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From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - November 2, 2023


Fresh Today… Carrots, Broccoli, Armenian Cucumbers, Romaine & Butterleaf Lettuce, Swiss Chard, Kale, Spinach, Arugula, Watermelon Radish, White Salad Turnip, Italian Eggplant, Winter Butternut Squash, Summer Squash, Tomatoes, Sweet Peppers, Green Beans, Cilantro, Fuyu Persimmon & Pomegranate


Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno.

In this week’s eggplant recipe, I used a technique to season the eggplant with salt and then let it sit for 10 minutes. Some chefs state that this helps to remove any bitterness. I think that it might be unnecessary if your eggplant isn’t bitter in the first place. You might have noticed that there can be differences in the varieties of eggplant that we grow. I do think that in this grilled eggplant recipe salting the eggplant ahead of time helps the eggplant cook faster. You can try it either way and experiment as you like. For this recipe, make sure to allow enough time for the eggplant to soak up the marinate after cooking. You can make this several hours ahead if needed.


Grilled Eggplant with Marinated Tomato,

Herb, and Feta Cheese


1 large eggplant, sliced into

½ inch slices

Salt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, pressed or grated

2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs,

basil or parsley (or 1 tsp. dried)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half or

quarters

4 ounces feta cheese


* Slice eggplant 1/2 inch thick; lay on paper towels, sprinkle with salt and let sit 10 minutes, then pat dry. In a large bowl, combine extra-virgin olive oil with 1 grated garlic clove, chopped herbs, salt and pepper, mix well. Add in the tomatoes and feta cheese to the oil mixture and stir gently. After patting the eggplant slices with a dry towel, grill over medium-high heat, flipping about every 2 minutes until cooked. Remove from the grill and place the slices on a platter. Drizzle with the feta-tomato-herb oil and let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.



With Thanksgiving


We are grateful and give thanks for ALL - volunteers, subscribers, partners, and promoters of Wellspring Charitable Gardens, a community supported agriculture project. Your concern for your community and for your neighbors who reach out for counseling is shown by your work, your words of encouragement, and your faithful, generous support of WCG. Thank you, ALL!


Thursday, November 23, is Thanksgiving Day – a holy-day to gather with family and friends to give Thanks to God for His goodness, His grace, and His blessings. So that we may celebrate with our family and friends, we will NOT be harvesting or sending out produce Thanksgiving Day. Your familiar purple WCG produce bags will return filled with fresh vegetables, fruit, and herbs on November 30!



Sauteed Vegetables…


Sautéing is a quick way to cook any vegetable. For this recipe, using a non- stick pan will help keep the squash from sticking and make it easier to caramelize the edges.


Swiss Chard & Winter Squash Sauté


2 tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 butternut or delicata squash,

seeds removed, cut into 1-inch cubes

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bunch Swiss chard, washed, stems

and leaves chopped

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley and

basil (or 1 tsp. dried)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper


* In a large non-stick sauté pan, over medium heat, add the butter, butternut squash, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Let the squash lightly brown on the edges and cook fully before you add the chard. Taste the squash to make sure it is cooked through. Add the Swiss chard and pepper flakes to the pan. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and stir over medium low heat until the chard is wilted. Sprinkle the vegetables with the herbs and stir. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Serve right away.


Metaphors of Soil and Soul…


The Taste for Fresh

by Cindi J & Keith F Martin


Decades ago, my dearest friend tried fresh-ground slow brewed coffee, but said she preferred Taster’s Choice freeze-dried. I did all I could to convince her that fresh-brewed was better. When she agreed to try it again, her face wrenched at the first sip and said, “That just tastes wrong!” Taste is like that; we prefer what we know. She grew up drinking instant coffee. Many of us grew up eating “prepared” or “packaged” vegetables, fruits, and herbs. We developed a preference for frozen spinach, canned fruit cocktail, or dried basil. Fresh just tasted wrong. Genuine liking may be at play here, but there are those who have not wholeheartedly tried to develop their taste for fresh.


Growing fall and winter produce helped me to better appreciate the bold colors and intense flavor of fresh. You, too, may see and taste that difference in the dark leafy green and root vegetables now coming your way. Cooler weather - night and day now - concentrates their flavors. Spinach, kale, and chard become more robust and distinct in taste. Cold also intensifies the sweetness of root crops - carrots, beets, and turnips. It enhances the peppery flavors of arugula, collard greens, and braising mixes. Later I learned how fall and winter produce supports our physical and mental health needs in the sun-shortened seasons. Autumn pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants and winter citrus with vitamin C - both defend against cold and flu viruses. Fuyu persimmons are rich in vitamin A, which supports vision, builds the immune system, and promotes skin health. Root crops and dark greens abound in vitamins (A, B, C, D, K), minerals (Potassium, Manganese, Iron, Calcium), and fiber. These support brain function, mood regulation, metabolism efficiency, bone and muscle development, stress tolerance, and “regularity.” Cold weather crops provide precisely what we need to withstand the cold and dark days of winter.

As I reflect on developing my taste for fresh, I notice the spiritual parallels. Growing up, many of us were exposed to “prepared” religion – prepared ritual and rules - of one form or another, so we never developed a taste for fresh. Have we settled for what others say about God but have not yet "tasted and seen" for ourselves that the LORD is good, or do we not believe that He is and that He is rewarder of those who seek Him? Learning to enjoy fresh produce takes time and requires commitment, but it is well worth the effort. Let us also be willing to make the effort to develop a personal preference for the only One who can fully satisfy our heart’s hunger for love and our soul’s thirst for eternity. In time, my dear friend did develop a taste for fresh brewed coffee. Today she would say, “That just tastes right!”

"O taste and see that the Lord is good…" Psalm 34:8



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