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Archive for the ‘Farming’ Category

Little things seem nothing, but they give peace… like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless, but all together perfume the air. – Georges Bernanos

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First corn of the season

I’m not a hundred percent sure what it is about corn that makes so many people so happy… but it does….

Why not be happy? It’s a thrilling vegetable.

And really, it’s rare in the vegetable world… veggies are a lot of things, but thrilling is not typically an adjective folks use unless their being hyperbolic… I mean, let’s be honest, it’s just corn!

I mean, corn doesn’t win the Super Bowl. Corn hasn’t sold out Fenway Park. Corn won’t win a Nobel Prize or become a poem laureate.. now will it? Corn is just corn… and it’s temporary… but it is thrilling.

In days gone by, when we’d put the corn sign out in front of Cricket Corner Farm, the dynamic of our farmstand changed immediately. Folks who would come by to get it…. would want to know what kind it was, how it was growing that year… they’d tell stories about picking corn as a kid, before dawn in Concord, MA, to get it to the Boston markets…. or tell stories about their granddads corn.. that he saved and planted until one year when he didn’t make it through the winter, but they kept the jar of his seed ‘just in case’ someone in the family got the itch to play in the dirt…. stories about the best way to cook it, in milk, with butter, on the grill in the husk, or on the grill husked, baked, broiled, steamed, soaked & microwaved. Then there were the hundreds of recipes for succotash, fritters, and corn relishes they’d generously share with us.

We’d listen to their stories about the best ear they’d ever eaten…. or how today we seldom find worms in the ears.. “now why is that?” they’d inquire. I’ve met very few people that don’t have a top five corn eating moments list… about the farm or farmer that grew it… about the company of friends and family gatherings, or the special camping trip… and more recently during a point deep in Covid isolation… that first or last ear of corn shared with a loved one.

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Yup, corn hits like a primordial gong.. boing!… it sort of reasonates equally and instantly through the entirety of this magnificent universe… and though any vegetable could do that… they don’t, but corn clearly does – and that’s what makes it so special. We’d take the growing of corn very seriously on our farm because we knew the potential gravity of the corn eating experience. Yes, growing corn can be a bit tricky, and we didn’t always get it right, but we’d try our damndest… probably more than any other crop on our farm… for you, for us, for everyone.

Corn is important….

Corn is the staff of life… and it sure is thrilling! 🙂 C’mon, how many of you can deny biting into that first buttery ear of the season and not smiling to yourself? 🙂

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Getting attached.. can’t bring myself to cut into these two! Thinking of naming them! LOL

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My love of peaches borders on obsession.

I have loved, savored and craved juicy, ripe peaches my entire life.

As a child, on  vacation…. one of the highlights of every trip was making magical homemade peach ice cream, made with local peaches that we had picked.

My favorite book was “James and the Giant Peach.” As a little girl, I thought how amazing it would be to be trapped inside, eating my way through a giant, juicy peach. LOL 

My first T206 collectible baseball card was “Peaches Graham”.

There’s not a single food that reminds me more of summer, that brings back to happy childhood memories. Peaches remind me of my dad. They bring me happiness & joy.

Today, a friend brought me some of their donut peaches from their orchard. Yummy!! Thanks so much, Howard and Ann! ❤ Time to make some peach salsa. 

 

 

Peach Salsa

1 1/2# fresh peaches

1 red bell pepper, seeded & chopped fine

1 red onion, pulled & chopped fine

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded & chopped

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 TBLS lime juice

Sea salt & pepper to taste

Chop the peaches Into medium sized pieces.. then add to all the prepared veggies. Stir in lime juice along with seasoning. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour before serving. A nice fresh appetizer along with pita chips.  I also like mine as a topping over grilled swordfish or salmon… or as an aside to grilled chops. 

Grilled Swordfish with Peach Salsa

 

 

 

 

 

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My dad, as did his dad always said… a vine is only as strong as the soil you grow it in, and I think he was absolutely right! Harvested the first of my grapes yesterday.

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I guess it wouldn’t officially be summer without serving something stuffed right? Okay, I have a serious love/hate relationship with zucchini–I’ll be the first to admit it. I just love it’s lovely yellow blossoms…. but I hate that one plant yields so much fruit all at once-I probably serve it three times weekly around here. I love the tender nutty flavor of a four inch zucchini and how lovely it presents in many dishes with it’s vibrant green color.. it’s truly delicious.

Some call this vegetable boring, but truth be known zucchini is one of the many squash plants I grow, and in moderation, I seldom tire of it. This year I wanted to add to my squash patch, so I tried growing round Tondo zucchini. They are really so sweet looking in the garden, the yield so far has been great and now I have a new dish to squash to stuff! You really don’t need to use solely the Tondo or round zucchini for this recipe, the typical Italian long squash, delicata squash, Lebanese cousa or pattypan , will work equally as well.

Stuffed Zucchini

4 round Tondo or long zucchini
2 TBLS olive oil
1 onion, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 slices pancetta, diced
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped
2 TBLS pine nuts
4 TBLS panko bread crumbs
2 TBLS fresh basil leaves, torn
2 oz freshly grated romano cheese
1/4 cup grated fontina cheese
2 TBLS olive oil
2 TBLS freshly grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Cut off the top of the round zucchini or cut a slice lengthwise from the long zucchini. Scoop out the flesh, making sure that you don’t cut through the skin, leaving a shell 1/4 inch thick. Chop the vegetable flesh and put aside in a bowl.

Add the tomatoes, pine nuts, panko crumbs, cheese to the vegetable mixture and season to taste with sea salt and ground pepper. Now spoon the mixture into the prepared zucchini shells and drizzle with the olive oil and place the stuffed squash into an oven proof casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 30 minutes or so, until the vegetables are tender. Remove the foil top, and sprinkle over the parmesan cheese and bake uncovered 10 minutes longer,until the cheese is lightly browned. Enjoy!

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Rainbow

Post rain storm…

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My friend Paul’s son was out jogging yesterday morn… obviously oblivious to what was around him.. when a vehicle pulled up alongside him to tell him to be careful.. he asked why? “ uhmm because there’s a rather large Momma bear on your tail not 20’ behind you!!!” Holy smokes!!

Jogging Companion

…. and all the while her two cubs just played aimlessly in Paul’s back yard for most of the morning! LOL
They’ve GOTTA do something about all those bears down in NJ!
( but the cubbies are sure sweet! )

Playful Cubs

While Mama was out terrorizing the neighborhood joggers LOL.. the cubs scooted way up in their tree. Surprised they would climb so high! Look way up into the trees.

Paul commented.. after his blood pressure had lowered somewhat… calmly saying to his wife… call the tree surgeon and have all those trees taken down ASAP! 🙂 🙂

 

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