August 6, 2019

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Chard, Squash, Melon, Eggplant, Potatoes, Nectarines and Cucumbers

What’s in your FLOWER BOUQUET: Statice, Globe Amaranth, Sunflowers, Marigolds, Zinnias, Tuberose, Celosia, & Cosmos

What’s in your FRUIT BAG? Peaches, Flame Grapes, Satsuma Plums and Watermelon

 

 

FALL QUARTER BEGINS AUGUST 20

PAYMENT IS DUE NEXT WEEK August 13

Fall quarter begins in just a few weeks. The summer is flying buy! Please fill out the attached form and send it back with your payment. Please send it back via e-mail or snail mail it really helps us keep your orders straight, even if you are not planning to continue please let us know too. The price is as follows

 

Veggies $220         Fruit $195             Bread $40                  Flowers $105

 

 

This Week on the Farm

Well we are over the hump it seems. The Peach Party is the midsummer hump for us, and once that event is over, hopefully it is all downhill from here to the end of the summer. I have to admit it is a steep uphill grind to get to that hump, the peach party has many parts to organize, the farm is usually in messy disarray from a busy spring jumping into the summer harvest leaving weeds growing everywhere, piles left not put away, the recycling pile up to the sky-you know how it goes. So to have a farm clean up while still at full tilt ahead is stressful. A farming friend at the Peach Party came up to me and said that she had been thinking of us preparing for the Peach Party and she said “that we were crazy to be do such an event in the middle of the summer”. Yes, she is right-it is crazy stressful hard to get it all together! This year all three kids were around to take the burden off of Jeff and I, and boy that sure made a difference. Claire is top organizer all around commandeer that has been a part of the party almost every year, has watched me and slowly has taken my roll. She sent out Facebook posts about the party, emails, and generally made sure folks know the dates and are invited. She bugs me about finding a band a month ahead of time instead of stressing out the week before-and we had a GREAT band this year! She worked with Dunloe Brewing getting them 400 pounds of soft ripe peaches and apricots for three different beers that were the best ever, my favorite was the “Peach Party IPA”! Then there is the excel spread sheet for the “To Do” and the shopping list that she kept updating, working on the jobs and crossing them off. I am thankful for the reminders she gave me to order the lamb from Full Belly, she made connections with our local El Toro market to prepare the masa for our 200 tamales, and she picked up the milk order from Yolo Ice for our 4 batches of ice cream that the kids made and ate during the day. There are a lot of details, and Claire is very good at keeping track of them-thank goodness. All week, as I would take a deep sigh, the girls would look at me and say “it will all get done, don’t worry” and it did. Saturday morning Jeff volunteered to go off to market, and not be here to set up, I felt the need to clean the house, and let Zach, Ali and Claire along with the McGregor family get the meadow and the yard set up with lights, hale bales, tables moved and up, farm stand set up, pizza oven fire going, and the last clean up finished.

              

The Peach Party has been part of our lives for the last 26 years; it is quite amazing it has been that long. It started as a celebration of purchasing our land here in the Hungry Hollow, and now it is a celebration of peach harvest, of community, of the summers here in California. It has become a touch stone

for all of us to come together in a circle for grace to take a moment to actually be together, to look at the large circle of folks, to listen to the ever increasing number of children and to give thanks for each other. I think it is a rare moment that happens in our lives with folks that don’t know each other well and are able to join us and listen to Jeff give a bit of a speech about this farm, this family, this season, and our community. It has been a hard year; sometimes it is hard to know what to say, so Jeff was a bit at a loss, even though he was thinking all week as to what to say. Just before the circle I told him that when I ask how the ladies are doing when they come to work each morning they say “I am here”. And that is the truth for all of us, no matter how hard the year has been, or how unsettling the politics, or how saddened we are with what is happening to many of our communities around our country, we are here together at this moment in time willing to be present, joining in relationship to make a better world, together. The Peach Party Circle Grace does that for us, and now that we are over the hump, we take with us the knowledge that we are not alone, we are supported, loved, the gifts of harvest are received, enjoyed appreciated, and what more could a farmer want? And I hope that each person that came had an experience that brought them closer to the land that grows their food for them. Have a Great Week~Annie Main

Eggplant Grill, Roast, or Baked

No matter how you decide to prepare eggplant, be sure not to undercook it, the flesh should feel creamy and soft when fully cooked through. Salt first for less oily eggplant as it soaks up oil like a sponge, but by salting the cut flesh and letting it sit for 30 minutes it reduces its ability to absorb oil. Then pat dry and proceed with cooking.

 

ON THE GRILL

-Brush or spray eggplant slices lightly with oil and then grill over medium heat until deeply browned on both sides.

-Paint eggplant slices with soy sauce, hot sauces and sesame oil before grilling, sprinkle with sliced scallions and drizzle with soy and rice vinegar.

-Make a warm salad of grilled eggplant and onions with feta, spinach and pine nuts. Drizzle with red wine vinaigrette.

