Saturday, October 31, 2015

Butternut Squash and Kale Crock Pot Risotto

Crock Pot Butternut Squash and Kale Risotto

2 generous cups of Arborio rice
1/3 c + 2 Tbsp olive oil
1/3 c + 2 Tbsp white wine
6 cloves garlic, minded
1 onion, very finely diced
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2-3 cups kale leaves, finely choped
6-8 cups cubed butternut squash
48-64 oz chicken broth (depending on the consistency you like, I like very smooth creamy risotto so I usually end up adding all 64 oz)
1 cup Parmesan cheese
*optional - 1-2 lbs crumbled, cooked sausage (preferably from Sustainable Harvest Farm)

Combine everything EXCEPT the cheese and optional sausage and turn the crock pot on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Twenty minutes before serving, stir in the cheese and sausage, if using.

If you've made risotto using the traditional method of adding broth, 1 cup at a time while you stand over a hot stove, I think you'll be amazed by how easily this recipe produces the same, creamy dish with much less hands-on time.  Enjoy!



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2015 CSA Week 16

Greetings all,

I'm feeling very sad this season is coming to a close for the summer bounty from Sustainable Harvest Farm. I feel the healthiest I've ever been from eating all of the wonderful organic goodies the Waterstrat family work hard to provide for us. A big thanks to all who contributed!

Don't forget there are a couple other memberships available.
You can sign up here for the following:

  • 5 Month Fall-Winter Veggie Share
  • 6 Month Winter Meat Share
In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Tomatoes room temperature ~1 week
Green Beans unwashed in fridge 3-4 days
Kale or Chard washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Sweet Corn shucked or with husks on in the coldest part of your fridge (usually the bottom vegetable crisper) Enjoy as soon as possible!
Watermelon fridge Enjoy right away! Melons are very ripe
Peppers unwashed in fridge 2-3 weeks
Large bunch of fresh basil fridge or room temperature Enjoy as soon as possible!

From Amanda...

We have been saving a little extra of our very best for a CSA grand finale during week 16 as an expression of our gratitude to you for supporting our family farm this summer. Since the middle of May, you have faithfully made the extra effort to pick up your shares and incorporate farm-fresh, unprocessed food into your weekly meals. In our modern world of conveniences, it's no small task to be committed to fresh, local food. You are the real heroes of local agriculture because without a market for our products neither the CSA program or the farm, as we know it, could exist. Please soak up the delicious, final summer harvest. Some excellent recipes are provided below to help you make the most of your final share.




Tomato Bread Pudding
recipe from Edible Ohio Valley, adapted from Giada DeLaurentiis

Butter, for preparing pan
8 oz. challah or brioche, cut into cubes
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz. cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Salt & pepper
1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 ½ cups (6oz.) shredded Parmesan
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9x13-inch glass baking dish, add the bread crumbs, set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Pour the tomato mixture and Parmesan over the bread cubes and combine well.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, 1 tsp. salt, and ½ tsp. pepper until smooth. Pour the custard over the bread mixture and gently toss to coat. Bake in the center of the oven until puffed and golden and the center is firm, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.

##### 


Tomato Basil Sorbet
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
6 T minced fresh basil leaves
1 lb tomatoes peeled, cored, cut
½ lemon

In a small pot, bring water to a boil. When boiling, add sugar and let boil for 2 minutes until sugar dissolves. Cool the sugar syrup for a few minutes, then add the minced basil and allow it to steep for 30 minutes. Strain the basil from sugar syrup and set aside. Juice the tomatoes and lemon in a juicer. Combine tomato juice and sugar syrup and set in refrigerator to cool for a few hours or overnight. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions or in an airtight container until firm, at least 3 hours. Serve softly frozen and garnish with fresh basil.

