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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week 14 August 24th and 27th


Ahh, nothing like a fresh tomato! Since I started farming in 1999, Zach and I have eaten more and more seasonally. I found it a bit tricky at first but now I really don't crave lettuce mix mid winter or cucumbers in the spring or even tomatoes...until now. Now I pop them in my mouth like candy and slice them up on everything. Any excuse to eat as many as I can until frost.

This year I grew 810' of tomatoes (I only meant to have 600') and 11 varieties. I harvest tomatoes about every other day and each time I go out, there have been more and more and they are BEAUTIFUL!!! I pick most tomatoes slightly under ripe so you don't have to eat all of them in one sitting after you bring them home. And hopefully you aren't attracting every fruit fly in the neighborhood. I do grow some heirloom varieties and they are more subject to looking "funny", but be brave, just cut around it, because the taste is oh so worth it!

Tomato varieties in the photo:
Top Left: Prudence Purple and Brandywine (pinkish color)
Top Right: Orange Boy (orange)
Middle Left: Red Lightening (orangeish with red stripes)
Middle: Early girl, Jet Star (perfect looking red ones)
Bottom Middle: Paste (oblong and red)
Bottom Left: Black Prince (purplish green)
Bottom Right: Sungold (orange cherry)
Bottom Right: Green Zebra (green with yellow stripes)

It truly is a wall of tomato plants out there. Good thing the rows are straight or I would get lost! It looks a bit like a circus too, we have beach ball like balloons, shiny tape and 2 not so alive crows hanging out there to try and keep the murder of crows from eating all of your tomatoes, peppers, melons, winter squash and lettuce. Man are they persistent thsi year! I think they are looking for water in our fruits.

Today (Sunday) was a bit like waiting for a pot of water to boil. I woke up fully expecting it to be raining...nope. Then the forecast said 2pm...nope. Then the forecast said 5pm with a 70% chance of an inch on Monday night...nope. Looking at the radar, we are right on this line that keeps breaking up and that means no rain for us. Yet. I am still hopeful to get a bit tonight or tomorrow. Rain dance please!
This Week's Loot: no lettuce, sorry...cucs, zucs, beans, carrots, beets, hakurei turnips, tomatoes, chard, melons and the last of the corn
Next Week's Loot: about the same
(I am eating the summer squash carrot soup right now from last week's blog--yum!)
Chickpea, Zucchini and Nigella Seed BurgersMakes 7 burgers
1 cup of dried garbanzo beans, picked through and rinsed
6 cups of water, filtered
1 large zucchini, shredded
¼ teaspoon of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of nigella seeds
½ tablespoon of turmeric
2 tablespoons of hot crushed peppers
½ tablespoon of powdered garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten
Cook garbanzo beans in water until tender. Drain beans thoroughly and move to your food processor. Process until all the beans are pulverized. Move the pulverized garbanzo beans to a large mixing bowl.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with a silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
Place shredded zucchini in a colander and mix with kosher salt. Allow to stand for 15 for water to drain. Squeeze zucchini of excess water and move to the mixing bowl.
Add nigella seeds, turmeric, hot crushed peppers and powdered garlic to the garbanzo and zucchini. Mix the ingredients thoroughly so the ingredients are evenly distributed. Taste the mixture for salt and pepper now. Add the vital wheat gluten and knead the mixture to thoroughly incorporate the wheat gluten.
Form the mixture into seven even patties and place them on the baking sheet.
Bake the patties for 25 minutes, or until firm and cooked through. If you like a crunchy exterior you can place the patties in a hot cast iron pan for a couple of minutes on each side.
Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2001
This torte can easily be made ahead and reheated as you need it for guests, or even a meal for a few, if you halve it. In fact, I suspect that it might be even better reheated because there is something about potatoes that have been cooked twice–they’re always better.
And if you’re not reheating it, be patient enough to get a better browning on the bottom than my impatient hunger allowed me to.
This also might work well in a cast iron, though you would probably have to adjust your cooking times slightly.
Makes 8 servings
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced1 cup grated Parmesan cheese2 tablespoons all purpose flour1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme1 1/2 teaspoons salt3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds12 ounces yellow crookneck squash or regular yellow summer squash, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds6 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. (Deb note: I had only a 9-inch pan around, so what you see in my pictures is slightly thinner.) Set aside 1/4 cup sliced green onions. Toss remaining green onions, cheese, flour, thyme, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend.
Layer 1/6 of potatoes in concentric circles in bottom of 1 prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Layer 1/4 of squash in concentric circles atop potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Repeat with 1/6 of potatoes, then 1/4 of squash and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Top with 1/6 of potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture and press gently to flatten. Repeat procedure with second cake pan and remaining potatoes, squash, oil, and cheese mixture.
Cover pans with foil. Bake until potatoes are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until tortes begin to brown and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes longer. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cool. Cover with foil and chill. Rewarm, covered with foil, in 350°F oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.)
Cut each torte into wedges. Sprinkle wedges with 1/4 cup green onions; serve.

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