Tuesday, August 24, 2010

9th CSA Week

Another beautiful CSA harvest day again, this summer is definitely going to go down as one of the nicest harvest summers on record, or for at least me anyway. The first summer I started farming full time I think it rained at least 1 day every week that was a harvest day and I mean it rained hard. This year the worst its been has been a light shower and even then it wasn't bad. I remember one day in 2008 when I had a friend visiting from Ontario it rained so hard that we had to take refuge in the greenhouse shed because it was coming down in torrents. Even a good rain suit that summer could not keep one dry.

It's hard to believe but this week marks the half way point of the 2010 CSA season and the height of the summer harvest is on which is reflect in this weeks shares, they are full full full. This weeks large shares include:

carrots - orange and purple. We decided to do away with the tops from here on out so just find an empty bag, throw them in and put in the fridge. The orange carrots are a variety called sweetness III and they live up to their name, very tasty. The purple carrots are called Purple Haze and are very nice sliced up and eaten raw. They are very pretty because the inside is orange and the outside is purple.

beets - we are finishing up the "bulls blood" beets this week and next week will be on to another variety in another part of the garden. If you are finding a build-up of beets why not do up a few bottles for winter eating? I love pickled beets, yum.

green cabbage - see below for a great recipe.

cucumbers - enjoy a nice summer cucumber sandwich with hummus or babaganouse

Zucchini - yup, more zucchini, and more next week. See below for a few new ideas sent in from fellow CSA members

Onions - White & red. Both are very sweet and would make a great addition to a stir-fry or a fresh summer salad.

Green & Yellow Beans - If your getting behind in your bean eating try blanching for winter eating. Simply bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and drop in cleaned & snipped beans into the water for 2-3 minutes. Immediately remove the beans from the boiling water into a dish of ice cold water and leave until no longer hot. Let them drain and then put on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. When they are frozen put them in a freezer bag and they are all set for chilly winter dinners.

Cauliflower - This is the first year I have actually gotten cauliflower bigger than my fist. See pics below.

Broccoli florets - When the main broccoli head is harvested the plant produces tiny broccoli florets called side shoots. They are tiny but they are tasty.

Tomatoes - A few small slicing tomatoes, perfect for tomato sandwiches.
Cherry tomatoes - The first of the season's tomato snacks. The yellow ones are super sweet!!!

Potatoes - Red & White potatoes. I harvested the last of the red potatoes on Monday so enjoy this last taste until next season. I still have one row of superiors left so there will still be at least 1 more week of potatoes coming up.

Fennel - A very interesting herb. Tastes like black licorice. You can use the whole plant or just the bulb. See below for a easy yummy recipe. You can snack on the stalk, its actually a very refreshing mouth cleanser.

This Weeks Feature Recipes

Zucchini Pancakes:

3 small (8 ") zucchinis grated (squeeze out the liquid)
1 small onion finely chopped
1/2 cup flour (add more if needed)
1 tsp baking powder
salt and pepper
2 eggs
1 cup grated cheese

Cook just like regular pancakes (using oil/spray etc). Drop 1/4 cup batter on grill or frying pan.
****Thanks to Carolyn for this new recipe***

Cabbage Roll Stir Fry
One taste of this hearty supper and you'll wonder why you ever wasted time rolling cabbage. It tastes just as comforting, with one quarter of the prep time.
(from Meals in minutes, Chatelaine Food, Dec 2008)
1 Large Onion Chopped
1 lb ground beef or pork
28 oz (796-ml) can plum tomatoes drained and coarsely chopped
71/2 oz (213 mL) can tomato sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp each dried oregano and thyme leaves
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 green pepper
1/2 cabbage

Lightly coat a wok or large saucepan with oil and place over medium-high heat. Add onion and crumble in beef/pork. Using a fork, stir frequently to keep meat crumbly until it is almost cooked through. 3-4 mins. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and seasonings. Stir often until flavour develops, about 5 mins.
Meanwhile, slice green pepper into thin strips. Thinly slice cabbage. Add pepper and cabbage to pan, stir often uncovered until cabbage is tender, 4-5 mins. Taste and add salt if needed.
It's good on rice or mashed potatoes, or wrapped in a tortilla.
*** Thanks to Jody for this recipe***

Fennel & Carrot Side-dish
I came across this recipe on All-recipes.com last night and it was quite tasty and easy too.

1tsp olive oil
3 carrots, shredded
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/3 cup heavy cream
**I did not have all of those ingredients so I adjusted it and it still turned out yummy, see the bottom of the recipe for my alterations**

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the carrots and fennel, and season with coriander and fennel seeds. Cook until lightly brown. Mix in the heavy cream and reduce heat to low. Simmer until the cream has been absorbed into the carrots and fennel. Serve hot.
Jen's version - I really wanted to try this but didn't have all the ingredients so I winged it, something totally uncharacteristic but it turned out quite well. I did not have coriander or fennel seeds so I just used a few shakes of cumin instead. I also did not have heavy cream so I used 3/4 cup of whole milk instead. I also used a good dash of pepper and salt. I would not sit down and eat a whole plate of this but it made a nice side dish. I also did not cook the fennel long enough, it was a bit chewy so make sure you let it cook till its soft.

We defiantly have the nicest CSA members!!! Today I was given a loaf of freshly baked zucchini bread and a dish of freshly picked black berries. Needless to say I was not at all hungry when I got home from the pick-up. All I can say is thanks and YUM!!!!!

Absolutely delicious!!! And so pretty too. Thanks Laura!!!

Marti's oh so tasty blackberries. Gorgeous.

Derek and I found a giant cauliflower on Sunday

Almost as big as my head

I'm very proud of my super giant cauliflower!! I weighed it and it was over 5 pounds. Now that's a lot of cauliflower

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