From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Bell Peppers, Hot Peppers, Assorted Eggplant, Baby White Turnips, Spaghetti Squash, Green Onions, Mixed Cherry Tomatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Limes, Garlic, Strawberries and Fuyu Persimmons, Rosemary.

Coming Soon… Snap Peas and Green Cabbage

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

We should have a lot of eggplant for everyone this week and I know you could probably use another eggplant recipe. This is similar to the Chinese recipe that made me love eggplant. Make sure that you cook the eggplant all the way through, a little extra oil will help if you want to add it in. You can also add in some sweet bell peppers, if you like them crisp add them near the end of cooking. I added in a few hot peppers to your baskets that you can use in both of the recipes this week.

Spicy Asian Garlic Eggplant

2 tablespoons oil divided

3 eggplant small, cut into long strips

2 cloves garlic finely minced

1 hot pepper finely minced

½ inch knob of fresh ginger peeled and finely minced

2 green onions, sliced

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Heat a wok or large sauté pan over high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the bottom. When wok is hot, add eggplant in a single layer. Cook 2 minutes and flip over each piece so they cook evenly. Cook another 2-3 minutes, flipping occasionally. The eggplant should have changed in color, the skin wrinkled and the flesh soft. Push eggplant aside in wok and add 1 tablespoon oil, the garlic, hot pepper, ginger and green onion. Stir these aromatics until they become fragrant. Combine aromatics with eggplant and stir fry for one minute. Add soy sauce, vinegar and sugar and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Savory Sweet Potatoes…

I found this recipe at my favorite seasonal cooking website, dishingupthedirt.com. Andrea and her husband have a farm outside Portland, and she is always coming up with great seasonal recipes. This is a local take on a African Peanut Stew.

I changed and simplified the recipe a bit and used our local almonds; she uses hazelnuts. You can use peanuts /peanut butter too, if that’s what you have on hand.

Sweet Potato Almond Stew

2 tablespoons oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 hot pepper, minced

2 sweet potatoes, cut into ½ inch chunks

1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes

¼ cup almond butter

2-3 cups vegetable broth

½ cup parsley, roughly chopped

½ cup toasted almonds, roughly chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, salt, cinnamon, paprika and hot pepper. Cook, stirring often, for about 4 minutes longer. Add the sweet potatoes and stir until the potatoes are coated in the spice/onion mixture. Pour in the tomatoes, almond butter and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash up some of the potatoes for chunky texture. Taste for seasonings and add salt if needed. Divide the soup between bowls and top with chopped parsley and toasted almonds.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . by Ronda Mae Melendez and Cindi J. Martin

“What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.”

I Corinthians 3:5-7

Broccoli is on the line up for planting this week. The routine I (Ronda) was taught by my Mom as a girl is the same as the one that Julie Moreno, our Garden Coordinated has suggested. I was instructed to dig a small hole along the drip line where water is present, making room for the root ball. This provides adequate space for those particular plants to breathe and grow. Finally, we cover them with soil, tucking them into their little earthen beds. Seems easy enough, right?

But as I tore the soil and planted the seedlings, I realized that much had already been done so that I could accomplish my role that morning with ease. Someone had worked the ground already; the soil had been amended. The earth was well tilled which made running the drip line and planting process much easier because the soil wasn’t hard and compacted. It brought to mind the importance of each one’s labor, regardless of whether we fulfill the role of amending, running drip line, planting or reaping. Each laborer is valuable to the completion of the goal. Each volunteers brings what they have learned and invests it in the garden venture.

This reminds me (Cindi) of an important lesson that the Apostle Paul was teaching people attending the church in Corinth (a region of modern day Greece). Rather than focusing on God, they were aligning themselves with a particular teacher such as Paul and Apollos. It seems they were exalting one teacher over the other and comparing them to one another in a negative way rather than recognizing and understanding that both had a role to play in God’s great garden. I confess, I have been guilty of this! Paul reminds them (and me) that our part is nothing compared to our good God who causes the growth. Have you ever felt compared to others in a negative way? Have you felt perhaps insignificant or like you had to compete to gain recognition? Take heart! The Lord knows your unique set of gifts and talents! He knows exactly how and with whom He can combine them to create a team that fosters optimum growth in us and others for God’s glory.

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