The new not-red

Salad mix or mesclun, as it is called in other parts of the world, should be just that….a grand mix of all sorts of nutrient dense leaves picked at their peak for us to enjoy. These leaves are a great benefit for our health – that’s the Jubilee way – hope that has been realized before this!

This week’s salad mix is only from red lettuce varieties, but note the color – it is basically green. Hmmm  Ultraviolet light from the sun is responsible for changing the leaves to red. They contain antioxidants with a faster rate of action against the free radicals that are hanging around….the bad guys. Semi-red or green leaf lettuce may have slower acting antioxidants, which are handy to help with the cleanup. Thus it is a mix of leaves and no sun for a month makes for green instead of red!

Our updated menu includes some new not-red meat (pork) and some red meat (beef) with or without sun streaming through the windows! Pulled pork sandwich, a Cuban panini and a hamburger with grass-fed beef are some of the new additions. We also have the meat for sale in the market and I can vouch for its taste!

We are also serving Equal Exchange French pressed coffee with a choice of a whole wheat morning glory muffin (love the name), cookies or……pumpkin pie. We will also be having crepes at some point with berries. The trick in all things is to tweak the recipes so I can sleep at night knowing all is well…..

As for farm share members – this week’s choices are: a bag of salad mix, radishes, potatoes, Butternut squash, kohlrabi, Parsnips OR carrots OR beets, onions, and the final choice of either a pint of pickles/relish OR a pint of salsa OR a dozen fresh baked cookies!

 

Oh them golden beetroots

These golden beets are going to be short on gold and long on greens. The plan was the other way around but they are stuck in the hibernating mode by now so celebrate the greens, we will! Yesterday, when I munched a golden beet leaf, it was most delicious. This is fortunate since due to the cloudy weather, the usual salad greens did not rise to the occasion so instead there are beet greens…..except of course …..it is not the same, which I know. The folks with a beet intolerance might be surprised with their sweetness

Some ideas: A salad using the golds and greens would look lovely and taste delish with a vinaigrette, feta cheese and caramelized walnuts sprinkled on top. Roasted beets of all colors tossed with an olive oil-herb-lemon juice mix and a dash of salt – saweet!

As for farm share members….It is a Tuesday pickup, this week, with Wednesday being the alternate. There will be a pumpkin pie for everyone – a small one. The crust is an oil pastry with a tad of whole wheat…my tweaking. The “pumpkin” is from our butternut/cup squashes and to that is added spices, milk, eggs and brown sugar…tweaked again, of course. The other cook in the kitchen is known for her pies while I have been the one trying to come up with healthier alternatives.

The rest of the veggie story for the farm share boxes will be: sweet potatoes, head lettuce, garlic, cabbage, beets and/or carrots, pac choi and Delicata squash.

It is a worthy attitude to give thanks for each new day that is given us to the One who sustains life on this planet. It’s the partaking and the portions that cause me to wonder about this time of year.

 

Vinaigrettes

A new vinaigrette, Maple Squash, has joined the team of Raspberry Apple, Italian and Rhubarb. It is starting to sound like a law firm. Steve, ever the farmer, pointed out that their colors represent two opposing camps: the John Deere vs the International Harvester. Hmmm

A vinaigrette is a mixture of two ingredients that repel each other: oil and vinegar. Only one or the other on a salad makes for interesting results: dressed with oil, leaves wilt due to the oil penetrating the waxy protective cuticle of the leaf or with vinegar the whole business slides off the leaf and gathers at the bottom of the bowl. An emulsifier or surfactant brings the two sides together for each mouthful to get the full flavor. Honey, mustard or egg yolks act as the go-betweens, the ingredient that keeps the vinegar and oil in a mixed solution.

There is an oil to vinegar ratio deemed perfect by somebody, which I tweak to reduce the oil content to varying degrees of perfection. There are now four equity partners in the vinaigrette firm……..which one is the best?

Farm share members should receive a little handful of cherry radishes, Acorn squash, kohlrabi, onions or winter radish, Brussels Sprouts, carrots or beets, potatoes, pac choi, a small bag of greens and a choice of a vinaigrette. Yumm

When I grow up, I want to be a surfactant….to bring opposing sides together…….

Parsing the parsnip

Parsnips are the new addition this week, they are a paler cousin to the carrot. Once upon a time, in the mountains of Afghanistan, the original carrot was purple to yellow in color. It’s cultivation spread from the highest peaks to the low countries where the yellow cultivars were selected to give us the orange carrot – a political move with nutritional consequences. Hmmm

Back to the parsnip – it remains the same color. It has a similar tendency as carrots to become sweeter in adversity – wouldn’t our world be a better place if we all chose that path…? We who call the northlands our home……have some sweetening up to do!

Parsnips had a royal past, Emperor Tiberius accepted parsnips as part of the German tribute to Rome, they were used as a source of sweetening. Can you imagine? Where would we be now, if we had chosen to become more caring during the hard times rather than causing adversity in search of sweetness?

This week the cousins: Carrots & Parsnips are to be chosen as well as Brussels Sprouts, Delicata squash, Beets, Sweet potatoes, Onions, Garlic, Winter radishes and Pac choi. Cloud cover is highest this time of year….thus the salad greens poke along.

Long time passing

Where have all the flowers (and the insects) gone? Long time passing……..

Music has inspired me through all the stiff currents and storms of life. I continually have the sound of crickets in my ears, even as I sit here, due to placing phonograph speakers on either side of my head during my high school years to blast out the chaos around me. Hmmmm

An article in the Washington Post describes some major changes in the insect world from those long ago teenage days to now  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/buzz-off-german-study-finds-dramatic-insect-decline/2017/10/19/6a087d40-b4c8-11e7-9b93-b97043e57a22_story.html?utm_term=.3f67b6a0add7

It becomes a bit of a challenge when living in this part of the world to give voice to a word of caution as to how we control the “pests” in our yards, farms and homes. What if future generations had as much authority around the table as the living representatives? Where are the safe havens for balance? No answer is expected, I just wish we could ponder together, learn from our mistakes and come up with a better map to guide us.

Folks that purchase Jubilee produce or a sandwich from Peacemeals, whether they realize it or not, get to partake in a panoply of real food that has been handled with utmost concern for the environment and each individual’s health. It is an interesting mix, that……

The real eats for farm share members this week will include cabbage (400 heads to go), salad mix, radishes OR broccoli, Acorn squash, Pac Choi, carrots, beets, kohlrabi, potatoes and kale.