10/03/2013 CSA SHARE: What we got, what I took, & what I will do with it


Baby Beets- 1 bun
Swiss Chard- 1 bun
Boston Lettuce- 2 heads(green or red)       Red Peppers
Tomatoes- mixed variety
Arugula- 1/2 lb. bag
Toscano Kale  – 1 bun
Long Red Peppers -3 pcs

The first major question I heard from other CSAers was “what happened to the beet greens”? Someone figured there was a CSA out there somewhere which had only beet greens and no beets!

With the Swiss Chard, it was me doing the “I will/I won’t” dance. In the end, I did come home with a bunch of chard – just not the bunch I had put in the trade box. What will I do with it?  I am not real sure just yet, but I am thinking wraps with the leaf halves and a ferment with the stems.

Beets?  I just haven’t decided  yet.  Thank heavens beets will stay in the refrigerator for a while, giving you time to think things over.

I ended up bringing home some arugula – I tried it on a sandwich but it was most unpleasant for me. I tried it in a marinated greens recipe, but it was grim.  Dehydrate it and grind it and add it to my super-greens jar?  Sounds like a plan.

At least half of the (sweet) red peppers I came home with will go into a hot ajvar. I know it. I have been radically protecting my Monday night event with New York Ferments, and I’m taking the ajvar with me.  This won’t be a traditional ajvar (you cannot keep me away from garlic – it will be in there, I will likely substitute chili powder for the red pepper needed, and I will probably feel the need to put some onion in it)

The kale? Ah! The kale! Kale cheeze and, probably kale chips!  I do love kale!


FIRE CIDER RECIPE from Rosemary Gladstar

POST #880
I cannot have the flu vaccine (allergies, reactions, etc.& so forth, and even if I could, I don’t know that I would — this is not to say that you shouldn’t, if you feel so inclined), so I am happy to see this traditional cold/flu remedy recipe.

From Rosemary Gladstar, MountainRose blog
Fire Cider is a traditional cold remedy with deep roots in folk medicine. The tasty combination of vinegar infused with powerful immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, decongestant, and spicy circulatory movers makes this recipe especially pleasant and easy to incorporate into your daily diet to help boost the immune system, stimulate digestion, and get you nice and warmed up on cold days.
Because this is a folk preparation, the ingredients can change from year to year depending on when you make it and what’s growing around you. The standard base ingredients are apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, and hot peppers, but there are plenty of other herbs that can be thrown in for added kick. This year I had lots of spicy jalapenos and vibrant rosemary in the garden, so I used those along with some organic turmeric powder in the cupboard and fresh lemon peel. Some people like to bury their fire cider jar in the ground for a month while it extracts and then dig it up during a great feast to celebrate the changing of the seasons.
Fire Cider can be taken straight by the spoonful, added to organic veggie juice (throw in some olives and pickles and think non-alcoholic, health boosting bloody mary!), splashed in fried rice, or drizzled on a salad with good olive oil. You can also save the strained pulp and mix it with shredded veggies like carrots, cabbage, broccoli, and fresh herbs to make delicious and aromatic stir-fries and spring rolls! I like to take 1 tbsp each morning to help warm me up and rev the immune system, or 3 tbsp at the first sign of a cold.
Time to make the Fire Cider!

1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
1 medium organic onion, chopped
10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
Several sprigs of fresh organic rosemary or 2 tbsp of dried rosemary leaves
1 tbsp organic turmeric powder
organic apple cider vinegar
raw local honey to taste

Prepare all of your cold-fighting roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart sized jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus opening experience! Use a piece of natural parchment paper or wax paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal. Shake well! Store in a dark, cool place for one month and remember to shake daily.
After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid goodness as you can from the pulp while straining. Next, comes the honey! Add 1/4 cup of honey and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add another 1/4 cup unrtil you reach the desired sweetness.
These herbs and spices would make a wonderful addition to your Fire Cider creations: Thyme, Cayenne, Rosehips, Ginseng, Orange, Grapefruit, Schizandra berries, Astragalus, Parsley, Burdock, Oregano, Peppercorns


POST #879
from Nourished Kitchen

Donna Schwenk, the author, says:”These are a little spicy, and a little sweet and sour. They are wonderful for digesting your food, building up your immune system, and helping your adrenals feel nourished. It is the flavor I love the best. I’m a foodie and it has to taste good! You can find Vegetable Starter Culture online or in well-stocked health food stores.”

Yield: 2 quarts (64 Servings) Prep: 5 mins
1 medium jicama
1/2 head cabbage
2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 medium apple
1 small onion
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 1/2 teaspoons unrefined sea salt
1 large orange (zested and juiced)
1 package vegetable starter culture

  • Shred or chop the first six ingredients and place¬† in a bowl and sprinkle with salt.
  • You can also layer it in the jar instead of mixing.
  • Firmly pack the mixture into 2 quart glass canning jars or a half-gallon jar
  • Then add the orange zest juice, and culture, and cover with water, leaving an inch or two at the top.
  • Seal jar tightly and let sit on the counter for 6 days and then place in the refrigerator

I haven’t tried this yet, but I will start it this week. I will use 2-3 probiotics capsules instead of the “vegetable starter culture”, which contains sugar and dairy.


