June 19 2013, Week 8

In this Issue:

Specifics on each item in your box:
New potatoes: What makes a potato a “new” potato? My understanding of this is that it is when the potatoes are harvested a bit prematurely, before the potato foliage on top of the ground has died back. At this stage they are still very young, tender and delicious. Another thing you will notice about new potatoes is that their skin flakes off very easily. A potatoes skin is actually hardened after the plant foliage dies back, and the potatoes then stay in the ground for a week or two. I mention this because, as I am sure you noticed, we did not wash your potatoes. We primarily did not wash them because we were worried about the skins flaking excessively, but also because it is very time consuming to wash and dry them all for you so we can bag them. They actually will store longer by staying dormant if they are not washed also - not that that matters as I am sure you will all dive right into them they are so yummy!. Just be mindful to be gentle with the skins when you wash them (unless you don’t want the skins on anyways then it doesn’t matter). Store your potatoes in their paper bag in the refrigerator and wait to was until you are planning to use them. This is a variety called Red Norland, and we are pretty happy with how it did this year. Let us know what you think!

Fresh Garlic: What makes garlic “fresh” garlic? I am calling it this because it is not green garlic anymore (so immature that you just cut up the whole thing stalk and all), yet it is also not cured (dried) garlic (the kind we are used to buying in the store. It is somewhere in between, thus fresh garlic. You can store this in your refrigerator or on the counter. You want to peel back the outer layers to reveal the cloves then continue to peel each individual clove. You will notice the skin on each clove is not dried, so this will be a different peeling experience for you. Use just like regular garlic, it is delicious, throw it in some cucumber salad!

Onions: As you can see we have started to cure (dry) our onions. Up until this point you have been receiving mainly fresh onions, with the green stem still attached. When they reach maturity in the field, that stalk starts to die down. We pull them all at this point and lay them out on racks to dry for two plus weeks. This is how the protective outside papery skin is formed on an onion, allowing for longer term storage. You can store these onions in the refrigerator or on the counter (I do counter since it is less humid).

What’s going on at the farm?
Guess what? We think we will have some tomatoes for you next week. The first field tomatoes of the year are just starting to turn, and boy are they really just yummy. As you can see we have a little bit of a dip in production right now as we await our tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and melons. This is the calm before the storm as we have said goodbye to just about all of our spring crops. We had hoped they would last a couple of weeks longer than normal, since they were a couple of weeks later from the cold weather this March and April, but that has not been the case. The excess rain we have had has definitely had a hand in that.
The rain….that’s right, I wanted to talk about all that rain! We were lucky to sneak some things in the ground yesterday morning before we got more last evening. We have had so much the ground has been too wet for two weeks to plant anything into it. We have really been wanting to plant! We were lucky to get the green beans and black eyed peas in the ground that we have planned to harvest for you all in late August along with another planting of cucumbers and basil desperately wanting to be transplanted. It also has been too wet to hoe (weed) the corn that is growing and will hopefully make it into mid-August shares. Luckily there is plenty to do in general so we keep ourselves pretty busy even when it is super wet.
That is all for now, again, let us know if you have any thoughts, concerns or feedback! We love hearing from you. Elise, Beth, Hannah and Lacey

Recipes!

Cucumber Salad with Peanuts and Chili
From 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East by Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray
Serves Six

2 large cucumbers, peeled
2 tbsp rice vinegar or freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp agave nectar (or honey)
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp red chile pepper, seedd and diced or ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts
1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp minced fresh mint
½ tsp sea salt

1. Cut the peeled cucumbers in half. Use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds, then cut them into ¼ inch slices.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.

Honey Lemon Refrigerator Pickles
From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Farm Fresh Seasonal Produce (3rd ed) by Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition
Makes 3 Pints

6 cups thinly sliced cucumbers
2 cups thinly sliced onions
¾ cup honey
1 cup lemon juice
½ tsp kelp powder
½ tsp mustard seed
½ tsp celery seed
½ tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp ground cloves

Place cucumbers and onions in a large glass bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook and stir until honey is dissolved. Pour hot liquid over cucumbers and onions, toss well, and let cool. The cucumbers will give off some of their juices; keep them submerged in the liquid while they cool. Transfer pickles to 3 pint jars, cover tightly, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving. They will keep for a week or so. You could also can them for longer preservation.

Onion Tart (with homemade dough)
From The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters
Serves Eight
A crisp piece of tart along with a fresh, tangy salad makes an excellent light meal.

Heat in a low-sided heavy bottomed pan:
4 tbsp olive oil or butter
Add:
6 medium onions (about 2 pounds), peeled and sliced then
3 thyme sprigs
Cook over medium heat until soft and juicy. This will take from 20 to 30 minutes. Season with:
Salt
Cook for a few more minutes. Put into a bowl to cool. If the onions are very juicy, pour them into a strainer over a bowl to drain. Remove the liquid.
Roll out into a 14-inch circle:
One 10-oz disk of Tart and Pie Dough (recipe follows)
Brush off the excess flour, transfer the dough to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and let it firm up in refrigerator for 10 minutes or so. Spread cooled onions over the dough (removing the thyme branches as you go), leaving a 1 ½-inch border around the whole circumference of the dough. Fold the border up over the onions. For a shiny, more finished look, mix together and brush folded dough rim with:
1 egg
1 tbsp milk or water
Bake on bottom rack of a preheated 375 F oven for 45-50 minutes, or until crust is golden brown on the bottom. Slide the tart off the pan onto a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tart and Pie Dough
Have measured:
½ cup ice-cold water
Mix together:
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
½ tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
Add:
12 tbsp (1 ½ sticks) cold butter, cut into small (1/4 inch) cubes

Cut or work the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or your fingertips, leaving some of the butter in fairly large, irregular pieces. This will take 1-2 minutes (or mix for no more than a minute, at med-low speed, in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment). Pour in ¾ of the water, stirring all the while with a fork until the dough begins to form clumps. (In mixer, turn speed to low and pour water down the sides of the bowl, mixing for 30 seconds or less.) Keep adding water if needed. Divide the dough in two, bring each part together into a ball, and wrap each bal in plastic. Compress each ball, and then flatten them into disks. Let rest, refrigerated, for 1 hour or longer.

Crookneck Squash with Scallions
From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison
Serves Four to Six

2 pounds small crookneck squash
2 tbsp olive oil, butter, or a mixture
8 scallions, including some of the greens, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly milled pepper

Halve the squash lengthwise and leave whole if very small or if larger slice into 12-inch thick rounds or diagonals. Heat oil in a wide skillet, add the squash, and sauté over high heat until lightly colored around the edges, about 4 minutes. Add the scallions and 2 tbsp water, then lower the heat, cover, and cook until the squash is fully tender, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Variations: This recipe is also delicious with basil instead of scallions! You can experiment with a couple tablespoons of whatever fresh chopped herbs you have on hand. Garlic and lemon juice is also a delicious combination for squash or zucchini.

What's in the box?

Regular Share
Crop Amount  
 
  • Cucumbers (1.5 lb.)
  • Summer Squash (1 lb.)
  • Fresh Garlic (1 bulb)
  • Onions (a few)
  • New Potatoes!! (2 lb.)
Full Share
Crop Amount  
 
  • Cucumbers (2 lb.)
  • Summer Squash (2 lb.)
  • Fresh garlic (2 bulbs)
  • Onions (a few more)
  • New Potatoes!! (3 lb.)
  • Japanese eggplant (1 lb.)