We Think the Tractor's Sexy!
The effect of this drought on your crops

Bone Dry Down on the Farm – Just ask the dogs

Clagett Farm Recipes
Photos and Recipes~Rita Calvert 2007

Farm Talk from Michael Heller

Bone Dry Down on the Farm – Just ask the dogs
 
Old Mr. Devaughn dropped by the farm the other day.  He’s 86, but hard work and tobacco have conspired to make him look older.  He brought with him two 5 gallon buckets of unshelled limas.  He’d picked them that morning starting at 7 “before it got so goshed darn hot”. Just being neighborly, and also one of his many thank yous for us letting him walk the farm with his young rabbit dogs from time to time. He grew up on the farm next door with his tenant-farming family.  But he doesn’t live there any more.  Coming here nurtures early memories, which he often shares with us.  This morning he talks about the drought.
        “I ain’t never seen it so dry – not even in the 30’s and them days was dry!   Snooky Catner over on Osborne is feedin’ hay to his cows like its winter.  Lots of others is doin’ the same. “Why heck there’s lots of years we had the fire department to bring us water, ‘cuz the well wazn’t but 35’ deep.  But this year! – why them dogs can’t even hunt.  I put ‘em out with a rabbit not 10 yards away, and they couldn’t pick up a scent it was that dry. I’ve gived up even runnin’ the dogs.” 

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Concia Zucchini with Mint and Vinegar from Cucina Ebraica by Joyce Goldstein

4 to 6 small zucchini, (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or basil 
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
2 large cloves garlic, minced 
6 tablespoons olive oil 
4 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

Cut the zucchini into 1/4 inch thick slices, or to prepare it Veneto fashion, cut the zucchini lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and let stand in a colander for 30 minutes to drain off any bitter juices. Rinse and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine the mint or basil, parsley, and garlic. Warm the olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. In batches, add the zucchini and cook, turning as needed, until golden on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a shallow serving dish and sprinkle with some of the mint mixture and some of the vinegar. Repeat with the rest of the zucchini, mint mixture, and vinegar. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, basting occasionally with vinegar in the dish, before serving.

Food of the Week . . . Swiss Chard
Did you know that Swiss chard promotes healthy bones and vision? It is a very good non-dairy source of calcium and an excellent source of vitamin K, which plays an important role in maintaining bone health since it activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone. Swiss chard's rich supply of magnesium is also necessary for healthy bones. About two-thirds of the magnesium in the human body is found in our bones. Some helps give bones their physical structure, while the rest is found on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to draw upon as needed. Swiss chard is also an excellent source of vitamin A and is rich in beta-carotene, two important nutrients for healthy vision. In a study of over 50,000 women, those who consumed the highest dietary amount of vitamin A had a 39% reduced risk of developing cataracts. Chard is also a concentrated source of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants that concentrate in the lens and retina to protect them from oxidative damage.Carotenoids have been found to reduce risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Mediterranean Swiss Chard
Serves 2

Swiss chard is one of the super foods rich in many nutrients, including anti-oxidants. We have created this recipe so you can eat it often with many meals. The simple dressing complements it very well. When the chard is fresh it needs nothing else to be delicious and satisfying. Don’t overlook the stems as they add extra fiber with close to the same nutrients s the leaves--just chop them into smaller pieces.
2 large bunches chopped Swiss chard
1 medium clove garlic, pressed
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice
extra virgin olive oil to taste
salt and black pepper to taste

Bring lightly salted water to a rapid boil in a large pot. Cut off tough bottom part of stems.
Add the chopped stems and leaves to the boiling water and simmer for only 3-5 minutes, until tender.

Drain in a colander and press out excess water. Toss with rest of ingredients. Make sure you don't toss
chard with dressing until you are ready to serve. Otherwise the flavor will become diluted.


Okra with Coriander and Tomatoes

1 pound chopped tomatoes
1 pound fresh okra
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions thinly sliced
 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon sugar
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
salt and ground black pepper
 
Trim off any stalks from okra and leave whole. Heat oil in a saute pan and fry the onions
and coriander for 3-4 minutes until beginning to color.
 
Add okra and garlic and fry for 1 minute. Gently stir in the tomatoes and sugar and simmer
for about 15 minutes, until okra is tender, stirring onceor twice. Stir in lemon rind and
juice and add salt and pepper to taste, adding a little more sugar if necessary. Serve warm or cold.

 
Okra - Japanese style
This is a very general ethnic recipe where a pinch of this or a dad of that is up to you.

1. Boil okra - don't overboil too much because it gets stickier.
2. Wash it in cold water (to keep the color green).
3. Cut (bite size) in pieces.
4. Put them in a bowl.
5. If you can find Japanese dried bonito frakes (called katsuobushi, which is sold in any oriental store), put them on the okra.
6. Pour a couple of drops of soy sauce (don't over do it!) and a drop of mirin (which you can find in any oriental store)
7. Mix them lightly, and done!
 

Baked Summer Squash with Pesto Crumbs
This can be served as a whole meal, over wild rice and garnished with toasted pecans.

