Here are links to the latest Main Street Eats with Root Seller Sue
Sauerkraut (should have some more for sale in two weeks)
Foraging fruits and wild stuff.
SALSA on Prairie Public Radio - click here.
Don't forget - new batch of salsa available at the market on Saturday, August 23 - 8 a.m. till sellout.
It's Salsa Season.... so here is a recipe for fresh salsa with all kinds of garden ingredients.
If you have an abundance of tomatoes, there's a recipe for canning the fruits of summer below that. And did I really say "Cannable?" Listen to the broadcast and then try your hand at salsa...
Fresh Tomato Salsa (Pico de Gallo) Recipe
Prep time: 6 minutes
Yield: Makes 3 to 4 cups of salsa
When using fresh chile peppers always taste first before adding! Some peppers are hotter than others and you really can't tell unless you taste them. Just take a very small taste. You'll be able to gauge the heat of the pepper and will be better able to judge how much you need.
2-3 medium sized fresh tomatoes (from 1 lb to 1 1/2 lb), stems removed
1/2 red onion
2 serrano chiles or 1 jalapeño chile (stems, ribs, seeds removed), less or more to taste
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of dried oregano (crumble in your fingers)
Salsa Recipes for Canning
6 cups peeled, cored, seeded and chopped ripe tomatoes
9 cups diced onions and/or peppers of any variety (See Notes below)
1 and ½ cups commercially bottled lemon or lime juice
3 teaspoons canning or pickling salt
Yield: About 6 pint jars
Salsa Recipe for Canning
20-22 pounds of tomatoes
3 cups onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup celery, finely diced
1 cup assorted mild peppers, finely chopped
1 – 4 hot peppers, finely chopped
1 Tablespoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon dried oregano leaf Buy oregano online.
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional, but recommended) Buy cumin online.
1 cup 5% apple cider vinegar
3 6-ounce cans tomato paste (optional, for thicker salsa)
I receive many requests for the recipes alluded to on the Prairie Public Radio spots from The Root Sellers farm...
So, I'm thinking now that harvest is coming to a close - well not for a couple of months, I will try and get the info for recipes posted here. If I forget, please email me through the contact page.
This week I had a request for a cookbook and some pickles. Here is my Grandmother's recipe in her own handwriting... and the Gutes Essen Cookbook is available at Amazon.
And here is my pickle recipe.
In last week’s “Baking Bad” episode, Grandma Sue BB created some unusual combinations of sourdough bread including Borschst, caramelized onion and dill pickle.
This week, in search of a better sourdough boule with more evenly spaced add-ins, the garlic scapes were grated fine and mixed in with the dough as it rose the first time. Dill pickles pieces and juice from the jar were used in the dill pickle loaf.
As always, there will be plain sourdough boules; cheese and green olive; and caramelized onion flavored breads.
The Root Sellers will be at KMART tomorrow morning, Saturday, August 4, by 7:30 a.m. and set up ready to sell at 8 a.m. Unless you are there early, or claim a loaf today, be there as we sold out last week. Grandma Sue BB will also be bringing some fresh green beans, watermelon pickles, chokecherry jelly, sand cherry jelly, Nanking cherry jelly, strawberry and strawberry rhubarb; and Wickles, Hot C’s and cowboy candy.
Who knows what else will grow between now and then. So, plan on stopping by …
PS: Listen for Sue BB on Prairie Public Radio weekly; if you have a question, let me know and we'll address it on one of our programs. Main Street with Ashley Thornberg and Doug Hamilton HERE: This week, we talked about zucchini.
Lock your doors, its zucchini season in North Dakota. New gardeners have often times made the mistake of planting more than one hill of this prolific summer squash. That means overnight bushels of long green squash appear and panic sets in.
We don't like to waste anything we grow so we look for ways to make use of zucchini gone wild including passing it off on our unsuspecting neighbors.
People have a love/hate relationship with zucchini. It's easy to grow and very prolific, but there are those who do not care for its mild taste and smooth texture. You can eat it raw but it can be used in a multitude of recipes including as a substitute for ground beef in many vegetarian pasta recipes.
