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Weekly Farm Newsletter

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Week of July 11th

The Next Open Farm Day is Saturday, August 20th from 9 am to 3 pm

This week's projected CSA harvest menu:

Cabbage
Store in the fridge

Asian Eggplant
Store in the veg drawer in the fridge

Cucumbers
Store in the veg drawer of the fridge

Fresh Thyme
Store bag in the fridge or see newsletter for drying methods

Zucchini
Store in the veg drawer of the fridge

Sweet White Onions
Store in a bag in the fridge

Red Beets
Store in a sealed bag in the fridge

Mixed Lettuce Greens
Store in the veg drawer of the fridge

Shallots
Store at room temperature

Tomatoes
Do Not Refrigerate. Leave on a countertop to further ripen if desired

We are so thrilled to have our first-ever successful harvest of shallots on the farm. Shallots are in the same family as onions and garlic and can range in color from golden brown, gray, to red rose. Their off-white insides can also be tinged with green and magenta. They have an incredible mild flavor, very similar to an onion, and can make any meal taste gourmet. Three to four shallots can be substituted for 1 onion in any recipe. Our shallots have already been cured, meaning dried out for long-term storage, so they should not be refrigerated. Shallots can be kept at room temperature and can store up to 6 months or longer. Add them to any meal and enjoy this highly requested new crop!

Eggplant lovers – your time has come. We are now harvesting the first of our Asian eggplant variety. These eggplants are thinner and more tender than the larger well-known Italian bell variety. They are the perfect size for cutting into coins and grilling. Their tenderness also makes for a perfect diced additive to a stir-fry. The first harvest is always the smallest, so get ready for much more to come.

Fresh Thyme is your cooking herb this week. Many recipes call for either 1 sprig or in teaspoon amounts. You can easily strip the thyme leaves from their woody stem by scraping with the back of a knife or simply using your fingers to strip off. The most common places to find fresh thyme are in pork, chicken, or beef roast. Thyme in olive oil is a perfect rub for meats, fish, and eggplant. Cooked shallots and thyme can add an extensive flavor to any dish. Check out some of the recipes on the back for suggestions. New to using fresh herbs? Be brave and creative. Cooking herbs with vegetables cannot go wrong. Once you begin to use herbs, your "taste memory" will most likely recall the different dishes you have had them in before. Dried thyme holds its flavor better than most herbs. For long term use: simply lay out the springs to dry on a paper towel. You can then strip the leaves and store in a sealed jar at room temperature to use throughout the remainder of the growing season.

Khaya's Korner: Family Farm Fest

About every 5 or 6 years we have Family Farm Fest, which is basically a family reunion. Everyone helps out by bringing a food dish to eat or a drink of some sort. Sometimes we have about 60 people camping out on our front lawn. It's in the very hottest peak of summer, so the heat annoys us all. The good thing is that we that a nice, 9 ft. deep, in ground pool to keep us cooled off. Also, there are some fun activities to do, like kayaking on the pond, bouncing on the trampoline, a volleyball tournament, and fast rides on the four- wheeler. We just had a Family Farm Fest last summer, so the next one probably won't be until I'm 14 or 15. So, in the summertime, visit with some family members you haven't seen in a while. It's really fun! ~Khaya

Roasted Chicken with Shallots and Thyme
2 lemons
2 (2.5 pound) whole chickens
2 large onions, peeled and quartered
6 shallots, coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 / 2 cup butter, softened
8 sprigs fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
Pierce lemons several times with a fork, and place 1 inside each chicken cavity. Arrange chickens in the center of the prepared baking dish. Place onions, shallots, and garlic around the chickens. Sprinkle vegetables with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Spread butter over the chickens, and line each with thyme sprigs.
Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Increase temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), and continue baking 30 minutes, or until exterior of chicken is golden brown, meat is no longer pink, and juices run clear. Allow to cool about 15 minutes before serving.

Zucchini Oven Chips from CSA Member Sue Thomas
1 / 4 C. dry breadcrumbs
1 / 4 grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 / 4 tsp. seasoned salt
1 / 4 tsp. garlic powder
1 / 8 tsp. black pepper
2 tbsp. milk
2 and 1 / 2 cups ( 1 / 4-inch-thick) slices zucchini (about 2 small)
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place coated slices on a cookie sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425 for 30 minutes or until browned and crisp. Serve immediately.

Lemon Orzo Primavera
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 (14 ounce) can vegetable broth
1 lemon, zested
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 / 4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Stir in orzo, and cook 2 minutes, until golden. Stir in garlic, zucchini, and carrot, and cook 2 minutes. Pour in the broth and mix in lemon zest. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes, or until liquid has been absorbed and orzo is tender. Season with thyme and top with Parmesan to serve.

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