Bounty Abounds

September is nearly upon us, and we can certainly tell that in the garden watching the different crops transition out and knowing that we have four more weeks after this week left with this year’s CSA. So the last delivery will be the last week of September which will bring us to 18 weeks. Enjoy the bounty this weekend and have a great Labor Day weekend!

BOXES OF PRODUCE

Thank you to all who provide us feedback as to what you enjoy, and how you are using it. It does provide us with renewed energy and motivation.

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list.

Remember food safety when preparing, always wash your produce before eating.

Lettuce Blend – Blend includes Prizehead, Red Oak Leaf and Simpson Elite.

Cucumbers – We hope you are enjoying this yummy vegetable which I think only has a week or two left.

Peppers – Green, orange and banana peppers. I like to cut them up to 1/4 inch pieces and freeze them for soups and other recipes this fall and winter.

Green Beans – This is the last round of beans for a while. We have another round of green beans and dragon tongue beans growing in the garden that should provide us with plenty to enjoy in September.
Summer Squash – Zucchini – Nearing the end of this crop.

Onions – In your boxes this week were yellow onions. They had all stopped growing and in order to prevent to many from rotting in the field we harvested them and are drying them and will continue to share with you throughout the remaining weeks.

Sam was having a great time harvesting potatoes. Like his mother, he finds this to be an awesome treasure hunt every time a potato plant is dug.

Off course when you are digging for anything in the garden, every boy also has collect worms.

Potatoes – This week we have Norland – great for mashed or boiled potatoes, Yukon Golds – great for baking or cooked and Kennebec – great for baking.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes in your boxes this week to include Big Boys, Roma, Yellow Girl and cherry tomatoes.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors FarGaze Farms – the Peterson families for this delicious vegetable! I believe this is the last week of this fantastic summer treat.

Herbs – Peppermint, oregano, cilantro, and lemon thyme. Remember you can dry them or you can freeze. See how to freeze with olive oil to use later. Wondering what to do with the peppermint – try this refreshing summer tea recipe.

A beautiful bouquet of flowers is always in the eye of the beholder. So when Sam asked me to pick the pretty dandelions this week, I said of course. There is nothing more peaceful then picking flowers with your kids, and their excitement of what they just picked for their mom!

Fresh Flowers – Zinnias, Rudbeckia or sunflowers this week. Place a few hosta leaves in with them when placing in the vase. Also, remember to add about a teaspoon of bleach to help the flowers last longer.

Recipe of the Week

Potato Bread

This is one of my favorite bread recipes and was discovered after a summer of trying different recipes to bring to the fair for one of my 4-H projects which eventually earned a purple ribbon several year ago:)

I discovered last year that I could freeze the mashed potatoes in 1 cup quantities for a double batch. I also freeze the bread as buns or cinnamon rolls. After forming the bread into buns or cinnamon rolls, I let them rise the second time and then I freeze them. When I want to bake them, I simply place the frozen rolls in the oven, turn the oven on to preheat, and once the oven is preheated allow them to cook for the alloted time. Steve has commented several times that he is so glad I figured this out.

Potato Bread

1 package of active dry yeast

1/4 cup of war water

***

1/2 cup mashed potatoes

1/4 cup shortening

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 cup milk, scalded (link to how to scald milk)

1 egg

4 – 4 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Soften yeast in warm water (to speed up the yeast add about 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and stir in). Allow the yeast to begin to rise (fun science experiment with the kids). In a separate bowl combine hot potatoes, shortening, sugar, salt, and scalded milk. Cool to luke warm

Add softened yeast and egg. Stir. Stir in 2 cups of flour. Stir in remaining flour or enough to make a soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes). Here are two links one to show you how to knead by hand and the other with your stand mixer and dough hook.

Place in lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease both sides of your bread. Cover with Saran Wrap that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Let rise until double. About 1 hour. Punch the bread down. Shape in ball, Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into rolls, place on greased baking sheet. Let rise until double (about 1 hour). Bake at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Makes 2 dozen.

Note: I

Mix together your yeast, hot water and a dash of sugar. The sugar helps to activate the yeast more quickly.

Mix yeast and let set for a few minutes while you mix together the Crisco, sugar, potatoes, salt and scalded milk.

The yeast is ready. Wait until the milk mixture is lukewarm before adding.

