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Aug. 8, 2017

Posted 8/10/2017 7:33am by Don Kretschmann.

Aug. 8, 2017

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,   

Red Alert!  We’re starting to see all manner of tomatoes ripening in the field.  We’ll have pink, yellow, green, and of course red ones.  They can be round, pear, or oblate, from small cherry sized to giant grapefruit sized orbs. We hope you enjoy them while they last—usually until early October.  See our website for ID and varieties. 

Fennel has been a bit disappointing this season with smaller size and many going to seed.  It was a different variety than our standard for years which seed companies quit carrying.  Might also have been a dry spell while young. This unusual vegetable is a great side dish. Simply cut up the bulb portion into bite sized pieces, discarding the tougher part of the upper stem.  Saute 10 min. in oil, then add a small amount of very strong boullion, turn down the heat, and simmer until just tender (10 min.).  Along with onions, potatoes, or carrots, it’s also great baked with a chicken or other meat.

  In the last week, we’ve managed to harvest all the bulbing onions amidst the raindrops.  It was a great crop and we resorted to creative ways to corral them back to the barn.  They are drying on flatbed wagons and spread out on the barn floor.  Hopefully they will cure well and we’ll have lots of this allium for the foreseeable future.

   This week, we are giving you a double batch of green beans. We normally pick a planting over a span of two weeks.  The beans are just beautiful right now (had some for supper last night and but it’s getting very dry in the field so likely by next week they will have gotten tough.  So we decided just to pick them all this week and give them to you all at once.  Just be aware that next week your box might look a tad thin as a result.   We missed the order from Goat Rodeao last week. It should be there for you this week if you were to get it. (chevre, stampede, and chickabitty)   With sadness, we bid farewell to our youngest daughter, Grace, who returns today to Tacoma.  She’s been here for the last month helping out, as needed, while she has a break from working in special ed at the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation.

Enjoying the wonderfully cool nights, we are sincerely,                                                                                                                                                             Don,Becky,Maria,Grace & the Farm Crew I

D: Apples this week are Redfree.  They are the first of somewhat sweeter table varieties, but are good for baking too.  Next up will be the Primas, which are so plentiful they are literally breaking the tree branches.  It’s the on-year for this heavily biennial variety which is similar to Summer Rambo. Many of the pie apples are these. Because we don’t usually wash our apples, you might see a whitish residue on the surface.  It’s a food grade kaolin clay spray we use to confuse the bugs.  You can wash or rub it right off.

Vacations & Messages:  Please indicate your stop location when sending vacation messages.  This saves us having to look it up in the database and we can go straight to mark the barn lists.  If you get any of the once-a-month items, like chickens or mushrooms, indicate that so we can mark those lists too.  All but the mushrooms can be delivered the following week, but at least we have a heads up.  Let us know if you want a credit or to donate the box.   Try to avoid mixed messages when ordering extra items, eg. Peaches, apples, ... To keep track, we often create files into which messages are automatically sorted.  If you add a message about being on vacation next week to a message with “peaches” in the subject, we won’t necessarily see it unless we’re organizing the peach order.

What could be easier and more elegant... Roasted Tomato Pizza:  Brush a cookie sheet with oil.  Lay tomatoes sliced 3/8-1/2" thick on the cookie sheet.  Brush with olive oil and dust with garlic powder and bake about 1/2 hr at 350 deg. until they start to dry out a little.  When the pizza crusts are ready, carefully move the tomato slices with a pancake flipper and arrange to nearly cover the pizza.  Sprinkle a small amount of grated mozzarella on top and then top with vegetables sauted slightly in olive oil with garlic  (suggestions: peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions).

Dilly Beans: Cook or steam trimmed beans 3-5 min.  Drain when beans are still bright green and just tender.  Stir 2 Tbs. fresh chopped dill into warm beans.  Combine 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/3 c. cider vinegar, 2 lg. cloves pressed garlic, and  1/2 tsp honey in saucepan and bring quickly to boil.  Simmer 2 min., pour over green beans and mix well.  Add 1 tbs vegetable oil if desired.  Serve hot or chilled.

Cabbage Curry---Grind 1/2 tsp caraway seeds, 1/2 tsp coriander seeds, 4-5 black peppercorns, and 3 whole cloves. Heat 4 tbs. ghee (clarified butter=just the clear part of heated butter) in heavy cassarole and when hot add 2 chopped large tomatoes, 1/2 the ground spices plus 1/2 tsp tumeric, and 1/2 tsp paprika or cayenne and cook, stirring often until the puree is reduced to a thick sauce. Add one small cabbage shredded and stir until it glistens.  Cook on low heat for 15 min., add remaining spices, salt, and 2 tbs. chopped cilantro.  (1 c. fresh or frozen peas can be added at this time too.) Cook for 5 min more.