June 2, 2008

Week 39

Walk into any class of 4 & 5 year olds and ask ‘em “Who here can sing really well?” and every hand goes up. They’ll even start singing to prove it. “Which of you can dance?” Not only will you get all hands in the air, but you’ll get some pretty impressive improvisation on the old dance floor that would cause the judges to pull out some high cards. “Are there any artists in the room?” Well just come over here to the finger paints and crayons and budding Rembrandts and Michel-angelos will show you the most exuberant displays of creativity you’ve ever experienced. And if you still aren’t convinced of the true value of these creations, just follow ‘em home where the refrigerator – already covered with similar creations will yield to this latest masterpiece. Every one will stop dead in their tracks to marvel at this and other works on display in this most revered focal point of the home (except siblings who really don’t know anything at all about art). Fast forward a few brief years to Junior high and ask the same questions and what a difference. I was the Jr. Hi Sunday school teacher for 22 years (penance for the grief I caused) and I can tell you that one or two hands on each subject are a struggle and then with the caveat of “I’m pretty good at this particular type of art, but not that”. What happened in 9 years??
You’ll like this story. Here in Kingsburg, we have a beloved Elementary school vocal instructor named Avon Shakespeare. Retired at least 15 years now he was my singing instructor / choir director from kindergarten through 8th grade. I still love to sing and the louder the better. I took his 7th & 8th grade choirs (it was either that or sewing since I already had wood shop). Towards the end of 8th grade, he held me after class and after everyone was out of the room said “Vernon, you don’t sing very well, but you have a lot of confidence!”
Back to our Kindergarteners turned Jr Hi-ers. The world taught us there’s a lot of stuff we just aren’t very good at. Who Cares??!!
Always ask for crayons if the restaurant has ‘em. The waiter’s sure not going to be critical and you’ll have fun while eating less bread.
Here’s the deal. We get old to the extent we accept the implication, when really aging well is the art of doing more with less. When my pick-up was new, I covered 35,000 miles a year. I do half that now and get twice as much done.
We grow cynical to the extent we accept “there’s nothing we can do to change it” when realistically, with-in our own sphere of influence at least, “it” has just been put on the endangered species list. Folks, if something’s not right, and there’s nothing we can do about it, there’s no sin in going on. But if there’s a chance at putting it right, pity the fool who’d stand in front of that train.
I know you believe that or you’d be paying double for not so fresh Organic. And I know you’ll stay forever young as you take on whatever’s not right in your own world. EAT HEALTHY!!!

Have you been missing out? Once you taste Rainer cherries you may think so. Many of us have grown up to believe that only bright, red cherries are sweet and good to eat.
The Rainer cherry has a creamy yellow flesh and is yellow and red on the outside. Being a hybrid between the Bing and Van cherries, two of the sweeter varieties, it is one of the sweetest and most prized cherries grown. They are generally more expensive than the red varieties and in fact may sell for as much as a dollar each in Japan. The reason that these cherries are valued so much is that they are loved by many for their sweetness, but they have a short growing season and are notoriously difficult to grow. Extreme heat and excessive rain can easily damage the cherry crop. Both of which we have been experiencing in the past two weeks.
Cherries should be stored in the coldest part of your refrigerator, usually near the back. Cherries can decay more in one hour at room temperature than they can in twenty-four hours at 32º F.
Just as with berries, cherries should not be washed until you are ready to use them. This will help to preserve the cherries. If you don’t plan to use ripe cherries within six days you should freeze them. To do so wash and drain them until they are dry. Spread the cherries evenly over a cookie sheet and freeze them. After they are frozen solid transfer them to a plastic bag. Your cherries will keep up to a year this way.

Is it a plum or is it an apricot? Pluots are a cross between the two. But wait, isn’t that what we just had in an Aprium? Yes, but no.
You would think that crossing a plum with an apricot would be the same as crossing an apricot with a plum but that is not the case. Pluots are one-third apricot and two-thirds plum and so bear a strong resemblance to plums, but have a sweet, intense flavor, and are rich in vitamin A. The pluot was developed, through cross-pollination, in the 1990’s. This was achieved by Fred Zaiger who also developed the aprium. There are now several varieties of pluot available with colors that range from pink to red.
Pluots are juicy and sweet, which makes them a favorite of most kids. They can be served raw or cooked and can be used in the place of both plums and apricots in your favorite recipes. Try them on their own, mixed with yogurt or as a topping for your favorite ice cream.
Once pluots are fully ripe they should be stored in the refrigerator to keep them fresh.

Here is what you will find in this week’s box.
-Flavor Rosa Pluots
-Rainer Cherries
Jeff White, Kingsburg
-Red Onions
-Summer Squash
Ginger Balakian, Reedley
-Baby Beets*
T & D Willey, Madera
-Russet Potatoes
-Green Peppers*
California Organics, Lamont
*Denotes Large Box Only
Contents may vary due to availability on date of delivery.

It looks like the Rainer cherries came through this week’s rain OK. That means we are able to offer them as an add-on for next week’s delivery. If you want to purchase a 10 pound box they are available and you may order them off of the add-on list, but you must order them before 9:00 on Monday morning. To do so, login to your account find your Subscription Dashboard and the Edit This Week/Add-on button.

Zucchini Pancakes Yield: 3 Servings
½ cup all purpose flour ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp dried oregano Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten 2 Tbsp chopped onion
2 Tbsp mayonnaise 1 ½ cups zucchini or other similar
2 Tbsp butter or margarine squash
Sour Cream, optional
In a bowl combine the flour, Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt and pepper. Combine egg, onion, mayonnaise, and squash; stir into dry ingredients until well blended.
In a large skillet, melt butter. Drop squash mixture by cupfuls into skillet; press lightly to flatten. Fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sour cream if desired.

Zucchini Bread
3 eggs 3 cups flour
2 cups sugar 1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon 1 cup vegetable oil
2 cups shredded zucchini or other summer squash 2 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup chopped nuts 1 tsp grated lemon peel

Combine eggs and sugar. Beat in oil, vanilla and lemon peel. Combine the dry ingredients; gradually add to sugar mixture and mix well. Stir in squash and nuts. Pour into 2 greased 9 inch x 5 inch x 3 inch loaf pans. Bake at 325 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.


Anonymous said...

Today, I went to the beachfront with my children.
I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the shell to her ear and screamed.
There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is completely off topic
but I had to tell someone!

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