June 1, 2021

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Red Onions, Green onions, Cabbage, Kale, Carrots, Beets, Spearmint

 

Bread this week: Jalapeno Cheddar OR Rosemary Foccacia- your choice of one

 

Apricots Special Orders:

If you ordered a box for today it will be there for you today. Please double check to make sure you are taking the box with your name on it.

 

NEW QUARTER CHECK LIST

  • Is your name on the list for your order?

  • If your name is not on the list PLEASE DO NOT PICK UP A BOX- we did not pack one for you.

  • If you think your name should be on the list and is not, call us at 530-787-3187 or send an email

  • Check your name off of each separate list when you pick up your produce, so the drop host knows who forgot their box and can give you a call.

  • If you see CONT next to your name on the roster, it means we have not received payment from you

  • If next to your name it says E-MAIL or CALLED, it means we gave you a call and have not heard from you, we would like to know your intensions-we did make you a box for this week only

  • Do we have your order correct? If not give us a call

  • Is your phone number correct? If not give us a call

  • Are you getting the newsletter via e-mail if not send us your address (humus@cal.net)

 

This Week on the Farm   

 

As most of the crew is out picking apricots, trying to get them before the heat does, we did not have time to write a newsletter today. So this is an old little blurb about the apricot trees and my mom’s trip to India with my brother, and the information and history she found there.

 

THE ROYAL BLENHEIM APRICOT

 

The history of apricots in California begins in the mid l800's and the hillside orchard where these apricots ripened, were planted by Louie Sacket.  The story is that these trees, tucked away in the Putah Creek Canyon, produced the earliest apricots in the state, and the first lug used to be delivered East to the Presidents Oval Office each year.  Things have changed a lot, new varieties come earlier, large plantings produce big, deep gold fruits, but these trees have stayed year after year, producing the same fruits that were once acknowledged the best of the best.

     As the years have passed and the trees aged, there were years of neglect and years of good care, years of drought, and years of growth.  What you have in front of you at this moment is a product of all that.  Each apricot is also a present from a unique climate, a gift from the Central Valley of California.  The surface blotching can do little to change the texture and flavor that are a marvel of the combination of sun, rain, fog, wind, soil and water, Mother Nature.  As we who harvest them give thanks each year for the gift of another harvest, I would ask each of you, as you take that first bite, to give thanks for the history of endeavor, and steadfast trees and the beautiful place that brought this gift to you.

Sitting on our table is a small beautiful golden brown wooden bowl with a lid, given to me by Ane Palmo, the head nun at the Chulichan Nunnery in Ladahk, India.  The bowl was full of dried apricots, normally these bowl are used for “tsampa,” which is roasted barley flour.  Both apricots and barley are golden nuggets grown in a region of the world that one would imagine nothing could grow.  The “chuli” or apricot originated in China and Western Himalayas.  The Chinese used a character believed to represent the apricot in writings earlier than 200 BC.  So it is believed that apricots originated in central and Western China, and was carried to Europe before 100 BC.  The Spaniards brought the apricot to the New World with the earliest settlements, and seedlings were planted in California at the Spanish missions in the 18th Century.  The Hunza, a culture of Pakistan are, well known for long life (over 100 years old) and use apricots as a staple part of their diet.  The apricot is so important in the Hunza economy that trees can be given or willed separately from the land on which they stand.  Frequently a daughter is given a special tree as a wedding present.  Every year she will return to pick the fruit.  They think the best part of the fruit is the kernel, it tasted much like an almond.  A paste is made from the nut like seed, oil is extracted from the paste and is used for cooking, fuel from lamps or brighten their hair as a cosmetic. 

The trees that we saw at Chulichan (meaning place of apricots) where Ane Palmo works were planted, some were wild, and were the source of the apricots on our table.  These trees were gnarly and old, with roots in yoga postures that only the old wise ones could manage.  Zachary my son thought I was crazy, when passing under those old trees I started crying and thought “these are wild trees that are the ancestors of our orchard at home.”  It has always been important to me to meet the parents of my friend’s sort of living proof that they are not from another planet.  It is the same feeling, to see living, producing apricots trees growing half way around the world that are the mothers of our apricot orchard.  We slept under the old arching arms, sat on their gnarly knees of roots, and listened to their stories as they shook their few remaining leaves, and above all took pleasure in their tasty fruits.   Enjoy these wonderful fruits. ~ Annie Circa 2007

 

 

Apricot Bourbon Smash Cocktail

2 oz bourbon-whiskey

2 oz apricot puree (recipe follows)

1/4 oz lemon juice

3 mint leaves, plus more for garnish

Puree:

8 apricots, pitted

2 Tbs lemon juice

2 Tbs sugar

In a food processor or blender, puree apricots, lemon juice and sugar. Strain through a fine mess sieve and discard skins. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine bourbon, apricot puree and lemon juice. Tear mint into the shaker by hand. Shake until well chilled and pour into a mason jar filled with ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint.

