Apologies for no blog entry for last week... I was gearing up for a big event I organize and some things fell through the cracks. Anyways, this week I do have time for a quick update. So the weather has been a bit challenging- first a long spell of too-dry weather that kept things from getting going like they should, and now we've had some rain, which is great, but the storms were strong enough to create some erosion issues. Nothing major, but it did have an effect on the veggies this week.
In your bags:
Please note that this is an unusually sparse week and is not the norm. We do have some carrots that are getting close, and the tomatoes are setting fruit in the greenhouse, and the potatoes are all up in their field. A lot of great produce is on its way!!
Farming is all about delayed satisfaction; you plan, you plant, you weed, you hope, you cultivate, you nurture and finally after a certain amount of time, you get to harvest and enjoy. But there's a lot that goes into that final product. Anyways, thanks for hanging in there with us! Farming is an adventure, and we appreciate our members sharing the ups and downs with us.
It's salad season, and I always look forward to those first salads after a winter of dried, canned or frozen produce (we put up a lot of our own food and don't often buy much in the produce section of the grocery store). After a bland, cold, grey winter, a fresh, colorful bowl of salad greens is just the ticket. I often forget to buy things like salad dressing, so I make my own. It's very simple, and I learned it while staying with some farming folks in Southern Germany.
1) Maple Vinaigrette
Apple Cider Vinegar
I start with a dollop of olive oil, add about an equal dollop of vinegar and then a smaller dollop of maple syrup. I usually mix these up in a jam jar and then taste them to see what needs a bit more added. If it tastes too oily, I add more vinegar, and then usually a tad more maple syrup to sweeten it up. You can also use honey or sugar, but I like the maple flavor.Body paragraphs of blog.
Here are a few more recipes:
2) Ethel's Rhubarb Pie Here is my grandmother's Rhubarb Pie; very sweet, and very good, especially after it has been refrigerated.
3 cups Rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces before measuring 2 eggs 1 3/4 cups sugar 4 Tbsp flour large pinch of salt
Mix sugar, flour, egg and salt. Add to rhubarb and bake between crusts.(I have made the pie with just a bottom crust successfully).
Bake at 450°F for 10 minutes to brown the top crust, then turn oven down to 350°F for 30 minutes.
1 cup milk 1 Tbsp lemon juice 1 tsp vanilla 1 1/2 cups brown sugar 2/3 cup vegetable oil (or applesauce) 1 egg 2 1/2 cups flour 1 tsp salt 1 tsp baking soda 1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped rhubarb 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp cinnmon 1 Tbsp butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325° F. Lightly grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans. In a small bowl, stir together milk, lemon juice, and vanilla; let stand for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, oil and egg. Combine the flour, salt and baking soda and stir into sugar mixture alternately with the milk mixture until just combined. Fold in the rhubarb and nuts. Pour batter into prepared loaf pans.
In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup brown sugar, cinnamon and butter. Sprinkle this mixture over the unbaked loaves.
Bake for 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
This next one is more like a salad template. Spinach and strawberries go especially well together, especially with a poppy seed dressing, but adding different fruits, fresh or dried, nuts, cheese, meat or herbs are a great way to turn your side salad into a satisfying meal all on its own. I often use golden raisins, chopped up dried apricots, an apple, a pear, any kind of nut I have on hand, bits of cheese, a radish or a carrot- if it sounds good to you, give it a try!
4) Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Pecans
8-oz spinach 1 cup strawberry halves 1 cup pecan halves (or walnuts, or almonds)
1/2 cup cider vinegar 1/3 cup oil 1/4 cup sugar 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp pepper 1 small onion 2 tsp poppy seeds
In a large bowl, combine spinach, strawberries and pecans.
Dressing: mix cider vinegar, oil, sugar, dijon mustard, salt pepper and onion in a food processor until smooth. Add poppy seeds and mix.
(From the Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health cookbook) - yields 4 quesadillas
1 Tbsp olive oil 2 cups finely chopped onions 1 fresh chile, minced (or a sweet pepper, if you prefer) approx 5 cups chopped fresh spinach (coarsely chopped with large stems removed) pinch of dried oregano 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp black pepper 4 whole wheat tortillas, or your favorite kind 1 cup grated cheese (such as Monterrey Jack)
In a large saucepan on medium-high heat, warm the oil and cook the onion and chilis for about 4-5 minutes, or until softened. Add the spinach, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir until the spinach had wilted, a minute or two. Remove from the heat and drain.
Place one of the tortillas in a dry skillet on medium heat. Sprinkle on 1/4 cup of the cheese. After about a minute, when the cheese has begun to melt, spread 1/4 of the drained spinach mixture over 1/2 the tortilla. Fold the tortilla over the spinach and cheese to make a 1/2 circle and cook for a minute. Turn the quesadilla over and cook until the cheese is thoroughly melted.
Remove tortilla, slice into wedges, and dip in your favorite salsa. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
All the best,
for Lucky Moon Farm