2019 harvest begins

for farmers… August is not summer…  August is harvest or waiting for harvest (the latter option being worse on the farmer’s family) … so we are very thrilled to begin our harvest this year…  seeding went well and then no rain in the spring made us question whether harvest 2019 would be necessary…

harvest is always a time to be grateful that the crop made it through the season and now we can try to get it in before who knows what weather comes our way… this year in particular, with the poor rainfall and the uncertainty of selling our grain (or worse selling it and not being paid for it), there has been a bit more I would say than the normal stresses of farming…

when my older son talks to me about what to pursue in college and his future possibly in farming, I tell him not to ask us this year our opinion 🙂

the tricky part of cooking for farmers is knowing whether or not meals to the field will be needed…  I have been told many times that they won’t be combining in the morning, only to receive a text at 4:30 pm saying that they are going and need twelve suppers…  if it’s not too much trouble…

living in the middle of nothing also has it’s challenges as far as meal planning and grocery shopping… I need to plan my meal for the week and do one big haul of groceries… and then I need to use them, no matter if they are combining or not…

so I’ve developed the habit of no matter what, if it is my day to cook I just go through the motions like we are combining and cook everything up and either have leftovers for days or the freezer gets full…

this was a new take on a broccoli salad for me… I have a son that hates mayo and so I thought to do a tahini based dressing for the broccoli salad… cooking for twelve men also has it’s challenges when planning the menu because my guess is they don’t all love the same food… some are on diets, others don’t eat vegetables, some could put back two suppers and others live on next to nothing…  one common factor they all have is that by 6:30 pm when suppers arrive at the field they all tend to be hungry and this can make cold food, bad food or new food taste wayyyyyyy better…

there is some motivation for me to make salads that I am interested in or enjoy with the thought in mind that if I don’t get it out to the field, I might be eating quite a few of these salads in the next few days and they better be yummy!  the boys tasted it and said it was good, but they also are basically starving in August around here…  I have a rule they do their own breakfasts and lunches and I will provide supper…  so the boys just starve…  I told them I heard intermittent fasting is actually a very popular diet right now… you are welcome…

broccoli blueberry salad

Ingredients:
For the Salad:
1 bag Costco broccoli, cut up into finely chopped pieces
4 cups shredded carrots
1 cup (or more if you like them) dried apricots (or your preference for dried berries)
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1 cup finely chopped cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
1 cup toasted, sliced almonds
1 cup pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
3 cups fresh, firm blueberries (or use frozen and add on the top)
For the Dressing:
3/4 cup drippy tahini
1/2 cup lemon juice (around 2-3 lemons)
1/2 cup warm water (to thin it, maybe more)
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
cut up the broccoli into very small pieces
place in a large mixing bowl
add the grated carrots, dried apricots, onion, cilantro and parsley
in a blender (Vitamix), add all the dressing ingredients and blend until combined and pourable
pour over the broccoli salad and mix
you can store this in the fridge overnight if needed
when you are ready to serve, add the almonds, pumpkin seeds and blueberries

it might take 2 hours to get to the closest Costco, but it only takes minutes to grab some produce from the garden…  (feels like even less when you make your kids do it for you)

they always like seeing who can find the largest beet…

so on the days that they really don’t know if they will be combining, this is always a great option because it costs me nothing and you can whip up a dinner with beets, carrots, potatoes and some meat in just a few hours or less…

in my opinion, straight from the garden, these veggies taste like candy they are so sweet – how could anyone not eat veggies!?!?

we’ve done this method of taking suppers out for quite a few years now and still loving it…

noted: if your chocolate zucchini cakes comes with sprinkles, there is a good chance that an eleven year old girl made it for you

chocolate zucchini cake with sprinkles

Ingredients:

For the chocolate zucchini cake:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted (or you can sift with the flour)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup melted butter at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray
  • in a medium bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder and add the baking soda and salt… whisk together and set aside
  • in a mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, canola oil, butter and buttermilk and beat to combine
  • add eggs, one egg at a time and then add vanilla
  • add the dry ingredients in two batches and lightly combine – do not overmix
  • add the zucchini and chocolate chips
  • pour the cake batter into the 9×13
  • back for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  • let the cake cool completely
  • for the frosting, beat the butter until smooth and scrape down
  • sift the icing sugar and cocoa powder and add
  • slowly add the milk and vanilla and salt
  • beat until fluffy
  • frost the cooled chocolate zucchini cake and add sprinkles on the top!!!!
  • cut into squares and serve – freezes well

from my viewpoint upon delivering suppers, it did look like they might still be working some of the kinks out that come with the start of harvest… we thought it slightly resembled bumper cars…  six combines all running into each other…

wishing everyone a safe, yummy and speedy harvest… with many pies and goodies to keep you awake during the long days…

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