Friday, July 8, 2011

Badger Rock Farm Veggie Share Newsletter - Week #7

Back when it was raining endlessly, I wondered if there would come a time when the faucet turned off, and the oven turned on. That is indeed what has happened, and it has become interesting keeping everything watered. I've even caught myself hoping for rain...something I couldn't have imagined doing just a few short weeks ago. Funny how things like that work. The great news is that, as long as they stay watered (which, so far, they have), the plants are just loving this warm weather, and they are doing a lot of growing. I am very happy to be able to offer you something besides just leafy greens this week. Enjoy!
Familiar Items: Head Lettuce and Salad Mix.
What's New This Week:
Kale Kale is one of my favorite leafy greens, and it has a reputation for being very good-for-you too. You can steam it by slicing up the leaves and stems, placing them in your steam basket, and steaming for approx 5 minutes (until the leaves take on a bright green hue, you don't want to overcook them). Or, you can saute it. Here is a recipe recommended by the Food Network's Bobby Flay:
Sauteed Kale
¾ pound young kale, stems & leaves coarsely chopped
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
¼ cup vegetable stock or water
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add vinegar. Serves 2.
Snap Peas I can hardly describe how excited I was to glance over at the pea vines (that have been planted since March) and see that they had become, seemingly overnight, loaded with peas! Finally! My favorite way to eat them is raw, one right after the other :-). Steaming them is my second favorite way to prepare them. Simply place the peas in your steam basket, place over boiling water and steam until they are just tender (but still with a bit of crunch...approx 1 – 1 ½ minutes).

Carrots – The carrots have loved this warm weather, and have done a lot of growing over the past week or so. I am happy to finally be able to include them in your veggie shares this week!
1 bunch carrots, scrubbed and grated
1/2 bunch dill, chopped
3-8 spring onions, chopped
yogurt on it's own or mixed with a bit of sour cream
splash of vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients. You can get creative if you like by adding a bit of mustard, a few raisins, a few nuts or some other grated vegetables. Also, you can spice it up by adding vinaigrette or a flavored olive oil instead of the yogurt.

Dill – I know you've gotten a lot of dill in your shares already. This is just enough to use with the carrot recipe, if you'd like.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Badger Rock Farm Veggie Share Newsletter - Week #6

What a switch from working hard to keep things warm, to working hard to keep them watered and alive! I will be very happy when I get all of my drip-hoses laid out, so that I can take advantage of our gravity feed irrigation system. Mother Nature had been helping me out by showering now and again, but this last week turned off the water and turned on the cooker. Many of the veggies like that a lot (as long as I keep them watered). The tomato plants are growing fast, as are the squash and many others. The lettuce's opinion of high heat is not nearly as friendly, but it will just keep getting reseeded so that we have a (hopefully) constant supply. I hope that each of you are enjoying this summer weather, and doing a better job at avoiding sunburn than I did this week :-D!

What's In Your Box

Salad Mix -- This week, the salad mix contains a variety of lettuces, beet greens, chard and sorrel. Herbs are mint, savory, thyme, chervil, cilantro and dill. The edible flowers include Johnny-Jump-Ups, Sweet William dianthus, and some brassica and chervil blooms. 

Swiss Chard -- Here is a recipe for this week's helping of chard:

2 tbps olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch chard, stalks discarded (or, set aside for use in another recipe) with the leaves cut into wide ribbons
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until it is tender and aromatic (approx 2 minutes). Add the chard and balsamic vinegar; cook and stir until the chard is wilted and tender (approx 5 minutes). Season with salt & pepper and serve.

Sorrel -- After being harvested heavily for the first veggie shares, the sorrel has had time to recover and is once again turning out delicious, lemony-flavored leaves. Here is a recipe for a sorrel cream sauce that is good with chicken fish or pork:

Sorrel Cream Sauce

1/2 pound of sorrel
2 cup of light cream
1 teaspoon of butter
4 egg yolks
5 cups of chicken broth
Saute sorrel in the butter until wilted. Set it aside. Heat the chicken broth to a boil and lightly beat together the egg yolks and cream. Remove the broth from the heat and add the egg mixture, stirring with a whisk. Cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly, either over very low heat or over hot water. Definitely do not allow mixture to boil! Remove the mixture from the heat, add the sorrel and set in cracked ice to cool, stirring often. Salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate. 

Head Lettuce –
A fan of cooler weather, we'll see what the lettuce heads think of 94 degrees. For now, though, they are still doing well and looking good!
Sage -- An herb whose aroma always reminds me of Thanksgiving (and stuffing!!), sage brings a delicious flavor to summertime recipes as well. You can also dry sage, to preserve it for later use. 
Sage Biscuits
2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/2 tsp fresh, diced sage
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 cup milk (or buttermilk)
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan. Whisk sage into the flour. Using a large dinner fork, stir in the mayonnaise and milk until combined. Do not overmix. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups and bake in the preheated oven for 12 - 15 min. until golden. Note: Do not mix up the biscuits too far in advance in order to retain the leavening powder. This batter can also work great as a topping for pot pies (in place of the rolled crust).
Dill -- Dill is doing its best to stage a complete takeover of my garden! It enjoys seeding itself wherever it sees fit. I can't complain. Few things remind me of summer as does dill's unique aroma. Bees also love dill's flowers, which is why dill seed is frequently included with the "beneficial insect mixes" that I've ordered before. 
1 lb Salad Macaroni
6 whole eggs 
2 cups mayonnaise 
1 tbsp mustard 
1 bunch fresh dill (aprrox 0.75 oz) 
Salt & Pepper to taste
Boil pasta. Drain and rinse it with cold water. Put pasta in a large serving bowl. Boil eggs by covering them with water in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the water comes to a boil then lower heat to a simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water with a spoon and run cold water over them to cool. Then peel eggs and cut into pieces. Add to pasta.
Mix mayonnaise, mustard and dill. Mix into the pasta and egg mixture. Refrigerate until chilled.
Hyssop – Hyssop is an ancient herb in the mint family that is mentioned in numerous places within the Bible. It can be used in soups, stews, or chopped into a salad to give it a refreshing flavor. Its flowers are also a favorite of honeybees, and they function to attract them to the garden. As a rule, it is good to remember that hyssop is strongly flavored. When in doubt, be sparing on the volume of it that you use. Taste your recipe frequently to avoid overpowering it with hyssop's characteristic flavor. Hyssop leaves can be preserved by drying them.
Glazed Carrots with Hyssop
Approx 1 lb carrots, scraped and thinly sliced 
1 cup chicken stock 
1 tbsp honey 
1 tbsp unsalted butter 
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh hyssop leaves 
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
In a saucepan, combine the carrots, stock, honey, butter, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook over low heat until the carrots are tender and the liquid is a syrupy glaze (approx 20 min or so). Be careful that it does not burn. Toss the carrots with hyssop and serve immediately.