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Thursday, November 17, 2016

2016 Winter CSA - November Share

The November Share is filled with goodness to incorporate into your Thanksgiving menu and beyond!

eggplant

butternut squash


sweet potatoes


garlic


white potatoes


tomatoes
turnips

radishes

spinach (mature leaves)




If you're accustomed to tender baby spinach leaves in plastic bags from the grocery store, you may be surprised to find our mature, organic spinach leaves larger than your hand.  Have no fear, they are delicious and bursting with flavor.  Here's what you can do:

First, harvest large spinach leaves with the help of a toddler wielding a Tonka Dump Truck.



Okay, so maybe you don't need to do that since you already have the leaves but I couldn't resist showing you a picture of the spinach in the field and one of my gorgeous little boys.

Okay, the real step 1 is washing those beautiful greens to remove any little bits of soil that might have clung to the ridges in the leaves. I do that by immersing all the leaves in cold water in the sink, splashing around a bit and giving each leaf a final, quick rinse under running tap water just before I transfer it to another container to drain a little.


Next, lay about 6 of those big leaves out and stack 'em up, then roll them jelly-roll style.  Get a big,  sharp knife and slice the rolled leaves into thin ribbons.

Now slice again in the opposite direction to get small chunks of spinach.  This method is pretty quick, it only took me about 15-20 minutes to do this with two huge mixing bowls full of spinach.  You could also use a food processor but I hate to wash all the parts of a food processor for a small job, so I opted for this approach.

Now, if you're ready to cook the spinach jump right into this beautiful Creamed Spinach recipe from my hero the Pioneer Woman, substituting your freshly chopped spinach for the bagged baby spinach in her recipe. My kids - all three of them - LOVED this! No joke, they gobbled up every last bite I gave them.  Did I say the Pioneer Woman is my hero?


If, however, you are like me and you are hosting Thanksgiving in your home and you would like to avoid screaming at your children on Thanksgiving Day because you're overwhelmed with meal preparation, put the chopped spinach in a freezer bag, press out extra air, and freeze that yummy green goodness until Thanksgiving day, like so...

  

Don't fret about losing a little flavor or a vitamin or mineral here and there.  Your kids would prefer your sanity over extra vitamins.  Trust me, I know.

Here are some more recipes to help you make the most of your share:
Sorghum Glazed Turnips
Honey Glazed Radishes and Turnips
Baba Ganoush (creamy eggplant spread/dip)

We send our love from the farm and wish you the very best!

Monday, September 12, 2016

2016 CSA Week 20

Hello fellow CSA members,

I can hardly believe this is our final share of the season. Before I start reminiscing, let me go ahead and tell you what you have to look forward to this week:

Produce
Storage
Longevity
butternut squash
room temperature
months
red and white potatoes
room temperature
weeks
tomato juice
shelf stable
months
watermelon*
in fridge
enjoy as soon as possible
eggplant*
unwashed, in fridge, wrapped in a paper towel in crisper
5-7 days
mixed salad greens*
in fridge
1 week
bell pepper
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
garlic
unwashed in fridge
1 week
basil
store in an unclosed container in fridge or snip off bottom of stems and immerse in water
1-2 weeks

*Tuesday deliveries will include watermelon. All other deliveries will have either watermelon, eggplant or mixed salad greens.

Potatoes are a new item in our shares this week. You are most likely already very familiar with potato recipes. We had potatoes so often in our home growing up, we would jokingly ask, "how are we having the potatoes tonight?" Instead of "what's for supper?" Mashed, fried, baked, boiled, grilled, shredded, made into chips. There are so many delicious options.
 
This time of year, my mind always turns toward soups and stews. There are many potato soup recipes out there. I saw this Loaded Potato Soup recipe that leads a list of 25 different soups, many of which include our share ingredients. I hope you find one you enjoy!

