For week 11 members can expect to receive tomatoes (mainly cherries, the slicers in the hoophouse are petering out), zucchini and/or summer squash, eggplants/peppers/tomatillos, potatoes, onions, garlic, parsley, cucumbers, and chard or kale.
So, if you've been paying attention you've probably figured this out already, but I really like to grow vegetables that are new to me. I love finding something I've never heard of in a seed catalog, getting a pack of seed in the mail, and experimenting. I love it even more when the experiment goes well.
|Mexican Sour Gherkins AKA Mouse Melons. I'm kinda thinking that everything|
should be called Mouse Melon.
One of this season's successful experiments is the Mexican Sour Gherkin. They look like tiny watermelons and taste like lemony cucumbers, though they are neither watermelons nor cucumbers (or lemons for that matter). They are in the same family as melons and cukes, but they're their own thing. And, even though they have Mexican in their name, they seem to like it in the U.P.
They are producing quite well for us, the quantity we've harvested from our little test patch is pretty impressive. We weren't expecting to have enough to include in shares this year.
Also, they're delightful. Seda loves them. I told her they were baby cucumbers and she sang a lullaby to every one she picked until she realized she could eat them. At that point they started leaving the bucket faster than I could put them in it and her energies had to be...redirected. Potato harvest with Dad went much better.
We are considering the Mexican sour gherkins to be cucumbers for the purpose of the shares and some members will probably receive regular old cucumbers this week rather than the little guys. They should keep going until frost though, so hopefully we will be able to give everyone a taste of them.
Mid-season is ruled by garden standards like zucchini, tomatoes, and potatoes (and thankfully so), so it's nice to be able to add something unusual to the shares this time of year. However, members might be wondering what to do with them. There isn't a ton per share, so they may get munched before finding their way to a recipe, but if you want to get creative try the following quick pickle.
Summer Refrigerator Pickle
This recipe can be changed to fit the vegetables you have. If you don't have Mexican Sour Gherkins substitute half of a salad cucumber or one pickling cucumber, diced like the zucchini. Or leave out cucumbers altogether and just use more zucchini.
- 1 mounded cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 large handful Mexican Sour Gherkins (about 25)
- 1 small zucchini or summer squashed, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 clove garlic (or more to taste), minced
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon whole mustard seed
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Approximately 3/4 cup white wine vinegar
- Slice the cherry tomatoes and Mexican sour gherkins in half.
- Combine all of the vegetables, sugar, salt, mustard seed, and pepper in a one quart non reactive bowl. Stir very well.
- Let sit for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables have released a lot of liquid.
- Add the vinegar and stir well. 3/4 cup was the perfect amount for me, but use however much vinegar you need to just barely cover your vegetables. Adjust the seasonings as needed.
- Refrigerate the pickles for at least a half hour before eating them.
|Summer Refrigerator Pickles, ready to go into the fridge.|