Pumpkin Disappointment

As far as I know, this is the first time we have had to cancel the Pumpkin Party.  I asked Nigel how long we have been doing the Pumpkin Party, but he just scratched his head and said "a very long time".  You may have read in an earlier newsletter that we have had a serious problem with ground squirrels this year.  The damage they have caused to the winter squash has been pretty severe.  We believe the crop was weakened and therefore more susceptible to white fly and just generally not very robust. Why so many ground squirrels?  Hard to say for sure, I suspect there are a few reasons, but one factor is fewer coyotes.  When the ranchers hunt too many coyotes, it throws the balance off, and we certainly haven't heard as many at night as we normally do.  I think another problem was the tomato field next door was harvested and disked under in about 4 days.  When they cleared the field that fast, I saw squirrels running over to our property looking for new homes.  Whatever the reason, it is always hard to have a crop fail or nearly fail.  To have a crop failure also be the reason we have to cancel our last event of the year is doubly disappointing.

 

Leeks

Walking around the farm the other day, I was happy to see the leeks are looking really beautiful.   Sweet Potatoes and Winter Squash are great signals of a new season, but the leeks say the same thing.  Certainly not a summer crop, leeks just shout out colder weather food.  We have had a few at the market the past couple of weeks, but they aren't quite ready enough for all of the CSA shares.  Something to look forward to. 

 

Eatwell Employment Opportunity

Eatwell Farm is looking to expand through new employees, new partners and projects to create more delicious, organic and sustainably raised food for members of our community, to make better and more efficient use of our land and to cultivate an even stronger community around local agriculture by growing business opportunities for young and new farmers.

In that interest we are looking for the following:

Farm Intern/Mentorship

Driver

Incubator Farm Space

Must speak Spanish

Eatwell Farm is in need of a Beginning Farmer for a Field Assistant and Delivery Driver.  This position also includes Agricultural Opportunities. The Driving duties entail delivering Produce Boxes, Eggs, and other Farm Goods to sites throughout the Bay Area on Wednesdays and Thursdays starting at 4am. This is typically less than a 10 hour day. The Field Assistant portion of the job includes working closely with our various Field Crews (mainly Spanish speaking) acting as a liaison between them and our office staff relaying any needs and issues. Experience and/or education in farming and bilingual Spanish-English is a must. There is also an opportunity to start your own endeavor on the farm. We are an extremely diverse, organic farming operation, which includes chicken breeding, egg production/rotation, row cropping, permaculture, an orchard, farm events and a year-round CSA. We are very open to opportunities and are willing to offer a few acres (2 - 5) of land to the right person. You will also have the option to utilize Eatwell's well established market outlets - our CSA and our stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Working with Nigel and our crews would be a great learning opportunity for a beginning farmer. There is the possibility of a room in our home for the right person. This position requires a minimum 18 month commitment.

If you are interested, please send your resume and letter of interest to organic@eatwell.com with Driver in the Subject Heading.

This Week's Box: September 26th - October 1st

CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. This week's Recipes

  3. Shopping List

  4. Link to Digital Copy of Newsletter

1. IN THE BOX (IN ORDER OF WHAT TO EAT FIRST):

Strawberries - Discard any bruised strawberries. Do not rinse until ready to eat. Strawberries don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day. Keeps 2-3 days.

Watermelon - Leave at room temperature until they have reached desired ripeness - eat 'em! Lasts up to 4 days depending on ripeness to start.

Chard - Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. Most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collard greens, and chard do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge. Keeps 2-3 days.

Tomatoes - Do not refrigerate until they are fully ripe. Allow them to ripen at room temperature. This will result in more flavorful, juicy tomatoes. Once fully ripe, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Will keep several days once ripe.

Stir Fry Mix - These baby mixed greens can be stored by lining a storage container with paper towels, place the mixed greens on top, and cover with another layer of paper towels and lock the lid. Make sure there is plenty of space and the greens are not jam-packed in there. Will last up to one week.

Radishes - Remove the greens (store separately) so they don't draw out excess moisture from the roots. Place them in an open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top. Lasts up to one week.

Sage - Wrap in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the fridge. Keeps about 1 week. Can also be hung to dry and will last several months.

Sweet Potatoes - Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate ‐ sweet potatoes don't like the cold. Lasts up to 3 weeks if stored properly.

