Attack of the Squash People: Summer CSA ’11 – Week 6

 In CSA Newsletter

Every year, at every farm and garden, there is always a  period of overabundance of zucchini and cucumbers. They start producing slowly and then BLAMMO! – a time of utter zuke/cuke insanity before it tapers off. Because of the mid-May freeze this year, followed by some serious heat, plantings 1, 2, & 3 are actually all producing at their height… all at the same time. You know what they say about the best laid plans.

With this week’s box, you will be joining the millions of farmers, gardeners, and eaters before you who have experienced lots of squash. Here’s poet Marge Piercy’s eloquent ditty about this lovely time of year:

Attack of the Squash People

And thus the people every year/ in the valley of humid July/ did sacrifice themselves/ to the long green phallic god / and eat and eat and eat./ They’re coming, they’re on us, / the long striped gourds, the silky / babies, the hairy adolescents, / the lumpy vast adults / like the trunks of green elephants. / Recite fifty zucchini recipes!

Zucchini tempura; creamed soup;/ sauté with olive oil and cumin,/ tomatoes, onion; frittata;/ casserole of lamb; baked/ topped with cheese; marinated;/ stuffed; stewed; driven / through the heart like a stake.

Get rid of old friends: they too/ have gardens and full trunks./ Look for newcomers: befriend/ them in the post office, unload/ on them and run. Stop tourists/ in the street. Take truckloads/ to Boston. Give to your Red Cross./ Beg on the highway: please/ take my zucchini, I have a crippled/ mother at home with heartburn.

Sneak out before dawn to drop/ them in other people’s gardens,/ in baby buggies at churchdoors./ Shot, smuggling zucchini into/ mailboxes, a federal offense.

With a suave reptilian glitter/ you bask among your raspy/ fronds sudden and huge as/ alligators. You give and give/ too much, like summer days/ limp with heat, thunderstorms/ bursting their bags on our heads, as we salt and freeze and pickle/ for the too little to come. – Marge Piercy

So what to do with all the bounty? Well, we are going to give you as much as we can fit in your box, and then arm you with cooking ideas. What we can’t fit in your box (around a ton, yes, literally) is being donated to the Community Action Coalition’s food bank.

Cooking with Cucumbers: Salads, sandwiches, chilled soup, refrigerator pickles, falafel, afternoon snacks. And my personal favorite? Cucumber limeade (or add tequila and turn it into a margarita!). Simply blend a peeled cucumber, a few ice cubes, a little bit of water, some sugar or honey, and a squeeze of lime. Martha Stewart turned me onto this. I drink one almost everyday before I make dinner. It is so refreshing! It’s a great way to plow through some cucumbers fast. If you need ideas, just click here, for an index of all the cucumber recipes we have posted on the website: Cucumber Recipes.

Zucchini Cooking Ideas: You can make all kinds of pasta dishes and stir-fries with these. Stuff, grill, saute, marinate. You can make hash browns, breads, or even shred and freeze them for later use in winter bread-making. Need ideas? Here’s the index of Zucchini Recipes.

We wish you luck. You can do it! We hope you enjoy all the other veggies too.  The kale and chard are growing like crazy too, but we don’t want to overwhelm you. They will be available to take at the sites from choice boxes. Feel free to take as many as you’d like, or leave or you don’t want them.  Hurray for the first carrots, green beans, and garlic!!  The carrots will store best if you take the tops off. Green beans will be fine in their bag. Garlic will like the counter top. And remember, basil should be treated like a flower. It won’t like your fridge. Every others, we know beets & fennel are new for you this week. Check out last week’s newsletter for storage tips and cooking ideas.

Thanks for reading, and enjoy your veggies! Sincerely, Mike and Cassie

In The Box:

  • Basil
  • Beets – EOs
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cilantro – REGs
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel ” EOs
  • Garlic
  • Green Beans
  • Head Lettuce, Red Summercrisp
  • Snow Peas
  • Salad Onions
  • Zucchini

This Week’s Recipes:

Summer Week 6: Wednesday, July 13th – Everyother Group B