Week 17 ~ Sept.17-Sept.23, 2012 CSA Newsletter

This Weeks Share:  Tomatoes, Peppers Sweet’s and Spicy’s, Cucumber, Summer Squash, A Brassica (Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower), and a Farmer’s Choice item.

Tomatoes: We have some real beauties coming out of the fields for you this week. The heirloom giants we hope you all will try are shown below (from left to right) and are named Aunt Ruby’s German Green, Copia, and Pink Brandy-wine. Each half-share will get to weigh out another few pounds this week.

Peppers: We will have a couple to a few big, sweet, bell-type ones, as well as some spicy chile’s for everyone again this week. A note on the peppers, sugars as well as capsicum (spice) levels increase the brighter in color the peppers are. So, if you are looking at bell-types, then the brighter orange’s and red’s are the sweeter. If you are choosing chili’s, then the reds are the spicier. Hopefully you are enjoying the assortment. Most of our cilantro is bolting, but for some of you I will try and have some bunches for Farmer’s Choice to help out with your salsa making.

Cucumber: Another nice fresh, crisp, cool cucumber or two for your healthy go-to summer snack.

Summer Squash: Yes, still. The sizes and shapes of our upcoming winter squash are looking good and going strong, but some types won’t gain any sweetness until some chilly weather comes our way. Suffice it to say, you and I are still cooking up those zucchini’s! Who wants a sweet-meat squash before it’s sweet, anyway?

Brassica: More tasty cauliflower, broccoli and/or cabbage to fill this component of your share. A couple of you wonderful members have talked about this recipe (below) lately. And of course, how heavenly delicious it is, as well as how fondly children will remeber it! This recipe is the leaner version printed in the 1992 edition of “Moosewood Cookbook.”  I will dare to make this for our family this week, as our field knows no shortage of crisp, beautiful cauliflower heads this year. 😉

Cauliflower Cheese Pie
from Mollie Katzen’s The New Moosewood  Cookbook, via The Washington Post
(serves 3-4)

For the crust

  • 2 c. grated raw potato (from 2-3 peeled potatoes)
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • ¼ c. grated onion

For the filling

  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ t. salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ t. dried thyme
  • ½ t. dried basil
  • 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 c. (4-5 oz.) grated cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ c. milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and generously oil a 9″ pie dish.  Seriously, be generous.  This is the difference between ending up with the crispy potato crust attached to your pie and the crispy potato crust attached to your pie dish.
  2. Keeping each separate, grate the cheese, then the potatoes, then the onion using a food processor or box grater.
  3. To make the crust, place the grated potatoes in a colander and toss them with the salt.  Wait ten minutes, then squeeze out the excess water.  A salad spinner works well for this, or you can wring the potatoes out in a dishtowel.  Stir together the potatoes, egg white and onion in a large bowl, then pat the mixture evenly into your pie dish , building them up the sides to form the crust.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, then brush the crust lightly with olive oil and bake for 10 more minutes.  Remove from oven and lower the temp to 375°F.
  5. While the crust bakes, heat 1 T. olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, salt, pepper (to taste) and herbs and sauté for about 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.  Add the cauliflower and stir well to coat.  Cover and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cauliflower is tender, 8-10 minutes.  Add a tablespoon of water if the cauliflower begins to stick to the pan.
  6. Spread half the cheese over the crust and spoon the cauliflower mixture over, then sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.  Whisk together the eggs and the milk, then pour this mixture over the cauliflower cheese mixture.
  7. Bake 35-40 minutes, until set. Enjoy hot or cold!

Farmer’s Choice: The mystery item for the week will again be something we are ‘in-between-on’ in our numbers or crops. For instance, some of you may get some more beautiful beans (which need a longer cooking time this week), or some of the last of our potatoes, or a big bunch of Cilantro, or some nice Bartlett pears.

FARM NEWS: Another week of warm to hot sunshine, and dry days ahead. The long range forcast looks like September won’t get away without at least a smidge of the typical colder and wetter days. But for now the heat goes on….it’s SO great for the lovely tomatoes. Have you put any sauce or salsa away in the pantry or the freezer yet? We have done some, but not enough. The surplus of tomatoes on the farm will be passed on to you and available for your purchase of even more.

We have settled on October 27th for the Fall Harvest Party. It’s a good time for families and kids to come on out to the farm and have a nice look around. We will have a pumpkin patch for the kids to choose one from to take home for cooking, carving or what have you. We should have some games or tasks and a ‘hay-ride’ around the farm for people as well. We have a nice fire-pit down in our woods and we usually grill something and invite guests to bring a dish to share. You are even welcome to camp if you’d like. We always provide  fixing’s for s’more’s and enjoy the afternoon sitting around the fire. Bring your family out, we really hope to see you out here!

The weekend’s go by so very fast this time of year. Much tractor work needs to get done and cover-crop to get in before it’s too late. I’ll leave you with a shot of my rare, lone Daikon I found growing on the edges of our rows a midst wild, dusty overthrown tillage. Of course it was the perfect snack. I couldn’t have been much happier! Have a fabulous week.

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