csa week 12

It is a beautiful clear August afternoon and I could not be happier. The humidity is down, the air is crisp, and I am staring at 49 quarts of canned tomatoes on my kitchen counter. From the moment I found out I was pregnant last Fall until we welcomed Will, days and sleepless nights were spent agonizing over “how are we going to get through the season?” I whittled down my list of chores to a bare bones minimum of “have tos”. This was the list of things that I really could not ask/expect/hope anyone else could really do in my stead. I had no doubt Paul would manage the field work without me (I had my self esteem to consider and just knew they would miss my perfect transplanting or my tireless hoeing, but I had total confidence really that I would hardly be missed). There was my realm though and I knew no matter what I had to manage the CSA, I had to write the newsletters, I had to do the dairying, I had to care for my family and last but not least, I had to preserve the season’s bounties for our winter table. Alas, time has passed, 11 newsletters are under my belt, hundreds of gallons of Addie’s sweet milk has been transformed into cheese and yogurt and butter, and the time had come (all too soon) for me to address the canning. It happened this past weekend when we returned from market with such beautiful summer fruits: I could not pass them along to the compost. With nothing but enthusiasm, I started on Sunday morning roasting tomatillos ( we had so many left over as we discovered the bushel of them buried beneath the cabbages well into the delivery day, ooops, remind us this week!), onions and garlic for salsa verde. It took all day, but by dusk I was proud of the 15 quarts lying in the deep freeze. Monday, green beans. Again, working between William’s naps, I was able to freeze nearly 10 quarts and my confidence built. Wednesday came and the mid week tomato harvest showed me the time was now. Tomatoes are the single most important vegetable I preserve. A critical ingredient to our winter stews, sauces, soups, a bad tomato year in 2010 meant I entered this year with no reserves. Boiling water, hundreds of ripe fruits, infant in carrier, it was intimidating: I set my goal low: one batch, 7 quarts, easy. With Sasha and Madeline as tireless helpers, we quickly adjusted our goal from one batch to preserving all of the ripe tomatoes on the packing table. It took the better part of 2 days, but what a thrill. I can’t wait for more. I hope this inspires all of you to savor the summer’s bounty and dabble

Roasted Beet and Feta Salad
3 large or 4 medium beets
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp. white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1/4 tsp. salt
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 375. Trim and wash beets. Place on a large piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with 1 tsp. oil, wrap up, and place on a baking sheet. Bake until beets are tender when pierced with a fork, 30 to 45 minutes. Let sit until cool enough to handle, about 20 minutes. Peel beets (skins should slip off easily) and cut into 1/2-in. slices. In a medium bowl, whisk remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, vinegar, and salt. Toss beets in dressing.

Garlicky Basil Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
5 cups chopped plum tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
6 cups hot cooked campanella (about 12 ounces uncooked pasta)
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add minced garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add chopped tomatoes; cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Add pasta, basil, cheese, salt, and pepper, tossing gently to combine. a bit in food preservation, the time is now.

In your basket:
herb option

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