From the Garden this Week, August 26, 2021...
From the Garden this Week…
Corn, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Sweet and Hot Peppers, Green Onions, Melon, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Basil, Eggplant, and Lemon Balm
Coming Soon…Pumpkins and Mixed Greens
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
This week I have been stretching my imagination to use all of our peppers. So, guessing that some of you are in the same boat, here are my ideas. The first thing I like to do is to cut and freeze them to use for chili recipes through the fall and winter. I vacuum pack them after cutting to avoid freezer burn and portion them so that they are ready to go from the freezer. My favorite way to eat the hot peppers is to cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and then fill them with cheese and cook the halves on the grill until the cheese is melted. Cooking the peppers takes away a bit of the spicy heat. The rest of my sweet peppers I used in the recipe below. It’s known as Shakshuka, a Mediterranean dish where you cook peppers, onions and tomatoes and then poach eggs right in the simmered vegetables. Serve this with toasted bread or tortilla chips to give the dish some crunch and to scoop up any of the remaining sauce.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped, about 1.5 cups
5-7 small sweet peppers, chopped, about 1.5 cups
2-3 hot peppers, minced
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp sweet paprika
½ tsp ground cumin
4-6 tomatoes, chopped, about 2 cups
2 cups tomato sauce
6 large eggs
¼ cup chopped fresh herbs, parsley, basil, lemon balm or mint leaves
In a large sauté pan over medium cook the oil, onion and peppers, season with the salt and stir occasionally until the onions are translucent about 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped garlic, paprika, and cumin and stir for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and sauce, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if needed. Break each egg into a small bowl and gently pour it into the sauce, spreading them through the pan. Cover and poach until the eggs are cooked to your liking about 5-8 minutes.
Gophers love okra
For a few weeks now, we’ve been teasing you all
with the promise of okra “coming soon!” Well,
unfortunately, the okra we planted was a BIG hit
with our neighborhood gophers. So, we’ve planted
round 2 and have gopher management aspirations!
Wish us luck!
Eating Raw Corn…
Sweet corn is ready and it one of my favorite summer treats. I like to eat it raw or if I do cook it, it is only to warm it up. Cutting the kernels off the cob can be a messy chore, but well worth the effort not to have it stuck between your teeth. My only advice is to clear off a large space and expect to have a few kernels fly.
2-3 ears of corn, kernels removed from the cob
2 large tomatoes, diced
2-3 green onions, sliced
2-3 sweet and/or hot peppers, finely diced
3-4 tablespoons basil, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice or white wine/apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients and let sit for 15-20 minutes before serving, if possible.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul… By Ronda May Melendez
Our fence line to the east was a sad sight up ‘til this last week. Loose boards swung from their anchors when pressure was applied, the bottom portions having rotted away from overexposure to water and time. A beating from a winter’s gale did not help matters; the fence line had bowed, unable to stand upright under the added pressure. Our boundary was failing. I am grateful to report that skilled craftsmen came out and assessed the damage. They confirmed what I had suspected...the fence line must come down and another built. As we went through the process of assessment, they informed me that both our property and that of our adjoining neighbor’s would be protected. They planned to finish the project within the day, but should something arise, they would not leave our properties exposed to those who did not and should not have access. It was comforting. Though portions had to be completely torn down and rebuilt, we were not left unprotected.
A gale blew through my heart and mind this morning, bringing back the lesson of the fence line. Does a gale, emotional or physical, have to be a threat? Could it be seen as something to expose where my boundaries have become weakened? Perhaps those boundaries needed to be reinforced or completely torn down and rebuilt. Is that really all that bad? Uncomfortable...yes, but bad? I am not so convinced. This morning I realized my emotional interior resembled my old fence line. Exposure to the wilds of life over time can weaken some of the anchors of our hearts and minds. Sometimes, there is a need for a complete rebuild, sometimes, a simple repair. Whatever case, friend, we need not fear. There is a skilled Craftsman who knows how to shore up the breaches, how to see the project to completion, and how to protect us in the process.