Ok, maybe you guessed correctly! They are lemon ball cucumbers. If you know me you know that each year I like to try something new in the garden. One of them just happens to be the lemon ball cukes. They are unusual, looking like bright yellow balls, and no, they don’t have a lemon taste. Some say they are less bitter than the “regular cukes”. Sliced and on a platter, the unusual color gives a nice visual element.
These are an heirloom variety and have been around for a long, long time. Still, they are new to me, and may be new to you also. I find that there are two types of customers at the market-one type looks for, and buys the familiar looking vegetables. The second type-they seek out the “new” and unusual, anxious to try something different.
Stop by Saturdays 9 to 1. Maybe you’ll want to try something unusual too!
Ok, for weeks now I’ve been telling everyone, “the tomatoes aren’t ready yet, maybe next week”. Here it is August 10th and not a single red tomato. Mother Nature has not been kind in the tomato area. I have MANY green tomatoes, Big Boy, heirloom Debarao and some short vine variety. About 35 plants in all. Please be patient, I’m not. I can’t wait.
What I do have is a lot of squash, and a lot of squash recipes for you to try. Stop by the market, pick up some squash, some recipes, and who knows…..maybe next week I’ll have red tomatoes!
Zucchini Pizza Casserole
A tasty, tomatoey casserole Serves 6-8
4 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini
2 eggs (farm fresh are best!)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese 3-4 oz
2 cups (8oz.) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 pound of ground beef (you can also use ground chicken or ground turkey)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 medium green pepper, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 13 X 9 inch baking dish.
2. Place the zucchini in a strainer; sprinkle with salt and let stand for 10 minutes. Squeeze out moisture.
3. Combine the zucchini with the eggs, parmesan and half of the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Press into the prepared 13 X 9 baking dish.
4. Bake, uncovered, 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook beef, onion, and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add tomato sauce, and spoon over zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses. Bake 20 minutes longer.
This makes two loaves or four of the mini loaves and two of the small foil loaf pans.
3 large eggs (farm fresh are best!)
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour
3 cups grated zucchini (skin and all-but I remove large seeds)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Prepare two loaf pans with either pam cooking spray or crisco with a light dusting of flour.
Mix all ingredients. Alternate 1 cup flour and 1 cup zucchini to make batter easier to stir. Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 15 to 20 minutes and remove from pan. (if you make the four mini loaves reduce cooking time to 35 minutes) The small foil pans take about 40 minutes.
Delicious and easy. You can also freeze the loaves once they have cooled off in a gallon ziploc freezer bag. These are great to make while zucchini is in season and then pop them in your freezer to enjoy during the winter months. You’ll appreciate it even more then.
What Do I Do With All That Squash? Idea #1
2 pounds mixed squash (yellow crookneck, zucchini, scallop squash) washed and cut into comparable slices
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons water
salt and pepper to taste
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
2. Add onions and sauté’ for 3 minutes.
3. Add squash, salt and pepper and water.
4. Cover and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat and cook until tender, stirring frequently.
Serving size: 6
I can’t wait for our tomatoes to ripen. Looking forward to trying this recipe:
So how does one sun-dry tomatoes?
Easy. Same way you dry those herbs in your garden–set the oven to low (150-200) and bake them for about 4-5 hours, depending on the size of your tomatoes and the heat strength of your oven. Cut them into quarters and push the seeds out (or not).
Next, spread them across a baking sheet. I used a vented one for more even “drying.”
At this point, your best course of action is to monitor them throughout the process, turning when necessary. If this seems like too much work, you can always lay them out in the sunshine for a hot couple of days. Mother Nature does know what she’s doing!
Sorry, the string beans really don’t have anything to do with the pig. It’s just a prop because the string beans alone weren’t making a memorable photo on their own. The pig is really cute, and functional-his sides are chalkboard and that comes in handy on market days. Good eye appeal.
The string beans, they’re the Blue Lake variety which gives a good yield and great taste. Good combination. I like to drop them into boiling water until just tender, drain them, toss with a bit of olive oil and sweetened dried cranberries. Delicious served warm, or cold. Great summer side dish that’s quick, tasty and colorful on your plate. Oh, and also good for you. Stop by on Saturday for a basket of them. I think you’ll enjoy them. (and you’ll also get to see the pig in action!)
New this year, early caraflex cone shaped cabbage. Just the right size for a delicious coleslaw, or steam it, use it in stir fries, or eat it raw. This has an excellent rich cabbage flavor. I was surprised at just how large the plant grew! The outer leaves are there to protect the center. I cut them up for a treat for the chickens, they didn’t stop eating until they were gone. I like to think of it as recycling–I give them cabbage leaves, they give me fresh eggs.
Swiss Chard. Beautiful to look at. I planted the variety “Bright Lights”. But I had never tasted it and had no idea how to cook it.
Have I mentioned that my daughter-in-law is a vegetarian? A simple conversation, a recipe and swiss chard for dinner.
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 clove Garlic
|Wash well. |
|Fold the leaf in half and cut along the spine to separate. This is one vegetable that you eat the greens as well as the stems. |
|Cut the stems into 1" lengths and sauté in a bit of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until nearly tender. |
|Chop the greens coarsely and add to pan. I added a diced tomato, but hear its also delicious with zucchini, onions and hot pepper. The greens cook down quickly and you have a wonderful colorful, good for you (loaded with vitamins A & C and minerals iron and calcium) side dish. |
|You can store it fresh in a loosely closed bag in the fridge and it should last a week if you bought it fresh! |
Thank you to all of you for coming out on opening day. The weather cooperated by not being too hot, just a nice summer day. We all appreciate your support of sustainable agriculture, and our locally talented artisans.
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