Well, hello again, folks! Happy Friday to all! As I write the email this week, I sit in the cool of the farm house porch - letting the delicious breeze carry over the intoxicating scent of the Carolina Jasmine bordering the garden...
My only wish is that you all are getting the chance to enjoy this marvelous, outside afternoon too. That...and maybe a hammock and cup of iced jasmine tea with honey.
Well, back to the email...thank you all again so much for the enormous support of the opening of Bradford Pottery AND also a big thank you to all those who came out and attended the very first TUESDAY Oconee Farmers Market at the Watkinsville First Christian Church.
And if you didn't make it out to the Tuesday Market - have no fear! - we'll be in front of the courthouse tomorrow along with a slew of other vendors offering everything from greens, to desserts, to live plants, to soaps and handcrafted jewelry...you name - our market's got it!
Read on to discover just what our table will have...along with an extra special surprise...arugula blossoms!
Arugula blossoms - delicately piquant, a little sweet..maybe even a little nutty in flavor. Who would ever guess that those lovely, cream white, cross-shaped blossoms are the anticipated burden of most farmers existence?
When flower heads start to appear spiring out of your beautiful bed of greens - one may curse nature under his or her breath...or, maybe you take a more zen approach of quiet acceptance.
Either way - it's a natural process - often referred to as "bolting" and usually happens at the end of the plant's season - as the weather becomes too warm for those cool weather greens. However, this year a few of our lovelies have started to bolt early - mostly due to the push-pull of the hot-cold freaky weather we've had - putting stress on our delicate greens.
And once those flower heads appear - you know - the plant is done for...the greens too bitter and tough for harvesting. The only thing left to do is to tear out the bed and make space for something new or allow the flowers to seed out and gather a new start for next years garden.
OR...you can pluck those lovely flowers and find a new, more creative use for them.
Now, I have had squash blossoms before...and as good as they are, you sacrifice the fruiting of the veggie when you pluck their blossoms. It never occurred to me that other blossoms are also edible and even extend the use of the plant!
Just yesterday as I was surveying the garden and looking despairingly at a patch of newly bolting arugula - I had the strangest notion. It was as if the flowers were whispering in the wind...EAT ME... (And no - I had not just sampled the mushroom popping up in between the garden beds).
A quick google later and I discovered that many bolting blossoms, including arugula, are in fact edible and not poisonous at all, as I somehow feared. In fact, they are considered a delicacy and are in high demand in foodie circles.
So...tomorrow at our stand - pick some up and add a burst of summery blossom to your plate! Their delicate, verdant appeal will add provocative charm to any dish you conjure up!
Add to the top of your first summer-grilled steak, sprinkle over a cold, summery soup, add to your favorite sandwich for a mellow arugula flavor! They are especially good over the top of egg dishes - scrambled, quiche, frittatas, and more!
Bacon and Cheddar Frittata with Arugula Blossoms ...
- serves 4
- 8 farm fresh EGGS from the Pastures of Rose Creek
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 lb fresh arugula leaves from the Pastures of Rose Creek of course!
- 8 slices of bacon
- 1/2 large onion, peeled and diced
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- arugula flowers for garnish (get em at our table!)
- A cast iron skillet works best for this, but any pan that can go from stove top to oven will work too
- Preheat oven to 450
- Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-low heat until crispy. Remove from heat and allow bacon to cool and drain on paper towels. Once cool, crumble bacon into 1/4 in pieces.
- Reserve about 2 tbsp bacon fat, add diced onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes until lightly translucent
- Turn off the heat and add arugula leaves - stir with a wooden spoon about 1 minute or until leaves are wilted.
- In a bowl, thoroughly beat the eggs until light and frothy. Add the milk and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and sprinkle the bacon pieces in as well. Stir to evenly distribute ingredients. This is the only time you will stir the mixture.
- Turn the heat back on to medium and leave for about 5 minutes or until the egg begins to set. Do NOT stir!
- Add the grated cheese - sprinkling it evenly across the top. Then transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for about 10-15 minutes.
**If you don't have an oven-safe skillet, you can pour the egg mixture into a baking dish and add the cooked onions, spinach and bacon as well as the grated cheese, and just bake the frittata in that dish. If you do it this way, add 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time and check to make sure the egg is fully cooked before serving.
what we got...
- produce & such...
- Arugula...NOT from the bolting patch
- Arugula Blossoms...FROM the bolting patch :)
- some Beets (2 kinds - 1 better for the greens, the other is better for the beet!)
- Eggs - pasture raised
- Pottery from Bradford Pottery
THE FIRST SQUASH OF THE SEASON!!! (come early to get yours!)
* A note on eggs: Our eggs have become increasingly popular! And although they have finished their molting cycle, they are in very high demand! We would like to continue to offer pre-ordered dozens - but this will be on a first come, first serve basis. Let us know via email if you'd like to reserve any - we'll let you know if we can comply.
- baked goods...
- Apple Cinnamon Tarts
- Bourbon- Pecan Tarts
more from the market...
Click the link below to discover what else the Market offers tomorrow and a blog about the Tuesday Market and featured vendor, Mr. Pasta & Il Gelato!!
Phew! That was a big one this week!
For the love of community and all thing farming...
Your local farmers,
Will, John & Dana...and Matt and Francie too!