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Aug. 25,2015

Posted 10/2/2015 2:46pm by Don Kretschmann.

Aug. 25, 2015

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,   

We spent a weekend with my siblings moving my 94 year old mom. We arrived to find her with a recently broken arm. She’d climbed on top of a piece of furniture to take down drapes and was jumping over to a chair when she fell. Hmm. Someone needs to keep an eye on that youngster. She was my first gardening mentor. We children took buckets of kitchen trimmings out to the garden to spade them in so they could compost and add to the richness of the soil. I can still picture our back yard when dad lost his job and she had it plowed by a local farmer—fencepost to fencepost. Our playhouse was an oasis in the middle of one giant vegetable garden. Despite the rough times, we were well nourished.   

In addition to the waves of tomatoes, we’ve been picking apples with a vengeance. It’s the “on” year for Primas. These are comparable to a Summer Rambo—slightly tart, red, and crisp. In addition to snacks, they make great deserts.

Coming Soon: Salsa pak-tomatillos, cilantro, jalapeno, cider, winter squashes, roma tomatoes.    Enjoying the waning summer, we are sincerely,                                             Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

If you haven’t noticed, this is tomato season! Enjoy cooking with fresh ripe tomatoes. There’s nothing simpler (nor more tasty). 

Tomato Brushetta (“Italian salsa”): Dice up tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Mix with shredded basil or oregano. Salt and pepper to taste. Toast your favorite bread, focaccia, or French baguette, rub with garlic. Scoop, top, or mix. Make it really festive with different colors of tomatoes—red, yellow, pink, green. Now’s the season!

Rosemary Focaccia with Garlic and Onions: Saute 1 med. coarsely chopped onion and 2-4 cloves finely chopped garlic in 2 tbs olive oil until tender and golden. Set aside. Make recipe of your favorite bread proportioned to use 1 c. liquid. When preparing the liquid ingredients add the sauted onions and garlic and 1 tbs. finely minced rosemary. Add the flour, knead and raise the first time. Punch down and roll into a flat rectangular shape. Oil a large baking sheet and dust with cornmeal. Lift focaccia onto sheet and press dough out to cover. Allow to rise again, and before baking (400 deg) press a number of indentations in the top with your fingers. Brush with 2 tbs. olive oil and sprinkle with another tbs finely minced rosemary and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake approx 20 min until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. Serve hot! Note: Easy bread recipe is Don's basic 1-1-1 in the breadmaker. 1 c. water 1 tbs honey, 1 tsp salt in first. Then 1 c. white and 1 c. whole wheat bread flour with 1 tbs dry yeast in a cavity on top of the flour. Put it on the dough cycle. Turn out when done onto floured surface and knead in a little extra flour if too sticky. Tomato yums:

Panzanella: Toss cubed bread w/ olive oil, salt, and parsley. Toast in oven on cookie sheet until browned. Remove and cool. Chop tomatoes, fresh basil, sweet onion, and mix with croutons. Dress w/ vinegrette of extra virgin olive oil, and vinegar of your choice.

BLT—yes! With a REAL tomato.

Apple Cake: Combine 2# tart, cut up apples with 1 1/2 c. sugar and set aside 15 min. Meanwhile sift 2 1/2 c. flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 Tbs. baking powder, 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp each ginger, nutmeg and mace. Mix 2 eggs, 1/4 c. oil, 1/2 c. buttermilk, 2 tsp. vanilla, and 1/2 c. raisins or currents. (option-1/2 c chopped walnuts) Add apples to the dry ingredients, then stir in the liquid mixture. Pour into oiled 9x13 baking pan. Bake @ 350 deg. 45-50 min until toothpick comes out clean.

Oven roasted Tomato sauce: Coat a shallow baking pan with olive oil.(9x13 or a turkey roasting pan are good). Cut up ripe tomatoes into chunks removing the cores to fill the pan. Bake slowly @300deg. turning when the tops of the tomatoes look a little browned. Continue until it’s thick enough for you. You can use as-is or strain out skins and seeds through a Squeezo, or Folley mill. Roasting imparts an almost carmelized sweetness to the sauce and darkens it a bit. As Italian as you can get…

Pappa al Pomodoro- Heat oil in skillet,add garlic and saute,stir in 1 T. tomato paste, then add qt. chicken broth, 3# diced tomatoes, Simmer 20 min. Then add herbs, pepper & salt to taste and 1# diced bread. Let stand 1 hr. Stir before serving hot or cold. Drizzle with olive oil before serving. (I guess I'm not a purest. Simplicity is more important for me. I skipped the tomato paste-only had fresh ones, didn't peel or seed my tomatoes. I used only 4c. chicken bullion instead, because of more juice from the tomatoes, and I used whole wheat bread--and it was great!)