Summer CSA Week 8

We’re grateful for the half inch of rain we got on Saturday- and we’d like to place an order for more on Monday… but no hail this year please! It is hard to know the total of what damage the hail did last year exactly – but it definitely made the 2020 season feel more Biblical than ever- and not in a nice way.

I am excited for potatoes this week. New potatoes are so extra tasty, tender, and fresh feeling. You could do anything you want with them and it would be delicious. However – if I were you, I’d keep it simple with the potatoes the first few weeks. You have all winter to cover them up with mayonnaise, cheese, or gravy. These first potatoes are so good roasted and then smashed with herbs and butter, or in a potato salad with a bright dressing as opposed to something creamy. Of course- if you’ve been waiting months for local-cheesy hashbrowns, I won’t stand in your way.

Potatoes are such a great vegetable. Even people who don’t like vegetables like them, that’s how great they are. And, while fries and potato chips are not sustainable every day options, potatoes really are quite nutritious as an every day food. They are such a staple of so many recipes from European countries, but they really only made it from the Americas to Europe around five hundred years ago, give or take. In some ways, that isn’t really so long ago.

The share is moving in a particularly American direction this week with the addition of potatoes, peppers and of course the tomatoes and zucchini. What a tremendous amount of work and attention must have happened to breed otherwise poisonous plants into what would become near-global staples. I feel grateful, but of course the how and why these vegetables made it halfway around the world and back is not a happy one for the people who originally bred and worked over plots of potatoes, peppers, tomatoes and squashes. I wish there was a word that mixed joyful gratitude with un-payable debt.

Whatever that word would be, perhaps it will hover over you as you prepare meals from your share this week. I am sure they will all be delicious.

For the farm crew,

Karin


In your share this week:
Broccoli – Carrots – Cauliflower – Cucumbers – Dill – Lettuce – Green Onions – Parsley – Peas – Peppers – Potatoes! – Tomatoes – Zucchini

How to Freeze Broccoli

Janaki is feeling super guilty for sending so much broccoli, so here’s a quick tutorial on how to freeze it so it’s not so overwhelming. You can certainly find videos on YouTube for how to do it, but a lot of them seem too fussy. We like to get things done fast here at the farm, so here’s the farmer way:

Supplies:

1 large stockpot or saucepan, ideally with a steamer basket

Colander

Ziploc quart freezer bags

Ice (optional)

Salad spinner (optional but awesome)

Broccoli (not optional)

Cut the broccoli into smallish similarly-sized pieces, I usually shoot for around 1.5-2″ diameter. Stems can be used as well, though they’re more dense so should be cut smaller/thinner so they blanch in the same amount of time. I only use the tender part of the stems, but you can use the lower part as well if you want to peel to remove the tough skin.

Once your pot of water is boiling well, fill the steamer with broccoli pieces. (Boiling also works, but I prefer steaming). If you cram it really full they don’t cook evenly, so you’ll have to judge the right amount based on the size of your pot. For mine it’s about enough for 1 1/2 bags.

Set a timer for 3 minutes and fill both sides of your sink with water. Put in ice on one side. When the timer is done, dump the steamer basket into the colander. Put that into the side without ice. Refill the steamer basket and reset the timer.

After about 90 seconds, move the colander to the ice bath. Just before the timer goes off, dump the colander into the salad spinner and take the broccoli out of the pot, into the sink, etc.

Spin the broccoli in the spinner to remove excess water. If you don’t have one, just shake the excess off in the colander. Some people pat it dry with a towel but I don’t think you need to be that finicky. Take it out of the spinner and stuff it into bags. Put the bags in the freezer.

Label the bags first so you know what year it’s from. If you forget that part, don’t worry just eat it faster. If you only have a single basin sink, don’t worry, just use more ice. If you don’t have ice, don’t worry. The faster you cool it down the longer it keeps, but I’ve eaten broccoli that’s several years old and it’s usually fine.

If you get really fast/impatient like me, you can have two steamers going at once and still keep up as long as you don’t have any “helpers” in the kitchen.

Final step: make someone else clean up, you’ve done your part. (I still haven’t figured out that step yet.) That’s it, good luck!


Tzatziki Sauce

From Cookie and Kate

  • 2 cups grated cucumber (from about 1 medium 10-ounce cucumber, no need to peel or seed the cucumber first, grate on the large holes of your box grater)
  • 1 ½ cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint and/or dill
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 medium clove garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  1. (Karin’s side note on straining: I would use either cheese cloth, a clean flour-sack towel or a sturdy strainer you could push against to strain water out… or, do it her way): Working with one big handful at a time, lightly squeeze the grated cucumber between your palms over the sink to remove excess moisture. Transfer the squeezed cucumber to a serving bowl, and repeat with the remaining cucumber.
  2. Add the yogurt, olive oil, herbs, lemon juice, garlic, and salt to the bowl, and stir to blend. Let the mixture rest for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Taste and add additional chopped fresh herbs, lemon juice, and/or salt, if necessary (I thought this batch was just right as-is).
  3. Serve tzatziki immediately or chill for later. Leftover tzatziki keeps well, chilled, for about 4 days.

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