Things really get crazy for us this time of year. This is the time when I either get reinvigorated by all the great produce which is coming in or I “hit the wall.” I don’t know which way I’m going to go this year, but I appreciate all the things which are finally coming in. This is the first week of tomatoes-albeit only cherry tomatoes and small yellows-as well as good-sized carrots, peppers, and sweet corn. Man, that’s exciting…sweet corn. I’ve only had people asking about sweet corn at the farmers market for about 6 weeks (people get impatient and I run out of excuses), so now it’s finally here.
I have a real love-hate relationship with picking sweet corn. What I love about it is that it’s the first thing I do when I go out to get ready for the CSA or market. This is that time of the morning when I’m all by myself and it’s really peaceful out. Still, I like the action of grasping, pulling, and twisting off cobs in one motion…something really feels good about it. Unlike other crops, corn is really satisfying because you go from an empty crate to a full one in about 15 minutes instead of something like beans where you feel like you’re filling up a mason jar one grain of sand at a time. This is why I have Maree pick all those things 🙂 Like the yellow beans in the box this week and last week…as you see from the picture Mar is trying her hand at pickling them this week. My patience is only so good.
On the other hand, picking corn first thing in the morning can be a cold, wet ordeal. If any of you had to do this, you know what I’m talking about. First thing in the morning, the dew is really heavy, and, instead of sitting in the comfort of home, drinking a cup of coffee and reading the paper, you’re outside wresting 6-foot tall corn plants, getting your clothes soaked through, and getting these little cuts on your arms from the leaves.
All told, I like it more than dislike it. Even when I’m not in the mood, I still like to step back and admire the harvest in the packing shed over some coffee. It just feels good.
In the box:
Sweet corn: There is a mix of two early varieties. The bi-color (white and yellow) is called Native Gem and the all-yellow is called Spring Treat (far from spring, but Mid-August treat just doesn’t sound as good).
Yellow Wax Beans
Flat Italian Beans
Carrots: A variety called Little Finger…a fresh eating variety which should not be too big.
A couple cucumbers
Tomato sampler: Some cherries (one variety called sungold is supposed to be orange), a grape if you’re lucky, a couple yellow Taxi, and a few Julia roma tomatoes. Not many, but a start
Some peas: a mix of snow and snap peas, so the pods of each are edible…so don’t try to shell.
Gourmet | August 2009
by Maggie Ruggiero
Sure, go ahead and cook your favorite sausages, but be sure to use every iota of their flavor: Reheat the skillet and work some pork-based magic on a seasonal array of onion, fennel, tomatoes, and corn.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Active Time: 20 min
Total Time: 35 min
4 (5-to 6-ounces) fresh pork sausages
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
1 cup grape tomatoes (5 oz)
2 ears corn, kernels cut from cob
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dill
Prick sausages a few times. Simmer with water in a 12-inch heavy skillet, covered, over medium heat 7 minutes. Uncover and cook, turning occasionally, until water has evaporated and sausages are well browned and cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes more. (You may need to add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet, depending on sausages.) Transfer sausages to a plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet if necessary.
Cook onion, fennel, and tomatoes with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in skillet over medium heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until onion and fennel are crisp-tender and tomatoes are soft and beginning to burst, about 7 minutes. Add corn and dill and sauté 2 minutes.
Slice sausages and serve with vegetables.
I figured this would be good if you’re still holding onto some fennel from last week.