Welcome to our 2023 Fall CSA season. We are thrilled to have you all join us for these 10 weeks. There will be an overwhelming diversity of crops, as the Summer always holds on for a long while and the Fall creeps in with new crops every week, so by mid to late October there is a ton of abundance. It is a fun time of year, if you like cooking with a lot of different crops. This week’s share is showing off the Virginia summer, which will not quit. We will see the last of this season’s cucumbers along with fresh crowder peas (similar to a black eyed pea), eggplant, okra, and peppers. This has been one of the best tomato seasons we have ever had and so they will keep on coming at you, with this week’s being a mix of our red all-purpose celebrity variety and our smaller plum verona. Both of these tomatoes are wonderful raw or cooked, so we have included recipes with many preparations. The calico crowder pea is a first for us, although we have made many attempts at black eyed peas and other field peas throughout the years. This seed variety comes from a friend down in Georgia, so we were very excited to plant a little out in the bean patch, with little expectations. Over the past 10 years, field peas are the most likely crop to be eaten and demolished by pests for us. This year has been one of the best bean seasons we have ever had (thanks to some bizarre weather and almost not pests); but we also think this variety is a winner, as it is seriously prolific. All that being said, each share will end up with a very small amount of peas, to shell yourself, and at the end of the day it will amount to a precious small amount of food. Perhaps next year we will allot a bit more space and cross our fingers. Dried legumes and field peas are so wonderful and provide great protein; we always want more of them, for us, for you, for market; but they require an intense amount of labor and for us that is always what we are shortest on. So even though you will not get much and it will be some work, enjoy them all the same. A fresh field pea is fabulously delicious. Cook them in a little water or broth, it won’t take long and add to a tomato, pepper, and cucumber salad or make some traditional beans cooked in chicken stock, with bacon, hot chilies, and onions. Check out the recipes below and enjoy the share….Autumn & Brian
Eggplant in a Spicy Honey Sauce –The New Book of Middle Eastern Food by Claudia Roden
The sauce is a splendid example of the hot, spicy, and sweet combinations; which are a thrilling feature of North African cooking. Serve it cold with bread.
2 medium-large eggplants
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 inches fresh gingerroot, grated, or cut into pieces
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
large pinch cayenne or ground chili pepper, to taste
4-6 Tbls honey
juice of 1 lemon
2/3 cup water
Cut the eggplants into rounds about 1/3” thick. Do not peel them. Dip them in olive oil, turning them over, and cook on a griddle or under a broiler, turning them over once, until they are lightly browned. They do not need to be soft, as they will cook further in the sauce. In a wide saucepan or skillet, fry the garlic in 2 Tbls of the oil for seconds only, stirring, then take off the heat. Add the ginger, cumin, and cayenne or gorund chili pepper, honey, lemon juice, and water. Put in the eggplant slices and cook over low heat –either in batches, so they are in one layer, or together, rearranging them so that each slice gets some time in the sauce –for about 10 minutes, or until the slices are soft and have absorbed the sauce. Add a little water if necessary.