Thursday, July 21, 2011

Week 11: The Okanogan Bakery

Thomas and Joelle load up the Okanogan Bakery bicycle with fresh loaves of bread.

Hello everybody! Here we are with our 11th box, almost half way through the CSA season! I just rototilled more old greens into the soil, prepping for a few more successions of salad plantings. The bees and beneficial insects love the nectar of the mustards and bok choys. I consider the bolted/flowering food crops as an insectary, attracting the beneficials. It feels good to clean up the fields and to break down the tall plants which allows the sprinklers to reach the other plants rather than them being blocked, but it's also sad to see happy bees getting food in the bright beautiful flowers and then my monster tractor comes along, trampling it all away. But there are succession plots of bolted greens going into flower, and the insects will find them!

Fresh loaves of bread from the Okanogan Bakery sit cooling on a rack.

Joelle adds eggs to her chocolate chip cookie dough.

Full share box (photo by Shannon Gilbert)
Half share box (photo by Shannon Gilbert
This week's box has red cabbage (~2 lb heads), the last of the sugar snap peas, and fresh carrots – all from Yonder Farm. The salad and mini bundles of dill are from 8th Street Greens. The Tomcot Apricots are an early variety from Leaping Sheep Farm, certified organic. They are small and may need to ripen on your counter. I only got you a ½ lb each of apricots because the cabbage turned out to be big, not small as expected, and I think we will have apricots twice this year, not just once as in the past. More apricots are ripening in the orchards, they are about a week or two slower than usual. The fruit shares get apricots, Rainier cherries (cert. OG from Bartella's Orchard) and some blueberries. How about that Maple Leaf wrapped cheese from Larkaven last week? Yum! And the Ciabatta bread from Okanogan Bakery? I don't know what we'll get until they give it to me, so I don't write about it in the newsletter ahead of time. Joelle at the Bakery said that Ciabatta bread is good for dipping, I thought it would be good with hummus, greens, olives and slices of fresh garlic. Should I put fresh garlic in the boxes next week? I'm so sorry you didn't all get new potatoes in your boxes last week. I was really disappointed but couldn't fix the problem. . . so, oh well. You got extra cherries instead!

Apricots, blueberries, and cherries! (photo by Shannon Gilbert)

This week you get the Okanogan Multigrain loaf in your CSA box.

Peppercorn, Mustard and Dill Vinegar
Bon Appétit 
December 1997 
yield: Makes about 3 ½ C.

Typical Danish ingredients are featured in this easy-to-make condiment; it would be wonderful incorporated into a vinaigrette for cold poached salmon.

Ingredients: 3 cups white wine vinegar
3 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 tablespoon whole allspice
1 tablespoon white peppercorns
1 teaspoon dill seeds
3 bay leaves
2 lemon slices, halved
1 medium bunch fresh dill sprigs

Preparation: Place first 5 ingredients in 1-quart jar. Add bay leaves, lemon slices and dill sprigs. Place lid on jar; seal. Store in cool dry place at least 1 and up to 6 weeks.

This infused vinegar sounds really good to me, and versatile. Speaking of vinegar, I have 3 boxes of scapes that would like to be pickled. I also have garlic, dill and grape leaves. Would one of you like to can them? I would trade you the ingredients in exchange for 1/3 of the jars. We love pickled scapes, in a simple salt brine (not pickling spice). Our 3 year old daughter Iris eats them up! Maybe one of you would like to buy a box of scapes to pickle for yourself?!!! Hoping you're all doing well. . . Shannon

Joelle shows off her amazing muscles (!) that she earned from stirring dough and kneading bread.

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