I think summer is making its presence known in Mid-Missouri - we have enjoyed a week in the 80s with lots of sun! This means that the community garden was finally able to be tilled, so Brett and I went down and got our stuff in the ground. We transplanted tomato, cucumber, and butternut squash, and sowed cucumber, Tiger's Eye bean, Genovese basil, cilantro, cumin, Renegade spinach, Bright Lights chard, Clemson Spineless okra, dwarf sugar snap peas, nantes carrot, and some marigolds for their beneficial effects. We were stoked to finally be able to work in the soil! As soon as things begin to sprout I'll take some pictures of both the community and container garden.
We had our first harvest this week - from the AeroGarden. The Red Rubin basil looked great and was ready to go, so we harvested it last night, weighed it, and then made pesto with it. I know that is really uncreative, and I do plan on making more than pesto with all the basil we are growing, but I wanted to see how it would taste with the Red Rubin and we wanted a quick and easy meal. You can't get a whole lot fresher than "farm to table" in less than 10 minutes!
We are planning on weighing our yields this summer to get an idea of what produces best in our soils as well as to just get a general idea of the level of production in our gardens, so we will add a sidebar element to keep a tally.
Check it out:
1 1/2 ounces of Red Rubin basil. Our lemon basil is ready to harvest as well; I will probably get it tomorrow.
Check out this week's CSA:
Starting from the bottom right: spring onions, herbs of some sort, 2 bunches of the world's best asparagus, radishes, and salad greens.
The super awesome Callina, a fellow CoMo resident, assistant editor extraordinaire at MissouriLife magazine, and author of the cool blog The Gingerbread House, gave me a recipe awhile back for a radish salad she made. I am going to play around with it a bit with these radishes. They really are a new food to us so we've never quite known how to handle them. Thanks for the recipe Callina!
In other CSA news, our farm, Danjo Farms, now has a blog! Dan and Joanne have hooked up with a local writer to start a blog to give information about the goings on at the farm and also recipes using ingredients from that week's CSA share. After talking to Dan at market this morning, it looks like they are going to team up to write a Mid-Missouri CSA cookbook. I am really excited about their project and think the cookbook is a wonderful idea. And you can bet I will offer to be a tester should they need any!
Here is this week's farmer's market haul. This ran $44.
Um, starting from the mushrooms....: 1/2 lb. Beau Solais Farm oyster mushrooms, 3 bunches of baby garlic, 5 yummylicious tomatoes, a bunch of young field grown onions, 2 bunches of cilantro, spinach, spring onions (green onions), penne pasta, and Annie's Honey Wheat bread.
It was a really nice trip to the market this morning, the sun was shining and it wasn't too hot. My only complaint (and you know I'll always have one) was that there was quite a bit of traffic this morning and we walk everywhere. I am used to Saturday mornings being kind of lax in terms of traffic, but I guess with it being a holiday weekend, everyone is out and about.
Needless to say, I have many plans for this grub!
To let you all in on a little plan that has been 'a brewin' in the good 'ol Midwest, Selina, author of the blog Indiana Girl and one of my very best friends, and I have decided to take the plunge and write a cookbook. It has been suggested a few times that I do so, but there are certain areas that are not my strong suit that I think would be missing (breads, desserts, presentation). Well these are areas that Selina is not only good at, but enjoys (the thought of having to figure out how to make beans and salsa look pretty just gives me anxiety) and she and I have not only a very similar philosophy on food, but also similar palettes. We have decided to do a sort of Midwest Mex-Latino kind of cookbook, one that focuses on the flavor profiles of the Southwestern United States, Mexico, and South America, using simple techniques, and mostly seasonally available ingredients used at the height of their quality. We also think it should be more than just a simple recipe book - we will provide tables for substitutions - food should be simple, and a lot of things are interchangeable, we don't want you to have to go buy something special for just one meal, we will also provide instructions for basic techniques, and tips on how things like vinegar and seasoning affect a dish so that you can use our recipes and make them your own. Cooking is an expression of creativity, and we hope that the people (if there are any) who would get our cookbook would feel as though they are able to express themselves and their tastes without changing the overall integrity of the dish.
We have a long way to go and are in no rush. Quality is what is most important to us. Right now we are just going through all our compiled recipes for the ones we think have potential and will work from there. I hope that some of you might consider being testers when the time arrives, and just know, we will be having a lot of fun in the kitchen over the summer. I am so excited to be able to work on this project, and work on it with Selina, it brings a new level of excitement to the kitchen and one of my co-workers has already essentially placed a pre-order. ;-)
In other news, Brett and I's wedding is just a few weeks off and I realized that I have a farmer's tan and am planning on wearing a strapless dress. I am not a vain person, and I really don't care much about all the frilly stuff that goes into a wedding, but a farmer's tan is blaringly obvious, even to me. Something must be done about this....
I hope everyone is having a great weekend! All you US of A'ers out there - enjoy the holiday weekend!
'Til next time.