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July 4, 2017

Posted 7/10/2017 9:45pm by Don Kretschmann.

July 3, 2016

Greetings from the Kretschmanns,   

I don’t know whether it’s an official word in Spanish (Spanglish ?), but it’s one word we don’t really want to hear, “dumpe” --as in fell, spilled, is broken...as in a wakeup phone call 6:30 Saturday morning, “El tanke de gasoline en el trucke dumpe.”  What?  Tell me again...thinking leaks, stolen (which has happened)...  What do you mean “dumpe”?   Oh, the strap on the gas tank was rusty. And you just filled it with gas?  Yes. OMG!  Visions of gas leaking in the street, tank damaged, sitting under the pickup.   Re-purposing my brain from a quiet overcast morning catching up on bookkeeping, to desperate creative solutions about how to lift the tank off the street, possibly siphoning the gas, doing whatever it takes to get the truck to a mechanic to fix.  After gathering likely tools and mats to lay on under the truck, off to town to see what could be done.  Luckily it was only a strap which had broken and was not the one on the end with the fill spout.  Two ratchet straps were perfect for lifting the tank back into place so it could be driven.  7:30 we were at the mechanic’s, but sign said no one there until 8:30.  Pikers!  

Hope you enjoy the first cucumbers, many of which are picklers this year. Sorrily, we didn’t get dill seeded until later.  We hope those cucurbits are still coming when dill is bigger.  Needless, the pickling cucs are great in salads and other uses because they generally have far fewer seeds and are very sweet and firm.  Enjoy the first “new” potatoes.  Keep them refrigerated as you can see they don’t really have skins yet.  They will turn black like potatoes do after you cut them.   

Upcoming: Fennel is coming along nicely; sweet Carafex cabbage (pointy heads), tiny green beans are forming (about 10 days out); blueberries are also on the horizon.   First beets prompt these instructions for newbies to cooking with fresh beets: cut off tops about an inch above the root.  Boil until tender.  A paring knife inserted reveals they are tender (about 15 min. depending on size). Cool under running water and “slip” off the outer skins.  Then slice them up or cut as desired.  We’re convinced there’s no necessity to get beets spiffy clean before boiling.  Beet tops can be cooked a lot like swiss chard (actually they are in the very same family).      

Zucchini!  What can I say?  It slowed down just barely last week, but is again off to the races.  We received some great favorite recipes from subscribers (below). And we’ve heard spiralizers do wonders to cut them down to size.      

If greens—chard, kale, collards—are getting ahead of you, they are very easy to blanch in boiling water, drain, chop and freeze for use later on.  We typically freeze lots of them for use at our church’s monthly breakfast frittata. Same for zucchini.  Any size can be shredded and frozen for making holiday zucchini breads.   

It’s cheese week.  If you were supposed to get cheese and didn’t, let us know so we can get it to you next week.

Enjoying magnificent fireflys, we are sincerely,                                             Don, Becky,Maria & the Farm Crew  

ID: Odd herb is spearmint.   

Zucchini Strudel: Coarsely grate 4 c. zucchini, mix with tsp salt in colander, let stand ½ hr., then press out extra liquid.  Saute 1 ½ c. chopped onion and 2 minced cloves garlic in ¼ c. olive oil until soft.  (can use green onions and scapes too)  Add the zucchini, 1 tbs. chopped fresh parsley, 1 tbs fresh mint, 2 tbs fresh or 1  ½ dried dill, ½ tsp pepper to the saucepan and saute another 10 min.  In large bowl mix 4 slightly beaten eggs, 2 c. cottage cheese, 2 c. crumbled feta (10 oz.) 2 tbs. flour then add the zucchini mixture.  Preheat oven to 350 deg. Using ½ # filo dough, spread about half in the bottom and up the sides of 9x13 pan, a few layers at a time, brushing each layer generously with melted butter.   Then pour filling in.  Cover the top with sheets of filo spread with butter.  Bake 45 min in oven preheated to 350.   Thanks Nancy L.

Zucchini Soup: Brown 1 med. Chopped onion in saucepan.  Add 1 clove minced garlic.  Next add 2# cubed, peeled zucchini (large seeds removed), 2 qts. chicken stock, 3-4 fresh tomatoes (or 1 small can chopped tomatoes), ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, ½ tsp basil, ¼ tsp oregano and cook, covered, for approximately two hours or until zucchini is soft.  Last half hour, drop marble-size meatballs into broth .  DO NOT BROWN THEM FIRST.  Cook for 30 min. then add 1 ½ c.uncooked noodles or spaghetti—broken is fine—cooking until noodles soften.  Add grated Romano cheese to bottom of soup bowl, then soup and noodles. 

Zuccanoes: Scoop out several large zucchinis leaving about 1/4" shell.  Finely mince the insides.  Saute one onion minced onion and two cloves garlic per zuc in olive oil 5 min., add minced zucchini, and 1/4# mushrooms and saute another 8 min.  Mix 1 c. rice with the sauted veggies, add 1   tbs lemon juice, salt, pepper, and herbs to taste (parsley, thyme, basil..).  One can also add 1/2 minced almonds, sunflower seeds, or other nuts if you like a little crunchy texture.  Top with grated swiss cheese.  Bake @350 deg. 40 min

Rice Noodles with Diablo Sauce and Greens: Blend until smooth:  2 cups canned crushed tomatoes, 3 large garlic cloves or 1/4 c. fresh garlic scapes,  3 Tbs. Minced fresh ginger, 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, 2 Tbs. Honey,  4 tbs lemon or lime juice, 1/2 cup sesame oil, 1/4 tsp. crushed red chili pepper (more or less to taste).  Salt.  Saute in 1 tbs. Olive oil:  ½ c chopped scallions 2-3 min, then add  6 c. chopped chard or beet greens and cook another 5 min until tender.  Meanwhile, to a large pot of boiling water, add 12 ounces soba noodles and a tiny bit of oil.  Cook until al dente (slightly hard in the middle) –5 min.  Drain. Place noodles on plates, spoon sauce and top with greens then more sauce.

Cucs in Sour Cream: Select 2 tender young cucumbers; peel one but leave the other unpeeled. Slice very fine. sprinkle with salt and let stand just three minutes, thus removing any bitter taste of the skin. Mince 1/2 onion [used your spring onions] and add to cucumbers. Mix dressing of 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon mustard; pour over cucumbers. Serve at once for full flavor. 

New Potatoes with Onion:  Wash new potatoes and cut up into fork sized pieces.  Cut up ½ c. green onions enough so they will fit in the blender, add about 1/4 c. olive oil, salt, a little water.  Blend and toss potatoes with this and bake them on an oiled cookie sheet at 350 deg until golden tender. You can also just toss with oil and dry onion soup mix.

Tabouleh: to 1c. cooked bulgur (cracked) wheat, add 1/2 c olive oil, 1/2 c lemon juice, 1 bunch finely chopped scallions, lg bunch finely chopped parsley.  Salt to taste. (Cucumbers, tomatoes, and celery can also be finely chopped and added.)  In this case, one can put all ingredients in a ceramic or glass crock (wheat uncooked) with the tomatoes and cucumbers on top and refrigerate for at least 1 day, and up to two weeks.  Another refreshing addition is a little finely chopped fresh mint.