Friday, September 3, 2010

CSA Week 13: In Your Share Thsis Week

Week 13.... has to be odd, by nature! This week's share includes a few new things, and a few weird things (some both), along with old favorites. Enjoy!

EDAMAME- a Japanese delicacy: edible soybeans, on the plant! To prepare: pick beans off of plant,and wash. Boil in heavily salted water for 5-20 min, depending on how soft/buttery or fresh/crunchy you may like them (taste test along the way). Drain, serve whole, and to eat, either open pods and pick out beans, or gently scrape beans out of pods with your teeth, artichoke-style. Keep in mind that un-cooked soy can be hard to digest (I'm in the 20-min, soft-buttery camp), but find what works best for you.

WINTER SQUASH- either spaghetti squash (sunny-yellow and oblong) or Delicata squash (small, narrow, creamy-yellow with dark green stripes). To cook either one (or any winter squash, really), slice in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds and pulp, place face-down on a baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan, add a little water to keep cut edge from drying out, and bake at 375 or so for 30-60 min, depending on the size of the squash. Delicatas rarely take more than 30 min; spaghetti could be 30-45; test for softness by poking the skin - if it yields to touch, it's probably done. For delicata, enjoy right in the skin, or scrape out and serve with butter, maple, both, neither, or seasoning of your choice. For spaghetti squash, scrape out stringy, noodle-like flesh with a fork, fluff in a bowl, and add your favorite seasonings or toppings. A primavera-style spaghetti squash (lots of fresh veggies, perhaps some feta or parmesan, olive oil) is nice, as is an Asian-style dressing of tamari, ginger, sesame oil, hot chiles, and cumin.

KOHLRABI- both purple and green this week! These are the first of the "fall brassicas" (broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, collard greens, cabbage, kohlrabi) to mature- and it did feel like fall while we were harvesting! Enjoy these fresh (peel, slice, and eat like a carrot stick, with or without salt), or use any way you'd use a broccoli stem- grated in slaw, salad, or hash is lovely, chopped and stirfried, roasted, etc.

MELONS!!!!! We have melons, yes we do. You may see more watermelons (red, white, or yellow-fleshed), classic orange canteloupe (either Charantais, "Maverick," "Athena," or "Minnesota Midget"), green-fleshed, yellow-skinned "Arava," off-white fleshed, white-skinned "Honey Pearl," or possibly others I'm forgetting. This rain caused several otherwise perfect fruits to split, so in addition to the perfect melons, you may see a few "eat today" melons in your share. For those,you can either eat them today, or cut up and refrigerate up to a week. Please tell your friends about Birch Point melons- there is truly a ridiculous number of ripe melons coming to market with us tomorrow!

Either CABBAGE or KALE- the last of the little summer cabbages or the first fall kale

TOMATOES- more of those delectable, mostly heirloom slicers (including Brandywine, Cherokee Purple, Penny's Yellow, Green Zebra, Rose de Berne, Valencia, and Rutgers), sweet orange and red cherry toms, yellow pear toms, and possibly some roma/paste tomatoes- remember to let us know if you'd like to order preserving quantities of paste tomatoes. Thankfully, the rain didn't cause all of them to split, but you may see a few "eat today" tomatoes in shares this week (fruits with a split, burst from too much rain, perfectly good, but won't keep).

BASIL- so many people asked "where's the basil?" last week, when we thought we were giving you a basil break, that it's back in full force. Now that fall weather seems to have arrived, I recommend putting up a little pesto while you can. Or enjoy it fresh with those luscious tomatoes, and order a preserving share of basil ($10 for a 1-lb bag, toward the end of the season, limited quantity available, first come, first served).

SCALLIONS or RED BUNCHING ONIONS- the very tail end of the summer scallions. The fall scallions are still thread-like ideas, and perhaps they'll end up in the hoophouse, not the field, after all, for winter harvest, so this may be the end of scallions for the normal season.
SWEET ONIONS, however, are here in full force! Enjoy for at least one more week, then we'll move into red onions and LEEKS! And then fall will really be here.

GARLIC- more stinking rose. IS anyone inundated with too much garlic? Not enough? Stay tuned for an invitation to the fall garlic planting party, probably on or near Halloween!

Optional Extras: (prob. Tues. only) Either Beet Greens, Small Loose Beets, or Small Loose Hakurei Turnips.

I think we may be over the hump of summer squash AND cukes! You'll see a few more this week, or perhaps we'll take a break entirely, but after that we're just waiting for the last planting to start yielding in earnest. Should be any day now.
Thanks for all your support so far this season! Please keep the feedback coming.
Remember: eggs go well with almost every vegetable- experiment, find your favorite recipe, share it on the blog or in person. Have a wonderful week!

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