From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - August 11, 2022
From the Garden this Week… Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Carrots, Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions, Dill, Basil, Parsley, Peaches, Melons & Grapes
Coming Soon… Heirloom Variety Eggplant
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno
The small green peppers that we have been sending out make a perfect appetizer or side dish and are quick and easy to cook, sauteing them whole until blistered and slightly brown. These thin-skinned peppers have been traditionally served as a Spanish Tapas with Padrone peppers, which can be a little spicy. Our green peppers are not spicy and cook the same way. When you sauté them, make sure to prepare the garlic ahead of time and just cook it at the end for a minute. The pan is very hot from cooking the peppers and in no time at all it will start to brown. Quickly remove the peppers and garlic from the pan with a rubber scraper to capture all the deliciousness before it burns.
Blistered Pepper Recipe
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon oil
1-2 cups whole peppers
*Finely chop the garlic and set aside. In a 10-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the peppers to the skillet and toss to coat with the oil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook the peppers, stirring frequently for about 4-6 minutes until blistered on all sides. Turn the heat off and add the garlic to the hot pan, season generously with salt and stir until the garlic browns slightly. Remove the peppers from the skillet onto a serving dish, scraping the bits of garlic from the pan. Let cool for a few minutes and then enjoy.
What to do with all those fresh cucumbers?
For an answer, we turned to Elise Bauer, founder of Simply Recipes, and discovered a cool and tasty treat to beat the summer heat. We share with you her flavorful and refreshing Cold Cucumber Soup recipe found at the website simplyrecipes.com.
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp chopped onion
2 Tbsp fresh dill
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
½ cup buttermilk
½ tsp salt and pinch black pepper
*Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. Chill well and serve with a drizzle of high-quality olive oil and fresh sprig of dill. Now it’s time for you to chill and enjoy those refreshing cucumbers!
Our summer squash makes an easy quick bread and a sweet treat loaded with vegetables. You can use any of the thin-skinned summer squash in this recipe. I even recommend selecting the yellow squash instead of the green because it nearly disappears.
Lemon Zucchini Bread
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups grated zucchini
¾ cups oil
Zest and 2 teaspoons of juice from one lemon
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate large bowl beat the eggs and add in the zucchini, oil and lemon juice and zest, mix well. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix gently to moisten. Pour the batter into a prepared pan and bake for about 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Metaphors of Soil and Soul… by Ronda May Melendez
Tomatoes Have Boundaries?
Tomatoes, it seems, dear ones, have clearly delineated boundaries. They know what they will do and what they won’t. Apparently, they slow or stop fruit production, even when they are healthy, if their ripe fruit is left on the vine! It seems sensible. Why work ever harder to produce more fruit when fruit already produced is not seen or appreciated enough to be harvested and its flavor and nutrients enjoyed? Ripe and ready to be picked fruit takes up space, saps nutrients from the vine, and competes for vital resources with smaller, more immature fruit that has set. It really does not make sense to keep producing more. Demand has ceased; supply is in surplus. Creation is teaching us about economic and relational budgeting and care. Not to mention, the importance of self-awareness and self-care!
Candidly, I have gotten both a challenge and a chuckle out of this lesson.
If tomato plants inherently recognize that their fruit is not going anywhere and they cease production, then why in the world is it difficult for us to do the same? Why is it difficult for us to identify when others do not want to honor our fruit and receive it? Why is it so difficult to pull back our effort until others are ready to receive what we have to give? Conversely, why is it so difficult to see when another has given of themselves, and their fruit is good, ready, and should be honored and enjoyed?
For me, I walked away challenged to be aware of the gifts others are giving me and not take them for granted. Their fruit required great effort to produce and should be used. Why duplicate their effort when their ripe fruit remains unused? When necessary, I need to willingly end the producing game on my side. If tomatoes can do it, we can, too! Cooperation, not competition, demonstrates respect for another’s effort and ripe fruit while conserving vital resources that are better used for growth elsewhere.