In Your Box:
We are most grateful to summer for holding on and granting us a few extra weeks to make up for a slow start back in June. After such a sunny, warm September we can’t complain too much if October starts off wet and quickly ushers in cold temperatures. It looks like we have a couple chances for frost this weekend, which would be the end of our sweet peppers and outdoor tomatoes. The rain is neither a benefit or detriment to the fields at this point, but we’re thankful to kick off the drought and recharge all of the trees as the stresses of winter loom.
Lots of new crops this week, including a whole lot of green stuff to fill you up with vitamins and iron to last you through the long, un-green winter. The most prominent is a savoy-leafed Cabbage. I’m not really a big fan of cabbage in general, but the lightly textured leaves of these wins me over compared to the waxy, rubber imitations of most varieties of cabbage. This is a great cabbage for shredding into a cole slaw, and it also goes well with our borscht recipe, below.
This week we introduce Spinach for the first time this year. These healthy greens can be eaten raw, steamed, or baked into a dish (especially quiche or lasagna). If you opt to cook them up, we recommend mixing them with the beet greens for a little extra bulk to your dish. It’s always disappointing to see the little quantity of spinach left after cooking it down for just a few minutes. If your recipe calls for a weight of spinach, we have provided 5 oz. to half share and 10 oz. to full shares this week.
Remember how Popeye would eat cans of spinach and start punching people in the face? I understand that this was a suggestion of the health benefits of spinach and the supremacy of a diet based around vegetables as compared to high fructose corn syrup, which I’m sure Bluto was eating. But I would like to suggest the possibility that Popeye was actually angry that he could only find canned, cooked, disgusting spinach and took out this anger on people around him. Perhaps he was misplacing his anger, which was better aimed at the villains that cook spinach down to drivel and stuff it in a can. Perhaps he was just angry that he didn’t have fresh, naturally grown Fox and Fawn Farm spinach at his disposal. Personally, eating uncooked spinach produced in a sustainable way helps me to confront my enemies with patient diplomacy and active listening.
We had just a little Mizuna in the spring, as most of it was flooded out, but we have a healthy crop for the fall. Mizuna is the small bunched green with jagged edges. It can be eaten raw or lightly steamed. We like ours atop a pasta dish or baked into lasagna.
We also offer a Pie Pumpkin, which is a sort of winter squash and used in the same ways. Unlike large pumpkins, these are quite tasty and should be baked into pies, soups, or—my favorite—pumpkin pancakes (see below). To cook these, cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. Place face down in a pan with half an inch of water and cook at 350 for 45 minutes or so. Remove from oven, flip over to allow the pumpkin to cool, and scoop out the guts when it reaches a comfortable temperature. Pie pumpkins and winter squash should be kept at room temperature and low-average humidity and will keep for a few months.