Tomatillos - If you are not going to use them immediately, leave the husks intact, wrapped around the fruit like little paper bags. Either store on the counter or in the refrigerator. They should never be stored in air-tight containers. They will keep well for several weeks to a month. They may also be frozen whole or sliced.

Onions - Store in a cool dry place out of the light. Lasts 2-3 months.

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Tomatillos for the Winter

Radish, Tomato, Avocado Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Malfatti with Tomato Sauce

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Fried Sage Leaves

3. SHOPPING LIST FOR ALL RECIPES (ASSUMES YOU HAVE BASIC SALT AND PEPPER):

Shopping list for: Tomatillos for the Winter

1 or 2 Chiles, like Serrano or Jalapeño 

4 cloves Garlic, don't peel

Shopping list for: Radish, Tomato, Avocado Salad with Balsamic Dressing

2 Avocados, diced

1 large Cucumber, thinly sliced

5 Green Onions, chopped

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

3 TB Honey, warmed

2 cloves Garlic, minced

Shopping list for: Malfatti with Tomato Sauce

1 TB Butter

Pinch of grated Nutmeg

8 1/2 oz Ricotta Cheese

2 oz grated Parmesan

1 Eatwell Farm Egg + 1 Yolk

1 to 4 oz Semolina or All-Purpose Flour

Shopping list for: Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Fried Sage Leaves

3 large Garlic cloves

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1/3 cup Olive Oil

Shopping list for all recipes:

1 or 2 Chiles, like Serrano or Jalapeño 

cloves Garlic

2 Avocados, diced

1 large Cucumber, thinly sliced

5 Green Onions, chopped

5/6 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

3 TB Honey, warmed

1 TB Butter

Pinch of grated Nutmeg

8 1/2 oz Ricotta Cheese

2 oz grated Parmesan

1 Eatwell Farm Egg + 1 Yolk

1 to 4 oz Semolina or All-Purpose Flour

4. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NEWSLETTERS PAGE AT WWW.EATWELL.COM. CLICK ON THE DATE OF THE NEWSLETTER TO DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY OF THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER IN COLOR.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Fried Sage Leaves

Recipe from Epicurious

3 large Garlic cloves

1/4 cup Olive Oil

2 1/2 lbs Sweet Potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/2" thick rounds

For the Sage:

1/3 cup Olive Oil

24 Sage Leaves

Preheat oven to 450 F with rack in upper third.  Puree garlic with oil and 3/4 tsp salt in a blender until smooth.  Toss sweet potatoes with garlic oil in a large bowl, then spread in 1 layer in a 15 by 10" shallow baking pan.  Bake until golden in patches and cooked through, 20 to 30 minutes.  To fry sage leaves, heat oil in a small heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then fry sage leaves in 2 batches, stirring, until crisp, 30 seconds to 1 minute per batch.  Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.  Serve sweet potatoes with sage leaves scattered on top. 

 

Malfatti with Tomato Sauce

Recipe from cookyourdream.com  

Serves 4

This version serves the Malfatti with tomato sauce, but there are many recipes with brown sage butter.  

1 TB Butter

3 TB Onion, finely chopped

3 1/2 oz fresh Chard

Salt and freshly ground Pepper

Pinch of grated Nutmeg

8 1/2 oz Ricotta Cheese

2 oz grated Parmesan

1 Eatwell Farm Egg + 1 Yolk

1 to 4 oz Semolina or All-Purpose Flour

Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté onion for about 4 minutes.  Add chard leaves, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and cook for 5 minutes until wilted.  Drain in a sieve placed over a medium bowl, pressing to squeeze out excess liquid.  Save the squeezed liquid.  Chop the chard.  In a large mixing bowl, combine drained ricotta, parmesan, egg, egg yolk, chopped chard and chard liquid.  Season with salt if needed.  Start adding flour/semolina, mixing well between each addition, to get a soft mixture but not very sticky.  If you make the mixture too thick, the malfatti will get heavy and chewy.  Sprinkle some flour on a plate.  Form the mixture into small egg-shaped pieces using two spoons dipped into hot water.  Place them carefully on a plate, sprinkle some more flour over and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours.  To cook the malfatti, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the malfatti in batches so that they have enough space and water to cook.  When they float to the surface continue cooking for another 1-2 minutes.  Remove them with a slotted spoon, drain and keep warm until all the malfatti are done.  Divide them between plates, pour tomato sauce over and sprinkle with parmesan and oregano leaves.

FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE:

2 TB Olive Oil

2 Garlic cloves, chopped

Salt

1/2 dried Chili Pepper OR use as many of your Lunchbox Peppers as you would like, keeping in mind that will not make for a spicy tomato sauce.

1 lb Red Tomatoes, cored and chopped coarsely

2 tsp fresh Oregano, finely chopped

Extra Parmesan, to serve

Prepare the tomato sauce.  Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic and chili pepper, and fry for a minute.  If you are using lunchbox peppers, chop them to the size you prefer and add them in with the garlic.  Stir in the chopped tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 - 20 minutes, until tomatoes and peppers are soft. 

 

Radish, Tomato, Avocado Salad with Balsamic Dressing

Recipe from juliasalbum.com  

Serves 8

1 basket of Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half

2 Avocados, diced

1 large Cucumber, thinly sliced

5 Green Onions, chopped

10 Radishes, thinly sliced

1/4 cup Olive Oil

1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar

3 TB Honey, warmed

2 cloves Garlic, minced

Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine halved cherry tomatoes, diced avocado, thinly sliced cucumber, chopped green onions and thinly sliced radishes.  In a small bowl, make a salad dressing: whisk olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and minced garlic until nice and smooth.  Add the salad dressing to the large bowl with salad, sprinkle with a small amount of salt and pepper, and toss to combine.  Taste and season more if needed. 

*You could play with the recipe a bit and add some chunks of watermelon in place of cucumber.

 

Tomatillos For The Winter

Last week, Liz and I made more Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Sauce.  Yes enchiladas are a lot of work, but once you have all the pieces, it comes together really quickly.  Such a hearty dish and would be perfect for a Super Bowl party or cold winter dinner.  This week, I would like to suggest you roast the tomatillos and freeze the sauce.  Roasting Tomatillos for a sauce base is as simple as this recipe from Rick Bayless.

1 lb Tomatillos, paper husks removed

1 or 2 Chiles, like Serrano or Jalapeño 

1 small Onion, sliced to 1/2" slices

4 cloves Garlic, don't peel

Put them on a low rimmed baking sheet and pop under a preheated broiler.  Cook 4 to 5 minutes, until things begin to blister.  Toss and cook until everything is soft.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.  Once cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the garlic and stems from chiles.  Put all the vegetables, with a teaspoon of salt, into a blender and run until it is a coarse puree.  Put into a container and freeze.  Later you can add chicken stock to thin to the consistency you want your sauce, or not.  Find your favorite recipe or maybe just follow Rick Bayless's full recipe for Roasted Tomatillo Enchiladas.  I bet, come January or February, you will be very happy to find this little gem in your freezer!

 

The Purple Tomato

You know those round cherry tomatoes that have the dark shoulders?  Yeah, those!  Well they are purple before they ripen to that lovely shade of red.  This pigment comes from a chemical compound known as Cyanidin.  If you have played with color on your printer you will be familiar with the term Cyan, but more commonly known as the color blue.  At a higher pH the cyanidin is more blue, the lower the pH the redder it becomes.  It is the compound that gives the color to most berries and also red cabbage and red onions.  In the health food stores, you can buy anti-oxidant supplements that contain anthocyanidins or you can just eat these gorgeous, delicious tomatoes.

 

Fruits and Vegetables Aren't The Only Things We Grow

Eric and Andrew, aka "The Boys" left for their respective colleges several weeks ago.  This is their second year.  Last Friday, we got to see Josephine off to her first year at UC Santa Cruz.  Josephine, like her older siblings Natasha and Havel, has helped us out at the market for the past several years.  She has come up to the farm many times to help at various events and is one of the kids growing up around us.  This soft spoken young woman always handled herself just fine at the very fast paced Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and has been such a joy to watch grow up.  She is the last of this group to move on.  Her brother Havel heads back to SLO for his final year there studying architecture.  Natasha graduated a couple of years ago.  Havel's girlfriend Joyce is in her last year at Berkeley.  All of them have been very important parts of making the Eatwell Farm Stand a very special place to shop and to work.  When the boys are home and Natasha is up from LA, they all converge at the farm. Usually, if it works, my son Cameron comes up and joins in the revelry.  All of them know they have a farm they grew up with and it is a place for them to come, where they can be silly, eat a lot of good food and get out of the city.  As we said our goodbyes to Josie, I couldn't help but think that the farm also helps grow kids, and she has grown into a very special young lady.

