Tuesday, August 10, 2010

7th CSA Pickup

Today sure turned out to be a warm one. The morning started overcast and cool, perfect for harvesting and then just as I was finishing up the last bunches of veggies the sun came out in full force. Luckily I was then able to hide in the shade of the barn cleaning veggies and getting the boxes ready for the Charlottetown delivery.

This is our 7th CSA pick-up and I must say I am really enjoying my summer this year. After the season we had last year this feels like a very happy dream. Not going to the farmers market has been a very good decision and we are both happy to have full weekends here on the farm; not up late Friday night getting everything just right, then up way too early Saturday morning to finish up the last minute things and then try to get to market at a good time to set up and then stand on the concrete all morning hoping to sell all the veggies. Now don't get me wrong, I do miss the other vendors and our wonderful customers and of course the extra income was nice, but having a bit more of a life along with having more time with the boys is fantastic.

This week the shares include a large bunch of carrots, beets, lots of yellow and green zucchini, cucumbers, basil, curly parsley, beans, sweet white & red onions, green cabbage, lettuce heads, fresh garlic and a bag of red (Norland) and white (Superior) potatoes. The grab box had some broccoli, cilantro, dill, purple cabbage, swiss chard, kale and lots of other goodies. I also took a whole bin of extra yellow and green zucchini that were perfect for making loaves, lots of people took some home so I would imagine zucchini will be on the menu a few times this week : )

- Basil is one of my favourite summer treats, especially when the tomatoes ripen, nothing better than a toasted tomato and basil sandwich with havarti dill cheese. Yum Yum Yum. The basil in today's share should be kept in a glass of cold water and preferable changed every day or so. If you keep it in the fridge it will turn black.

- The parsley can be kept the same way or put in a bag and kept in the fridge.

- The cabbage should be put in a bag as I had to strip off several of the outer leaves due to critter damage. Don't worry I checked each one throughly to make sure no little Brookvale "friends" made their way to the big city.

A few recipes that might help you this week to make your way through the baskets. Happy eating.

"Mom's Yummy Cucumber Salad" (this was a family favourite while I was growing up)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
mix till dissolved
add either 1/4 cup cream or 1/4 cup milk (if using milk add just before cucumbers)
Either slice cucumbers thinly or grate cucumbers (remove seeds first), add all together and enjoy.
This is very yummy and goes with everything.

Chocolate-chip zucchini loaf
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp each baking soda and cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups packed, grated zucchini
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray two 8x4 inch loaf pans with non-stick spray. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, apple sauce, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Spread batter evenly in prepared pans. Bake of 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in centre of loaf comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes i pans. Remove from pans and let cool on a wire rack before serving.
Source: "Looneyspoons"

Zucchini Jam
6 cups zucchini
5 cups sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 cup crushed pineapple
2 boxes peach jello

Prepare zucchini (peel and slice and cut into small pieces). Boil till clear, 6-10 minutes (no need to add water). Add sugar, lemon juice and pineapple. Boil hard for 6 minutes and remove from heat. Add jello and stir until dissolved. Pour into sterilised jars. This is not the most nutritious recipe but I really like this jam in the winter on toast with peanut butter.

Stuffed Zucchini "boats"

Slice a zucchini in half lenghth wise and take scoop out the seeds and some of the inner flesh. Fry up some onions, garlic and hamburger along with celery and green peppers and fill the zucchini boats. Sprinkle on some grated cheese and bake in the over at 350 until everything is heated through and zucchini is tender, about 35-40 minutes

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