Saturday, October 31, 2009

Snow Angels

Our recent snowstorm completely blanketed the barnyard, relegating the animals to their shed for the better part of 3 days (the chickens slept in their little coop with a lightbulb at night). The animals weren't unhappy, but the snow was definitely something new for them!

The first day of the storm.

Peeking out.

Before breaking the first path for morning chores.

From inside the cozy shed.

Dasha and the hens.

"Hmm... should we go out?"

Dasha re-breaking the path after new snow.

Wondering if Peaberry is going to come...

Yep, she did it!

"Um, Mom, can you pick me up?"

"That's much better!"

After the snow stopped, Cinnamon and Peaberry went on a little adventure.

They kept getting stalled on the single path, so I made them a loop through the barnyard.

Cardamom checking out what Cinnamon is up to.

Looking regal, even in the snow.

Huffington Post: We Can't Reform Health Care Without Reforming Food

Article by Bob Cesca for The Huffington Post. Includes links to a wonderful conversation between Rachel Maddow and a big-business, anti-healthy food spokesperson.

"If and when healthcare reform finally passes, we will have successfully ameliorated only half of the crisis. The treatment half... Without any real changes in how our food is produced, the health care system will continue to bloat and fall apart. Not unlike the insides of an average American body..."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Down on the Farm

This year my dad got me the best birthday present ever. He had listened over the last few months while I coveted the decorative windmills that people sometimes have in their yards. They just looked so "farm-y," and I really wanted one!

So, when my birthday arrived, my dad brought me a box containing the parts for a beautiful 8-foot windmill. He delivered the gift while visiting in late August. Of course, when he came back to town in late September, I still hadn't had time to put it together.

My dad - always one to come up with clever solutions - had a plan. He was going to hang out with me at the Farmer's Market, which would basically be 4 hours of sitting around. So, we brought the box, and my dad assembled the windmill at the market. Once it was done, it looked so great that we had to put it in front of the stand:

After the market we strapped the windmill to the top of my car to transport it home, where it happily resides in the corner of my back garden. I love seeing it turning in the breeze. Our own little mini-farm here in Denver!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

And MORE Green Tomato Recipes!

The recipes keep pouring in from our CSA & working members. I guess I can understand... I did ask them to take upwards of 20 pounds of green tomatoes home with them at their last CSA pickup!

Brenda sent in this recipe for Poblano Pepper and Green Tomato Chili. She made it with a jalepeno and one of our spicy garden peppers. Brenda also mentioned that the recipe doesn't say when to add the green tomatoes. Brenda put them in at the end during the final cooking.

Morgan sent in a couple of recipes. The first is for Cool 'n' Spicy Green Tomato Soup with Crab and Country Ham. The second is for a dish I've heard talked about many times, but have never tried myself - and I think that this is the year to give it a go! Green Tomato Pie. One tip: Morgan said that the recipe was really tasty (she would have sworn it was apple pie if she hadn't known) but it was really liquidy. She would recommend draining most of the liquid out of the pie mixture before adding it to the crust.

Happy cooking!

Friday, October 9, 2009

More Green Tomato Info!

Jessica sent along these links from Mother Earth News...

A recipe for Roasted Green Tomatoes. Sounds very simple, and a nice way to mellow out the tang of the green fruit.

A discussion entitled "How Long Can You Make Green Tomatoes Last?" Read the comments for some great tips from the Mother Earth News readers!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Indian Green Tomato Recipes

Brenda sent along a link to this blog, entitled "My Diverse Kitchen: A Vegetarian Kitchen in India." This blog has recipes for Green Tomato Relish (pictured), Green Tomato Khorma, Green Tomato Pickle, and Green Tomato and Onion Curry. Khorma is one of my favorite Indian dishes, so I'm really excited to check out the recipe. To visit the blog, click here.

Recipe: Dilled Green Tomato Pickles

Jessica helped to harvest some of our 600 pounds of green tomatoes, and was inspired to send me this recipe. It's from the "Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving." Jessica says that it's tasty, but definitely on the vinegar-y side. Makes a great condiment.