-Make a yogurt topping scented with coriander and mint to serve over warm or room temp grilled eggplant slices

-For a fresh take on ratatouille grill chunky slices of eggplant, summer squash, bell peppers, and mushrooms, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and basil.

-Make a grilled caponata to spread on toasted country bread. Grill eggplant and onion slices as well as tomato halves. Chop coarsely and season with chopped olives, capers, olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped parsley and a little sugar.

-Use leftover grill eggplant as a sandwich filling with goat cheese, as a layer in lasagna, or as a topping for pizza.

 

IN THE OVEN

-Make a summer vegetable gratin by layering slices of eggplant, summer squash, and tomato in an oiled baking dish. Season with salt and pepper, tuck in basil leaves, and drizzle with olive oil, top with sharp Italian cheese and bake until tender.

-Roast eggplant halves and use the flesh as a base for a savory pasta sauce or a dip like eggplant caviar.

-Roast oil brushed eggplant slices in a very hot oven until well browned (flip over once during cooking) and serve warm topped with chopped fresh mint and squeeze of lemon, or make a sandwich of two eggplant slices with mozzarella or goat cheese in between.

-Marinate thinly sliced roasted eggplant for a zesty antipasto, after cooling the roasted eggplant toss with red wine vinegar, slivers of garlic, basil leaves and red chili flakes. Drizzle with olive oil and let sit for an hour. Serve on bread with a thin slice of tangy aged cheese.

 

Curried Chicken with Plums and Ginger

If you don’t have crystallized or candied ginger, you can substitute 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger and I teaspoon sugar. Serve with couscous for saffron rice with chopped fresh spinach.

2 tablespoon flour

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon poultry seasoning

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

6 skinned, boned chicken thighs each cut into 3 pieces

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1 cup (1 inch) sliced green onions

6 red plums quartered (about 1 ½ pounds)

¾ cup dry white wine divided

2 tablespoon minced crystallized ginger

Combine first 5 ingredients in a zip top plastic bag, and add chicken. Seal and shake to coat. Remove the chicken from bag, shaking off excess flour. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken, and cook 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan, keep warm. Add onions to pan, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add onions to chicken, and keep warm. Add plums and ¼ cup wine to pan scraping pan to loosen browned bits; cook 4 minutes or until plums are browned. Add ½ cup wine and ginger to pan, bring to a boil. Add the chicken mixture to pan, and bring to a boil Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes or until chicken is done. Yield 4 servings. From July 1999 Cooking Light

 

Swiss Chard with Potatoes and Chick Peas

1 ½ pounds chard

1 onion finely chopped

1 clove garlic

½ teaspoon chilies crumbled

3 tomatoes seeded, chopped

3 tablespoons oil

Salt &Pepper

6 potatoes freshly cooked and peeled

1 cup garbanzo or corn kernels, cooked

Grated Parmesan cheese

Steam chard. Heat oil in skillet, and sauté the onion and garlic until the onion is tender, but not brown. Add the chilies; then put in the tomatoes; and simmer gently, stirring from time to time, until the sauce is well blended and has thickened to the consistency of heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pinch of sugar. Add the potatoes, the garbanzos or corn and the chard. Mix well and heat through only.

 

Melon and Cucumber Agua Fresca

Dual purposes are served here, first is to make a drink that is greenly cool and refreshing, and the other is to use up the extra melon and cucumbers. Adding the cucumber diminishes the sweetness of the melons. Agua frescas are always best drunk the day they are made.

4 cups melon cut into chunks

1 medium cucumber peeled and chopped

Simple syrup

Zest of juice of 1 or 2 limes

Handful of mint leaves, lemon verbena or pineapple sage

2 cups water spring or mineral,

Garnish with sprig of mint, lemon verbena,

Puree the melon and cucumber in a blender or food processor just enough to break them up without letting them get too foamy. Pour the juice into a large pitcher; add the syrup to taste, lime zest and juice, and herbs. Chill well, Stir in the spring water and serve over ice.

 

Poached Peach Cups with Red Wine Sorbet

1 ¼ cups sugar

½ cup water

1 (1.5-lite) bottle fruity red wine (such as Beaujolais)

4 large peaches

1 (3-inch) lemon rind strip

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

6 whole allspice

Combine first 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Add peaches, rind, juice, and allspice: reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until peach are tender. Remove the peaches with a slotted spoon, reserving wine mixture; plunge the peaches into ice water. Slip skins off peaches using a paring knife. Cut peaches in half: remove pits. Place in a large shallow dish; cover and shill. Strain wine mixture through a sieve lined with cheesecloth into a bowl and discard solids. Cover and Chill. Pour the wine mixture into the freezer can of an ice-cream freezer, and freeze according to instructions. Spoon mixture into a freezer-safe container, cover and freeze. Spoon sorbet into peach halves. Serve immediately Serves 8