Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Veggie CSA Week #13

Half Shares:

Tomatoes - 2 pounds - $6.00
Green Beans - 1 pound - $4.00
Cabbage - between 3-4 pounds - $7.00
Serrano Peppers - 5 peppers - $1.00
Cucumbers - 3/4 pound - $1.50
TOTAL - $19.50

Full Shares:

Tomatoes - 3 pounds - $9.00
Green Beans - 2 pounds - $8.00
Cabbage - between 4-5 pounds - $9.00
Shishito Peppers - 1 pint - $3.00
Sungold Cherry Tomatoes - 1 pint - $3.00
Serrano Peppers - 5 peppers - $1.00
TOTAL - $33.00

"Why are we getting so much cabbage?"

You will notice that 3-4 pounds of cabbage is a LOT of cabbage, and we noticed it too. The reason you're getting so much (and we raised the weekly dollar amount to accommodate) is because we have it and we need to find homes for it. This spring, we grew a lot of both green and red cabbage with the plan to harvest and store it for later sale. But the harvest was so good that we STILL have some in our cooler. So... we are hoping you will be excited for coleslaw, cabbage soup, sauerkraut.... etc, etc. Remember, cabbage stores excellently. Many times, what you buy in the grocery store has been in cold storage for 6 months or more. So, don't feel like you have to eat it all in one week. Just put it in a plastic bag, and store in the refrigerator. The outer leaves may turn yellow, just peel back a layer or two, and all will be good again. Below, we have lots of links and recipes for you. Also, cabbagerecipes.org has a bunch.

"Where is all the squash and basil?"

Some of you (especially those who were members of our CSA in previous years) may be wondering why you're not swimming in too much zucchini or squash or basil. It is, after all, the height of summer, and these crops usually are so prolific we're scrambling to make zucchini bread and pesto just to put a dent in it. Unfortunately, this has not been the best squash (or cucumber, for that matter) year for us. Our first two plantings succumbed to insect pressure (cucumber beetle and vine borer, mostly). Yesterday, we planted one last attempt at some late summer squash, so, we'll see how it goes. A similar situation with the basil, but more will be planted later this week, and hopefully we'll be harvesting in a few weeks.

Cabbage Recipes

COLCANNON (one of my favorites, and another use for all your potatoes)

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup sliced green onions (apx. 8)
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed (apx. 2 pounds)
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 small cabbage (apx. 1 pound), cooked, drained, and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Heat butter in a skillet set over medium heat and sauté green onions until softened but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add potatoes and stir to combine. Add milk and gently stir over low heat. Add cabbage, salt and pepper, reduce heat to low, and stir until heated through.

SAUERKRAUT (according to Margaret)

Sauerkraut is simple! You'll need: cabbage, glass or ceramic jars, water, salt (I use non-iodized salt), and anything else you want to put in it. Things I like to add: onions, garlic, ginger, peppers (bell or hot), carrots, cumin & mustard seeds (a very few of these will add flavor). I also like to put a little or a lot of purple cabbage in my kraut: it turns the whole thing pink!

1. Chop (or run through the food processor) the cabbage to the size you want to eat it

2. Bruising the cabbage will release more of the bacteria that make it ferment into kraut. I put my cut up cabbage in a plastic grocery bag and whack it with a mason jar; something less breakable will work fine too.

3. If you're adding anything else to your kraut, now is the time to mix it all up in a big bowl.

4. Stuff the cabbage (or cabbage plus other stuff) into the jar/s you'll be using to ferment. Leave 2-3" at the top.

5. Mix your brine. I use non-iodized salt and I add salt until it tastes like sea water.

6. Pour the brine over the cabbage mixture. Cover the cabbage with a little extra space to spare, but leave some room at the top too: fermentation creates bubbles that will make the liquid level rise and potentially overflow. If you have anything that will fit in your jar/fermentation container that weighs down the cabbage so that pieces don't float to the top, that makes your job a little easier.

7. Cover your jar with fabric- I just use a washcloth with a rubber band holding it around the neck. Your kraut has to breath, so don't seal it up!

8. Put your kraut somewhere you can check on it daily (the ambient temperature in your house should be fine for it, unless you keep your house really cold) - the floaters on the top will mold if you leave them there for a week. I check on my kraut daily and use a fork to squeeze out the air bubbles and push the floaters back down into the liquid.

9. Your kraut should start getting krauty in about a week. I like to let mine ferment at least two weeks, after which point I put it in the fridge (it's OK to seal it in the fridge), which drastically slows down the process. If your kraut still tastes salty, it's probably not done.

Enjoy! Sauerkraut has lot of beneficial bacteria in it that are good for you, and it's delicious!

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