Peter's Weekly Walkthrough
July 11, 2023
Here is something you don’t hear too often- It is nice that vacation is over! I need the rest. To refresh the memory, I went to Las Vegas for vacation. It is not what you think, we visited my stepmother in law and hit the ground running and got start to work. We built a new closet system for her, cleaned and organized the garage, worked on the sprinkler system and tons of other odds and ends. Last day of vacation was cleaning the house top to bottom for her as she was leaving for a visit to her sister. It was not all work; I did manage to sneak out one morning and knocked off an 8 miler before it got too hot. Highly recommend the Railroad Tunnel Trail from Boulder City to Hoover Dam. Highlights are the views of Lake Mead, Hoover Dam and walking thru 5 tunnels. This photo is what it is like exiting Tunnel 2.
It is amazing what a week will do for produce. We are into local Robado Apricots (28340-70/72 ct) from Gunkel Orchards. They are in Maryhill, Washington. Dan Gunkel talks about how they are in the best place to grow stone fruits. Rich river bottom soil, which they continue to improve with using wood chip mulch from their pruning. This puts nutrients back into the soil and reduces water and herbicide usage. The warm Columbia River Winds means the plants stay dry above the ground. This is really important as stonefruits seem to have issues with fungus and that keeps the nasty fungus in check. Plenty of fresh clean water to drip irrigate the trees. All this goes to make some outstanding Cherries, Peaches, Nectarines and of course, Robado Apricots.
Can you believe there are only about 400 acres planted of the Walla Walla Onion (23941-40 lb) every year? There are a lot of things that go into this onion to make it so special. First there is the variety which came over from Corsica by Peter Pieri in the late 1800’s. The climate plays a big role. Listed as a Hot-Summer Mediterranean Climate, Onions love the long growing season…….
Ok let’s be real. Every time looking at the Walla Walla Onion, I develop a taste for Walla Walla Onion Rings. The big inch thick rings that are breaded and not battered. It becomes an obsession and will not be satisfied until I pull out the Fry Daddy, fill it with oil and bread some onions. Attempts have been made with beer batter and tempura. The high-water content in the onion causes them to become soggy soon after frying. A beer batter or tempura batter may work for other onions, Walla Walla Onions really need you to pull out the seasoned flour, egg wash and panko. Otherwise, they don’t satisfy the craving. If you get that craving like I do, get a case and set up a breading station. Worth the effort.
This is not produce- looks more like my workbench in my garage! Close, it is one of the workbenches in our Mechanical Shop. We have our own shop on site filled with Big Boy Toys like welders, metal lathes, drill presses, brake presses… the list goes on. Walking by it felt like it was time to venture in where Efrain was fabricating a table for King Harvest Natural Foods, you know, the hummus people. We just acquired King Harvest Natural Foods. His idea was to build a table so people would not need to stoop down to fill trays of the cooling garbanzos. That is the benefit of having our own Mechanical Shop, we can design, fix, repair and build any equipment we need. Say hello to Efrain!
Back when I was running a kitchen, I had a wild hair and started getting as many and varied Melons that I could. We used up to 6 or 8 cases a day, so they had an easy avenue for usage. It quickly became apparent that there are hundreds of different melons grown commercially and thousands more for the backyard farmer. Melons, the really good, flavorful, sweet melons are just coming into their own right now. The Honey Kiss Melon (26117-case) is a prime example. Honey Kiss is a descendant of Hami melons from China. Hami melons are native to the Hami Prefecture in Xinjiang, China, and were once known as the "King of Melons," a favorite variety of the Emperor. Honey Kiss melons are a hybrid Hami melon and were selected for their crisp flesh and sweet, honeyed taste. It is important to note that Honey Kiss melons may exhibit small brown spots on the surface. These spots are created from a high sugar content and are a marking of sweet flesh, not decay. Also available are Summer Kiss, Sugar Kiss, Lemon Drop Melons, Orange Honeydew, Pepino, Golden Honeydew, and Goldilocks Watermelons. Hermiston Watermelons are just around the corner as they were talking about picking this week, next week at the latest.