1/4). Layer pasta and Mozzarella cheese. Repeat until the loaf pan is almost full. Pour the salsa over the top of the whole mess and top with Pepper Jack. Bake 350 degrees, 20 minutes. I have added leftover corn, hard boiled eggs, ricotta, olives and it's all good.

Have a nice week. Remember, next week begins October and we go to every other week. There will be box next week, except there will be no melons. Those of you sharing a box, will both get one next week! Hey, so don't forget to return your boxes!

Monday, September 27, 2010


Not the Salsa! The temperature. It's 103. The salsa is only moderate and will be in your boxes come Mid-October.

Reminder that in October we go to every other week again and will continue until first frost. Which could be just before Thanksgiving or at Halloween.


People and Planet:
Thursdays: September 30, October 14, October 28 and then we shall see!

Wednesdays: September 29, October 6, October 20, November permitting.

What's coming?
Sweet Potatoes, Sweet Dumpling Squash, Cantaloupes, Dry Beans, Pumpkins, Spaghetti Squash. Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant, and Strawberries until first frost. We might even get another batch of sweet corn, green beans and cucumbers...however if the weather is going to jump from 80 to 100 every week, things could get ugly.

I planted cabbage and cauliflower just before the temperature began to sizzle. It's possible that we could see these before Thanksgiving.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

CSA - September 23 - P & P

What's in the Box

Melons - Grover Delaney Watermelons or Sugar Baby Watermelons and cantaloupes, spaghetti squash, cilantro, tomatoes, eggplant, eggs, potatoes,
tomatillos, peppers, strawberries, and zucchini.

This week's special gift: salsa verde

There's so many peppers and so many of you getting confused between the hot ones and the mild ones...I bagged the hot ones and labeled them hot. Remember the little orange ones are Habaneros and very very hot.

Speaking of hot, this weekend is supposed to be August HOT. Take it easy. Those of you going to Po Girl, we'll see you there. Those of you going to the Taste of Morgan Hill, we'll see you there too. When it hits triple digits, everyone should take it easy.

Hey, check out Otis and his buddy, Spike. The drop trap is coming and Spike will soon be neutered...or is that spayed? Yesterday Mama Kitty went to be fixed. She comes home tomorrow to be in the bathroom/aka the kitty hospital for 3 days. Okay, we now have 6 feral cats in the garden. Thanks God for the blessings, can you stop sending them now? We can't afford to feed anymore of them, they don't eat vegetables.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

CSA September 22 - SCVWD

What's in the Box
Melons - Grover Delaney Watermelons (please save the seed) and cantaloupes, spaghetti squash, walnuts, basil, tomatoes, eggplant, eggs, potatoes,
tomatillos, peppers, and zucchini. This week's special gift: tomato sauce

NOTE: Everyone got one of these little habanero peppers in their box. These are a 10 on the Scoville Scale....."a leetle goes a long way."
Wear gloves and do not touch your eyes, nose, mouth or any mucus membrane. I use 3 of these to can 10 pints of salsa. (Leo eats them raw and gets the hiccups till I give him a glass of milk).
Cooking Spaghetti Squash
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife. Turn squash over and cover with foil again and continue to cook another 15 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel and place the squash strands into a mixing bowl.

Heat a skillet. Add the butter, spaghetti squash & choose a variation * and toss thoroughly but gently to heat and combine. Serve immediately or cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

*The Goldberg Variations of Spaghetti Squash

Spicy Sweet: Saute some peppers in the butter and then add a little maple syrup, cinnamon and chopped sauteed peppers. I like using the Jimmy Nardello (red mild pepper) for this recipe. It's really not spicy...just sweet. But every now and then I do this Anaheims and that totally changes the taste. Walnuts go great with this.

Curried: Chop some tomatoes, peppers, into the butter, add a half a can of coconut milk and a some curry powder, fresh ginger and a little cardamon or cinnamon.

Cheesy Herb: Stir in thyme, parsley, basil, cream, salt, pepper and grated cheese.

Saucy: Add a little olive oil to the butter, saute some peppers, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Add a few olives, salt & pepper and stir 1/2 jar of Holly Tomato Sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Have a good week.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Eggplant Recipes

Eggplant Parmigiana Variation

Slice eggplant and sprinkle with salt, allow to rest on paper towels for 5 minutes: dip slices in slightly beaten eg
g and then Italian-style crumbs. Saute the slices in a half/half mixture of olive oil and butter until brown on both sides. Pour spaghetti sauce into the skillet and heat to de-glaze the skillet. Pour sauce in the bottom of a baking pan and top with eggplant. Top each eggplant with a tomato. Cover each with slabs of Mozzerella cheese.

Peel and slice zucchini: dip slices in slightly beaten egg and then Italian-style crumbs. Saute the slices in a half/half mixture of olive oil and butter until brown on both sides. Arrange the slices on top of the cheese.

Top each with a little chopped basil mixed with olive oil (or pesto if you have any on hand) and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 350 degrees until cheese is bubbly about 20 minutes.

Grilled Baba Ghanoush with Grilled Naan

1 large firm eggplant (about 1 1/3 pounds), cut in half lengthwise
olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup minced shallots
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
olive oil

Preheat grill. Brush flesh of the eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill flesh-side down for 15 to 20 minutes, turn over and grill an additional 15 minutes, or until soft. Let cool slightly and remove the flesh with a large spoon and mince.. In a large bowl, mix the tahini, garlic, shallot, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, cilantro together until combined. Fold in the eggplant and re-season with salt and pepper and more lemon juice if necessary.

Brush naan with olive oil on both sides and grill for 1 to 2 minutes on each side. The Garlic Naan at Trader Joe's is pretty good, if you don't make your own.


