Let me start by reminding everyone that you should pick up at your regular location today between 4:30 and 6:30. See you then.
A while back someone left a pair of sunglasses in the cherry tomato field. I should describe them as the currently fashionable variety, you know the kind that cover up almost half of a woman's face. My wife has a pair and I remind her that by wearing them she's really just ensuring that future generations will make fun of every photograph of her from roughly 2007 until this trend ends as with other past fashion styles. So if these are in fact your bell bottom sunglasses let me know and I'll put them in your container.
For the past three weeks I have been brewing Kombucha tea. It is a fermented tea that requires a culture or mushroom. That may sound gross to some of you but I really like it and the commercial version is expensive so I'm brewing my own. The result is that once a week the culture replicates itself so each week I have an extra culture to give away to anyone who would like to try and brew your own. Think of it as the sourdough version of brewing tea and let me know if anyone is interested.
So it seems like several of you would really rather not pick up at the farm for the last two weeks. I understand that week nights are busy for those of you with kids. I really do want to make sure everybody gets out to the farm and I'd like to celebrate the end of the season so I was think about all of us having dinner together.
What if we have a pot luck, using as much of our CSA food as possible, sometime the last week of the CSA pick ups? That's the first week in November. Basically you would still pick up your containers on Tuesday and then later that week we would meet back at the farm for dinner. This is still a rough idea and I have to get it approved with the farm and we would still have to decide on what night to eat (Thursday? Friday? Saturday?) But I thought I would toss the idea out for comment. Let me know what you think.
After the first week in November the CSA will be over but we will still have food for sale. We're not sure how we are going to make it available but for those of you interested let us know.
You should also be aware that the sponsor of the farm tour, Know Your Farms will be operating a winter CSA. You can find out more by clicking here:
Some of that winter food will be coming from Cold Water Creek Farms. Some will be coming from other growers at the Elma C. Lomax incubator farm. By the way the winter CSA starts the third week in October but Know Your Farms is willing to prorate your participation since Cold Water Creek Farms CSA will still have several weeks left at that point. It might all sound complicated but really it's not. Talk to us today or send me an email if you're interested.
This week we planted more cabbage, bok choy, kholorobi. The cooking greens and the salad greens are still one week away but we've ordered our salad spinner and we'll be ready for next week. Then on to sweet potatoes.
This week you will be getting:
okra (enjoy it while it lasts)
sweet peppers (green, red and/or chocolate)
mizuna (full share only)
Applesauce Cake (from Jessica)
2/3 cup cooking oil
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups hot applesauce
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp soda
Mix together sugar, nuts, flour, and spices. While applesauce is heating, mix cooking oil into dry ingredients. Add soda into applesauce. After hot, stir fast, put into rest of mixture. Add raisins last. Bake 35 minutes at 350 in a 9x13 pan.
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/8 tsp almond or lemon (my mom's favorite)
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 TBSP milk--add by TBSP as needed to make glaze (need approximately 2 TBSP).
Red Wine Carmel Apples
8 small apples, stemmed, washed well and dried
1 1/2 cups red wine
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
6 Tbsp heavy cream
8 wooden popsicle sticks
Insert a wooden stick halfway into each apple at the stem end
Line a tray with wax paper and slightly grease the paper
Boil wine in a saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup - 8 to 10 minutes - then remove from heat
Bring sugar and water to a boil in a 2 1/2 to 3 qt saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then wash down and sugar crystals from side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Boil without stirring, swirling the pan occasionally so caramel colors evenly, until dark amber.
Add reduced wine (it will bubble and steam) and swirl pan. Add cream and simmer, stirring occasionally until incorporated, then continue to simmer until the thermometer registers 238 degrees F.
Remove from heat and cool to 200 degrees F.
Holding apples by the sticks, dip them in the caramel and swirl to coat, letting excess drip off, then hold apples up (stick end down) for about 15 seconds to allow more caramel to set on apples.
Put caramel apples, stick side up, on greased wax paper and let stand until caramel firms up, about 30 minutes. If your caramel gets to thick you can reheat for remaining apples.
To Freeze Peppers: Halve sweet peppers (green, red, yellow or purple), remove the core and seeds, and slice into julienne strips or small 1/4" chunks. Pack them into a freezer bag, squeeze out the air and throw them in the freezer. That's it! Frozen peppers are best used in a dish that gets sauteed, such as a stir-fry, or added to onions and potatoes for a tasty omelet.
To Pickle Peppers: Prepare peppers as above. Fill a clean pint or quart jar to within an inch of the top with the chopped peppers. Pour in white vinegar to cover all peppers. Cover with a plastic lid if possible, as the vinegar will gradually corrode metal lids. Store the jar in the back of your refrigerator for up to 12 months. The peppers will stay crunchy for a few months but will gradually soften. Spoon them out of the jar as you need them. The vinegar is flavorful, too. My favorite pickled peppers are a colorful
Mizuna Cooking Tips
As a salad green mizuna can be steamed, boiled, stir-fried or used to complement other greens mixed together for a salad, especially Red Asian Mustard greens. When cooked it shrinks to about half its size so it takes a large amount to make a cooked vegetable dish containing only mizuna. Mizuna can be found in well-stocked grocery stores or produce markets but is most readily available in early spring to late summer. Select fresh crisp leaves, avoiding those that are slightly discolored. They will keep four to five days when wrapped in plastic and stored in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator.