Ode to Cilantro

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There are many people out there who DO NOT like cilantro, there are even websites dedicated to those who HATE cilantro.  Well, I’m not one of those people, in fact I’m PRO cilantro.  I’m glad cilantro only grows in the spring and the fall, otherwise my kids would join the other cilantro camp because it would be a part of every meal!  I want to share today my favorite way to enjoy cilantro: Cilantro Pesto!

All you need to make this delicious concoction is some cilantro, a food processor, salt, garlic, and olive oil.  You might be asking yourself, self, is this like making basil pesto?  And your self will answer back, YES!  If you go online, there are many recipes to choose from, and I say pick one.  If it has too many ingredients, skip it, because the flavor of the pesto will be covered up.  Here is how we make it:

Cilantro Pesto

1 large bunch of cilantro

salt to taste

1 cup olive oil

4 garlic cloves

Directions:

Place all ingredients in food processor, blend until incorporated.  Taste it to see if it meets your needs.  More salt?  More garlic?  And oui, là!

Toss this pesto with some freshly prepared pasta, or rice.  We put it on everything!  A dollop on some salad, a smear on a burrito, even on pizza!

Cilantro lovers unite!  Try this tasty alternative to basil pesto, and this yummy way to enjoy the love of my life which is, cilantro!

Penguin Peppers

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You know it has been a long season, when your plants start producing magical, yet comical fruits.  They must be saying to us, sit down and have a laugh, it’s almost over.

Not only are there penguin peppers, but peppers with funny noses:

These peppers are doing their job, showing us that plants can have a sense of humor too!

 

 

Hoop House Hoopla

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We’ve been really busy here on the farm, our main project right now, on top of EVERYTHING else is re-erecting the Mothership.  If you aren’t a 2-greenthumbs superfan, let me fill you in.  Last march our hoop house, the Mothership, was blown down in what we later found out was a F1 tornado.  Look back into my archives, there were pictures and tears shed.  But NOW we are putting a new Mothership back up, better than ever.  There were lots of hands involved in this, there are some pictures on my other farm blog Ozark Alternatives and I will add some more here as well.

 

I would just like to add that we also pulled the roof up and over!  There are no pictures of that, because all hands were on deck.  FARM LIFE!

Feeling the Fall

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Here on the farm we have been really busy.  We wrapped up one CSA season with good company and tall cans, and rolled on into the fall season with more good company.  I tried to think about the number of people who have shuffled through our door this season with the WWOOF program, or otherwise…and I couldn’t get an accurate count.  To those of you who know that you have been here, thanks.  I’ve enjoyed feeding and gossiping with you all.  I’ve really been enjoying this fall weather here in Fayette-town.  So mild, yet not quite coat weather.  For me, this signals apple season.  Apple pie, apple crisp/crumble, apple turnovers, apple sauce, apple muffins, on and on.

 

Here is a recipe for apple turnovers that is easy, and delicious

Apple Turnovers

(Simply Recipes)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large tart baking apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 3 Tbsp dried currants
  • 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed OR 2 pâte brisée dough recipes (enough for a double crust pie)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, cut into bits
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon milk

METHOD

1 Put oven rack in lower third of oven and pre-heat oven to 400°F. Butter a large baking sheet (or use Silpat).

2 In a medium bowl, mix together apples, currants, and walnuts with the sugar, cinnamon, and corn starch, making sure the fruit and nuts are well coated. Mix in the apple sauce and vanilla.

3a Unfold the thawed pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Depending on the size of your puff pastry sheet you are going to want to cut the sheet into either four 5-inch-by-5-inch or six 4-inch-by-4-inch squares.

3b Roll out your pie dough on a lightly floured surface to a 16×11 inch rectangle. Trim the edges to 15×10 inches and cut into six 5×5-inch squares.

