Fresh from Wellspring Charitable Gardens - February 8, 2024
Fresh Today… Butternut Squash, Romanesco, Broccoli Shoots, Parsnips, Fennel, Kale, Chard, Red Butterhead Lettuce, Carrots, Green Onions, Cilantro, Yellow Limes, Navel Oranges, & Sprig of Quince
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno.
More parsnips and carrots are coming this week. The parsnips are wonderful roasted, which enhances their sweetness and creamy texture. You can add them to my favorite cooked carrot recipe, included below. I’ve been promoting this dish for several years, so you might have seen it before, but this is a testament to how much I like it. Usually, I just end up eating the carrots out of the pan and forgo the salad. I encourage you to make the salad the first time. I have to mention that even though we do not grow avocados, this is their season. They are at their best in the late winter before Easter.
Roasted Carrot Orange Avocado Salad
(adapted from April Bloomfield)
2 medium garlic cloves, smashed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground*
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground*
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
6 carrots, sliced in half
1 ripe Hass avocados
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons cilantro sprigs
* You can use ½ teaspoon of ground spices, toasting them
slightly in a dry pan will bring out the flavor
** Preheat the oven to 400° F. Press the garlic and put the paste in a large mixing bowl with salt, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and stir well, then add the carrots and toss to coat with the oil and spices. Put the carrots in a large shallow casserole dish in one layer. Scrape out the extra garlic, spices, and oil from the bowl and spread on top of the carrots. Pour ¼ cup water into the casserole with the carrots. Cover the dish tightly with foil (or a tight-fitting lid) and put it in the oven. Cook the carrots for 25 minutes. Take off the foil and keep cooking until the carrots are lightly browned and tender, about 25-35 minutes more. While the carrots are roasting, peel the orange and avocado then cut into chunks. When the carrots are done, take the dish out of the oven and let it sit until the carrots have cooled slightly. Put the avocado, oranges, and carrots with their spices from cooking in a large mixing bowl and add the lemon juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss gently, taste for salt, and serve topped with the cilantro.
I am excited and proud to announce the publication of Cindi’s book Choosing Intimacy: Exploring Christ’s Model for Mutuality and Deeper Relationships. Her work is a labor of love born out her experiences as a psychotherapist, mother, wife, daughter, friend, and devoted disciple of Jesus (I can vouch for her birth pangs and contractions that delivered this baby!). Through the work, she offers wise insights and practical support on how to establish and nurture more intimate and mutually satisfying relationships – in marriage and friendship, and with family, colleagues, and fellow believers. She also exposes hurtful attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that leave us feeling unseen, unheard, unknown, or unloved in relationships that mean the most to us, but grievously, where we feel most wounded, unsafe, and alone. The title captures her message succinctly: Being intimate is a choice we must make to know and enjoy deeply meaningful, mutually satisfying, lasting relationships. I am so proud of you and this work, my Love!
Fresh Made Dressing…
Make a quick, tangy dressing with your winter citrus. Use this dressing over shredded cabbage or greens, drizzle over steamed broccoli or a salad with our arugula, or marinate grated raw turnips. The tart lemon juice or white vinegar balance the sweeter juice of the orange or grapefruit.
Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing
1 tablespoon minced shallot or green onion
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped celery leaves
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons orange or grapefruit juice
½ teaspoon finely grated citrus zest
1 teaspoon honey
4-5 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* In a jar, combine all the ingredients except the oil and shake well. Add the oil and shake again.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul…
Quince, “No Nonsense!”
by Ronda May Melendez & Keith F Martin
I searched the web this week for an answer to the question, “Why does the quince have thorns?” I got tickled when I came across David Beaulieu’s description of quince’s nature: “The flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa) is a thorny, multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a somewhat messy growth habit but beautiful red, orange, white, or pink flowers to go with shiny, dark green foliage.” “Beautiful,” “Somewhat messy growth habit,'' and “Thorny” - sounds like a human being if you ask me.
I had been reflecting on the thorns arrayed among the beautiful quince blossoms. It seemed a contradiction to me. Amid bleak and barren winter days, alluring beauty blossoms yet brandishes severe and painful weapons. Why? Those thorns protect its nascent fruit. Though I had been taught to look upon thorns as sin’s curse, it occurred to me that we might also view them as a two-edged sword – a formidable weapon for defense and a sharp reminder to curb hostile behavior. Quince is a self-pollinating shrub, but it thrives and produces even more fruit when beneficial creatures – bees, lady bugs, and other friendly pollinators – are drawn to its nourishing pollen and alluring beauty, despite its messy growth habits. Those alluring blossoms also attract predators that would wantonly consume or destroy its budding fruit. Thorns protect the quince’s delicate, vulnerable fruit from peril and signal a stern warning: “Predators and pests beware! Proceed at your own peril; you will not do damage and depart with impunity.”
Let us learn a lesson from the quince. We can consider our boundaries “thorns” that signal others to engage with care and respect. Sharp, clearly recognizable boundaries provide double-edged safety for both you and others. There is no better way for us to say, “There is beauty here to enjoy but not abuse, and it is worth protecting, despite our “somewhat messy growth habits.”
“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. But Jesus, on His part, was not entrusting Himself to them, for He knew all men, and because He did not need anyone to testify concerning man, for He Himself knew what was in man.” John 2:23-25