Monday, November 29, 2010
A close inspection of the fields this morning showed that we weren't the only ones feasting over the Thanksgiving holiday. The voles had a field day. We lost at least half of our radicchio and castlefranco chicories, as well as almost all of our remaining beets. We didn't even bother to check on the carrots, but I'm sure their fairing only a little better. Traps have been set and we're set to order more as well to see if we can put a dent in this year's exploding population.
The frost did minor damage on some of the chicories but most everything else we were hoping would make it through did. This week's share has a bit of kale, that should be sweetened by last weeks freeze, as well as on or another chicory (we were hunting a bit for ones that weren't already snacked on by voles), and new for this year: brussels sprouts and root parsley.
The brussels will need a little cleaning. Trim the butt ends and peel a leaf or two back. If you want a quick way to prepare them I like to cut them in half, pan sear them in olive oil and then sprinkle with a little balsamic and water in the pan, cover and let them steam in the juices for six or so minutes until they are just cooked, but not too soft.
The root parsley can be used like most other roots. It's great in a soup or flavoring a stuffing, or something like that. Think parsnip, only parsley flavored. These are very small samples, as the first seeding this summer didn't germinate and so we had to reseed. I didn't think these would do anything, but our wonderful volunteer, Lindsay, weeded them when they were young and they took off. These are also a vole favorite, and the big ones have mostly been pre-eaten, leaving us with the smaller sorts. Usually the tops are still intact through frost, but the very hard freeze we had last week softened them up so we took them off.