Share Notes August 19 & 21, 2021
CSA Share Notes:
Welcome to a fresh week. New plantings of squash and zucchini are beginning to produce for you, and cucumbers next week. We’re so excited! There was a good bit of loss on tomatoes this week from the huge Tuesday night big deluge. The plants are totally fine but many of the ripe fruits split and needed to be discarded. We still have some for you though, just not as many as last week!
Here’s this week’s vegetable line up:
- Slicing Tomatoes — a few slicers per share, depending on your share size, and the size of the tomatoes.
- Cherry Tomatoes — Large and regular shares are receiving sungolds this week.
- San Marzano Tomatoes — to all the mini shares this week. These are a nice, low-moisture sauce tomato, excellent for a pico or salsa. Use them like you would any Roma types.
- Heirloom tomatoes— An heirloom or two for our Large and Regular shares. We’re so excited these guys are finally ready! You probably received a Black Krim or Cherokee Purple, and a few folks received a Striped German. To protect these delectable, tender fruits from pests and sun damage, we have to harvest them as soon as they begin to color, and ripen off the plant, so you are likely receiving a slightly under-ripe tomato that will finish ripening beautifully in your kitchen window. Store them shoulders down/blossom-end up for best results. And remember, don’t refrigerate your tomatoes. They turn mealy below 50 degrees
- Eggplant— Large shares received Italian eggplant, Regular shares received long Japanese eggplant, and Mini shares received several beautiful tiny fairy tale eggplant. Unfamiliar with cooking eggplant? 2 tips: 1. sweat them if they are more than a couple of days old (if they’re super fresh, no need!). To sweat them, cut them into the size you want to cook and toss with a little salt. Place in a colander to drain for 30 min-1 hour and pat them dry before cooking them and 2. Use really high heat. Like a 400+ degree oven, a grill/griddle, or a smokin’ hot cast iron. You want to get a little char on them and just barely cook the insides. This will give you sweet, creamy eggplant, not chewy or squeaky eggplant. This crop is great in anything Italian, or in a curry, or as a side dish
- Zucchini— Just enough for the Large shares this week, and from our new planting! This means more is on the way. We’re excited! Try these cubed up and kabob’d with your eggplant.
- Summer Squash— Also, just enough for the large shares. We have a new variety mixed in for you to try called Tempest, with an interesting ribbed shape and a great flavor.
- Cucumbers— Just enough for the regular shares. The new planting should be ready next week.
- Basil—Getting overloaded yet? This crop does so splendidly well in the Texas summers, we can keep it coming for ya. We don’t want it to go to waste! If you’re getting more than you can handle, take your whole bunch and hang it upside down to dry for a week or so, or spread out on a baking sheet and dry in a warm oven (175-ish) for an hour or two and once dry, crumble and store in an airtight container. It’ll be delicious for you this winter.
- Onions— A few for everyone.
- Bell Peppers— It’s the year of the pepper, apparently, and there are plenty to go around. Time to make stuffed bell peppers for dinner to use ’em up. We baked some up greek style this week with grass fed ground beef, lots of feta, and a great tomato salad on the side.
- Italian Peppers— A few for all. An excellent snacking pepper, wonderful in a greek salad, or great for any pepper dish- jambalaya, fajitas, etc.
- Jalapenos— A nice handful for everyone this week. The large shares probably have enough to make a jar of pickled jalapenos, I’d imagine! Slice them into rings, whip up a strong vinegar brine, (as sweet or savory as you prefer it), and pickle these bad boys.
- Poblanos—There were enough for all of the regular and large shares this week. Poblano cornbread? Poblano egg casserole? Poblanos stuffed with jam-spiked cream cheese, or cheesy grits? Give it all a whirl.
Veggie Storage tips:
Remember, treat basil like flowers, not vegetables: *do not store it in the fridge.* It prefers to be in a nice cool spot in your kitchen, away from the sun, stem down in a fresh glass of water. Trim the stems and refresh the water each day, and your basil will last at least a week or more.
All your eggplant, peppers, squash, zucchini, and cukes will keep longest stored in the fridge sealed up in produce bags. Tomatoes do not want to be stored below 50 degrees or they turn mealy, so keep them at room temp or in the coolest area of your kitchen. Onions prefer a dry, room temperature spot. Everything will need a thorough washing before cooking, but leave the dirt on until you’re ready to use them to prevent spoilage.
We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Send us a note or post a comment of how you’ve used your CSA share.
Your farmers, Jess & Justin
Regular, Share top left to right: Basil, heirloom tomato, slicers, sungolds, (next row) Japanese eggplants, cucumber, onions (bottom row) Italian peppers, bell peppers, poblanos, and jalapenos.