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Sept. 24, 2013

Posted 9/29/2013 12:54pm by Don Kretschmann.

Sept. 24, 2013

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,

   Starting work early Saturday morning proved to be fortunate.  We just pulled hundreds of bunches of radishes, when the downpours came. The heavy rain nearly cleaned them up entirely and they were saved from swelling up and splitting.  We spent the end of the last week filling the apple cooler to the rafters--a relief to have them safely stored in case of violent wind.  We've loaded you up with apples this week, and lots more to come.

   A quick ride on my bike out to get some kale for a Sunday morning (and autumnal equinox) frittata laid bare the final coup-de-grace for the change of seasons. There in front of me was a wonderful planting of kale--both curly and Tuscan.  Behind that were a few rows of cabbage heading up nicely.  To the left was the main fall broccoli field starting to show heads on nearly every plant.  And on the way back, to the left was the old onion field, now with turnips growing wildly, and to the right was the old scallion field now resplendent with new dill and cilantro.  We see cauliflower peeking out of tight leaf clusters as well. All this, and a chill in the air said the page had turned.

   We love the crops this time of the year as there's just about the biggest variety of the year.  There's a bit of a flywheel effect in that we've still got decent tomatoes and lots of peppers and other tender summer vegetables.  At the same time, cooler temps and abundant moisture with less stressful sunlight makes it ideal for those cooler season crops.  Cooking when it's cooler is also a little more comfortable.

   Enjoying the first cool days of fall (and the jolt of old Jack Frost jumping out of the cold morning shadows),

we are your grateful farmers,

--Don, Becky & the Farm Crew


Veggie ID: A cylindrical shaped dark green squash=kabocha--very rich orange flesh, a lot like a sweet potato.  Apples this week areLiberty. The jalepeno is called El Jefe (the boss); the other blocky short yellow to red pepper is Havasu-milder hot and good for chiles rellenos.

Coming Events: Apples.  Lettuce; Greens--swiss chard & kale;  Winter squashes--acorn, carnival, butternut, spaghetti;  cauliflower is beginning to show heads; beets; cider. 

Gluten free Apple crisp:  Slice or coarsely dice 2# apples (we never peel our apples), mix well with ¼ c. brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, dash mace& nutmeg and juice from small lemon.  Place in buttered 9 x 13 pan.  Mix in bowl, 1/2 c. quinoa (or rice) flour, 1/4 c. almond (or chestnut) flour, 3/4 c. brown sugar, 1 c. rolled oats, optional 1/2 c. nuts and mix well.  Melt 1/2 c. butter (one stick); stir until everything is mixed well and crumbly.  Drop topping onto apples and bake @ 375 deg. 45 min.

Thai Tofu-and-Winter-Squash Stew: Saute 2 c. thinly sliced celery (or chard stems) in 1 T. peanut oil 3 minutes.  Add 1 T. chopped ginger, 2 minced garlic, and 1 1/2 T. chopped chillies.  Saute one minute.  Stir in 5 T. soy sauce, 1 1/2 T. curry powder and 1 t. brown sugar.  Add 3 c. water, 2 c. cubed peeled butternut (or kabocha) squash, 1/2 t. salt, and 1 14-oz can light coconut milk.  Reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes. Add 1 pkg. firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2 inch cubes & 1 T. fresh lime juice.  Add more salt if desired.  Serve over long-grained rice.  Sprinkle with 1/4 c. chopped dry-roasted peanuts and 1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro.
Waldorf Salad: Cut up 3-4 apples into chunks.  Add several grated carrots&raisins to taste. Dress with mayonaise, or yogurt and mayo 2:1.  Or get creative...add grated pepper, celery, orange sections,nuts, a little lemon rind, orange juice...

Noodles with Diablo Sauce and Greens: Blend until smooth:  2 cups oven roasted tomatoes, 3 large garlic cloves, 3 Tbs. Minced fresh ginger, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 2 Tbs. Honey,  4 tbs lemon or lime juice, 1/2 cup sesame oil, 1/4 tsp.  red chili pepper (more or less to taste).  Simmer sauce. Salt to taste.  Saute: ½ c chopped onion 2-3 min in 1 tbs. Olive oil, then add 6 c. chopped destemmed chard greens and cook another 5 min until tender. Meanwhile, to a large pot of boiling water, add 12 ounces soba noodles and a tiny bit of oil.  Cook until al dente  –5 min.  Drain. Place noodles on plates, spoon sauce and top with greens then more sauce.
Assorted Stuffed Peppers:  Smaller sized peppers can be stuffed with a variety of interesting fillings.  Cook 1/2 c. cornmeal in 1/2 c. water with a little salt.  After this cools slightly, add 1 egg and 1/2 c. grated cheese.  Stuff into hot or sweet peppers and place in an oiled baking dish and brush with a little oil.  Cover slightly with tomato sauce and halve a few Roma tomatoes in the spaces between peppers.  Bake in hot (400 deg.) oven about 30 min. until tender. You can also stuff peppers with any of the grain-burger mixes available.  Italians stuff hot banana peppers with sweet sausage.  And of course there's the All American ground beef and rice stuffed pepper.  Red peppers make exceptionally tasty stuffers.


Special Orders: save on heat this winter// Jalepenos (great for making a bottle or two of homemade Siracha sauce; or pickle them Italian style to use on nachos) 2# bag@$5.   Hungarian Hot Wax peppers--$25/half bushel  (We enjoy jars of these year 'round and are eagerly sought out by visiting adult children.  We've got an  archived easy recipe you'll really like for these pickled Italian hot pepper rings.  Order extras at http://www.kretschmannfarm.com/store/csa-extras