Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CSA August 29 & 30, 2012

White Wonder Watermelon

What's in the box:

Spaghetti Squash, Dumplings and Ornamental Edible Squash, Zukes and Cukes,  Watermelon ( SCVWD - Yellow JB or White Wonder), Tomatoes, Anaheim Peppers, Bell Peppers, Sweet Italian Frying Peppers - Friarellos, and yellow Hungarian Wax Peppers,  Flame Grapes,  and Corn.

Long Island Seed Project
Long Island Seed Project
Once upon a time there was a man named Ken Ettlinger.  On Eastern Long Island he started a project for organic farms and gardens and backyard breeders.  Ken was no less than a genius (ala Wiley E. Coyote).   Many of the the seeds that I treasure that you receive in your boxes are part of Ken's legacy of breeding work.   Like many of my heroes in plant breeding, Ken did not patent his work.  He sent seeds all over the country at a reasonable price and encouraged people to grow them.

Yellow JB one of the first H20 melons of the season
What does this mean to you?  All of the squash that you see to the left in the photo are part of Ken's work.  You can save the seed and plant it in your own garden.  You can return the seed to me.  You can share this seed with friends who garden or farm.    I corresponded with Ken about our CSA three years ago, and he sent this seed.  Alas, had I have known that Ken would retire and the seeds no longer be available, I would have ordered one of everything he ever tried to grow.  And actually, there are very very few hybrids on the farm today.  Most of the seed is saved from prior year production.  Most of the vegetables and fruits that you receive, you can save the seeds of.  To save the seeds of any of these wonderful little ornamental edibles,  just scoop the seeds out when you cut the squash open and let them dry on a piece of wax paper.  That's it.  When they are dry, you can put them in an envelope to plant next spring, or send them back to me in your box.

Have a great week.  Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend!  See you all in September.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CSA August 22 and 23, 2012

Tennessee Britches

What's in the box:

Delicata Squash, Zukes and Cukes, a few Serpente de Sicily Squash, Tomatoes, Anaheim Peppers, Bell Peppers, Onions, Grapes,  Tomatillos, Corn and Eggplant.

And if your staying with us, this week's special gift is Zucchini Relish.

This is the last week for Zukes and onions.   I need to save the rest of the onions to make spaghetti sauce and salsa.  Ahhh.  Everyone sigh.  So now's the time to make that Zucchini Bread.

The Grapes are fabulous this year.  Hurray!

Soon there will be melons.

Eggplant Parmesan
Good olive oil, and a little butter for frying
3/4 pound eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick (2 eggplants)
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 extra-large egg
1/4 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Jar Holly’s Mater Sauce
A round of Mozzarella
Several slices of Fresh Garden Tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Heat about 1/8-inch of olive oil and a few pats of butter in a very large frying pan over medium heat. When the oil is almost smoking, add several slices of eggplant and cook, turning once, until they are evenly browned on both sides and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Be careful, it splatters! Transfer the cooked eggplant slices to paper towels to drain. Add more oil and butter, heat, and add more eggplant until all the slices are cooked.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the ricotta, egg, half-and-half, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
In a 9 x 13 glass Pyrex Pan,  pour in the Mater Sauce.  Place a layer of eggplant slices, then sprinkle with Parmesan, salt and pepper and top with a slice of tomato. Next, add a second layer of eggplant, more salt and pepper, half the ricotta mixture,  a 1/4 slice of mozzarella and finally 1 tablespoon of grated Parmesan on top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes and the top is browned.

