Week 5: June 4, 2014

In this week’s box:

6 pints of blueberries

2 bunches of beets w/tops

2 bunches of onions

5 cucumbers

Total retail value of goods in this week’s box: $45

Total retail value of goods distributed so far this year: $349

Emily’s notes

A lot of people think pickles are intimidating and require getting out all the sterile canning equipment. In fact, “icebox” pickles can be made very easily and have a fresh crunch to them that can add a truly satisfying element to backyard cook-out meals. Here’s a recipe from this month’s issue of Southern Living, adapted for the quantity of pickles in this week’s box

Icebox Cucumber Pickles

recipe from “Fun Food and Flowers,” cookbook of the Thomsasville, Ga., Garden Club


1 1/4 cups sugar

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1/8 cup canning and pickling salt

1/2 tsp celery seeds

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

5 medium cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch slices

1 small onion, cut into 1.8-inch slices

Cook first six ingredients in a saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally, until hot and sugar dissolves. Do not boil.

Place cucumbers and onions in a 2-quart airtight plastic container. Pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumbers and onions. Cool 30 minutes. Serve immediately or refrigerate in airtight container up to 2 weeks.

Cucumber slices also make a nice addition to a summer pitcher of ice water. Keep one in the fridge to encourage your household to hydrate on hot days.

Beets are another one of those two-for-one veggies. Use the tops as you would Swiss chard, sauteeing them or adding to egg dishes and similar fare. If you trim the tops off the roots as soon as you bring them home, both will last longer. The roots will actually keep a couple weeks in the fridge. For recipes, I’m going to send you to the beets page from last year’s blog, which includes recipes for a beet and goat cheese tart, simple roasted beets and beet chocolate “cake.”

Berries are not something I’ve ever had trouble using up in my house, but this week’s bevy of blueberries calls for some celebration. I love the combination of blueberry and lemon, so my pick for the week is this Blueberry Bread recipe from PBS’s Fresh Tastes blog, created by food writer Jenna Weber. If need be, you can always freeze extra blueberries in a single layer on a sheet pan and then package them in zip-top bags in the freezer for future smoothie, muffin and pancake making.


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