I was reminded how beautiful our shares are when I was fighting a migraine last week. My mom came over to help with the baby and after the headache started to ease she offered to still stay and make dinner. I probably would have thrown a frozen pizza in the oven to get us through the night. I knew my mom would make something delicious, so I took her up on her gracious offer. She went through my fridge and pantry and began putting items on the counter to make a meal. When I walked into the kitchen, this is what I saw:

 

As you can see, many of the items came from our shares. My mom put together a meal of eggplant parmesan, a tomato, pepper and cucumber salad, as well as fried potatoes and corn on the cob. It was comforting and filling and I could also feel good about it because so many of the ingredients were local and fresh. (Bonus: It was even meatless.)
 
I hope that you can look back over these twenty weeks and feel good about the choice you made to include Sustainable Harvest Farm's fresh organic produce in your meal plans each week. I hope the CSA has helped your diet, your lifestyle, your palate and your recipe repertoire. I know Ford and Amanda are deeply grateful for your support. And while I hope you join us again soon, even if not I hope you carry benefits with you well beyond this season.

Myself, I feel as though I've gained some confidence in the kitchen and learned some new tricks to help my family make better food choices and eat healthier meals. The season didn't go exactly as I had hoped. I wish I could have done even more, tried even more recipes, been even more creative with my share. But I am encouraged to see growth as I am expanding how I have used my shares over the years. I hope all of you can look back and feel encouraged by the progress you have made. And if you see areas you wish were better, maybe go ahead and start making a plan. I am already looking forward to the fall and winter shares, and next year's shares as well. I hope I -- and you -- will only continue to move forward in our journeys for health and the support of local, sustainable farming.

Thanks for sharing this CSA experience with me. Feel free to keep in touch. And happy eating and many blessings to all of you!
 

Monday, September 5, 2016

2016 CSA Week 19

Hi fellow CSA members!

I hope you all were able to enjoy a wonderful Labor Day weekend. The weather definitely cooperated providing a perfect backdrop to the unofficial start of fall. I just got in from a low-key cookout hosted by some of our friends where they grilled up some SHF steaks and brats. My steaks have been only a memory for more than a month now, so this was a welcome treat.

Our shares this week mirror the fast-approaching season, and signal the end of our CSA season together. This share will include the final harvest of some of our produce, while next week is our final summer share. I can't be too sad about this, though, because I am already looking forward to the fall and winter meat and veggie shares!

Up this week:


Produce
Storage
Longevity
tomatoes*
room temperature
about a week
sweet corn*
shucked or with husks on in coldest part of fridge
enjoy as soon as possible
butternut squash
Room temperature
months
cornmeal
Sealed in bag or container in fridge
weeks
bell pepper
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
cucumber
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
garlic
unwashed in fridge
1 week
watermelon*
unwashed in fridge
enjoy as soon as possible

*Final harvest of the season

This season has my mind turning toward soups, stews and chilis. So as an homage to fall and our beautiful share, I offer you this Roasted Corn, Pepper and Tomato Chowder.

Its been a few weeks since I've taken the time to write an "in the kitchen" post. BUT, I have been casually searching for spaghetti squash recipes that my husband may like and I found one I got super excited about. Spaghetti squash hash browns!!! I typed this up as an "in the kitchen" post, but never actually published it, so I'm tacking it on here in case any of you have some unused spaghetti squash.

I actually don't love spaghetti squash the way some people do (cough*my mom*cough). I mean, it's alright, but I always feel like I'm eating healthy - like I'm missing a better taste/texture. I've only ever used it as a pasta substitute, so I knew there had to be some more creative things out there. I love potatoes, Johnie loves potatoes and I LOVE crunchy/crispy food. So I was pumped to try this one.

I just saw a quick blurb about this recipe and didn't actually look at it or follow it when I made them. I think that was my fatal flaw. The "squash browns" browned, but never actually got crispy. My mom and I even had the idea to make squash patties out of some of them and add egg.

