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From the Garden this Week…

From the Garden this Week…

Broccoli, Napa Cabbage or Bok Choy, Purple Top Turnips, Baby Carrots, White Celery Stalks, Watermelon Radishes, Green Onions, Brussels Sprout Crowns and a Delicata Squash

Coming Soon…Brussels Sprouts, Swiss Chard and Beets

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

This week we are continuing the harvest of the Brussels sprouts, without yet giving you the sprouts. We will cut the crowns off the plants and send them first. This allows the sprouts to receive all of the energy from the plant and get as big as they can. So, the actual sprouts will come in a few weeks. Cook the crowns like you would cabbage or kale. I would chop them first and then sauté with garlic and red pepper flakes.

This week we will have Napa cabbage which is the perfect cabbage to make the classic Chinese Chicken Salad. Along with our green onions, carrots and radishes or turnips, this is an easy to make side dish or a complete meal with a serving of tofu, chicken or shrimp.

Napa Cabbage Salad with Orange and Almonds

½ cup slivered almonds

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teapoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon honey or sugar

zest from one orange

1 small head napa cabbage, chopped

2 green onions, thinly sliced

2 carrots, grated

½ cup grated radish or turnip

1 orange, peeled and sliced

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Freshly ground pepper

2 cooked chicken breasts, sliced

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a small pan or pie plate, toast the almonds for 5 minutes, until they are light brown. Let cool. In a large mixing bowl, mix the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, salt, honey and orange zest. Add the cabbage, green onions, carrots, radish, orange slices and cilantro and toss. Add the almonds and season with pepper. Toss again and serve topped with the chicken breast slices.

Turnip Slaw (because you can never have enough turnip recipes)

1 clove garlic, minced or crushed

½ teaspoon red chili flakes

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 apple, shredded

2-3 turnips, shredded

1-2 carrots, shredded

1 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

In a mixing bowl combine the garlic, chili flakes and lemon juice. Use a box grater or food processor to shred the apple, turnips and carrots with the large holes. Combine with the garlic mixture and add the olive oil and salt. Stir well and let sit for 15 minutes or more before eating, if possible.

More Broccoli…

This soup recipe makes good use of the leaves and stems that are part of the broccoli plant. Chop everything up together and then use all of it. If you like more texture in your soups, save a portion of the soup from the blender and then add it back in at the end. Remember to use less water in the beginning and you can add more in at the end if you like a thinner soup.

Cream of Broccoli Soup

1 medium onion, washed and chopped

4-6 cups of broccoli, including stocks and leaves, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons butter

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons flour

2.5-3 cups water

½ cup half and half

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large sauce pan cook the onion, broccoli, butter, thyme and salt over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Lower the heat to low and add the flour and stir until for 20-30 seconds. Add water, to just barely cover the vegetables, about 2 cups, increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low, let simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the broccoli is soft. Remove from the heat and blend with an immersion blender. Stir in the half and half, and adjust the consistency if desired by adding a little bit of water. Taste for salt and pepper and add if needed. Ladle into serving bowls, top with the Parmesan cheese if desired and serve. This is great reheated the next day.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul … by Ronda May Melendez

The engines of a regional jet hum below my seat as I write. Even inside the plane, the air is brisk; the landscape from my window, pillowy layers of clouds, is embracing the world below them. Just a half hour ago, I peeked beneath the clouds and became the witness of a glorious patchwork of land. From the air, the boundaries clearly demarcated where one parcel of land ended, and another began. Then, the clouds rolled in and that delineation became completely obscured. Our market garden comes to mind. It is not difficult to walk that patch of land on a bright day and recognize the fence lines marking ownership. Voiceless declarations of a proprietorship exist and inherent principles by which the land will be used by the owners can be observed.

Even when thick fog rolls in, a solid understanding of boundaries exists though we may have to proceed with care and caution in order to find them, if the need arises. More often than not, these lines seem a settled matter in the realm of physical ownership. Why, I ask, is it seemingly so much more difficult to maintain a sense of security with clearly demarcated boundaries in the emotional, mental and spiritual realms?

Perhaps we can ask the Lord to provide us with clarity of His view from above the clouds and through the fog? As we lay the landscapes of our hearts before Him, He can surely re-establish boundaries, peace and safety, can He not? It seems to me that this is His way.

Our jet plane is now descending. With absolutely no view of the world below, I still trust that He sees all, and that He will yet provide. He sees it all even when our limited sight and understanding are obscured. In due time, all will become clear. May God give us the grace to keep track of exactly what He has given us in our territory and the wisdom to recognize what He has given to others.


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