Fresh from Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - December 7, 2023
Fresh Today… Arugula, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Spinach, Romaine, Head Lettuce, Snap Peas, Turnips, Watermelon Radish, Sweet Peppers, Red Scallions, Cilantro, Oregano, Dill, Pomegranate & Fuyu Persimmons
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno.
Winter is the season for our cruciferous vegetables. Also known as Cole crops or brassicas, they are all from the species Brassica Oleracea. This week that includes our arugula, broccoli, radish, turnips, and cauliflower. These vegetables are frost tolerant and are harvestable throughout our mild winter. Cauliflower and broccoli are the immature flowers of the plant. As the weather warms in the spring, they continue to grow and will create blossoms. Cauliflower makes for a fun presentation, whether cooked whole or cut into steaks like this recipe with a rich avocado herb sauce.
Roasted Cauliflower Steaks
with Avocado Herb Sauce
1 head cauliflower
1 avocado diced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh
herbs, like dill and parsley
* Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove outer leaves from the cauliflower head, cut the stem flush with the baseof the crown. Trim one inch off the two opposite sides, reserve the small pieces for another use. Slice the center of the cauliflower into thick 1-inch slices. Place the cauliflower slices on a parchment lined baking sheet, brush the sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then flip the cauliflower and cook for 15 more minutes. While the cauliflower is cooking combine the avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and herbs, then set aside. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and serve, topped with the avocado herb sauce.
The Gingerbread Open:
Christmas Cookie Eater Training
GO Training gets serious Saturday when Team WCG gathers at Captain Wendy Miller’s to devour training video, craft strategy, and build Esprit de Corps. She has film of MLE (Major League Eating) all-star Joey Chestnut, 16-time winner of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. Chestnut’s dog cramming and chewing finesse are “inspirational” but, sadly, rather unpretty and not entirely transferable to gingerbread. Hotdog greases the gullet and promotes bun slide; gingerbread cinches down into a dough-knot and carves out the G. I. tract, upper and lower, like a glacier (post-competition blockage is a concern). GO contestants are allowed one lubricating beverage. Milk pairs well with gingerbread but eaters lose speed when tasting slows chewing. Soda’s out; carbonation creates systemic and gastric resistance (hiccupping, burping) that slow the flow. Hot coffee and tea stimulate energy and digestive juices. Tap water is bland but functional. Adult drinks are tempting but forbidden – giggling and nausea pair poorly. Team Rodin Farms tried to pass off Irish coffee as espresso con panna one year and DE (designated eater, American League of MLE) Two-fisted Phyllis tossed her cookie. The brown, red, and green doughknot with buttons and bow tie caused spectators and competitors alike to lose their appetite for competition. Capt. Wendy hopes to limit digestive fouls with disciplined training. We hope so too. Competitive eating is an unsettling sport. For the good of the Corps, next year I think we’ll enter the Bonsai Rosemary Christmas Tree Topiary Tourney.
"Hail, Subscriber, those who are about to eat salute you!"
When we get Romaine lettuce, I can’t help but make Caesar Salad. I usually make this adapted Caesar dressing using mayonnaise as a base. Omit the anchovy if you are a vegetarian. Serve this salad with freshly toasted bread or homemade croutons.
Caesar Salad Dressing
2-3 cloves garlic 2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 Tbs. lemon juice 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1 cup mayonnaise
1-2 anchovies or 1 tsp. ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
In a blender combine the garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, Dijon, anchovy, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce, blend well to chop the garlic. Add the cheese and mayonnaise, pulse, until it becomes fluid then add the olive oil while blending at the end. Refrigerate or use right away, tossing with chopped Romaine lettuce.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul…
Unhurried by Design
by Cindi J Martin
To welcome and celebrate Advent this year, I recall the wisdom made manifest by our Almighty Creator who designed and set seasons to circumscribe rhythms of life. King Solomon said aptly of the gift:
"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every delight under heaven - a time to plant, and a time to uproot what is planted... He has made everything beautiful in its time... I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one's lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in his labor - it is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, 11-13).
Those of us who no longer live by the rhythms of planting and harvesting may not slow down during winter to enjoy the good fruits of our year’s labor. “Oh, but there’s wisdom in ‘slowing down’!” Yes, there is a reason God said working six days of seven is sufficient. There is a reason sleeping eight hours in twenty-four is beneficial. There is a reason that trees bear fruit during one season but go dormant during another. The reason is clear - Life is designed to flourish with rest.
I want to live into this ancient wisdom, especially now, but the Christmas season has been anything but restful and slow for me. The hurry and hectic driven by holiday "have to do" often hound me. Older and wiser now, I face the fierce “dog” that seeks to devour my yearend peace and joy. We now shop less (“True, we have no grandkids yet.” :) and visit friends and family more. We decorate less (“OK, only the outside since I don’t climb ladders now.” :) and tend the temple of our soul more. We make it an intentional practice to live a less hectic, more unhurried life. Whenever I plan an unhurried day during Advent and rest, I find peace, feel joy! Alan Fadling writes on the tyranny of urgency in An Unhurried Life:
"...[H]urry is impulsive, a knee jerk reaction revealing an 'I'm gonna act now because I may never have another chance' mindset. Temptation seeks to shrink the time between impulse and action... In contrast, wisdom calls us to be discerning about our impulses and inclinations. Are they prompted by God's Spirit? Are they the Spirit's leading? Or do they have another source?"
More seasoned now, I am less desperate and driven. The fierce hound “Have to Do” no longer pursues me; I pursue peace and the beauty revealed in His Advent.
During this season for celebrating our Lord’s Advent, may we all make moments to delight in dear friends, joyful song, good food, and unhurried time to rest in His Presence! “Yes, ‘Abide in Me.’ He says.” May we rejoice this season in the LORD, our Immanuel – God with Us - the “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” and coming King, Jesus, who first came as an infant. We Wish You All an Unhurried Christmas and an Intentional, Restful New Year!