The Rathgeber Thymes- Blog

Week 20: And so it goes..

Hidey- ho! CSA Frands,

Well, it’s here. The last week of the CSA. I’m not going to lie: it’s been quite a tricky year- leaving us all a little haggard and craving nothing but carbs for the past four weeks(or maybe that’s just me).

Before I get to what is in this week’s shares, I want to say once more: Thank you so so so so so much for supporting Rathgebers’ Garten this year! We hope you’ve enjoyed the bounty in your weekly deliveries, and perhaps have opened your mind to new ways of preparing known vegetables and known ways of preparing new to you vegetables. I am sure I speak for Dustin when I say that the pleasure has been all ours, and we couldn’t ask for a better group of humans to send vegetables away to! So, thank you! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!

Now, things are a little cray around here at the moment. I am currently in an intensive baking class at Muddy Fork Farm and Bakery, and Dustin is.. well, doing what Dustin does- which is working a ton, and growing the most beautiful plants. I don’t have any recipe recommendations because, honestly— if it isn’t sourdough, I don’t know if I have the bandwidth to even consider it’s existence this week. Don’t worry though this will pay off in some small way.. trust me..

What’s in the CSA share this week?

  • Turnips

  • Radishes

  • Bell Peppers

  • Jalapenos

  • Sweet Peppers

  • Zucchini

  • Yellow Squash

  • Hickory Syrup

  • and a little present from our CSA Coordinator <3

Thanks for the 2018 growing season memories, yall!

Week 17: It's gonna be fall, y'all

Twas the first day of fall weather, and all through this house

Were some cozy wool slippers, and a red flannel blouse

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Tea mugs which were bulbous, nestled nearby

while a platoon of black starlings swooped in the sky

The harvest season is coming, Mal thought to herself

Lets fire up the stove and gives thanks for good health

The pumpkins in lattes, on steps, and in fields

..know not of their joy, and excitement they wield.

Mal's heart was so full seeing the leaves start to change

dreaming of squash, mums, syrup, and sage

Her blog post was due so she mustn't delay

to do with this produce, she had to relay

So taking note of this list which is shown right below

and recipe ideas that we'd all like to know

Happy Fall, EVERYBODY! Mal started to shriek

Okay.. that's enough.. What is in the CSA this week?

  • Garlic
  • Pears
  • Kale
  • Okra
  • Pea Shoots
  • Bell Peppers
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Russet Potatoes 
  • Green onions

What am I making this week?

  1. Healthyish Jambalaya (I add okra to this even though its not in the recipe)
  2. Garlic Confit
  3. Butternut Squash Noodle Soup with Kale
  4. Easy Italian Pear Cake

What's the forecast for week 18: zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, radishes, honeynut squash, valencia onions, cukes, okra, turnips, jalapenos. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 16: Remember your Small Farmer this Labor Day

Howdy y'all and Happy Labor Day!

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I hope you are enjoying the sunshine and spending time with your loved ones. Maybe it's a sign of the times, but I couldn't help but to be a little sentimental about the meaning of Labor Day this year. To be honest, my usual routine was to eat and drink most of the day, stop myself mid-way through accidentally wishing a happy Memorial Day weekend, and (if time avails) make some tired/sarcastic comment about not being able to wear white pants for the next nine months. 

But as I've grown, and as I've become more familiar with the policies which shape our food system, I realize that this day holds some sacred meaning to me as a supporter of small farms. I think about the state of affairs for the woefully underpaid small farmer and the other individuals charged with preparing, cleaning, distributing, selling, and serving our foodstuffs. I think about what the future might hold for this specific demographic of folks, and remind myself that while the problems seem so daunting and complicated for me to take on myself,  I am not absolved from my responsibility to do something about it. 

So, in that spirit--I'd like to remind you as the final draft of the Farm Bill is being negotiated in committee-- that you can get involved in creating a more sustainable and equitable system for our small farms. Contact your representatives and make sure to tell them about how much you appreciate programs that help young farmers like Dustin. Measures like fully funding conservation programs, making beginning farmer programs permanent, and help with local food and food access are steps which which our friends at the Indiana Chapter of the Young Farmer Coalition have recommended. Here's where you can learn more and get access to resources from our local small farming champions. 