POST #853
I read a recipe for butternut squash kimchi, but I did not have any ginger on hand, and I couldn’t be sure that I would enjoy eating the pieces (I’m a very lazy chewer), so I decided to put the butternut squash through the food processor, but only grate it up coarsely (i.e., this is not my usual applesauce-textured concoction).

I can never leave well enough alone, and, for the most part, I am convinced that garlic and jalapeno improve just about anything in sight.  I took a handful of garlic (maybe ten cloves) and a medium-sized jalapeno, and whizzed them in my Magic Bullet to mince them quickly, then, as I packed the squash bits into the quart jar, I layered in gobs of garlic-jalapeno mince.  

I mashed down the squash as much as I could, then mixed a cup of water with 1 cap of probiotics and 1 t sea salt.  Poured as much of it as I could into the jar, stuck a chopstick down through the packed squash and poured some more brine into the jar, then capped it with one of my new plastic re-usable jar lids.

Today, when I looked, about half the bowl the jar is sitting in is filled with juice.   Good. That tells me that the ferment is busy.   

This being an experimental batch of squash, I sure hope that it will turn out and that I will like it.

10/04/12 CSA SHARE: What they say we will get and what I am thinking of doing with it

POST #862
Here is what they say we will get:
Mesclun Lettuce Mix with Baby Arugula
Baby Bok Choi
Japanese Salad Turnips
Green Boston Lettuce
Baby Yukon Gold Potatoes
Toscano Kale

So! We’re back to leaves again! Just means that I have to get to the share distribution early early early, so I can trade some of those leaves for maybe more kale, more bok choi or more turnips, and maybe more kohlrabi.

I’ll make cultured kohlrabi with whatever kohlrabi I get (probably “dill pickle” style). When it’s in the jar, I’ll tell you the recipe.

The kale will likely go to kale chips. I haven’t had any in a while. I won’t buy them commercially-made — too pricey.

FIRST TASTE: the latest batch of fermented green beans

POST #827
I was trying to wait for the 4th day, but, finally, I just couldn’t wait, so I opened the jar closest to me to see what I’d got.

I had kind of expected this batch to be spicier, but, instead, it is garlicky, and not so dill-y.   The dill is still there in force, but the garlic is the primary flavor, and there is just a tiny kick from the jalapeno.  Still, these green beans are good, and I know they will be all gone soon.  

The big pieces of garlic are good, too, so I must remember to cut the garlic larger for these green beans, and other things I am adding garlic to.

Tomorrow I can try the carrots, or else, I can leave them another day or so.  Will I be able to wait?  Only the Creator knows at this point.

Meanwhile, yumm!  I am dining on a bowlful of the green beans! 

DILLY BEANS – fermented green beans with dill, and jalapeno

POST #813
(loosely based on a recipe from Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation)

1 lb green beans
1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno pepper (according to taste)
1 T dill seed (not dill weed)
2 cloves garlic (or more, to taste)
1 C spring water
1 T sea salt
1 capsule probiotics (I use New Chapter Probiotic All-Flora)

Use 1 qt jar (but have a 1 pt jar on hand in case your beans don’t all fit in the 1 qt jar)  Thoroughly wash and rinse the jar(s).  (If you are really finicky, you can soak the jars in water with chlorine bleach added, or else boil them – if you boil the jars, cool them to room temperature before you use them—I, personally, did this the once I lost a batch of sauerkraut, and I wanted to be sure no mold was in the jar)

Top and tail your green beans, and then break them off (or cut them) in lengths to fit the jar(s) –  (since we don’t know exactly how many will go in which jar, you can measure for the first jar and fill it, then re-measure, and also use the odd pieces left over for the second jar if you need it).

Slice the garlic cloves into three pieces.

Finely chop the jalapeno pepper.

Place the garlic slices, chopped jalapeno, and dill seed in the bottom of the quart jar.

Pack the green beans into the quart jar.  Leave 1/2 in. space at the top of the jar.

Mix the sea salt thoroughly into 1/2 C spring water.  Empty the powder from the probiotics capsule into the water.  Mix thoroughly.

Pour the brine with probiotics mix into the jar, to completely cover the beans.

Cover the jars with two part “dome” lids (the ones they come with) and screw lids on tightly.  (if, for some reason, you are using plastic storage lids on your Ball jars, or if you are using re-purposed glass jars you’ve saved, and are using the lids those jars came with, leave the lids a little loose)

Set your jars in a cool dark-ish place in your kitchen (my spot is the corner of my stove next to the wall (the window is just ahead of this spot, but doesn’t shine on it)  I have a cutting board which covers that part of the stove, designating my fermenting zone.

Wait 3 days (the probiotics accelerate the fermentation process).  I usually look at the beans and shake up the jar a little (superstition, maybe, but I have the idea that it will make the spices go into the beans better)

After 3 days, taste a green bean and decide if you like the taste.  If you do, there you go.  If you are not sure, leave them another 2 days, and then taste test.  I have never left my beans more than 5 days, but you could, if you choose.  3 days is enough for me, then, after I get the “first fruits”, I close the jar back up tight and leave it on the counter for another couple of days (no room in the refrigerator).  If I haven’t finished off the green beans by then, I transfer them to a smaller container and put them in the refrigerator.