I jumped into the deep end of the food preservation pool this week, way earlier than usual. I knew it would happen, abundant perfect green beans can not be denied a place in my deep freezer, but then the berries came. We took a father’s day jaunt to some friends in Marion county, a day of fishing and friendship was all we had planned for that Sunday. Alas, they were swamped with berries: luscious red raspberries, plump blackberries. “Take them home they said”, and that we did. All of a sudden my to do list included not only freezing the green beans but making 3 types of jam as well (Sasha was inspired by berry abundance to pick as much as he could off our finally producing blueberry bushes and the wild blackberries that line all the driveways). Meanwhile in the summer kitchen, I was lucky to see Sarah in action. A fermentation pro, she whipped a batch of kim chee up in her German crock with all the left over pac choi as the base. I admit I snuck into the kitchen when she was out in the fields the day before to sample a couple of jars of fermented vegetables she had brought with her to the farm. I have sampled many a home made kraut, believe me, some better than others, so I feared sampling hers in front of her. Not wanting to seem discouraging if the flavor wasn’t superb. Well folks, she knows her stuff and I was so pleasantly surprised by her ferments, I happily will hand over all lacto fermentation to her, happily!The week progressed nicely. We had some big cultivation jobs lined up and by the week’s end we were all thrilled to see the corn, winter squash, summer squash, tobacco, flowers and herbs all weed free and mulched if necessary. Meanwhile Paul was raking hay. We have been working with our neighbor up the hill on a few projects this season, and the latest was haying. Our neighbor Scott mowed off 3 hay fields last weekend and left the rest of the process for us to orchestrate. Paul fetched the rake from another neighbor Larry and spent both Monday and Tuesday afternoon raking the piles of dried grass into rows that were then baled by Larry. Once he finished, we hooked trailer to tractor and started picking up the bales and storing them in each others barns. It all went smoothly, note mama can in fact pick up hay and toss it onto a moving wagon with babe on back. All in an afternoon’s work, ah yes. Now, with the bulk of the harvest complete, Paul is off to the eye doctor picking up Madeline’s glasses. Yes, the squinting was for a reason and you might or might not notice my daughter’s new addition, she can’t wait to see clearly. Sarah and Lindsey are watching William, so I will forgo more story telling and editing and wish you all a wonderful summer week with an incredible bounty from the farm.
week eight in your basket:
summer squash or cucumbers
Cucumber Basil Salad
2 cucumbers, thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in large bowl, cover and let sit for one hour, serve.
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 shallot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup roughly chopped basil leaves
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
3/4 cup olive oil
Place the salt, sugar, mustard, shallot and basil in a blender or food processor. Pulse several times to combine. Scrape the sides of the blender down with a spatula. Add the vinegar and pulse again.Turn the blender on low and take off the cap in the center of the blender’s lid. Slowly pour in the olive oil. It may sputter a little out of the open cap, so hold you hand over it to minimize splashing. When the olive oil is incorporated, turn off the blender and scrape the sides down one more time. Cover and purée everything for 1-2 minutes.