#####

Garlicky Green Beans food on the food The author of this recipe reports: The kids used to hate green beans prepared this way, but now they love them. We love the basic recipe, but there are lots of variations, too. You can add 1 T of chopped scallions and/or minced fresh ginger. You can add a splash of toasted sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Or you can heat things up with a half teaspoon of sriracha or some sliced fresh chilies. It's all good.
1 lb green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 T vegetable oil
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp hoisin sauce (or honey)
1 T rice wine or white wine (or water)
1 T finely chopped garlic
Pinch of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté the green beans, tossing occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until they blister and brown in places but are still crisp-tender, not mushy. Remove the green beans to a plate. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and rice wine. Set aside. Add the garlic to the hot pan and stir-fry for about 20 seconds until fragrant but not browning. Add the beans and sauce, and stir until heated through and the sauce reduces to a thick glaze, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

#####

Sweet and Sour Greens from Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert’s Simply In Season, serves 4
1 bunch fresh greens (kale!)
1 medium onion
¼ C dried cranberries or raisins
2 cloves garlic
3 T white or cider vinegar
1 ½ T sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse and pat dry kale. Remove stems and discard. Stack leaves, roll up, and slice in 1 inch strips. Saute onion about 2 minutes in deep frypan in 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add rest of ingredients to pan, cover and cook for 7-8 minutes. Place chopped leaves on top of the mixture, cover and cook another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir and serve.

##### 

These all sound delicious!

It's been a pleasure to publish the weekly blog throughout the 2015 season. I'm looking forward to next year! Hopefully, some of you have been able to can or freeze some of the summer's veggies to have during the cold of winter.

Wishing everyone health and happiness,
Nancy

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015 CSA Week 15

Greetings,

Although I had a wonderful vacation last week, I missed out on two weeks of shares and am really feeling the need for nourishment with SHF organic veggies!

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Tomatoes room temperature ~1 week
Spaghetti Squash (or Kale) room temperature 2-4 weeks
Kale (or Spaghetti Squash) washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Butternut Squash room temperature weeks
Melons fridge or room temperature Enjoy as soon as possible!

From Amanda...

Depending on the rain and the looks of our kale crop you may receive another spaghetti squash this week or a bunch of kale. The fall greens are beginning to come and and we're pleased to see the return of leafy greens. We hope to provide you with a hint of fall flavor here in the last two weeks of the regular harvest season.

Additionally, we are offering the second of our fall/winter squashes - butternut. This is my absolute favorite fall veggie. It will probably be familiar to many of you, but if you haven't tried it I think you'll fall in love. It has a rich, creamy texture that is as smooth and buttery as the name implies.
Many of our favorite fall/winter dishes include baked, pureed or cubed butternut squash. Since the weather is still warm, you may like it best baked and topped with a hint of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon served as a side dish. You can slice the baked halves into thin wedges for single servings.

The basic recipe is below:
Basic Baked Butternut Squash
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Slice squash length wise, remove seeds, and place, cut-side-down, into a 9x13" baking dish.
Add a bit of water around the squash in the pan (~1/4 to 1/2").
Bake for 60-75 minutes. (Check after 1 hour.)
The flesh should be very tender when pierced with a fork.
Carefully invert the squash and add butter, cinnamon and brown sugar or maple syrup to taste. Slice each half again into 3-4 strips and serve.

If you hold onto this veggie for a few weeks (it will store well for months in a cool, dark location) you can use it to make an amazing souffle or risotto!

Butternut Souffle



Butternut Risotto

#####

As for me, I'm still enjoying fresh tomatoes which are at their peak of ripeness! A tomato and mayo sandwich tastes so good! Add fresh avocado and/or cheese with leafy greens and it is most definitely an incredible summer dinner, especially now that kids and teachers are back in school.

Enjoy!
Nancy

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2015 CSA Week 14

Hello fellow members,

We just have a couple weeks remaining of the season's CSA shares! I hope you are taking advantage of the available grass fed beef and pork that are offered from Sustainable Harvest Farm, too. It's all great stuff!

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Peppers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Tomatoes room temperature ~1 week
Sweet Corn shucked (my preference) or with husks on in the coldest part of your fridge (usually the bottom vegetable crisper) Enjoy as soon as possible!
Spaghetti Squash room temperature 2-4 weeks
Green Beans unwashed in fridge 3-4 days
Basil store in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water 1-2 weeks

From Amanda...

Amid some of the very best of summer veggies is one new item that whispers, "fall is on the way." Spaghetti squash, the first winter squash of the season, offers a great opportunity for seasonal eaters to transition from summer veggies to hearty fall meals. Here are the basic cooking instructions.
You can bake up a spaghetti squash, fork out the flesh into tender strings that resemble spaghetti noodles and serve it with marinara and cheese and pretend it's a low calorie noodle. That works. ...but there are also some really yummy, slightly more creative approaches. Here's a great recipe with helpful photos from Steamy Kitchen for Baked Spaghetti Squash with Garlic and Butter.