 

Crunchy Beet Carrot Slaw

3 beets

3 large carrots

30 fresh chopped mint leaves, about 1/2 cup

1/2 cup sultanas (golden raisins)

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon honey (agave for vegan)

1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper

Wash the beet and carrots well. If the skin looks smooth and clean, leave it on. If it looks rough and dry, peel it off. Shred the beets and carrots and place in a salad bowl. Toast the almonds over medium heat in a small dry skillet. Then pour them on a paper towel to cool. Add the chopped mint and sultanas to the salad bowl. Add the almonds once they are cool. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, vinegar, honey, ginger, garlic, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Pour over the slaw and toss well. Taste, then season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Kale and Cabbage Slaw With Mustard Vinaigrette

For the Salad:

4 to 6 medium leaves kale

1/2 medium head cabbage

1/4 cup walnuts (pecans, or slivered or sliced almonds)

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

For the Dijon Mustard Dressing:

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic

3 tbls white balsamic vinegar (or white wine vinegar)

1/3 cup olive oil

Toast the nuts, if desired. Arrange the nuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake whole, chopped, or slivered nuts in a preheated 350 F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, checking and turning them frequently. Sliced almonds will take about half the time. Watch closely. Cut the middle rib out of each kale leaf. Roll the leaves up into a tight roll and slice them into thin strips. Put the strips of kale in a large bowl. You should have about 2 to 3 cups. Cut the core out of the cabbage half and shred or chop the cabbage. Transfer the cabbage to the bowl with the kale. Toss the chopped nuts with the kale and cabbage. In a canning jar or bowl, combine the Dijon mustard, minced garlic, vinegar, and olive oil. Whisk or shake well. Add a dash of salt and some freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons of the Dijon mustard vinaigrette over the salad. Toss the salad. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

 

Apricot Couscous

1 cup couscous

1 small red onion, small dice

1 1⁄2 cups low sodium chicken broth, warm

1⁄4 cup dried apricot, coarsely chopped

1⁄4 cup whole almond, toasted & coarsely chopped

2 scallions, green parts only

1⁄4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped

1⁄2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped plus garnish

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 pinch lemon zest

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzle

kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

In a medium saucepan add 1 TBL extra-virgin olive oil, when it is hot add the red onion, almonds and apricots and sauté gently over low heat until translucent and slightly fragrant. Add the couscous then dump in the warm chicken broth. Stir with a fork to combine. Add lemon zest and cover. Let sit for 10 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork again. Coarsely chop the green onions, mint and cilantro; add this to the couscous. Add lemon juice, drizzle with olive oil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss gently to combine.

 

Caramelized Onion Chutney

about 8 medium red onions

3 tbsp olive oil

4 bay leaves

1 tbsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

⅔ cup brown sugar, packed

⅓ cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup red wine

1 tbsp mustard seeds (or ½ tbsp mustard powder)

Peel and cut the onions into thin half-moon slices.

In a large heavy-bottom pan, heat the olive oil and add the onions, bay leaves, black pepper and salt. Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent it from burning. After this time, the onions should be soft, translucent, and reduced in size by about half. Add the remaining ingredients: brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, wine, and mustard seeds (or powder). Cook for 1 hour, or until most of the liquid has reduced. Stir occasionally to check if it isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan. The chutney should be thick and have a dark caramel color. Place into sterilized jars. Keep it well closed in the fridge.

 

Apricot Chutney

½ whole head garlic

¼ teaspoon olive oil 

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil 

3 cups apricot preserves

1 cup white vinegar

2 teaspoons ground ginger

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Slice the top off the half head of garlic with a sharp knife, exposing the cloves. Discard the top. Place the head of garlic on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil, and wrap the foil around the garlic. Roast in the preheated oven until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. While garlic is roasting, place the onion and 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a saucepan over medium heat and cook and stir until the onion is browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in the apricot preserves, vinegar, ginger, cayenne pepper, and salt until thoroughly combined. Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins, and mash them in a bowl with a spoon. Mix the garlic into the chutney; bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir carefully because any splashes of chutney will be burning hot. Pack the chutney into sterilized jars and process to seal.