This week felt … very que sera, sera. Beautiful summer days and cool smooth sleeping nights. The various challenges in the field … well, they are what they are. Let the rodents munch, the weeds seed, the deer graze .. we are getting our time’s worth back in the abundant harvests for our meals, our every market and CSA distribution. The tomatoes are finally behaving somewhat – or at least enough of them.
The flawed and the ugly maters are looking like delicious pre-salsa, alongside the similarly damaged heaps of peppers. And we’re even plotting to use the vigorous lambs quarter weeds … we scored an antique seed separator machine last fall, and we’re going to use it to collect and winnow the abundant but tiny edible weed seeds! If we’re going to irrigate and trellis them like a crop, we may as well harvest and eat them like one too!
Our traditional serendipitous luck with all things trailer held up as well, as we worked on how exactly we might manage to head South during the most brutal months of the northern Wisconsin winter. After digging into various types of motorhomes and hitting only walls, we started looking into used pop-up camper trailers, which seemed about perfect for our family’s needs.
Fortunately we didn’t go ahead and buy one, and mentioned our thoughts to Kristin’s folks … and Jim replied “you might want to open up the one down by the field.”
What one?! Oooooh yeah .. about five years ago, Jim had scored a free pop-up camper off of Craigslist. We hadn’t needed it then, so after he sealed up a leak on the exterior of the roof, we parked it, never even opened it, and then forgot it even existed. Well, we figured out how the 1989 vintage camper opened up and took a peek … and it’s perfect! With some canvas patching and waterproofing, it’ll; be ready to roll on our snowbird flight.
Inside Box 14
Spaghetti squash – Halve it, scoop out the seeds, roast in the oven like any winter squash (or microwave it). Scrape out the strandy innards with a fork to use however you like … we like it with a light sauce like butter, parmesean, and herbs. Maybe some chopped and drained tomatoes; a lot of people try spaghetti sauce, but it kinda just turns it to a pile of mush. You could also make fritters – combine the cooked flesh with an egg, salt, pepper, maybe herbs, and a little flour. Fry little patties of the results in a pan.
Garlic chive flowers – stir fry, pesto, salad dressing … most often used as a pretty garnish for salads and crudite platters but can be added to soups, sauces, and potato and egg dishes. Chive blossoms are also an ideal ingredient to flavor vinegar.
Thai basil – One website says there is no substitute for Thai basil, another website says to use any basil you have. So it goes on the internet. There are recipes for Thai basil pesto too. If you don’t have enough Thai basil for a full pesto recipe, you could make half or add in other mild greens like the microgreen mix.
Zucchini – you might be familiar
Cucumbers – ayuh
Peppers – fajitas, stuffed peppers, stuffed pepper casserole, chili, roasted pepper sauce, slice them dice them freeze them (no blanching needed!) …
Cherry tomatoes – have you tried roasting them? Have I linked to a recipe for this before? It’s a good thing.
Tomatoes – finally getting some decent quantities of big slicer worthy beasts! Use the ripest first, and save the firmer ones for a little later.
Ground cherries – magical husk fruit from Peru! The riper they get, the more golden they look – but when slightly under ripe theyre still good, just a bit tart. We usually just snack on ours.
Micro mix – the cool nights have really made the microgreens happy it seems. This week’s mix includes sunflower, radish, red cabbage, kale, amaranth, pea shoots, and broccoli.