4 Divide the apple mixture among the squares, leaving a 1-inch border. If you are using an already prepared puff pastry sheet, dot the mixture in each pastry with a little butter. (If you are using a butter pie dough, you can skip adding the extra butter.) In a small bowl mix the beaten egg with a teaspoon of milk. Use a pastry brush to brush the egg mixture on the border of the pastry.

5 Fold each pastry into a triangle, enclosing the filling, and crimp edges with a fork. Brush the tops of the pastries with more of the egg wash. Cut 2 or 3 small steam vents in the top of each turnover.

6 Place the pastries in the oven and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Cool turnovers to warm before serving.

If you have extra time (because we all have loads of this right?) try your favorite apple recipe and fill your house with the smells of the season!

I Like Farm Friends

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The other evening, we were out, and when we came back there was a present waiting for us. A farm friend from down south in the land of Greenwood Arkansas swung by, waited, and left leaving a very nice present.

Thank you David for the home-made soap and the home grow loofah!  Are you trying to tell us something?  For any of you locals, David’s wife makes and sells home-made soaps at Ozark Natural Foods here in Fayetteville.  Her brand is called “Dixie Flower Soaps”  They are exceptionally delightful, for we have received some of them before.  So be sure to check out her products on the shelves.

10 Degree Drop in Temp = New Perspective

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The weather has cooled slightly, instead of being 100+ degrees, it has dropped into the 90’s!  Some people don’t feel a difference, it’s HOT any way you look at it, but for those who work out in it, it makes a difference.  Plants hae bounced back, insects are flying around again, and we even got a little rain.  We wasted no time and got back out into the field, prepping and planting.

 

Planting a salad mix, and laying the drip line.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planting beans.

 

 

 

 

 

Covering the seeds up.

 

 

“Sweet Jane”, came to us all the way from the great land of Long Island.  When she left here the other day, she had to return to start school again.  I don’t think she was very excited about it, she said that she’d rather stay in the field.  I agree, since I too am in school, and would rather be in the field as well.

 

The chickens are feeling the difference in the heat as well, their egg production is back up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More, More, More

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More HEAT, means less harvest and more canning!  The ladies kept up their kitchen wrangling and canned more peppers.  This time we used what gloves we had, which were latex, and that was our fatal mistake!  Note dear reader, that when you can any type of hot pepper, you must MUST wear gloves!  But not just any type of glove I learned.  As we started to chop, we all got the tingles in our fingers, then the tingles turned to a burning sensation.  I said “Gloves OFF!” and we went to the store to buy some blue nitrile gloves, but the damage had been done.  I whipped out my handy iPod touch gadget and looked up pepper chopping and glove choice.  Apparently the molecules of capsaicin are small enough to transfer through the pores of latex gloves, so says the internet, and my burning hands.  So, keep that in mind if you choose to participate in the fun that is canning hot peppers.  Nitrile gloves, or rubber kitchen gloves!

Our method was to de-seed MOST of the peppers, so that there would be some heat in the jar, but that they wouldn’t be so hot that you can’t taste anything for a week.  They turned out pretty good if I do say so myself.  What’s that?  You want to know the method?  Alrighty, I too had to look it up and found an ever so useful blog, where the writer said that she has not worn gloves and been fine, but when her kids want to help, she does wear gloves.  Do yourself a favor and wear gloves.  We canned in half-pint jars, so adjust your recipe accordingly if you decide to go bigger.

For half-pint jars, pack the jar full of peppers, leave a head space.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of canning salt and fill with a mixture that is half white vinegar and half water.  So for a full pint, put in a full teaspoon of salt, two teaspoons if you are canning a quart.  You process in the hot water bath for ten minutes.  It’s the simplest thing I’ve ever canned, no cooking involved!  The prep is what will get you!  So remember the NITRILE gloves.

It seems like all I’ve done is take pictures of people working, but don’t be fooled.  I was in there, educating, chopping, and…taking pictures!

I recommend that you give pickling peppers a try, it’s so easy, and they turned out really tasty!

Ozark Alternatives