What is in the CSA this week?

  • Bell Peppers
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Honeynut Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Red Onions
  • Pea Shoots
  • Pears 
  • Radishes
  • Okra

As a reminder your share is going to be a bit on the big side this week. 

What recipes am I making this week?

  1. Roasted Red Peppers
  2. Pickled Pears
  3. Roasted Okra
  4. Roasted HoneyNut Squash Ravioli with Sage, Hazelnut, and Browned Butter Sauce

 

Next week forecast: garlic, pears, radishes, kale, okra, pea shoots, bell peppers, poblano peppers, russet potatoes and green onions. 

Week 15: ApPear-ently there is a virus going around

Hey all! Looks like my house has been infected with a nasty August cold that must be going around. So, I'm going to try and make this quick before my head caves in from all this sinus pressure. 

What is in the shares this week:

  • Bell Peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Cucumbers
  • Valencia Onions
  • Pea Shoots
  • Fingerling Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Pears (you should allow these babies to finish ripening on the counter top)

What am I making this week:

  1. French Pear Tart
  2. Cucumber Salsa
  3. Pea Shoot Salad with Radishes and Pickled Onions
  4. Herb Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

The forecast for next week: bell peppers, sweet peppers, honeynut squash, red onions, pea shoots, pears and radishes. Also, expect larger quantities of vegetables for this week. The Farmers' Market Dustin goes to on Saturdays doesn't meet Labor Day weekend. We jokingly call this our 'Share a Share' event because it seems that most of our clients like to spread the goodwill around with friends and neighbors who could use some veggies. 

Week 14: Hickory loves company

HI All!

It's an exciting week for the CSA! Why is that you ask?! It's hickory syrup week!! ::imagine air-horns blasting enthusiastically here:: Those who may have been a part of our little CSA program last year might recall the week they received a little mason jar of syrupy goodness in the bags. 

Well!! You lucky boys, girls, and friends beyond the binary are in for a treat!! The hickory syrup is made by creating a tea from the shag-bark hickory... um.. bark, I guess.. and then adding sugar and boiling it to make the most delicious syrup. I personally enjoy putting the syrup in my cold brew coffee for a sweet surprise, or making a lil' hickory old fashioned-- but I am told you could put in on anything that would be delicious with Maple syrup (i.e., everything under the sun). 

One thing to take note: store your  hickory syrup in the fridge and try to pour the syrup from the jar instead of using a spoon to ladle it upon your waffles. These precautions will help to minimize crystallization for maximum freshness and consistency. 

Now.. for the information you've all been waiting for...

What (else) is in the shares this week?

  • Bell peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Green Onions
  • Honeynut Squash
  • and the aformentioned Hickory Syrup <3

 

What am I making this week..

  1. Grilled Eggplant and Pepper Pannini
  2. Honeynut Squash Pancakes
  3. Chicken with Olives and Cherry Tomatoes
  4. Tangy Cucumber and Avocado Salad

 

What is in the forecast for Week 15?

Hot season crops are still holding strong- expect bell peppers, sweet corn, jalapenos, cucumbers, valencia onions, pea shoots, fingerling potatoes, radishes and pears. 

Week 13: Getting Better all the Thyme

Hidey- Ho! 

Thank you to all y'all who took the time to complete the Mid- Season Survey. Yes yes.. we still technically have ten more days to collect responses before drawing any major conclusion from these data. However, the information we've gotten from the 17 of you who have given us feedback has been monumentally helpful-- and we're not going to wait any longer to implement some of the things we can do to serve you better. 

One CSA member remarked (and honestly, I've been kind of mulling on this too over the last season) is that if you do your meal planning over the weekend, it's kind of hard to accommodate the veggies you learn will be available on Sunday night or Monday afternoon. I agree, this would be awesome. 

While I can't give you the set-in-stone share intel any earlier.. Dustin and I generally do have an idea of what is likely to appear in your boxes a week in advance. Thus, were going to start giving you that information for all your meal planning needs, with the understanding that these forecasts (as I am calling them) are subject to change and in the event of a major weather snafoo might be not that helpful. But for the most part, we can give you something to go off of when making your meal plans and shopping lists. 

