From the Garden this Week…
From the Garden this Week…
Lettuce Heads, New Potatoes, Summer Squash, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Kale, Cucumbers, Cilantro, Carrots, Arugula, and Parsley
Coming Soon… Tomatoes, Peppers and Eggplant
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
This week we will have small lettuce heads and arugula for one of the last times before the true summer heat hits, so we should be making a lettuce salad. Soon, we can still have salad, but it probably won’t have lettuce. Make a vinaigrette in a jar, with salt, pepper, vinegar and oil then shake. You should have 2-3 times the amount of oil to vinegar. You can always dress the salad right in the bowl, sprinkling on the salt and pepper, then a drizzle of vinegar and oil, right on the greens. Your homemade dressing will always be better than anything you can buy at the store. To add a boost of flavor, just chop a few fresh herbs and add them to the salad greens. The fennel and kohlrabi are a great addition to a salad as well as an extra piece of summer squash, I like to grate the squash and the kohlrabi (after peeling the outer layer off) on a box grater. The fennel should be sliced then across the grain, if you eat it raw. Below is my go-to squash recipe, because you can never have enough squash recipes. Make extra and you can reheat them the next day.
3 pieces summer squash, about 1 pound, grated
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ cup flour (a gluten free flour substitute will work)
2 Tablespoons shredded cheese
1 Tablespoon of oil
Combine the grated squash and salt and leave it in a colander for 20-30 minutes, to allow some of the water to drain. Squeeze the squash to remove any excess water, then mix it with the egg, flour and cheese. Heat a nonstick pan, over medium heat, add the oil and drop 1/4 cup of the squash mixture into the pan. Help it to spread out a little then repeat 2-3 more times, so you have 3-4 small pancakes. Allow them to cook for 5 minutes then turn the fritters over and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove them and cook another batch to use the remaining batter. Enjoy hot, but they are also great the next day.
The tomatoes are coming…
Just a few more weeks and we will be head over heels in tomatoes. It is such a long wait since our last homegrown tomato in November. I try each year, (sometimes I fail), to not eat fresh tomatoes in the offseason. I think that this is strange that it takes any effort because I don’t really like fresh tomatoes. But I always look forward to this time each year and anticipate it with much excitement. Of course, I will be making some pico de gallo or a BLT. I think that by eating seasonally you appreciate the joy and taste of your food much more. I know that I would never have liked tomatoes at all if I had only eaten conventional tomatoes from the grocery store.
One Potato, Two Potato…
I love to get back to basics. And parsley potatoes are a classic for a reason, they are so good. This simple recipe is perfect for our new potatoes when the potatoes are full of flavor. I borrowed this recipe because she explains it very well. Sometimes the simplest recipes are the best.
Parsley Potatoes (adapted from foodiecrush.com)
1 1/2 to 2 pounds small potatoes, scrubbed
1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons butter cut into slices
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
freshly ground black pepper
Add the potatoes to a medium saucepan and cover with cold water by 2 inches. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Reduce to a rolling simmer and cook until the potatoes are fork tender and the skin is beginning to fall away from the potatoes, about 20 minutes. Drain the water from the pan. Quickly add the potatoes back to the saucepan with the butter and parsley, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Give the potatoes a vigorous stir with a wooden spoon or shake with the lid on so the potatoes break up a bit. Let sit for 5-10 minutes and serve.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul . . . by Cindi J. Martin
The language of the creation story in Genesis has been criticized by some for the use of words like “subdue” and “dominion”. Sadly, humans have used these words in Scripture as an excuse to exploit resources and destroy natural habitats. As fallible human beings with a history of leaving destruction in our wake, it is difficult to imagine exercising power and authority without corruption. It was Lord Acton, a British historian of the late 1800’s and early 1900’s who said, “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.” He also made the observation that a person’s sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases. We tend to see God in our own image and project our ability to corrupt power and exploit the vulnerable onto God. But what if it is the other way around? What if God’s use of power is shared with humans to be a mirror of God’s creative and productive purposes to bless others and beautify nature? What if the command for humans to “subdue” and “have dominion” over nature was not for the purpose of destruction for selfish gain, but to prune, tend, and trellis nature much the way a vintner cares for grape vines.
Have you ever seen wild grapes left untended? They will climb just about anything and strangle other plants and trees not to mention the propane tank in this picture. Their tendrils are strong, latching on to any edifice large or small. I must subdue (manage or bring under control) the grape vine if it is to be productive. A garden can quickly become an unmanageable jungle. Jungles have their charm and there is certainly enough room on the planet for nature reserves. But there is also the need to cultivate a garden for the efficient production of nourishment for humans. This can be done in a way that complements rather than corrupts our natural environment. I believe God’s highest intention was never for humans to subdue or have dominion over other humans but to subdue and have dominion (skillfully manage) plants and animals in a way that was mutually beneficial and restorative. Pruning back trees and shrubs keeps them healthy and more productive. If we are noticing areas of our lives that are out of control, it may be time to do the hard work of pruning, tending and trellising parts of ourselves that are getting out of control and hurting others. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).