CSA Week 2
You may have these things in your box: Strawberries, chard, lettuce, kale, beets, peas, radishes? mesclun?…looks a lot like last week 😊
Super short recap from last week: as the weeks continue, you will see an increase in variety and quantity …it all works out, no worries.
If you get your CSA in a box, vs a bag, PLEASE return your undamaged box at the next pickup. They are designed to open and close repeatedly without tearing or ripping.
We are delighted to be picking berries and there are more peas this week, so if you did not get them last week, you should this week. More lettuce, kale, chard, and beets – don’t forget they come in all colors – so ask if you are not sure what you’ve got. If you get radishes with lots of greens, don’t rule out making radish leaf pesto or utilizing them in something. Do remove the tops from the bottom before storing…the leaves suck the moisture out of the roots. Recap on Peas: Peas may be snow (flat green or purple pods), sugar snap (edible pod), or English shell. If you are not sure if you have snap of shell peas, bite one in half, if you can chew it up, it’s a snap pea, if not, get shelling. *About peas this week – the snow peas got wiped out in those two 90° days we had, so no more snow peas for a while 🙁
We grow A LOT of kale. Ya, ya, I don’t have to convince you kale aficionados, it’s the non-believers I have to woo over. Varieties include Winterbor (green, very frilly leaves), Redbor (purple, very frilly leaves), Tuscan/Dinosaur/Black/Lacinato (green, narrow, puckered leaves), Red Russian (purple tinged, deeply lobed, smooth leaves), and Portuguese (green, smooth, wavy – looking a little more like a large broccoli leaf).
There are lots of things to do with kale that do not involve steaming and enjoying plain, or with a spritz of lemon juice over the top😉 Kale chips/crisp/crunch, salad, gratin, sauté, put it in a smoothie, make kale broth…
The recipe section is where I try to let you know how to treat the contents of your box and, yes, recipes. You are not compelled to read this, but there might be some useful morsel you might miss out on. If you are one of the people who approach me at the end of the season asking, “what do I do with potatoes?”, this section is for you! (That actually happened)
OK, we’re all busy, but it is usually tiredness or laziness that prevents us from cooking – Many recipes require little effort and take less time than running for some take-out or nuking a frozen dinner. Nothing against those meals, but our goal here is to eat well, and that means eating what’s in the box; so make a commitment right now to cook all the food you receive. I promise you that even if you pack it up in what might be minimal freezer space, you will be super happy in the winter. I will try to inspire you to cook things you might not ordinarily eat, and to use up items that may be very plentiful. I will re-run the favorites and special requests are welcome. Recipes are also on the blog and let us know if you have a food blog, we’ll link you.
The other thing that happens with food is discrimination. You had a bad run in when you were a kid and now you just hate on eggplant. PLEASE TRY IT AGAIN FOR THE FIRST TIME. I HATED zucchini as a kid because my Mother liked to serve a Japanese zucchini salad (raw zucchini, sesame oil, soy sauce) I know I would love it now, but as a kid I just thought I hated all zucchini. Keep trying recipes 😊
Here’s a basic starter for a nice dressing for greens: 2 Tb vinegar (your choice), s & p, and 1 tsp Dijon whisked together or shaken in your cruet; then whisk in 6 Tb olive oil (or shake until well mixed). Alter to fit your mood. If you are new to our farm, you will realize that our greens have flavor and are interesting without heavy dressing (but by all means, use your favorite dressing – I’ve got at least one Ranch loving grandchild and a couple who prefer Brianna’s dressing, so it’s all good!
Check out my blog (you made it!) for lots of ideas, picture and recipes. Simply click the in the upper right of our website and type in whatever you are looking for, i.e. “chard recipe” FYI, something went amiss with my blog last week but I seem to have fixed it this week 😊
Kale Salad (this is the generally how I make it…remember, I cook with The Force)
- one bunch of kale cleaned, ribs removed, and chopped fairly small.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 TB balsamic vinegar
- 3 TB fresh lemon juice (by all means use your bottle lemon juice in the fridge)
- 1 TB Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp coarse salt (start with less if that sounds like a lot)
- At least 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Fresh black pepper, to taste
Whisk the above together and pour over kale. I mix it well with my hands to make sure everything is well coated. It is best if it can rest for a little bit before eating and the kale gets all soft and wilty. Sometimes I add a cup or so of cooked quinoa or wheat berries. It is even better the second day, but it has never lasted beyond that 😉 Search for Kale Crunch, Swiss Chard Frittata, Beet Green Soup, Kale or Beets on our blog for much more!
We are trying desperately to catch up this year… last year was way ahead – and dry. This year has been cold and wet…it’s New England, this is normal. We still have miles to go before we sleep. MOST of the potatoes are in, as are the tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, several crops of mesclun, lettuce, smaller greens, etc.
The apple and peach crop looks heavy, so fingers crossed we will have lots of fruit this season!
Bad news: Gypsy Moth Caterpillars are taking over the world again. We are completely surrounded by these jerks! We will have to apply ourselves to keep them off the orchards and our huge Copper Beech and ancient White Ash. Yuck! And YES, they cannot be on the orchards.
Eat well, Geneviève Stillman
Next week: strawberries, lettuces, radishes, chard, kale, maybe garlic scapes…