Friday, July 1, 2011

Week 8: Weeds, Glorious Weeds!

Photo by Shannon Gilbert

Weeds glorious weeds!  We are up to our knees in weeds!  Or, if a baby lettuce (below), we are in over our heads!  Weeding extravaganza this Tuesday. . . anyone wanna join us? :)

Photo by Shannon Gilbert

8th Street Greens
846 8th Ave S.///Okanogan, WA 98840

Hello! So, there's our address in the header, so you can mail 2nd payments that are due.
Last Thursday early a.m., Dave from Bunny Laine called, “hey i've got a bunch of raspberries picked, do you want'em for your boxes?” “Holy cow,” I thought, but then remembered your credit from the sparse box on June 16th, and the extra fruit share's boxes being sparse as written in last week's news, so then I said, “yah, sure!” Yummy raspberries... Glad to be eating them! Made some pound cake for the fruit, whipped up cream, attended some socials this past weekend:

Shannon enjoys her homemade pound cake topped with 8th Street Greens' strawberries.

The Fannie Farmer Baking Book:
Simple Pound Cake keeps well, dense, serve it with fresh fruit (berries or peaches in season), ice cream or sauce. 5 eggs; 2 c. All purpose flour; ½ tsp salt; 2 sticks butter softened; 1 2/3 c. Sugar; 2 tsp vanilla /// preheat oven 325 d., grease and flour 9x5x3 loaf pan, place uncracked eggs in bowl & pour hot water over them to warm while prepare rest of ingredients.

Combine flour and salt, set aside. Put butter in large mixing bowl, beat until smooth and creamy. Slowly add sugar, beating constantly, until the mix is well blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Continue beating as you gradually sprinkle in the flour mix. Continue to beat until smooth and well blended.
Pour into pan, smooth top with rubber spatula. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a broom straw or wooden skewer (toothpick? :)) inserted in cake comes out clean. Remove from oven, let cool ~ 5 minutes, turn onto rack to cool completely. Wrap well to store, serve in thin slices.

1/2 share produce box with bread option, this week the bread from Okanogan Bakery is Maple Oat, so soft -n- sweet! (Photo by Shannon Gilbert)
This week's box: strawberries, herb salad blend and a head of Chinese Cabbage –- all from 8th Street. And the Mystery (probably Chelan) Cherries from River Valley Organics (Apple and George Otte's orchard). They are certified organic and oh, so delicious. We will get Lapin cherries from them in a week or two. Order now if you'd like me to get you extra cherries, or a whole box of the Lapins. Not sure of the price yet, but it's definitely not the $8.00/lb that folks pay at the stores in Seattle!

Herbed salad with Strawberry Dressing

1/3 cup strawberries, hulled, halved
1 5-ounce package mixed baby greens with some optional feta and toasted walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar

Mash enough strawberries to measure 1/3 cup. Whisk oil, vinegar, and sugar in small bowl to blend. Whisk in mashed strawberries. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Add to salad; toss to coat. (Or whip dressing in a blender for a lofty, thick dressing)

Best! ~~Shannon

Shannon grills two flavors of shish kabobs with pork from Larkhaven Farm and beef from Oberg Brothers.

Full Moon Goatling
New on Larkhaven's  list of offerings is their Full Moon Goatling, a camembert-style cheese. This
Is a compelling, creamy and rich cheese with a variable paste. Wheels weigh about a pound. This morning Clare described it as a soft, mold-ripened cheese, not  bouncy like brie, rather soft.  It's aged at least 60 days and is tangy-smooth. She suggests bringing it to room temperature for 1/2 hour then spreading it on bread or crackers and eating it up right away.  Maybe with a little fruit on the side?  Or in a toasted sandwich with fruit?

Please treat your cheese carefully. Particularly with soft cheeses, conditions
should always be very sanitary when cutting and when preparing to re-store.
If the wrapper has stayed out with the cheese for a few hours, replace it.
Sanitize the cutting board and the knife (and your hands!) Before cutting into
the cheese. Immediately refrigerate the part you won’t be using.
With our Full Moon, we recommend having it out about a half-hour before
eating it, but get it back in the ‘fridge when you are done.
A slight ammonia odor when opening a cheese is okay, but if it is strong and
persists, the cheese is past its prime. While not dangerous, it may not be as
enjoyable. Sometimes, the insides still taste great and trimming off or
avoiding the outside layer can do the trick. Generally, if it tastes good, it is
Hard cheeses are hardier, but still need to be treated with respect. They do,
however, hold up to more room-temperature time and the flavor benefits
from it. All of these practices will give you more time to enjoy your cheese.

Clare Paris, of Larkhaven Farmstead Cheeses,  shaves off a slice of one of her handcrafted cheeses for a customer at the Twisp Market. The advice on cheese storage below is from Clare.

MORE ON CHEESE STORAGE, as sent to 8th Street from Larkhaven Farmstead Cheeses
I'd like to share some tips on storing cheese. Stored properly cheese has a remarkable
shelf life. The optimal environment for most cheese is about 50 - 55 degrees Fahrenheit
and a level of humidity that stays constant. For centuries caves, which are usually cool
and have a consistent humidity, have been great environments to age and store cheese.
Caves are still used today, but usually they are man-made structures with a highly
controlled environment.

At home, we unfortunately have a refrigerator to deal with; its 10 - 15 degrees cooler then
a cave and it has a tendency to suck the moisture out of anything that is unprotected. To
protect the cheese you will need an airtight container. The size of the container should be
larger then what is needed; 40% cheese and 60% empty space (air). I use the 64 oz.
disposable plastic container from Glad. It has a flat bottom and can hold a couple of
cheeses leaving enough air so the cheese can breathe. You may have more or less cheese
at home and therefore may want to adjust the size of the container accordingly.
Now we have a "home-made cheese cave". We can adjust the humidity of the air inside
the container by using wet paper towel, crumpled up in a ball and placed in a corner of
the container. The paper towel should not be dripping wet. The object is to introduce
moisture to the air and not to leave the bottom of your container with standing water.
The paper towel should not be touching the cheese; the air should be damp, not the
cheese. Wrap your cheese in wax paper or parchment. It would be a waist of time to put
any cheese in your new cheese cave wrapped in plastic. Store your cheese cave in the
warmest part of your refrigerator, like the vegetable bin.

Check the container once a week. Inspect your cheese and trim or scrape any mold. If
you find the cheese wet or slimy, reduce the amount of moisture in the paper towel. Of
course if you find your cheese dry, add more moisture to the towel.
The best part of having a cheese cave: NO MORE STINKY CHEESE FRIDGE!

NEVER... Freeze your cheese! Please don't do it! Mercy for the beautiful cheeses.
If you do freeze your cheese, plan to use it for cooking only and keep it off any cheese plate.
Use two separate cheese caves -one for dry and the other for blues and wetter cheese.
Use those cool Waxtex wax paper sandwich bags to wrap your cheese in.
Instead of a knife, try using a cheese plane when removing mold. I find there is less waste.

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