First and foremost, I want to say a big and public "Thank You" to
our apprentice Lisa, who manned the ship so that Jon and I could
sneak away for a few days to P.E.I. I got to meet Jon's new niece
Maevey and see his sister and brother-in-law, and we ate multiple
lobsters and had a great time! I hope all of you are enjoying your
summer, and get to enjoy your own vacations (and I hope your
vegetables come along for the trip, too!).
Just because I think she's the cutest thing ever, here is a photo of
Jon, Maevey, and I. She and I had just met, and I look rather crazy
in this photo, so I'm not too sure what she thought of me!
Man, was it hot today! I hope the rest of you got to enjoy the long
weekend and go to the beach. I was picturing you at the beach, as
we harvested and packed your baskets, and wishing I could join you!
Just to let you know, sometimes CSA members order specific items by
emailing me, and we think that is just fine! If you are interested
in purchasing a specific item, or you have company coming and would
like to ensure that you have extra produce on hand, let me know via
email and we can set it up to come along in your bag. Did you know
that you're our favourite customers, and you take priority over
everyone else? We appreciate that you are supporting our farm, and
that makes us want to bend over backwards for you!
A photo of our turkeys, who are getting more and more ugly
("beautiful") by the day! Here is one of the males realizing he's
a male... Yes, they really do that!
Here's the great stuff we're sending you this week:
Following the first delivery of carrots this season, I had a
number of emails about "Carrot Top Soup", since so many of you
exclaimed over how beautiful the tops were. So, today I will share
a recipe for carrot top soup which uses all parts of your bunched
carrots, sent to me by one of our CSA members:
RECIPE: Carrot Top Soup
6 small to medium carrots with tops and roots
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons white rice
2 large leeks, white parts only
2 thyme or lemon thyme sprigs
2 tablespoons chopped dill, parsley, or celery leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups vegetable stock, chicken stock, or water
Pull or pluck the lacy leaves of the carrot greens off their stems.
You should have between 2-3 cups, loosely packed. Wash, then chop
finely. Grate the carrots or, if you want a more refined-looking
soup, finely chop them. Melt the butter in a soup pot. Add the
carrot tops and carrots, rice, leeks, thyme, and dill. Cook for
several minutes, turning everything a few times, then season with 1
1/2 teaspoons slat and add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer
until the rice is cooked, 16-18 minutes. Taste for salt, season with
pepper, and serve.
I will offer the brief disclaimer that I have not tried this soup
yet, and that there is some debate over whether they are toxic or
not (I believe them not, as described in this great
website all about carrots). There's a TON of recipes on this
that make use of the tops in all sorts of creative ways, please let
me know if you have success with any of them. Carrot tops are my
bunnies' favourite food!
I have this great cookbook called "People Friendly Food" that
the following recipe comes from. It's a collection of allergy-free
recipes (gluten-, soy-, dairy-, egg-, and nut-free) put together by
one of the owners of the company I worked for in Calgary. It was my
first introduction to cooking for allergies or intolerances,
something that just continues to become more prevalent in today's
society. I'll bet there's more than a few of our CSA members that
have foods they are allergic to, intolerant of, or just plain want
to avoid: Our Lisa has a number herself, so it's very handy to have
a few more tricks up one's sleeve in the kitchen. Even just knowing
all the different hiding spots of the evil gluten monster is a task:
I tried to avoid gluten once. It lasted a week. It was hard!
That being said, here is a great beet recipe which is pretty simple
and does not contain any of said high-allergens. Caramelized onions
are what makes this so great, and luckily you also have an onion in
your bag which is just begging to be caramelized!
RECIPE: Beets with Caramelized Onions
Perfect for a pot-luck or when you have guests. Tastes even
better the next day.
2 medium onions, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
6 medium beets, roasted and diced
Saute onions in olive oil until dark golden brown (about 20
minutes). Combine dressing ingredients together in a blender until
emulsified. Mix onions, beets, and dressing together and serve.
I am embarrassed to say that I still haven't gotten a chance to
try the chard pasta recipe from the last time we sent you chard, but
I did get a lot of great feedback, so it is still on my mental list
of "things to make". It's too hot to grow spinach right now, so if
you are stuck with what to do with chard, treat it as you would
spinach... and yes, some people do enjoy it raw (I am not
one of those people!). I really like chard with eggs, and I found
this recipe for a crustless quiche that uses your swiss chard, and
your egg share if you have one.
