Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #10
Large share: 1 bunch spinach, 1 bunch arugula, 1 bunch red and orange carrots, fresh dill, Walla Walla onion, red onion, 1 lb Romano beans, sweet pepper, purple bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, lemon cucumber, 1 pint Italian plums, 2 pints cherry tomatoes
Small share: 1 bunch spinach, 1 bunch arugula, 1 bunch red and orange carrots, Walla Walla onion, 1 lb green beans, heirloom tomato, 1 pint Italian plums
Dear CSA members,
As I sit down to write after the busy activity at the barn this morning, I’m realizing what a nice crisp morning we are having today. It’s the kind of coolness that reminds me that fall will be here before we know it. I love having the sense of place that allows me to reference the subtle seasonal changes, and the sweetness of the shortening days. Just when we reach our peak in abundance, the pendulum swings us back to the colder and wetter days of fall. Actually, September and October is my favorite time of year on the farm. I enjoy the cooler days, and looking back with satisfaction at all the hard work already behind us. While at the same time enjoying the abundant produce in front of us!
I had a week vacation from the farm as well, and it’s nice to come back with a renewed sense of purpose and a little bit of a rested back. I visited the Salt Lake City Farmers Market and got to see what farmer’s there have to offer this time of year. While their market was nice, it made me appreciate the variety of produce we can grow here year round in the Pacific Northwest. While admittedly they grow a lot of nice peaches and cherries, we are lucky to have broccoli, cabbage, lettuce and spinach right now.
Thanks to everyone’s work on Monday, today’s box is extra pretty. Carrots are back and we have Italian plums from the uber abundant plum tree that resides near the barn! Italian plums are dark purple plums with a slight powdery blush to them. Their flavor is slightly sweet and sour and is excellent for fresh eating, baking, drying and canning. These seem a little on the soft side and should be used up as soon as possible! We also have lemon cucumbers for the large share. These yellow round cucumbers are an heirloom variety with a thin yellow skin and a mild flavor (they do not actually taste like lemon though!). Store and use them as you would a regular cucumber. The sweet peppers are colorful and sweet tasting. We have several varieties of many colors but all are similar in sweetness and crunch. The large purple bell pepper is similar flavored to any green bell pepper but has an extra color punch. For Heirloom tomato descriptions reference a couple of newsletters back. Mild cracking and green shoulders are a normal feature for many of the heirloom tomatoes we grow. The flavor is what counts here!
I was pleased to find that we could skip lettuce this week and change it for arugula and spinach! The arugula has a less than perfect appearance, but the flavor is still nice for a change from lettuce. If you are not already familiar, Arugula is an aromatic salad green often found in Italian cuisine. It has a peppery and nutty flavor and is quite delicate, use it up as soon as possible. Also, I should mention the fresh dill. This frondy bundle of herb greens is delicious chopped in salads, pasta salads and added to fish, egg, cheese, and potato dishes. Store with the roots placed into a jar of water, and a plastic bag loosely tented over the top, then place in the refrigerator.
Enjoy your box,
Asha, Joe and the crew at Wobbly Cart
Fleur’s Summer Plum Cake: Preheat the oven to 350. Blend 2 eggs, ½ cup sugar, ½ tsp salt, ¼ lb sweet butter, softened, 1 tsp vanilla in a medium sized bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Add 1 cup flour and 1 tsp baking powder and stir by hand until just combined. Transfer the batter to a greased square baking pan. Place 20 plums that have been split in half and pitted into the batter on their sides, sleeping close together in rows (our plums are kind of big, so I would recommend slicing into smaller pieces). Combine ¼ cup sugar and ½ to 1 tbsp cinnamon and sprinkle the mixture over the batter and plums. Bake for 40 minutes. Do not over bake. Serve warm with vanilla or butter pecan ice cream.
Lemon Cucumber Spa Water: Slice a piece of fresh ginger, a lemon, and a couple of lemon cucumbers. Place in a pitcher and add water. The proportions can vary depending on your taste. Add a handful of mint leaves and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours or more to make a refreshing and tasty summertime drink.
Indian Vegetable and Fruit Salad: Combine 1 cup each chopped pineapple and cucumber (lemon cucumber), ½ cup each chopped tomato, red onion, and cilantro leaves, 1 tsp minced jalapeno chile, 1 tsp kosher salt, and 2 tbsp lime juice in a medium bowl. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a small frying pan until very hot, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add ¼ tsp mustard seeds and ½ tsp cumin seeds. When mustard seeds begin to pop, 1 to 2 minutes, pour over vegetable mixture and mix well. Serve as a side dish with shrimp. ( from Sunset magazine September 2012).
Tomato, Red onion, and Purple Pepper Salad with yogurt dressing: Thinnly slice 1 medium red onion, place in a salad bowl, sprinkle on 2 tbsp fresh lime juice and 1 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes. Slice 1 hot chile into matchsticks and add to the onion, cut one medium purple bell pepper into ½ inch wide strips about 1 inch long and toss with the onions and chile. Just before serving add 2 to 3 tomatoes cut into ½ inch pieces and ¾ cup full fat yogurt and toss gently to mix. Taste for salt and adjust, if you wish, and add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Green (or Romano) Beans on the Grill: put 1 lb of green beans on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to fold and seal. You may need to fold two sheets together. (you can also use one sheet of foil to set the pouch on. This way if any liquid seeps out or it pulls apart it dosen’t leave a mess.) drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the beans. Add 2 – 3 minced garlic cloves and 1 tsp crushed red pepper, salt and pepper to taste. Toss beans with tongs until well coated. Add 1 to 2 tbsp water and fold aluminum foil together at the top and pinch the sides closed. Cook the green bean pouch on the grill until the beans are tender. (food.com)