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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Purple Top Turnips, Bok Choy or Napa Cabbage, Kale, Brussels Sprouts Greens, Sweet Potatoes, Arugula, Beet, Green Onions, and Garlic

Coming Soon…Swiss Chard and Rutabagas

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we are harvesting turnips for the first time this fall. These root vegetables are good either cooked or raw. Try grating them and using in your favorite slaw recipe, or just add a squeeze of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. You can even eat them like an apple. Most people are surprised at how sweet they are when eaten raw. You can also roast them in the oven. Peel the turnips, if desired, and slice into half-moons. Roast in the oven at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I love to make pesto with other greens, besides basil. This week’s arugula can be paired with walnuts. Arugula should be blanched in boiling water for just a second before blending, it will help it keep its color. In addition to serving with pasta, pesto will brighten up and winter dish or even a simple bowl of chicken noodle soup.

Arugula Walnut Pesto

3 cups arugula

1-2 cloves garlic

juice of one lemon

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

¼ cup toasted walnuts

¼ cup grated cheese

¼ cup olive oil

Prepare and ice water bath. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the arugula leaves, stir and then remove immediately. Place them in ice water for 1 minutes and then remove them to drain. Squeeze any excess moisture out of the leaves and then add to the blender with the remaining ingredients.

Blend all together in a blender. Enjoy with pasta, beans, rice, or as a sauce for seafood or chicken.

Arugula Rules

When people taste arugula, they are usually immediately a fan or foe of this wonderful, spicy, and nutritious winter green. I love it raw for a salad with a creamy dressing. Recently I have begun preparing it the way my Italian dad prepared fresh sautéed spinach. Since I am prone to calcium oxalate kidney stones, I was banned from eating spinach, one of my favorite greens. It has one of the highest oxalate rates among greens. However, I have learned that I can prepare arugula the way my dad prepared spinach. I sauté it briefly with a small amount of water and kosher salt, remove it when wilted and then dress it with olive oil, a premium wine vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. This removes the spicy taste almost completely. You can do the same thing with Swiss Chard. Just strip the leaves from the stems before sautéing.

Green Chips…

I am lucky enough to own a dehydrator and have my eight-year-old addicted to kale chips. There is no recipe that will make a bunch of kale disappear faster. This fall I have experimented with making chips with our Brussels sprouts greens and rutabaga greens. Both work well and you can’t tell the difference. In the dehydrator I leave them for about 8 hours at 135 °F, in a low oven, 175-200 °F, they take about 2 hours. I don’t like any temperature higher than that, otherwise I burn them and they are not as good when browned. You can season them with salt and olive oil, give the leaves a good massage and then place them in a single layer. I also like to season them with mayonnaise, which is adding oil, lemon juice and salt, plus a little garlic powder and chili powder.

Kale Chips

1 bunch curly kale, Brussels sprouts greens or turnip greens

drizzle of olive oil

sprinkle of salt

Remove the stems from the kale. In a large bowl, drizzle on the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, massage the kale with the oil. The kale will change color from dusty green to dark green, when the oil is rubbed in. Place the kale in a single layer in the dehydrator at 135 °F, for 8-12 hours. Or cook in the oven at 175-200 °F for about 2 hours. Remove from the oven or dehydrator and enjoy right away.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . by Ronda May Melendez

The last few weeks, I haven’t been able to be in the garden. So, I have chosen to walk the neighborhood on the lookout for things in which I can delight. I have found many things! A vivacious tiny dog, whose personality was so full of joy and life… I found myself laughing, touched by its existence. The trees in the lane aflame and the light of sunset embracing one another. It was breathtaking. I stopped at one point, just to soak it in.

But the little treasure bringing the most curiosity and whispered a message of peace were my geraniums. One day on a walk, I contemplated the more difficult things happening in life and felt a little weighted. Upon my return to the house, I noticed that my geraniums almost rose up and ‘winked’ at me, as if to exclaim, “Look at us! We are blooming!” How curious. I had never had my geraniums bloom in the winter. What a sweet surprise!

The next day, I traveled my neighborhood once more and can you believe on that outing, I found other geraniums casting forth their blossoms to weary passersby?! I smiled to myself and thought, “And creation declares the glory of God “(Psalm 19:1)

.I wondered at the blossoms. It is cold this time of the year. Much darker for longer. And in 2020, all manner of odd happenings has darkened our landscape and yet, here in the midst of it, the brave little geraniums of my neighborhood have been heralders of hope. It reminded me that they, like we, are created to point to Him and the peace only the Prince of Peace can bring. And, often, He brings it in the darkest of times. Do not lose hope my friends, He is still on the throne. If the geraniums can bloom in darker times, so can we. “Even the darkness is light to Him” (Psalm 139:12).


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