See! We're already operating better. So thank you to everyone who gave us the feedback to help us do that! We couldn't do this without you (seriously!). 

What's in the share boxes this week?

  • Golden Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Bell Peppers
  • Cipollini Onions
  • Sweet Peppers

What am I making this week?

  1. Spiced Peppers and Eggplant
  2. Mustard Roasted Potatoes
  3. Savory Peach and Cucumber Salad
  4. Caramelized Onion Jam

*The Forecast for Week 14 Delivery: Crops that like it hot are thriving rn (as you can probably imagine), so next week's share will likely have the following items: Peppers, Cucumbers, Eggplant, Cherry Tomatoes, Green Onions, and Honeynut Squash. 

*Subject to change a little 

Week 12: CSA Anything

Hi Everyone!

My! What a fantastic weekend, huh?! In case you missed it- I should let you know that the first annual Rathgebers' Garten CSA Member Potluck was a HUGE SUCCESS! To be clear: this wasn't your ordinary Bloomington potluck, no no... Imagine a land where the drinks were plentiful, the weather was beautiful, and the potluck contributions were a delight for the eyes and the tastebuds! Well, friends- this land is real; and it appeared at my house this past weekend. We had so many great contributions from our CSA fellowship! Breanne's Baba Ganoujj, Patrick's Super Spicy Jalapeno Poppers, Beautiful galette (with perfect crusts, mind you) made by Iresema and Mandi, Matt and Sarah were total ballers and came to a potluck where they weren't sure if they would know anyone-- and brought delicious Blackberry Melon Caprese Mini Skewers (which were very cute and refreshing). I was told that my Watermelon Shrub cocktail wasn't gross (yet, I am still not convinced), and Charlotte made an amazing fruit salad for dessert (which was also my breakfast Sunday morning). I am going to work on getting some recipes out to everyone so that we can relive, or imagine the fun for many years to come! But in the meantime, you should know...

What's in your CSA bag this week?

  • Red onions
  • Valencia Onions
  • Eggplant
  • Cabbage
  • Yellow and Red Tomatoes
  • Assorted Bell Peppers
  • Honeynut Squashes
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Sweet Corn

What am I making this week?

  1. Leek, Chard, and Sweetcorn Flatbread
  2. Spicy Squash Salad with Lentils and Goatcheese
  3. Skinnytaste Turkey Stuffed Peppers
  4. Tomatoes Nicoise
  5. Free Form Onion Tart

Also, keep an eye out for the CSA Mid-Season Survey! It should be coming to your inbox in like, 30 minutes. 

 

Week 10: Burning the Midnight Foil

Greetings from Duluth, Minnesota!!

 Oddly this is the second Leif Erikson momument we've visited this year..

Oddly this is the second Leif Erikson momument we've visited this year..

Maybe it is my lingering hangover talking, but I could really go for some Potato Ole's right now. Granted, this is not usually the type of thing you would want to start off a blog post which you are writing on behalf of a small, organic, local farm who has the most gorgeous produce ever. Even more so, neverminding the fact that the (extremely unhealthy, I'm guessing) fast food chain, Taco John's is not as popular in the Indiana Midwest area where my readership mainly resides, as it is in the Minnesotan Midwest area which is where I happen to be at the moment. So, if you are a sensible person, you may have just asked yourself,"What?! Potato Ole's?!" in a disbelief/disgust combo platter of emotions. Allow me to explain: Potato Ole's are essentially deep fried Tater Tots which, instead of being shaped in the cylindrical nugget form, are instead shaped like coins allowing greater surface area exposed to the hot oil when fried, and a greater crust to tot ratio than what is typically offered with the cylindrical nugget method. 

This is all to say, that yes, I have been on a Minnesotan specific food bender since Friday-- and thank god Chris and I are leaving for our backcountry camping trip later this afternoon cause this is just not responsible behavior. On the three day backpacking leg of our trip we will be returning to our mostly sensible eating habits as we explore the North Shore of Lake Superior on foot. 

