7th Harvest Week: Wednesday/Thursday Delivery, July 27th and 28th, 2011
Vegetable of the Week is … Sweet Corn!
Eat it now! No handling is necessary if you eat raw corn on the cob—yes, it’s delicious—or plan to cook it in the husks. At Angelic Organics we aim to pick our sweet corn at its very height of sweetness, before the sugars convert to starch. But if you must put off eating corn, leave the husks on and refrigerate the ears in a plastic bag for as little time as possible. After about 4 days the corn’s sweetness begins to diminish. This recipe, from Taste of Home and found using Google’s Recipe Search, pairs corn with the dill in your box this week.
Horseradish-Dill Grilled Corn Recipe
~5 medium ears sweet corn in husks ~1/3 cup butter, softened ~1 tablespoon prepared horseradish ~1/2 teaspoon salt ~1/4 teaspoon garlic powder ~1/4 teaspoon white pepper ~1/4 teaspoon snipped fresh dill ~10 fresh dill sprigs.
Soak the corn in cold water for 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the butter, horseradish, salt, garlic powder, pepper and snipped dill; set aside. Carefully peel back husks from corn to within 1 in. of bottom; remove silk. Spread butter mixture over corn; place two sprigs of dill on opposite sides of each ear. Rewrap husks and secure with kitchen string. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill corn, covered, over medium heat for 25-30 minutes or until tender, turning occasionally. Cut string and peel back husks. Remove and discard dill sprigs before serving. Yield: 5 servings.
Swap Box Survey Results
103 people took the Swap Box Survey. Thank you to those that voiced their thoughts! You can see all the responses at http://angelicorganics.wordpress.com/swapbox/ Many shareholders request occasional reminders about its existence and that the concept is to exchange, “Thanks for pointing out it’s a swap – take 1, leave 1. Keep reminding us now and then. I honestly forgot, and took a surplus thing once w/o dropping off.” Several folks admitted to the temptation the swap box presents, “it’s almost impossible for me to resist taking one more of something because the vegetables are so wonderful.” We understand. Others would like to see more vegetables in the swap box to start the day with. Many are appreciative: “Keep doing them, they work and are a great way to tailor one’s individual tastes.” Lastly, an occasional shareholder has witnessed swap box usage that crossed the line, “I recently heard someone call a friend and tell them what was in the swap box, and ask if they wanted something… They spoke very quietly…”
Farmer John Writes… The Pig Completes the Bunny
We grow several herbs at Angelic Organics: anise hyssop, basil, cilantro, dill, lemon balm, oregano, parsley, sage, summer savory, tarragon, and thyme. They are a lot of work for filling up just a little space in your box. However, we think they are important to offer to our shareholders, because sometimes the sun doesn’t take things quite far enough. See The Pig Completes the Bunny on page 348 of your farm cookbook for further development of this idea.
Pairing herbs and spices with vegetables and grains can seem like an exercise in guessing. Check out the articles Complementary Herbs and Spices and Simple and Good Whole Grain Cookery by Louise Frazier in Farmer John’s Cookbook, pages 344 and 346. Also, Louise’s Complementary Herbs and Spices Chart and her Whole Grains Cookery Chart on pages 345 and 347. These are great guides for seasoning your food. We have these charts posted in our kitchen on the farm. You might want to photocopy them and do the same. You can even buy laminated versions of them from our farm store: https://angelicorganics.com/store
Not Going to Allow It
I’m reflecting more on the cookbook these days, as I thumb through it for stories and articles to highlight for our shareholders. The publisher recently offered to do a revised edition, due to escalating numbers of CSA shareholders throughout the country. Problem was, the publisher wanted to delete the color photos to bring the retail price down. I said no. I maintain that the photos are an important context for the presentation of the vegetables. You have probably noticed that there are no photos of recipe dishes in the cookbook, but there are numerous photos of the vegetables growing in the fields, and of our workers tending the vegetables. You have ample first hand experience of these treasures once they arrive in your kitchen. We also want you to experience these vegetables on their journey before they arrive in your kitchen, to bring your awareness to these gifts of their whole passage through life, not just their final destination.
The Beauty of Corn?
After reading An Omnivore’s Dilemna, I said to Michael Pollan: “I agree with everything you say about conventional corn. Problem is, I can’t behold a nice field of any kind of corn without admiring it, even when I know how messed up it is that it exists. It’s a primal sensation for me, the beauty of a field of corn.” Charitably, Michael said, “I fully understand, John. There’s nothing wrong with admiring a field of corn.” Maybe this pleasure from seeing a field of corn comes from being born in mid-August. When my parents were bringing me home from the hospital, they probably held me up to see the fields of tasseling corn between Beloit and our farm. I imprinted the impression like a baby duck imprints its mom. Our sweet corn fields, however, are not conventionally grown. What a sight they are! And now the corn is a sight in your box.
Mon, Aug 1: Last chance to Purchase a 12-week share
Please let your friends know about our bountiful year. They can even see our crops in their full splendor and our most recent pack. Maybe they’ll reward you with a dinner from our box. Deadline for signups is Aug 1st. You can sign up on our website.
Years back, for our farm newsletter, I did the literary equivalent of shooting photos for a sidebar called Overheards. Here’s a recent Overheard:
Manager: This box of vegetables has a different energy about it than the last box we packed.
Other Manager: That’s sort of cosmic what you’re saying.
Manager: I think I’m actually sort of cosmic. I know I try to sound all scientific about things, but I think I actually have a cosmic side.
Upcoming Programs at the Angelic Organics Learning Center
August 13: Come to the farm to learn basics of caring for small herds or flocks of your favorite livestock.
Count Your Chickens, 9 am to noon
Get Your Goat, 1 to 4 pm
Register for both of these classes by Sunday, August 7. August Calendar.
Please Note: this summary is written before you receive your box—please be aware that some guesswork is involved. As always, be sure to thoroughly wash all of your vegetables.
Brassicas – maybe a Cabbage
Fruiting Crops – Sweet Corn, Eggplant, Cucumbers, & Zucchini or Summer Squash
Alliums – Sweet Onions, Garlic
Salad Greens –Head Lettuce
Cooking Greens – Swiss Chard
Stem Crops – Celery, maybe a Kohlrabi
Herbs – Dill, Basil