June 14, 2013

I agree with Jeff - we can’t seem to get the ideal weather: dry days, rain in the evenings, dry in the days before tractor work and gorgeous on Saturdays, but not too hot.  

All of the rain earlier this week has resulted in a burst of growth – crops and weeds alike.  We’ve spent portions of the last several days slowly, but surely conquering the tomato block – pruning the tomatoes, weedwacking the amaranth in the paths, and trellising the tomatoes so that they all line up together and are off the ground.  The cherry tomatoes went from being knee high to shoulder high to ankle high in no time at all.  Cute green tomatoes have formed and are marking time until fully ripe – end of June/early July.  We use a system called the Florida weave to support the plants.  This means putting a stake down every 3-4 plants, then sandwiching the tomatoes between trellising twine, giving us Trellising Thursdays.

The guineas make another newsletter appearance because they've been so darned entertaining.  Our awesome volunteer Liz determined that one of the birds has larger red sideburns than the other – meet Tom, the other is Josh.  We were planning on letting one out at a time during the day and cooping them up at night until they call the pen home. That lasted 2 nights.  Yesterday afternoon Ann and I noticed some strange behavior – they were pacing their respective sides of the fence in sync and periodically pecking at each other.  When we opened the door, the one inside (Josh) ran out chest bumping Tom and they chased and ran after each other all through the garlic, green onions, peppers and eggplants.  So much for walking in the paths! (This is something I’m a stickler about.)  They were establishing dominance.  They spent the night out yesterday and had a good study of the field and environs (still haven’t made their way to our goal of the squash block – where there is an endless meal of squash and cucumber beetle awaiting their attention).  They waited out the storm from the shelter under Ann’s car and made their way up to the pen to check themselves out in the mirror.  They know where home is!   

A new herb we are growing this year = summer savory!  This is wonderfully aromatic herb – also known as the bean herb. It helps digest some foods which are harder to digest.  It's great on a variety of vegetables: from mixed greens and rice, we sauteed it with summer squash last week.  According to the 1984 summer edition of Mother Earth News, "Boiled with strong smelling foods like broccoli or sauerkraut, it helps prevent cooking odors.  Steeped in vinegar or salad dressing, it lends an aromatic flavor.  People on low-sodium diets may find it an agreeable salt substitute."  

Have a great weekend,
Natalie and the Sugar Creek Crew

Tzatziki + Cucumber 

1.5 cups plain yogurt
1 large cucumber
1 lemon – juice of ½ bunch of dill 1 clove of garlic salt and pepper to taste Thinly slice cumbers.  Mix all the ingredients together.  Enjoy!
3 T bread crumbs
1 T olive oil
¾ diced onion
¾ c diced fennel bulb
1 t minced garlic
2 c diced zucchini
1 link (4 oz) andouille sausage
½ t crushed fennel seed
Salt and pepper
3-4 oz Swiss cheese
3 large eggs
½ c milk
For garnish: diced roasted red pepper, chopped black olives, or chopped fennel leaves.

Zucchini, Fennel and Andouille pie from Asparagus to Zucchini Cookbook

½ T butter, softened
Heat oven to 350.  Grease a pie plate with the butter.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over buttered area.  Heat olive oil in skillet over med flame.  Add onion, fennel, and garlic; saute until vegetables are partially tender, about 5 min.  Raise heat to a med- high; stir in zucchini, andouille, fennel seed, and salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté until zucchini is tender, 3-5 min.  Spread mixture on platter; cool 10 min.  Meanwhile, grate cheese; sprinkle 2/3 of it into pie pan.  Beat eggs with milk in bowl.  Stir cooled vegetable mixture into egg mixture; pour into pan.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.  Rim outer edge of pie filling with garnish choice.  Bake until set, about 30 min.  cool 10 min before serving. Makes 6-8. 

Summer Savory Vinaigrette a take on Amanda Hesser's recipe in "the Cook and the Gardner"

2 T red wine vinegar 
6 T vegetable oil
1 shallot lobe, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 T freshly chopped summer savory leaves
Combine all and use to dress netural ingreidents like potatoes 

No comments: