Share Notes Nov. 2, 2023
CSA Share Notes:
We made it through the first freeze! And it was a doozy. We’ve been rushing around from before dawn till after dark since last Wednesday without a break (Jessica’s parents put in major overtime on childcare this week to pull off the CSA!).
Now that the frost has come and gone and zapped all our summer crops, we naturally will get a bit of a forced break! Next week will be a very light harvest and we’ll only feed approximately half of our CSA members. Also, we won’t be at any farmers markets this weekend. There’s not enough left of anything to take to market, so we’ll have a bit of rest and work on some winter planting this weekend.
This week again we’ve connected with a farm near us to help us mix things up a little.
Colin Hendee at Stout Creek Farm of Saltillo, TX (up on I-30) is a small-scale, ultra clean, beyond-organic farm like we are. We haven’t found anyone out here in ETX doing things as closely to the way we do them until him. His fall crops were started under large shade houses a full month before ours so some of them are ready right now. He has a beautiful surplus of pac choi (or bok choy) cabbages that need to find good homes. He’s helping us out, we’re helping him out, and YOU get to benefit.
Here’s this week’s vegetable line-up:
- The hot peppers we were able to glean from the fields before the frost are an astounding bounty! We are both excited about the huge quantity, and nervous, knowing that not everyone loves hot peppers. We hope you can manage to either cook and freeze them all for winter use, or find folks to share your bounty with. Please don’t let this incredible, wonderful crop go to waste.
- Poblano Peppers – Not comfortable working with this outside-of-the-box pepper? Ok, first and foremost, they store amazingly, so put them in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer, and give it a week while you figure out your plan. Here are 3 tips:
- If you do not have a Mexican Grandmother, you need to find an Abuela from within your friend-circles this week who can work some magic with them. I promise you she will delight in them. The trade can be she cooks up something amazing, and you get a plate of it, too.
- Start really really simple with this Rajas Con Crema (roasted pepper strips with sour cream) recipe which makes a fantastic taco, enchilada, or quesadilla filling, especially when mixed with shredded chicken. I ate them in Oaxaca (southern, mountainous region, world-renowned for it’s cuisine) FYI, you need a gas flame- an electric stovetop won’t work. So a gas stovetop, or even faster, a gas grill is what you need. But this is so easy and you can make it in about 20 min. Roasted pepper strips are an excellent addition to frittatas, cornbread, and more, so you can just complete that step of the recipe, then freeze the strips for use all winter.
- Make what’s going to be your new favorite chicken soup: Pozole Verde. This is also a southern-Mexico dish. It gets cold in the mountains down there and this is their warm, nourishing answer to bland-by-comparison chicken noodle soup. It uses up 6 poblanos. As someone who thoroughly enjoys spice but respects that many do not, I’m going to suggest that those 6 peppers are going to be enough heat for one pot of soup, and you could probably omit the additional 3 serrano peppers. If you need to add more heat at the end, thin sliced jalapenos as a garnish will do the trick. Also, in my house, we always add thin sliced radishes at the end, too. The quantity of cilantro in this recipe is sure to be a great heavy-metal detox as well. Soup really is medicine!
- Jalapenos – Make a huge batch of of bacon-wrapped poppers to share at your next big gathering of friends or family. My favorite way is a recipe on our farm blog: to spike the cream cheese with fruit jam for a sweet-meets-spicy flair. Here are a 13 other variations. Also, these peppers store for a long, long time in the fridge if you want to wait to use them.
- Eggplant – Our Large shares received Italian, our Regular shares received Japanese, and Mini shares received Fairy Tale eggplant. The Fairy Tale and long Japanese types are really excellent in Asian dishes- Thai or Indian Curries, or this amazing Korean marinated eggplant I can’t get enough of this season (I use Japanese miso in place of the doenjang, as miso is much easier to find locally). The Italian eggplant would be fantastic in a veggie lasagna, especially with some of your fresh basil. But you have plenty this week- try making baba ganoush and freezing it for a fast and easy pre-made hors d’oeuvre for a holiday gathering you host this season!
- We suggest roasting eggplant at high heat to bring out its sweetness and get the yummiest texture. A little bit of char on them is a very delicious thing. 400+ degrees in a hot oven, a grill, or a smokin-hot cast iron.
- Squash –Not a lot left of this one, she’s worn out, producing well for the past 6 weeks. Enjoy the last little bits of our heirloom zephyr (Mini shares), along with our more standard yellow summer squash (Large and Mini shares).
- Zucchini – Everyone received some this week. A CSA member shared this zucchini and summer squash frittata recipe with us this week and it looks super fast and easy for a weeknight meal.
- Cucumbers – Everyone received a couple of cucumbers, some received seedless, some slicers, some picklers.
- Italian Peppers – Mostly Goddess peppers for the large shares, and Carmen peppers for the Regular shares. Sweet and juicy, these are a great swap-in for bell peppers.
- Bell Peppers – The large and Mini received bell peppers
- Shishito Peppers – Enough for the Large shares, and now they’re done! These are a sweet pepper as well, although you’ll occasionally find a hot one, about 1 out of 10. They’re perfect as-is for snacking, but they are excellent blistered in a hot cast iron and then dressed up with whatever dip that compliments your meal: A Pesto-y dip, an Asian miso something, an eggplant baba-ganoush, a goat cheese something, or a Mediterranean hummus.
Below are all the items we’re sharing with you today that were not grown by Red Moon Farm:
- Pac Choi from Salt Marsh Farm, Saltillo, TX.
Large, green, delicious pac choi (aka: bok choy) cabbages. These are just screaming to be used in an Asian dish this week, but they’d be great in a southern slaw, too.
Try a Thai red or green curry. 2 tips: use jarred curry paste + a can of coconut milk for a lightening fast shortcut, and #2, swap in almost any vegetable, just plan out the order in which you add them, because you want the veggies to all be lightly cooked and still have their vibrant color.
Or use yours in a bok choy and eggplant stir fry, or a noodle bowl, or a Japanese ramen or Vietnamese pho! BTW, for asian noodle dishes, we love these gluten free ramen noodles, or occasionally Soba, which are gluten free buckwheat noodles.
Veggie Storage tips:
- Everything wants to be washed well before cooking, but keep the dirt on till then, to prevent faster spoilage.
- Pac choi, and any bunched greens want to be stored fairly dry so they don’t get slimy, and sealed up in the fridge.
- Squash, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, hot and sweet peppers, all want to be sealed up in plastic and stored in the fridge. Your hot peppers can remain out on the counter for a week or more if you want them to continue to turn red.
We’d love to hear stories and recipes of your culinary adventures this week. Tag us on Instagram or Facebook, showing us how you’ve used your CSA share.
Your farmers, Jess & Justin