From the Farmer

Week 13 – 8/11/2016
Sunflowers and Tour at The Grant
We had a lovely afternoon tour at The Grant Farm on Sunday.  Thanks to those of you who joined us, and for harvesting sunflowers.  That was fun!
Curry Box
This is one of our favorite boxes, the Curry Box.  Curry is a fun, exotic, well-traveled and flexible in how to prepare.  Never made curry?  Try one this week.  Don’t be intimidated, there’s no right way to do it.  For families: the kids will love it, try it.  For couples: Curry is romantic and has aphrodisiacal properties, try it.  
Curry looks and tastes different in nearly every region of India, Pakistan, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Japan, Thailand, the Maldives, Burma, South Africa, England, the Caribbean… in each region and locale the dish may be defined by tradition and by local crops and preferences; but try them all and you’ll find spicy curry and sweet curry; dry curry and wet curry; curry with meat in it and vegetarian curry.  They can be quite complex.  But simple or complicated you won’t go wrong if you follow a few basic steps. 
Here’s one quick and dirty curry: coconut oil, a few tablespoons curry paste (cheating, I know) over medium heat; add a few cloves of garlic and any onions or potatoes or ginger; six or seven cups of mixed veggies cut however you like and a couple stalks of lemongrass (see below);  stir while you do this for five or ten minutes, until the veggies soften a little; add two cups of stock and a can of coconut milk or enough to cover it all, and simmer with chicken or fish – until the meat or fish is cooked through.  I like to add a tablespoon of fish sauce, too – don’t wait ‘til the end on this as you want the fishiness to cook off.  Add any last spices then garnish and serve with rice, of course.  For a real recipe, see Chef Bonnie’s below.  And if you have a good one, send to us for a future newsletter or the Farm’s recipe page.
This year’s curry box has good fixings, and you can see them on this week’s CSA video on Facebook or YouTube: potatoes, zucchini and tomatoes, even melons for a veggie base; hot pepper, garlic and lemongrass to add flavor.  You’ll also find sweet potato greens, which are used all over the tropics as a hot season vegetable.  We harvest these on the vine, and they’re really easy to use: pluck the leaves off the vine (discard the vine), chop and add to your vegetable mix.  You can treat them as you do any cooked leafy green.  A few other notes:
  • Sweet potato greens.  Use as any cooking green, they may need to cook a little longer.  Traditional in many cultures for curry, callaloo, and other dishes with greens.
  • Sweet peppers.  Carmen and her orange sister, Escamilla.  They are "cow horn" type Italian peppers that look hot but are sweet.
  • Potatoes.  You may have heard of these before.  Yukon Gold or Mountain Rose varieties, both good all-around potatoes.
  • Hot Peppers.  Some are hotter than others and we’ve given you a mix.  You may get Fish, Thai, Cayenne, even a Habanero type.  The last are the hottest.  If you're not sure or are sensitive, use gloves to handle and wash your hands well before touching your face, etc.  It's happened.
  • Lemongrass.  This is the long grassy thing in your box.  Careful!  The edges are sharp and can give you paper cuts.  Fresh lemongrass is good for a variety of things: use the stalk – the thick bottom portion – to add flavor by crushing or simply adding to your sauce.  Don’t chop it up, rather you can remove it so you don’t actually eat it (you can do this with hot peppers, too, if you don’t want a dish to be too spicy).  The long green leaves you can use fresh in tea or to flavor water, or you can hang them in the kitchen to dry and use for tea at a later date.  Lemongrass also freezes well.
Be great,
Mike, Deb, Al, Lex, Jennifer, Anya, James, Emily, Kay, Sonya, Julia and Kelly, Bella, Radish and Lila, Goats x 12, Camilla x 452, dinner chicks x 999 in the freezer, Roscoe RIP and Popcorn, picking sunflowers at The Grant
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