Thursday, June 26, 2008

Week three: the rain forest

Forgot my camera again this week, sad to tell. To cheer you up, however, I've added a book widget to the blog so you can look at the cook books I use and my other favorite food-related books. If you click the covers it will link you to Amazon, but I'd encourage you to also look for these books at local bookstores. I know you can get Simply in Season from Ten Thousand Villages, for example.
It's been a good week out at the farm. On Monday my dear friend Craig and his partner Megan came out to visit the farm and wound up getting roped in to help with weeding the winter squash. It was a pleasure to work in the field with them and many other guests and visitors who joined us through the day. This will probably be the last time we weed the winter squash--soon they'll overrun the field and shade out the weeds for the rest of the summer. Wednesday was a good harvest morning, though cool. We only got rained on a little bit, which was nice. The farm needs the rain and it's interesting to note that it's not always raining at the farm when it's raining in Ann Arbor. This week the farmers will probably cut hay and a few days later we'll be looking for help bringing it in--incredibly hard work--hot, sweaty, dusty, heavy--but worth it! I'll try to remember my camera that day too!
Here's this week's harvest share:
Peas - 1 lb
Beets - 3
Green onions - 7
Greens (Kale, Collards, and Chard) - 3/4 lb
Cilantro - 1 little bunch
Parsley - 1 little bunch
Lettuce - 3 heads
Garlic flowers - 15 (check out the linked NYT article!)

and the menu:
Shredded beets and greens with sliced oranges from Greens Glorious Greens p. 26. The cookbook authors point out that "According to medical sources, if you include a source of vitamin C (oranges) with your iron-rich food (beet greens) you will increase the amount of iron your body can absorb." So, be ready to feel strong and healthy!

Kale and Chard and Chickpea Balti (follow the link to find out more about what a Balti is) from The Boxing Clever Cookbook p. 47

Scallion and Ginger Fried Rice from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 126

Broad bean Guacamole from The Boxing Clever Cookbook p. 102 -- we didn't have enough favas last week to make this, but Cynthia heroically picked some for us on Wednesday and we should have enough for at least a sample all round. Ok?

Michigan Rainforest salad -- lettuce with sugar snap peas

Sugar snap peas (even more sweet and delicious than last week)

Hope you're all enjoying everything!
See you Friday.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Week Two: Here, have some green stuff!

Hello all!
Here we are at week two. I hope everyone enjoyed the first week's harvest. This morning in the fields was much cooler than last week, but it made for a refreshing change, actually. There was much less urgency about getting everything in out of the sun. We had a lovely time picking spring onions, dill, cilantro, and all the other things in this week's harvest. The sugar snap peas are especially fun to pick, though you have to resist the temptation to eat them all up, they're so good! After harvest we had time to take a crew of workers into the Swiss chard weeding project--so much more pleasant this week than it was last week when we were basically cooking in the sun.
The title of this blog posting comes from about this time last year when I was ably assisted in the kitchen by my dear friend Julia. We worked very hard and every week there was some phrase that came up during cooking that struck us as utterly hilarious. One week early on we finished the cooking and had a look at what we'd made for the members and Julia said, "We've just made a whole lot of little tubs of green paste. We should tell everyone 'Here, have some green stuff!'". I think we've come around to that time again with this week's menu!

This week's share:
Sugar Snap peas - 1 lb
Beets - 3
Kale/Collards - 1/2 lb
Dill - 1 bunch
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Fava beans - 7 (Known in Britain as Broad beans, Favas are the only variety of beans native to the Old World and therefore the only kind of beans Europeans had pre-contact with the Americas! Hooray for a Liberal Arts education.)
Lettuce - 4 small heads Paul tells me this lettuce is a very old heirloom variety, but I don't remember the name.
Green onions - 10
Garlic flowers (scapes) - 13 - Garlic flowers are very cool looking and make great jewelry (see photos!). We pick the flowers so the plant will send its energy into making the bulb that we'll harvest later. In the mean time, ground garlic flowers are used just like garlic in recipes. Yum.

This week's menu:
Dill Pesto from Moosewood Restaurant Cooks for a Crowd p. 26o
Broad Bean Guacamole from The Boxing Clever Cookbook p. 102 (This British cookbook's title refers to "box scheme", another name for a CSA-type program)
Quick and Delicious Borscht from Greens Glorious Greens p. 25
Dill-flavored Kale from Greens Glorious Greens p. 24
Cilantro-lime vinaigrette from From Asperagus to Zucchini p. 63
Longest Day Salad with lettuce and green onions
Fresh lettuce
Fresh sugar snap peas

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Week One: What Bounty!!

Well, despite my good intentions I didn't remember to take my camera out to the farm this morning. Which is a shame as there were many beautiful and entertaining moments harvesting with CFK workers Nora and Cynthia and Farm apprentices Rebecca, Kristin, Nancy, and Angela, as well as farmers Anne and Paul and many member volunteers. Highlights include picking and counting 80 bunches each of dill and cilantro (it's always a trick to hit the count exactly on when you've got 6 people picking at once and trying to have conversations rather than count all the time, but we did it!) and picking strawberries while managing not to stand on any plants or berries (it's a bit like the game Twister--the strawberry version!). It was also great to see all the new members out at the farm just finding their way as well as seeing old friends, like Mark who was a CFK member last year and who has graduated to cooking his share for himself! Finally, after a relaxing lunch in the shade, we loaded up all 14 CFK shares (it was a squeeze in the Prius with three people... it's a real shame I didn't have my camera) and came back to Ann Arbor.

Here's what the share was this week for a whole share:
Strawberries - 3 pts (!)
Sage plants for your garden - 2
Kale /Collards - 1/4 lb
Beets - 3
Spinach - 2 lb
Green Onions - 10
Lettuce - 4 heads
Dill - 1 bunch
Cilantro - 1 bunch

This week's kick-off CFK Menu will be:

Grated Raw Beets with fresh dill and mustard vinaigrette from Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables p. 59 -- this is a great marinated beet topping for lettuce salad.

Katharina's Green Sauce for pasta -- house recipe (a perennial favorite I learned from my dear friend Katharina while I was working in Wales in the winter of 2007. Simple yet delicious.)

Veggie Burrito Bake from Simply in Season p. 64 -- featuring tortillas from the Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory along with kale/collards, beet greens, and spinach!

Cilantro Hummus -- variation on the Pendle Hill hummus recipe

Sprightly Salad with lettuce and green onions

Washed lettuce for your salad pleasure

Fresh Strawberries

Looking forward to seeing y'all on Friday!