CSA Newsletter: Week 13

There are a lot of wild turkeys this year; more families with more little ones. It’s likely that this is fact related to the strangeness of night after night week after month of no yipping wailing yowling howling coyote packs.

Or, perhaps, the absence of coyotes is due to the similarly mysteriously missing mouse population – last year, the mice were a Biblical Plague Level force of nature, but now I have seen almost no sign of a one. And the same goes for the pocket gophers; we’d be in trouble if we were reliant on the $3-per tail bounty that the local government pays out.

Maybe the hot drought in the sandy barrens ecosystem didn’t leave water enough to raise rodent families?

I don’t know, but it’s fun to wonder.

We are in the splendid blur betwixt summer and autumn.

And this is what it has for us to eat:

Box 13 & Company

  • Wild Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms – The recent rainy spell kick-started the dormant Laetiporus! Over the weekend we found a dead oak covered in them , and immediately afterward the Neighbors Marquardt alerted us to a patch twice as big in their woods across the road! Those we sold at the farmers’ market, but Thursday evening, Neighbor Russ tipped us off that his brother (who lived down the road) had a huge oak covered in them! So on Friday we climbed up some ladders and harvested enough to send some to all of you.

They are still in good shape, but a tad on the older side … this just makes them a little more dry than when newly-erupted. I asked Marcia how she might use the mushrooms included in this week’s box, and she reported that

True to it’s name – texture like chicken, long fibers – sauté  and / or fry.  Gently clean with soft veggie brush if needed. Remove damaged, soft or really dried spots.  Cut “woody”part of stem away (editor’s note: I tried to do that already).  Soak in salt water / bugs or small larvae will retreat.  Not too long, so mushroom doesn’t get water logged.  Heat clarified butter and / or olive.  Sauté shallot, garlic – tear or cut 1”slices (with grain) cut smaller if preferred, add Shallot / garlic. Sauté at least 5 minutes. Add dry white wine or broth – sea salt and pepper, sprigs of fresh tarragon.  Simmer another 5 minutes / liquid is absorbed.  Cook longer if you want Chicken browned .  You can flour / egg / flour if you want – not my favorite.  Then of course there is google !  Disclaimer – Don’t consume raw. 

  • Brussels Sprouts Tops – to ensure that the plants form the sprouts we want, we “top” them so they cease in their vertical endeavours. All the leaves of the plant are edible, but these at the top are the newest, freshest, most tender and desirable; in many languages, the etymology of the word for “war” is based upon the “Brussels tops” conflicts between families, tribes, and nations competing for this rare and delicious greenery.
  • Cherry Tomatoes – we limited it to about a pint each this week, although the plants are showing no such restraint.
  • Tomatoes – We have never had this good of a tomato year; enjoy the pristine bounty. It’s an abundance that is amazing to enjoy as a problem to solve. The Frankensmoker is working overtime, while in the kitchen Kristin transmutes the torrent of beautiful excess tomatoes into salsas & sauces.
  • Potatoes
  • Red Onions
  • Hakuri Turnips – So sweet they can be eaten raw, like an apple. Most folks so slice them up though, for salads and such.
  • Eggplant – they like good cooking oil.
  • Sweet Peppers Medley – totally.
Kristin peppering and Steffan eggplanting, this morning

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