Summer is in its final days and there are still some tomatoes and basil coming in our CSA boxes. This means we'll be able to celebrate the end of the season, even though the tomatoes in my garden are long gone and the basil plants still look like seedlings. Perhaps this summer was too dry and too cold, as it is every year in this part of the world, for such warm weather bounty.
This is a very easy and delicious way to eat up all those mid to late summer squashes that just keep coming from the garden, whether it is your own, a neighbor's, your CSA or even the grocery store. All you really need is an onion, some squash and a little crème fraiche or sour cream to dollop on top. You can use whatever type of broth you happen to have on hand - chicken stock, vegetable stock or just plain water with salt. At my house I serve it with really good sourdough bread from the local bakery and our favorite cheese, Cowgirl Creamery's Mt Tam. That seems to keep everyone happy at the dinner table.
This July, as usual, we finished up the arugula growing in our garden. It is always gone by mid-summer. Arugula is a remarkably easy crop to grow - as long as it doesn't get too hot or too dry. I try to start it at the beginning of each new year, out in the garden under a cold frame. A cold frame is like a miniature greenhouse and is great for starting plants early, when the weather is still too cold for seeds to sprout on their own.
This is the time of year when days are long and warm here. The kids stay out after school and we cook and eat late, using any excuse to soak up the light that comes through our west facing windows onto the deck and into the kitchen, until the sun finally sets long after bedtime.
I am certain that the super-powered seeds Jack’s mother threw out her kitchen window were favas. While some might question the wisdom of trading an entire cow (even if she is old, like me) for a handful of beans, there is real truth to this tale beyond the giants, gold, magic hens and beanstalks of unusual size: legumes can be a delicious source of protein and some varieties are really easy to grow, in the right location.
Did you read the New York Times piece on the science of junk food from a few weeks back? I did, and it left me feeling outraged and insulted. While I’ve know for years that processed foods taste different than homemade foods, often aren’t as healthy and require resource intensive packaging, I’d never fully realized just how much effort goes in to manipulating me and my family into buying these things. And the worst part? It is all done under the guise of helping out with our busy lives and giving us better food options, when the real reason is none other than to increase the profits of businesses.
This is another tweeted recipe from my buddies @CHOW. I made this for lunch, with Eatwell Farm's radishes, romaine, parsley and chickpeas, but it could be for dinner, maybe with black beans instead. Not only is it easy and tasty, but extra nice for people like me who don't particularly enjoy following directions, because it comes in 140 characters or less.
My kids love blood oranges because they are a little bit disgusting. “Mommy! Get some really bloody ones!” By this late date in winter they are no longer interested in eating plain old oranges: only the red variety or fresh squeezed juice of the orange one will do. Like other five year olds, my son appreciates noisy, messy work, and will do the juicing if I leave him with a pile of sliced citrus. This is one of the best ways I’ve found to occupy his busy hands while I get breakfast made on school mornings.