After adding the scalded milk. (when milk is scalded it has a thin layer of “skin” on top of it), mix the Crisco and potatoes in. Let set until lukewarm.

Stir in eggs and yeast.

Mix in the flour until it becomes sticky and starts to form a ball.

Spray some cooking spray on your hand and beginning kneading in a ball.

Once a ball is formed, spray your bowl.

Spray Saran Wrap with cooking spray and set aside for one hour so it will rise until it is double in size.

Once it is double in side, form into rolls and let rise again. Then bake or freeze.

To make buns, cut the dough into golf ball sized pieces and gently wrap the dough around your finger, pull your finger out and work your way around the ball until it is smooth on the top and resemble a bun. Place in greased pan.

To make cinnamon rolls, use a pastry cloth and rolling-pin. Roll the dough out into a large triangle. Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter and spread over dough and then sprinkle with a cinnamon/granulated sugar mix. Roll the dough from the small end to the large end trying to keep the dough tight.

This is a great way to teach fractions to a child. When making cinnamon rolls, we divide the dough in half, then quarters and then cut the quarters into thirds. In the end, you have one dozen.

A happy and proud Keith that he figured out how to cut the dough into 12 equal pieces. He can’t wait to bake them!

Cinnamon Roll Frosting

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup butter softened

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 Tablespoons milk

Mix powdered sugar and butter. Stir in vanilla and milk. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency.

God’s Creation and Science

Keith and Sam on one of the Big Max pumpkins. Not sure that they will reach their “big” potential, but they are growing and other varieties are looking good. I think we need more science applied in future years to figure out how to reach the 1,000 pound level and a lot of prayer this year.

As I walked into the house this evening with the sun setting and the new moon rising, it was easy to be in awe of God’s Creation that surrounds us. Then I thought of our garden and marveled at all of the science that we have growing and what our entire family is learning from this adventure. I also thought back to growing up on our farm south of Tracy and recalled the same feeling from those experiences. I look at agriculture whether it be plant or animals from a scientific perspective. It allows me the opportunity to find reason or ways to make improvements…to make the best better and ways to achieve more with what we have in order to achieve our best while maintaining what is best for our environment, our animals and our family while producing safe, healthy food which we feed to our family and provide for your families.

I also recognize that there is much that science can’t explain or that is simply out of our hands, and this year like every year, the perfect example is the weather. We pray for rain. We pray for the right growing conditions. We pray for the severe thunderstorms not to have damaging winds, hail or tornadoes. In the end, we recognize that God gives us what he knows we can handle for the journey he has laid before us.

BOXES OF PRODUCE

Thank you to all who have returned their mid-year surveys. This provided very helpful information for us, and your feedback is greatly appreciated!!

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list.

Remember food safety when preparing, always wash your produce before eating.

Lettuce Blend – While not a significant amount this week, it is a start again that hopefully will take us through the remainder of the growing season includes Prizehead, Red Oak Leaf and Simpson Elite.

Cucumbers – We hope you are enjoying this yummy vegetable which I think only has a week or two left. Learn more about harvesting cucumbers across the U.S.

Broccoli – Also nearing the end of this garden vegetable.

Peppers – I like to cut them up to 1/4 inch pieces and freeze them for soups and other recipes this fall and winter.

Sam and Keith showing that the newly planted beans are growing. We like to hear how you are using this vegetable. It is a laborsom task so any inspiration is appreciated:)

Green Beans – We are nearing the end of this patch. We have another round of green beans and dragon tongue beans growing in the garden that should provide us with plenty to enjoy in September. See how Green Beans are harvested for us to buy at the grocery store.

Summer Squash – Zucchini – Nearing the end of this crop.

Onions – In your boxes this week were yellow onions. We hope to have a few purple and white onions, but the weather appeared to go hard on them. So you will primarily see yellow onions.

Our onions are a science wonder as we have never had onions this small before. In the past, they have been giants so we like to attribute this to the weather and guarantee that we will strive to grow large onions again next year.

Potatoes – This week we have Norland – great for mashed or boiled potatoes, Yukon Golds – great for baking or cooked and Kennebec – great for baking.

