In This Week’s Box: Beets, Raspberries, Tomato, Lettuce, Red Onion, Carrots, Fennel, Garlic and Fava Beans
One of the joys of living on the farm is getting to see all the other creatures that we share this place with. We often see deer, last week we saw a weasel, and this spring and summer seems to have brought us more birds than ever before. All those birds means a lot of nests, and we tend to come across a new one every few days or so. The White Crown Sparrows build their nests on the ground and so sometimes when we are out there, pulling weeds, we will come across a nest and a mother or father bird scolding us loudly from nearby. This summer there have been so many that I have been fortunate to see them in many stages, from empty nest, to nest with eggs, all the way up to fledging time, and then sometimes I catch a glimpse of those funny fledglings learning what it means to be a bird. Last week I came accross a particularly beautiful nest, not on the ground, but close, and when I returned from being away for the weekend there were eggs in it. I am happy our cucumber vines could be of use to them.
This week there are fava beans in your boxes and I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do. Favas are a vegetable I look forward to all year. Their season is short so I truly treasure the few weeks that we have them, and eat as many as I can manage. Fava beans are a little bit labor intensive, but so worth it, I think. First you must shell them, and after you have done so they need to be steamed at least a little. After the beans have been steaming for a minute or so, take a peek in your steamer and if there is a split in the skin covering the beans then you can turn the heat off, cool them a little and slip them out of their skins. At this point you can cook them the rest of the way in whatever you are making, be it soup or sauté, or even in the oven. Alternately, you can cook them all the way in the steamer (5-7 minutes) and serve them like edamame, salted, allowing each person at the dinner table to do their own peeling as they eat them. This way is certainly a time saver, and it’s really fun too! However you cook them, just be sure that they are both shelled and peeled or you will likely find them off putting, which they most certainly are not.
The Calliope Crew