Friday, June 10, 2011

Weekly Veggie Share Newsletter


What a week it has been! Large hail hit on Tuesday 6/7 (the night funnel clouds were sighted around Billings, and even in Musselshell county). Roundup also flooded for the second time in as many weeks. This time, I got stuck out at the farm, which is a mile down the road from my house. This was a much more productive place to be trapped, and I was able to make some progress with transplanting. I think that the farm has fared through all of this crazy weather relatively well. I was lucky that I was running behind due to the previous flood, when I got stuck at the house. All of the tomatoes, squash and cucumber plants were still safe inside the greenhouse! Cabbage and broccoli were already out, however, and did receive some damage. I am hoping they stage a full recovery! Some sunshine will do them, and all of us, a world of good! Thank you, to everyone, for your patience through this challenging beginning to your weekly shares!
Salad Mix -- One of my favorite summer staples: fresh salad mix. Included in this mix are various mixed lettuces, as well as sorrel, chard, beet greens, arugula, mustard leaves, cilantro, dill and mint.
Spinach – It's delicious either raw, in salads, or cooked. Spinach quiche is can prepare it following the same recipe for the sorrel quiche from a couple of weeks ago, substituting the spinach leaves for the sorrel. Wilted spinach is also yummy:
2 quarts young spinach leaves, stems removed 
2 slices of bacon, diced 
1 tbsp flour 
2 tbsp sugar 
1/3 cup vinegar 
½ tsp salt 
3-4 tbsp diced onion
Place spinach in a serving bowl, tearing the leaves if they are too large. Fry the bacon until crisp and sprinkle it over the spinach. Add the flour to the bacon drippings that are left in the pan and stir until blended together. Then, add the sugar, salt and vinegar. Cook while stirring until the mixture is thickened. Drizzle it over the spinach and sprinkle the diced onion on top. Toss salad and serve. Serves 4.
Rhubarb – I have to apologize for the appearance of the rhubarb this week. It took a hammering from large hail the night before harvest. I only included the best looking stalks in your share, but there are still some dings and dents visible. Sorry about that. Hopefully Mother Nature sees fit to give us a break from this rigorous Spring we've received thus far!! Here is another rhubarb recipe for this week.
Rhubarb and Spinach Salad
4 stalks rhubarb, cut into thin slices                                                                                      1/4 cup sugar                                                                                                                     2 tbsp. red wine vinegar                                                                                                      Salt & pepper to taste                                                                                                         16-20 spinach leaves                                                                                                          6 tbsp vegetable oil 
Place the rhubarb in a pan, sprinkle on the sugar and add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Place over high heat and bring water to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and pour mixture through a large sieve into a bowl. Return the liquid to the pan. Stir in the vinegar, salt and pepper, and place over high heat. Cook, uncovered, until the mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup. While that is cooking, divide the spinach onto serving plates. Arrange the rhubarb over the spinach. When the liquid is reduced, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the oil. Pour over the salads and serve.
Chamomile – There is nothing like a cup of fresh chamomile tea before bedtime. To prepare, simply add approximately 2 tbsp of the fresh flowers to 2 cups of boiling water and allow to steep. You can adjust how much chamomile you add to strengthen or weaken to the tea to your taste.
Dill – Dill pickles aren't the only thing you can make with fresh dill. One of my favorites is dill dip, which can be used for dipping veggies or crackers.
1 cup sour cream 
1 cup mayonnaise 
1 ½ tbsp minced onion (or chives!) 
1 ½ tsp salt (or to taste) 
4 ½ tbsp finely chopped fresh dill
In a medium bowl, stir together the sour cream, mayonnaise, onion, salt, and dill. Mix well. Chill at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to mingle. 

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