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July 7,2015

Posted 10/2/2015 2:15pm by Don Kretschmann.

July 7, 2015 Greetings from the Kretschmanns,   

Just returned (Becky to follow at week’s end) from a weeklong trip to the tiny village in Central /Eastern Slovakia where Becky’s grandparents came from. There were so many old themes—lack of opportunity and flight of youth to the cities. In the 100 odd years since they emigrated, Becky had visited in 1969 and her sister and mother in 1982, but after mom died no one could communicate and thus contact had been lost. Welcomed warmly by the mayor and committee, it quickly became a hunt through old photos for all to reconnect with the American “descendents”.   

We stayed in a simple rural “Pension” and were thrilled to find our meals were home cooked at least partially with veggies grown in the owner’s son’s organic home garden. Bonding was immediate when I walked out at dusk to help put the sheep and goats inside for the night (to ensure wolves wouldn’t eat them!) and to check up on apparently escaped cows on the far hillside. We were inspired to see the sophistication of the local environmental awareness, and were treated to a surprise concert by a troupe of young musicians (in the middle of a national park with the ranger leading!) For more, see “farmers’ observations…”   

We might be overloading on the herbs, but with all the rain, they seem to be growing better than normally and we always like to get everything to you in its prime. Broccoli leaves and stems are prime and very edible.    

Coming Soon: green beans, sweet bulb onions, new potatoes. Next week is chicken week.

Glad to be back to our own bit of Eden, we are sincerely,                                             Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

P.S. Rainfall tally:13.4” in the last month!!! Triple the normal average!

ID: The herbs are Italian parsley, basil, and spearmint   T

abouleh:to 1c. cooked bulgur (cracked) wheat, add 1/2 c olive oil, 1/2 c lemon juice, 1 bunch finely chopped scallions, lg bunch finely chopped parsley. Salt to taste. (Cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery can also be finely chopped and added.) In this case, one can put all ingredients in a ceramic or glass crock (wheat uncooked) with the tomatoes and cucumbers on top and refrigerate for at least 1 day, and up to two weeks. Another refreshing addition is a little finely chopped fresh mint.

Coleslaw:   At home as a child, we used to make coleslaw by putting cabbage, carrots, and a little onion through a meat/nut grinder. The dressing was mayonaise, vinegar, sugar and salt. Now we just slice with a knife or grater, about as thick as a nickel. If you add the salt when slicing the cabbage, one draws out the natural juice of the cabbage. This then mixes with the other dressing ingredients to marinate the slaw. Low-cal dressing is simple--just vinegar, salt, and honey. (Or if you're out of mayo) Approximate proportions for a dressing are 1/2 c. mayonaise, 2 tbs. vinegar or lemon juice, 2 tbs. honey, and 1/2 tsp salt. Or make an Asian type dressing: 1T soy sauce, 1 T vinegar, 2 T sesame oil, 2 t. minced ginger, ½ c creamy peanut butter, 1 t. honey, dash hot pepper. Add a little chopped parsley, and green onion rings. Mix it up, taste, and adjust as you like.

Beet Green Omlette: Cut up about 2 c leafy portion of beet greens into small pieces. Separately dice about 1/2c. redish thick parts of the stems. Slice about ½ c chives or green onions into little rings. Shred ½ c. cheddar, or cheese of your choice. Saute beet stems in olive oil 3 min. then add beet greens and continue to sauté until they begin to wilt and cook. Remove greens from pan, add a little more oil and heat pan. Pour in 6 beaten eggs, turn down heat and cover tightly, When edges just begin to cook, add beet greens then cheese and cover tightly again and cook until egg firms up Serve topped with a few chives or green onion rings. Haluske: Saute a shredded cabbage and several sliced onions in oil or butter. Add a pound or so of your favorite pasta. Noodles or spaghetti work well. Salt to taste. We had a tasty variation on this in Slovakia—dressing the whole dish with sour cream!