Although large and plentiful, we have been challenged with the tomatoes growing to fast and splitting on the top or odd growing patterns. Even thought the tomatoes are mulched it demonstrates the need for regular irrigation. This Brandywine variety shows an odd growth pattern on the bottom. But compared to the boys, these are huge tomatoes.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes in your boxes this week to include Big Boys, Roma, Yellow Girl and cherry tomatoes. Check out how farmers are striving for the perfect tomatoes.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors FarGaze Farms – the Peterson families for this delicious vegetable! Here are a few more ideas for your sweet corn from Martha Stewart.

Herbs – Peppermint, oregano, cilantro, and lemon thyme Remember you can dry them or you can freeze. See how to freeze with olive oil to use later. Wondering what to do with the peppermint – try this refreshing summer tea recipe.

Fresh Flowers – Zinnias, Rudbeckia or sunflowers this week. Place a few hosta leaves in with them when placing in the vase. Also, remember to add about a teaspoon of bleach to help the flowers last longer.

Recipe of the Week

Quick and Easy to Try.

*Cherry Tomatoes quartered and eaten with Cottage Cheese.

*BLT without the bacon. I love bacon!! But I don’t always have the time to make it. So at work when I need a quick-lunch, I bring some of the garden lettuce and one of the varieties of tomatoes, and I have a refreshing quick-lunch.

Rhubarb Muffins

This weekend I thawed out some of my frozen rhubarb and enjoyed these delicious muffins. My apologies – I forgot to get the camera for a step by step. I have rhubarb thawed in 2 cups or 6 cups amounts. I doubled the muffin recipe so I could freeze half the dough in a Ziploc bag. When I thaw the batter out, I simply snip off the corner of the bag and use it like a pastry bag and squeeze into the muffin tins.

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup applesauce

1 egg

1/2 cup yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1 cup finely sliced rhubarb

Topping:

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup finely chopped nuts

Combine sugar, applesauce, egg, yogurt and vanilla in a bowl. Sift flour, soda, and salt together and stir into liquid mixture. Blend in nuts and rhubarb. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Topping: Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts and sprinkle over batter in muffin tins. Tip: I always spray the liners with a spritz of baking spray so the muffins don’t stick to the liners. Bake at 325 degrees  for 25-30 minutes. Makes 12 muffins. This can also be baked in a greased loaf pan for 45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Chickens

Well in addition to the CSA, this spring we hatched chicks in Keith’s Montessori classroom. The boys talked me into keeping the White Leghorns. The chicks had outgrown their brooder house. So they were in need of a chicken coop. After many weekends of hard work by Steve, Keith and Sam, the chickens were moved into their new home this weekend. Steve designed this in his head and simply built it, which I find so amazing. The boys had an absolute blast building with their dad in fact Sam asked tonight when they could build another one.

This weekend, the boys also decided they wanted to reinvest some of their earnings from the CSA into growing their flock of birds. A friend of ours’ kids were selling some of their chickens. So on Saturday evening, we drove over and the boys reinvested their money. We now have 9 hens, 5 roosters and 7 breeds of chickens along with a few of the new hens laying.

The boys were beyond excited to get their first eggs from their new chickens. although we will not be offering these eggs in our CSA, we wanted to share with you the excitement that has been going on here. We do have another friend that has enough laying hens if you wish to purchase farm fresh eggs.

Return on Investment

Sam and Keith on a potato hunt with Steve.

Recently, many have asked if we will have a CSA next year. The answer is yes. Your input on your mid-year surveys, and your support of our efforts have encouraged us to make the decision to do this again. The question is how many shareholders. That is yet to be decided. It is interesting though that Keith has brought the topic up and has encouraged more shareholders.

When we started planning this year, we discussed family goals with the boys, and what we as a family wanted to achieve from this endeavor. These goals are posted in our home.  Although our Return on Investment (ROI) this year is different then what some may have expected, it is what every farm family hopes for and works to achieve. Our most evident ROI has been what we have seen in our boys: what they are teaching others about what they have learned by doing; development of their work ethic; family time working to accomplish a task we all can be proud of; and their excitement in what they are seeing grow from their efforts. Every day, we see or hear something from them that reassure us that our efforts our worth it and that ROI is in the eye of the beholder. ROI in our children is an investment that is always worth the effort.

BOXES OF PRODUCE

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list.

Remember food safety when preparing, always wash your produce before eating.