 

Aatxe Comes To Visit

It isn't too often a chef takes us up on our offer to come up and play on the farm.  Shannon Waters is no ordinary chef and she jumped at the chance when I suggested she come up with her crew.  We first met Shannon when she came up to guest chef for one of the Bay Leaf Kitchen camp sessions. She is the chef who made the Stamp and Go’s, which I included in the recipes several weeks back (Jamaican Summer Squash Fritters).

They arrived bright and early, had a nice chat with Nigel, then we walked the farm to harvest for their brunch.  As always the strawberries were a big hit.  It never gets old watching people in the strawberry field.  

The Aatxe crew harvested some tomatoes, eggplants, chard, peppers, strawberries, summer squash and basil.  They came back to the big kitchen and got right to it.  The best part was Connie, Nigel and I got to enjoy the result of their labor and simply fantastic brunch.  One of the things they made was "PCT"  Pan Con Tomat. So simple! I am including it with this week's recipes.

 

This Week's Box: September 19th - 24th

CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. This week's Recipes

  3. Shopping List

  4. Link to Digital Copy of Newsletter

1. IN THE BOX (IN ORDER OF WHAT TO EAT FIRST):

Strawberries - Discard any bruised strawberries. Do not rinse until ready to eat. Strawberries don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day. Keeps 2-3 days.

Watermelon or other Melon - Leave at room temperature until they have reached desired ripeness - eat 'em! Lasts up to 4 days depending on ripeness to start.

Basil - Trim the ends and place basil in a glass containing about 1 inch of water. Then cover with a loose-fitting plastic bag and leave at room temp. Replace the water whenever it gets cloudy. Should keep for several days.

Chard - Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. Most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collard greens, and chard do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge. Keeps 2-3 days.

Lettuce - Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps for one week.

Plums - Store at room temperature until ripe — this usually takes 2 to 3 days. A ripe fruit will yield a bit when pressed gently. To speed up the ripening process, place in a paper bag and store at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Storing ripe fruit in the crisper drawer will prolong its eating life — it should keep for up to a week when refrigerated.

Rosemary - To keep green: wrap in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the fridge. Lasts one week or more. To dry, leave bound around the stems and hang - last 2 weeks to a month.

Cherry Tomatoes - Do not refrigerate until they are fully ripe. Allow them to ripen at room temperature. This will result in more flavorful, juicy tomatoes. Once fully ripe, place in a plastic bag and refrigerate. Will keep several days once ripe.

Sweet Potatoes - Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate ‐ sweet potatoes don't like the cold. Lasts up to 3 weeks if stored properly.

Tomatillos - If you are not going to use them immediately, leave the husks intact, wrapped around the fruit like little paper bags. Either store on the counter or in the refrigerator. They should never be stored in air-tight containers. They will keep well for several weeks to a month. They may also be frozen whole or sliced.

Onions - Store in a cool dry place out of the light. Lasts 2-3 months.

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

PCT or Pan Con Tomat

Danielle's Sweet Potato Gratin

Greens and Chayote Enchilada with Salsa Verde

Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella

3. SHOPPING LIST FOR ALL RECIPES (ASSUMES YOU HAVE BASIC SALT AND PEPPER):

Shopping list for: PCT or Pan Con Tomat

Good Olive Oil

1 or 2 cloves of Garlic, cut in half lengthwise

Slices of good crusty bread

Shopping list for: Danielle's Sweet Potato Gratin

2-3 TB Roughly chopped Sage - or try the fresh Rosemary from this week's share instead

6 Garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup Whipping Cream

Shopping list for: Greens and Chayote Enchilada with Salsa Verde

2 medium-size Chayote Or you can use Summer Squash, about 4 cups

2 Jalapeño or 2 to 3 Serrano Chiles, stemmed

4 large peeled Garlic cloves; 2 whole, 2 minced

12 Cilantro sprigs, plus chopped cilantro for garnish

1 TB Oil, plus 1/3 cup for frying so use a good high temp oil

2 1/2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock

2 TB Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp Mexican Oregano

18 Corn Tortillas

Crumbled Queso Fresco or Feta, about 1/2 cup

Shopping list for: Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella

12 oz Spaghetti or bit size Pasta such as Fusilli

1/4 cup Pesto, use your favorite Pesto recipe

6 oz Shredded Mozzarella

Shopping list for all recipes:

