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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
 


Monday, August 8, 2016

2016 CSA Week 15

Good evening fellow CSA members!

I hope you all are doing well in any back-to-school preparations going on in your house. No one in the Karr home is headed to the classroom this semester, but I have always enjoyed this time of year. New clothes, blank notebooks, fresh pencils and anticipation for what new classes, new books, new teachers will bring. Best wishes to all of your students, young and old.

Our CSA shares also reflect a change in season. This week we begin to see a transition toward fall with the seasonal debut of our first winter squash. Here's what else is coming our way:


Produce
Storage
Longevity
summer squash and zucchini
unwashed, in fridge
1-2 weeks
spaghetti squash
room temperature
2-4 weeks
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
blackberries*
unwashed, in fridge
3-5 days
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
basil
store in an unclosed container in fridge or snip off bottom of stems and immerse in water
1-2 weeks

*In this week's CSA, you'll receive either eggplant OR blackberries. This hasn't been confirmed by Ford, but I'm guessing blackberries will soon be gone until next year. Enjoy while you can!

I received several recipes this week from CSA Member Jodi Mendez. She combined a Summer Vegetable Tian recipe, Tomato, Squash and Eggplant Tian recipe, as well as an Eggplant and Squash Tian recipe to come up with something both she and her husband really enjoyed. Her notes say she just used squash, zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes with garlic, onions, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. She topped it with Wildcat Farms Swiss Cheese. I had to look up what a "tian" is. A quick internet search told me it is a hot or cold dish made with layered ingredients, an easy method to make a dish look beautiful. And doesn't it also look delicious?


Another CSA member posted a ratatouille recipe on last week's blog post. Also a great option for this week's share!

Spaghetti squash has been a staple in the final weeks of the summer share, as well as in the fall share. I had never actually cooked with or eaten spaghetti squash until the CSA. I have found it to be simple and delicious. You can visit a post from a previous season for notes on how to prepare it, as well as a recipe for Baked Spaghetti Squash with Butter and Garlic. (Bonus: This post also has a yummy corn recipe.)

I have used my share ingredients pretty generically (nothing new or creative) this week, but I did just receive three free promotional meals from one of those fresh meal delivery services (they send you all the ingredients and the recipes, you cook them at home). I cooked one of them tonight and Johnie was so impressed he asked me if I had taken a picture of it before he took his first bite. There was no reason to take a picture, so we just dug in. But it was delicious, and I realized it included ingredients also included in our weekly shares. So... I'm sorry there's no picture, but I did decide to share a similar recipe with you that I found online for Farro and Corn Salad. You can also use kale instead of arugula. And I used balsamic vinegar in my recipe tonight. Ours was served with seared pork chops (topped with diced plum). And as I was eating it I was dreaming of how delicious it would be with SHF pork chops.

Hope you all enjoy your shares this week! As always, I love to hear from you! amyrosekarr@gmail.com

Monday, August 1, 2016

2016 CSA Week 14

Good evening fellow CSA members,

If you enjoyed last week's share I have some great news for you! This week's share is quite similar, with just a few subtle differences in quantities (more or less of some items).

As a refresher:

Produce
Storage
Longevity
summer squash and zucchini
unwashed, in fridge
1-2 weeks
green beans
unwashed, in fridge
3-4 days
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
cabbage*
unwashed, in fridge
up to two months
bell pepper
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
cucumber
washed or unwashed in fridge
1-2 weeks
blackberries
unwashed, in fridge
3-5 days

*Just as last week, your share will include either eggplant OR cabbage.

Friend and CSA member Amanda Horn said she used last week's share in some vegetable soup she canned for the winter. How delicious does that sound? Completely unrelated, and nothing you would ever want or need to know, but any time anyone mentions vegetable soup I am reminded of the one and only craving I had my entire pregnancy, for only one day, exactly one week before I went into labor: Vegetable soup. So now I have very fond feelings for vegetable soup.

I also received a recipe this week for Zucchini Parmesan Crisps. I haven't had a chance to try it yet but I immediately knew I wanted to share it with all of you. And, as recipe sites often do, clicking on that recipe led me down a trail of many other delicious dishes. Fried Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms. Stuffed Zucchini and Red Bell Peppers. (I bet any color pepper would work fine.) Cappellini with Spicy Zucchini-Tomato Sauce. The list could go on. Click on any of those recipes and then follow your own trail.

If you're like me, you may have trouble believing we're 14 weeks into our 20-week share. Now with August officially here, the end of the CSA season doesn't seem as distant to me as it did back in May. My thoughts are already turning to the fall and winter shares. If you have enjoyed the CSA so far, I would like to encourage you to consider the other shares offered by Sustainable Harvest Farm.

Ford and Amanda have a delightful fall produce share filled with squash, sweet potatoes and other fall veggies, along with shelf-stable products and some glorious greenhouse goodies. I've told Ford and I will tell you: I have tried and enjoyed all of the SHF shares, but the fall vegetable share is my absolute favorite share that they offer. I think I take fresh produce for granted in the summer, but to get fresh produce in the fall is a treat. On top of that, many of the products in the fall share last longer so there isn't as much pressure or stress to use them right away before they spoil.

Pork Carnitas Street Tacos. If I had the recipe, I'd share it. :)
If you can find pork and beef that tastes better than SHF, please tell me about it because I would love to eat it! I am a serious meat-eater and I'd put theirs up against any I've ever put in my mouth.

I mention this to you now for two reasons. Because their shares usually fill up fast. Last year I got a small meat share and supplemented some months by adding extras. Before the share even ended there was no extra meat to purchase. Not unusually, Ford had sold out quickly. And secondly, friend and winter CSA member Celinda DeGough recently sent me a text to ask if SHF meat was also included in the blog posts because she had just eaten one of the "top five meals of her life." And it included pork from her winter meat share. It made me look forward to the meat that's coming my way, and I wanted you to be able to get in on it too!

As always, I'd love to hear the ways you are using your share. And please let me know if you have any questions!