Savory zucchini bread with parmesan and onion
1 large zucchini, grated
1 medium onion, grated
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 stick butter, melted
3 eggs
1/4 cup of honey
3 cups whole wheat white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg or 30 seconds of grating a nutmeg on a microplane
1/3 cup milk (if necessary)
Preheat oven to 350ยบ F. Butter a loaf pan or place parchment paper in it.
Stir together the zucchini, onion, eggs, butter, and honey. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking
powder, salt and nutmeg. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Depending on the amount of juice from
the zucchini and onion, you may need to add some milk to the batter if it is too thick to combine. I
ended up adding about 1/3 cup of milk.
Put the batter int he pan and bake for about 30 minutes. Test the bread with a skewer or knife to see if
its done (the skewer or knife will come out clean). If not bake until it is done.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes then on a rack for at least an hour. This bread is better if wrapped and
refrigerated then served the next day. Perfect for toast.

For the few of you that decided not to continue with the fall season, we'll miss you.  Have a great week.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SCVWD CSA - August 15 & People & Planet CSA August 16, 2012

Delicatas, Ornamental Edibles & Spaghetti Squash

What's in the box:

Spaghetti Squash, Delicata Squash, Zukes and Cukes, Tomatoes, Anaheim Peppers, Bell Peppers, Onions,  Grapes,  Tomatillos, beans (either Fresh or Dry) and finally NZ Spinach.

And if you were in the People and Planet CSA, you got carrots and corn instead of Grapes.

Squash Girls send their love

Last night for supper, I cut a delicata the long way (the potato type) and stuffed it with cheese, salsa and zukes sauteed in garlic and onions.  I put them on the BBQ in one of those holey pans and covered it with foil.  By the time we got through monkeying around with sausages and fish, the little boats were ready.  How can you tell if you have the potato type delicata?  Elementary my dear Watsononias, the tater catas are very pinkish.

We have been growing this blend of delicatas for about 3 years now.  We have a riot of them this year.  This was the first wagon load, so you can count on getting at least 6 for the season.  Delicatas are elegant stuffed with anything.   I even stuffed them with turkey stuffing one year.  They are a squash that loves to be played with and each of the flavors is very different.  One is very very sweet.  Sweet enough to eat raw!

The ornamental edibles are just coming along, so they'll be a few weeks.

Joy - Spaghetti Squash!
Spaghetti Squash

Cooking spaghetti squash in your microwave is super-quick, but  you can also roast it.  I’ve made it both ways and it works equally well.

To cook the squash in a microwave: Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting. Cook in an 800-watt microwave oven on high power (100 percent) for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn squash over and microwave until squash feels slightly soft when pressed, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool squash for 5 minutes.
To roast the squash, two methods: If you’d like to roast the squash whole, pierce it all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting and bake it in a 375°F oven for one hour.
If you have microwaved or roasted your squash whole, carefully halve it lengthwise (it will give off a lot of steam) and remove the seeds.
Carefully halve squash lengthwise (it will give off steam) and remove and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin.

Now this is the fun part.  You top Spaghetti Squash with any sauce.  Butter & Herbs, Butter and spices, cheese and spices,  olive-oil - onions - garlic - pesto,  curry-tomato-onion-garlic -yogurt.

Really, it's a wonderfully diverse side dish.  And if you get bored, you can always top it with Spaghetti Sauce.  

Squash graffiti?  What can I say?  Have a nice week.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

SCVWD CSA August 8 and People and Planet CSA August 9, 2012

Juane de Doubs

What's in the box 

Mara Des Bois strawberries, Pink Bella Dona Lillies, Onions from the Onion Trial this week it's Colorado de Amposta (a storage onion from Spain.  (Yes, you can store these for months!) , Zucchini - Romanesco is ribbed, Genovese is light green, Nano Verde di Milano is dark green, and the round one is Tondo,   cucumbers - Delicatesse, White Wonder and Poona Kheera,  and Lemon! carrots from the carrot trial this week it's Juane de Doubs a yellow carrot OR Berlicum a huge orange carrot, peppers - Anaheims, tomatoes, tomatillos,  New Zealand Spinach or lettuce, and finally French filet green beans.

There were some eggs this week.  Don't blame the chickens, it's hot and I wouldn't want to sit in a nest box either.  We have actually lost chickens when it gets this hot.  They try to get on the nest and just succumb to the heat.  I have to go and kick them off several times a day.

