September 8, 2020

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Eggplant, Squash, Italian Long Peppers, Rosemary, Tomatoes, Plums, Chard and Potatoes

Bread this week: Puglieses or Walnut Levain-your choice of one


WE WILL BE TAKING THE WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 21st OFF. THERE WILL BE NO DELIVERY TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 22nd OR SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 26th

 

This Week on The Farm

Sometimes the weather is not a friendly presence, you know?  Excess rain, wind, snow, heat, every one of these at some time has stretched the farmers at Good Humus to some sort of new physical and emotional limit.  In general, we take pride in being able to “weather the weather, whatever the weather” to carry out our responsibility to bring out the best food we know how 48 weeks a year.  But Sunday and Monday were pretty different.  That kind of heat does feel dangerous and worthy of careful consideration. In honor of my English heritage, I went out into the heat on Sunday, as it is well known that only “mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun”.  It was the hottest day that I have seen in a long time, the thermometer on the porch said 116 degrees in the sun.  I checked the emergence of our newly planted fall seeds, worried that they would be unable to withstand the intense ultraviolet rays.  They make it through and so did I, all to my intense satisfaction.  Monday the crew came at 6:30 and we quit at noon, it just made no sense to continue to pick.  Knowing that was going to happen we substituted and adjusted, to still bring you a nice box.  But it is at times like this that I stand in wonder at the larger world of our food production and of the people around the world who spend their lives in the fields forests and mplains in all sorts of weather to persevere in a life bringing food to others.  I am lucky in that I love the life, and have chosen it for my own, but so many never have that choice.  I try to remember the perseverance in the midst of human frailty of all those people that go out in the midday sun not because they choose to but because they must to survive.  It makes it seem important to have an inkling of what that means on a broiling hot Sunday during Labor Day weekend.As I write this, the wind is picking up to a peak of something over20 miles an hour in the next 24 hours.  Although a normal phenomenon as the highs and lows of pressure wander around the globe, it is blowing over bone dry and desiccated landscape.  I offer my prayers for the heroes that work to save homes and lives at often great personal risk.  May they be seldom needed in the next few months.  What a summer! ~Jeff

 

Every year we seem to have a littler or two of kittens. Last year I got attached to one and have kind of let her be a house kitty. With the Pandemic I was not quick enough to find a vet and get Button fixed before Wilson the barn kitty and she got to playing around. Then as the months passed she was definitely going to become a mama, and when the time came, she scratched at our door in the middle of the night. I was lying on the coach with her and she was definitely in contractions, so not wanting to have her hatch out kittens on my PJs, I took her to another bed with a big towel and proceeded to watch her have four kittens. It seemed she wanted to have company during her birthing, and I felt pretty honored that she asked me to be her attendant. My granddaughter Zoe loves kittens, and said she wanted one for her birthday which was the exact day that Button had her kittens (June 17). It has been a lot of fun for the grandkids to watch them grow, and have even started a game of pretending they are kittens. “Oh my kittens eyes are open”! Grandma Nannie loves to play along with the game.

Button has been the best mama, and actually has adopted three other stray kittens, one Bo our dog found in an irrigation pipe (that is Dinky who is spoken for) and Claire found her on the lawn. Ali was passing by the meadow area and there was a kitten that just seemed to want to be picked up (that was Donkey) and I was in the barn one afternoon when Bob (short for Bobcat) seemed like he just really needed some extra care and started purring the minute I picked him up. So the last few weeks when the grandkids come over, I tell them to count how many kitten we have, and there has been one more each time! They are the cutest kittens right now and our house just isn’t big enough for this many kittens, so they are looking for a new home. They have lived with us in the house for the summer, and are mostly potty trained. I was hoping that you may know someone that is looking for a new kitten! Please pass the photos along and do let us know if you or anyone you know might be interested! Have a great week~ Annie

 

Swiss Chard Pancakes

My friend Didier Frayssou, has a quality I adore in French men: a sophisticated palate and a love of his mom's home cooking. I don't think I'd known him five minutes before he started telling me about his mother's farçous, a type of crepe or galette that's loaded with greens, most especially Swiss chard. Didier comes from Laguiole in the Auvergne, but farçous are a staple throughout Southwest France, where all the moms have their own way of making them. In French homes, farçous are a robust main course, most often served with a salad. Served as supper, the pancakes are usually fairly big, sometimes even as large as a skillet, but they can be made smaller (my preference) and served as an hors d'oeuvre, starter, or side dish. I like the addition of parsley and chives to the pancakes, but if you've got rosemary or thyme instead, or if you prefer basil or sage, feel free to play around. This makes a lot of pancakes, but they freeze perfectly, so I always make the full recipe. If you think this is going to be too much for you, cut the recipe in half and use 1 egg and 1 yolk.

