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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Kale, Carrots, Radishes, Celery, Parsnips, Mixed Salad Greens, Arugula, Green Onions, Baby White Salad Turnips Cilantro and Lemon Balm

Coming Soon…Bok Choi, Asian Greens, Salanova Lettuce

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we are sending lemon balm. It is an herb in the mint family. It has a lemon flavor and will make a great tea. You don’t need hot water, it’s more sensitive than lemon verbena, just muddle it slightly, as if you are making a mojito, or give it a good twist. Mix the bruised lemon balm with honey and water until the honey is dissolved and chill, then serve with lemon or lime slices. I provided a recipe for lemon balm cookies. This is a basic sugar cookie dough. The lemon balm makes it seem a little bit more elegant. Perfect for serving with tea, or as an after school snack.

Lemon Balm Cookies

2 tablespoon minced lemon balm leaves

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 cup butter, softened

⅔ cup sugar

1 egg

2⅓ cup all-purpose flour

In small dish, combine the lemon balm and lemon juice, press mixture with back of spoon to blend. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Beat in egg & lemon mixture. Gradually beat in flour & salt. Roll the dough into a log and the wrap with parchment or waxed paper. Refrigerate until firm about 2-3 hours. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the dough and cut into slices about ¼ inch thick. Bake 8-10 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Remove from the oven when slightly golden brown around the edge. Let cool and enjoy.

If you are looking for a celery recipe, I found this salad recipe online. I have made something similar with bleu cheese instead of Parmesan, if you are a fan of the bleu!

Celery Salad with Almonds, Dates and Parmesan (

½ cup raw almonds

8 celery stalks, thinly sliced across the grain

6 dates, pitted, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 ounces Parmesan, shaved

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread out almonds on a small rimmed baking sheet; toast, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool; coarsely chop. Toss almonds, celery, celery leaves, dates, and lemon juice in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add Parmesan and oil and toss gently; season with red pepper flakes.

More Root Vegetables

This time of year, parsnips make a great substitute for potatoes. I love to roast them and bring out the natural sweetness and try to get lots of browning when I cook them. Don’t be afraid of the high heat. When you cut the parsnips, the larger ones have a woody center at the thickest part of the top. You will want to remove and discard this. Towards the bottom tip, I will just leave the center in.

Roasted Parsnip Fries

4 parsnips, peeled and cut into sticks, remove the woody center of any large parsnip

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the parsnips with the oil, salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment paper and cook in the oven until lightly browned and tender, about 30-35 minutes. Remove the parsnips from the oven and serve.

Metaphors of Soul and Soil…I am going to ask you to look for bugs in your greens this week! Yes, in particular, you may see a black and red striped looking caterpillar on the underside of a green leaf. We rinse all the fresh harvested lettuce, spinach, arugula and red leaf lettuces. But at this time of the year, there is evidence of the transformative process of metamorphosis in our garden. There will be a few in the larvae and pupa stage that may slip into your bags. I urge you to be curious and excited rather than fearful and disgusted should you have the opportunity to witness a stage in the birthing of the beautiful and beneficial insects called Lady Bugs. In her larvae and pupa state, she is rather unattractive by some standards. But not for the eye that sees what she will become! In Romans 12:2 we read, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and well-pleasing and complete.” The word transformedis from the Greek word, metamorphoo which literally means to change into another form or transfigure. Our garden gives us this living metaphor and an opportunity to literally see this process. I don’t know about you, but I see so much unattractiveness in myself at times. It comes out as pride, impatience, frustration, or fear and anxiety. What a comfort and joy to know that our Creator understands this process and sees us as we will become, not just as we are.

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