Monday, March 28, 2016

Newsletter w/c 28th March 2016

Its been very busy over the past couple of weeks, which is my only excuse for having missed a couple of newsletters. Hopefully this is me back on track again now.
The poly-tunnel is now re-covered, repaired and we have seeds planted, though not germinated yet. It is still quite early, but soil conditions were ideal, so I've planted tatties and broad beans in the field under fleece to see if we can get them a good start and also just in case the weather isn't so good over the next month.
Finn and I have been working away at the dry-stane dyke in between times, but its a slow process. It is starting to take shape now though. All the outside jobs will be a bit easier now the clocks have gone forward and we're heading towards the longer days of Spring and Summer. The plants and I could just do with a higher temperature.
The standard bag this week contains: potatoes, carrots, onion, beetroot, celeriac, savoy and parsley.
The large bags also have fennel, swede and cauliflower.
Substitutions may occur.

Potato Solanum tuberosum.. The variety for the most part is Valor. Some of you may get washed potatoes. These have been washed to check for blemishes and disease. Soil acts as a natural preservative, so the washed tatties may not keep quite as long as the dirty ones. They are very easy to prepare when they’re as fresh as this and really only need a wash and a scrub. Potatoes are the only commonly available source of B3 and Iodine. Excellent source of Vitamin C and also Vitamin B6, Potassium and fibre.

Onion  Allium cepa.  Used in stews, pasta dishes, soups.  Source of Vitamins A and C, Iron, Calcium and Potassium .

Carrot Daucus carota Carrots are eaten fresh in salads or cooked in just about any way you like. They are an excellent source of Vitamin A and also contain significant amounts of Vitamins B, C, D, E and K. and Potassium.

Parsley Petroselinum sp.  This is the more traditional moss-curled type of parsley Excellent for flavouring all sorts of dishes or cut into saladsor, cut over boiled potatoes, with a little melted butter. If it’s looking a bit limp when you receive it just trim the base of the stems off and pop into cold water, shake dry and then pop into a jar of water, covering the bottom of the  stems by about an inch.

Celeriac  (1head). To prepare celeriac, treat it much as you would a swede. Peel it thickly and slice. As you slice the flesh drop it into a pan of cold water with a couple of drops of lemon juice to avoid discolouration. Here’s a recipe fpr Celeriac with mushroom stuffing: Prepare as above but slice crossways into discs 1 inch thick. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and keep the celeriac warm under a dry cloth. Meanwhile, take 250g (1/2lb) mushrooms, keep whole if small and slice thickly if large. Fry the mushrooms in 50g (2oz) butter for 5 minutes until golden. Arrange the celeriac slices on individual plates, top with the fried mushrooms and sprinkle with paprika. Serve as an appetiser.

Savoy Cabbage Brassica oleracea . To cook, remove any damaged outer leaves, cut into quarters and remove the central core. It can be cooked in quarters like this in boiling salted water or else shredded and boiled or steamed. Here’s a recipe for Cabbage soup which will use up a few items in the bag this week: Prepare and wash the cabbage and shred it finely. Prepare and roughly chop, 2 carrots, the leek and 1/2lb(250g) potatoes. Put all the vegetables in a pan with 3 pints(1.5l) stock and a bouquet garni, bring to the boil  as it has a big and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Season to taste. 

Beetroot Beta vulgaris  Contains Vitamin C folic acid and potassium. Can be cooked in various ways, but don’t peel the beet until you’ve boiled it as this stops it ‘bleeding’. My recipe for you  this week completely disregards this, so have a pair of rubber gloves and newspaper handy. I’m going to tell you how to make Super Boost Juice – Put on the rubber gloves, spread out a newspaper and peel  your beetroot and cut it into chunks. Take 4 apples and quarter and core them. Take 4 carrots and trim and peel them. Take 1cm/1 inch of fresh ginger and peel it. This is easily done by scraping the skin off with the side of a teaspoon. Process all the ingredients through a juicer. Stir and serve immediately, adding ice if desired.

                               PLEASE REMEMBER TO RETURN THE NET BAGS 


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