Good Olive Oil; 1 TB Oil, plus 1/3 cup

10 Garlic Cloves

Slices of good crusty bread

2-3 TB Roughly chopped Sage - or try the fresh Rosemary from this week's share instead

1 cup Whipping Cream

2 medium-size Chayote Or you can use Summer Squash, about 4 cups

2 Jalapeño or 2 to 3 Serrano Chiles, stemmed

12 Cilantro sprigs, plus chopped cilantro for garnish

2 1/2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock

2 TB Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp Mexican Oregano

8 Corn Tortillas

Crumbled Queso Fresco or Feta, about 1/2 cup

12 oz Spaghetti or bit size Pasta such as Fusilli

1/4 cup Pesto, use your favorite Pesto recipe

6 oz Shredded Mozzarella

4. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NEWSLETTERS PAGE AT WWW.EATWELL.COM. CLICK ON THE DATE OF THE NEWSLETTER TO DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY OF THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER IN COLOR.

 

 

Pesto Pasta with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Recipe found on Epicurious

Serves 4

12 oz Spaghetti or bit size Pasta such as Fusilli

12 oz Cherry Tomatoes, halved and lightly salted

1/4 cup Pesto, use your favorite Pesto recipe

6 oz Shredded Mozzarella 

Bring 2 quarts of saltedwater to boil in alarge pot over medium-high heat.  Add pasta, cook, partly covered, until just tender, stirring frequently to keep pasta from sticking.  Reserve 1 cup of cooking water; drain the pasta and return it to the pot.  In a bowl, toss tomato pieces with pesto.  Add tomato mixture and cheese to hot pasta; toss, adding enough cooking water to moisten the dish.

 

Greens and Chayote Enchilada with Salsa Verde

Recipe by Martha Rose Schulman  

6-8 Servings

Liz and I made Enchiladas with salsa verde a couple of weeks ago, but we used shredded leftover chicken.  I also had some leftover pureed lunchbox peppers which we added to our sauce and that gave a real nice sweetness to the overall flavor. Enchiladas are a great way to use up some leftover bits and bobs, so play with it some!

1 lb Chard

2 medium-size Chayote Or you can use Summer Squash, about 4 cups

1 lb fresh Tomatillos, husked and rinsed

2 Jalapeño or 2 to 3 Serrano Chiles, stemmed

1/2 White Onion, coarsely chopped

Salt to taste

4 large peeled Garlic cloves; 2 whole, 2 minced

12 Cilantro sprigs, plus chopped cilantro for garnish

1 TB Oil, plus 1/3 cup for frying so use a good high temp oil

2 1/2 cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock

2 TB Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp Mexican Oregano

Black Pepper

18 Corn Tortillas

Crumbled Queso Fresco or Feta, about 1/2 cup

Strip chard leaves from stems and wash well.  Rinse stems and cut small. Dice if wide, or, if thin, slice crosswise 1/4" thick.  Set aside stems with chayote in one bowl and leaves in another. 

Make the salsa verde: Combine tomatillos, jalapeños and onion in a medium saucepan; cover with water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, until tomatillos have gone from pale green to olive and have softened.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatillos, onion and one of the jalapeños to a blender.  Do not drain water from pot.  Let vegetables cool in blender while you blanch greens and chayote.  Add more water to the pot so it is about 2/3 full.  Return to a boil, salt generously and add leaves.  Blanch until tender 1 to 2 minutes.  Transfer leaves to a bowl of cold water to quickly shock, then drain and dry.  Chop coarsely and set aside.  Return water to a simmer and add chayote and chard stems.  Simmer 5 minutes, or until just tender.  Drain through a colander and again on paper towels.  Add whole garlic cloves and cilantro sprigs to ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.  Taste for heat and add remaining jalapeño if desired.  Heat 1 TB oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.  When hot, add tomatillo puree and partly cover to protect from splattering.  Cook, stirring often, until it thickens and begins to stick to the pan, about 5 minutes.  Stir in stock, add salt to taste and bring to a simmer.  Cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring often, until sauce is thick and coats the front and back of a spoon.  Taste and adjust seasoning. Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat and add minced garlic.  When fragrant, after about 30 seconds, stir in oregano, blanched leaves, stems and chayote.  Cook stirring for about 3 minutes, until tender, fragrant and coated with oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in 1 cup salsa verde and set aside.  