This week's special gift:  Berry Jam or Apple Butter.   Enjoy these while they last.  Since we don't have our own apples, these come from Prevedelli

Carrot Trial
Squash in a hammock
Next week:  Grapes!  and Corn! Spaghetti Squash!

I actually thought the corn would be ready this week, and well it will be, but not till Saturday.  This French carrot seeds for Juane de Doubs came to me from Canada.  Unfortunately, my dear friend Dan passed this year and will not longer be sending me his fine seeds.  I'm going to try to keep these going so that I can send them on to other farmers.  I think this is a good carrot.  Love to hear from you as to what you think of the carrots or onions!  The carrot trial itself is a riot of flowers that smell like honeydew vine water.

As it is extremely hot and I'm working on the fall garden, the blog for the next couple of weeks will be together.  If there's something substantially different in the Thursday CSA, I'll put it at the end tomorrow. 

Here on the farm, I've been canning, knitting squash hammocks, starting seeds and irrigating like a madwoman.  When it cools down, we'll be ready to transplant.  In the trays:  Broccoli, cauliflower, turnips, rutabagas, beets, chard, lettuce....and there's a whole line of seeds just waiting for my attention.

Have a great week.  Watch for heat! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

SCVWD CSA - August 1, 2012

What's in the box 

Early Italian Garlic - Last week,  Mara Des Bois strawberries, flowers, Onions from the Onion Trial this week it's Firenze Torpedo , Zucchini - Romanesco is ribbed, Genovese is light green, Nano Verde di Milano is dark green, and the round one is Tondo,   cucumbers - Delicatesse, White Wonder and Poona Kheera, carrots from the carrot trial this week it's Flakee, peppers, tomatoes, New Zealand Spinach, and finally French filet green beans.

Watermelons coming along

Curried Green Beans

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
1 Anaheim pepper, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
salt to taste
1 pound fresh green beans, trimmed
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons lime juice

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion,  pepper,  and garlic in the oil until the onions are golden brown. Stir in the curry powder, fenugreek seeds, turmeric, and salt; cook another 3 minutes. Add the green beans to the mixture and stir until evenly coated. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the beans are al dente. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer at least 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in the lime juice just before serving.

Zuke Cobbler
8 cups peeled, chopped zucchini
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 T Butter
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups butter, chilled

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir zucchini and lemon juice until zucchini is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and nutmeg and cook one minute more. Remove from heat and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a 10x15 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, combine flour and 2 cups sugar. Cut in butter with pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir 1/2 cup of butter mixture into zucchini mixture. Press half of remaining butter mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Spread zucchini mixture over top of crust, and sprinkle remaining butter mixture over zucchini. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden. Serve warm or cold. And feel free to serve a little scream with this. 

New Zealand Spinach Alfredo
12 ounces tagliatelle or fettucine
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 cup vege broth or chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or to taste
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 cups lightly steamed NZ Spinach, removed from the stem and coarsely chopped
Salt and fresh ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts or seeds
Halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes tossed in balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Grated parmesan cheese.

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain.
2. While the pasta cooks, heat the cream in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until reduced by half, stirring often.
3. Stir in the  stock, nutmeg, and greens. Heat until ingredients are warmed through. Mix in the pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more broth if the mixture seems too thick.
4. Pour the pasta into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the nuts and tomatoes.

Have a great week, send in those empty jars...folks there's canning to do.  Pickles!  Relish!
Hooray!  I've been out of relish since January and that makes for a dismal salad dressing in my opinion.  One day I even thought about buying relish.  Phooey.  The Gravensteins are here the Gravensteins are here.  Finally Jen and I can eat apple butter again.  Well, as soon as I get them peeled and canned!

Now if you are in the August 2, People and Planet CSA you received the same box, plus eggs.  However, your carrots were Juane de Doubs.