Week 6: Part 2 (Larger Bag Additions)

August 8, 2012

Additional Ideas for Wednesday Bags.

Pea Shoots, Micro-Mix and Gooseberries!

Pea Shoots and Micro-Mix are unique products to the Organic Farm. They are known for their vitamins, especially A and C . Sprinkle pea shoots or micro-mix on salads, sandwiches and tacos or eat them right out of the bag! It may take a while for you to learn to appreciate them, but there are several people who are almost addicted. They come to the Farmers Market, with out stretched hand and a ten dollar bill, asking for Micro-Greens. Some week-ends, we are not able to get them in early; so they asked for them to be saved and come back later right on cue.

Pea shoots are also popular, especially with restaurants, who use them as garnish. Or make a salad, with pea shoots, feta, pine nuts and some kind of fruit – raspberries, mandarin slices, etc., with a very light vinaigrette dressing. We grow pea shoots in an indoor sprouting operation year around, so this is also the winter salad I bring to the Christmas Pot Luck for the Newfoundland and Labrador Writers.

Who, What, When, Where.
When you grow to love these tiny, nutritious first shoot plants, remember, this is where you experienced them first. Although there may be a few other clones coming on stream, the development of this approach to growing shoots, is a result of Louis`extensive work to make these products viable and food safe. Alice, a long standing employee, who is now the part-time administrator and arm chair consultant to our over-all operation, helped Louis refine the shelves, lights and watering systems for the indoor operation, over a number of years.

Micro-greens are not a regular product for the Veggie Coop. Louis usually harvests and sells them exclusive at Food For Thought and the Farmers Market. We are fortunate to be able to harvest a few today, so Enjoy!

Gooseberries.
We hope gooseberries will be a treat, whether you are familiar with them or not. They are good as is! For example, Dana, Diane’s seven year old daughter, asked for the first pick of the year. She eats them one by one, right out of the basket like other berries. At home, we also set them in a basket or bowl on the kitchen table, for grazing.

We like to make gooseberry cake and gooseberries pies but have difficulty convincing anyone, including my elderly aunts who used to visit every August, that heading and tailing gooseberries was a worthy occupation in preference to sitting in the outdoor swing and reading. So, I usually resort to making something with the juice. The most wonderful use is Gooseberry Fool. Anita Best, folk singer introduced us to the recipe years ago, when she helped Mike manage the veggie coop. You will also find it in the Friends of the Garden Cookbook, MUBN Botanical Garden, St. John’s. Page 57.

GOOSEBERRY FOOL
3 cups (l lb. Hard green gooseberries)
one half cup sugar
5 oz. Whipping cream
Prepare gooseberries. There is no need to top and tail them if you will be using a sieve to puree them when cooked. Simmer gooseberries with sugar until quite soft. Sieve or blend them to puree. When the puree is cold stir in the whipping cream. Add more sugar if necessary. Serve very cold.

GOOSEBERRY ICE CREAM
For ice cream, freeze the Gooseberry Fool for at least 2.5 hours, stirring 2 to 3 times during freezing. (Mike also makes gooseberry ice cream, using the small ice cream maker,which uses a container, that is kept chilled in the freezer ahead of time.)

GOOSEBERRY CRISP
Begin the crisp like any other recipe. Start with sliced apples. Make gooseberry syrup like the recipes above, pouring it gently over the apples and arrange in layers over the crisp base, made according to any crisp recipe. Do not add raisins as the gooseberry flavour will carry the dish beautifully. Serve with ice cream.

Melba Rabinowitz

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