My recent favorite is zucchini noodles. You can buy a small spiralizer for $10 that works well for this soft squash. If you grate it you can use it in lasagna or spaghetti sauce and your family will never know they are eating a vegetable rich in Vitamin C and Potassium.
Prairie Road Organics offered a new variety of this summer squash -- Cucurbita pepo. "When farmers, Bill Reynolds & Donna Ferguson, discovered their favorite zucchini variety was no longer commercially available, they decided to develop their own reliable, open-pollinated (OP), organic replacement! With the support of Organic Seed Alliance and master plant breeder, Dr. John Navazio, they embarked on a six-year breeding project. The goal was a high-quality, OP variety with all of the traits of the best hybrids: uniform, dark-green fruits, open growth habit for ease of harvest, early and prolonged production, drought-tolerance, high yields, and high disease and pest resistance. “Dark Star” was born!" (www.prairieroadorganic.co)
Mild in flavor and quick to cook, you should try zucchini. Farmers markets offer an abundant variety of summer squash -- not to be confused with the rich winter squash which we will talk about in October.
And, if you can't face a sauteed zucchini there are tons of recipes of pseudo jams, jellies and apple pies made with zucchini that has grown past its prime picking time of about 5 inches long. There are also many recipes for disguising zucchini in cakes, muffins and quick breads. The best recipe I have ever made came from Bernice Kiefer Nagel, who loved zucchini but it was never grown in the garden on the farm where she grew up.
If you find a zucchini in your car you have to try this recipe.
Zucchini Fruit Bars
¾ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup shredded coconut
¾ cup chopped dates
¾ cup raisins
2 cups unpared coarsely shredded zucchini.
Beat until creamy butter and both sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until well blended. Sift together four, salt and baking powder. Stir in coconut, dates, raisins and zucchini.
Spread the mixture into a greased 10x15-inch pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until top is richly brown.
1 tablespoon butter melted
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts
Beat all ingredients except nuts together until well blended. Spread over warm bars evenly. Sprinkle finely chopped nuts on top.
Cool thoroughly and cut into bars.
A short discussion on farmers markets on Main Street. LISTEN HERE.
If you are not shopping for fresh at markets, you should be. This is prime time for cucumbers, green beans, dill, jams and jellies and more.
(If you would like to listen to the interview with Ashley Thronberg and Doug Hamilton on Prairie Public Radio - CLICK HERE)
Who doesn’t like frozen sweet treats? And, today there are so many flavors to pick from that we could eat ice cream every day. There’s no less than six days celebrating ice cream in June.
On a few Saturdays, which was always baking day at my house, my mom would hand me a quart jar with a dollar bill in it and ask me to bike over to the Schlittenhard farm. It was the closest farm to the east end of Gackle. I would exchange the jar for one filled with freshly-separated cream.
That cream was for caramel rolls or kuchen most of the time because ice cream was a very special treat at our house. We didn’t have our own cow so we ate something called Ice Milk. Yep, it was less expensive than store-bought ice cream and had less calories.
According to Wikopedia, Ice milk is a frozen dessert with less than 10 percent milk fat and the same sweetener content as ice cream. Ice milk is sometimes priced lower than ice cream.
However, in 1994 a change in United States Food and Drug Administration rules allowed ice milk to be labeled as low-fat ice cream in the United States. And of course, the price for low-fat anything is slightly higher than the real deal these days. It’s all in a name.
Again, there’s nothing better than real ice cream; which is so easy to make. The ingredients are simply cream, milk, sugar and flavoring. I love vanilla the best especially when made with real vanilla beans.
If you like really rich ice cream there are several recipes made with egg yolks. The color is creamy yellow and the flavor is very rich. This ice cream is cooked like a pudding, and then chilled before freezing it in the ice cream freezer. The other stuff can simply be mixed, chilled and then put in the ice cream freezer.
For those of you who feel they cannot justify a 5-quart ice cream machine, or find rock salt, or just don’t want to bother sharing your creamy concoctions; you can invest in a small $50 Cuisinart. The inside container is kept in the freezer until it is needed and it makes about 1 quart of homemade ice cream. They don’t take up much space and are well worth it if your family loves ice cream.
