Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 10

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8-14-18

Large shares: beets, lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, cucumber, yellow finn potato, padron peppers, romano beans, sungold cherry tomatoes, eggplant, red tomato, basil

Small shares: Beets, lettuce, bell pepper, cucumber, green beans, red tomatoes, basil, eggplant, garlic, Italian plums

greens shares: dandelion greens, lacinato kale

roots shares: gold beets, mixed potato, yellow onions

juicing shares: beets, kale, cucumbers, bell peppers, basil, dill

Dear CSA members,

The weekend of overcast and wet was a nice break in all this heat and smoke. The smoke is intense but I do appreciate the red and orange haze over the sun caused by our smokey skies. It is quite pretty.

Some changes have been occuring, one being, we have a new pack shed manager as of this week! He jumped right into our longest harvest and packing day, which is Mondays, so props to him. Some new crops this week are romano beans, padron peppers and sungolds. Romano beans are one of my favorites vegetables and I cannot wait to snack on them.

The small shares are getting Italian plums today. While these are delicious fresh, I like to scavenge all the dropped plums off the ground and dry them for winter eating! Also in the small share box is red beets, red leaf lettuce, slicing cucumber, eggplant, green beans, bell pepper, garlic, red tomato, and basil. This is a summer medley and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did packing it. It looks beautiful.

The large shares really has a lot going on! Today’s share has red beets, red leaf lettuce, romano beans, sungold tomatoes, eggplant, slicing cucumber, cauliflower, broccoli, red tomato, bell pepper, basil and padrone peppers. The padrone peppers can be gently sauted in olive oil similiar to a shishito pepper. They are meant to be mild but we’ve found often they can be spicy. So, heads up.

A couple of things :

The field tomatoes are just getting started. They have been looking beautiful and so not too many blemishes yet for those of you waiting on seconds. The bulk tomato orders WILL be coming your way if you ordered them as we have availabilty! Hopefully for next week. Thank you all who did order seconds, it really helps us out and gets you prepared for winter eating! More and more tomatoes will start rolling in, for those of you who haven’t ordered, there’s still lots of time.

Sungold cherry tomatoes are bright tangerine orange cherry tomatoes that are citrusy and sweet with floral and grape notes. Considered by many to be the best cherry tomato, Sungolds are delicious raw in salads, grilled on skewers with other vegetables, or cooked into a relish or jam. Store cherry tomatoes at room temperature and use up within 3 or 4 days. Sungolds have a tendency to crack when ripe so watch out for that.

A friendly reminder to remember to return your boxes each week. If we don’t get those returned we could run short for the following week!

Hope you all enjoy this abundance.

Have a great week,

Asha

Baba Ganoush

Makes: approximately 1 1/2 cups 

  • 1-2 medium sized eggplants sliced longways 1/2″
  • tablespoons lemon juice
  • tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • tablespoon tahini
  • clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • leaves of basil, chopped
  • Salt + pepper (to taste)
  1. Place eggplant on baking sheet and coat heavily with olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees for approx. 25 minutes.
  2. Once the eggplant has cooled, put into food processor or blender with other ingredients.
  3. Adjust seasonings to taste. Garnish with herbs and toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds, and serve with pita chips or bread.

Long Cooked Romano Beans with Pancetta

Serves: 4

  • 1pound Romano beans
  • ounces pancetta, cut into small cubes
  • Olive oil
  • sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. Place a three quart enameled Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add a glug or two of oil and the pancetta while the pan is still cold. Render the fat from the pancetta and cook it till crispy but not overly so.
  2. Add the Romano beans and stir them around to coat with the fat, season them with a good amount of salt, fresh ground pepper, and red pepper flakes if you choose. Cover the beans, reduce the heat to low and cook them for one hour occasionally removing the lid and giving them a stir.
  3. The idea is to let the beans cook in their own juices, become tender but not mush. If you think they need a little water then add a tablespoon or two to the pan.
  4. Serve the beans.

Blistered padron peppers: heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over high heat until just smoking. add 1/2 lb of whole padron peppers; cook, tossing occasionally, until the skins are blistered and flesh is softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with salt and toss to coat.

Sungold Tomato Caprese Salad: Combine 3 cups halved Sungold cherry tomatoes, 1 cup chopped Cherokee Purple tomato, 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 3 oz. fresh mozzarella balls, ½ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper. Mix gently and top with 1/3 cup torn fresh basil leaves.

Basil-Blackberry Crumble: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine 2-3 apples, chopped, 2 pints blackberries, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1 large handful of chopped basil leaves, ¼ cup of honey, or more depending on the tartness of the berries. Put all of this in an oven-proof dish, mix and set aside. Cut 1 stick of cold butter into 5 Tbsp flour and 3 heaping Tbsp brown sugar, then rub with your fingers to make a chunky, crumbly mixture. Sprinkle it over the top of the fruit, bake 30 minutes until golden and bubbly. (from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.)