The verdict: Johnie gave the squash patties with egg three and a half broccoli stalks. (Major victory. He has never liked any spaghetti squash dish at all.) The squash browns got two and a half broccoli stalks. My mom liked both, but preferred the squash patties. I and another friend who was eating with us preferred the squash browns.

Actually, I didn't think they tasted like hash browns at all, but I did like the flavor. I was looking for more with the texture, though. And I discovered my mistake: The squash was too moist to get crispy. One site I read suggested squeezing the excess water out. If you try them, let me know how they turn out for you! I'll definitely be giving them another shot!

Monday, August 29, 2016

2016 CSA Week 18

Good evening fellow CSA members,

I thought about all of you this past week. Because I really enjoyed my share and I was hoping you did too!

I had many of my share ingredients throughout one day when I made a friend's delicious avocado spinach salad for lunch. (Cut up a tomato, mix with spinach, black olives, squeeze/mix avocado into the salad with your hands working it into the greens until it is like a dressing, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and just a little Italian dressing.) Then I boiled the corn and sautéed the squash for dinner.

The food was beautiful and delicious. And thankfulness just bubbled up inside of me that I am so privileged to have access to such a wonderful food source. That we have the ability to choose where our food comes from is a blessing. That Sustainable Harvest Farm (and our grocery stores and other farmers) are choices for us is humbling. I hope we never take that for granted.

The thankfulness continued throughout the evening when I sat down to dinner with my little family. My husband and I ate a lot of meals in front of the TV when it was just the two of us. But with the arrival of our son, we wanted to make it our habit to share meals together at the table. So far, they've been mostly miserable. Either the baby will scream the whole time, or one of us will have to wait while we feed him or hold him or juggle him or finally concede and walk around the house with him until we can finally switch and eat a cold meal. But Matthias has been getting better at grasping finger foods and feeding himself. And I've learned to keep food in front of him when he's hungry (to stave off the screaming). This night he fed himself small pieces of squash, corn kernels, avocado and watermelon. (Wasn't the watermelon delicious?!?!) And Johnie and I ate at the table with him at the same time, sharing lighthearted conversation. No screaming, no cold food. It was glorious and I feel like I got a glimpse into how pleasant meal time can be for us as Matthias continues to grow and learn (and entertain us). I was especially touched that my friends grew the food we enjoyed as our most pleasant meal experience as a family so far. I even snapped a few pictures for you all to see.

That's more than enough about me and my week though. You're here because you want to know what's in store for YOU this week:



Produce
Storage
Longevity
winter squash (either delicata, acorn or spaghetti)
Room temperature
weeks
eggplant*
unwashed, in fridge, wrapped in a paper towel in crisper
5-7 days
pepper*
unwashed, in fridge
1-2 weeks
tomatoes
room temperature
about a week
sweet corn
shucked or with husks on in coldest part of fridge
enjoy as soon as possible
cucumber
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
basil
store in an unclosed container in fridge or snip off bottom of stems and immerse in water
1-2 weeks

*This week your share will have either eggplant or bell peppers, as well as one of a variety of winter squash.

Here's where I confess I had never really heard of delicata squash. I have heard the name but when Ford told me about it, I wasn't sure if it was a variety of acorn squash or if it was a different type of squash in its own rite. Turns out its a type of squash all its own. And I found this article (and recipe) that makes me VERY excited to try it.

Here are a couple acorn squash recipes from a past season.

I'd love to hear from you about how you are using, or plan to use, you squash! I'm sure many of you are much more experienced than I am. Email me with any recipes, tips or suggestions. amyrosekarr@gmail.com

Monday, August 22, 2016

2016 CSA Week 17

Hello fellow CSA members!

You all may have picked up on my preference toward fall (or maybe I just told you explicitly that it is my favorite season). While I am SO eager for fall (we're just days away from September!!!) I also am excited for a little taste of the final days of summer that awaits in this week's share...