In my experimenting with the flavors in the handy recipe book that comes with the unit, I have also developed some of my own. At Christmas I make Egg Nog Ice Cream and in July, cinnamon ice cream has become my favorite.
If you don’t like exotic flavors, You can add just about anything to the cream mixture you have around the house like snicker bars or peanut butter cups chopped in pieces. Some of the recipes that I have tried are S’mores, peanut butter, rhubarb and chokecherry ice cream.
My old standby is vanilla made with the bean. That’s because you can easily add nuts, chocolate, caramel, etc. etc. etc. to plain old vanilla and you can change your mind about flavors on a whim.
Besides vanilla bean vanilla there are several other ways to make a great vanilla ice cream.
There’s French Vanilla, Vanilla and New York Vanillas out there. I did a little research to see what the differences were and I found a couple of vintage ice cream recipes.
In these two recipes I found from 1907 for French Vanilla and New York Vanilla, the French Vanilla has cream and egg yolks in abundance. The New York Vanilla has half milk and half cream and fewer whole eggs for a little less rich ice cream.
So, if you love ice cream, I would recommend you give it a try. Oh, and if you are fortunate to score some real cream, you know the kind that comes from real cows with no added ingredients, my Aunt Laverna and Uncle Clifton suggest adding a tablespoon of brandy to your ice cream recipe to minimize the raw “cream” taste. Oh so they say.
Italian Ice Cream (1907 Recipe)
French Ice Cream (1907 Recipe)
New York Ice Cream (1907 Recipe)
If you only want a quart, here’s a recipe for rhubarb ice cream since rhubarb is abundant. If you have strawberries you can also make topping for rhubarb ice cream and then wow, enjoy.
IF YOU would rather listen than read. CLICK HERE.
It all began as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way to promote drinking milk. This day created to stabilize the dairy demand when production was at a surplus has since developed into an annual tradition that celebrates the contributions the dairy industry has made to the world.
After the National Dairy Council stepped in to promote the cause, the name soon changed to "Dairy Month."
Dairy products like milk contain nine essential nutrients, which may help to manage your weight better, reduce your risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and certain cancers. Whether it's protein to help build and repair the muscle tissue of active bodies or vitamin A to help maintain healthy skin, dairy products are a natural nutrient powerhouse.
There are only 91 dairy farms in North Dakota today according to the ND Department of Agriculture website. But growing up, there was a time when all my farm relatives had dairy cows.
Since June is also Immigrant Heritage Month (https://www.iamanimmigrant.com/), I can share with you that my great-grandparents came to North Dakota with the first wave of Germans from Russia in the late 1800s. I am the fourth generation, and my grandchildren are the sixth generation German-Russians.
We are agrarian by trade and my maiden name “Kaseman” translates into “cheese man.” So, that might be a clue as to why my father’s siblings all kept dairy cows on their farms in McIntosh County. My mother’s relatives also milked.
That meant growing up; we always planned our gatherings, weddings, baptisms, etc. either before or after milking, cause cows don’t wait. Ellen Tuttle who was 100 or 101 when I spoke with her for my first book, “Ewiger Saatz,” said, “Celebrate the Fourth of July - oh yes, the Fourth of July, Memorial Day those were big days. We would get up in the morning on the Fourth of July and milk the cows and get everything and get in the wagon with the horses and come to Linton to celebrate and come home in time to milk.”
It didn’t matter if you lived in town. Interviewing Helen Frisch, who was 98 years old, told me that even though they lived in town, they had house cows were kept in a community pasture and milked for the daily cooking and drinking milk. In the winter they were tethered near the home, or in a shelter on an individual property.
One of our favorite treats for breakfast was fresh cream seasoned with salt and pepper with fresh-baked bread to dunk.
Benjamin Vetter, Linton, enjoyed his cream with chokecherry jelly. He and his wife, Delphine, told me about how 15-20 cows were nothing, simply saying if there were 10 children and each milked two cows, it went fast. Like milking before going to school could ever be fast enough.
