From the Garden this Week, October 28, 2021...
From the Garden this Week…
Dino Kale, Mixed Greens, Lettuce Heads, Green Beans, Carrots, Cherry Tomatoes, Green Tomatoes, Basil, Green Onions, Daikon Radish, Fuyu Persimmons, Pomegranates and Aloe Vera
Coming Soon…Bok Choi
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
This week the first of our fall brassicas, Dino, or lacinato kale will be in the baskets. My favorite way to cook our kale is to quickly sauté it in oil or butter with garlic and red pepper flakes, just until wilted. Season with salt and cook until tender and don’t overcook it or will turn sulfurous, like overcooked broccoli. You can also add it to soups near the end of the cooking time. We also have more Fuyu persimmons for the next few weeks. These can be eaten fresh or cooked just like an apple. They are firmer than apples, so for this Persimmon Crisp recipe, make sure to cut them into smaller chunks, so that they cook all the way through. Crisp recipes are my go-to fruit dessert because they are so simple and they highlight the flavor of the fruit.
Fuyu Persimmon Crisp
6-8 Fuyu persimmons, cut into 1/2” cubes, about 4 cups
2 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup tightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup finely chopped almonds
¼ cup flour
¾ cup old fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup tightly packed brown sugar
Pinch kosher salt
3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
2 tablespoons water
Glass baking dish (about 8 inches × 8 inches)
Preheat oven to 350 °F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the persimmons, lemon zest, juice and vanilla extract, sugar, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the chopped almonds, flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Add the melted butter and the water and stir until mixture looks crumbly. Add the fruit mixture to the glass baking dish and spread the oat topping evenly across the persimmons. Bake until the topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes.
Fresh aloe vera leaf, sugar and your favorite essential oil: an indulgent moment of self-care!
Cut up freshly plucked aloe vera leaf, use a spoon to scoop the aloe vera gel, then muddle with a muddler or use a blender. Pour the gel into a clean jar, add your granulated sugar (enough to thicken the aloe juice) plus a few drops of your preferred body oil. Mix it up until all the ingredients are well-combined, and use it all up the same day it was prepared.
We have the perfect climate for growing tomatoes all summer and fall, but as the weather cools the tomatoes on the vine never ripen, before the first frost. These green tomatoes are still edible and they can hold up to longer cooking times. Try this fried green tomato recipe to continue to enjoy the summer bounty.
Fried Green Tomatoes (adapted from simplyrecipes.com)
3 medium green tomatoes
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon paprika
½ cup of buttermilk or milk and 1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup cornmeal
½ cup dry bread crumbs
¼ cup oil for frying
Slice the tomatoes into ½ inch slices, sprinkle with the salt and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Combine the flour and paprika in a shallow bowl and set aside. Combine the egg and buttermilk in a second shallow bowl. Combine the cornmeal and bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl. Start heating the oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat, then dip the tomato slices in the flour mix, then the egg/buttermilk mix and then the bread crumb mix pressing until evenly coated with bread crumbs. Fry in batches until golden brown on each side about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oil and drain. Serve with ranch dressing or remoulade.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul… By Ronda May Melendez
Wind blows droplets of water into the glass panes surrounding me. The cherry tree is out there dancing wildly, its limbs swinging overhead in luxuriant enthusiasm. It throws yellowing leaves about like so much confetti. As I watch the show from indoors, I am compelled to go outside and join the festivities. Accepting the invitation, I step outdoors. The wind embraces me vivaciously, sending my unfettered blonde locks into uproarious revelry. The rain has ceased for a moment, but simply for a moment. I stand there, feeling the refreshing briskness of the moist wind, smelling the freshness and freedom in the air, and listening to the song of the movement. A smile stretches across my face, crinkling my eyes and cheeks. Peace fills my heart. I have joined the party.
Here within what we humans would call a storm, I experience nature in unabashed celebration! It has worked hard collaborating with the Lord. It has done its bit and restfully entrusted the Lord to do His part. And He has. They have. I bear witness to their collaborative efforts; the abundance of our garden this year has been astounding. Not just in the physical fruit borne, but in fellowship, as well. There were many late spring and summer days and nights when we were invited to enjoy fellowship with God and nature under these jubilant boughs, surrounded by restful vines, after a long day’s or week’s work.
The growing season is at an end; a season of rest and restoration begins. What is there not to celebrate in it all? And why not in the midst of a storm? The days are shorter and darker and, yes, a seasonal storm is now blowing, but there is also enormous joy. Abundance has come in its due time. There is a time and season for all things under the sun. This is a time to celebrate.
I want to dance wildly like the cherry tree in the wet wind. The clouds, rain and wind have replenished my heart, mind, even my body. I want to refresh others, bringing vitality like the wind, watering thirsty ground like the ladened clouds above pour down onto parched earth...all in the midst of what we call a storm. I think I can if I keep my eyes on what is good. I think we all can.