Let us know what you think! How do you do spaghetti squash?

#####

Sweet Corn

Here's one of the Waterstrat's family favorites that was published in the September 14, 2012 blog:

...We call it “fried corn” on Pistol Creek, but don’t worry, there’s no batter or deep fryer involved. It is best eaten with a big bowl of fresh tomatoes, a few slices of fresh onion, and cornbread. YUM!

“Fried” Corn according to the instructions of my mom (Margie Baker) as passed from her mom (Daisy Johnson)

6 ears of fresh sweet corn, washed, silks removed, patted dry

Option 1 - Leftover batter from a batch of cornbread OR

Option 2 - 2 tsp cornmeal 2 tsp flour

water

milk

1 Tbsp butter
Prepare your corn and set aside.

Option 1 – Stir up a batch of your favorite cornbread, pop it in the oven but DON’T wash the bowl you used to stir up the batter! Instead, cut the kernels of corn into that bowl.

Here’s an important step: once you slice the kernels off all the way down the cob, go back and scrape the cob with your knife to remove the milky residue at the base of the corn kernels. This is a little messy, so you should probably put the bowl you’re cutting the corn into down in your sink because the corn juice goes all over the place. Trust me; this makes all the difference in the world.
Option 2 – Stir together cornmeal, flour and enough water and milk (about half & half) to make a thin batter. Add the corn as described above.

Heat 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet until melted, then add the corn mixture and cook for 10-15 minutes. Mom says to stir it very often or it will stick! Try not to eat the whole bowl all by yourself if possible.

#####
Enjoy!
~ Nancy

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

2015 CSA Week 13

Greetings,

It seems too early to be sending kids off to school, and for Amanda and Ford back to respective universities, but, so it is! There's still summer left and plenty of fresh eating to come!

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Peppers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Early Tomatoes room temperature ~1 week
Cucumbers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Summer Squash and Zucchini unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Melons fridge or room temperature Enjoy as soon as possible!
Green Beans unwashed in fridge 3-4 days
Basil store in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water 1-2 weeks

From Amanda...

This week I'll share some links to nice recipes for the items in your share but rather than focusing on cooking the veggies, a task most of you have mastered far better than me, I'd like to express my thanks to you for supporting small scale, diverse agriculture through your CSA membership in Sustainable Harvest Farm.







The harvest season is really at it's peak now with such a wide variety of produce coming in daily. We harvested over 8,000 lbs of melon in the last week and have lots more to harvest this week. It's exciting to see so much goodness come from God's blessing on tiny seeds.

Despite our best efforts, however, while one crop grows beautifully and produces a bountiful harvest, other crops wither, rot, or fall victim to pests. This year our white potato crop was a huge disappointment. While digging around in the dirt with my favorite guys was the highlight of my day, from a business standpoint, it was a little disappointing.


That's why we're so thankful that you support our small, scale, diverse farming practices. Because you purchase a membership in our harvest rather than push us to produce enormous quantities of a single crop, we can much more easily sustain the loss of one or two crops in any given season and keep on doing what we love in a way that is kind to the earth. Thank you so much.

Thank YOU, Amanda, Ford, and boys!
~ Nancy

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2015 CSA Week 12

Hello friends,

Boy, this summer is going fast! I'm so glad we are getting such amazing fresh produce from Sustainable Harvest Farm for another month! Wait 'til you see below - sweet corn is ready! I'm excited!

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Peppers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Early Tomatoes room temperature ~1 week
Cucumber washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Eggplant unwashed, wrapped in a paper towel and placed in a reusable container or perforated plastic bag in the crisper section of your refrigerator 5-7 days
Sweet Corn shucked (my preference) or with husks on in the coldest part of your fridge (usually the bottom vegetable crisper) Enjoy as soon as possible!
Melons fridge or room temperature Enjoy as soon as possible!
Green Beans unwashed in fridge 3-4 days
Basil store in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water 1-2 weeks

From Amanda...