Rhubarb Strawberry Jam
Listen to the Prairie Public Radio Interview here.
May has passed and so has North Dakota’s last frost date. That opens the gate to adding all warm weather crops like cucumbers, squash, tomatoes and peppers to the already planted radishes, lettuce and potatoes.
And, the race is on. Serious gardeners are off the starting blocks in full force getting everything placed before it rains.
Farmers, gardeners and general soil-enthusiasts begin looking at seed catalogs early in December. Like the old Sears and Roebuck catalog of yesterday, we drool over new vegetable varieties, seek out our old reliable varieties and calculate just how much soil we have to introduce to our ever-growing list of seeds and seedlings. There is never enough space for everything, ever.
Then we order. Not from just one company, but from several. Old standby varieties first, and then the newest and most recently-offered heirlooms. Sometimes we select varieties just out of curiosity.
In our minds, we begin a competition to see who can get their garden planted first; or bragging rights, “my plants are bigger than your plants,” or better yet, who can harvest radishes, rhubarb or lettuce earlier than their neighbors.
We observe the weather. Once the snow is gone, if we can work the soil, however, we bury peas, radishes, lettuces and spinach in the earth; all the while caring for our tomato, cabbage, pepper and herb starts in our greenhouses and on sunny window sills.
When nighttime temps continue to dip below freezing, it seems senseless to plant warm weather crops. They require so much coddling and resist growing anyway until everything warms up to 50-degrees or more.
Once those frost dangers disappear, it’s off to the races and we plant in furious fever everything we can, whether seed or three-feet tall. For experienced market gardeners, this spans the course of a week or longer depending on which relatives are available to help. Fully expecting of course, in return for labor, their fair share of veggies at harvest time.
There are still many folks that think gardening is a lot of work. It could be.
There are, however, some things that make gardening a bit simpler once the seedlings have taken root. Plants desire to grow becomes evident in short time. (Have you ever tried to kill off an established perennial? If so, you know what I mean. Plants have a strong desire to live. That of course, includes weeds.)
Whether you have planted your garden entirely or are still in the process of filling in the blank spots, there are ways to keep your garden growing without all the “perceived” work of caring for a garden.
1. For the first few weeks it is essential to weed and water and water and weed. When your vegetables become stronger than the weeds, you can begin to relax a bit.
2. Do not allow your little seeds like carrots to dry out. Sprinkle them on the soil and cover with grass clippings instead of soil. It keeps the wind and birds from running off with them until they root.
3. Once your plants are established you can mulch like crazy around peppers, tomatoes and cabbage to keep the weeds away.
4. Lay down mulch before you plant squash and summer squash. I cut holes in the barrier and put large tin cans around the area. Once the squash are up and healthy, I think from three to one plant and remove the cans. By the end of July your garden will be lush with vines so leave plenty of space.
5. Carrots, beets and radish need to be thinned to grow up big and strong. It’s painful, but if you get down to eye level and use a manicure scissors to cut out other seedlings, you can eat them as microgreens and you will not disturb the soil with your oversized fingers.
6. You can also use the scissors to cut down weeds near new seedlings so you don’t inadvertently pull the good stuff out of the ground.
7. Once your plants are bigger than your weeds, water deeply every three or four days… this establishes roots deeper into the ground and makes your plants stronger and more drought resistant.
8. Remember that plants that have to fight off pests, etc. develop stronger immune systems, just like people. Therefore your vegetables will provide you with more of these good strong defenses when you consume them. Which we recommend you eat lots of veggies and fresh veggies …
9. Don’t plant onions too deep, they like to sun on the surface of your soil.
10. If at first you don’t succeed. There’s always farmers markets. They should be up and running beginning this month. You can find your local market at https://www.nd.gov/ndda/marketing-information-division/local-foods/farmers-markets.
June 17 is Eat all your Veggies Day. Remember at least 2 to 3 cups of vegetables is the recommended daily. Regarding leafy greens, 2 cups are considered 1 cup; otherwise, 1 cup of raw or cooked veggies counts toward the vegetable group.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.