3 pounds mixed summer squash
3 tablespoons. butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 teaspoon. salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon mace
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 shallots, minced
4 scallions, finely chopped
½ cup Pesto Bread Crumbs Recipe (see below)

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 2 ½ to 3 quart casserole dish with cover. Trim squash and cut into large chunks (about 1 ½ inches). Arrange squash pieces in casserole and set aside. Melt butter and olive oil together in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients, blending thoroughly. Pour sauce mixture over squash, tossing until squash is coated. Cover casserole and bake 40 minutes. Toss squash gently and spoon juices and seasonings from the bottom of dish over squash. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake uncovered for 10 minutes longer, until squashes are tender when pierced with a knife.
Adapted from More Recipes from a Kitchen Garden by Renee Shepherd.

Pesto Bread Crumbs
Makes 2 cups
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese
3 tablespoons roasted pine nuts
1 ½ cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor until thoroughly blended. After using, refrigerate any leftovers.


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Squash Pancakes

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
4 medium summer squashes, grated
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated cheese
1/3 cup each chopped fresh parsley, basil and cilantro
2 tablespoons minced shallot or green onion
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour
Mix together eggs and milk. Add squash, herbs and shallots. Then mix in the cheese. Add slowly the bread crumbs and flour and mix well. In a large, heavy, non-stick skillet, melt 1T butter until it starts to brown. Spoon about 1/4C of mixture into the pan and flatten a bit with the spoon. You might be able to fit 2 pancakes into the same pan at once. When the edges show a little browning turn with a spatula. Cook the other side until it is also golden brown. Keep pancakes warm in the oven until they are all cooked.

Cream of Zucchini and Pernod Soup(CREME DE COURGETTES A L'ANIS )
Serves 6

This hot or cold soup with our most abundant zucchini is dressed up beautifully with the earthy flavor of anise from the fennel seed and the French liqueur, Pernod.

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 cups chopped zucchini (from about 6 medium zucchini) 
1 large onion, chopped 
2 cups water 
4 garlic cloves, chopped 
1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds 
1 fresh thyme sprig 
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or whipping cream 
2 tablespoons Pernod or other anise_flavored liqueur 
Additional olive oil
fresh basil buds

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped zucchini and chopped onion and sauté until onion is translucent, about 15 minutes. Add 2 cups water, chopped garlic, 1 1/2 tablespoons fennel seeds and thyme sprig. Stir in 2 tablespoons crème fraîche and 2 tablespoons Pernod. Simmer soup uncovered 20 minutes. Remove thyme sprig from soup. Working in batches, purée soup in processor until smooth. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Return to saucepan and rewarm over medium heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and serve. Garnish with basil.

Summer Squash with Toasted Garlic and Lime
Serves 4

1 pound zucchini or yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 scant tsp salt, plus more to season finished dish
2 tablespoons vegetable broth for sauteing
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice (can sub fresh lemon juice)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons freshly chopped oregano
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

In a large skillet, saute the garlic in the vegetable broth until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove garlic and set aside. Raise heat to
medium-high. Add squash to pan and saute for 8-10 minutes, until tender but a little crunchy.

Stir in lime juice, oregano, parsley, pepper, roasted garlic, and salt to taste. Mix well.


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Paul's Zuke Soup
Serves 6-8

This yummy soup makes use of much of the Clagett bounty.

1 onion, sliced 
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped 
3 pounds zucchini (8 or so medium ones), chopped 
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock 
2 cups water 
1/2 cup parsley leaves 
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 
4 strips bacon, fried, drained and crumbled 
salt and pepper 
freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
homemade croutons 
Additional chopped basil for garnish

Place onion, garlic, zucchini, stock, water, parsley, basil, bacon and dashes of salt and pepper in a large stockpot. Simmer until zucchini is very tender. Process in a blender until very smooth. Adjust seasoning. Serve hot, sprinkled with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, croutons and additional chopped basil.

Vegetable Kebabs with Mustard Sauce
Serves 4

Add shrimp if you like since they cook as quickly as the vegetables.

16 baby carrots (about 8 ounces), peeled
16 baby yellow scallop squash* (about 8 ounces) or 3/4 pound yellow squash
16 baby zucchini (about 6 ounces) or 3/4 pound zucchini
16 red or white pearl onions (about 6 ounces)
1 1/2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 large red bell peppers (about 9 ounces), cut into sixteen pieces
2-by-3/4-inch pieces
eight 12-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water to cover 1 hour

In a large saucepan of boiling salted water cook carrots 1 minute. Add yellow squash and zucchini and cook vegetables 5 minutes. Transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking and drain well in a colander. Transfer vegetables to a bowl. (If using larger yellow squash and zucchini cut them into a total of thirty-two 3/4-inch pieces.) In boiling water remaining in pan cook onions 4 minutes and transfer with slotted spoon to bowl of ice and cold water. Drain onions well in colander and peel, leaving root ends intact.
Vegetables may be boiled 1 day ahead and chilled in sealable plastic bags.

In a small bowl whisk together vinegar, mustard, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Basting sauce can be made 1 day ahead.

Prepare grill.

Thread vegetables, alternating them, onto skewers. Brush one side of kebabs with about half of sauce and grill,coated side down, on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals 5 minutes. Brush kebabs with remaining sauce and turn. Grill kebabs 5 minutes more, or until squash is tender.

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