Journal Post for the week of Ocotber 3, 2011

OCTOBER 3, 2011
Week 16- There are TWO more pickups after this one. With a possible surprise event at the last pickup. Stay tuned.
So with the change of weather, we have all gotten the sniffles. This farmer mama woke up from a nap yesterday (you know when this mama is sick – real sick- when she takes to a nap with her girls) and couldn’t breathe. Very scary experience – I was having a cold induced asthma attack – I was all crinkly in my chest. Luckily, good friends (Donna Sue and Michael and Ashlyn) came over to watch the girls and Adam took me into the ER – where I got a nebulizer treatment, chest xray and inhaler. I was released with strict orders of laying low for a few days. How do you tell a mama farmers that? And how do you do it? Well with some balancing and a very patient husband, hardworking intern Ashlyn and Aimee, Charlie and Daniel to play with the girls – I was able to nap in this morning and take it easy. Thanks to all who have helped out.
It rained real well here over the weekend. Our soil can’t take anymore up – its making puddles. We were hoping to pull up potatoes for you today but – um – I think we would sink into our knees and wreak havoc on the soil. We think next week – if we get sun you will get beans, celery and potatoes and more.
Thanks go out to our die hard volunteer Diantha, Gail, Cordelia, Fiona, Benjamin and our Intern Ashlyn. I don’t know where we would be without all of you. On Friday last, Cordelia and Ashlyn, single handedly cleaned out the large hoophouse. This is no small feat. All out hoophouse tomatoes (days are too short for them and they started to get some diseases – don’t worry we are ripening them in the barn for you), all the sweet peppers, and basil. With that being said – this is the week to make PESTO – make loads of it! We have literally buckets of basil in front of the farmstand waiting to go home with you and be turned into pesto. I have included a pesto recipe – you do not need to use pinenuts – heck you do not need to use any nuts – I usually use no nuts or use walnuts or pecans. I also freeze it with the cheese in it – I know I know the foodies in the world say put the cheese in afterwards – um…I think it tastes grand with it – knowing it is one last step I have to balance while I am cooking with two on my hip. I also freeze it in a log like shape wrapped in parchment paper and then plastic wrap then into a plastic freezer bag and slice as much as I need. Have fun with it. The more work you put in it now – true yummy convenience food come January.
Thanks for reading – see you all soon. Have a great week! Thanks for listening and your support. Peace, your farmers, Christine, Adam, Sadie and Delia and our Intern Ashlyn

WHAT’S IN THE SHARE THIS WEEK: BASIL, CILANTRO, LETTUCE MIX, ARUGULA, GARLIC, Eggplant, sweet peppers, hot peppers, Green Onions, TOMATOES, Winter Squash, PYO Ground Cherries, and a few other things – Best guess for the week.

Yarn for Sale
Yarn is available in our natural color “Island Oatmeal.” Worsted Weight, double twist, soft, 220 yds, 4 ounces, Greenspun (no petroleum products used in cleaning the wool) by Green Mountain Spinnery here in Vermont. Yarn is in the farmstand. 17.00 skein. Also available wool roving, white, brown, oatmeal – $9 for 4 ounces.

NUTRITION NOTES about peppers (from The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, Sheldon Margen, M.D.): Perhaps the most surprising feature of peppers is their nutritiousness: They are excellent sources of many essential nutrients, especially vitamin C – by weight, green bell peppers have twice as much as citrus fruits (red bells have three times as much.) Hot peppers contain even more vitamin C, 357 percent more than an orange. Moreover, red peppers are quite a good source of beta carotene. Red peppers are higher in beta carotene than green peppers: A sweet red pepper provides nearly 11 times as much beta carotene as a sweet green one; hot red peppers contain nearly 14 times as much as their green counterparts. Furthermore, sweet red peppers have one and a half times as much Vitamin C as sweet green peppers; the vitamin C content of red and green hot peppers is the same.
About Basil: Researchers report that basil contains antibacterial compounds, which make the essential oil great for treating skin conditions. In India it is used in a kind of aroma therapy and is said to give people sattva, enlightenment and harmony. In Arabian countries it has long been used to alleviate menstrual cramps.
Fresh Basil Pesto
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts or pecans or none
3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more. Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices. Makes 1 cup.
Real Basil Cheesecake from the Madison Herb Society Cookbook

2 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup basil leaves, destemmed
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup crushed graham crackers or vanilla wafers

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In food processor or mixer, lightly beat eggs. Add sour cream, sugar, basil, cornstarch, lemon juice, and vanilla. Process until smooth. Add cream cheese, 1/2 pound at a time, and process to incorporate. Spread softened butter on bottom and halfway up sides of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan. Cover buttered area with cookie crumbs, pressing to be sure they stick. Pour in cheesecake batter and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Run a knife around edges of cake as soon as it comes out of oven. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes then remove the side of pan. Finish cooling. Cut with dental floss into thin wedges. Ten servings.
Tomato and Sweet Pepper Salad adapted from The Vegetable Market Cookbook by Robert Budwig

3 sweet peppers
4 ripe tomatoes
1/4 preserved lemon (or 2 teaspoons grated zest with some of the lemon’s juice)
2 cloves garlic peeled and crushed pinch sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 t black pepper

Grill or roast peppers, remove skins, cut into small cubes and set aside. Blanch tomatoes for 15-20 seconds in boiling water. Drain and remove skins and stems. Cut in half and remove seeds. Cut into small cubes. Rinse the preserved lemon under running water and remove the pulp. Cut the rind into fine dice. Arrange peppers, tomatoes and lemon in a dish. Mix remaining ingredients to make a dressing and pour over the salad. Mix well.
Multi Pepper Salad with Fontina adapted from From the Cook’s Garden by Ellen Ogden

1.5 pounds Sweet peppers, roasted and cut into 1/4 inch strips
12 black olives, such as kalamata, pitted and coarsely chopped
6 ounces Fontina cheese, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 1.5 cups)
2 Tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon finely chopped cutting celery
OR tarragon OR parsley
1/4 cup best extra virgin olive oil
S & P to taste

Combine the peppers, olives, and cheese. Mix the cream, lemon juice, mustard, and herb in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season with the S & P. Pour over the peppers and mix. Serve immediately.
Romesco Sauce for Crostini, Pasta, or as a vegetable dipper

4 large roasted yellow, orange, and or red peppers
1/2 cup toasted almonds
2 cloves garlic
1 ripe tomato
1 tsp salt
2 thick slices from a baguette
1 tsp paprika
½ cup or less olive oil
Fresh basil leaves if available
2-4 Tablespoons sherry vinegar

Whirl everything in a food processor.
Sweet Pepper and Lentil Soup
inspired by a recipe in Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook by Hensperger and Kaufmann
2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, or 2 leeks, chopped
3-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly purchased paprika or smoked paprika
1-3 sweet peppers, depending on their size, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup dried brown or black lentils, picked over and rinsed
5 cups broth or water
S & P to taste (at least an entire teaspoon of salt for this one)
1-2 Tablespoons champagne or sherry or rice vinegar to finish the soup

Cook the onion in 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat in a skillet until the onion/leeks begin to soften. Stir in paprika and allow it to cook for about a minute more. Add the chopped sweet pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until everything begins to soften. Scrape all this into a slow cooker. Add the lentils and broth (or water) and stir to combine. Cover and cook on low until the lentils are completely soft, 7-9 hours. Season the soup with S & P (more salt if you used water, less if you used purchased broth), and last Tablespoon olive oil. Stir in 1 Tablespoon of one of the vinegars, adding more if needed. Serve hot.

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