Gearing down

There was growling from my large mixer when it kneaded a batch of Apple Crisp bread dough on Saturday. Not a happy sound! Steve and I had planned to take on the task of cleaning out the gear box in January during our “vacation”. Instead, we moved the date up two months and accomplished the job in 6 hours last Sunday afternoon!

There were gears upon gears both horizontal and vertical, metal shafts, double nuts, washers of all sizes in a thick bath of dark goop. Each object was schlupped out of the gruesome mess and laid out in consecutive fashion on the table. I had the clean hands and managed the video and gave the helpful advice along with extra oomph to loosen cranky nuts. Every piece removed found its rightful spot in a clean bath of special grease. Ta dah! The mixer now hums a merry tune and bread can once again be forthcoming.

Gears. Across the oceans and many years ago, my family’s vehicle was a Dodge power wagon. This was one powerful beast. It could winch up washed out mountainsides during the monsoons. All of the passengers would have to walk as it slowly pulled in the chain and inched its way up. The low range gears were clicked in and our lives depended on the strength of the tree that the chain was attached to. We traveled through flooded rivers, across treacherous log bridges barely the width of the power wagon and helped to haul out upended fellow travelers with the gravelly strength of those gears.

I’d like my epitaph to read: Here lies a low range gear, one that pulled us out of the washed out ruts to reach the mountain top.

Good eats for the road: salad mix, Napa cabbage, leeks, Brussels sprouts, JUBILEE CARROTS, Hakurei turnips, winter squash, kohlrabi, cilantro and onions. Where else can you find this assortment grown. Farm share members are special folks!

Let’s celebrate

Next week is our anniversary year for fruit and flowers; Jubilee Market & Peacemeals has been keeping us out of mischief for four years! Imagine – I can’t! We are going to celebrate by serving a hot fruit chai along with some other fruity oddments.

Botanically speaking, winter squash is a fruit not a vegetable due to there being seeds inside rather than lofted high in the air on an aging flower stem. Winter squash is typically eaten as a savory dish like a vegetable, except for the extravagance this time of year with pumpkin pie which hearkens to its fruitiness.

A new store on the edge of town carries fruit vaping cartridges; evilness on all counts! Anyone up for a protest group? We could distribute real fruit for our action statement as well as a banner “Build community – not cemeteries and landfills”

The farm share fruit choice this week will be: apples or apple sauce. On the vegetable side: beets or leeks or Brussels sprouts, Charlie’s sweet potatoes, salad mix or potato leek soup, Hakurei turnips, acorn or delicata or potatoes or onions.

Favorita jam

For want of use a jam was made. For want of a jam a sandwich was made. For want of a sandwich a menu was made. For want of a menu a visit was made. For want of a visit a search was made. For want of a search a computer was used and we found a restaurant in Eden Prairie that served a Chicken Parmigiana, Bufala Mozzarella, Tomato Jam sandwich!

An elegant evening meal of many tastes and plates was served. The sandwich I had come to sample was delicious along with all the other good eats. My Favorita Jam is still tops; I serve it grilled with Swiss cheese. I am in good company even though it seems a little far-fetched on this spot of earth.

Favorita is the name of the cherry tomatoes we grew this summer. Tomatoes are a fruit and thus jam is most normal. It is a wonder how we choose food that is acceptable. I walked into a well-known huge grocery store while on the jam adventure and was shocked that EVERYTHING was came in a package!

The less traveled path often holds the truth – you may find Favorita Jam in a sandwich!

This week there is a choice of salad mix, spinach, Napa cabbage, green cabbage, Delicata or Acorn squash, onions, potatoes, turnips & radishes, garlic, leeks and Brussels sprouts. Hey Ho!

It’s a baby bok…oh choy!

Hey Ho! We have been trying to have this baby for three years now and each time it gets far too large and becomes a gangling grown-up. Today, after an inch of rain on top of saturated soil and 30 mph winds our darlings will be harvested by our intrepid farmers!

Mild and sweet baby boks are perfect for a quick saute or an added fresh crunch to a salad. Slice them in half, quickly sauteed with a bit of oil, garlic and soy sauce, maybe some fresh ginger and a pinch of red pepper – yum! They can be as a side dish or add some protein for a topping with rice.

From field to mouth – the highest nutrient benefits! Good quantities of vitamins C, A, K..(there should be an E here ;), folate and minerals: calcium, phosphorus and potassium. The calorie price tag is very low, good amount of fiber and of course a delicious munch.

Along with the baby bok choy there will be farm share choices of: leeks, last week’s salad mix, onions, celery, beets, cabbage, turnips, radishes, winter squash, garlic, potatoes, Brussels sprouts and a sample of our very own hazelnuts! I hope everyone is impressed, I am, every time I have a munch.

Rule of 9

The “rule of 9” is a strong recommendation, backed by evolving research and methodology, and has been around in some form for my lifetime, all of 65 years! According to this rule, those of us who wander around on 2 legs should munch 5-9 fruits and vegetables everyday…along with a variety of other good eats! We ignore the gauge that is on empty more than we realize until the “rule of 90” sets in….which in broad terms says public employees can quit working and enjoy the scenery when their working years PLUS age EQUALS 90. Will health be there to greet those that cross the finish line?

Nine plant food choices in a day is about 5 1/2 cups, which may look like a lot ….. it should! Break that down into 16 hours of munches…I try and have 3 meals with a bunch of grazing – but arriving at 9 is still a challenge. That is why I tuck fruits and vegetables into everything on the menu at Peacemeals and into the bread and cookies.

There is another “rule of 9” in this little town, that is being ignored and we are losing the very essence of community. Let’s count… 3 grocery stores and 6 eating nooks… What if ALL of us walked to these cheery spots for our groceries and lively discussions with friends and neighbors?