From the Garden this Week, October 7, 2021...
From the Garden this Week…
Delicata Squash, Napa Cabbage, Mixed Greens or Head Lettuce, Green Tomatoes, Tomatoes, Bell Peppers, Okra, Basil, Thyme, Rosemary, and a Decorative Pumpkin
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
Napa Cabbage makes an appearance this week as fall becomes more evident. Napa cabbage makes good salad greens with a mild flavor and texture compared to regular cabbage and the crisp texture of lettuce. I took the salad in a sweet and spicy direction, adding sweetness from fall apples and heat from spicy peppers, but with a distinct Thai flavor combining basil and cilantro, with tomatoes. This salad is perfect while the weather is still warm.
Fall Napa Cabbage Salad with Almonds
½ cup slivered almonds
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey or sugar
1 tablespoon, finely grated ginger root
1-2 apples, grated about 1 cup
1 small head napa cabbage, chopped
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 hot pepper, diced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped basil
Freshly ground pepper
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 grated apple. Add the cabbage, green onions, tomatoes, pepper, cilantro and basil and mix well. Add the almonds and season with pepper. Toss again and serve.
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This week’s winter squash is Delicata. This smaller size squash is easy to cook. Leave the skin on and eat it. The skin adds a distinct bite, that is not too tough and good for you. They are too small to peel efficiently prior to cooking. If you really don’t like the skin, peel it off after cooking.
Roasted Delicata Squash
1-2 Delicata squash cut into rings, seeds removed
1-2 teaspoons honey, maple syrup or sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon oil
½ fresh or dried thyme or rosemary
fresh ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the squash into rings or half moons and remove any seeds. Place the rings in a large bowl and toss with the honey, salt, pepper, oil and herbs. Place the vegetables on an oiled baking sheet, or line with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until tender.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul… By Ronda May Melendez
As I write this, I am in Virginia helping my daughter and her family move back to California. I am rolling glassware in packing paper, placing it in the moving box and listening to an audio book about writing. My mind flashes back in time to a hot, humid Arkansan day when I was about five. Blonde curls blew around my face, sticking to my sweat drenched, suntanned cheeks. In my mind’s eye, I recall being intrigued by the ant hills speckling the landscape. A particular ant hill caught my attention. I laid down on my tummy and found myself intrigued by the ants moving from their granular mound at the base of the plum tree, up...up...up through the branches. Their movement did not stop; their trek continued up and back down. I sat for what now seems like forever on that bright summer day, just observing. I watched those diligent little critters going about their work to provide safe shelter and food for themselves from a tree that their work was damaging. It wasn’t long after that when my Mama said the plum tree had to be removed because the ants had eaten it up. I did not understand it then because the tree still stood. It had rotted from the inside, she said. I think of it now so differently; what a difference four plus decades makes upon the reflection today!
It seems that we humans can at times, be like those ants. We can be very diligent and industrious. We can move about efficaciously finding safe shelter and provisions from resources at our disposal. But do we take a moment to reflect upon how our work is impacting others and our environment? If we do not take responsibility for the impact of our own emotional, mental, and physical needs upon others, we may inadvertently damage the very person, place or thing that is nourishing us. Indeed, without even noticing, we may take so much from another that we contribute to the demise of their health and well-being. If this is the case, is our taking support for our needs really a reliable provision in the end? We humans, unlike the ants, can learn to discern the difference.