Sorry no lettuce blends this week. Even with our best efforts to keep this in rotation, the weather has not cooperated. We have lost at least 3 plantings throughout the growing season making this a challenge to keep in the boxes. With that said, the change in the weather this week caused our current crops’ growth to slow. Good news, the new crop is germinating and seeing reasonable germination. Hopefully tonight’s thunderstorm’s lightning will put nitrogen in the soil to feed the plant growth, and hopefully, some moisture for the ground.

Cucumbers – We hope you are enjoying this yummy vegetable. Enjoy some recipes from Martha Stewart.

Sam searching for green beans.

Green Beans – We are nearing the end of this patch. We have another round of green beans and dragon tongue beans growing in the garden that should provide us with plenty to enjoy in September. See how Green Beans are harvested for us to buy at the grocery store.

Now this is a zucchini…when shredded it made 12 cups.

Summer Squash – Zucchini – See Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffin recipe below.

Onions – In your boxes this week were yellow onions. We hope to have a few purple and white onions, but the weather appeared to go hard on them. So you will primarily see yellow onions.

Keith showing us how potatoes grow on the root of the plant.

Potatoes – This week we have Norland – great for mashed or boiled potatoes and Kennebec – great for baking. More recipe ideas from Martha Stewart.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes in your boxes this week to include Big Boys, Roma, Yellow Girl and cherry tomatoes. I thought this was an informative piece about a Minnesota tomato company Bushel Boy.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors FarGaze Farms – the Peterson families for this delicious vegetable! See how we freeze Sweet Corn.

How do we freeze sweet corn in our house? Well we take the husks and silks off, wash it and then cut it off the cob with an electric knife. Tip: use a bundt pan and place the cob in the center hole. I forgot this trick until after I was all done.

Using a ladle, I scooped it into Ziploc bags that were labeled with the date and the vegetable.

Keith and I placed them on a cookie sheet in the freezer so that they would freeze flat and so I could stack them neatly in the freezer when frozen.

Herbs – Peppermint, oregano, cilantro, and lemon thyme Remember you can dry them or you can freeze. See how to freeze with olive oil to use later.

Fresh Flowers – Zinnias or sunflowers this week. They will both keep longer if you change their water and give them a fresh-cut in two days. Add about a teaspoon of bleach to help the flowers last longer.

Recipes of the Week

Zucchini plant growing.

Before cutting the zucchini, I wash it off with a wet one or in the sink to make sure I have it as clean as possible.

Using a butcher knife, I cut off each end and place the ends in the compost pile. Then cut the zucchini into smaller chunks.

Then using one of my favorite kitchen tools, the salad shooter, given to us by Steve’s aunt Coleen Harner, I shred that zucchini right up! Tip: to engage boys in men in the kitchen – make sure you have cool tools!

Shredded zucchini ready for use.

I doubled the muffin recipe below. Then I froze the remainder in 2 cup portions.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Note: I doubled the recipe below and froze the extra muffin mixture in a Ziploc bag. When I want to make fresh muffins, I thaw the dough out and snip off a corner and use the bag like a pastry bag, squeezing the dough out of the corner into my muffin holders.

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup applesauce

1/4 cup milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup shredded zucchini

1/4 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

 

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Combine the egg, applesauce, milk, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened.

 

To chop up my walnuts, I use this handy small blender. Another bridal shower gift from neighbor and friend, Joyce Robbins. I chop the walnuts quite fine so that the boys don’t notice them.

Fold in zucchini, mini-chocolate chips and walnuts.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until muffins test done. Yield: about 1 dozen.

Garnish the top with a few mini chocolate chips and bake. I love to use fun or festive muffin cups to make it more enjoyable for all of us. The kids and Steve loved them so I think the recipe is a keeper in our house. Enjoy!

Science at its best

This weekend, the boys wanted to play school. So we took our magnifying glasses and headed out to the garden for science class. As you can see from the pictures this week, they really enjoyed doing this. Here they are observing the Big Max pumpkins that are starting to see some good growth.

Sam…”I spy with my little eye.”

We examined the baby boo pumpkins (above), spaghetti squash, butternut squash, gourds, watermelon and cantaloupe growing. It was a treasure hunt in the garden and a great opportunity to discuss difference in the plants.

Then we headed to the corn, looking at the ornamental corn (above), popcorn and broom corn. We have been having trouble keeping our dog out of the corn. He loves to eat it the ears of corn!  After our dog got lost a couple of year’s ago and found his way home, he eats corn. It is an interesting survival tactic that he learned while wondering across fields in the fall, but one we are willing to tolerate as we our glad he made it home!