Prepare tortillas: Heat 1/3 cup oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, until oil bubbles around the edges of a tortilla when you dip it into the pan.  Place a platter covered with paper towels next to pan.  Using tongs, slide tortillas, one at a time, into hot oil.  As soon as tortilla begins to puff, about 10 to 15 seconds, flip over and leave another 10 to 15 seconds.  Immediately remove from pan and drain on paper towels.  Cover with foil to keep warm.  One by one, quickly dip tortilla into the remaining warm salsa verde, lay on serving platter, and top with about 1/4 cup filling.  Roll up tortilla and place seam side down on platter.  When all tortillas have been filled pour remaining salsa verde on top, sprinkle with cilantro and queso fresco and serve.

 

Danielle's Sweet Potato Gratin

Recipe from Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi 

Serves 4 to 6

I love dinners that I can cook most of the meal in the oven.  Unlike stove top cooking, you don't have to hover over it as much. As long as you have the oven going, why not cook the gratin and a pork roast or roast chicken in there.

3 lbs Sweet Potatoes

2-3 TB Roughly chopped Sage - or try the fresh Rosemary from this week's share instead

6 Garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp coarse Sea Salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground Black Pepper

1 cup Whipping Cream

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Wash the sweet potatoes but do not peel them, and cut them into discs about 2" thick.  In a bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, sage or rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper.  Arrange the slices of sweet potato in a deep, medium-sized ovenproof dish by taking tight packs of them and standing them up next to each other.  They should fit together quite tightly, so you get parallel lines of sweet potato slices (skins showing) along the length or width of the dish.  Throw any remaining bits of garlic or sage from the bowl over the potatoes.  Cover the dish with foil, place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and pour the cream evenly over the potatoes,  Roast, uncovered, for a further 25 minutes.  The cream should have thickened by now.  Stick a sharp knife in different places in the dish to make sure the potatoes are cooked.  They should be totally soft.  Serve immediately, garnished with more sage or rosemary, or leave to cool down.  

 

PCT or Pan Con Tomat

Recipe from Shannon Waters, chef at Aatxe

So this was the toast the crew made to go with their farm brunch on Monday.  It was so easy and so yummy, I had to make it. I topped it with Avocado and Eatwell Smoked Chili Salt for our dinner that night.  You do need some good crusty bread, but fortunately for all the folks living around the Bay Area that is pretty easy to come by.  I know we don't have large tomatoes in the share this week, but I really wanted to include this recipe so I am doing it with the cherry tomatoes.  Really, it is all about getting the tomato essence from the juice onto the toast

Good Olive Oil

1 or 2 cloves of Garlic, cut in half lengthwise

Cherry Tomatoes, cut in half

Slices of good crusty bread

Heat a heavy skillet, cast iron is perfect, to medium high.  Liberally brush the slices of bread with tasty olive oil.  When the pan is heated, toast the bread until it turns golden and the edges are nice and toasty. Flip to toast both sides.  When done, take out of the pan and as soon as you can hold it in place rub with the garlic, then rub with a cherry tomato that has been cut in half.  Depending on how big your slices are, you might need more than one per slice.  The toast will get a nice red coloring to it. Eat right away!  And you can toss the used garlic and tomato halves into the Pasta Pesto with Cherry Tomatoes.

Coming Up on the Last Events

The busy time of summer is almost at its end.  Everything that happens on the farm requires more work during the hot months. Picking tomatoes, digging potatoes, harvesting lavender and of course all of our events. Connie has done an amazing job stepping into Emily's shoes running the events this year.  Reflecting back on this year's Strawberry Days, Solstice Party and the 3 Tomato Sauce Parties, I have to send out a big thank you to Emily and Christopher for all the extra work they did last year painting signs and setting the entire event system up in such a way that Connie could step into those shoes.  There is a lot of work that goes into each one and a fair amount of stress hoping you haven't forgotten anything important. Praying the weather cooperates, there will be enough strawberries or tomatoes, and all the helpers show up to work the day.  Once the event is in full swing, it always (mostly always) seems to work out just fine. We get to visit with all of you wonderful members, who make the trek through the traffic to visit the farm. You quickly realize what a special time it all is and what an amazing group of people we all are!

