Life got busy and we literally just forgot to send you a blog last week! We'll make up for with lots of info this week.
This week in your basketsYour baskets today could be thought of as your pickling baskets - you could chop up just about everything in them and throw them into a brine with some spices and you'd have a great relish. Recipe for that is below! We start with more of the Bergam's green leaf lettuce, which is pretty much the only thing in the basket you can't pickle. Then it's Farao variety green cabbage, bell peppers (several different kinds; they ripen to different colors) and Anaheim peppers (I've never understood why the signature New Mexico peppers are of the Anaheim type), and little Serrano peppers. Round that out with some cucumbers of a couple varieties and the first of the year's garlic.
That garlic is a hardneck type called Blanak. Over the next few weeks, you'll be receiving another hardneck and two softneck varieties, along with elephant garlic, so don't feel shy about using it up. Hardneck varieties make great roasted garlic, and they pickle well, too, but they don't keep as long as the softnecks do.
So here goes the recipe for making relish out of your basket. The only problem with it is that if you process the relish over the next day or two, your house will be unbearable. The alternative is not to cook anything, and to make cole slaw from the cabbage and a cucumber and onion salad from the cukes, distributing the peppers wherever you see fit.
1 head cabbage
any or all of the peppers (the serranos will increase the heat of the whole mix)
1 or 2 cucumbers, peeled if you like and seeded.
1 or two onions
2 or 3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup salt
2 quarts cold water
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp mustard seed
2 Tbsp celery seed
1 quart vinegar, any kind
Chop all the vegetables to about a 3/8 inch dice, remembering to keep out the seeds and pith of the peppers. Combine them all in a large bowl. Dissolve the salt in the water and pour over the vegetables; let them stand one hour. Drain, and taste. If too salty, rinse and drain again. Combine the vegetables, sugar, spices and vinegar; simmer 15 minutes. At this point you can pack the relish into jars, seal them, and refrigerate them once they've cooled down, or you can process them in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes. You can also vary the spices to take your flavor wherever you want to go; one of my personal favorites is to use whole cumin seed instead of the celery seed and add a tablespoon or so of turmeric. You could also double the garlic, add some sliced fresh ginger, and eliminate the celery seed for a kimchee-type take on Western relish.
Save the Date!
We had originally scheduled the Farm Day for August 18. This is going to work out to be untenable for us. There are going to be road closures on all sides of us during the month of August, which will make it incredibly frustrating for those of you coming from the Portland area, especially if you're unfamiliar with our territory. Additionally, we will be under fire restrictions for the whole month, and we wanted you to have an event where you could roast marshmallows around a fire, and camp overnight if you wished. So, we are moving Ffynnon's Farm Day to September 29, and making it a bit more of a harvest festival. There will still be games and a band or two and lots of good food, but it will be cooler and much more pleasant. Stay tuned and look for the event to be posted both on our website and on our Facebook page.