Week #43 (3/19 & 21)

This week your basket contains: potatoes, onions, cabbage, bok choy, and spaghetti squash.

This Saturday, March 23rd from 10:00 to 2:00 we are hosting a short WORK PARTY to cover our newest hoop house with plastic.  We will enjoy a pot luck lunch and then TOUR THE AREA OF OUR FARM THAT WE HAVE BEEN RE-FORESTING.  It has been 7 years since we had our subscribers plant more trees with the help of a grant from the USDA.  Come see how our little guys are faring and see what 29 years of restoration has done for our land. All ages welcome.  Please wear footwear for wet conditions.

I think we finally turned the corner weather-wise.  We’ve even been able to form some beds in the gardens for our earliest crops!  We have carrots, beets, radish and turnips up and growing in a hoop house (as well as potatoes planted but not up).  We’ll be getting peas in the ground soon as well as lettuce, bok choy and arugula.  Whoo Hoo!

EGGS:  Amana Ranch, the farm that has been providing eggs for our subscribers has precipitously decided to STOP SELLING EGGS.  We have arranged to purchase some of their chickens, but we will inevitably have fewer eggs than they have been able to provide for you.  As we get back into the egg game, we will also have to re-evaluate the price we need to charge, but you will have plenty of notice before any change we need to make.

While this is a bit late for St. Patrick’s Day, a good cabbage soup is always a good thing.

SPRING CABBAGE SOUP

3½ Tbs. salted butter

1 onion, chopped

4½oz., diced

3½ cups chicken stock, boiling

9 oz. cabbage leaves, chopped

¼ to ½ cup light cream

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

crumbled chorizo or gremolata (optional)

In a heavy-bottom saucepan, melt the butter. When it foams, add the onions and potatoes and toss them in the butter until well coated. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover with a wax paper lid and the lid of the pan and let sweat over gentle heat until soft but not colored, about 10 minutes.  Add the boiling stock and boil until the potatoes are tender.  Add the cabbage and cook, uncovered, until the cabbage is just cooked, 4 to 5 minutes. Keep the lid off to preserve the bright green color. Do not overcook or the vegetables will lose both their fresh flavor and color. Using a blender or food processor, blend the soup until smooth. Season to taste.  Add the cream or creamy milk before serving. Serve on its own or with a sprinkling of crumbled cured Spanish chorizo or gremolata over the top, if desired.

SAUTÉED BOK CHOY WITH CASHEW SAUCE

1/2 cup cashews, roasted
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. ginger, minced
7 dashes Tabasco sauce
2 Tbsp. basil, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. mint, finely chopped
1 1/2 lb. bok choy, washed and dried
1/3 cup peanut oil

Puree the cashews, vinegar, water, sugar, soy sauce, ginger, Tabasco, basil and mint in a blender. Separate bok choy leaves from stalks, and cut stalks into 1-inch long pieces. Sauté bok choy in a large pan over high heat (oil should not be smoking). Stir briskly for 1 – 2 minutes until it is bright green and well seared. Remove from heat and drape with cashew sauce. Serve immediately.   Serves 4

ORIENTAL SPAGHETTI SQUASH SALAD

Flesh of one cooked spaghetti squash

1 small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic

4 Tbs toasted sesame seeds

2 Tbs lemon juice

1 Tbs grated ginger

4 Tbs soy sauce

3 Tbs rice vinegar

1/4 cup veg. or sesame oil

hot pepper oil (optional)

Whisk together oil, lemon juice, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and hot pepper to taste.  Stir in onions and sesame seeds.  Pour dressing over spaghetti squash, mix gently and serve.  This can be served as a warm salad, or refrigerated over night to allow greater melding of the flavors and served cold.