October 19th, 2010 Box #18
Hello friends of the farm!
Today is the last CSA delivery of the regular season. With last night’s frost melting off and a little fire crackling in the woodstove, it feels like we have come a long way since that first CSA harvest. On reflection, this summer brought a very different bounty at different times from the previous year. Cold and wet spring weather caused problems and forced us to replant heat-loving crops several times. The challenges were many, but so were the successes! Luckily this brilliant fall weather has allowed us to reap the benefits of many of the late planted crops. Hopefully you’d agree that the flavors of this summer have been yummy each and every week. You are our #1 supporters, which means we bring you the best we have, often holding crops back from market and restaurant to give to you. The season also bore testament to the saving graces of crop diversity: we grow so many different kinds of vegetables, each with its own favorite growing conditions, no amount of bizarre weather could stop them all. I’ll admit, too, that these late-season sunny days aren’t hurting anybody (plant or fieldworker).
Without further ado, the stars of the show this week are…
Wild Garden Kale Potatoes Hot peppers Red Kuri squash
Spinach Cilantro Beets Delicata squash
Leeks Celeriac Carrots
Celeriac is one of my favorite additions to the autumn larder. For those of you new to this funny-looking root, it becomes decadently creamy in soups, adding a subtle and delightful celery flavor. It is tasty when boiled and mashed with potatoes or roasted, and it can even be eaten raw in salads (see recipes on back). Just peel the hairy exterior, wash off the dirt, and you are ready to go. (Don’t forget to save the green tops for your soup stock.) The winter squashes are beginning to ripen: they are delicious roasted or stir fried or cooked in soup – if you let them sit out on your kitchen counter for a couple weeks, the sugars will continue to develop and the squash will get much sweeter. Delicata has a moist sweet flesh and many people find the skins tender enough to eat. The red kuri squash is more dry with meaty bites-excellent with a spicy coconut milk sauce. You have a little sampling of hot peppers: Ring of Fire Cayenne (long red) is very hot; Hungarian Carrot Chili, also very hot; the Jalepeno (green) seem to be sometimes hot and sometimes not at all because of the mild summer; and lastly, a couple of Czech Black peppers (short red/black color) which are sweet with a nice kick. Whatever you don’t use right away can be left out to dry for addition to meals later.
If you aren’t ready to give up our farm fresh produce, you can still sign up for four more wonderful weeks through the fall CSA. Also, we’d love to hear any comments, suggestions, or questions you have for us. Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at (360) 273-7597. And again, THANK YOU SO MUCH for your support. We couldn’t do this without you. It has been a pleasure!
Until next time,
David and the Wobbly Cart crew
From my favorite Indian restaurant’s cookbook, Indian Cooking by Sanjiv Dhar:
1 bunch spinach 3 Tbsp veg oil 2 Tbsp tomato puree
1 onion 1 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp garam masala
2 cloves garlic, chopped 1 tsp ground turmeric 2 Tbsp light cream
1 inch piece of ginger 1 tsp ground coriander
Blend garlic, ginger and onion into a paste. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds. As soon as they crack, add the paste and let this turn golden over medium heat. Add turmeric and spinach. Stir for 5 minutes and add the coriander and tomato puree. Let the spinach cook for about 20 minutes on medium heat and then add the garam masala and cream. Serve over rice.
From an unknown source:
Celeriac and Apple Salad
1 celeriac 1 T sugar
1 small red onion ¼ c lemon juice
1½ T mustard 1 t salt
1 garlic clove 4 T olive oil
1 large apple Black pepper to taste
Cut the celeriac root in half, then cut each piece in half again. Julienne or grate the pieces. Combine the celery root in a big bowl with the thinly sliced red onion and cubed apple pieces. Make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, combine the mustard, mustard seeds, lemon juice, minced garlic (lightly seared is delicious), sugar, salt, and pepper. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly, and dress.
From the Joy of Cooking:
Clean the leeks by slicing down the center and rinsing to remove the dirt, making sure to get in between the leaves. You can use both the white and green parts.
Mince 2 leeks and 1 onion
Stir and sauté them 3 minutes in 2 Tbsp butter
Thinly slice 4 medium potatoes and add, along with 4 cups chicken or veggie stock.
Simmer covered 15 minutes or until tender. Put them through a sieve or blender if you wish and add salt and pepper to taste, and optionally, 1 to 2 cups cream, ¼ tsp mace, and chopped chives or watercress or parsley.