2 cups whole milk

2½ cups all-purpose flour

3 large eggs

1 small onion, coarsely chopped

1 shallot, coarsely chopped, rinsed, and patted dry

2 garlic cloves, and coarsely chopped

Leaves from 10 parsley sprigs

10 fresh chives, snipped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

5 large or 10 small Swiss chard leaves, center ribs removed, washed, and dried

About ½ cup grapeseed, peanut, or vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil, and line a plate with paper towels. Put everything except the Swiss chard and oil in a blender or food processor, making sure you season the mix generously with salt and pepper, and whir until the batter is smooth. Little by little, add the chard to the mix and whir to incorporate it. There's no need to pulverize the chard. Pour ¼ to ½ inch of oil into a large skillet and place the skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, spoon in a scant ¼ cup batter for each pancake — don't crowd the pan. Cook the pancakes for about 3 minutes, until the underside is nicely browned and the edges are browned and curled. Flip the pancakes over and cook for another 2 minutes or so. Transfer the pancakes to the paper-towel-lined plate, cover with more towels, and pat off the excess oil. Place them on the foil-lined baking sheet and keep warm in the oven while you continue to make pancakes, adding more oil to the pan as needed. Yield: Makes about forty 5-inch pancakes; 12 side-dish or starter servings or 8 main-course servings From Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

 

Ratatouille

All the vegetables it calls for are in season, so now's the time to make it. I serve it over whole wheat couscous.

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium eggplants, or enough to make 4 cups chopped into 1/2" cubes
3 cloves garlic
2-3 cups chopped tomatoes
4 cups chopped zucchini or summer squash
2 green peppers, diced or sliced
salt to taste In a large skillet or wok, heat oil and sauté onion until translucent. Add eggplant and garlic, stir, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add squash, peppers. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in tomatoes at the end and cook a few more minutes.

           

Thai Barbecue Veggie Skewers

No food is off limits-Meat, Seafood, Veggies, and fruit are all fair game, so you can easily grill your entire meal. If using bamboo skewers, soak in water for 1 hours to keep from burning.

6 bamboo skewers

½ cup vegetable broth

1 pound potatoes cut into ¾ cubes

¼ cup barbecue sauce

¼ Sweet Chile sauce

2 tablespoons apple juice concentrates

½ cup red onion cubed

1 bell pepper cubed

2 squash cubed

Place broth and potatoes in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 5 minutes. Drain. Stir together barbeque sauce, chili sauce and juice concentrate in a small bowl. Thread veggies on skewers and brush with some of the sauce mixture. Grill over medium heat for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender, turning and brushing with remaining sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

Simple Stewed Plums Recipe

There is something deeply comforting about a bowl of warm sweet fruit, and stewed fruit is so simple that it should definitely be a go-to recipe in every household. I love this easy recipe, and it is versatile enough to use with a whole range of different fruits including stone fruit, berries, apples, pears, rhubarb and pineapples. Stewed fruits can be eaten on their own or with something creamy as a dessert. They can be spooned over breakfast cereal or made into fruit crumbles, and they are even good served as a side with roasted meat. Stewed plums have that tart-sweet flavor that I adore. If you prefer a very sweet stewed fruit add more sugar to your recipe. But I advise a light hand to start with, and taste as you go. I will sometimes omit sugar altogether if the fruit is ripe and sweet to start. The stewed fruit will keep in the fridge for one week, and can also be frozen.

1 pound of plums

2 tablespoons of sugar or your favorite sugar substitute,

 a squeeze of lemon juice,

 2 tablespoons of water (Adjust the sugar to your own taste. If the fruit is very ripe and sweet you may need less. If it is quite tart you may prefer more.) Wash the plums and drain them. Using a sharp knife cut the plums in half, twist to separate, remove stones, and then slice into smaller pieces. Put plums into a saucepan, and add the sugar, water and lemon juice. Don’t worry that it isn’t much water. The fruit will release their own juices as they heat. Place pan over medium heat, and stir occasionally, cooking until fruit is soft. This will take between five and fifteen minutes depending on how ripe the fruit is, and how small the pieces are. Taste the syrup carefully (it will be hot) and adjust the amount of sugar if necessary. When the fruit is done, it will be soft and luscious. I love how the plum skins stain everything a pretty ruby color. Ladle the fruit into bowls with a little of the syrup. Enjoy on its own or serve with a dallop of cream, yoghurt or ice-cream for a simple and tasty warm dessert