Wobbly Cart Farm CSA newsletter #7

 

July 31st 2012

In this week’s box:

Large share: lettuce, carrots, yellow finn potatoes, sugar snap peas, sweet onions (2), cucumbers, cabbage (red or green), green beans, fresh basil

Small share: lettuce, carrots, fennel, sugar snap peas, sweet onion, cucumbers, golden beets, fresh lemon thyme

Dear CSA members,

Week 7 is here and July is at its end. Hard to believe but true. This week’s box brings at last a share of our truly summer crops. Large shares will get green beans this week, as well as fresh basil. Both sizes will get sweet onions and cucumbers! Yay for summer!
I’m anticipating tomatoes coming on within a week or two as well. We’ve had a few to take to market and it won’t be long that there is enough for CSA, weather willing. It sure would be nice to get a little more sun if I do say so myself… Not sure how it is in Portland, but up here near Olympia we’ve had the perpetually cloudy morning that just wont go away until 5 or 6 pm! Guess that’s a lot better than the heat in the Great Plains I hear about!
A quick rundown on what’s new for you this week: Green beans are a blue lake variety called “Provider”. They are ultra tender and delicious, of course. All you have to do is pop off the stems and ends (if you wish, Though I usually skip popping off the ends), and steam or stir fry lightly to enjoy their goodness. Keep them in the plastic bag in your crisper drawer for about a week. Sweet Onions are a “Walla Walla” type. This full size onion is uncured to keep it in the fridge like you did the purplettes. These onions are known for their super sweetness and are awesome as onion rings, on burgers, in salads… you name it. It’s nice to have some real onions in the house! Cucumbers will be a selection of sizes of our pickling cucumbers. These are great sliced up in salads, or just eaten whole for a snack. They have really tender skins and I prefer to eat them over the dark green “slicing” cucumbers you will see more of later. You can store them in your fridge in the crisper for up to a week, though they would be best in a cucumber and sweet onion salad tonight! Fresh Basil is very delicate. Use up this handful as soon as possible, before you have to refrigerate. If you end up putting it in the fridge it may turn black in the cold, and no one wants to eat black basil. You could make a mini batch of pesto, or use it in fresh spring rolls, in a pasta salad, a topping for homemade Pho (Vietnamese noodle soup, a family favorite at my house). Yummy! I’ll have more ideas on the recipe page. Lemon Thyme is definitely different from English Thyme. This aromatic herb can be used in any recipe that calls for lemon; lemon zest, lemon flavoring, lemon juice etc. It smells quite lemony and tastes great with fish or chicken too. Store it stems down in a glass of water, covered in a plastic bag on the shelf in the refrigerator for a few days. I think it might be great in some kind of cocktail, Lemon Thyme Mojitos anyone?
We are now taking orders for pickling cucumbers. For those of you who like to home can and pickle, place your orders now. Word is we’re going to have a bumper crop! I will be sending out order forms with next week’s box. If you would like to order sooner give us a call at (360) 273 7597. We will also have garlic and fresh dill available.
Also, a “Save the Date” reminder, we will be having our annual farm potluck and party on Saturday September 7th! We’re planning a potluck, farm tour, live music, camping, river swimming and more. Hope to see you all there!

Until next week,

Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart.

Marinated Chicken in Lemon Thyme, Lemon, Lemon Zest, Garlic and Honey: Take a large Ziploc bag and place in it: 1 full handful of fresh lemon thyme, juice on one lemon , half the zest of the same lemon, 3 fat garlic cloves peeled and finely diced, 5 tbsp of a fruity extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp of good honey, fresh ground black pepper and sea salt to taste. Mix carefully in the bag with a spoon. Add 2 chicken fillets, cleaned, no skin, cut into smaller pieces. Close the bag and with the help of your hands massage the bag on the outside. Then place the bag in a bowl, in case of leakage. Place in the fridge for 3 to 4 hours. From time to time , take the bag out and massage the chicken. Just before making dinner, take the bag out of the fridge. When the rest of the dinner is ready, you can cook the chicken. Lift and drain the chicken with a skimmer but keep the marinade. Take a large non-stick pan on medium high heat and heat up. Pour a thin layer of olive oil in it. When hot and sizzling, add the chicken pieces and fry for about 3 to 5 minutes or until they are browned. Adjust heat if necessary. When you turn the chicken in the pan, to fry the other side, pour the rest of the reserved marinade on it. Cook for about 2 to 3 more min utes and the marinade will make everything caramelized a bit. When the chicken in cooked through and golden brown serve on a plate with steamed green beans, fried onion slices and boiled new potatoes. (foodista.com)

