Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #6
Large shares: 1 bunch carrots, 1 bunch purplette onion, fresh garlic, purple beauty bell pepper, 1 large slicing tomato, 1 ½ lb purple new potatoes, ¾ lb green beans, 1 bunch Italian parsley, red leaf lettuce, cucumber, 1 bunch chard.
Small shares: 1 bunch carrots, 1 bunch purplette onion, summer squash, ½ pint cherry tomatoes, 1 lb purple new potatoes, 1 bunch parsley, 1 small green cabbage, cucumber.
Dear CSA members,
This week we have reached a true transition point into full summer! From here on out boxes, and harvests for us, will be heavier and full of the best summer in western Washington has to offer. The first flushes of tomatoes are here – and our CSA members will get a taste. Don’t worry there will be so many more to come! The purple new potatoes are a variety called “Purple Majesty”. They have a beautiful color and slightly drier texture than lends itself well to oven fries. They are also known to be very high in anti oxidants making them one of the healthiest potatoes available. Also, we have added a few of our purple carrots to the bunches this week. They add a fun color as well as some extra vitamins! I have found they are a particular favorite of my children.
This week I wanted to share with you a letter sent in by one of our beloved CSA members, Kate Brandy, who also happens to be a dear friend, and fellow founder of Wobbly Cart. It is such a beautiful letter and really captures the essence of what we do as a small organic farm in a way that is far beyond my writing skills!
Thank you. Thank you for the wonderful food–so delicate, so beautiful. Each week I look forward to #1–the drive to my pick-up site (Santha’s) summer house on 8th street, just off of Broadway–the wide shaded porch, the sighing leaves of the trees, the approach; #2,-the heft of the box–checking off my name from the list of other names of other people who love small local farms and who love you, Wobbly Cart in particular; #3, the smell when I open the box–still standing on the porch eagerly looking inside—and lo!–pearl onions! new potatoes! slender green beans!; #4, the small moment of perfect bliss that follows; #5, the gratitude that rushes through me for your long hours and hard work, your sore backs and sun-baked faces, your cracked hands and sinewy bodies; #5, the unpacking in my kitchen—beauty, abundance, and colors, feeling like my life is what I want it to be–nourished and nourishing; #6, the way the vegetables beckon and yield, offering themselves to the mysteries of recipes, to the week’s rich table, feeding my family and my sense of home.
Chris, of Spring Creek farm (up the road from your greenhouses), said to me once that the compliments I offered for his bountiful home garden were not for him but the seeds–the plants themselves because, he told me they want to grow. He said that his only effort was to put the seeds in the ground, keep the deer away with a tall fence, water them, and wait. I appreciated that idea of the ambition born in seeds, the idea that he was but a steward of the growing process, but I know better now, because, I was there too once, in the fields, a worker on Wobbly Cart farm in it’s early years and I remember Joe said to me once, “First thing you have to learn is that organic farming isn’t romantic. Second thing you need to learn is that organic farming is romantic”—because it’s backbreaking, nail-splitting, sun-baking work. And it’s also necessary, gorgeous work. So it is the seeds, and it’s also you, the Wobblies to whom I am grateful. Thank you.
Tonight I am cooking a zucchini souffle because Santha (goddess of my pickup site) said that’s what she was cooking. My souffle calls for flour–who knew?–I always thought of souffles as silky, and light, made of eggs that shimmer with tremors when cooked to gentle perfection. I don’t know what to expect from this recipe, nor do I know what to expect from the boxes, which is what I love and which brings me gratefully to #7, The Adventure. I cannot thank you enough for your labor, but this is my attempt to try.
Kate Brandy, Portland Oregon.
Penne with Kalamata Olives, Feta and Chard: Mix 2 Tbsp chopped parsley with 1 tsp lemon zest and 1 clove minced garlic. Set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Chop one bunch of Chard. Add the Chard to the water and cook for 2-3 minutes. Skim out the Chard and drain in a colander. Return the water to the boil and add 12 oz of penne and cook until tender. Drain and reserve 3/4 cup water. Return pasta to the pot, add Chard and 3 Tbsp olive oil and toss.Stir in ½ cup chopped kalamata olives and 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese. Add reserved pasta water to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and drizzle with 2 more Tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with the parsley mixture and serve.
Summer Squash, white bean, and pesto soup: Saute chopped onion and cubed summer squash in olive oil with salt and pepper until tender. Add chicken or vegetable broth, drained and rinsed canned white beans, and chopped fresh oregano and parsley. Bring to simmer. Top with a dollop of homemade pesto.
Oven Fries: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Peel 1 lb of potatoes and slice them lengthwise into french fry like sticks. Pour 4 Tbsp of Canola oil on a rimmed baking sheet and then toss the potatoes with oil to coat. Turn with a spatula when brown on top and continue cooking until the potatoes become crispy on the outside and soft inside, about 30 min. Sprinkle with sea salt and serve hot.
Parsley and Walnut Pesto: Combine all ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. 3 cups curly parsley leaves, ½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp freshly ground pepper, 3 garlic cloves, chopped.
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.