July 28, 2008

At the farm - La ferma


Saturday we took off to go to a farm where you could pick our own fruits and veggies, pet the animals and get away from the city.
Last year we went for the first time to Murray family farm and we loved it there. They had tons of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, peaches, nectarines, plouts, and cherry tomatoes. But because it took us about 2 hours to get there, I decided this year to look for something closer to us, and this is how I found Underwood Farm in Moorpark. Their list of produce was so exciting, so we went there looking for same beautiful experience and lots of fruits and veggies, of course.
The good part was that this was closer to us, it took us only about 45 minutes to get there. And it was not that hot like in Bakersfield. Also nice was the petting zoo and Clara loved all the animals, and this part of the farm looked really nice.

But as far as the fruits and veggies, I was dissapointed. I barely got a pound of raspberries because I was stubborn and wanted to find some, there were no strawberries in sight, no ripe peaches, apricots, oranges or avocados. Full of zucchini, squash and cucumbers, but my guys are not big fans of the zucchini and squash. The cucumbers were the largest I've seen, and since we prefer the small Persian ones or the English/hot house ones, I did not get any.
I loved the bell peppers (the purple ones are absolutely beautiful), the yellow and candy stripe beets, the zucchini flowers, for which I was looking for months now to buy and couldn't get my hands on any, and the tomatoes. And the lettuce which I forgot to take pictures of. Since I am the only one that takes pictures, but I had my hands all muddy from picking the veggies, I have no photos of the field, just the animals and veggies and fruits on the table, at home. (Sorry for some of the pictures and for the red-and-white tablecloth, but we wanted to have a picnic table).


I missed the heirloom tomato rows, but I've seen a lady with some very beautiful zebra heirlooms, however, we didn't go back for them, because we were on the way to the car already. But at the farm stand we tasted yellow watermelon and we had to buy one, it was so tasty, and we've never seen a yellow one before.



Now thinking about it, I don't think I was dissapointed at all. We had a good time and we love at least once in a while to do something like this. Maybe the timing wasn't good either for some of the fruits, so we decided we have to go to the other farm in a couple of weeks, we want some peaches and apricots, and we remember that smell in the orchard too well not to go there again.
My sister and her better half came over for dinner, and that was the perfect ending to a nice Saturday. We made whole roasted chicken, potato salad (boiled potatoes, red onion and olives), had some bell peppers and tomatoes, baked stuffed zucchini flowers and for dessert - watermelon.

The roasted chicken was seasoned, then baked for 15-20 minutes at 375F (190C) with garlic cloves, half a lemon sliced and rosemary and thyme, then lowered the temperature to 350 and baked for another 45-60 minutes.


I don't think there is another comforting food that says more "Saturday family meal" like a roasted chicken. The house smells nice, everybody likes it and any leftovers ( if there are any) are perfect later on. Not to say how easy it is to make it.
Now, the stuffed zucchini flowers, which gave my husband the opportunity to make fun of me once again, were really amazing. I didn't have the guts to fry them, it was a big chance they would come out greasy and the stuffing will be too runny, or God knows what else would go wrong, so I decided to bake them and they came out perfect.
As far as the stuffing goes, I used the cheeses I had in my fridge, but yo could use whatever you want. The most recipes online ask for ricotta, but I didn't have any.
**** Last night I found out that the zucchini blossoms could be female or male, so I know now to tell you that mine were male flowers. I didn't know this when I picked them. I didn't want to pick the female flowers, which have the little zucchini growing right underneath the flower, because I thought those are more mature ones?!?!?!?!?!? Once again, I should do my homework before, don't you think so?****




As much as I was excited to make this, I disliked the cleaning process. The flowers were full of ants and they are so delicate, it was hard not to tear the flowers. This is my excuse for "bruising" a little some of the flowers.

