August 4, 2016

IMG_8968 hankerchiefs maggie roger
This is the height of farm fashion. Maggie and Roger know how to rock the handkerchiefs. Clearly, they coordinated their outfits.

I’ll be gone next week.

I am taking our kids to visit family.  Please limit communication with us until Monday 8/15/16.  Steve is staying home to take care of everything.  If there’s an urgent issue, call or send an email and Steve will help you.  However, he already has a lot on his plate.  Thank you!  Beth

What does “OR” mean?

Often our weekly veggie list includes something like “watermelon OR muskmelon.”  What does that mean?  Sometimes our crops are overwhelming (get ready for tomatoes in August).  At other times they ripen in fits and starts, eg. eggplant and the first harvest of almost any crop.  When there are small amounts, we split them up among the sites.  We make sure that all the boxes at a site are uniform so we can track who gets what.  That lets us follow up to deliver muskmelons in future to the people who got watermelons this week, and vice versa.

When our list says “xxx OR yyy” please don’t open CSA boxes searching for your preference.  All the boxes at your site are the same.  Take your box off the top of the stack.  When you open other members’ boxes, their produce warms up.  No one wants that.  Thanks for your help.

Veggie list and veggie notes (August 4/5, 2016, week #12, purple EOW)

Slicing tomatoes, 3.5 lb
Muskmelon, 1 or 2
Kale, 1 bunch
Carrots, 1.75 lb
Pickles OR Silver Slicers OR cucumbers, ~1 lb
Reddish peppers, 2 (Italian and/or bell)
Zucchini/squash, a few
Walla Walla onion, 1 or 2
Garlic, 1 large or 2 small
Jalapeño pepper (HOT), 1
Flat parsley
Each site receives globe eggplant OR Japanese eggplant OR broccoli OR cherry tomatoes OR an heirloom tomato.

Next week’s box will probably contain tomatoes, peppers, watermelon, cucumbers or pickles, onions, an herb and more.

Tomatoes – As usual, we have packed a mix of ripe and less-ripe tomatoes so you can stretch them through the week. The top two tomatoes in the photo below are ready to eat. The bottom tomatoes need to ripen at room temperature for a few days.  Put on your counter or keep in a brown paper bag.
Storage: Tomatoes retain their best flavor and texture when stored at room temperature, no lower than 55oF.  However, you should refrigerate your tomatoes if they are fully ripe and you don’t expect to eat them right away.  It is better to sacrifice a little flavor and texture than lose your tomatoes to rot.  Also, fully-ripe tomatoes are less sensitive to chilling injury.
Muskmelon – We are sending muskmelons two weeks in a row because they are so darn good.  Let’s repeat last week’s instructions, for those getting their first muskmelon this week. We pick muskmelons at field-ripe stage. However, Steve says they will be even better if you let them ripen further on your counter for a day or two. Watch for a slight ‘give’ when you press the melon at the blossom end (opposite the stem end). Check for fragrance too.  Eat or refrigerate when fully ripe.
Pickles OR Silver Slicers OR cucumbers – You will receive one of these types.  See photo below for identification. This week, we have small amounts of pickles and a white cucumber called ‘Silver Slicer’ which is interesting and tasty.  We don’t have enough for everyone this week, but we will try to distribute them to all the sites over the next few weeks.  You will receive about 1 lb of one of these types.  We’ve moved into a fresh planting so quality is very nice but amounts are small as yet.  Don’t worry about pickling the pickles.  They are excellent for salads because of their thin, tender skins.  That’s what we choose when making a cucumber salad.  Don’t peel the pickles or the Silver Slicers; it’s unnecessary.
Garlic – These bulbs are from our garlic harvest that I showed in the newsletter last week.  They have already dried enough to send to you.
Jalapeño chili (HOT) – These are very hot.

Veggie ID

DSCF7516
Ripe tomatoes (top) and less ripe tomatoes (bottom).

IMG_3042 cukes silver pickles
From top, slicing cucumbers, Silver Slicer cucumber, and pickling cucumbers.  You will receive one of these types.

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

MUSKMELON SALSA
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
I made two versions of this salsa. The first one was exactly as the recipe reads below. For the second version, I grilled the muskmelon and red pepper before preparing the salsa. I must say I preferred this one (though both are great!). If you feel like firing up the grill, follow the notes at the bottom.
Note from Beth: Lauren lives just down the road from us.  She called earlier today to say “I have a great idea for a recipe but need to test it.  Do you have any spare muskmelons and peppers?”  She ran over, grabbed the produce and tested the recipes.  What a gal!

Makes 4 cups of salsa
Takes 15 minutes, 30 if grilling

2 cups diced muskmelon*
1 red bell or Italian frying pepper, diced*
1/2 Walla Walla onion, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Serve with tortilla chips.

*Note: For a smokier flavor, you can grill the muskmelon and pepper. Turn your grill to high and place pepper directly on heat. Turn occasionally so it blackens evenly on all sides (about 10 minutes). Remove from grill and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, remove peel. Then seed and dice. Cut muskmelon in half and remove seeds. Cut into slices and brush lightly with olive oil on both sides. Grill until marks form on both sides (about 3 minutes). Remove from grill, remove rinds and dice. Add diced pepper and muskmelon to all other ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine.

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MY FAVORITE KALE SALAD
Adapted from Martha Stewart
I am literally always looking for an excuse to make this salad. Potlucks, parties, Tuesday, it is my favorite salad on earth. It also happens to be just the perfect way to use up all that kale in your box this week. Add carrots, bell pepper and cucumber (or silver slicer) as written below or any other vegetable you have on hand (scallions, radishes, green peppers and herbs all make tasty additions).†

Serves a crowd (6-10 easily)
Takes 20 minutes

1 bunch curly kale, center rib discard, chopped into small pieces (or try to chiffonade the kale, it’s well worth it!)
2 carrots, thinly sliced into coins
1 red bell or Italian frying pepper, diced
1 cucumber (or Silver Slicer or 2 pickles), cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons peanut butter (or any favorite nut butter)
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup salted roasted peanuts

  1. Throw washed, prepared vegetables together in a large salad bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together oil and peanut butter until smooth.† Add vinegar, sugar and salt. Pour half the dressing over the salad. Stir or shake to coat. Use more dressing as needed. Top with peanuts. Salad tastes better after sitting for a couple minutes. Serve cold or at room temperature.

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LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

Charred Tomato and Pepper Salsa
Ginger Melon Sorbet
Spicy Kale
Gingered Carrots

Outside the Box Recipes

Norwegian Tomato and Cucumber Salad
White Wine Sangria with Melon
Kale Caesar
Vegetable Biriyani

Quick and Easy Meal

Slicing and Cherry Tomato Gazpacho

kale-caesar
Kale Caesar Salad

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