Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mer Folk CSA August 21, 2013

What's in the Box
Cream Gold Onions,  Zukes, cukes, Crooked Joes, Melons!  Peppers - all mild EXCEPT - Aji Amarillo (small and yellow and HOT), Eggplant, Tomatoes,  green beans, and grapes.  (If you got a box you also got okra).

This week's special gift:  BBQ Sauce, just in time for Labor Day Weekend.  So drag out that Q, and grill up some zukes.

Today's Grapes are Pearlette and Flame and it's a bumper crop this year.  Zack is in the barn de-stemming the Concords so that I can juice them after delivery today.  Juicing is the first step to jamming.

Melons are here, this week there were several watermelons and lots of Italian Cantaloupe.

Coming Soon
Squash season is roaring in on us, there will be another corn harvest, there's lots more peppers, tomatillos, and eggplant.


Several kinds of eggplant went out, traditional Black Beauty is dark and very purple, Rosa Bianca is round and light purple, Listada de Gandia is long and violet and white, and then my classic Asian is very slender.  I think that eggplant smells wonderful.  It smells purple to me.  I love the flowers, they are my favorite vegetable flower, and they have a lot of competition form some real beauties.

Rosa Bianca in the front and on the left of the bowl, and the Black Beauty in the center of the bowl.  This year the eggplants are huge!  However, the gopher has eaten over 3/4 of the bushes, so next year I'm going to have to cage them.  We won't have eggplant for as many weeks.

Okay heads up chili wimps, this is the hot one.  Last night I made Chicken Gumbo, and it was mighty good.  I used one of these peppers in it and it was just about perfect.  They are not orange yet, I'll save some to turn orange, but I love them at the yellow stage too.

Chicken Gumbo
Okay, so I'm not from the south, so if you are, don't shout at me.  First I dredged a few thighs in 1/4 c. of flour with paprika, salt, pepper and garlic powder and fried them in olive oil until they were browned and then I set them aside on a plate.  In this pan I tossed a chopped onion and a couple of garlic cloves and sauteed them until they were translucent.

In a small skillet I dumped what was left of dredging the chicken into a warm pan.  When the flour turns golden brown, I added it to the onion/garlic skillet and stirred it all up.  Now you have roux.

To this whole mess, I added 2 cups of chicken broth, one chopped pepper, a couple of potatoes cubed,
In the mint with the bees
one sweet potato, a couple of carrots, a parsnip, a stalk of celery, some thyme and a bay leaf, stirred the whole thing up.  I let it come to a boil, put the chicken on top and put a lid on it and simmered for 30 minutes.  Then I added a couple of chopped okra and put the lid on it and let it simmer for 30 minutes.  I served it on top of black japonica rice.  There were no leftovers.  Next time, I make a bigger pot!  I think you could have made the whole thing with just veges.  Emeril has a recipe for Gumbo with Sausages.  I love that only 2 pans and a chopping board were implicated in this recipe, vs. my normal of every pan in the house is used and several bowls.

Of course this leads to Leo's favorite joke: 

Cherokee Flour Corn
Holly sat talking with Joe. Their conversation drifted to cooking. 'I got a cook book once', said Holly, 'but I could never do anything with it.' 

'Too much fancy cooking in it, eh?' asked Joe. 'You said it. Every one of the recipes began the same way - 'Take a clean pan..."  (yuck, yuck, yuck).

So tonight's dinner special is stuffed bell peppers.  Now that you have your box you can probably guess why! My stars are the bells coming on!  Luckily the other 30 I picked today, I will slice for the dehydrator, because I have to make BAM.

Every year I dry onions, peppers, parsnips, carrots and herbs and then put them through the food processor.  This all goes into a jar that we fondly call BAM.  I put it soups, stews and sauces and sometimes even bread.

Eggplant flowers

Have a great week, I'll send out September's schedule, as soon as I get back from delivering. 
And make sure to take time to smell the eggplants.

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