Fresh Facts: The Problem with Parenting is Only Amateurs Attempt it

By July 18, 2013Newsletter

 Volume 6,  Week 46, July 12-13, 2013

David Silveira of Silveira Farms in front of rows of his amazing summer lettuce

The problem with parenting is: only amateurs attempt it. Once you’ve got some experience under your belt and kinda know what in the world you’re doing, you’re out of a job. That’s where grandparenting comes in. It’s like you get this second chance to not be so dumb. Here’s a good example. There’s this brief window where little children really want to be with you; play, go places, do stuff, but you have this really important job to do and it’s really difficult and often impossible to do it with a toddler along. So you just have to go do it and they give you this bewildered, why do you have to go look. “What could be more important than playing with me?”So now, Carol watches Skylee 4 days a week while Heather runs AHO—try to top that men—three women happy all at the same time. And I come up to the house to eat or take a nap, play with Skylee a bit, but then I have this really important job to do. NOT! We’re gonna go jump on the trampoline, and feed the critters, and go swimming and splashing and laughing and giggling and play drown grampa for an hour. I think I’d have been a better parent if I could have been a grandparent first, 20-20 hindsight.

Another confession. We have these beautiful heirloom tomatoes in your box, and tomatoes do better if it’s warmer, say 50°. So I had all the truckers raise their refers to 50° for a week. Not so smart Uncle Vern. 112° and muggy, everything that was cold instantly sweating…My apologies for the white mold that really liked that temperature also, to all of you who were grossed out by the white stuff on your food, and especially to Blanca who had to look at all the pictures of white stuff and work overtime to get it all fixed. Hey, the good news is there are no fungicides on your food! One thing for sure, when you think you have everything figured out and it couldn’t be better, make sure you’re wearing your hard hat!

Well, it’s only 102° and clear instead of 112° and muggy, this we can handle. Did you ever look at the lettuce in your box and wonder: “How in the world did David Silveira grow this beautiful delicious lettuce and green beans in 100°+ degree weather?”
(Might be a good Amy Beth video opportunity.)

Lettuce is a cool weather crop, so he uses a combination of overhead sprinklers and intense management to make the lettuce think it’s a beautiful spring rain. Too much spring rain and you get rotten lettuce, not enough, and you get burnt lettuce, and like everything in life, the way you know which is which is to mess it up and then try again. We’re really fortunate to have a farmer of his caliber with a career of organic farming under his belt who—like all of us—just keeps trying, learning, and improving, so we can have lettuce in July and EAT HEALTHY!


Eggplant Casserole

Preheat oven to 350°

1 eggplant
½ cup water 1 tsp seasoned salt, divided
½ cup onions1 tbsp butter
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp parmesean cheese
dash Tabasco sauce
fresh ground pepper

Slice eggplant into ½ inch thick slices; peel. Cut into ½ inch cubes. Place in saucepan; add water and ½ teaspoon seasoned salt. Bring to boil, then simmer just until tender. Drain. Meanwhile, saute onions in butter until limp. Combine eggplant, remaining salt,
onion, cheddar cheese, eggs, Tabasco, and pepper. Toss to mix. Turn into buttered 1 quart
casserole dish. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and paprika over top. Bake in 350° oven for about 30 minutes
or until knife inserted in center comes out clean.

Easy Peach Cobbler

Preheat oven to 350

2 cups peaches 1 cup sugar 1 cup water

Topping: 1/4 cup butter 1 cup sugar 3/4 cup self-rising flour 3/4 cup milk

In saucepan, mix peaches, 1 cup sugar, and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.Place butter in separate baking dish and put in oven to melt. Stir sugar and flour together in a bowl and mix well. Slowly add milk and continue to stir to prevent the batter from lumping. Remove hot baking dish with fully melted butter, pour batter directly over butter in baking dish (do not stir). With slotted spoon, spoon fruit on top of batter, and gently pour peach syrup on top (do not stir). Bake for 30 to 45 minutes until golden brown. The batter will rise to the top of the fruit to make the crust. Serve warm with ice cream, delicious!

*Note: While baking, cobbler might boil over dish, use a cookie sheet underneath for protection. Important to follow “do not stir” instructions.


July means sweet corn season among the AHO clan. Kernel after kernel, grilled, boiled, even raw in salads, we just can’t get enough of it. Especially knowing that certified organic means you’re guaranteed not to be eating GMOs. Sweet indeed.

Storing your sweet corn in the refrigerator, opposed to at room temperature, will help preserve the flavor. Whole ears of corn will keep in your fridge for about five days, but as each day passes, the sugars turn into starch, so, if you aren’t planning on serving it within a few days, shuck it, blanch it in boiling water for 7 to 10 minutes, then let it cool and freeze it right away. It’ll keep for months. You can reheat the cobs of corn in a pot of boiling water right before you serve it, or throw it on the grill to warm it back up for a taste of summer any season. Leave the husks intact until you are ready to prepare your corn for eating.

To shuck the corn:

• Peel back the husk and completely remove it.

• Take off the silk by hand. (Each strand of silk represents a potential kernel of corn. The silk strand must be pollinated in order for a kernel of corn to develop.)

• Run a damp paper towel or vegetable brush over the corn a few times to remove any silky strands left behind. Break off any of the stalk that remains.

Corn removed from the cob can be used in salads, salsas, casseroles, and other dishes, or canned or frozen to be used at a later date. You can use a bundt pan to catch the kernels of corn as you cut them off by propping the cob upright in the center hole of the pan before you start slicing. Another way to remove the kernels is to hold the cob upright with the stalk end resting on a cutting board and slice downward using a sharp knife. This can be done before or after cooking. To boil, cover corn cobs with cold water and bring to a rapid boil. A little sugar in the water can help to keep the corn sweet and tender. When the water boils, your corn is ready. Wait for your plate to salt the corn; salt in the cooking water can make the kernels tough.

You can grill sweet corn with the husks either on or off.  To grill corn in the husks, peel them back as if you were going to remove them, then leave the husk attached at the stem end. Clean the silk off the corn and replace the leaves of the husk, securing with kitchen twine. Soak the cobs in cold water for one to three hours. Grill over medium heat for about a half an hour, turning frequently. The corn is ready when it starts to steam.

A quicker method is to peel back the husks and tie the leaves together to create something of a handle for your corn. Clean the cobs and coat with your choice of herbed butter then place directly on the grill. Let the husks hang off the grill or place a piece of foil underneath to keep them from burning.  Turn them frequently and continue to coat with butter as they cook. Your corn is ready when it is golden brown. You can also remove the husk completely and place cobs of corn in foil packets with butter and seasonings. Grill for about a half an hour.

What’s in this Week’s box:

-Seasonal Stone Fruit

The Peterson Family, Kingsburg

-Sweet Corn

Huckabay Family Farms, Kingsburg

-Green Beans

Silveira Farms, Atwater


JND Farms, Madera

-Chili Peppers*
-Heirloom Tomatoes
-Summer Squash*
-Thai Basil

KMK Farms, Kingsburg

All farmers certified by CCOF
*Denotes Large Box Only

Due to availability contents may
vary on the day of delivery.

Author AHO Kitchen Team

More posts by AHO Kitchen Team

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