Baked stuffed zucchini flowers
20 zucchini flowers, cleaned, washed, pistils removed
5 oz goat cheese (125 g)
5 oz feta cheese (125 g)
a bunch of spinach, cleaned and chopped
fresh basil, chopped
1 egg
a pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste

Mix the cheeses, egg, spinach, basil, nutmeg, salt & pepper until well combined. Put the cheese mixture in a plastic bag, cut one tip and pipe the stuffing into the flowers, handling them as careful and gentle as possible.
Place the flowers on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper, drizzle with some olive oil and bake them at 350F (175C) for about 15-18 minutes. Serve them immediately.


~~~~~~~~


Sambata trecuta am fost la o ferma unde poti culege singur fructe si legume, copiii pot vedea si mangaia animalele, departe de oras. Anul trecut am fost la Murray family farm si ne-a placut foarte mult acolo. Aveau atat de multa zmeura, mure, afine, piersice, nectarine, un fel de prune altoite cu nectarine si rosii mici. Dar pentru ca ne-a luat 2 ore sa ajungem acolo, am cautat alta ferma mai aproape de noi si asa am gasit Underwood Farm in Moorpark. Lista lor de fructe si legume e multa mai mare, asa ca am mers acolo, sperand sa avem parte de o experienta la fel de frumoasa, si bineinteles sa culegem fructe si legume multe.
Partea buna e ca ferma asta e mult mai aproape de noi, ne-a luat aproape 45 de minute sa ajungem acolo. Si nu a fost atat de cald cum e in Bakersfield, unde e ferma Murray. De asemenea, Clara a fost atat de fericita sa hraneasca animalele, au tot felul de tarcuri - un fel de gradina zoologica, si zona asta a fermei, de la intrare, arata mai bine decat cealalta.
Insa in privinta fructelor si legumelor, eu una am fost dezamagita. De-abia am adunat 400 g de zmeura, si asta numai pentru ca eu sunt incapatanata si am stat sa caut, dar nu mai erau capsuni deloc pe camp, desi aveau de vanzare in magazinul de la intrare, iar piersicile, caisele, portocalele si avocado nu erau coapte. In schimb era plin de dovlecei, bostani si castraveti, numai ca ai mei nu sunt prea incantati de dovleci. Castravetii erau cred ca cei mari pe care i-am vazut vreodata, dar erau vestejiti si, pentru ca noua oricum ne plac cei mai micuti, persani, sau cei de sera, nu am cules deloc.
Mi-au placut tare mult ardeii grasi (cei mov sunt atat de frumosi), sfecla galbena ( micutza tare) si cea numita "dungi de acadea" (ce rau suna), florile de dovlecei, de care cautasem luni intregi si nu am gasit, si rosiile. Si salata, pe care am uitat sa o pozez. Pentru ca eu sunt singura care face poze de obicei, si pentru ca aveam mainile pline de pamant de la cules legumele, nu am facut poze pe camp, doar cu animalele, si cu fructele si legumele, acasa la noi pe masa. (Scuze pentru calitatea pozelor, si pentru fata de masa cu patratele rosii, dar am vrut sa avem un "picnic" acasa).
Nu am vazut randurile cu rosii heirloom (nu stiu cum sa spun in romana numele soiului acesta, sunt cele care arata asa, sunt ca cele de la noi de acasa de la taranii din piata, nu ca rosiile clonate, asezate frumos pe randuri in cutii de carton), si desi am vazut o fata mai tarziu cu un carucior plin de rosii din astea, nu ne-am mai intors sa cautam, eram deja in drum spre masina.
Insa am gustat la mazaginul fermei pepene galben, de care nu mai vazusem/mancasem niciodata (nu ma refer la cantalup), si ne-a placut atat de mult, asa ca am cumparat unul.
Daca stau sa ma gandesc bine, nu cred ca am fost atat de dezamagita. Am avut parte de o zi buna, si macar din cand in cand ne place sa avem o iesire de genul asta. Poate nu a fost sezonul pentru toate fructele ( desi la ceilalti am fost tot in iulie si nu puteai culege cate erau), asa ca ne-am gandit sa mergem si la ferma cealalta in cateva saptamani, ne-a ramas prea mult in minte mirosul livezii de piersici si caise, si gustul lor minunat.
