Not part of the farm share
The farm share is getting slightly smaller as well as more traditional. The squash have slowed, the greens have diminished. I even had to buy kale last week, something I never imagined I would ever do.
This week included:
- Kale (15 leaves)
- Lettuce (Romaine)
- Garlic (whoops, forgot to grab this)
- Potato (3 pounds)
- Beets (5, with greens)
- Basil (half a bag)
- Squash (2 pounds, so one enormous squash)
- Turnips (2 pounds)
- Cucumbers (4, I took 2)
- Tomato (2)
- Beans (1/2 a pound)
- Peppers (1 green)
- Blackberries (pint)
- Peaches (3 pounds)
- Blueberries (pint)
Last week I was at the beach, so I made a bunch of stuff and froze it, but this week, it’s back in the swing of the farm share. Six more pick ups and then I’ll be forced back into my old routine, whatever that was.
We are spoiled down here. My mother adores Hilton Head and has several timeshares down there, so we slum it once or twice a year. This visit is at one of my favorite of her condos, Night Heron. It’s a quarter mile from the beach, so you can walk there. To those that frequent Myrtle, this might sound weird, but many places in Hilton Head, you have to drive to a beach club. That’s cool, unless you are with a group of people with a wide range of beach tolerance. Lots of running and beaching and pooling, but not much cooking. The kitchen is tiny. TINY I say. So, we ate out a couple of times. We went to Truffles Cafe, excellent. I had the portabella sandwich. Nice service, classy place. We went to Bonefish, my mother’s favorite. This is a chain. It’s solid, not bad. And, we all went our separate ways one night and the kid and I went to Delisheee Yo! Oh man, our kind of place! We each had some Cuban Black Bean Soup, which also had sweet potato in it, and split a So-Cal wrap. This had carrots, cukes, bean sprouts, mozzarella, sunflower seeds, gobi berries and some sort of homemade dressing. So good! They also make their own kombucha and of course, we had the yogurt. Excellent. They just need to be bigger.
My friend Jeannie suggested I try this and I did, but I wasn’t crazy about it. It had all the right ingredients, but something was missing. That might have been basil, and more tomatoes. I knew as soon as I got home I’d be trying this dish again. I thinly sliced the squash this time (a little thick last time), as well as the potatoes and the tomatoes. I had two left from last week and they thankfully held up.
Now I have a very small set of Cutco knives that I bought by accident. Someone from work who I don’t actually talk to a lot apparently put my name down for this student selling knives and then didn’t tell me. So this student calls me up and gives me this spiel about my good friend told me I needed to see this demo, etc etc. and I was so surprised that I let him set a time. He came over and cut a penny with a pair of kitchen shears that also came apart so you could easily wash them. He also had this really cool spreader/slicer thing. So, I bought the smallest set I could that would get me those scissors. Turns out they are really good knives! It means I can cut my veggies fairly thin without having to use a mandolin.
He tried to sell me a set of steak knives too, but I told him if I needed knives that sharp to cut my meat, I’d probably have problems eating the meat. Now I don’t even cut meat. So, I just use the four knives I bought over and over again, washing them as I need.
Anyway, the old recipe led to a dead end and when I googled it, turns out it’s a fairly common dish. So, here’s what I did:
- 1 enormous squash, sliced about 1/8″ (most recipes say 1/4″ they lie or they don’t understand how to use a ruler)
- 2 potatoes of normal size, same slice size
- 4 medium tomatoes, sliced thin
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 or 2 onions (I had one, wished I had 2)
- Grapeseed oil for cooking the onion and garlic
- Herbs and spices. I had a bag of fresh basil, so I used a lot of that, along with my usual Adobo salt, smoked paprika and then, because the recipes tended to call for it, thyme
- Cheese: I had about a 1/4 cup of Parmesan and I also added another 1/4 cup of Mexican cheese, solely because it was in the fridge. Might want to try Mozzarella. Still, what I served was very good. The three of us ate this in one sitting.
Saute the onion and garlic in the oil until nice and soft and translucent. Cover the bottom of a pan. Now in my case, I had a ton of veggies, so I pulled out the paella pan. Then, circle the pan alternating the squash (or zucchini), the potato and tomato until you have filled the pan. Put the cut up fresh basil on it, and the rest of your herbs, then cover with cheese. Bake at 375 for about an hour.
I am hesitant to call this a cobbler, as I didn’t really include the cobbler part. It’s a pseudo-cobbler. Maybe I can call it what Dye’s Gullah Fixins calls it: a blackberry dump. (We will visit when it’s just the three of us.) Normally, my kid eats these before you can even consider eating them, but not this week. So, I took a pint of these (what was left from last week and some of this week’s) and made a blackberry dessert.
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of butter
- 1/2 cup of oats
Stick this in a bowl and microwave until butter is mostly melted. Add the blackberries and mix until they are covered with the sugar mixture. Divvie up into ramekins (in our case, 3) and top with more oats if desired. Kid was mad that I didn’t top with brown sugar.
Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, then let cool so you don’t melt your tongue off. Eat as is or top with vanilla ice cream.
We’ve gotten so many beets, that it’s opened up the door to being creative. So, this morning, I googled beet pancakes and lo and behold, people make pancakes out of beets. In fact, you can make them savory or as appetizers or the more traditional way of eating them for breakfast.
So, here’s what I did:
- One large beet, cooked (I roasted in toaster oven, you could boil them) so you get about a cup of puree (this makes for a very beety pancake, so use less if you like)
- .5 cup yogurt
- 1.5 cup milk
- 1 egg
- a little under 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1.5 cups of flour
- 1 t baking powder
- 1 t salt
- 1 t vanilla
Puree the beets in a food processor and then add the wet ingredients and mix a little more. Make sure that lid is on tight! It’s going to fly. Mix the dry ingredients separately and add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined.
Now, I used a non-stick pan so I skipped the oil. BUT if you were to use oil, I’d either recommend butter or a vegetable oil. And don’t drop the oil in the pan; wipe the pan with a paper towel that has oil on it. That way, your pancakes will brown evenly. Then, drop 1/4 cup of batter on the very well-heated skillet and cook for 2 minutes a side. They turn a beautiful pink/brown mixture. I made a fair number, and then I’ll put the rest in the fridge for the family to nosh on during the week.
The rest of the week will be some repeat recipes, I fear. I’ll probably make some pizza and use the green peppers and arugula I forgot to eat last week. Then I’ll make a stir fry with some of the kale and maybe some shrimp. After that, I’ll make the beet green bulgar salad and the roasted veggies. And then it will be Friday again!
Update: we did make the pizzas last night to great success. I was delighted to use FIVE farm share ingredients: basil, carrot tops and garlic for the tomato pesto, and green pepper and scallions for the pizza. A little mozzarella (the fresh stuff), a few mushrooms and the dough and we were set. Kid liked it so much, she ate the second half of hers for lunch. Which means I have no idea what she will eat for dinner, whoops.