Sesame ginger romano beans: preheat oven to 400 degrees. Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium high heat, heat 1 cup vegetable oil. Add 3 small shallots, thinly sliced, and fry, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Meanwhile, on a rimmed baking sheet, toss 1 lb fresh romano beans (stem ends trimmed), with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger, and 1 tsp salt to coat. Roast beans until tender but still green, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer beans to a serving dish and toss with sesame seeds. Top with reserved shallots.

Lemony pasta with cherry tomatoes: in a large bowl, whisk together the zest and juice of one large lemon, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ tsp sea salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in ¼ cup finely chopped basil leaves, ¼ cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley, 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, and 4 cups halved cherry tomatoes, and set aside. Cook 1 lb penne pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and immediately place the pasta in the bowl on top of the tomato mixture. Let sit for 1 minute to soften the tomatoes, then toss until well combined. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp red pepper flakes and a pinch of sea salt. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

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Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 9

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8-7-18

Large shares: cabbage, carrots, new potatoes, summer squash,red onion, lemon cucumbers, chard, green beans, Italian parsley, heirloom tomatoes, Italian plums, bell peppers, garlic

Small shares: cabbage, carrots, new potatoes, red onion, lemon cucumbers, summer squash, chard, Italian parsley, cherry or heirloom tomatoes

Greens shares: cabbage, lettuce, lacinato kale

Roots shares: new potatoes, carrots, shallots or red onions

Juicing shares: cabbage, cilantro, beets seconds, carrot seconds, tomato seconds, bell peppers, lemon cucumbers

Hello everyone,

We are approaching the halfway point of the CSA and our crops are starting to reach the summer peak around here. Heirloom tomatoes are coming in en masse on harvest days, at least those that have survived the sunburn. When temperatures climb into the mid 90’s and higher exposed fruits of delicate tomatoes, peppers and eggplants will literally scorch and cook to the point we can no longer market them. Crazy but true, it is actually too hot for tomatoes in Western Washington this summer. In fact, my thermometer reads 95 degrees right now.

Joseph and the crew spent part of today covering the tomato trellis with shade cloth to protect the fruits from the scorching days that are forecast ahead. We recently accuired a large quantity of shade cloth from a nursery that was going out of business which makes the task of protecting the tomatoes so much easier.

We are in the middle of a bit of a crew changeover as several of our staff are moving on from Wobbly Cart. It can be a bit stressful to have to hire mid- season but we are working on screening some new applicants and will hopefully make as smooth a transition as is possible for our busiest time of year.

New this week:

Heirloom tomatoes: Soon we will be harvesting hundreds of pounds of tomatoes weekly and may actually get tired of them, but for now it is pretty exciting stuff. For best flavor store your heirloom tomato at room temperature and use up within 2 to 3 days. We grow about 12 varieties! I’ll be sending out info on how to order cases of tomato seconds for canning later this week.

Another new item for the week is the lemon cucumbers. These small, light yellow, lemon shaped (but not flavored) cucumbers are an heirloom variety. They are tender and thin- skinned and have a nice small serving size.

This week we have Italian plums from the uber abundant plum tree that resides near our barn. Each year this tree produces enormous crops of these delicious plums and we get to share them with you! 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. We tried to harvest a range of ripenesses so you wouldn’t have to immediately use them up. They do ripen off the tree so you may have a couple of days on the lighter colored plums.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Ricotta and zucchini flatbread: preheat broiler with rack 5 inches from heat. Brush 2 whole wheat naan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Place naan on a baking sheet and broil until lightly toasted 1 min per side. Spread 4 1/2 oz part skim ricotta over the warm naan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Top with 2 small zucchini that have been cut into thin ribbons, 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes and 1 oz crumbled goat cheese. Return to oven and broil just until topping begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Drizzle with another tbsp olive oil and top with 2 tbsp fresh basil. Cut each naan in half to serve.

Baked zucchini fries: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease an oven safe cooling rack with oil. Place the cooling rack on a large baking sheet. Cut off the ends of 2 large zucchini. Slive the zucchini lengthwise into 8 large fries, leaving skin on. Prepare 3 plates: on the first plate whisk together 1/2 cups chickpea flour, 1/2 tsp garlic powder and 1/2 tsp salt. On the second plate, pour 1/2 cup milk. On third plate, stir together 1 cup breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp nutritional yeast. Dip each piece of sliced zucchini assembly line fashion into the three plates. First the flour, then the milk, then the breadcrumbs. Be sure to coat all sides with each mixture. Place breaded fries on greased rack placed atop baking sheet, making sure they are not touching. Transfer baking sheet to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until browned and crispy. Serve with warmed marinara sauce.

