Saturday, November 29, 2008

The last tomatoes

The last tomatoes. These are lemon boys. So far --some are ripening, and I pickled some and I may have to do some experimenting.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Santa Rosa Farmer's Market

Lots of variety and things you do not see in the supermarket --kohlrabi, cactus, celery root,jicama and all kinds of squash.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Seasonal Eating!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The last week -Week 25

The last box..peppers, delicata and acorn squash, summer squash, lettuce, bok choy, collards, dino kale, red Russian kale, basil.

I am very sad the CSA is ending. It has been an adventure in vegetables and the human experience has been the best. Brandon and Brian have been great and I wish them both the best in their next great adventure. My box buddy Allen has been wonderful and I am sure we will stay in touch.

The big question for me is what to do next in terms of keeping up being a seasonal eater.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Pomegranates are a wonderful tree (shrub?.) In the Spring they get wonderful red flowers and then the fruit! Information on growing Pomegranates from the backyard gardener.

Pomegranates are messy but worth the effort. There are a lot of elaborate recipes but just the combination of flavors is the right balance.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Week 24 (the penultimate box)

week twenty four. ONE WEEK LEFT!!
November 11th, 2008

Box> lettuce, squash, bok choi, dino kale, red Russian kale, potatoes, radishes, peppers, garlic

Dear friends and family of Sol Food Farm. How are we today? Brian and I are just swell. Yours truly just got back from a week visiting home and preparing myself for the big move back. That’s correct folks. Brandon Pugh has had his amazing California experience and is now heading back to the homeland to start my own project, Delta Sol. This farm has been a dream of mine for a while and at last the time has come. I will be farming the land that I grew up on and will be one of the only vegetable producers for miles around. Memphis is where my markets will be and my mom is already working on my CSA membership. I will be back around my family and am ready for this next step. Thank you all for being so supportive of us young farmers as we figure out how this all works.
Have no fear for the present Sol Food Farm for once again there will be some new folks around. Not 100 percent sure who but we will make sure you know as soon as we have the okay.
Lots of love and a friendly reminder that we one week left ya’ll. Holy cow.

Basic vinaigrette.
2 tbsp cider vinegar or 3 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp dry mustard or 1 tsp Dijon
½ tsp salt
freshly ground pepper
6-8 tbsp olive oil

In a small bowl, whisk vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper until salt dissolves. Slowly whisk in oil. Alternately, combine vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in a covered jar and shake vigorously until well combined; add oil and shake until blended.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The American Wild Persimmon is worth the forage but takes skill. Persimmon Pudding is dedicated to preserving the wild persimmon.
The Haachiya persimmon has to be completely ripe or it is very puckery.

The fuyu persimmon that looks like a squashed tomato the most consumer friendly. Edible over a longer period of time and easierto use.

"Why Eat It

The persimmon, with its beautiful, brilliant orange-red glossy skin, arrives in markets just as summer is ending. Nevertheless, it hasn't become as popular in the United States as it has in Japan, where the fruit is widely cultivated and as eagerly consumed as oranges are in the West. Though there are native persimmon trees in the United States, the varieties that Americans eat were brought here from Japan in the late 19th century (and are now grown mainly in California). Persimmons are well worth trying not only for their exceptional flavor but also for their beta-carotene; they also have some Vitamin C and potassium."
Everything you might ever want to know about persimmons.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pears, Potatoes and turnips

pears, potatoes, turnips - I have all those things and I saw this recipe on Epicurious -

It sounded wonderful --but I only needed for far fewer people and with a lot less butter. I roasted two pears split and seeded, two potatoes cut in quarters and two turnips (small) cut in half and one fresh slightly hot pepper. Roasted in 450 oven with a little olive oil until everything was soft enough to mash.. Really Really really good. There is no picture because it got eaten before I could take one!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

a peak inside another CSA box

This is potatoes, a melon, tomatoes and more persimmons from a CSA near Petaluma.
People who came to celebrate last night brought lots of food and then no one ate much. Plus the gift of the peak inside another box. I have to figure out how to preserve a lot of this.

Week 23 is lovely to look at ...

The warm days of October are having a wonderful impact in the beginning of November.
Challenge of the week --what to do with a persimmon ..particularly one that is not particularly ripe.

Squash Squared Soup

I made this for our election day celebration:Acorn Squash, Kale and Apple Soup Recipe
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 acorn squash
1 tart apple, peeled, cored, chopped
Orange juice
3 or 4 summer squash 1 bunch kale
3/4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarian)
chipotle in adobo
I think the key to this soup is roasting the vegetables until they have some crispy bits and including the bits for a smokey taste.
Heat oven to 450 . cut the summer squash and onion into a rough chop, half and seed the acorn squash and then roast until soft –also coat the garlic with olive oil and roast with the vegetables. Once soft, let them cool. Scoop out the acorn squash and combine everything in a food processor a rough puree. Add the chipotle at this point – a very little at a time- until get the “spice point” you want. Puree away.
Kale – remove tough stems and blanch for a few minutes until bright green. Drain and cool. Add to the puree of squash and puree –there will still be fairly large flecks of green.
Combine the puree of squash/kale with 1 cup of orange juice, and the chopped apple. Depending on how thick you want to the soup add 2-4 cups of stock. Let simmer for about 45 minutes. A lot of these types of soup benefit from making ahead and reheating.

Bell pepper/basil relish
1 large Roasted bell pepper, 1 bunch of basil, fresh garlic, lime juice
I also served blue cheese and sour cream as adornments.

One of my guests said it was great -- made my day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Grapes - good eats and an underutilized ingredient

Most cuisines have examples of cooking with grapes - from curried chicken salad (or uncurried as well) to sole Veronique. Aside from eating them plain - are grapes worth the effort to make a part of everyday food?

Nutritional value of grapes

This is a great looking recipes and story about cooking with grapes...pork tenderloin with roasted grape sauce.

Pickled grapes are wonderful too. The first time I made pickled grapes --a little too much on the spicy hot side! But they are great as a condiment and a cocktail nibble.