 The local fare

The local fare

Which brings me to the topic at hand: foil pouch dinners! We used to call them 'hobo; dinners growing up, which (if I'm being honest) seems both inaccurate and to be romanticizing the pernicious epidemic of housing insecurity faced by millions of Americans... But the more appropriately named 'foil pouch dinners' are as easy to make as they are delicious and simple for those camping and not. 

The process is as follows: cut whatever vegetables and protein you have at the moment into larger chunks and place on foil. Second, drizzle a olive oil and add whatever aromatics you like. Then you burn down the coals of your campfire, or use the coals which still linger after you've grilled your tofu skewers, or brats, or steak whathaveyou and throw upon the grilltop or on the coals (if you're okay with some burned bits) until you smell the aroma of your cooking protein, and the juices bubbling up run clear. My favorite flavor combo for foil pouch dinners are onions, peppers, potatoes, sausage, squash/zucchini and red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds. But honestly, I never had a foil pouch dinner combo that I didn't like. So be creative!!

What is in the CSA this week?

  1. Tomatoes
  2. Honeynut Squash
  3. Cipollini Onions
  4. Eggplant
  5. Bell Peppers
  6. Watermelon
  7. Ground Cherries

What am I making this week?

  1. Honeynut Squash Risotto
  2. Ground Cherry Vinegrette
  3. Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
  4. Tomato and Feta Galette

 

Week 9: Extend the life of your veggie bounty

Hi All, 

This past weekend I had the immense pleasure of hanging out with a few friends of ours who are also CSA members (you know who you are ::winky face::) and naturally the conversation shifted to how to store your veggie bounty to extend the life of your produce and hencely (yes, I know that's not a word but it just feels so right!!) reduce food waste. You know typical summer Saturday pool deck, conversation...

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Anywhoo, I learned quite a few things which I thought I should pass along to you as well. First, when you get heads of lettuce, you can prevent leaf lettuce from wilting/ getting mushy if you just trim off the brown stem every so often. You can take this one step further and place the leaf lettuce upright in a mason jar with a tiny bit of water in the bottom and wrap the leaves with a very lightly misted paper towel (which you can compost). Yes, I know this sounds like a lot of fuss. But if you are the type of person who isn't all about that big salad lyfe, this is a game changer. The aforementioned method also works for fresh herbs and other leafy greens too. And another thing: I  learned that if you wrap your celery tightly in foil and place it in the fridge, it preserves it for a few weeks beyond the typical bagged celery thrown in the fridge business that I have been very guilty of doing.  

Also, two reminders. First, the CSA member potluck is on Saturday, August 4th at 6pm. If I have your email on the CSA mailing list, you should have gotten an invite on from the event I made on facebook. The gist is: we are going to meet at my house, I will provide beverages and protein options for vegans and non-vegans alike, and you all bring your favorite sides, condiments, desserts, or snacky things and have a great time. Dustin will be just finished with his biggest market of the week, so likely he will not be able to attend. Kiddos of all ages are welcome! Please don't judge the state of my garden. 

Second, we are going to send you the CSA Mid-Season Survey. Keep an eye out for a link in your email inbox early next week. If you care to share the survey link with another person in your household, we would appreciate all of the feedback from those who we serve. Y'all have no idea how valuable your thoughts and insight are to the success of our program! 

What's in your veggie shares this week?

  • cabbage
  • tomatoes
  • sweet corn
  • red potatoes
  • eggplant
  • sweet peppers
  • cantaloupe
  • leeks

What I'm making this week

  1. Summer Veggie Galette
  2. Sauteed Kale
  3. Sweet Corn Fritters
  4. Summer Minestrone
  5. Prosciutto wrapped melon 

Choose Your Own Adventure Cooking

Hi y'all!

Chris and I have started this new thing to save a little cash, decrease how much food we are wasting, and get out of our cooking rut. Err.. Maybe I should back up and tell you, that during a typical week, Chris and I sit down over the weekend and create our meal plan for the next 5-6 days- effectively, Monday thru Friday. Under this system, the CSA veggies informs the menu, the menu informs the shopping list, which ultimately kind of falls apart when the inevitable unexpected meeting, or late night at the office pops up, or something weather related. So then, we have the ingredients for things that we didn't cook just kind of sitting there-- and we end up making a freezer pizza(!!!), going out to eat, and my half pan of butternut squash black bean enchiladas gets thrown out because I had them for lunch, and god forbid one has something for dinner that one had for lunch, amiright?