1 eggplant large size, or several smaller ones
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1 green chili, chopped
1 -inch ginger, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

Peel and cut the eggplant into pieces about 1 inch square. Saute them in peanut and sesame oil. Let them become really squishy. Remove the eggplant and let them cool. Whir them in a food processor and set them aside.

Saute all the other ingredients, whir in food processor add spices, lime juice, salt and eggplant. Makes a great sandwich, or serve on crackers as a dip.

Stuffed Eggplant

4-6 eggplants
Day-old bread, crusts removed and crumbled (for amounts see below)
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup Italian flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
A sprig of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano, grated
olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Stem the eggplants but don't peel them. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, sprinkle with salt and set flesh side down on a paper towel for about 5 minutes. Then scoop out the pulp with a spoon, leaving about 1/2-inch from the skins.

Sliver the pulp–for each cup of chopped eggplant pulp you’ll need about 3/4 cup crumbled stale bread. Mix the slivered pulp with the bread, garlic, parsley, mint and cheese, a glug of olive oil and season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.

Lightly grease the skins of the eggplant shells with a dab of olive oil, and place in a parchment paper-lined ovenproof dish.

Heap the shells with the mixture, drizzle with more olive oil, and bake at moderate temperature (190° C / 375° F) until done, roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour.


The Concords are Here

And the Juicing begins. After the grapes are washed, stemmed and juiced, the juice sits in the fridge for a day or two. This lets the hat and juice separate, kind of like making wine. Then we scoop off the hat and filter the remaining juice. Finally, it all comes into the kitchen and becomes grape jelly.

There's only one problem...132 jars are at your house and only one dozen at my house.

Please, please try and send back jars this week.

And oh, no that is not, no that is not all. Tomatillos are here, not just a few, but hundreds of them! Purple de Milpas, Giant Cizneros and Toma Verdes are all here. So the making of green salsa begins. Oh, jars. Help!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

CSA - September 16 - P&P

What's in the Box?
Strawberries, Grapes, Bidwell Casaba Melon, or Grover Delaney Watermelon or Strawberry Watermelon, Zukes, tomatoes, peppers (even some Anaheims), tomatillos, eggplant, eggs, basil and flowers.

This week's special gift: Peach Pepper Jelly

I am asking each of you who received Bidwell Casaba or Grover Delaney
Watermelons to please save the seeds for me and return them in an envelope. Simply, just eat, spit the seed out on a plate and after a couple of days put them in an envelope. Normally, I keep all the rare produce and do the seed saving myself. However, then you wouldn't get to taste them. What good is that? As far as I know, I am the only grower on the West Coast preserving the seeds of the Grover Delaney Watermelon. By saving these seeds you help conserve a variety that is already extremely rare. Many of you know that the Bidwell Casaba is also being grown in Chico. Now, you are all seed savers!

And the winner for the biggest boat of the season is.....Zucca Rampicante! Yeah, the best tasting as well. Luckily, I need the seeds for this, so we are just going to let it grow. Beth believes Leo and I will load it on the car and take it out paddling!

In the middle of the bowl:
Listada de Gandia - a striped beauty, Rosa Bianca - the pale mottled eggplant near the flower, Black Beauty - very dark purple, under the flower, Beatrice - the lovely magenta on the far left.
Any of these varieties can be used in any Eggplant recipe.

I'll put them under a separate post.

Regarding the Anaheims, these are the hottest peppers that you have received, and these are still on the low 2 scale of Scoville. Just enough of a bite in these for salsa.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

CSA - September 15 - SCVWD

What's in the Box?
Strawberries, Grapes, Bidwell Casaba Melon, Cukes, Zukes, tomatoes, peppers (even some Anaheims), tomatillos, corn, eggs and flowers.

This week's special gift: Assorted Jams and Relish

I hope all of you are enjoying the heirloom tomatoes. This is the biggest of the season. Beth thought it was two tomatoes at first, it is very close to 2 pounds. It made one whole batch of marinara sauce.

Yesterday morning it was down to 45 degrees, Autumn is definitely here. The garden is starting to slow a pace. Beginning in October we will go to every other week. For those of you on a share box, this won't affect you, you will still receive a box every other week.

The schedule for SCVWD will be:

Oct 6 & 20, Nov 3 & 17. We will be closed for December and January, unless the weather does something even more unusual and Jo's Broccoli arrives for Christmas!

What's coming up:
More melons, eggplant, sweet potatoes, walnuts, sun chokes, dried beans and squash.

It has not been a great year for squash. We haven't had the heat to grow great pumpkins. The Spaghetti Squash looks great, but some of the larger squashes are just not doing all that well. There are a few pie pumpkins out there, but not as many as there should be. This weekend I'm planting peas, spinach and lettuce. (I'm just waiting for Mr. Tiller to come home.) Yes it's true...without Leo no new plants can be set out.

On the right is Rocky, the crazy 1/2 Siamese cat. Rocky is about 10 months old. He's had his shots, he's neutered and even has flea treatments. As you can see, he does not believe that he's a feral cat. What he'd really like is his own garden with kid or kids. He's very affectionate and just wants to be loved. He has his own rock-n-roll dance that he does for supper. He comes when called and can hold up his own end of a conversation. Anyone who'd like to adopt him, give me a call or drop by and visit with him. He's a little shy at first, but quickly warms up. Given a chance he will cuddle. I guarantee he will polish your ankles.

PLEASE SAVE THE SEEDS FROM THE BIDWELL CASABA. It's very, very rare. Just place them in an envelope and put them back in your box. Now, you've all become seed savers!