Things are still moving full speed ahead, but mentally we are gearing up for the fall ahead. I feel that these days especially as summer heats up and winds down simultaneously, my tasks are all over the farm: in the summer kitchen, in the “dye shop”, in the fields and yes, here, at the computer. In the kitchen I discovered a new love and an old sweetheart. My new love: home made ketchup. The depth of flavor as I simmered down a pile of second grade tomatoes along with the leftover jimmy nardello sweet peppers was evident in the smells that filled the kitchen. The end result: unbelievably good! I immediately roasted some potatoes and thawed one of our last packages of hill and hollow grass fed beef. The simplicity and delight of the meal is beyond words. Homemade ketchup=new love. On the adjacent burner I simmered 5 pounds of czech black hot peppers with garlic and vinegar for a batch of our now famous hot sauce. The deep color and mildly hot bite make it an old standby. I had some pots simmering in the dye shop as well. We picked another round of indigo leaves and wild goldenrod flowers to dye our yarn with. We have been using every free minute to turn our woolen yarn blue, yellow and green in the past weeks and this week was no exception. There is nothing quite like spending quiet moments transforming colors. And don’t forget my office work. Without sharing too much information with you in this short space, we are currently working on not one but two computer intensive, super progressive, representative of a new age, farm projects. Believe me, in the weeks ahead I will divulge far more information, but for now, I will keep you hanging. Finally, in the fields, the tomatoes are bidding us an abrupt farewell, but if there is anything that can make us feel pretty good about that it is the arrival of the watermelon. Really! The perfect year unfolds again. Hoorah.
Sautéed Chard and Bell Peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 bunch Swiss chard – ribs removed and sliced into 1″ pieces,
leaves sliced into ribbons along veins
1 large or 2 smaller yellow or red sweet pepper, sliced into 1″ squares
1/2 cup chicken broth or white wine
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
grated Parmesan cheese, to taste
Over a medium flame, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a sauté pan and sauté garlic, chard ribs, and bell pepper for a few minutes. If garlic begins to brown, lower heat. Add chard leaves and broth, and simmer for another 2 minutes, stirring chard so that it wilts evenly. Meanwhile, in another small pan over a medium flame, heat the breadcrumbs with the remaining tablespoon of oil, and stir until brown, 1-2 minutes. Toss breadcrumbs with vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. To serve, divide between two shallow bowls and sprinkle with grated Parmesan.
Watermelon Salad with Feta and Basil
1 small seedless watermelon (or 1/4 of a large one)
1/2 of a red onion
16 leaves fresh basil
1/4 cup (2 ounces) crumbled Feta
2 tablespoons e.v. olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut the watermelon in half. Using a large spoon, scoop out bite-size pieces of the watermelon and add to a large bowl or platter (you should get about 8 cups). Slice the onion into thin half moons and scatter over the watermelon. Then scatter the basil leaves over the top. Crumble the Feta over the salad. Drizzle with the oil and lime juice and sprinkle with the salt and pepper
week eighteen in your basket:
hot and sweet peppers
swiss chard
tomato/tomatillo choice

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