Our Annual Pumpkin Party is Sunday, October 9th from 11am - 4pm.  It is a special time for all the kids, young and old, to come and play out in the fields.  It always cracks me up when I see a group of adults having as much fun, if not more, than the little kids. Everyone running around the pumpkin patch looking for the best ugly pumpkin. You can find more information on the event and purchase tickets through the website, www.eatwell.com/events. Each ticket includes a pumpkin and we are offering tickets that include lunches.

Also this year, the folks from Wilderness Torah are planning Sukkot On The Farm here at Eatwell.  This is one of the ancient Judaic Holidays celebrating the end of the harvest season.  It is 3 days of camping and traditional celebration.  This will be my first time experiencingthis ancient tradition and I am excited to learn and share in the celebration of our land.  I can't think of a better way to end the event season here.  Sukkot On The Farm is not an Eatwell event, but if you are interested in coming, you can find out more and purchase tickets at their website: www.wildernesstorah.org

Next Year’s Strawberries

Next year’s strawberry plants are all ready in the ground and flowering! We typically remove the flowers, so all of the plant’s energy is focused on root growth and plant establishment. This will allow for better production of fruit in the springtime. 

 

A Morning At Eatwell

It's 6:30 Tuesday morning and I have the entire newsletter to write before 11:00.  Our dear Lizzie (former CSA manager and sweet friend) just left with Nigel for UCSF for today's appointment.  After getting them all packed up and Nigel into the car, I came back in to sit in front of my iPad to start writing.  Collin Hay is singing Waiting for My Real Life To Begin, seems kind of appropriate in a sad way.  Nigel gets cold really easily and I am always hot, so now that he is gone I have both of the front sliders open wide.  The sun is just starting to come up and the chickens that live around the house are crowing away.  The light outside is so beautiful I had to turn off all of the big lights in the house so that I can enjoy this transition time.  I just ran outside to get a picture of the sunrise but there is such a thick cloud of dust haze the sun is well hidden.

Watching the night turn into day I am reminded that this is not the only transition we are in right now.  As you will notice from this week's share the seasons are sliding from Summer to Autumn; the first Sweet Potatoes and Chard are nestled in the box next to tomatoes, basil, tomatillos and melon.  How lucky we are to live in Northern California where we can grow and enjoy some of the most amazing food you could find anywhere.  When we stop to take notice of the season changing, because of what is in our CSA Share we are indeed lucky. We are experiencing an age old tradition that almost everyone has no idea ever existed.   We all know the end of tomatoes and strawberries will be here soon.  It makes each meal a little more precious, but at the same time don't we all start to crave the foods of Thanksgiving?  We are in tune with nature and the seasons simply because we eat seasonally through our CSA shares.  How amazing is that?

 

This Week's Box: September 12th - 17th

CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. This week's Recipes

  3. Shopping List

  4. Link to Digital Copy of Newsletter

1. IN THE BOX (IN ORDER OF WHAT TO EAT FIRST):

Strawberries - Discard any bruised strawberries. Do not rinse until ready to eat. Strawberries don’t like to be wet. Do best in a paper bag in the fridge for up to a week. Check the bag for moisture every other day. Keeps 2-3 days.

Melon - Leave at room temperature until they have reached desired ripeness - eat 'em! Lasts up to 4 days depending on ripeness to start.

Basil - Trim the ends and place basil in a glass containing about 1 inch of water. Then cover with a loose-fitting plastic bag and leave at room temp. Replace the water whenever it gets cloudy. Should keep for several days.

Chard - Remove any bands, twist ties, etc. Most greens must be kept in an air‐tight container with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out. Kale, collard greens, and chard do well in a cup of water on the counter or fridge. Keeps 2-3 days.

Plums - Store at room temperature until ripe — this usually takes 2 to 3 days. A ripe fruit will yield a bit when pressed gently. To speed up the ripening process, place in a paper bag and store at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Storing ripe fruit in the crisper drawer will prolong its eating life — it should keep for up to a week when refrigerated.

Sage - Wrap in a damp paper towel and store in a plastic bag in the fridge. Keeps about 1 week. Hang to dry and will keep several months.

