Monday, August 9, 2010

You know it's August when...

… the days of Summer seem to fade into cooler nights.
… we anticipate the coming school year and all of it's trimmings.
… memories of apple cider, pumpkin stew, and roasted beets creep into the menu planning for the week.
… and the whirlwind of summer has left us with tired minds but full stomachs!

I apologize for the four weeks of blog posts which are missing. It was my best intent to be very regular in writing weekly, but alas, not so. I am sorry to say that today my husband and I will be taking Alex, one of our farm helpers, back to the train station today. He's on the way north, to Burlington, Vermont. When my family lived in Vermont, Alex and I worked together at Middlebury Natural Foods Co-op. He was first in responding to my request for help this summer at the farm and we've enjoyed his acrobatic stunts and loyal help on Calvert Farm. We will miss him dearly and hope to see him back later this year or next summer. Thank you Alex!

And now….. some ideas for some of the veggies you've been receiving these past weeks.

Surely we all love Watermelon, but just incase you want to try a little flare for a typical summertime treat:

Watermelon Rind Pickles
  • 4 quarts prepared (see instructions) watermelon rind
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken
  • 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 (1-inch) piece gingerroot (optional)


To prepare watermelon rind, cut rind into 2- x 1-inch pieces. Trim green skin and pink flesh from rind.

Place prepared rind in large kettle and add salt and enough boiling water to cover. Simmer until tender. Drain and chill rind in very cold water at least 1 hour or overnight in refrigerator.

Combine vinegar, sugar and mixture of cinnamon, cloves and gingerroot tied in cheesecloth. Bring to boil and boil 5 minutes. Drain watermelon rind and add to syrup. Simmer until rind becomes translucent, about 10 minutes. Remove and discard spices.

Pack rind and syrup into hot sterilized quart jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Adjust lids and process in boiling water bath 20 minutes.

Yield: 4 quarts

Watermelon and Red Onion Salad
  • 1 Tablespoon shallots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
  • 1/3 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, pureed and strained
  • 2 teaspoons honey (or to taste)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches watercress, stems removed
  • 8 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper


Whisk together the shallots, vinegar, raspberry puree, honey, and olive oil in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Separate the onions into rings. Pour the vinaigrette over the onions and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

To serve, arrange a bed of watercress on each plate. Top with the cubed watermelon and drape the red onion rings on top. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and garnish with the mint leaves, if desired.

Yield: 6 servings

Recipe Source: From The Earth to the Table by John Ash (Dutton Books)
Reprinted with permission.

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