Yield: 6-7 pint jars


3 1/2 cups vinegar
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup pickling or canning salt
5 lbs small, firm green tomatoes, halved or quartered, or whole green cherry tomatoes
6-7 cloves garlic
6-7 heads fresh dill or 1/4 cup dill seeds or dried dill
6-7 bay leaves


1. Prepare canner, jars, and lids.
2. In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine vinegar, water and pickling salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve salt. Remove from heat.
3. Pack tomatoes into hot jars to within a generous 1/2 inch of the top of the jar. Add 1 clove of garlic, 1 head of dill (or 2 tsp of dill seeds or dried dill) and 1 bay leaf to each jar. Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover tomatoes, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot pickling liquid. Wipe rim. Center lid on jar. Screw band down until resistance is met, then increase to fingertip-tight.
4. Place jars in canner, ensuring they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil and process for 25 minutes. Remove canner lid. Wait 5 minutes, then remove jars, cool, and store.


Recipe: Stuffed Zucchini

This recipe was created by Angela, one of our CSA members. She said it was delicious, and I think the picture is beautiful, too!

1 medium round zucchini
1 pound Italian seasoned ground turkey
1 can petite diced tomato, drained
cooking spray
garlic salt

Preheat oven to 350. Cut top off zucchini and carve out middle until walls are approximately 1/2 inch thick. Discard seeds and stringy material, keeping most of the inside of the zucchini. Spray inside of zucchini with cooking spray and salt with garlic salt. Bake for 15 minutes.

Dice remaining zucchini pieces. Brown turkey. Add diced tomato and zucchini when turkey is almost done. Continue to cook for another few minutes.

Remove zucchini shell from oven. Pour turkey mixture into zucchini shell and return to oven for 15 minutes. After cooling for a few minutes, slice and serve.

Recipe: Fried Green Tomatoes

This recipe was submitted by one of our CSA members, Shannon. This dish is one of her family's favorites. Her mom has tried to do the tomatoes lots of different ways, and this is the best way she's found to make them:

- Slice the tomatoes 1/4 inch thick
- Salt the slices on both sides
- Dip the slices in a mixture of cornmeal with a dash of cayenne (no need to dip the slices in something first; they will be wet from slicing)
- Heat a few tablespoons of canola or olive oil in a skillet over medium heat (you want to cook them kind of slowly so they can cook all the way through before they are too brown)
- Place the slices in the skillet
- When they start to brown on the bottom, flip them over
- Sprinkle black pepper on the second side and wait until the underside is brown


Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Queen Tomato

We harvested a lovely 2-pound yellow Brandywine tomato last week. We had to pause for photos before putting it in a CSA share. I hope the CSA member that received this tomato enjoyed it!

A little bit of our tomato bounty.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Mmm... Spaghetti Sauce!

My unblended sauce as it's cooking down. Tomatoes, onions, peppers, basil, chives, herbs, garlic, and other goodies. I cooked it down for one day, cooled it overnight, blended in the morning, and then cooked some more. Getting ready to can the sauce tonight, plus fresh spaghetti sauce for dinner!

How to Ripen Green Tomatoes

Fall is the season for lovely squash, crisp greens, beautiful red tomatoes... and sometimes beautiful green ones, too. As we get closer to frost we often find ourselves in possession of tomatoes that just didn't have enough time to ripen on the vine.

Tomatoes that have started to ripen - that are showing a blush of red or yellow - will finish ripening easily if placed on the windowsill. However, tomatoes that are still completely green will not ripen that way.

The best trick I know of is to place the green tomatoes in a paper bag with a ripe apple (a ripe banana will work, too). The fruit releases ethylene, which helps the green tomato to ripen quickly. Green tomatoes left out, or put in a bag without an apple, run the risk of rotting before they can ripen.

Of course, as Maryann (one of CSA shareholders) pointed out to me, there's nothing wrong with a batch of fried green tomatoes!