So – we’re a little famous. See the July Issue of Mary Jane’s Farm magazine which features Circle M animals and people in an article called "Share Your Soil, Sisters! Host a Farm Tour." And indeed, we are going to share at a big Soil Sisters farm tour event at the end of the month. Save the date for the Soil Sisters Tour – July 31 through August 1. Visit us and other women-owned farms and field-to-table restaurants in southwest Wisconsin, primarily in Green County. Circle M will host several wool classes, and Kriss will be the tour guide for the bus trip! We'd love to see you at some of the events! Farmer Kriss will also be featured on a Wake Up Wisconsin episode early in the morning next Thursday, July 9, for Channel 27/ABC - sharing her recipe for Sunshine Skillet Saute. You can see the recipe here, though!
That's enough about us - now it's all about the veggies! Here's what's in the box:
Elderberry Flowers- Foraged treat! We love to forage in the nearby fields and forest for our members when we can. This very fleeting seasonal treat is not something we'd recommend health-wise, except that it'll increase the thankfulness you feel for woodland edges. There are two basic ways we use these - fried into battered fritters, and soaked in vodka for a year to make your own St. Germain elderflower liqueur. I just strained the elderflowers out of my St. Germain a few weeks ago and added it to some rhubarb simple syrup for an amazing cordial I offer to my bed and breakfast guests for a midnight snack with dark chocolate truffles. Slightly bitter and herbal, perfectly cleansing for bedtime! You'll find recipes for both fritters and cordial on this gorgeous website, LazySundayCooking.
Cilantro- So terrific with garlic scapes in a salsa. Since we don't have tomatoes and peppers yet, we made a salsa for pepper jam quesadillas this week with mango and rhubarb in equal amounts, then vinegar, cilantro, scallions, salt and tabasco to taste.
Black Caps- These tiny black raspberries grow wild in the woods around our place so we headed out with the crew to pick some for you this week. I guess you're lucky any made it back - they are delicious and we made our teeth blue with eating them!
Basil - Holy cow - the basil really came on in the rain and heat. Hooray! Basil and scapes at the same time mean a wonderful sweet spring pesto! Sorry about the dirt - we got very very splashed around here. But if we wash them they won't last long for you. SO - Rinse these bagged leaves right before you are going to use them. Very tender. Best stored on the door of your fridge where it's not too cold. Don't forget to consider basil as an ingredient in your summer cocktails. Booze and basil really suit each other. Check out our ideas on the Farmer Kriss Pinterest Page under CSA Box Recipes and The Farmhouse Bar page.
Head Lettuce - This week we've got terrific tender-leaved Green Oakleaf.
Swiss Chard - Young leaves are so pretty and so soft and sweet. I just LOVE them - we will rarely pick big leaves of greens for you. We like little! This week they are going in my Morning Glory Muffins for the Argyle Farmers Market - I'm planning a white corn muffin with red chard stems and blue black caps. Try these raw ribboned into salad and please do eat the stems. Very tasty chopped into scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Herb Bouquet: Chocolate Mint, Flowering Oregano, Tarragon, and Chinese Leeks (Garlic Chives) - We've said this already but WE LOVE FRESH HERBS here at Circle M. Having a bounty of fresh herbs to choose from transforms our summer cooking and baking. The best way to have these at hand is to pop them in a Ball jar filled with an inch of water and store in the fridge. Chocolate Mint means Mojito Lemonade (simply add a few tablespoons of lime juice and a handful of mint leaves to a lemonade recipe) for crew lunches and Mojitos for REAL at dusk. With your stalks of tarragon, which is lightly sweet and anise-flavored, we recommend making a wine-based salad dressing. The oregano - with pretty purple flowers - is great this time of year used on top of pizza cooked on the grill. The flat Chinese leeks can be used chopped into anything you'd like with chives.
Baby Kale - Beautiful, lush, delicious and remarkably nutritious. Do you have enough ways to use up your kale? If not, please do check out the Farmer Kriss Pinterest page for ideas. OR watch Farmer Kriss make her Sunshine Skillet Saute with kale on the Wake Up Wisconsin show on Channel 27/ABC. That's right, I'm being taped for a segment on Thursday, July 9. I've been asked to do a "Veggie Main Dish" so I'm going with kale! I'm in a series with many of my "Soil Sisters" - women farmers who are doing a cool tour of their farms on the weekend of July 31 through Aug 2. See all the info here.
Mini Napa Cabbage - We grew this tiny variety of Napa Cabbage because it seemed a reasonable size fit into our CSA boxes. The bonus is that these little leaves work great as boats for dips! The crew had them slathered in goat cheese or peanut butter for lunch this week.
Snap and Snow Peas - Hooray! A favorite crop for many of our crew each year, snaps are like a sweet snack that is good for you but keeps you craving more! Hopefully we'll have a couple weeks of harvest of these for you - it depends on how the weather goes, but the vines certainly are loaded now! Zip the string off the side before you munch. Though it seems a shame to cook these, they get even sweeter when lightly sauteed! But I think the flatter, bigger snow peas are what really shine when lightly cooked.
Garlic Scapes - If you need more inspiration than these curly little treats can provide on their own, check out the wonderful Kitchen Vignettes video on making Garlic Scape Pancakes.
Scallions - The first of the new onions! Enjoy all the way up the stalk - Chinese-style! No need to throw anything in the compost but the roots.
Rhubarb - More! Experiment with a different dessert this week, or cook down with a little honey and chia seeds for a wonderful healthy jam. We've had rhubarb every day for the past month and I am still not sick of it. I cooked some down with vinegar and honey to make a concentrated glaze for the ham I served at our Saturday field-to-table dinner. Then I cooked the leftovers with onions and kale for a wonderful lunch bowl of greens.
Garlic - This isn't cured but it has bulbed up, so use just like regular garlic but store in the fridge.
Horseradish - The lumpy root at the bottom of your box is, in fact, horseradish. It won't smell like much until you grate it - either with a cheese grater or a food processor. Then the damaged cells will release enzymes that react with the air and do the horseradish-y thing. Make sure to keep your eyes away from the fumes! Immediately add vinegar and salt to preserve, and store in the fridge. YUM. We added grated horseradish to shredded carrots and beets, then dressed with balsamic vinegar reduction, and served alongside our Rhubarb Crusted Ham at the Saturday dinner. One of our farmhands, and server for the night, Sam, had the brilliant idea to add chopped cilantro and scallions and it was the BOMB!
Herbs To Plant: Thyme - We use thyme in everything - all year long! But it is slow growing and we won't always be able to harvest enough to get in the boxes. So here's your very own plant. Put it in a six- or eight-inch pot and leave it in the sun near your kitchen where you can get it quick.
Gifts from the Goats: Chive Blossom Goat Cheese - This has been our most popular goat cheese flavor, both at the farm dinner and at the farmers market. But the blossoms are now done on the plants and this is the last chive blossom goat cheese of the year. Enjoy! Dip those snap and snow peas in here for a great treat.