From Wellspring Charitable Gardens this Week - October 5, 2023
Fresh from the Garden Week… Delicata or Butternut Squash, Italian Eggplant, Yellow & Green Zucchini, Patty Pan Squash, Heirloom & Cherry Tomatoes, Slicing or Lemon or Armenian Cucumbers, Sweet Peppers, Radishes, White Salad Turnips, Swiss Chard, Arugula, Leaf & Head Lettuce, Tender Yellow Wax & Green Beans, Thai Basil, Dill, Cilantro, Zinnias, & Apples
Using your Produce… by Julie Moreno.
People often mention that we don’t have seasons here in the Central Valley, but we do. They are subtle at times, but when the mornings and evenings become cooler and the day length shortens, our fall vegetables that are planted at the first of August start to grow quickly with the warm afternoons. Two weeks into fall we are already harvesting lettuce, arugula, and radishes. The green beans and cucumbers actually prefer the slightly cooler temperatures and will grow stronger in the fall too. The salad recipe below combines many of these seasonal vegetables together with our fresh herbs. If you want to make this a full meal, try adding meat, seafood, or tofu and cooked noodles to the vegetables.
Thai Cucumber Carrot Salad
1 teaspoon sugar or honey
1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup oil
1 head lettuce or greens, shredded
1 large cucumber, chopped
2-3 carrots, shredded
1-2 radishes, shredded
3 green onions, sliced
1 medium avocado, peeled and cubed
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
¼ cup basil leaves, chopped
* Finely grate zest from lime. Cut the lime crosswise in half; squeeze juice from limes. Place zest and juice in a large bowl and add sugar, hot pepper, garlic, salt and pepper, mix well then add the oil and combine. Add to the dressing the lettuce, cucumber, carrots, radishes, green onions and mix well. Add the avocado, cilantro and basil, stir gently to combine. Eat right away.
Deutsche Laugenbrezeln – Einfach Wunderbar!
There is perhaps no bread more delicious and satisfying than a warm pretzel. Swabian and Bavarian Germans have perfected the art of pretzel baking. The Pretzel’s warm brown glow comes from bathing the triple-looped dough in food-grade lye before baking. This step requires great care. Any baking recipe that calls for wearing protective gloves and safety glasses is not for the novice or faint of heart. The reward, though, is worth the risk once you slice one open, butter generously, and bite into the crispy crust and taste the warm, soft center. Simply wonderful! Cindi says Spruce Eats has the best tasting, most authentic recipe: www.thespruceeats.com/brezel-the-soft-pretzels-with-old-world-taste-1446685. Enjoy this Oktoberfest treat!
Steaming or blanching is one of the simplest ways to cook vegetables. This method preserves the true flavor of the vegetable and allows the herbs to accent the dish. The olive oil and lemon juice help to balance out the flavors, don’t leave them out.
Steamed Green Beans with Dill
1-pound green beans, ends trimmed, cut in half if desired
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Place a steamer basket over 2 inches of water and bring to boil. Steam green beans for about 4-5 minutes, until bright green. Meanwhile, in a large bowl whisk together lemon juice with olive oil, dill, salt and pepper. Remove steamed green beans from pot and place in the bowl with the vinaigrette. Toss together and serve immediately.
Metaphors of Soil & Soul…
Blessings in Tears
by Cindi J & Keith F Martin
Current political, economic, and social uncertainties make many of us feel captive to malicious forces beyond our control. We can relate to the Psalmist who wrote, “Restore our captivity, O Lord, As the streams in the South. Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” This poignant prayer for the Lord to restore Israel’s favored situation offers wise insight into how to grieve intense loss without losing hope.
Uncertain times unsettle the heart and mind, move us to cry out to the Lord for a return to a time and place where safety, opportunity, and prosperity prevailed. As we wait for restoration, the Psalmist declares we must sow hope despite our distress. We must acknowledge our burden but continue our good work if we are to eventually reap a good harvest. He also discloses that tears and sorrow are necessary companions vital to the work performed during painful conditions. Emotional integrity - the ability to admit and express our genuine feelings to ourselves, God, and others – helps maintain spiritual, mental, and interpersonal well-being in times of crisis and loss. If you are one who stoically holds back tears to manage, perhaps even deny, the frightful reality you face, you may be surprised by studies on the relationship between crying and stress reduction. The findings may give you courage to let your tears free when you are hurt or sad, mad or desperate. Research shows that people who “hold back” tears have HIGHER cortisol levels than those who “let tears flow.” The body produces the steroid hormone cortisol to manage stress. Restraining tears shows one remains engaged in battle or captive to the threat inflicting pain. “Letting tears flow” reduces cortisol, meaning you have distanced yourself from battle and the threat.
Wonderful confirmation for those of us who cry and find relief! If you aren’t acquainted with your tears, try “letting them go” rather than “holding them back.” In release, you will find freedom and much needed relief, despite your situation and sorrow. Redeem those precious energies misspent on restraining your emotions - staying engaged in conflict - and redirect them into pursuing more productive work – carrying seeds of promise and sowing hope for a joyful harvest.
“He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried…”