Herb and Plow CSA: Week Three

The Swiss have more than cheese and chocolate?

Learn more about this CSA at Herb and Plow Blog

As I looked through the ground candy overflowing with abundant goodies (minus the cilantro which tastes like dish soap to me which I’ve been told indicates an allergy to it), I discovered Swiss Chard among the bounty. I’m normally a veggie person, believe it or not, but I’d never had reason or cause to select Swiss chard as a vegetable option. Truthfully, I thought, “The Swiss have something besides chocolate and cheese?” Okay, color me ignorant about that, but I had no idea how to cook it, or is it one that is eaten cold? Off to Google I went!

Miss Chris, our farmer delivery woman, suggested a bed of olive oil sauteed onion strips and minced garlic to which the chard is added and cooked only until it just wilts. The stems can be put in with the onions and garlic as the start of the saute’. Wanting to add another option, I discovered a similar recipe on THIS SITE. Make sure to read the reviews for more tips, ideas, and recipe additions.

Recipe and Photo from Epicurious.com

Recipe and Photo from Epicurious.com

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Onions


  • 3 pound green Swiss chard (about 2 large bunches)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped


Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.

Cooks’ notes:

· Chard can be washed, dried, and cut 2 days ahead and chilled in sealed bags lined with dampened paper towels.
· Chard can be cooked 4 hours ahead and reheated over low heat on stove or in a microwave oven.

December 14, 2014

I apologize for the delay in posting. For someone that likes to spend time contemplating the Universe, volunteering on the fly, putting my hands “in the dirt” when it comes to getting a project done, I have been doing just that.

On Saturday, 12/13/14, I spent a bit of time with my husband, snuggled up and cuddly which is rare in this wild month. Then I headed over to the Dollar General store to clean out their candy supply so The Red Cross would have give-away for the Christmas Parade that evening. I came up short. Not only did I come up short, but I had to put some back. By the time I got done, I had, and I wish I was exaggerating, 13 cents to my name. At 5PM, I met Miss Sharon Crane at the Red Cross and we got ready to move out and line up. It was a ton of fun. Here is a picture of one of my favorite people and me in my Viking hat made by Freddie Nechtow.

Miss Sharon Crane and me

Miss Sharon Crane and me

After the parade was done, I got home a bit after 10PM. Then I had to get signs made up for the protest the following day.  I posted them previously, so I won’t redo that, but you can find them here. That kept me up until 2:30AM.

On Sunday morning I was exhausted, but knowing that I’d get a million hugs at church, I got up, got dressed, and drove over to ORUUC where I attend. I gave many hugs because we found out that a beloved member of our church had passed away. The waves of sadness washed over my heart and spirit already weary from physical exhaustion. It felt heavy in my heart. My arms gave comfort to anyone who asked. I felt compelled to offer far more than usual, but the feelings were also far more than usual. It was odd.

After a brief time at home, I dressed and headed down to K-Town to meet with people I didn’t know to join them. Here are a couple of pictures from that day. My friend Laura stood so proudly on the corner. It filled me with great joy to see her courage. Although I don’t want to post her picture without her permission, I wanted to mention that I love her very much.

LTN121314 protestgroup121314Then on Sunday night, I rested with my husband. On Monday, I started working with Not In Our Town to get a large donation moved and begin sorting through it to find out which agencies would best benefit everything we have assembled. That is working in conjunction with TORCH (Trinity Out-Reach Center of Hope) to provide Christmas for those who have nothing to give but want to give something. When that part is done, all donations left over will be distributed to several area agencies to help fill their coffers with goods and clothing.

So, if it seems as if I’ve been neglect of my writing, there is, indeed, a good reason for that. I’ve been a busy gal collecting ideas and experiences to translate into more stories and poems to share with you. That will be continuing until next week because I’m already signed up for a spectacular series of fortunate events next week as well.

May your holy days, however you celebrate or don’t, be filled with the love and peace I feel sharing with you these activities. May strength to do what you can to make a difference in your community be given when you feel you may not have it. May your needs be ever met with enough. May you know that you are loved unconditionally. Peace, love, and light, Mare Martell.

Hymn: My Mourning Praise

Although I get lost, lose my compass, and fall down

the skies they open up and rain tears all around

the unchallenged thoughts of sadness and despair

Fill my thoughts and eyes, around me like the air

When I can’t find purchase on the ground beneath my feet

and the easiest thing I can do is hang my head in defeat

The light at the end of the tunnel seems so far away

and the pain I feel inside leaves me in unworthy sway

I will turn to you for blessings, eternity unbound

I will bow my head in reverence your love for me abounds

I will hear your spirit remind me that someone really cares

I will heed your wisdom, my heart will be repaired

I will sing the song of unity, hands destitute of conceit

I will share my abundant comforting, my miseries retreat

I will flow with my divinity releasing my malaise

I will give to you the honor of my mourning praise