This Weeks Box 8/27/2016

good morning from the ranch
Good morning from the ranch. Anyone feeling the the first hints of fall in the air?? Dare we whisper the “F” word yet?

Well, we ran into this guy down at the Barona gas station. This guy apparently is aware that Thanksgiving is still a couple months away.

Since we are on the topic of birds, In my 10 years at the ranch, this is without a doubt…the first daytime owl ever.

Okay. Here is what we are eating

Valencia oranges
Big cucumber
Bartlet pears
Piece of rhubarb
Cabbage head
Fresh Russet potatoes “right from the ground”.

Why does the skin on the oranges and grapefruit sometimes soft and a little mooshy???  Because it is mooshy. The Valencia oranges and the Oro Blanco grapefruit trees would have been completely stripped and shipped if we were a large commercial outfit. We like to keep a few trees loaded for a few months longer than that. This allows us to extend the season of these fruit. The mooshyness comes from a slight amount of water loss in the fruit as it sits on the tree through the hot summer. The water loss also contributes to some of the sweetest and flavorful oranges and grapefruit. I have to cut my orange juice with about half water because the fruit is so syrupy sweet. Rest assured though, that these fruit are not “old” and they are not mooshy because they sat around in a crate for a long time. They are fresh picked like everything else. They are already mooshy before we pick em.

The key to making okra work in a stew is to steam it for 45 minutes before adding it in the the rest of the ingredients. Okra adds a meaty gaminess as well as a thick consistency to a stew like no other vegetable. An even better method for getting the okra really soft is a pressure cooker like this one. pressur
14 minutes in the pressure cooker and okra will do anything you ask of it.

Cut bell peppers, onion, squash, tomatoes and eggplant. Add oil to the pan and saute everything for 15-20 minutes. Add okrah, tomato sauce, spices add 1 can of veggie broth. cook on low for at least an hour. Stirring and checking every 15 minutes to make sure liquid level is sufficient.

The middle eastern version of  such a stew calls for a lamb shank. Beef shank works well too. But meat is not necessary for a wonderful and flavorful stew.

Serve over rice with fresh dill. There are many Ratatoulie recipes out there that use all the vegetables in the previous recipe except okra. French style Ratatoulie loves to be served over pasta or gnochi

Pear Strawberry Pie

Jade Tomtoes
Ms Jade tying up the “maters”.

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