Sora mea si prietenul ei au venit seara la cina, si asta a fost un sfarsit minunat pentru o Sambata frumoasa. Am facut un pui la cuptor, cu o salata orientala, niste ardei si rosii culese de noi, si flori de dovlecei umplute, iar la desert - pepene.
Puiul la cuptor l-am condimentat bine, apoi l-am pus la copt la temperatura mai mare 375F (190C) pentur 5-20 minute, cu niste catei de usturoi, cateva felii de lamaie, rozmarin si cimbru, apoi am coborat temperatura la 350 si l-am mai tinut 45-60 minute.
Nu stiu ce alta mancare e mai de suflet si face parte din "masa de familie de sambata" mai bine decat puiul la cuptor. Toata casa miroase frumos, place tuturor si ce raane ( daca ramane) e bun si mai tarziu. Asta fara sa spunem cat de simplu e de facut.
Cat despre florile de dovlecei umplute, care i-au dat prilejul lui Gabi sa se distreze pe seama mea inca o data, au fost atat de bune. Nu am avut curajul sa le prajesc, mi-a fost frica sa nu iasa prea uleioase, sa inceapa sa curga umplutura, sa cine stie ce altceva sa nu iasa bine, asa ca le-am facut la cuptor si au iesit perfect.
Pentru umplutura am folosit branzeturile pe care le aveam deja in frigider, voi puteti folosi ce va place voua. Cele mai multe retete de pe net recomanda ricotta, dar eu nu am avut deloc.
**** Aseara am aflat ca florile de dovlecei sunt femeiesti si barbatesti, asa ca acum stiu sa va spun ca cele culese de noi sunt barbatesti. Habar n-aveam asta cand le-am cules. Le-am ocolit pe cele femeiesti, care cresc dovlecelul chiar sub floare, gandindu-ma ca acelea sunt probabil mai batrane?!?!?!?!?!? Clar, ar trebui sa-mi fac temele inainte de a pleca de acasa, nu-i asa???****
Si pe cat de nerabdatoare am fost sa le gatesc, pe atat mi-a displacut sa le curat. Florile,care sunt extrem de delicate, erau pline de furnici si e greu sa nu le rupi. Asta e scuza mea pentru cele mai "invinetite" si rupte.
Flori de dovlecei umplute

20 flori de dovlecei, spalate, curatate si cu pistilul rupt
125 g branza de capra
125 g branza telemea data pe razatoarea mare
1 ou
o legatura de spanac, curatat si tocat
busuioc proaspat
putina nucsoara rasa
sare si piper dupa gust
Se amesteca intr-un castron branzeturile, oul, spanacul, busuiocul, nucsoara, sarea si piperul. Se pune amestecul intr-o punga de lastic la care se taie un colt si se pune cu spritul incet de tot pana se umple floarea doua treimi. Se pun florile pe o tava acoperita cu hartie de copt, se stropesc cu putin ulei si se coc la foc mediu 350F (175C) timp de 15-18 minute. Se servesc calde.

7 comments:

Lola said...

Mie-mi place fata de masa :) ce-ai cu ea?

N-ai venit chiar cu mana goala, adorabili ardeii si de fapt, tot ce ai acolo.
Super. Love farms.

Nicoleta said...

Roxana,o sa fac si eu florile de dovlecei asa ca tine,imi place cum suna reteta. Trebuie sa fie bune si sunt preparate la cuptor ...deci mai bine. Eu le fac putin diferit ,umplute doar cu mozzarella si hamsii,apoi le dau prin pastella (apa,faina,ou)si le frig; sau le fac simple, le frig goale, fara sa le umplu. Dar chiar zilele astea ,aveam de gand sa fac o alta reteta ,cu branza si sunca.
Iti spun cum au iesit, cand le fac dupa reteta ta. Te pup.

P.S.
Frumos la ferma, o zi petrecuta in mod divers...si apoi ai facut si cumparaturi "gratis" ...ca sa spun asa.

Lola said...

sper ca sunteti bine si ati scapat cu o cat mai mica sperietura.

roxana said...

Lola, multumesc de intrebare, suntem bine, Clara s-a speriat putin, dar foarte putin, ceea ce e normal, nu a mai trecut printr-un cutremur pana acum. de fapt a zis ca a fost exciting, nu ca s-a speriat.
Cat despre fatza de masa, n-am nimic cu ea, numai ca nu e nimic fancy, dar tocmai asta am vrut o fatza de masa de picnic :))
Nico, ce idee buna cu sunca, ce-as mai vrea o tura, ca sa nu-ti spun cat de mult imi doresc sa gust si din cele prajite......

Nicoleta said...

Roxana,imi inchipui ca nu a fost deloc placut.Bine ca nu a fost din acela mai mare.
Cand ai timp ,treci pe la mine, ai de ridicat un premiu.

Irina said...

Am trecut sa vad daca nu ai patit ceva...
Frumoase flori de dovlecei!

Xaviera said...

Well said.