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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - January 12, 2023

From the Garden this Week… Romanesco or Purple of Sicily Cauliflower, Broccoli, Swiss Chard, Turnips, Romaine Lettuce, Fennel, Red Scallions, Rosemary, Parsley, Lemons, Oranges, Tangelos & Persimmons

Coming Soon… Cabbage

Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno

Romanesco is one of the more exquisite vegetables and one that you might never see at the grocery store. It is related to broccoli and cauliflower and grows in a fractal pattern botanists believe was the result of selective breeding by Italian farmers in the 16th century. You can eat it raw, steamed, sauteed, or roasted. For an impressive dinner, bake it whole. Massage the outside with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cut the bottom so it sits flat in a baking dish or oven safe skillet, then cook at 400°F for 35-50 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the size. The recipe below turns it into a salad with a seasoned dressing using our flat-leaf parsley.

Romanesco-Bean Salad

with Lemon Caper Sauce

(Adapted from Rancho Gordo)

1 Romanesco, cauliflower, or

Broccoli head, broken into

bite-sized florets, about 4 cups

1 anchovy filet, chopped and

smashed (optional)

½ to 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley,

roughly chopped

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon capers, chopped

1-2 teaspoons lemon zest

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 can white beans or chickpeas,

drained and rinsed or 2 cups

home cooked beans, drained salt and pepper to taste

* Bring a pot of salted water to a simmer. Add the florets and simmer gently for about 3-6 minutes or until just done, watching carefully not to overcook. Add the mashed anchovy to a large mixing bowl along with the parsley, garlic, chopped capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper, blend well. Taste and add salt if desired. Remove the florets from the water and drain well. Add the florets and the drained beans to the lemon-caper sauce and mix well. Enjoy right away or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Feathers Ruffled by Soaring Egg Prices?

Chicken Little mistakenly thought (…right, bird brain!) the sky was falling when an acorn dropped on her head. Today, after a feed store visit, she could rightly cluck, “The cost is rising! The cost is rising!” Layer mash and chicken scratch has soared the last year – up 22% to $18.50 a 50lb bag. The idiom “That’s chicken feed!” now means “That cost an arm and a l…”, sorry, mixed metaphor, “… a wing and a drumstick!” Are you able to help? Please contribute to our “Buy a Bag & Feed a Chicken” fundraiser. Your gift will help keep egg costs down and make a happy hen. Margaret Thatcher once said, “It may be the cock that crows, but it is the hen that lays the egg.”

Swiss Chard…

Swiss chard is in the same family as beets and spinach. It tastes like beets, and the greens cook like spinach. I usually cook the stems a few minutes, adding the leaves at the end of cooking to wilt slightly.

Swiss Chard and Pasta

½ pound linguini or spaghetti pasta

2 tablespoons butter

½ onion, thinly sliced

1 bunch Swiss chard leaves and stems,

cut into thin strips

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white wine or water

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Fresh ground pepper

In a large pot, bring about 8 cups water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt to the boiling water and then add the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, in a large sauté pan, heat the butter, onion and Swiss chard stem slices. Cook thefor about 3-5 minutes and add the leaves and salt. Stir for 1 minute the add the white wine. Place a lid on the pan and allow the chard to steam for 1-2 more minutes. Remove the lid and turn off the heat. When the pasta is done, drain the water and add the pasta to the chard. Toss together with half of the parmesan cheese and then portion out into serving bowls, topping with the remaining cheese and fresh ground pepper.

Metaphors of Soil and Soul…

Letting Go

by Cindi J. Martin

Blustery autumn afternoons and late fall rainstorms will mercilessly strip a tree of its multicolored coat of leaves. Surprisingly hopeful, though, is what remains after the storm driven loss: a tiny bump of a bud that grows secretly at the bare place on the boney limb once occupied by the leaf. Observe closely and you will notice that the new growth was already nudging the decaying leaf toward a risky plunge into the unknown. The bud is the promise of soon coming spring, though on the eve of grim winter, wind and storm have violently detached the colorful leaf and dispatched it down toward earth, its final resting place.

The tree endures its loss of leaves by wind and storm but welcomes the exposed harbingers of hope. The buds will soon burst forth into flower and leaf in the warm spring. A similar cycle then repeats. The flowers will lose their petals in the late spring heat. The nudge comes as the once tiny center grows into a plump, sun-ripened fruit of summer. Comfort comes in knowing that the desired growth follows the despised letting go.

Each season of life involves some measure or facet of letting go. In the barren grief born of that process, we rarely recognize the hidden but promised new growth that is nudging the familiar but lifeless toward the risky plunge into the unknown. We are loathe to imagine that grim loss might lead to lasting gain. Is there something in your life that is nudging you to make room for new growth, nudging you to release something once precious and beautiful but now no longer needed or of no use? Are you holding on too tightly and resisting its release, despite the coming and inevitable free fall driven by wind and storm? From trees may we learn to yield as God nudges. May we trust and let go to make space for new growth. Somehow, I can imagine the trees clapping their hands in praise of God as we, His children, yield and go forth in hope with joy and peace!

“For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace

and the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy

before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Isaiah 55:12-13


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