>Summer Week 14 (Fennel, Kohlrabi, Cooked Cucumbers)

>THIS WEEK’S SUBSCRIBER MENU:
• Leafy Radicchio
• Summer Squash or Zucchini
• Tomatoes
• Sweet “Gypsy” Peppers
• Cucumbers
• Fennel or Kohlrabi
• Onions

FRUIT SHARES:
“Friar” plums and Asian Pears from Tonnemakers Orchards in Royal City

U-PICK THIS WEEK:
Green Pole Beans
Wild Blackberries (when it’s not raining)

COMING SOON:
Shell Beans
Green Onions

Fall is really in the air now, isn’t it? I’ve been ready for a while–this summer has been an exhausting one for us. The conversion from no child-care and two full-time interns to scrambling for child care and no workers has been difficult. Now that we know what to expect, we’re making different plans for next year. Though we’re both ready for fall to arrive in full force, with rain and wind, we’re exceptionally grateful that we’ve had this little blast of summer. It’s allowing us to get fall crops up and growing well, and the dryness is letting us take care of cultivating weeds one final time so we’ll be able to find those fall greens. I can taste the spinach and arugula now.

We are getting ready to harvest the winter squashes next week. It’s been a bumper year for them! Now we have to figure out where we’ll get 20 to 30 big cardboard bins (like watermelons and pumpkins are sold in at the store) for harvesting and storage. And then where to put all the bins! We’ll have to clean out the garage entirely! Nothing makes me happier than a big gathering of colorful winter squash though. It’s like money in the bank, and so pretty to look at. And delicious to eat!

Everyone knows now that we don’t have many eggs. The old hens have finally gone into recess, and we quit looking for eggs because there have only been two or three a day in the chicken house. Mind you, there are about 160 chickens there. So, the time has come to convert them to stewing hens. It’s sad to let the girls go, but it’s costing us about $18 a day to feed them and that adds up quickly. **Please let me know if you’d like a delicious stewer–they’re great for soup, not for roasting. They make delicious stock, and I plan on putting up 20 quarts or so when we’re done butchering.

The new flock, near the farm stand IS starting to produce though. While the eggs are small, we’re finding about 2 dozen a day there. This new flock is half the size of the old one–our new plan is to not try and sell eggs at the farmers markets any longer. We want to have them just for our subscribers. Raising chickens isn’t that much work, but it is expensive when no-one is laying. And we’ve had to feed the new birds since March to get any eggs too. Even when we have a lot of eggs, it’s a break-even deal for us, and that’s at $5.00 a dozen.

We’re trying something new with our pork too. We butcher pigs young for Brasa, because Tamara, the chef, likes them that way. We are going to try selling some of the little chops, ribs, and bellies in a few weeks. She gave us some of the baby chops from pigs we did last spring and they were delicious. Very tender and juicy. Everything will be vacuum-bagged and frozen. **Please let me know if you’d like information about these–there are only 7 half-sized pigs in this experiment.

**And, our Winter Season starts at the beginning of November. Actually the first pickup day is Halloween, and that’s not far away. I’ve posted the flyer/applications in the farm stand for you to take, but please let me know if you need any other information. I’ll be sending an email soon as well. Things are looking great for winter!

Kohlrabi are great just peeled and sliced up and eaten raw like an apple. Maybe a sprinkle of salt. That’s about as far as we usually get with them, because we eat them in the field. But here’s an easy way to cook it if you need it. Remember it’s related to broccoli and cabbage, just a swollen stem instead of a big head. And you can eat the leaves like kale. I love brassicas.

SIMPLE SAUTEED KOHLRABI
2 Medium Kohrabi Bulbs, grated
1 tsp. Salt
1/4 cup Butter or Light Oil
1 medium Onion, diced
1 clove Garlic, minced or pressed
2 bsp. chopped Fresh Thyme, Sage, or Chives

1. Mix the kohlrabi and salt into a colander and let stand for 30 minutes to drain.
2. Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute more.
3. Stir in the kohlrabi. Reuce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Increase the heat to medium, uncover the skillet, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh herbs. Let stand for a couple minutes oto let the flavors develop.

RICH SUMMER FENNEL SOUP
Bouquet Garni:
1 sprig Parsley
1 Bay Leaf
1 sprig Thyme

Soup:
2 tbsp. Butter
2 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 medium Onion, sliced
1 to 2 cloves Garlic, crushed
1 medium or large FEnnel Bulb, roughly chopped
1 large Carrot, chopped
1 medium Potato, peeled a nd cubed
2 medium Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
3 cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock
1 tbsp. Pernod or Sambuca, optional
1/4 cup Cream or Silken Tofu
Salt and Pepper
Chopped Parsley

1. Prepare the Bouquet Garni: tie together the parsley, thyme, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth.
2. Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion; sauté for one minute. Add the garlic and sauté for one minute more.
3. Stir in the fennel, carrot, and potato and cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, stock, and bouquet garni. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the fennel is very soft, about 30 minutes.
4. Discard the bouquet garni. Let the mixture cool slightly and then purée iot in batches in a food processor or blender. If you are using tofu instead of cream, add it now and purée with the rest of the ingredients.
5. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the Pernod and cream. Heat over medium-low heat to allow the soup to heat through, but do not boil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley.

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