Monday, August 6, 2012

Watershed Farm CSA - 07 August 2012 - Delivery #8

Hi everyone!

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:

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 website 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.

Serves 6.

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
4 eggs
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!

, 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 your beans.

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:
Stir-fry Mix
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 week!

Thanks for being our favourite customers!

Teri Dillon

Watershed Farm
768 Allen Frausel Road
Baker Settlement, Nova Scotia
B4V 7H8
c. 902.212.2301 | p. 902.685.3901
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