Even though it is the first night of Sukkot and it is raining (again!), I promise not to complain about the weather. Maybe it will magically clear up in time for dinner tonight. Either way, we have some amazing foods to eat from the farm tonight.
We raise shitake mushrooms on the farm and today a pile appeared on my kitchen counter when my husband dashed through the house between farm tasks. Shitake mushrooms are always a huge treat both because they are delicious and because they are always a surprise. Unlike the vegetable crops, they do not really have a season, the logs just sprout mushrooms whenever the conditions are right. And yes, rain helps. So when they arrive they are like a surprise dinner guest and they can always be added to the menu.
Also arriving on the counter today was a pile of fresh picked, gleaming eggplants -both Italian and Asian, a giant bowl of okra and a bouquet of zinnias and cosmos. In an earlier post I promised to try naturally fermenting something this year — and I am determined to try at least one batch of pickled okra. I will see how that goes and hopefully post a success story soon.
I could write a lot about how a north easterner like myself learned to absolutely love okra, but here is the quick version. If you have had bad experiences with okra or don’t think you like it — please try young raw fresh picked okra some day, I think it will turn you around. It is crunchy and delicious. If you cook it, do not dice it (that releases all the slime). Just steam it whole and serve it with a little salt, it reminds me of edamame but I think its healthier.
I am not sure how I will cook the eggplant yet, but a good old north eastern eggplant parm would be lovely in the Sukkah — maybe tomorrow night when it is dry. And finally, one more gift arrived from the farm today and it definitely made me smile. Zinnias and cosmos are some of our favorite flowers to grow and cut. They are easy to grow, so delicate and sure to cheer up a table. And when my 21 month old saw the vase her little face lit up in a smile. “Pretty” she said, and she was right.
Thanks Farmer Scott and Happy Sukkot to those who celebrate!