RECIPE: Crustless Quiche with Swiss Chard
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 sweet onion
1/2 bunch swiss chard
2 1/2 cups shredded cheese
1 cup skim milk
1 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2 Wash and dry swiss chard. Cut off the very ends of the stems.
Roughly chop (leaving stems intact) the chard.
3 Add onion and Chard to the oil and saute until stems are tender
(do not overcook). Add salt & pepper to taste.
4 Meanwhile, grate 2.5 cups of cheese. Use whatever varieties you
want/have. Be creative! I used Swiss, Cheddar, Parmesan, and Cojito.
5 Whisk eggs. Add milk and cheese. Fold in the onion/chard mixture.
Add salt & pepper to taste, if necessary.
6 Pour into a greased pie dish.
7 Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown and no liquid seeps
when you poke it with a knife.
I asked Jon what I should say about cabbage this week and he
said, "Why don't you put in a recipe for coleslaw? People on the
East Coast love coleslaw!". I thought that was fitting, as we just
returned from P.E.I. where I enjoyed my first "lobster supper". I
don't know if they have them in Nova Scotia, but this was an
absolutely perfect experience for our vacation. I ripped apart my
first lobster and thoroughly enjoyed every last bit, as well as
all-you-can-eat mussels, seafood chowder, rolls, pie, salad, and
coleslaw! I actually don't have a "tried and true" coleslaw recipe,
so I won't patronize you by pulling one off the internet-- These are
the kind of thing that are passed through the generations, I think!
Please enlighten me with yours, if you have one!
Mint, by Lisa
Mint is one of those deliciously cool herbs. With this crazy heat
lately, it seems like a good time to throw in some mint. If you are
lucky enough to own a blender or food processor (I say this because
I usually move around a lot, and sometimes find myself blender-less,
furiously mashing chickpeas with a fork to make hummus, anyways...
), I would recommend throwing some yogurt, mint, lemon/lime juice
and honey in there to make mint Lassi, a delicious Indian drink.
Nice to have with spicy meals, or just to sit and sip in the sun, or
even for breakfast. Or if you're feeling more/less adventurous, try
slicing up some cucumber, garbling (crushing) some mint, adding ice
and club soda/sparkling water, honey, lemon/lime juice (and
rum/vodka if you fancy) for a lovely, refreshing twist of a mojito.
Or you can always make a nice cup for bed-time tea with it; mint
helps with digestion and insomnia, as well as sore throats. If you
happen to get your hands on some peaches from the valley (so good),
make a simple mint sauce to pour on top of some sliced peaches, just
add a cup of water, a good bunch of chopped mint, and honey to
taste. Cool, and serve. If you are running out of ideas of what to
do with zucchini, make a simple salad with grated zucchini, olive
oil, lemon juice (and zest) and some chopped up mint. If you don't
get around to using your mint, you can dry it by hanging it upside
down someplace out of the light (with good air circulation); or make
some ice cubes, and put a mint leaf in each one.
Depending on the size, you will receive 1 or more cucumbers in
your bag this week. If you happen to get a few small ones, know
that those are some of the best tasting, and great for snacks or
hydration on-the-go (I'm not kidding: sometimes when I'm thirsty in
the field but don't want to walk all the way to the kitchen to get a
drink, I just eat a cucumber!). We hope this will be the start of a
fruitful cucumber harvest, so expect to see them in your bags for
the next while. I'll bet you'll be so glad to meet them they won't
make it to the fridge!
Our broccoli is delicious, and you must know that we think the
stem is the best part. This isn't your typical grocery-store
broccoli-- the heads are smaller-- and you should think of it as a
supplement to your dinner veggies rather than a stand-alone item.
It would be great cooked alongside your carrots, and if you're a
full share it can be added into your stir-fry mix, or cooked with
I'm certain that you have all seen an onion before. If you do
end up making some caramelized onions, they are absolutely fantastic
on pizza. I usually add some brown sugar when caramelizing to make
them extra delicious.
Full-size shares also get:
This will be the end of the stir-fry mix for a while, so savour
these succulent asian greens!
I love beans, especially when they're so fresh they squeak when
you bite 'em!
I told Jon to pick yellow ones, so that there's no confusion of "is
this a cucumber or a zucchini?". However, we didn't have enough
yellow ones, so if you are at all confused, please do email me! A
general rule is that a cucumber will not have a stem and a zucchini
has a stem on one end.
I'll leave you with a photo of what's just hatched on the farm this
Thanks for being our favourite customers!