Monday, July 15, 2013

CSA Week #4 Newsletter (2013)

Hello members!

As the next pickup approaches, I hope you're managing to get through your veggies from last week.  A few storage tips: keep leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, and even zucchinis and cucumbers in your crisper in plastic bags tied tight so the water doesn't evaporate out and cause the vegetables to wilt.  If you plan on using your zucchinis and cucumbers fairly quickly (within a few days) you can leave them on the kitchen counter.  Fresh garlic can be left on the counter but it won't last as long as the cured garlic you will receive in late-August, September and October, which can remain in a cool dry place all winter.  For more food saving tips, see the bottom of this page:

Tis' the season for zucchini-everything!  If you run out of ideas for using your zucchinis, either 'Google-it' or shred them and freeze for winter soups and zucchini breads.  I've already made zucchini cake, soup, and had slices marinated for barbecuing this weekend.  I even barbecued whole zucchinis (we've been calling them zucchini sausages) and served with garlic aioli!  The next recipe to revisit is in Recipes Week 7: zucchini fritters!

Friday night, I caramelized turnips, determined to like them; and finally I do!  It is the only vegetable I've disliked - until now!  Slicing them was an ordeal because to me, they smell like nail polish but once I had them in the pan with onions, butter and wine, the aroma improved and they tasted great!  They're not included in the regular selection this week but we may have a few portions in the trade box for those turnip enthusiasts!

For lots of recipe ideas, search this blog or look for the recipe tabs at the top.  Keep checking back as I add more recipes all the time.  Since the vegetables mature at different times every year, you might find a great basil recipe in Recipes Week 6, even if it's only week 4.  The internet is also a wonderful source for great recipes.  Here is the selection for this week:
Broccoli * Brocoli
Zucchinis* Courgettes
(but not patty pans until next week!)
Cucumbers * Concombres
Summercrisp lettuce * Laitue Summercrisp
Kale * Chou Frisé
Swiss chard * Bette à carde
Fresh garlic * Ail frais
Basil * Basilic
Cauliflower * Chou-fleur
 Broccoli is on the menu once again.  I haven't tried it myself but love cream of broccoli soup; check out this recipe and if anyone tries it, let me know how it tastes!  You will receive more cucumbers this week and I have yet to find a really good cold cucumber soup.  If anyone has a delicious recipe, please post it below in the comment box.

The lettuce of the week is Summercrisp, a batavian variety, which is a mix between romaine and leafy.  I hope you're enjoying those fresh salads!  For something different, try one of these lettuce wraps.  Kale and Swiss chard are here for another round.  There are lots of ideas for these healthy vitamin-rich greens in the recipe tabs above.  A CSA member pointed out an interesting fact about kale which you can read about here:  To summarize, kale should be boiled before eaten in order for your body to properly absorb the beneficial ingredients.  Fresh garlic and basil can be added to pesto or this tasty tomato basil quiche.

Cauliflower is crop we always have issues with, when it comes to growing them organically on a large-scale.  First of all, there are a few pests that attack vegetables in the brassica family.  If it's not aphids or flea beetles eating your plants, it is the cabbage worm, who can destroy a whole crop very quickly, as we've experienced.  We cover our brassica seedlings with row cover to protect them until they are large enough to fend for themselves.  Once the row cover comes off and an egg-sized cauliflower head has emerged, we collect the leaves surrounding the flower and tie them up with a rubber band to keep the sun and moisture off - this is called blanching.
Moisture will rot the flower and sun will turn the white flower an unappealing yellow or brown colour.  I'm not sure the taste is affected (I haven't noticed a difference) but it doesn't look great.  This is the first year that the flowers appear to be properly bleached!  If you find a cabbage worm or two in your cauliflower or broccoli, dunk the heads in a cold salt water bath and watch the worms float to the top.  Don't be afraid of potentially eating a few worms - try to see it as a little added protein!  They won't make you sick (I know from first-hand experience.)  That being said, I hope you all have worm-free brassicas this week.  Hey, at least they are chemical-free, which I think is better.

Eat your cauliflower raw in salad, roasted with Luxy garlic, or add it to omelets, pot pies, stew, soup and quiche.
Happy feasting!!!

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