Sunday, August 10, 2008

Veggie Goodness

I planted a small garden this summer as I do almost every summer - cherry tomatoes, some large tomatoes, zucchini, summer squash, pickling cukes, and green beans. The last few years, I've planted mostly in vain, and this year started off in a similar pattern. I planted beans 3 times only to have the deer consume all the tender young leaves. Then the rain came, and came, and came. Meanwhile, a CSA farm (Community Supported Agriculture) was started a few miles down the road from us. All early spring we watched former pasture transformed into rows of neatly trellised peas, orderly greens, broccoli, etc. One day there was an article in the local paper describing the farm, and a contact number. To make a long story short, we paid for a share in the farm, and now every Friday, I receive an overflowing bushel basket of the week's harvest. Meanwhile... back at the ranch . . . (there was a kids' book my sons loved that used that repetive phrase) my usually ailing garden took on new life and is producing cukes and squash and tomatoes in the blink of an eye. So, . . between the two veggie sources, my larder is stuffed.

In my CSA basket this week I received the largest head of green cabbage I've ever seen. It must weigh 10 pounds. I also got a smaller head of red cabbage, several eggplants, jalapeno peppers, a bunch of carrots,3 green peppers, 2 heads of leaf lettuce, a pound of green beans, 4 large tomatoes, a basket of cherry tomatoes, a huge bunch of kale, 10 heads of garlic, a small personal watermelon, more pickling cukes, and yellow squash. . . oh and cilantro, basil, and curly parsley. In my garden this morning I found 2 baseball bat sized zucchini (from my ONE zucchini plant) 2 baskets of cherry tomatoes, a dozen pickling cukes, and about 7 string beans. I gave my neighbor some of the tomatoes, some cukes, and half my head of cabbage!

Needless to say we are enjoying this great bounty!

A great cole slaw recipe: This fills a 13 cup square GLADware container.

Quantity of stuff is variable! I do this in my food processor with the thin shredding blade for the cabbage, and the small grating blade for the rest.

Shredded cabbage (about a medium head of cabbage)
2 shredded carrots
1/2 of a large Vidalia onion shredded

Mix in a large bowl or container.

Dressing: (I start with these quantities and adjust seasoning to taste)

In a small bowl or measuring cup:
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk

OR 1/2 cup half and half

Add 2 tbs white wine vinegar and 2 tbs fresh lemon juice.

Let stand for 5 minutes. Then whisk together until thick and foamy.

While it's standing:
Mix together:

1/2 cup real mayonnaise (not the light version)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp celery seed

Combine milk mixture with mayo mixture and whisk together. Adjust sweetness by adding more sugar, tartness by adding more vinegar or lemon juice, and thickness by adding more mayo ---whatever suits your palate! Pour over cabbage mixture and thoroughly mix salad. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.


Does anyone have any good eggplant recipes? I've grilled it and sauted it, and baked it so far.

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