PEAS Farm CSA Newsletter: Cukes and Zukes, Strawbs and Bluebs...

Strawbs at the PEAS Farm Monday Pickup

I like to shorten words. They are more fun that way.  Life is more fun that way. While we all know cukes for cucumbers and zukes for zucchinis and maters for tomatoes, but you may have never heard of anyone saying strawbs for strawberries and bluebs for blueberries – for me it works, and makes me smiley!  

Anyway, I hope all you CSA shareholders are enjoying the strawberries from the PEAS Farm this week, there will be more to come soon!  

And while you won’t see any bluebs coming from the PEAS Farm any time soon, strawberries are wonderfully delicious summer treat and an extremely interesting plant as well.  The garden strawberry is actually not a berry at all, it is an aggregate accessory fruit,  meaning that the fleshy part is derived not from the plant’s ovaries but from the “receptacle” that holds the ovaries.    

As delicious as they are, they are not as popular around the world as they are in the United States, which produces over 1/4 of the stawberries worldwide (at least for commercial purposes).  They are a great source of Vitamin C and flavonoids.  So, enjoy them while you can, as they don’t last long in Montana!  Freeze ‘em, jam ‘em, or just eat them fresh, they are one of my favorite.

Here’s a recipe for a sweet treat: Rhubarb and Strawberry Compote with Fresh Mint (thanks Epicurious!)

Serve the compote over vanilla or strawberry ice cream, angel food cake, pancakes, or waffles.

3 cups 1/2-inch-wide pieces fresh rhubarb (cut from about 1 pound)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1 1-pint container fresh strawberries, hulled, halved
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Combine rhubarb, sugar, and 1/4 cup water in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Simmer gently until rhubarb is tender but not falling apart, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in strawberries. Transfer to bowl and stir in mint. Chill until cold, about 1 hour.