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Forgive me if this is already a thing which most smart efficient people already do..To me, this is groundbreaking, so just bear with me for a second.... Under the improvisation cooking system, Chris and I plan meals for three of the five days, plus one get-rid-of-leftovers day, and day and a clean out the fridge dinner day (i.e., dinner improv). The clean out the fridge day only has one rule- one needs to make something out of the stuff one already has on hand. There can be no- running out to the store to quick buy a few things, that's the only rule. Por ejemplo, last night Chris and I made the most delicious southwest black bean burgers with sauteed carrots, poblano peppers, toasted cashews, onions, garlic, feta cheese, barley, roasted corn, and three teaspoons of southwest seasoning. We didn't have burger buns, so we used just regular ole' bread, and we used a cucumber dill sauce from the night before as the main condiment. It was totes delightful. I used this recipe to help me cobble together what I had into burger form without it being too moist nor too dry. I highly recommend! 

The trick to improvisational cooking is to seek out recipe guides or collecting many recipes around a certain topic and picking and choosing what you like the best. Quick recipes which naturally lend themselves to improvisation include salads, pasta, soup, pizza, sandwiches (including vegetable-based patties such as the aforementioned black bean burgers). If you are a NYT subscriber, you can find these 'Cooking Guides' as a appendix to the recipe section. If you aren't, you can generally find cute infographic/ guide on the topic of making x by doing an image search for 'x cooking guide.' I also realized that one of my favorite cookbooks, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman has several of these guides/ tables of variations for any curious cook. Let me know if you want to borrow it, and get some inspo for your next improvisational feast. 

What is in your CSA shares this week?

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  • Kale
  • Garlic
  • Red Onions
  • Red Potatoes
  • Bell Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Green Beans
  • Sweet Corn

What I'm cooking this week:

  1. Corn Stock
  2. Green Bean Stir-Fry with Peppers Onions and Potatoes
  3. Smoky Baba Ghanoush
  4. Peach and Tomato Salad
  5. Kale Quinoa Fruit Salad (I kind of just use whatever fruit/nuts/ vinegrette I have on hand) but here is a link where  you can get the general idea

 

 

 

Week 7: It's Cornplicated...

Hi All, 

Keeping it short this week because I need to facilitate some activities of my own self care. It's been a week, and I'm feeling as haggard as the mass of hair pulled out of the drain. Don't worry! I'll be back next week with my zaney meditations on food, cooking, farms and community. But in the meantime, check out the laundry list of goods you're getting in your shares this week (reminder: shares arrive on Tuesday this week!) and think about all scrum-diddily-umptious things you can bring to your next potluck or party. I have provided a few of my favorite staple recipes below, make sure to @ us on instagram because food pics are always appropriate. 

What's in this week's share:

  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • tomatoes
  • carrots
  • basil
  • poblano peppers
  • little cucumbers
  • yellow summer squash
  • zucchini
  • sweet corn
  • green beans

What am I cooking this week?

Week 3: Great Es-Scape-tations

I have a confession to make. Last year I didn't use my garlic scapes. I know. I know. I had every intention to pickle them, or add them to a quiche, or make pesto. But, at the end of the day- I didn't pass muster on these alliums. 

But this year, I come prepared with the NYT Green Garlic Toast recipe that is so quick and easy (and delicious, apparently) that I have exactly zero reasons to default to my wasteful ways. 

For the sake of getting this out there quickly I've provided a list of your scheduled produce below. 

What is in the CSA share this week:

  • kale
  • chard
  • beets
  • sugar snap peas
  • zucchini
  • radishes
  • garlic scapes
  • baby carrots
  • oregano
  • fennel

This week's Cardinal To Go Cocktail: TBA

I will be sure to fill you all in on how it went with the toast. Not because I doubt that butter, garlic, cheese, and crusty bread could be anything BUT amazing- but because I need some garlic accountability. What are your plans with your garlic gifts this week?!