Wednesday, September 19, 2012

September 18 & 19, 2012 CSA

Melon Madness Begins

What's in the box:

Delicatas & Dumpling Squash, Cukes,  Various melons - marked,  Tomatoes, Anaheim Peppers, Bell Peppers, Warning - small orange peppers are habaneros and will bite you.  Many types of eggplant,  tomatillos,  flowers,

The first group this week - Special Gift - Hot or Mild Salsa and Pumpkin Bars.

The second group this week also got eggs, okra, green beans and either pumpkin bars or pumpkin rolls.


Okay, I hope you have your spoons ready, SCVWD CSA there were watermelons and Melons from Russia and the Northern Wilds.  Now this is your CSA, get a melon you love?  or you think is a spitter?  Well you better tell me, or you may get it again.  Funny thing about melons, when I pick 2 they both may not be alike.  Huh?  How's that?  Come again?  Well, melons each like to be picked at their moment of perfection, so melon one might be great, melon two might be terrific and melon three just so-so.

Here's a case in point:  Royal Golden.  Love this, gets subtle shades of golden when it's ripe.  However, every melon I opened had a different Brix level.  Yep, I test the Brix of every melon I feed my family, and you don't get them unless I've tested them.

Why is that?  A couple of seasons back Leo and I opened a melon that tasted like Acetone.  No, really.

Leo was mortified and was worried that everyone got that melon.  Turns out it only went to one customer, whew!  That was a close one.  So now, no melon goes untested to you.  And of course, I record them so that we know what melons I think we should grow in the future.  Not everyone's taste is my taste.  Got a melon or tomato you love...don't let it get away.  Email me today!

So this week it's all about melons as it is every September, so besides just eating them straight, making them into salsa what can you do with melons?


There's melons smoothies (Any melon + yogurt or ice cream, lime, honey & ice).  Some folks even make these with added bananas and almond milk.

Then there's Melon Margaritas (melon, lime, tequila & ice).  Don't forget the salt.

Mimosas - Lime, Melon, ice & Sparkling Wine

Daiquiris-Lime, Melon, ice & Rum

All of these require some sort of blender to liquify the melon and chop the ice.  Some even call for sugar (fie).  But I noticed that all of these required limes.   Now why is it that melons are never in season when limes are?    Of course melon goes great with chicken, pork & shrimp.  So far, we have not been driven to grill it or soup it, but you all go on ahead without me.  I'll just sit here on the veranda dripping juice down my arms.
Top Row - Collective Farm Woman,  Bottom - Sakata Sweet

Tomatillo Sausage Soup

This is a slightly streamlined version of a traditional Mexican soup. The original is made with meatballs, but sausage makes the whole procedure so much quicker and easier, and is really just as good as long as you use a good quality sausage. If you can get a Mexican chorizo so much the better, but around here it's Italian sausage or Italian sausage.

As for the Jalapeños; you must use your judgement. Whether you use one, two or none will depend on 1.) how spicy your sausage is; 2.) how spicy you want your soup to be and 3.) how spicy the Jalapeños actually are. Most of the ones you get around here are actually not that hot, unfortunately. Still, it's a bit of gamble... you never know. We put in two and liked it, but that's us.  Or try one or all of the milder peppers I've given yo this week.

4 servings
45 minutes prep time
Carrot Seed
500 grams (1 pound; 12 to 14 medium) tomatillos
1 medium onion
3 to 4 cloves of garlic
2 small to medium Jalapeños (but to taste)
250 grams (1/2 pound; 2 medium) fresh chorizo or hot Italian sausages
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil (if needed)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seed

4 cups chicken stock
up to 1/2 teaspoon salt (if needed)
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
1 large lime, quartered
extra cilantro for garnish

Remove the husks from the tomatillos, and rinse them, and cut them into quarters. Peel and slice the onion. Peel the garlic, and slice it. Remove the stems and seeds from the Jalapeños, and cut them in pieces.

Cut the sausage into smallish bite-sized pieces. Fry them up in a heavy-bottomed soup pot, using the oil if it is needed to keep them from sticking. (If they are fairly fatty and you don't need the oil, start them off with about a quarter cup of water in the pan to keep them from sticking.)
Winter Squash, fresh off the vine
Once the sausage pieces are nicely browned, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Drain off most of the fat if there is too much; the bottom of the pan should be well coated but not much more. Put the tomatillos, onion and Jalapeños into the pot and cook them for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly browned and softened. Add the garlic and cumin seed, mix in well, and after a minute or so add the chicken stock. Add the salt, depending on how salty the chicken stock is. Half a teaspoon assumes unsalted stock.

Let the soup simmer for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Purée the soup in a blender or food processor with the 1/4 cup of cilantro until fairly smooth, then return it to the pot. Add the sausage and any juices thereof back into the soup, and simmer for another 10 minutes or so.

Serve the soup sprinkled with extra cilantro, and pass a wedge of lime to be squeezed over it.
I stole this from "Seasonal Ontario Food",  from Ferdzy who's a darn fine cook and great gardener too.

If you're looking for a recipe for something I grow, chances are Ferdzy has it, so check her blog if I'm getting to slow posting recipes.


On the farm

Not only are we harvesting melons and squashes, but the seed crops are coming in fast and furious.  This week I've brought in carrot, millet, flax, sunflowers and beans! Do not expect millet or flax this year, there's finally enough to seed for next year, but you will see amaranth & beans!  Corn is on it's way too.

See you next week.  And happy autumn, the equinox is this weekend.


  1. Nice recipe. Unfortunately, I'm cooking bad :(.
    But my friend recommended me a site funny cooking book
    I always check out this website before making food.
    Sorry for my English. It's my third language

  2. Cooking is a lifelong learning experience, every time you try, you learn something new. No worries, your English is fine!