Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Newsletter July 27

We had our best market of the season this past Saturday. We’re really starting to feel good about the Woodstock farmers’ market. It started out small, and when we joined, there were only five other vendors. This past weekend there were nine total. Now if we could just find a better location than Rite-Aid, which makes us set up in a very pedestrian-unfriendly way, we’d be set.
We found out that it’s okay to sell baked goods at the market even if you don’t have a commercial kitchen. This is a new development for Virginia, and we think it’s mainly based on a lack of food safety inspectors, but we’re not sure. So Katherine has been madly trying to come up with good market baking recipes this past week. She’s tried sourdough cookies (two versions) and chocolate chip muffins. The cookies are a bit too biscuit-like, but the muffins are good. It’s not like we could make a ton of money, but it’s always nice to have something else to sell.
For those of you who have Facebook accounts, we have a Passage Creek Farm fan site now. Todd started it last week, and we already have 12 fans! We’re pretty excited about that, since we’re pretty small potatoes. Speaking of potatoes, we’ll probably start digging them again this week to see if they’ve grown any. Hopefully the rain hasn’t turned them all to rot. We should have some nice russets, so you can be looking forward to that.

This Week (*full share only):

Squash and Zucchini
Yellow Onions
Cherry Tomatoes
Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers
*Jalapeno and Bell Peppers
*Okra (red and green – Christmas in July!)
*Red Onions
Herb Share: Red Rubin Basil

What to do with it:
Again, lots of cucumbers. Our version of cucumber soup last week included basil and jalapeno, and it was delicious. We also use lots of chopped up cuke for burritos, which we make about twice a week. Cukes are also really easy to pickle, and you can even cold-pickle them and bypass the canning stage. You can also add peppers to your pickle mix, as well as whole garlic cloves. A note on the peppers: The HHWs have just a little kick to them, but the jalapenos are HOT. A little goes a long way. If you’re scared, just put them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. Peppers need no preparation to freeze, but once frozen, they are only good in cooked dishes.
Last night Todd made lasagna with grated squash, beaten eggs, LOTS of garlic, and chopped tomatoes. He used cheddar cheese, but you could use any cheese you prefer. He just mixed the first four ingredients, put cooked noodles down in a greased pan, layered the cheese, the squash mixture, more noodles, then repeated the layers and put a layer of bread crumbs on top. He baked it at 375˚F for 45 minutes. Sorry we can’t be more specific on amounts, but if you’ve made lasagna before you should probably be able to guess, or modify it to your tastes, pretty easily. (Todd never measures anything so it makes it hard for Katherine to type recipes.)
For those of you getting the full share, we’d be very interested to know your opinions on the red vs. green okra, as well as the yellow vs. red onions. We love to get feedback on what we’re growing and what tastes the best. The yellow onions have cured for a while, and the red onions are very fresh. So we’re guessing the red onions will have a stronger flavor.
The red basil is very similar to the green, but prettier. A fellow market vendor told us that she likes to steep it in apple cider vinegar and then use the vinegar for salad dressings and whatever else you normally use vinegar for. We tried it for our pasta salad and it was so delicious! Plus it turns a beautiful reddish purple.

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