Dishers, our local farmers are starting to bring in the goods. It’s time to dust off your canvas totes and start hitting the Dallas Farmers Market. Want to get a peak at what’s fresh or sign up for e-mail blasts from tecno-savvy farmers? Here’s a good one: Akin Farm in Terrell. (E-mail Wendy at email@example.com). Jump below for the organic vegetables available this week, plus a killer recipe for asparagus quiche.
This week in the garden
March 12, 2009
What a difference FRESH makes! On January 12, I made a dish of Greek Style Spinach Manicotti. I had some extra spinach so I put it in a plastic bag – the kind you get at the grocery, nothing special – and tossed it into the refrigerator. I opened that bag Monday after 2 months and the spinach is still crisp, but has more the odor of the stuff you buy in a plastic clamshell. Makes me wonder how old the grocery store spinach is!
EGGS ARE BACK! Lots of eggs! Just in time for asparagus season! Did the hens plan that?
HARVESTING THIS WEEK
ASPARAGUS!! It’s just starting, just a handful each day. Awesome!
GREENHOUSE LETTUCES are now available to the public.
SPINACH just seems to get better every week.
GREEN ONIONS get bigger and bigger
In our annual leap of faith, Tomato, Eggplant, Pepper and Basil seedlings are now transplanted to cell pack flats. We will baby these for another 5 weeks or so and then plant them out into gardens. If it all does well, there will be extra plants for sale at the proper time for planting. Grab a big pot 5 gallons or larger next trip to Big Lots or a similar discount store and look for some good potting soil – organic if possible – so you’re ready to put a tomato plant at the back door.
In the book Seeds of Deception there is discussion of the effects of GMO and over processed foods on the body and the personality. More than one study project has found that badly behaved, even violent children become mannerly and good students when their diet is changed to one of healthy organic foods. I discussed this with a Children’s Advocate recently and she strongly agreed and could cite more studies and her own personal observations that this is the case.
You’ll remember the comment about Big Ag and Big Pharma funding and controlling research of the safety of their products? Here we go again! In the March issue of Spudman magazine there is this bit in “Industry News”:
“USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has developed a pilot of the Biotechnology, Quality Management System (BQMS), a voluntary compliance assistance program that will help universities, small businesses and large companies develop sound management practices to enhance compliance with regulatory requirements for field trials and movement of regulated genetically engineered (GE) organisms.
“Five volunteer participants have been accepted into the pilot project, including BASF Plant Science, Bayer Crop Science, Pioneer Hi-Bred – a DuPont business, JR Simplot Plant Science and the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. They will develop, implement and maintain a quality management system that proactively manages the movement and field release of these regulated GE organisms…..”
The first four of these volunteers are on the list of “baddies” you can see on many organic websites. Isn’t this turning the fox in to guard the chickens? Your government at work.
MRE’s vs Slow Food
Long ago, I read some Science Fiction novel in which the romantic heroine is from a planet where all their food was in packets that were put into some kind of gizmo to heat it up. Looking at the offerings of today’s grocery, I see that Science Fiction is coming to pass.
We’ll start asparagus season with a recipe that only takes about a half pound but plenty of eggs.
375 35 MIN
½ POUND ASPARAGUS
2 TABLESPOON UNSALTED BUTTER
1 TABLESPOON THINLY SLICED GREEN ONION
FRESH GROUND PEPPER
TINY BIT OF FRESH GRATED NUTMEG
3 LARGE FARM FRESH EGGS
1/4 CUP MILK OR CREAM
1/4 CUP GRATED SWISS CHEESE
1/4 CUP FRESH GRATED PARMESAN OR OTHER CHEESE
A 9 INCH PREBAKED PIE SHELL
1 TABLESPOON COLD BUTTER CUT INTO 1/4″ BITS
OPTIONAL: CRUMBLED CRISP BACON
PREPARE THE ASPARAGUS: SNAP THE ASPARAGUS INTO PIECES ABOUT 2 INCHES. SET THE TIPS ASIDE. IN A SMALL POT, COVER WITH WATER, SALT LIGHTLY AND BRING QUICKLY TO A BOIL. ADD THE TIPS, COVER THE POT AND REMOVE FROM HEAT. LET SIT FOR 1 MINUTE ONLY. DRAIN AND RINSE WITH COLD WATER TO STOP COOKING
BEAT THE EGGS WITH THE MILK OR CREAM, SEASON WITH A PINCH OF SALT AND A GOOD GRIND OF PEPPER AND A TINY GRATING OF NUTMEG.
ARRANGE THE ASPARAGUS IN THE BAKED PIE SHELL, (OPTIONAL BACON) TOP WITH THE SWISS CHEESE AND POUR THE EGGS OVER. TOP WITH THE PARMESAN CHEESE AND THEN WITH TINY RINGS OF GREEN ONION. FINALLY DOT WITH THE BUTTER BITS.
BAKE AT 375 FOR 30 – 35 MINUTES UNTIL PUFFY AND JUST GOLDEN.
PERFECT EVERY TIME HOLLANDAISE SAUCE
Butter and eggs: it’s all good! THIS IS THE SUPER EASY BLENDER METHOD.
4 EGG YOLKS FROM LARGE EGGS
2 STICKS UNSALTED BUTTER.
1 TBSP FRESH LEMON JUICE
GRATED ZEST FROM HALF THE LEMON
PINCH OF SEA SALT
DASH OF CAYENNE PEPPER
SEPARATE THE EGGS CAREFULLY, DROPPING THE YOLKS INTO THE BLENDER CONTAINER. MELT THE BUTTER IN A PAN* OR MICROWAVE UNTIL IT IS QUITE HOT BUT DO NOT BROWN IT. THE BUTTER MUST BE HOT TO COOK THE EGGS. PUT THE LEMON JUICE AND ZEST INTO THE BLENDER ADD THE SALT AND CAYENNE. PULSE THE BLENDER TO MIX. THEN, WITH THE BLENDER RUNNING ON A LOW SPEED, CAREFULLY POUR IN THE HOT BUTTER IN A THIN STREAM. THIS SHOULD HAPPEN OVER ABOUT 30 SECONDS. LET THE BLENDER RUN ANOTHER 30 SECONDS. THE HOLLANDAISE SHOULD BE LIGHT YELLOW AND THE CONSISTENCY OF STIRRED MAYONNAISE. TASTE AND ADD ADDITIONAL CAYENNE IF WANTED.
* YOU’LL WANT THE BUTTER IN A PAN OR CONTAINER WITH A SPOUT LIKE A MEASURING CUP SO YOU CAN CONTROL THE POUR.
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL ORGANIC FARM!