June 21st, 2022
What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Carrots, Summer Squash, Cabbage, Potatoes, Plums, Chard, kale or Collards
Bread this week: Rosemary Focaccia OR Whole Wheat your choice of one
This week on the farm
Happy Solstice! This last week has been a recovery week. After 3 marathon weeks of apricot harvest, and then the fire last Saturday, we have all been trying to come back to some version of balance, which is not always easy when we still have the normal day to day responsibilities to juggle. However, I think we are getting there. We spent a really lovely Sunday all together at the Ranch in Santa Rosa for father’s day. Where my dad’s only request was “Nobody does anything they don’t want to do”, so he worked on the faulty latch to the Explorer, Claire read her book in a hammock, while mom and I made a few lavender wreathes and chatted. Oh, and we ALLL napped. It was good.
Now, back at the farm, I thought I would tell you all about the little furry friends we have been living with. Yep, its kitten time! Just about every year (as I am sure many of you know) we have at least one litter of kittens that we bring into the house to tame, so that we can find homes for. For us, it’s all part of the yearly cycle, and is pretty fun. Nolan and Zoe come over to play and cuddle with them, and usually give them names. This year we have Grayson (the grey striped one) Blackie (the black one, who has been renamed Terry pterodactyl after his 6th claw) and so on. As the kittens get bigger, we then start telling our members or customers at the market, or any friends we can invite over unaware, that we have a kitten for them! So if you know someone who would like to add a kitten to their family, please let us know!
Just the other day, I got to thinking, wondering what people think of our little kitten operation. How do we have kittens every year? Why don’t we have a spay/fix program?? Understandable questions of course, so I thought I would share a little bit about cat life on the farm.
Every morning at about 6, or 6:30 when I actually stumble out the door, I am greeted by the two dogs, Bo and Ru, patiently waiting to be fed. Right behind them is Fluff and Puff, the leggy long haired siblings that are never seen apart. As I take my first step out the door, they all turn and start leading me where they would like me to go – to the food. As we enter the barn, Lizzy Jr will hop down from the rafters, Tigre will come in from his part of garden territory, and Screecher (whom is deaf, about 20 years old, few teeth, failing hips, and a screeching noise she makes instead of a cute “meow”) comes swerving up from her sleeping spot. Into the food room I go, surrounded by the pack. Dotty, whome is like the “crazy aunt” type of cat, fierce hunter in the garden, but with more than a few screws loose, will run to the same spot every morning and wait her portion. One scoop for her, and lookout, sometimes she will paw my hand to make sure that the food comes her way. Then into the old side room of the barn that is now nothing but the cat feeding spot, where all the kitties will be purring and twirling, trying to entice me to give them their food. Some cats which are less tame I feed in their own special spots further away, and Screecher gets soft food, on account of those missing teeth.
Generally we see the same cats every morning, all but 2 are currently fixed. We actually do have a program to try and be responsible with them! But it is not that easy catching a full grown feral cat! Even the kittens will bite and claw us up pretty good when we first catch them, the big ones can do some damage. So it’s a slow process of trying to tame a feral cat every morning at the food table. One little pet when they are too busy munching to notice, and the next day maybe 2 pets! We have resorted to traps when we have had too, but I don’t really like it personally. And the hardest part, is JUST when you have them all spayed and we are feeling good. Somehow word gets out to the feral kitty collective that there is this place where food is put out every morning for any cat that shows up, and poof, suddenly we have a new face peeking through the weeds, waiting for me to leave so she can come get some crunchies.
