Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July 6 newsletter

We hope everyone had a great Fourth of July! We kept it mellow on the farm, and stayed home to celebrate Katherine’s stepfather’s 87th birthday. No fireworks, just some delicious grilled steak, zucchini and homemade sourdough baguettes.
We trapped two young raccoons last week using the Have-a-heart trap, and they were safely relocated into the George Washington National Forest about 10 miles away. It turns out raccoons are super cute and we’re very happy we didn’t have to shoot them. Hopefully they won’t find their ways back. We kept the trap set, but haven’t found any more, so we think that’s it. The chickens should now be safe, at least until the next threat rears its head!
Happily, tomatoes and peppers are on the way. We picked a few cherry tomatoes this week, but only about five, so not enough to put in the bags yet. And the regular tomatoes are turning colors. The hot peppers are in first, so be prepared to challenge your taste buds a little. (Though, as the almost-neuroscientist Katherine likes to remind everyone, capsaicin binds to pain receptors on the tongue, not taste receptors. There’s your fun fact for the week).

This Week (*full share only):

Squash and Zucchini
Baby Leeks (with tops cut off)
Yellow Onions
Green Beans
Herb Share: Mint

What to do with it:

So we’ve loaded up the bags with squash and zucchini this week. We hope you can handle it. If you cannot, you can very simply freeze the grated fruit. Just boil it or steam it for 2-3 minutes, dunk it in cold water, let it drain, then freeze it. You will be delighted when you pull it out in January. You could probably blanched chopped Swiss chard and freeze it as well, though we haven’t tried this. As usual, treat it like spinach and you should be okay.
Here’s what we want to try with leeks (but have not yet, so you might have to trust your own instincts here): Cut most of the tops off so the leeks are four or five inches long. Wrap them in a piece of foil with some butter, salt and pepper. Stick on the grill for a few minutes – maybe five or ten? They shouldn’t take too long since their small. You could also try some balsamic vinegar in the foil, or any other herbs you think would go well.
The potatoes are a mix of Yukon Gold and Kennebec, so they’re thin-skinned and great for roasting or mashing. You can also make leek and potato soup, and if you puree it at the end, you’ve got vichyssoise. It makes a lovely cold summer soup.
The green beans are just in, so we’re very excited. We like to simmer them for about two minutes so they’re not too mushy, then serve them with lots of butter and salt and pepper. The mint makes a delicious iced tea. If you’re not in the mood, just hang it upside down somewhere and it will dry until you’re ready to use it. Dried mint is more intense then fresh mint, so you need less of it for tea. You can also add it to lemonade, or make mojitos. Enjoy!

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