Planted in this week’s basket –
Carrots– Here we are again. I’m really enjoying this variety, although I’m not remembering their exact name. They did grow slow, but the wait was worth it, as they’re sweet and ever so crunchy! Sweet Onions – Can you remember the names of these two varieties? (Red Torpedo and Siskiyou Sweet) I’m operating under the impression that you can never have too many onions, and I hope I’m not reading it wrong, because there will be onions until the end. Sweet onions will transition to Cipollin onions (an heirloom Italian variety) and then to leeks, and after leeks there will be red and yellow storage onions (of many varieties as well). Can you tell that I enjoy onions!? Sweet Bails – Genovese is the variety. I’m so happy that this crop pulled through! Now the goal is for it to hold until the first heirloom tomatoes come on! Garlic – Lorz Italian is the variety Eggplant – ahh, one of the Holy Trinity of summer fruits is here! Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, now that’s summer! I guess corn should be on the list too, and melons, and basil, well maybe there are more than three pillars of fruity flesh summer. They’ll all be on soon! Armenian Cucumber – Yes, that light green snake in your basket is eatable, and darn good too! I only grow two types of cucumber now: Lemon cucumbers, because they’re like summer’s apples, and Armenian cucumbers. Forget about those green things that get bitter and seedy! Fun fact: Armenian Cucumbers are actually in the melon family. Maybe that’s why they have such a clean crisp taste? I love these, because you never have to peal them, their skin is very tender and the crunch is the best! Summer Squash – Tomorrow is National Zucchini Day and it’s your duty to celebrate! I made a great zucchini salad the other day, I’ll send a link to the recipe that I used as a template (I say template, because I’m horrible at following actual directions and I alway take liberties to add and omit 🙂
Where did week #9 go? Well, I don’t know. And here we are already in week #10! Halfway through! It’s time of the race when you collect your complimentary little Dixi cup of water (that’s supposed to hydrate you?), dig deep and keep on going. Actually, it’s not that grueling. I feel like I’m just settling in and relaxing; finding the groove, the farm and myself. The pleasure of it all is here. To go back to running analogies, I was running my first 1/2 marathon when, at the last 400 meters, I passed an old man. I thought to myself, ‘oh my goodness, I’m just now passing this guy!’ I pass him, with the extra energy of excitement in almost being done and say, “Keep it up, almost there.” He grinned and said, “No, I’m only half way through.” This season I feel like that grinning man, just half way through, enjoying the journey and I wouldn’t want it any other way!
The farm looks good, things are growing and stretching. The smoke comes and goes. As long as it’s not too thick, it can actually be a boon, because it’s 10 degrees cooler than it would be with out the layer. This makes it such that I can actually work outside after lunch, durning the 2:00 death time! When it’s bad however, it’s bad! There’s a bit of nostalgia towards the smoke at times. In India there was a lot of ritualistic burning in the morning hours, Puja, and it transports me there as the red morning sun rises over the mountains. It also reminds me of European cigarette filled bars and my Grandmother’s kitchen, where ‘Regis’ always played on the corner TV.
Among many of the crops that are coming out of the fields is something you wouldn’t think of as having a market, but it does indeed: squash blossoms. Brett, at Cafe Maddalena, orders all the blossoms that are available each week. Each Wednesday, I get up early in the morning and it’s the first thing I harvest. I harvest them in the early A.M. hours for two good reasons, the first being that it’s cool and the blossoms are very delicate, secondly, the bees love them as much as Brett and the warmer it gets, the hungrier they are, so it become a battle, where I have to shake out each one to dislodge the sweet buzzing farm friend. What does he do with blossoms? I’m under the impression that he stuffs them with cheese and then fries them into crispy decadence. Here’s a Dunsmuir pitch, because it’s such a sweet little town. I suggest you check out the Facebook page for the California Theatre in Dunsmuir which is currently showing movie classics and then go over and try out some squash blossoms of your own at Madallena!!
Another exquisite suggestion is to hike up to South Gate Meadows. It’s beyond beautiful this time of year!
And for your recipe enjoyment……. Click on highlighted key words to go to link –
Zucchini Ribbons with Almond Pesto – and more! I started with this, then added a Torpedo onion, a few tomatoes (from my sister’s garden in Yuba City), and some feta cheese. Oh boy, it was yummy!
This might be the next raw salad that gets chopped up in my kitchen! – Cucumber Salad with Lime Dressing
No, maybe THIS is the next salad on the list – YUM! Moroccan Roasted Carrot Eggplant Quiona Salad.