Its quite the experience getting to know the cats at Good Humus, just like the humans, they are a little scrappy, a bit dirty, but chock full of personality! Have a great week!~ Ali
Morning Glory Zucchini Carrot Muffins
For the wet ingredients:
1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture
1 cup shredded carrot
⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce(or sub 1mashed banana)
½ cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the dry ingredients:
1 cup oat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut 1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
For the mix-ins:
⅓ cup chopped walnuts (or pecans)
⅓ cup chopped Medjool dates or raisins
For topping (optional):
More chopped walnuts
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 10 muffin liners and grease the inside of the liners with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking. Shred and measure out zucchini (it should be about 1 heaping cup), then place in a paper towel or cheese cloth and squeeze out all the excess moisture. In a large bowl mix together the wet ingredients: shredded zucchini, shredded carrot, applesauce, maple syrup, eggs, coconut oil and vanilla extract until well combined. In a separate large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: oat flour, all purpose flour (or gf flour), shredded coconut, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Fold in chopped walnuts and chopped Medjool dates/raisins. Evenly divide the batter between the muffin liners. Sprinkle the tops with rolled oats and a few more chopped walnuts if you’d like. Bake for 23-27 minutes or until a tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Potato Plum Dumplings
4 large russet potatoes
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup farina
1 cup all-purpose flour, or as needed
12 cubes white sugar
½ cup butter, melted
¼ cup white sugar
1 cup dry bread crumbs
Additional melted butter and sugar for garnish (optional)
Scrub potatoes, and place them into a large pot with enough water to cover. bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain, and cool. When potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel, and press through a ricer into a large bowl. Set aside to cool. This part of the process can be done as much as one day in advance. In a large bowl, mix together the prepared potatoes, salt, egg, and 1 tablespoon of butter until well blended. Gradually stir in the farina, and then the flour. If dough is still wet, more flour can be mixed in. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 5 to 10 minutes. Split open each plum, and remove the pit. Replace each pit with a sugar cube, and close. On a floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into twelve 3 inch squares. Place one plum into each square, and bring the corners around to the top. Pinch together all of the seams to seal. Bring a large pot of water to a slow boil. Place about 4 dumplings into the water at a time. Once they float to the surface, continue to cook them for about 5 more minutes. Transfer cooked dumplings to a covered bowl, and keep warm. Melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in bread crumbs, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Continue to cook and stir until browned. Remove the bread crumbs to a plate, and roll warm dumplings in the mixture until entirely coated. To serve, place a dumpling or two on a plate, sprinkle with a little sugar and a little extra melted butter, if desired.
Roasted Plum Tsimmes with Honey-Cider Reduction
4 medium carrots, washed and peeled
4 purple or black plums (not prune plums)
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup apple cider or juice
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice carrots into coins. Place in a medium mixing bowl. Pit and slice plums and add slices to carrots in bowl. Sprinkle grated ginger over carrots and plum slices; drizzle with olive oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper; toss to coat evenly. Brush a baking sheet with oil. Pour carrot mixture out onto baking sheet and spread into a single layer. Roast at 400 degrees tender, about 15 minutes, turning over once. While the carrots and plums are roasting, prepare the honey-apple cider reduction sauce. Place apple cider in a small saucepan and stir in honey and lemon juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat to medium-low and let simmer actively until the sauce is reduced by half and is somewhat syrupy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter, if using. Place roasted carrot mixture in a serving bowl and pour sauce over. Garnish with toasted chopped walnuts if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Curried Zucchini and Swiss Chard
1 Bunch swiss chard
1 medium zucchini thinly sliced
2 scallions white and light green part
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
2 tablespoons butter
a splash of olive oil
a bunch of lemons
jasmine rice optional
Wash and trim your swiss chard. Remove the stems and the large center vein (you can do this by folding the leaf in half and running your knife vertically down the side). Chop into pieces.
Thinly slice your zucchini and scallions. A mandoline is best for this. In a large, wide sauté pan heat 1 tbsp. of butter with a splash of olive oil. Medium heat is good. Add your scallions and sauté for 1 minute. Add a large handful of swiss chard and sauté in batches. As is starts to wilt, you can add more. Your swiss chard is done when it tastes tender, not tough. This should take about 5-6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and give it a taste. Using tongs, remove swiss chard from the pan squeezing out any excess liquid. Set aside on a platter and keep warm.
In the same pan, heat 1 tbsp. of butter with a splash of olive oil. Add the curry powder and warm it through to bring out its flavor, about 1 minute. Add the zucchini and sauté for about 3-5 minutes Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the zucchini over your swiss chard and squeeze some lemon over the top. Serve with extra lemon wedges and jasmine rice if desired.
Cabbage & Zucchini Okonomiyaki
4 ounces bacon, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, very thinly shredded (about 5 cups shredded)
1 medium zucchini (100g), grated
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup water
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon chicken bouillon paste
sliced green onions
toasted sesame seeds
bonito flakes, for topping
Cook bacon in a 9-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. When crispy, transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside. Spoon out about half of bacon fat and save for the second pancake (about 2 tablespoons worth). Return skillet to heat. In a large bowl, toss shredded cabbage and zucchini with flour, water, eggs and bouillon. Spoon half of mixture into hot skillet, patting it out into an even layer over the entire bottom of the pan. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom is nice and browned. Carefully place a plate upside down on top of the skillet, then flip the entire skillet over so the pancake falls onto the plate (use silicone-grip oven mits if you have them, it’ll make things much easier!) Slide pancake back into skillet so the browned side is now facing up. Cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or second side is also golden brown. Slide out of skillet onto serving platter or a baking sheet (keep in a warm oven while you cook the second pancake). Return skillet to heat along with reserved bacon fat. Repeat process with remaining cabbage mixture. To serve, drizzle with okonomi sauce and kewpi mayonnaise and sprinkle with bacon bits, green onions and sesame seeds. Top with a handful of bonito flakes. Enjoy while still warm.