Fennel, orange, chicken and hazelnut cabbage slaw: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts on a baking sheet and drzzle over a little oil. bake for 18 to 20 minutes until cooked through. Cool and then thinnly slice. While chicken is cooking, remove outer layers of 1 fennel bulb, and 1/2 a cabbage. Finely shred cabbage and fennel and place in a bowl. Cut an orange in half and squeeze it’s juice over the fennel and cabbage. Peel another orange and separate into segments. Add to bowl along with chicken, 1 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley, and a drizzle of oil. Mix well and season to taste. Coarsely rush 1/3 cup hazelnuts and sprinkle on top.

Parsley and potato omelet: In a medium bowl whisk 8 large eggs, 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves, 2 tbsp water, and ½ tsp salt until smooth and well combined. Let stand at room temperature at least 15 minutes and up to 30. Heat ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 lb potatoes peeled and cut into matchsticks in an even layer, cover and cook until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Gently stir in 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1 tsp freshly ground pepper, and another ½ tsp salt. Turn onto a plate and set aside. Heat 1 tbsp butter in same pan until bubbly, 2 to 3 minutes. Add half of the egg mixture. Let cook undisturbed until sides are set . With a rubber spatula, drag cooked sides in toward middle, letting uncooked egg run out to reform a circle. Repeat until top is set but still slightly moist, then scatter half of potatoes over half of the omelet. Flip other half of omelet over the potatoes. Cook until potatoes are warm, about 2 min. Cut in half, then lift onto two plates and sprinkle with more chopped parsley leaves. Repeat process with remaining egg and potato mixture to make 4 servings.

 

Chicken with green olives, capers and tomatoes: make marinade: stir together 1 ½ cups loosely packed , chopped flat leaf parsley, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 2 anchovy filets, finely chopped, ½ tsp each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, ¼ tsp red chile flakes, 1 tsp lemon zest, and ½ cup extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Pour ½ cup of this into a large resealable plastic bag. Add 4 6 oz boned, skinned chicken breasts and seal the bag and turn over several times to coat the chicken. Chill at least 8 hours. Chill remaining marinade in a covered container. At 30 to 45 minutes before serving stir together 1 cup each pitted green olives and halved cherry tomatoes, 2 tbsp chopped, drained capers, 1 tbsp lemon juice and reserved marinade in a medium bowl. Let stand at room temperature until ready to serve. Preheat grill to 400 degrees. Drain chicken well and pat dry (discard marinade). Grill chicken until deep golden and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a rimmed cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut chicken into thick slices and top with accumulated juices and olive mixture. (above 2 recipes from Sunset Magazine August 2017)

 

Heirloom Tomato and Romano bean salad: bring a small pot of salted water to the boil, then blanch ¼ lb romano beans, tops trimmed, for 3 to 4 minutes, until just tender. Transfer with tongs to a baking sheet to cool. Make balsamic vinaigrette: using a mortar and pestle pound 1 tbsp fresh oregano, ½ clove fresh garlic and a scant ¼ tsp salt to a paste. Transfer to a small bowl and pour in 2 ¼ tsp red wine vinegar, 1 ½ tsp balsamic vinegar. Whisk in 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil and taste for balance and seasoning. Whisk 3 tbsp roasted hazelnut oil, ½ tsp lemon zest, and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Finely chop 1/8th cup skinned, toasted hazelnuts and stir into dressing; coarsely chop another 1/8th cup and stir in. drizzle hazelnut dressing over romano beans, season with salt and pepper, and toss together. Hold 1¼ lbs of heirloom tomatoes on their sides and slice into ¼ inch slices. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange slices on a large round platter, overlapping them, and spoon on about half of the balsamic vinaigrette. Scatter with ½ bunch baby arugula leaves. Stir1 cup of cherry tomatoes, stemmed and cut in half, with remaining vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Pile in center of platter, then top with romano beans. Spoon on a few dollops of crème fraiche and sprinkle about a third of pistou (recipe follows) onto and around salad. Serve the rest alongside.

 

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.

Limonata Scozzese (Cucumber Cocktail):Muddle 2 1 inch pieces of cucmber w/ peel in a mixing glass. Add a 16 oz glass of ice, along with 1 ½ oz of gin, the juice of one lemon, and ¼ oz cucumber infused simple syrup (recipe to follow) and shake well. Strain into a highball glass. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

 Cucumber simple syrup: cut ¼ to 1/3 of a medium sized cucumber into large chunks. Boil 1 cup of water, and 1 cup of sugar and the cucumber chunks in a pot over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, and liquid becomes syrupy, about 30 seconds after it comes to a boil. Strain out the cucumber and chill.

Marinated plums over pound cake: mix sliced plums with equal splashes of pomegranate molasses and brandy and a sprinkle of sugar. Let steep for at least 10 minutes. Spoon onto grilled or toasted pound cake. Top with whipped cream and sliced almonds. From August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine

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.

