On Sunday my sixth farmshare bag was delivered, which means I’m “just a bit outside” the proper posting schedule. So this week I’m cramming like it’s finals week and putting weeks 2-6 into one post.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to take part in a farmshare aka CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), you’re likely familiar with what I call The Humbling.
Each year, just before deliveries begin, you clean out your fridge in preparation for the farmshare bounty you’ll receive.
You promise not to waste any produce; as much to honor the work the farmers have put into the food as the financial commitment you’ve made.
Each year, that promise goes a leeettle to the side, no matter your intentions.
This is The Humbling.
It’s the moment you remember that the weather Gods are not just having their way with the farmers, but with you.
You cannot control how much, how little, or what types of vegetables will make up your weekly delivery.
You make do with what comes your way. Whether it’s a glut of beets or a sad lack of tomatoes (curse you, Blight!), you figure out how to make it work. (And maybe you channel Tim Gunn while you’re at it.)
The first year I had the farmshare, I was humbled by beets.
Beets are not entirely my thing. A few here and there are fine, but week after week? It was a blessing that I had split the share with a friend (who’s mother would happily take all the beets we could supply).
The second year, on my own this time, I prepared for beets.
I had lists.
I had ideas.
I was going to absolutely dominate those beets.
Not a single beet showed up — In fact, not a single beet has since showed up. Apparently, we weren’t the only ones overwhelmed and our farmer heard it!
No, Year Two brought potatoes.
A solidly good and delicious thing to the Irish-German ancestried girl.
Except each week 3-5 pounds of potatoes came through my door. Which brought up the question: “How, exactly, do I store all these potatoes?” Who has cold-storage nowadays?
So more potatoes than I’d like to admit grew legs and walked themselves to the compost pile.
The third year brought winter squashes: acorn, butternut, & spaghetti. An entire tub full and no way to keep up. (Well, until I thought of the freezer the next year.)
Last year: cabbage. Pounds and pounds of cabbage. Without fermenting skills, I was left to slaw my way through.
So, I’m left to ponder just what to do with all these cucumbers.
Cucumbers are light and refreshing, but they have a pretty limited range of uses.
- Sliced for salads or crudite
- Tea sandwiches
- Cucumber Salad and….
- Now what?
Finally, my little pigeon brain alighted on one of my favorite condiments: Tzatziki.
I’m 98% certain any Greek will tell you that Tzatziki is a food of the Gods.
Unfortunately, my most recent Tzatziki experiences have been entirely
Godless disappointing, flavorless, mostly sour cream sauces with a bit of cucumber here or there.
No garlic. No zing. No nothing.
But now I think I may become one of “those” people who brings sauces out to eat. Or at least tells the delivery guy “hold the sauce” (way, way more likely, let’s be honest).
Cause homemade tzatziki is a thing.
A delicious, creamy, flavorful, oh-my-god-why-did-I-wait-so-long-to-make-this? THING.Print
A seriously simple condiment that will have you standing at the counter eating it with some pita and calling it dinner.
Adapted from one of my favorite “what-the-hell-do-I-do-with-this-vegetable?” books: Vegetable Love.
- Yield: 4 Cups
- Category: Condiment
- Cuisine: Greek
- 3 cups plain yogurt
- 3 (large) – 5 (medium) cucumbers; about 2-1/2 lbs
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 5-7 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup packed mint
- black pepper, to taste
- Line a meshed strainer with cheesecloth and pour in the yogurt. Let drain for 30-45 minutes. Do not drain all the liquid out; just enough to thicken the yogurt a bit, but still leave it “saucy”. Remove from the cheesecloth (keep that handy) and set aside in a large bowl.
- Trim the ends of the cucumbers, slice down the middle, and de-seed. Then slice into smaller 2” chunks, shred or finally chop [This is where a food processor will come in super handy!] and put in a bowl.
- Mix in the salt. Let sit for 1-1/2 hours.
- After the cucumber has released its liquid, strain through the cheesecloth lined strainer I told you to keep handy (I told you so). Pickup the corners of the cheesecloth and give it a good squeeze, then add the drained cucumber to the yogurt.
- Mince the garlic and mint and add to the yogurt-cucumber mixture.
- Add black pepper to taste and mix everything well.
- Ideally you’ll let this sit for at least an hour before serving, though you’re probably going to want to slather some on a pita or cracker immediately. I won’t tell, but your garlic-breath might.
I like my Tzatziki to be positively crammed full of cucumbers (see picture), if you prefer a little more “sauce” then reduce the amount of cucumbers. Alternately, you could add more yogurt, but that’s a whole lot of Tzatziki… Though who complains about that?
This keeps for about 4 days (Ha! Right!)
Previously on the Farmshare Chronicles:
*Affiliate links are links to products that I use and recommend. I’ll make a smidgen of money off any purchases through these links that will go directly towards my Cucumber Aversion Therapy sessions.