Tomatoes - Depending on ripeness, tomatoes can stay for up to two weeks on the counter. To hasten ripeness, place in a paper bag with an apple.

Sweet Potatoes - Store in a cool, dark, well‐ventilated place. Never refrigerate ‐ sweet potatoes don't like the cold. Lasts up to 3 weeks if stored properly.

Tomatillos - If you are not going to use them immediately, leave the husks intact, wrapped around the fruit like little paper bags. Either store on the counter or in the refrigerator. They should never be stored in air-tight containers. They will keep well for several weeks to a month. They may also be frozen whole or sliced.

Onions - Store in a cool dry place out of the light. Lasts 2-3 months.

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Sweet Potato Tomatillo Bisque

Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

Swiss Chard with Tahini, Yogurt & Buttered Pine Nuts

Mejadra

3. SHOPPING LIST FOR ALL RECIPES (ASSUMES YOU HAVE BASIC SALT AND PEPPER):

Shopping list for: Sweet Potato Tomatillo Bisque

1 small Jalapeno, cut in half

Olive Oil

1/3 cup diced Shallots

5 small cloves fresh Garlic

1/4 cup Dry Sherry Wine

2 cup Eatwell Farm Chicken Broth - or use as much as you need to reach desired consistency

Toasted Whole Grain Bread Crouton, for garnish

Lightly Salted Pepitas, for garnish

Snipped Fresh Chives, for garnish

Aleppo Pepper, for garnish

Shopping list for: Pickled Cherry Tomatoes

1 tsp Mustard Seeds

1 tsp whole Pepper Corns

1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds

3 whole Star Anise

8 whole Cloves

4 cloves Garlic, smashed

1 1/2 cups White Vinegar

3 TB Sugar

4 large sprigs Oregano, or try using some Basil or Sage instead of Oregano

Shopping list for: Swiss Chard with Tahini, Yogurt & Buttered Pine Nuts

2 1/2 TB Unsalted Butter

2 TB Olive Oil, plus extra to finish

Scant 5 TB Pine Nuts

2 small cloves Garlic, sliced very thinly

1/4 cup dry White Wine

Sweet Paprika, to garnish (optional)

3 1/2 TB Tahini Paste

4 1/2 TB Greek Yogurt

2 TB freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

1 clove Garlic, crushed

Shopping list for: Mejadra

1 1/4 cups Green or Brown Lentils

3 TB All-Purpose Flour

1 cup Sunflower OIl

2 tsp Cumin Seeds

1 1/2 TBS Coriander Seeds

1 cup Basmati Rice

2 TB Olive Oil

1/2 tsp ground Turmeric

1 1/2 tsp ground Allspice

1 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Sugar

Shopping list for all recipes:

1 small Jalapeno, cut in half

Olive Oil; plus 4 TB Olive Oil

1/3 cup diced Shallots

12 cloves Garlic

1/4 cup Dry Sherry Wine

2 cup Eatwell Farm Chicken Broth - or use as much as you need to reach desired consistency

Toasted Whole Grain Bread Crouton, for garnish

Lightly Salted Pepitas, for garnish

Snipped Fresh Chives, for garnish

Aleppo Pepper, for garnish

1 tsp Mustard Seeds

1 tsp whole Pepper Corns

1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds

3 whole Star Anise

8 whole Cloves

1 1/2 cups White Vinegar

3 TB Sugar; plus 1 tsp

4 large sprigs Oregano, or try using some Basil or Sage instead of Oregano

2 1/2 TB Unsalted Butter

Scant 5 TB Pine Nuts

1/4 cup dry White Wine

Sweet Paprika, to garnish (optional)

1/2 TB Tahini Paste

4 1/2 TB Greek Yogurt

2 TB freshly squeezed Lemon Juice

1 1/4 cups Green or Brown Lentils

3 TB All-Purpose Flour

1 cup Sunflower OIl

2 tsp Cumin Seeds

1 1/2 TBS Coriander Seeds

1 cup Basmati Rice

1/2 tsp ground Turmeric

1 1/2 tsp ground Allspice

1 1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon

4. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NEWSLETTERS PAGE AT WWW.EATWELL.COM. CLICK ON THE DATE OF THE NEWSLETTER TO DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY OF THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER IN COLOR.

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