Hog Killing Time
**WARNING - SENSITIVE CONTENT**
Vegetarians and animal activists may not enjoy this section - and I understand. I was not going to tell this story - but it is the reality of what happened on the farm this week. On Sunday, we gathered to kill our two hogs. We said thank you to them and they were quickly dispatched with no squeals or distress. It was still not easy to watch - but I am thankful that I (and my kids) got to watch the process. We learned a lot about what it takes to raise and slaughter pigs. I don't see the farm raising pigs on a commercial scale any time soon - but it has been a good learning experience.
Happy Fourth of July Week!
CSA Basket - Week 5
Here is what you can expect to find in a large share basket this week (asterisk for small share items):
- Head lettuce* - fresh salad for your BBQ on the 4th? Try a dressing using an herb infused vinegar - see Chef's Corner
- Kale* - saute or eat fresh - try slicing into ribbons and massaging with olive oil to tenderize
- Zucchini* - slice and grill or saute with eggs for breakfast
- Peas* - try roasting with an herb infused olive oil and top with parmesan cheese
- Red bunching onion* -perfect on a salad or use in a recipe like any onion
- Bok Choi - see Chef's Corner
- Beets - cube and roast with herb infused oil or try a quick pickle using recipe from last week
- Strawberries - refreshing on a salad - if they aren't eaten on the way home
- Shishito Peppers - see recipe below
- Herb Pack - variety herb pack - see ideas in Chef's Corner for infusing herbs
Vegetable of the Week - Peppers
Botanical Facts - Capsicums, or peppers, are a genus of the nightshade family (Solanaceae) and are related to the New World tomatoes and potatoes, and to the Old World aubergine (eggplant) and deadly nightshade, the latter being highly toxic. Their flavor comes from the presence of capsaicin, a powerful alkaloid that is found in the inner membrane and seeds of the pepper. Capsaicin content can vary widely even in fruits from the same plant.
Historical Origins - All capsicums are native to the Americas. Wild chilies were eaten in Mexico around 7000 BCE and cultivated by 3500 BCE. Columbus likely brought plants back to Europe in the late fifteenth century, and the Spanish and the Portuguese took them to India and Southeast Asia shortly after. Chillies spread quickly to the Middle East, the Balkans, and Europe. Chillies rapidly became important to cuisines around the world and are prized for their tangy to spicy flavors.
Grilled Shishito Peppers
This is my favorite way to eat Shishito peppers - they make a tasty appetizer. Shishito peppers are not hot peppers - but every so often there is one that IS hot - maybe one in ten depending on the plant and growing conditions. So take a chance - I found a spicy one while sampling in the field!
- 1/2 pound shishito peppers
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- Coarse sea salt and pepper
- Lemon wedges
1. Heat a cast iron pan or outdoor grill to medium high heat (375 to 425 degrees)
2. Place the peppers in a medium bowl and toss with olive oil
3. When pan/grill is hot, arrange peppers in a single layer, turning occasionally, until they are charred and blistered, about 6 to 8 minutes total
4. Return peppers to the bowl and toss with salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon over peppers to taste. Serve immediately - pick it up by the stem and take a bite. So tasty!
Another Bite - From Chef Darlene:
Bok Choy is easy to prepare. Slice bok choy in half. Heat a skillet on medium high and add some peanut oil or other oil. Place bok choy cut side down in skillet and leave a few minutes until nicely browned. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper, add a small amount of vegetable or chicken broth and soy sauce and cover pan. Lower heat and allow the bok choy to steam until tender-crisp. Serve as a side dish for pork or fish or chicken or just rice.
Bok Choy can also be sliced or chopped and added to rice or noodle dishes or stirred into soups. It is especially delicious with chitake mushrooms in a stir-fry.
CSA Tip of the Week: Herbs
Herb Salt or Sugar: Combine ¾ cup of kosher salt or sugar with ½ cup of tender herb leaves (mint, basil, tarragon, dill, cilantro, chives, parsley) in a food processor and pulse until herbs are finely minced. Store in an airtight container. Sprinkle the Herb Salt over fish, chicken, sliced tomatoes, grilled vegetables. Use the Herb Sugar in iced tea, lemonade or to rim a cocktail glass.
Herb Infused Oil: Combine 2 cups of olive oil with a handful of any fresh herb and warm over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool and then strain into a bottle and store in a cool, dark place. Use within 4-6 weeks.
Herb Vinegar: Pack a canning jar with any fresh herb and pour in any kind of vinegar. Allow to steep for several days to a week before straining into a bottle. Add a sprig of whatever herb you used to flavor the vinegar. Try tarragon in white wine vinegar, rosemary in red wine vinegar, cilantro in rice vinegar…the options are endless.
We would love to hear from you! What have you been preparing with your vegetables? Have you tried something new? Let us know! Send us an email or post on Facebook and we can share your ideas with others in the next newsletter.
We will continue to be at the Harstine Island Farmers Market and Shelton Farmers Market on Saturdays throughout the summer. You can also find us online at Fresh Food Revolution for deliveries to Gig Harbor, Key Peninsula, and Allyn. Come see us at the market!
Your SVF Farm Team