Roasted Italian Plums: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve and pit 2 ¾ lbs of Italian plums. Toss in a bowl with 2 tbsp melted butter and ¼ cup brown sugar. Place cut side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until cooked through and slighty caramelized 15 to 20 minutes. From marthastewart.com

 

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA week 9

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8-9-16

Large shares: Italian plums, lemon cucumbers, snap peas, shell peas, red potatoes, Walla Walla onion, red onion, Italian parsley, gold beets, carrots, cabbage

Small shares: Italian plums, cucumber, new potatoes, red onion, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, Italian parsley, jalapeno pepper, summer squash

Dear CSA members,

Brr! It feels like September around the farm. The weather has been quite cloudy and cool. We have even had a significant ammount of rainfall for August! This is a little bit more normal as I’ve said before, but is actually starting to feel quite a bit cooler than normal.We are all quite amazed at the contrast from the previous two hot and dry summers. All our hot weather loving crops (tomatoes, peppers, melons, eggplant and sweet corn) that we have been so spoiled with in the last couple of years are certainly feeling the lack of sun and cold nights of late. All the plants are loaded with fruit, but it is taking a long time to ripen it! I think this is what the old timers around here would call a “cabbage year” – because cabbage loves cool steady temperatures!

The forecast looks pretty good with warm temps and sun ahead so hopefully we have plenty of time to ripen up those heat loving crops. This time of year there is so much to do around the farm, the harvests are heavy, the weeds are ever growing, the irrigation must be kept flowing day and night… We also feel the pressure of time, time enough to complete all that must be done as well as the count down to the first frosts of the season ( which around here has been known to happen as early as Septemper 15th) and when the summer crops begin to shut down with with shortening days. We will keep up our end of the bargain, never know what nature is going to do!

This week we have Italian plums from the uber abundant plum tree that resides near our barn. Each year this tree produces enormous crops of these delicious plums and we get to share them with you! 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. We tried to harvest a range of ripenesses so you wouldn’t have to immediately use them up. They do ripen off the tree so you may have a couple of days on the lighter colored plums. 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.

Large shares received gold beets. These are just like red beets but have a milder and sweeter flavor. They have an earthy nuttiness to them somewhat like a walnut and sweetness reminiscent of apples or apricots. The color is a phenomenal gold. The greens on these looked really nice and would be great to cook with as well.

Large shares also recieved snap peas – these can be eaten whole with out having to shell out the peas and make a great snack or addition to salads.

Have a great week,

Asha

 

Shaved Summer Squash with Pecorino Romano: In a large bowl whisk together 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Using a vegetable peeler or a mandoline, shave a large summer squash into paper thin ribbons, about 1/16 of an inch thick, to yield 3 to 4 cups. Toss the squash ribbons with the dressing and marinate at room temperature for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, shave 2 ounces of Pecorino Romano into thin strips with a vegetable peeler to yield ¾ of a cup. Add to the squash and toss gently. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice if desired. Garnish with thinly sliced basil and freshly ground black pepper.

Tabbouleh: Place ½ cup bulgur in a large bowl. Pour in 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice over the bulgur. Set aside for 10 minutes. Combine 3 medium tomatoes, cubed, 1 ½ cups finely chopped Italian parsley, 6 to 8 mint leaves, finely chopped, 2 scallions finely chopped, ½ tsp sea salt, ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, ¼ cup cold water. Set aside for 2 hours or until the bulgur has softened to your preference. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt, pepper, lemon juice, or olive oil as desired. Serve at room temperature. Keeps refrigerated for 2 to 3 days.

Spicy Cabbage Slaw: combine the zest and juice of one lime, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp salt, 1/3 cup canola oil, 2 hot chilies (stemmed and seeded), 1 plump garlic clove, chopped, ½ cup packed cilantro leaves in a food processor and process until well combined. Mix 4 cups thinly sliced cabbage, 1 cup shredded carrots, ½ cup thinly sliced red onion, and freshly ground black pepper. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight before serving.

Cucumbers Wedges with Chile and Lime: Wash 2 8 to 10 inch cucumbers and slice off the ends. Halve each crosswise and then slice each half lengthwise to make wedges. Place cucumbers in a large bowl. Halve a lime and discard any seeds. Squeeze lime juice over the cucumber wedges and toss gently to coat, dust with salt and a spicy flavorful chile powder such as Chimayo. Serve immediately.

Marinated plums over pound cake: mix sliced plums with equal splashes of pomegranate molasses and brandy and a sprinkle of sugar. Let steep for at least 10 minutes. Spoon onto grilled or toasted pound cake. Top with whipped cream and sliced almonds. From August 2015 issue of Sunset magazine

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.

Wobbly Cart Farm CSA box #10

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8-19-14

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)