We are on the cusp. The cusp of many great, quintessential summer time meals. The kind that remind you that there is a particular smell, and taste, and feel unique to these hot long days. It is hard to believe that it is almost August, and that means sweet corn, tomatoes and eggplant are all within reach! But not quite yet! This box represents that cusp, the line between the spring/early summer shares and the heart of summer shares. Too hot for most greens to produce well, not quite soon enough for the avalanche of corn or peppers or tomatoes, but soon, I promise.
Here she is for this week:Zucchini Cucumbers Beets Potatoes or Salad Turnips Broccoli (full only) Parsley Thai Lemon Basil Kale Onions (red zepplin)
Our broccoli has finally started coming in! There are only enough for full shares this week, but should be in everyone’s box next time. Those who are receiving may notice it’s not likely to win the Miss Broccoli pageant prize at the state fair this year, its had a tough time with the heat–but it still tastes great and is as healthy as your mother always told you it was!
Salad Turnips are a new addition this week. Unlike the storage crop turnips, these are softer and fantastic raw. One of my favorite ways to eat them is as a little snack or appetizer, sliced thin with a little curry powder and salt sprinkled on top then drizzled with a little olive oil and maybe a squeeze of lemon or lime. Add a tiny bit of dried pepper flakes or cayenne powder for a kick! And garnish with your thai lemon basil.
You’ll notice right away how different the thai basil smells from the italian basil you got a few weeks ago. If I were to give Kellogg and General Mills a run for their money and venture into the “natural” junk-food cereal business, I would elect this basil as my flavoring for my “natural” fruity pebbles (trade marked). I would probably call them Thai Basil Pebbles (trade marked). Zucchini Puffs (TM), Lucky Cucumbers with fermented Beet-mellows (TM), Onion Krispies (TM), Count Okra (TM), Captain Cauliflower (TM)–any venture capitalists out there reading?
Some of you who got potatoes may notice that some of them are quite tiny. Potatoes like these are a true luxury in the world of gigantic russets. Potatoes that are an inch to two inches in diameter are perfect for roasting whole with the skin on. Best done in a cast iron pan with butter (they get crispier), you can also use a regular baking sheet or glass pan and roast in your oven at 350-375. Add a little extra melted butter and top with chopped parsley for a gorgeous side dish. Beets and any leftover carrots work well roasted alongside the potatoes.
One of our cucumber varieties may not be immediately recognizable as a cucumber. The Armenian Cucumber (in picture above) is a long, curving, light colored cuke with deep ridges. An excellent variety that has great taste and is quite interesting visually.
The recipes this week are both for beet and are both fermented forms:
Sweet Refrigerator Beet Pickles:beets white vinegar sugar miscellaneous herbs and spices
Already posted on facebook, this is any easy and highly enjoyable way to have beets. Peel and boil beets until soft enough to easily poke a fork into. Take out of water and cut into wedges. Place beets in a bowl or jar and submerge in a liquid that is half sugar, half white vinegar. Add any spices or herbs that you please, such as fennel or cumin or coriander or nothing at all. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least a day (two or three days is best), then enjoy as a snack or pleasant accompaniment to a meal.
This is a fermented drink from Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions”:3 medium beets peeled and coarsely chopped 1/4 cup whey 1 Tbls sea salt water
Place beets whey and salt in a 2 quart glass container. Add filtered water to fill the container Stir well and cover securely. Keep at room temp for 2 days before transferring to refrigerator.
After being drunk, the you may fill up the container with water adn keep at room temp for another 2 days The resulting brew will be less strong than the first. Discard the beets after this second brew. Some of the liquid may be reserved as an inoculant for your next batch instead of using more whey.
Ms. Fallon suggests drinking one 4 ounce glass in the morning and evening as an excellent blood tonic, to promote regularity, aid digestion, alkalize the blood, and cleanse the liver. Also, she warns, not to use grated beets for the tonic, for the grated beets exude too much juice resulting in a rapid fermentation that favors the production of alcohol instead of lactic acid. That recipe you’ll have to perfect on your own.
Kevin also mentioned an interesting beet recipe idea the other day: Cold Borscht served with a hot boiled potato. Any one have a good recipe for this? Please post to the facebook page if you do!
Here’s to your health!