The family visit, it happens reliably once a year. Paul’s siblings and their families travel from both coasts to spend time together here on the farm. The memories carved from these times together are many and varied and this past week was no exception. With 2 uncles, 2 aunts, one honorary uncle and one cousin all here, we have been running on familial love for 7 days. These days are typically full of plenty of fishing and this year was no exception, this time however, the youngest cousins were deemed old enough for not one, but two, rites of passage (in one week, sheesh). The first is Mammoth Cave. Located less than one hour from the farm, this national park is always on a guest’s to do list when they come here. For its informative cave tours, spectacular Green River vistas, this is a grand spot and one that little William and his same aged cousin Ellie had not yet visited. We left the farm right after chores early in the week with hopes of catching the earliest and easiest of the cave tours. Upon arrival we discovered it already sold out and after some consultation, mamas of the youngest decided to go for the more advanced full 2 hour cave tour. These 3 year olds did awesome, I was so proud to be mama to the youngest member of our tour to walk nearly the entire passage solo. What a trooper!! deep in the earth, we learned of ancient flowing rivers and the earliest discoveries of our region. Next day, I suppose I could have just laid low, but the family decided it was time to see if these youngins could boat and fish. With 3 rental canoes, our own canoe and Sasha’s newly purchased kayak, we headed to Greensburg, KY for a 4.2 mile paddle down the Upper Green River. With only a slight conflict between the fishermen and the “keep it movin’” toddlers, we spent 4 late afternoon hours on the water. Lovely. The rest of the week was packed with huge farm meals (including of course plenty of fresh fish), lots of company, and the richness that only family can bring. Wishing you all delightful July days and nights. We are in the midst of a rainy harvest day, unthinkable luck for mid summer, but I am not questioning it one bit! Hoorah!
Simple Swiss Chard
1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
1 small clove garlic, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp water
Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon butter
Rinse out the Swiss chard leaves thoroughly. Remove the toughest third of the stalk, discard or save for another recipe (such as this Swiss chard ribs with cream and pasta below). Roughly chop the leaves into inch-wide strips. Heat a saucepan on a medium heat setting, add olive oil, a few small slices of garlic and the crushed red pepper. Sauté for about a minute. Add the chopped Swiss chard leaves. Cover. Check after about 5 minutes. If it looks dry, add a couple tablespoons of water. Flip the leaves over in the pan, so that what was on the bottom, is now on the top. Cover again. Check for doneness after another 5 minutes (remove a piece and taste it). Add salt to taste, and a small amount of butter. Remove the swiss chard to a serving dish.
Swiss chard ribs with cream and pasta
1 lb swiss chard, yielding 2 cups of chopped ribs
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
Enough dry pasta to make about one quart of cooked pasta (use rice pasta if gluten-free is required)
Salt and pepper
Separate the ribs from the greens. Cut the ribs into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces. Blanch the ribs in lightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes. Melt butter in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the drained, blanched ribs and simmer for 4 minutes. Add heavy cream and cook until cream reduces by two-thirds. While the cream is reducing, cook up your pasta according to the pasta’s package directions. Mix creamed chard with pasta. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper.
week eleven in your basket:
summer squash or zucchini