Wednesday, June 30, 2010

CSA Basket #2

Lots of greens in this basket:
- romaine & red sale curly leaf,
- beet greens with baby beets for a telling first taste,
- chard & a few leaves of kale,
- new onions with greens for bright flavor
- and a bag of much loved garden candy -- baby potatoes
- a bit of dill to add to this 'n' that or freeze/dry for later use

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rhubarb Marmalade

Guest Post: (Thanks, Carolyn)

Rhubarb is one of my favourites: I remember as a child sitting on the back steps at my great-aunt's up near Rivers armed with a stalk of rhubarb and a bowl of sugar. I would dip the rhubarb in the in the sugar, and suck eagerly until the sweetness was gone, and then go back for more sugar! The tartness of the rhubarb lends itself well to the sweet.

This recipe makes for an excellent sweet-and-tart topping for toast, cakes, or just to eat straight from the jar! It can easily be halved for smalled batches, or doubled and put in 500 ml (1 pint) jars (process for a couple of extra minutes). If you don't want to can it, or don't have the right equipment, you can easily pour this into containers and store it in the fridge... I promise it won't last long anyway!
Rhubarb Marmalade *
(adapted from Jean Pare's /Company's Coming: Preserves/)

makes 5 to 6 - 250 ml jars

2 lbs (900 g) fresh rhubarb, cut up
2 lbs (900 g) granulated sugar
2 smallish oranges

Put rhubarb and sugar into large saucepan. Remove a very thin layer of orange peel with no white pith on it (if you leave the pith, your will get a distinct bitterness). This takes a bit of work and a good, sharp knife. And preferably no toddlers tugging at your legs. Remove and discard white pith from peeled oranges.

Slice peel in very thin strips. Cut strips into short lengths. Cut the flesh of the oranges into small pieces. Add peel, pulp, and any juice collected on your cutting board, to saucepan.

Stir and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes. Skim off any scum that forms.

Remove from heat. Test to see if mixture has reached jell stage. If jell stage not yet reached, return to heat and boil 2 minutes longer and test again. Repeat as necessary.

Fill hot sterilized jars with 1/4" headspace. Process for 10 minutes in hot water bath. Make sure you let your spouse lick out the pot.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

First Basket

So, yesterday we brought out the first garden baskets. There wasn't a lot ready, but the spinach and lettuce needed picking -- a we certainly can't eat that much greens ourselves. We thought you might like some first tastes.

If you're at all familiar with gardening, you know that things do start slow ... and abundance comes later. Certainly, I think members who got our baskets last year can attest to the filled & overflowing baskets that came later in the season.

At any rate, we do hope that you enjoyed the package.

For those of you with a half share, we substituted the delightful little Johnny-jumps ups to add to salads or decorate desserts since they're edible and add so much appeal to a dish.

The full shares were given a 2 lb. tub of frozen pitted carmine jewel cherries. One way to use those is to cook up a quick sauce and use them in many of the recipes posted earlier. For quick reference, here's the sauce recipe:

Cherry Filling

1 - 2 lb tub cherries
1 - 2 lb tub water
1 1/2 cups sugar (I've also used 1 cup honey instead of the sugar)
5 Tbsp. cornstarch (or half tapioca starch / half cornstarch)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Put cherries and water in a pot. Cook cherries
gently until soft. Add sugar and stir. Mix cornstarch with
lemon juice and a little more cold water. Add to boiling cherries stirring
constantly. Boil 3 minutes longer until cornstarch has thickened and sauce is clear, stirring constantly.
Pack into hot jars, seal and turn jar upside down OR Use immediately or store in refrigerator once cooled (keeps in the fridge for about a week).

Use filling in any of the following recipes, in pies and tarts or as a sauce over perogies, cheese cakes, ice cream, pancakes, cream puffs…use instead of cranberries with stuffing … we even use it like jam!

OR ... check out the variation that combines the cherries with the rhubarb:

Cherhub Sauce
This is a variation of the recipe above - we like it just as well or better...and it makes the cherries last longer and the rhubarb not as tart.

Make the recipe above but add a good cup of rhubarb before cooking. You may wish to add a little more sugar (1/3 cup) as well. Try and see what you think.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Garden One

This is one of our three gardens this year ... the yard garden.

Then we have the orchard garden -- planted between the rows of Carmine Jewel cherry trees (which should have their first fruit in summer of 2012).

And we broke a patch in the field for potatoes, corn, carrots and beans ... the field garden.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Peas - A Month Later

The peas are taller, climbing up their trellis ... sunshine is really making them stretch.

Blossoms may also be soon forthcoming.

Looks like it may be an early harvest??