Week #15, August 30/31, 2018

Steve and I picked melons together today, something we do a few times each season and the traditional way to celebrate one’s 20th anniversary.  What??  Not everyone celebrates this way?  I’m pretty sure 20 years is the “melon anniversary.”  “Paper anniversary” for the first year, cotton for the second, etc.  We look forward to celebrating our 25th “red pepper” anniversary.  Honestly, china and silver are overrated.

It was crazy to get married in late August; we neglect every anniversary.  We planned our wedding for August to gather our families in Wisconsin during the summer.  It worked well, with a lovely wedding and reception at Folklore Village in Dodgeville.  What a beautiful place.  The reception was potluck and all our friends brought their best cooking.  August was great for the wedding, but now we tend to work right through our anniversary each year.  Steve and I will go out to dinner this weekend to celebrate properly, and will be sure to order melon salad.  Beth

Farm News and Tomato Update

From our fenceline, this is the view past our neighbor’s prairie and down to the Evansville wildlife area.

Rain continues for us, but not as torrential as last week. We got a mere 1.5 inches this week. Our farm gets wet and muddy but doesn’t flood. There’s good drainage into the broad wildlife area at the northern edge of our farm.  We hope you are all faring OK.  We watch the flood maps in Madison and across Wisconsin and hope for the best for our friends and CSA members.

This week’s tomatoes are better than last week because of lighter rain.  We offered extra slicing tomatoes for sale this week.  Our first priority is always to fill the CSA boxes.  Once we have 4 or 5 pounds picked for each CSA box, then we can sell extra tomatoes to members.  We might have extra plum tomatoes to sell next week.  Those are in good shape.  Watch for emails from us next Tuesday/Wednesday (Thursday sites) or Wednesday/Thursday (Friday sites).

We are not going to host a tomato upick this summer.  First, we need to conserve the tomatoes for the CSA boxes.  Second, they are a difficult pick this year.  Leave this harvest to the professionals.  We’ll try again next season.

Veggie List and Veggie Notes
Week #15, Aug 30/31, 2018
– weekly shares
– green EOW

It’s a salsa box!

Sweet corn, 9 – 10 ears
Watermelon, red (most sites) or yellow (2 sites)
Slicing tomatoes, ~5 lb
Romaine lettuce, 1 medium
Colored bell peppers, 2
Red frying OR Oranos peppers, 2
Zucchini/ squash, 1 small (most sites)
Red onions, 1 or 2
Jalapeno chile (HOT), 1
Cilantro, 1 bunch
Garlic, 1 bulb

Next week’s box will probably contain tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, carrots, onions, Romano beans, and more.

Sweet corn – This Steve’s favorite variety again, “Vision.”  Most ears have worms at the tip, following a big moth migration.  When corn is likely to have worms, I just cut the tips off the ears before husking.  It makes handling the corn more pleasant.
Watermelon – Most sites get a small red watermelon, a variety called “Dark Belle,” bred to produce personal-sized melons.  This is a great size for CSA when the boxes are so full.  One or two sites get a yellow watermelon instead.
Garlic – The first garlic!


Visit our 2018 Recipe Log or our 2017 Recipe Log or join our Facebook discussion group.

LOCAL THYME/ Comforting Classics
Simmered Tomato and Jalapeño Salsa
Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Refried Bean and Corn Enchiladas
Tomato, Ham, Cheese Omelette

LOCAL THYME/ Outside the Box Recipes
Spiced Shrimp with Corn Cakes
Watermelon, Corn and Black Bean Salsa
Snapper Veracruz
North African Roasted Vegetable Salad

LOCAL THYME/ Quick and Easy Meal

Recipes from Lauren

Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side.
Takes 30 minutes.

1 red onion, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wide slices
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1-1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black peppers
3 red peppers (a mix of fryers and bells is fine)
2-3 tomatoes, cored and diced
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 cup whole milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup cornmeal
2-3 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus more to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional

  1. Preheat your grill to medium high heat. Alternatively, if you don’t have a grill, preheat the broiler of your oven.
  2. In a medium bowl combine onion with 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Place on preheated grill. Also place whole peppers on grill (no oil or seasoning necessary). Grill for 15-20 minutes until onions are charred on both sides and peppers are blackened on all sides. The onions may get done first but probably just 4-5 minutes before.
  3. Meanwhile, get your polenta going. You can easily walk away from your grilling veggies for 5 minute intervals to do this inside, but if you have a burner on your grill, by all means use that to make the polenta!
  4. Melt butter in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat. Add garlic, jalapeno and remaining salt. Cook until fragrant and softened, about 5 minutes then add milk and water. Turn burner to medium high and continue cooking mixture until it just begins to get foamy. (This should take about five minutes. Watch the pot carefully at this time since once it gets foamy, the mixture quickly rises to the top of the pan). Remove the pan from the burner and turn it to medium low. Slowly add the polenta to your pot, stirring with a metal whisk as you go. Return to burner and cook for 10 minutes, whisking occasionally. Add corn and cook 5 minutes longer.
  5. Remove grilled onions to the same bowl you prepped them in. Add peppers once charred and cover bowl with a plate for 5 minutes. Remove skins from peppers followed by tops and sides. Roughly chop the peppers and return to bowl. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil, maple syrup and vinegar. Toss to coat.
  6. Serve polenta warm with diced tomatoes, and grilled veggies. Sprinkle with cilantro if using. Taste and adjust flavors as desired. I added a little more balsamic and salt.

Takes 2 hours (a little more if making the crust from scratch)
Serves 4-6

1 batch favorite store-bough pie crust (or make your own; my favorite tomato pie crust is here)
4-5 pounds tomatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1 red onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1-1/2 cups shredded havarti (or other favorite cheese to pair with tomato; something simple like cheddar or swiss would work just fine)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 pieces cooked, thick-cut bacon

1.  Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
2.  If making your crust from scratch, get this going first so it has plenty of time to chill in the freezer. If not, hop to step 3.
3.  Core and cut tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices. Lay tomato slices on two large baking sheets so that they overlap slightly but are mostly in a single layer. This may take four pounds of tomatoes or it may take five depending on how thick your slices are. Drizzle with olive oil (probably a tablespoon or two for both pans) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 45 minutes until the tomatoes look dehydrated and most of the liquid has evaporated.
4. Then, work on preparing your filling. In a large saute pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and saute for five minutes until softened. Add garlic and continue cooking for 20 minutes until onions are beginning to caramelize.
5.  In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, havarti, parmesan, thyme and bacon. Stir until smooth. Once onions are done cooking, add those to the mix. Stir to combine.
6.  By now your tomatoes should be done cooking. Remove them from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375 degrees. Roll out the crust and place in a 9 or 10-inch pie pan. Place aluminum foil and pie weights (or rice or dried beans) inside and bake for 15 minutes.
7.  Remove crust from oven. Pour onion mixture over the bottom. Add sliced roasted tomatoes and bake for 45- 55 minutes until the crust is golden. Let cool at least 5 minutes before devouring.

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