Some of this week's goodies!

on Monday, June 6, 2011

Hi folks! We're starting the Monday delivery of food this week. I'm not sure what all Mary will be bringing in, but here's what's included in your bags from me. Since we're just getting started, the shares are still really small (new people: ask the folks who were members last year - there will come a time this summer where you probably WISH your shares are as small as they are now! Eat your veggies!)

First off, we've got the little bit of broccoli that one person will be getting this week. Remember, some plants really don't produce so much food that every person gets it every week, so I have a random order that you guys will get your food. Last week two of you got broccoli, and this week I barely have enough for one person. You'll be notified via email. These broccoli side shoots are much more tender than the big heads you buy in the grocery store. If you're someone like my Brett who only eats the flowery tips, PLEASE be open minded and try eating the stalks on these as well!! Maybe pick off the leaves... There's not a lot here, so maybe lightly/barely steam them (stove top or microwave), then submerge in cold water to stop the cooking and keep their green color, and then add to a lettuce salad.

Peas are the same way - especially at first. I planted a number of varieties of sugar snap peas, and so far only the "Sugar Ann" variety is providing (and they're the shortest!). I've got enough for two members - you'll get notified. If you've never had sugar snap peas, you eat the whole thing. Sure you can open the pods and pull out the little peas, but the pods are crispy sweet, and are fun to eat - even raw! Toss 'em in a salad. Or if you must, LIGHTLY steam them (on the stove or in the microwave.) I couldn't tell you how long - I never cook them. You might prefer to string them - sometimes the strings in sugar snaps are a little tough.

The order for pea-deliveries is:
  1. Sandie Ribita
  2. Kelly Shook
  3. Alison Murphy
  4. Carolyn Radcliff
  5. Julie Gedeon
  6. Diane Rupelt
  7. Erica Lilly
  8. Jennifer Wallace
  9. Anita Clary

We've got two varieties of kale coming out of my garden this week - first is the very frilly looking Russian kale. These are more of a tough kale - you'll probably want to roll a bundle of leaves up like a cigar and then slice the "cigar" into thin ribbons before steaming, blanching or sauteeing. You might prefer to cut out that mid-rib first if you don't like the firmness - but I'm sure it's good for you. Eat it. Kale's great when sauteed with some olive oil, garlic, maybe a little crushed red pepper, and a squirt of lemon juice or a tiny drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Warning - a lot of this goes a little ways - meaning it'll cook down a fair amount (like when cooking spinach).

There's less of the Niro di Toscana kale, also known as Dinosaur Kale. This is excellent for making the very trendy kale chips that you might've heard about the last couple of years. I've made 'em - and they're good! Nothing like a potato chip, but they're kinda fun to eat!

Please note that few of the kale leaves included this week are young, tiny and I don't know that any would really be a good addition to a raw salad. Maybe later...

More lettuce! This time you're each two baby heads of lettuce - there's three varieties, and you'll each find two in your bag. There IS a risk there's a slight hint of bitterness in the lettuce - just make sure your salad dressing tastes good if these are bitter. ;-) Oh, and I haven't washed any of the greens, herbs, etc - so make sure you give a thorough washing and picking over.

You'll each find a bundle of herbs in your bag. I know some of you aren't as familiar or used to working with fresh herbs, so here's a quick rundown.

First is mint. You could probably stick your mint in a glass of jar, find it'll send out roots in a week or so, and if you get it anywhere near soil, it'll take over your whole yard! But it sure tastes and smells good! Great in Mediterranean marinades and lemonaid.

Sage - there's three varities here - you'll find one in your herb bundle. You can see the plain green grows much bigger. A little of this goes a long ways. Excellent in pork or poultry dishes. Don't just think Thanksgiving turkey, but DO remember it can be potent!

Oregano - mmmm pizza sauce, right!? To make it easy to get all those leaves, grab the oregano at the tiny growing tip with one hand, lightly pinch the stem with the other hand and pull your pinched fingers down the stem to knock off a lot of the leaves for mincing.

Looks like I forgot to take a picture of the rosemary, but it's in there too. Pine-y scented, a little can go a long ways. Excellent with all meats if you ask me.

To be honest, whenever I'm doing any sort of marinade for chicken or pork for the grill, I'll grab whatever herbs are doing well at the time - any mix will do. Chop 'em all up, toss 'em in a zip lock bag with the raw meat, salt, pepper, lemon juice and/or beer and/or wine, and some glugs of olive oil. Let that sit over night - and it'll be great on the grill the next day. Using a different combination of herbs each time adds variety. For the vegetarians - um, maybe you can do this with tofu or halloumi cheese? (Yup, there's a cheese you can fry or grill easily!)

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