Welcome to the 21st share of the Pitchfork & Crow 2022 Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:
- Purple Napa Cabbage
- LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
- Red Bunching Onions
- “Delectable” Sweet Corn
- Zucchini – Including green zucchini and “Mexicana” zucchini. We’re rapidly approaching the end of summer squash/zucchini season. Enjoy them while you can!
- Sweet and Shishito Peppers – The shishitos are the roulette peppers we’ve shared in the past where 1 in 10 can be hot. They’re delicious blistered in hot oil and salted as a snack or chopped up and thrown into other dishes. We’ve enjoyed them in breakfast burritos.
- Mixed Tomatoes – The tomatoes are dwindling but we might be able to eek one more week out of them. Time will tell.
After an extended summer stretch it looks like we’ve finally got some fall rain in the forecast later this week and into next week. Hurrah for that! Have we mentioned we’re looking forward to the end of irrigation season? Last weekend’s high of 90 here at the farm was a little much for October if you ask us. We’ve been slowly but surely working through the list of things that need to be done before the mud returns and fingers crossed we’ll be ready by the time the rain hits Friday evening.
This time of year I begin looking closer at the various weather forecasts. Mid-October brings with it the threat of the first frost and this time of year we’re always planning as if it could be right around the corner. That first frost warning signals the end of many summer crops and a shift in what’s available to harvest from the field. Staying on top of the short and long range weather forecasts can help when deciding what projects to tackle next.
For daily and 10 day forecasts I’ve found the Weather Underground app to be fairly reliable for our location. It provides detailed info about when to expect rain and elevated wind throughout the day and tends to be accurate with temperature predictions. Our weather station is also linked to the Weather Underground network and glancing at the real time temps reflect what’s happening here on the farm. You can see the farm weather station here.
Longer range forecasts are of course less accurate and more susceptible to change as the dates get closer, but it’s nice to have a heads up about the possibilities that models are showing. I like to read what Rufus at the Weather Cafe has to say for forecasts that are within a few weeks. He focuses on the PNW in twice a week updates and discusses the possibilities of what might be headed our way with the caveat that models often change.
The other long range forecast I’ve found to be helpful is the seasonal climate forecast put together jointly by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Department of Forestry. It’s updated monthly with temperature and precipitation projections for the next three month period. These forecasts are based on historical data in years that resemble the current weather patterns. The historical years used for comparison are revised from time to time as current weather data change. This is an especially intriguing discussion as climate change factors are evaluated.
With an eye on the rain in the forecast we spent this past week preparing for the shift in weather. We finished bringing in the flour corn to dry down in the prop house and we harvested the dry bean plants too. They’re drying down in the old prop house and we’ll thresh out the beans once the plants are dry enough. In the meantime we shifted focus to potato harvest and managed to get three more beds harvested and into storage. Hopefully we have another window after the initial bout of rain this week so we’re not finishing up that project in too much mud.
After cracking our garlic seed this past weekend we’re ready to get our 2023 garlic crop in the ground on Thursday ahead of the rain. We’ll also be planting out overwintering onions and fava beans if we’re quick enough. These mark the last of the crops to be planted outside in the field this season. Fingers crossed the rain holds off just long enough for us to finish up.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you here next week!
Carri Heisler & Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Sheet Pan Curried Chicken with Cauliflower and Grapes
- For chicken and curry rub:
- 6 chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on (about 2.5 pounds total)
- 2 tablespoons full-fat yogurt (either regular or Greek)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 teaspoons curry powder (salt-free), such as madras or maharajah
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- For rest of sheet pan and yogurt sauce:
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (salt-free), such as madras or maharajah
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for yogurt sauce
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 cup red or black seedless grapes, left whole if small, or halved if large
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup full-fat yogurt (regular or Greek)
- 1 large lemon
- A few big handfuls of roughly chopped cilantro, parsley, or dill
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- Dry chicken well with paper towels. Make curry rub by whisking together yogurt, olive oil, curry powder, and salt until well integrated (it may not fully emulsify, which is fine). Notes: you may need to add a bit more olive oil if using Greek yogurt. If using a curry powder that includes salt, slightly decrease the amount of kosher salt in the rub.
- Season chicken evenly with the curry rub (on both sides and under the skin). Arrange in a single, even layer on a sheet pan.
- Roast chicken for 15 minutes. (Set a timer.)
- Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together 1 teaspoon curry powder with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add cauliflower, grapes, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to taste. Toss well to evenly coat in the curry oil.
- When the timer goes off, remove the sheet pan from the oven, and add the cauliflower and grape mixture, nestling it around the chicken as evenly as possible. Roast about 20 minutes longer, or until the chicken is cooked through (target temperature is 165° F in the thickest parts) and cauliflower is tender. (Note: If the chicken is done before the cauliflower, remove it from sheet pan and continue roasting the cauliflower. Optional: slide the pan under the broiler for a few minutes to deepen the browning of the chicken and cauliflower.) Squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the chicken and cauliflower. Adjust acidity and seasoning to taste. Toss in herbs.
- While the chicken cooks, combine yogurt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and a big pinch or two of salt. Stir to combine, and adjust acidity and seasoning, to taste. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top.
- Serve warm with yogurt on the side, so everyone can spoon some onto their plates.
From Food52.com by EmilyC, https://food52.com/recipes/78524-sheet-pan-curried-chicken-with-cauliflower-and-grapes
Chicken Stew with Potatoes, Carrots, and Celery
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Kosher salt
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 sprig thyme
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 32 ounces low-sodium homemade or store-bought chicken stock
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped parsley, for garnish
In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Sear the chicken for about 3 minutes on each side, until browned. Transfer to a cutting board and cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
In the same pot over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until translucent and softened; season with salt. Add the rosemary and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, until translucent.
Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes, until all of the vegetables are coated and the raw taste has cooked off. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring to break up any lumps of flour.
Add the chicken, potatoes, and pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the chicken and potatoes are fully cooked and the liquid has slightly thickened. Taste and adjust the seasonings; discard the thyme and rosemary sprigs.
Divide the soup among bowls. Garnish with the parsley.
From Food52.com by Rachel Gurjar, https://food52.com/recipes/84569-best-chicken-stew-recipe
Napa Cabbage with Hot Bacon Dressing
- 1 Napa cabbage, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (you’ll need 6 to 8 cups)
- 8 thick slices bacon, cut into 1/ 4-inch lardons
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 tablespoons red wine or cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Place the cabbage in a large mixing bowl. Add the bacon to a medium sauté pan and set over medium heat. Render the bacon fat and brown the bacon, adjusting the heat as needed. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel, then pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon fat (approximate, don’t measure) from the pan.
Set the pan over medium low heat. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the vinegar and water and bring to a boil. Season with the salt. Gradually – and slowly! – whisk this mixture into the egg.
Sprinkle the bacon on the cabbage, then pour 3/4 of the dressing over the cabbage and toss to mix. Add more dressing as desired (I like a fair amount). Serve with grilled pork chops, roasted potatoes and beer.
From Food52.com by Amanda Hesser, https://food52.com/recipes/7940-helen-getz-s-napa-cabbage-with-hot-bacon-dressing
Parsley Miso Pesto
- 2 heaping cups fresh parsley (about 3/4 of a bunch)
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced, plus more to taste
- 4 teaspoons white miso, plus more to taste
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed to moisten and bind the pesto
Knife method: Pile about a third of the parsley and garlic in the center of a large cutting board, and use a large, sharp chef’s knife or vegetable cleaver to chop it very fine. Add another third of the parsley and garlic, and chop again until very fine. Add the final third of the parsley and garlic, and chop again until very fine. Add the miso paste, 1 teaspoon at a time, chopping each addition into the mixture until it’s incorporated. Towards the end, you may find it easier to mash the miso into the herbs with the flat of your knife, rather than chopping. The pesto is ready when you can press it into a lump and have it more or less stick to itself.
Food processor method: In a food processor, combine parsley, garlic, and miso paste. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped and holds together when pressed. (If you have a small processor, doing this in batches is fine.)
If you’re using immediately, combine the parsley mixture with the oil. If you did the knife method, you can do this by hand in a bowl. If you used a food processor, you can stream in the oil with the machine running.
If you aren’t using immediately, you can simply pour the oil over the herbs. The unstirred pesto can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. To freeze the pesto, transfer the solids to an airtight container and add enough olive oil to cover the surface; it’ll keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen pesto overnight in the refrigerator. Just before serving, stir to combine the olive oil and solids.
From Food52.com by IEatThePeach, https://food52.com/recipes/24851-parsley-miso-pesto