Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CSA Week 7 and Pungent Green Beans and Tomatoes

I had some folks drop over today to buy some tomatoes, and as they waited for me to pick their bounty, they walked around the gardens looking at what was growing. When I arrived back to show them what I had picked for them, they told me how wonderful the gardens looked this year. And they are pretty good, although as the focus is getting to be more on harvesting, the weeds are starting to gain momentum.

"I've been working hard" I said, and they said that it showed.
But after they left I started thinking. I always work hard every single year. That's the nature of what I do, and I know that is why sometimes I get frustrated. I work hard some years and get results, but work just as hard others, and don't. Same effort, same money poured into my business, and I have so much less to show for it. The weather rules all..determines when I can plant, what I can plant, what bugs are around, what pollinators will arrive to work in the garden, whether or not the weeds will be a big problem, and how much I need to water. 

I'm thankful for this year being what it is. I'll take it. (It would work again for next year too!)
The CSA baskets were pretty heavy today, and my girls and I got produce to Bamboo Natural Foods in St Catharines, Churchill Meats in Fonthill and Valli Girls Meats in St Catharines as well. 

Baskets contained, yes, friggin' zucchini. That's what Emily said to call it anyways. 
Also lots of beans, primarily my test garden variety, a french filet bean called Mascott. There were lots of nice tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, onions, carrots or chard, basil, leaf celery and likely a few more items I can't remember now.

This recipe from Farmer John's Cookbook will make good use of some of the beans and tomatoes and has a good kick to it. Enjoy!

Pungent Green Beans and Tomatoes

Serves 4
10 cloves garlic, smashed
1 piece ginger (about 1 inch long), peeled, chopped
 vegetable stock, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup mild-flavored vegetable oil
2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
1 whole dried red chile pepper (optional)
2 to 4 fresh tomatoes, stems removed, peeled, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 pounds green beans, cut in half (about 8 cups)
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the garlic, ginger, and 1/2 cup of the stock in a blender or a
food processor; process until a smooth paste forms.
2. Place a large wok (or pot) over medium heat. When the wok is hot,
add the ground cumin and toast it just until it is fragrant. (This will take
only a few seconds—be very careful not to overtoast it, as it can burn
quickly). Immediately scrape the cumin onto a small dish and set aside.
3. Quickly wipe the wok with a damp cloth or paper towel to remove
any remaining spice. Return the wok to the heat; add the oil, let it
heat up for about 20 seconds and then add the whole cumin seeds.
After 5 seconds, add the dried chile pepper. After another 25 seconds
(30 seconds total for the seeds, with or without the chile), add the
ginger-garlic paste. Cook and stir the ingredients for 2 minutes. Stir
in the tomatoes and coriander. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
4. Add the green beans, salt, and the remaining stock. Stir the ingredients
until they come to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to low.

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