Produce
Storage
Longevity
summer squash and zucchini
unwashed, in fridge
1-2 weeks
garlic
in fridge 1 week
tomatoes
room temperature
about a week
sweet corn
shucked or with husks on in coldest part of fridge
enjoy as soon as possible
cucumber
Washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
watermelon
In fridge
Enjoy as soon as possible

Nothing says August like a delicious watermelon! My favorite way to enjoy fresh watermelon is chilled (some people choose to sprinkle a little salt, but I leave mine plain). But, in case you all were wanting some ideas for ways to enjoy your watermelon I thought I'd share with you these recipes for watermelon salsa, watermelon limeade, and arugula, watermelon and feta salad.

Hope you enjoy!

In case you may not have already seen this video on the facebook page or through email, I wanted to share this great clip of my friends and their farm. I can't imagine a more trusted, feel-good food source.



Monday, August 15, 2016

2016 CSA Week 16

Hello fellow CSA members,

When I saw this week's list of share items I was both happy and sad. No blackberries, unfortunately, though we knew this day was coming. But we do see another fall/winter squash! And, its hard to believe we only have four more weeks, but some summer seasons ended at 16 in years past. I'm thankful for an extra month!


Produce
Storage
Longevity
summer squash and zucchini
unwashed, in fridge
1-2 weeks
butternut squash
room temperature
months
tomatoes
room temperature
about a week
sweet corn
shucked or with husks on in coldest part of fridge
enjoy as soon as possible
eggplant*
unwashed, in fridge, wrapped in a paper towel in crisper
5-7 days
green beans*
unwashed, in fridge
3-4 days
bell pepper
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
cucumber
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks

*This week your shares will have either eggplant OR green beans.

I was excited to see butternut squash because I would love to share with you our little family's favorite butternut squash recipe. By favorite, I mean the only one Johnie likes. But he really likes it, and I do too.

And even though many of you are much better than I am at creatively transforming your shares into delicious meals, I have a hunch many of you may have never used butternut squash in.... Burritos! Sounds crazy, I know, but just try it.

I discovered the black bean and butternut squash burrito recipe when I was looking for new recipes last year during the fall veggie share. If you have very small children, this meal might also be a good time to discuss the letter "B." :)

The blogger is right that the filling is also great as a dip. And this is one of a very few vegan recipes that we don't add meat to (we do use dairy cheese).

There are also some great butternut squash recipes from previous seasons, including butternut squash and kale crock pot risotto, butternut squash soufflé with sage and butternut squash and chicken curry stew.

I found a yummy squash quesadilla recipe in this month's Better Homes and Gardens magazine, and decided to make it for dinner tonight. I loved it and Johnie gave it three and a half broccoli stalks!
 
Chorizo and Squash Quesadillas
page 102, Better Homes and Gardens, August 2016
 
1 medium red onion, halved and very thinly sliced (1/2 cup)
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 dried smoked chorizo sausage links (3 1/4 oz) total, thinly sliced
8 6-inch corn tortillas
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese or mild cheddar cheese, shredded
2 small zucchini and/ or summer squash, thinly sliced (2 cups)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
 
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Place a baking sheet in oven. In a small bowl combine onion, lime juice and a pinch of kosher salt.
 
Meanwhile, heat an extra-large skillet over medium heat. Add chorizo. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe out skillet (Note: I also sautéed the squash with the chorizo to give it extra flavor and make it softer.)
 
Top four of the tortillas with half of the cheese. Arrange zucchini and chorizo on each, top with remaining cheese and remaining tortillas. Add one tbsp. oil to skillet; heat over medium heat. Place two quesadillas in skillet. Cook two minutes each side until browned and cheese melts. Transfer to oven. Repeat with remaining quesadillas, adding more oil, if needed.

Stir cilantro into onions. Serve with quesadillas.
 
Makes four servings.
Each serving: 427 cal, 27 g fat, 63 mg chol, 725 mg sodium, 26 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 22 g pro