We had a very busy week, with appointments for A and doing some weekend travel to visit Fermilab and other fun spots. CSA day always seems to reign me in no matter how busy we have been, and give me a sense of summer ticking away, pickup day by pickup day.
CSA Week 8 (8!!!):: cilantro, cucumbers, zucchini, blueberries, green beans, onions, beets, carrots, tomatoes, green peppers, eggplant, lettuce, and garlic. I skipped the fennel, as it is not very popular in this house.
U-Pick:: hot peppers, oregano, parsley, mint, sage, thyme, and, of course, flowers.
It is almost August! Time flies. In no time at all we will be overloaded with tomatoes and corn, and not long after winter squash and root vegetables. Week by week, ticking through summer.
What is in season where you live?
This week we have had a huge cool down with chilly mornings and cold rain. Today was sunny and perfect. Just right for wandering the herb rows picking, gathering flowers, and working in the kitchen. I know the heat will return, but what a treat to have cool weather in July.
CSA WEEK 6: summer crisp lettuce, green beans, strawberries, carrots, cilantro, summer squash, torpedo onions, kale, beets, fresh garlic, cucumbers
U-Pick Herbs and Extras: sage, mint, basil, oregano, thyme, green beans, dill
And of course the flowers. I grow flowers at home too, but don't get all of the full sun so mine are always later. I love that the CSA we belong to has row after row of flowers to pick from right in front of the barn. THis week I was drawn to the lovely golds and oranges and whites. SO beautiful!
What is in season in your area?
My entire childhood I was dairy-free. Not in the era of coconut yogurt and almond milk and vegan butter. But in the era of everything tastes like cardboard might as well skip it. I remember having horchata in Chicago once which changed my idea of milk-like drinks forever. I had a few years where I could almost tolerate certain types of dairy (if I didn't mind feeling crappy the next few days) and then I was vegan for many years. With my 11 year old it is a severe life-threatening allergy, so we are now very strict about the dairy. We try to keep it out of the house completely, as he reacts severely to even small amounts of contact. Since I didn't grow up on dairy and avoided it for decades, I don't really "miss" anything - but there are some foods I remember fondly and have re-created over the years. Tzatziki is one of those things. It reminds me of my years living in the Andersonville area in Chicago (a neighborhood full of amazing swedish, greek, and middle eastern restaurants ). This recipe is perfect in summer -and is my favorite dairy free tzatziki. It has the texture, taste, and smell. It is delicious with crisp vegetables. Drop a dollop in chilled cucumber soup. It even makes a great salad dressing. The base is cashews, which gives it a rich flavor and a protein boost.
This tzatziki has the creamy tang of a traditional recipe, but is dairy free! Serve with lamb or chicken, as a dip for fresh veggies, with pita chips, or as a dollop over chilled summer soups. Delicious.
To soak the cashews: Put 1 cups of raw cashews in a canning jar or bowl, cover with hot water from your kettle (meaning hotter than tap but not boiling), let soak 1-4 hours. Drain.
To make a dressing, take a few tablespoons of the tzatziki, add equal amount olive oil, and a teaspoon or two of good vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and then mix well. It is creamy and delicious!
While I like pickles, I like finding other ways to use our abundance of cucumbers throughout the summer. I like to keep a chilled bowl of this in the fridge in season so it is always ready for a snack, with a meal, or over a salad!
I am a certified aromatherapist, herbalist, organic gardener, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, whole foods maker, and mother of two unschooled boys in south central Wisconsin.