Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Mer Folk CSA April 24, 2013

Corn thinking about 4th of July

What's in the box?

There were a few artichokes and a few eggs, not everyone got these.  Also, lettuce, braising greens, radishes, rhubarb, carrots,  Nero Spinach, some kale chips, mint and parsley,  Oranges, If you got a box, you also receive Komatsu,  and this week's special gift:  Soap! Also if you have a box, roses. 

These are beautiful purple French Artichokes.  The do have many thorns.  The best way to attack them is to hold them by the base and trim off the thorns.  I'm thinking of planting another row, I like these so much.

Originally developed in Edo (Tokyo's former name), komatsuna was formally named when a visiting shogun, Tokugawa Yoshimune  stopped for a meal at a temple. Loving this new vegetable nearly as much as I do, he asked its name. The story goes that the monk answered that it had no name; it was just a green they grew and ate regularly. Like any shogun worth his salt, Yoshimune immediately righted the situation. Taking the name of the nearby river, Komatsu.   We use Komatsu like spinach, braising it in olive oil and sprinkling it with Sushi Vinegar, adding it to Miso Soup, slathering it with dressing and putting it in a muffletta sandwich.  These greens won't be with us long, so enjoy their spring freshness.

Ours is a mix of Champagne & Greenville Rhubarb, waiting in the wings is Turkish Rhubarb.  It takes 3 years to get Rhubarb from seed.  This is the first patch on the farm to finally really get going.  Leo and I maintain another patch in Greenville.  So hopefully, you'll get rhubarb at least one more time.  I'm hoping to have enough to make a pie with. 

Rhubarb at the back of the newly planted Basil
Oatmeal-Rhubarb Bars

    1 cup All-purpose flour
    3/4 cup Oatmeal -- uncooked
    1 cup Brown sugar -- packed
    1/2 cup Butter, unsalted -- melted

    1 cup Sugar
    2 teaspoons Cornstarch
    1 cup Water
    1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
    4 cups Rhubarb

    Mix flour, oatmeal, brown sugar and butter until crumbly. Press 1/2 into greased 9" pan. Add rhubarb, cut in 1/2" pieces. Combine sugar, cornstarch, water and vanilla; cook till thick and clear. Pour sauce over rhubarb. Top with other half crumb mixture. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes.

What do seedlings whisper in the night?  We want beds!
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

    1 1/2 pt Fresh strawberries; halved
    2 c Sliced fresh rhubarb (2 to 3 medium stalks)
    1 1/2 c Sugar
    6 T Quick-cooking tapioca
    Unbaked pastry for double-crust 9-inch pie
    Milk as needed
    Sugar as needed
    Flour as needed

   Mix strawberries and rhubarb with 1 1/2 cups sugar and the tapioca; let stand while making pastry. Divide pastry in half. On lightly floured surface roll out one portion 1 1/2 inches larger than inverted 9-inch pie plate. Fit into plate and trim crust even with edge. Fill with fruit mixture. Roll out remaining pastry; lift onto pie. Trim crust 1/2 inch beyond edge of pie plate.

    Fold top crust under bottom crust; seal together to make a standing rim and flute edge. Cut vents in top crust. Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in 400 F. oven 60 to 70 minutes, or until filling bubbles in the center. After 30 minutes of baking, check pie occasionally and cover edges with foil, if necessary, to prevent browning. If pie begins to boil over, place foil beneath pie plate. Cool thoroughly before cutting. Makes one 9-inch pie.  Too bad our berries are not ripe.  I guess I might have to go out and BUY some!
Takes a lot of sittin' gettin' chicks to hatch

French Breakfast Radishes
Chop all the radishes you received
Chop a few sprigs of mint leaves and a few sprigs of parsley leaves
Mix with a cube of softened good butter
Spread it on Good French Bread and grate some sea salt on top

This simple recipe is great with a side of soup, a cup of tea or a glass of milk.  Turnips can be eaten this same way.  If you haven't found a way to like cooked turnips, peel them and eat them raw!

Ed Brown, Zen chef and seer, who in his book, Tomato Blessings and Radish Teachings, wrote,“Delight moves through radishes and people alike,” he writes, “letting things speak, perhaps even sing for themselves.”

On the Farm
George Large and in Charge

We're still a few weeks away from peas.  The plants are so confused, we had frost and frost damage followed by a mini heat wave.  The potatoes look gruesome and thankfully I had not set out the peppers or eggplant yet.  They're in now.  Soon to be planted, zukes, cukes, more corn more beans, come on in the water's fine.  My fine friend from Alabama, Dar Jones, sent us 3 new green beans:  Striped Creasy Cutshort, Emerite, and Turkey Craw.  Dar is the only one I know who could send me a traditional Southern cornfield bean and a fine French Filet (Emerite), in the same package.  I will be planting green beans every few weeks to see us through most of the summer.

Crazy hens are all trying to sit on eggs.  Every night Leo goes out and breaks it up.  Four hens all trying to sit on top of each other to claim the eggs.  Meanwhile Leo has been casting aspirations on George the Rooster, who's the father of his country...Eggoland.   Leo maintains that at 4 years old, George may not have the agility to "take care of all the hens".  There's no viagra for roosters or retirement homes.  Leo is going to let me move George to a smaller flock and we'll put his son, Stewart (Stewie) in with the main flock.  Alas for Washington, that means his number is up.  George is the best rooster I have ever had.  I sure hope Stewie inherited his "talents".

Have a great week.

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