Next we checked out the cabbage. We were trying to figure out what was eating it – a rabbit or bugs. At the time of the photo, it was the only one being eaten.

Next we looked at the lone kohlrabi. We have never grown it before and actually bought it by accident. This is the only one that survived the heavy June rains. I have tried planting it by seed, and thus far have not had any luck. But all of us involved in agriculture realize each year is trial and error. It is a continuous effort to always get better and to try and figure Mother Nature out.

For those of you that were wondering, the hail I spoke about in last week’s post did not last long. The bad news for many farmers in our area is that the winds were over 60 mph with that storm, and the bean stalks that were damaged by hail in June snapped off where the plant had been hit or damaged on the stalk during the previous storms. We were fortunate to not see any damage from the wind in our plants.

Editors Note: I need to thank Keith. Most of the blogs, if Keith isn’t in the photo that means he is behind the camera. I appreciate his willingness and interest in learning this new life long skill!

BOXES OF PRODUCE

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list.

Remember food safety when preparing, always wash your produce before eating.

Salad Blend includes: Simpson Elite Lettuce, Prizehead Lettuce, Red Oak Leaf Lettuce– Wash, cut off longer stems.

Cucumbers – We are picking every couple of days. Let us know if you are interested in extra for pickling. We shared some of the cucumbers earlier this week with the students at the Northfield Montessori.

Green Beans – We are nearing the end of this patch. We had replanted at the end of June, but they did not grow because of the crazy weather. We have replanted, and as you can see, we have germination.

Sam examining the germinated beans on Sunday.

Summer Squash – zucchini recipes

Onions – We can assure you a plentiful supply of onions this year. In your boxes this week were yellow onions. I always enjoy searching the Taste of Home website for recipes. Here are some options for onion rings.

Potatoes – This week we have Norland – great for mashed or boiled potatoes and Kennebec – great for baking. A different look at potato harvest in Colorado on America’s Heartland.

Tomatoes – We are so excited to have some tomatoes in your boxes this week to include Big Boys, Roma, Yellow Girl and cherry tomatoes. 

Peppers – Green peppers.

Sweet Corn – Thank you to our neighbors FarGaze Farms – the Peterson families for this delicious vegetable! See my recipe below for Sweet Corn on the Grill.

Herbs – Peppermint, oregano, cilantro, parsley and lemon thyme Remember you can dry them or you can freeze in an ice-cube to use later.

Fresh Flowers – Zinnias or sunflowers this week. They will both keep longer if you change their water and give them a fresh-cut in two days.

Keith examining the Teddy Bear Sunflowers.

Recipe of the Week

Sweet Corn on the Grill

Once your grill is heated, I place the meat and my sweet corn on the grill at the same time. Below is how I prepare the sweet corn.

Sweet Corn

I cut off the longer leaves, loose leaves and the top of the ear of corn, called the silk. If there is still a long stalk at the end opposite the tassel, I will snap it off so the ear of corn doesn’t take up as much room on the grill. The reason I cut off all this “extra” is to prevent any fires from starting on the grill.

Once I have prepared all of the corn, taking off the extras I will lay it on the grill. And will turn it every 5-10 minutes for about 30 minutes. I love doing the sweet corn this way because my house doesn’t get so hot and steamy from the boiling water on the stove.

This is what the corn looks like on the grill when it is all done. I usually bring the garbage can outside so I can keep the mess outside. Then using paper towels on each of my hands as “gloves” I will peel the corn.

After peeling the corn, I will run it under look warm water to wash off the extra husks and tassels that I missed.

Then butter and add a little bit of salt, and you have one of my absolute favorites of summer. Looks like it is one of Keith’s favorites as well. Enjoy!

I also cooked a venison roast on the grill which I had marinated with soy sauce and liquid smoke. Then basted with some honey and topped with cilantro and thyme. This roast, which cooked for about an hour and 15 minutes, ended up almost seared on the outside which kept the inside tender and moist.
Serve with fresh fruit, slice of bread and a glass of milk, and you have a well-balanced summer meal.

Continued surprises abound

We checked the watermelon and canteloupe on Friday night and they were smaller then a ping pong ball. On Sunday afternoon, they were between the size of a softball and a volleyball.