Lemon-Thyme Pimm’s Cooler: Combine ¼ cup Pimm’s No. 1, 1/3 cup lemon thyme simple syrup (see below), 5 to 6 Tbsp lemon juce, and 2/3 cup water. Divide between 2 ice filled tumblers. Garnish with a twist of lemon wrapped around a sprig of thyme. Lemon thyme simple syrup: Add 4 sprigs lemon thyme and 4 lemon slices to 3/4 cup each water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook 5 minutes. Cool, then strain. (from Sunset Magazine June 2012)

Seashells with Basil, Tomatoes, and Garlic: combine 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped, and ¾ tsp salt in a large bowl. Chop 1 cup of 1 ¼ lbs cherry tomatoes and add to the bowl. Cut remaining tomatoes in half and stir into mixture; let stand about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook ¾ lb medium seashell pasta as package directs in a large pot of salted boiling water. Drain pasta, saving 1 cup of water. Toss pasta with tomato mixture, then with ½ cup shaved parmesan cheese, and all but 1 tbsp of ½ cup thinly sliced basil leaves. Mix in a little pasta water if needed for a looser texture. Sprinkle remaining basil on top and season with salt. (from same source as above)

Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad: in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine ½ cup white vinegar, ½ cup water, ½ cup sugar, and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar and salt. When the syrup is clear and slightly thickened, after about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Peel 1 large cucumber or equivalent (If desired), and quarter it lengthwise to make four ling strips. Slice the strips crosswise into little triangles about ¼ inch thick. Ina bowl combine the cucumbers, the cooled vinegar mixture, ¼ cup coarsely chopped sweet onion, 3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, and stir well. To serve, using a slotted spoon, scoop the salad out of the dressing into several small serving bowls. Sprinkle each serving with more cilantro leaves and 1/3 cup finely chopped salted dry roasted peanuts to garnish. Add more of the dressing if desired.

Pickled Cabbage: fill a saucepan with water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Meanwhile core 1 small cabbage and chop into large pieces about 2 inches by 1 inch. You will need about 4 cups. Reserve remaining cabbage for another use. Place a colander in the sink. When the water is boiling, add the cabbage and press to submerge all the leaves. Cook for 30 seconds, then drain into the colander. Let cool to room temperature. When cool enough to handle, squeeze the leaves to soften them and release some water. Meanwhile make the pickling brine; combine ¾ cup white vinegar, ½ cup sugar, and 2 tsp salt in a saucepan and bring to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from heat, pour into a bowl large enough to accommodate the cabbage, and let cool to room temperature. Add the cabbage to the brine and toss to coat well. Transfer the cabbage and brine to a jar and seal with a tight fitting lid. Refrigerate for 2 days, turning the jar occasionally to coat all the leaves with the brine. Serve cold or a room temperature, the cabbage will keep refrigerated for about 3 weeks. Add shredded or julienned carrots or thinly sliced green onions for a dash of color. Great served as a side to spicy Thai style curries.

Heavenly Carrot soup: scrub and slice ½ lb thin skinned potatoes. In a large soup pot, heat 1 tbsp oil, add 3 cups chopped onion, saute for 2 minutes. Add in the potatoes, 1 lb carrots, thinly sliced, 2 large ribs celery, 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock, 1 ¼ tsp dried tarragon, and sea salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the vegetables are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Puree the soup using a hand blender. Garnish with watercress and croutons before serving.

Potato Green Bean Salad: Steam 1 lb of trimmed green beans until tender crisp, about 3-5 minutes. Run under cold water and drain thoroughly. Cut into thirds lengthwise and place in the serving dish.
Steam 1 lb of new potatoes in their skins until just cooked. Cool until you can handle them and slice into ¼ inch slices and add them and 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts to the beans.
In a blender or food processer, combine ¼ cup olive oil, ¾ cup parsley, 1 tsp mustard, 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar, sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Blend into a thick and creamy dressing. Toss the vinaigrette into the potato-bean mixture.
Let the salad marinate at room temperature for at least one hour before serving.

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