Each day brings different growing conditions for the plants and continued unpredictability of the crop outcomes in the garden. We were blessed on Sunday with a gentle rain which amounted to about 25/100″. Tonight as I saw the clouds come over, I was hopeful and grateful for the incoming rain and then became sick to my stomach as I heard the pinging sound of hail on the window. We will see what the remainder of the evening will bring. But again, we know we have much to be grateful for. Pray for rain for those in need, as so many around this great nation are in dire need of it.

On Monday, Steve and Sam tilled the ground to prepare for another planting of lettuce varieties and beans.

Keith assisted with planting.

BOXES OF PRODUCE

This list is prepared before we harvest your share. Some guesswork is involved! We do our best to predict which crops will be ready to harvest, but sometimes crops are on the list that are not in the share, and sometimes crops will be in the share even though they’re not on the list.

Remember food safety when preparing, always wash your produce before eating.

The pallet gardens planted with the different varieties of lettuce are working great!

Salad Blend includes: Simpson Elite Lettuce, Prizehead Lettuce, Red Oak Leaf Lettuce– Wash, cut off longer stems.

Cucumbers – We shared some of the cucumbers earlier this week with the students at the Northfield Montessori. We are picking every couple of days. Let us know if you are interested in extra for pickling.

Before doing any kitchen project with the kids, I find it works best to layout all of the ingredients with measuring cups. For this recipe, we needed salt, vinegar and water for the brine. Dill, garlic and rye bread and our items we wanted to pickle which were green beans and cucumbers.

We made Sunshine Pickles on Sunday using green beans and larger cucumbers. We sliced them lengthwise using the mandeline that Steve’s Great-Grandpa Lachey made. It is beautiful craftsmanship!

Keith placed green beans in his jar.

We tilted Sam’s jar to lay the cucumbers in the jar that were sliced lengthwise.

Steve reminded me that after you are done filling the jars, run a wooden spoon around the edges making sure to get the air out and see if there is room for more of whatever you are pickling. Remember to leave about an inch head space to the top of the jar. Remember to see the recipe on Sunshine Pickles on the previous post.

The boys are excited about completing the project and anxious to try them later this week.

Green Beans – A good healthy harvest this week. The boys and I are going to try a quart of Sunshine Pickles with the green beans. Another idea for using the produce.

Summer Squash – zucchini recipes

Onions – We can assure you a plentiful supply of onions this year. In your boxes this week were yellow onions. America’s Heartland provides a bit of USA onion history.

Potatoes – This week we have Norland – great for mashed or boiled potatoes and Kennebec – great for baking.

Keith and Sam helping to harvest cucumbers and tomatoes.

Tomatoes – We are so excited to have some tomatoes in your boxes this week to include Big Boys, Roma, Yellow Girl and cherry tomatoes. Learn more about how tomatoes are shipped from farms to processing plants on America’s Heartland.

Peppers – Banana peppers.

Herbs – Red Rubin basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley and lemon thyme Remember you can dry them or you can freeze in an ice-cube to use later.

Fresh Flowers – Zinnias or sunflowers this week. They will both keep longer if you change their water and give them a fresh cut in two days.

Sunflowers

Zinnias

Recipe of the Week

Omelets

Mix Together:

3 eggs

1 Tablespoon of Water

1/4 teaspoon of pepper

Dash of salt (I like to use Kosher salt)

Prepare fry pans, toppings, bread for toast and set table before starting the omelets.

Tonight for our omelet filling we used, red and yellow tomatoes, onion, green peppers, cilantro and oregano.

After the toppings were prepared, both of my pans were ready to go, bread was in the toaster and the table was set, I poured my egg batter into my fry pan which was on medium low and had been coated with melted butter. When making an omelet, let the egg cook and gently push the cooked egg in while tilting the pan and the uncooked egg will then fill in that part of the fry pan. Proceed to do this all around the pan until it appears that no more egg batter will move to the side then cover to finish mostly cooking the egg.

Add your toppings and cover the pan to melt the cheese and finish cooking the egg. In the meantime, push down your toast.

Gently loosen the edges and roll out onto your plate.

Don’t forget to garnish with some shredded cheese and some of your fresh parsley. One thing I always remember from my 4-H cooking project, the more beautiful the dish, the more appealing to the pallet. Enjoy!