It is now week 12 of our regular summer CSA share program which means there's only one month to go! Wow! It seems like summer just began, but already the "return-to-school-rush" and preparation for fall are upon us. We hope you're enjoying the harvest and the summer.

This week you'll be getting a break from the steady flow of squash and zucchini in exchange for eggplant, green beans, sweet corn, melons, basil, cucumber, tomatoes, and peppers. It is such a good time of year for fresh veggies! Please take advantage of these great products while they are at their peak. You may have noticed that the long, slender eggplants in your share aren't the typical grocery store variety. We love these because they're a little more tender and less fibrous than the larger, pear-shaped variety. They're great sliced and sauteed in olive oil for pastas, pizza topping and more, but, if you like hummus, you may also love a wonderful, creamy eggplant dish called Baba Ganouj. The recipe is provided below.



Baba Ganouj
from the Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen
(*note from Amanda - This freezes really well so whip some up, freeze it in a freezer bag and forget about it until you want a fresh, healthy dip at a fall party or a great vegetarian sandwich spread!)

2 medium-small eggplants (up to 3 if they are the small slender variety like the ones in your share)
Juice from one good-sized lemon
½ cup tahini (sesame paste – check the health food/organic section at Kroger to find this locally)
3 medium cloves garlic, crushed
½ cup finely-chopped parsley
1 tsp salt (more, to taste)
¼ cup finely-minced scallions (optional)
lots of fresh black pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400oF.
Remove stem-ends and prick eggplants all over with a fork. (WARNING – if you don’t do this, they’ll explode!)
Roast 45 minutes. (When they are sagging, wrinkled, crumpled and totally soft, you’ll know they’re ready.)
Remove them from the oven to cool a bit, then as soon as you can touch them, discard the skin, scoop out the flesh and mash well.
Combine with all remaining ingredients except olive oil.
Chill completely, and drizzle the oil over the top just before serving.

(Note from Nancy: I love baba ganouj and will be making this! Thanks Amanda!)

We also hope your are enjoying our fresh, tasty melons. I know, they're super cheap at the grocery store right now but you just can't match the flavor of FRESH, LOCALLY GROWN, USDA-CERTIFIED ORGANIC melons! The only catch is that, despite our BEST efforts, we occasionally harvest a melon that has all the marks of ripeness but is STILL not quite ripe. See the photo below of a "test kitchen" trial about 2 weeks ago. We cut open about 6 watermelons and only 1 was perfectly ripe.


....so, we waited a little longer to begin harvesting them for you. We hope yours is perfect but if it's not, let us know and we'll do our best to replace it with another melon or a product of equal value.

We also sometimes have interesting experiences with our plants and veggies when there's a little glitch in our production system. Ford had a few extra melon plants in the greenhouse that never made it into the field (we over seed just a little in case there's a mishap in the greenhouse). Those neglected little plants were determined to pass on their DNA so, they fruited while still in a seeding tray and produced these cute little melons. Finley insists that we should use them for decoration around the house but his curious little mind also figured we better try one to see if it's ripe. This was the result: a golf ball sized melon that was pink (and tasty, according to Finley) on the inside! Who knew!
Happy melon eating!

####

Here's a nice fresh summer salad recipe found on Sparkpeople.com that utilizes some of the items in this week's shares - corn, cucumber, tomatoes and basil, and includes a great multipurpose vinaigrette recipe. You could even add beans. I can live on this stuff! Click on link for full recipe.

Summer Vegetables in a Basil Vinaigrette


Here's to healthy living and eating!

~ Nancy

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

2015 CSA Week 11

Hello,

Hope everyone's summer is going well! As usual, be sure to send me or Amanda any recipe ideas with photos!

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Peppers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Tomatoes room temperature ~1 week
Cucumber washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Summer Squash and Zucchini unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Cabbage unwashed in fridge 2-3 months
Melons fridge or room temperature Enjoy as soon as possible!
Green Beans unwashed in fridge 3-4 days
Basil store in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water 1-2 weeks
Fresh red or white Onions unwashed in fridge ~1 week

From Amanda...

New items in your share this week include melons, green beans and fresh white or red onion bulbs.

You probably have no trouble thinking of ways to enjoy fresh melon, but I would like to offer some guidance on the onions and green beans. Much like our fresh garlic bulbs, the fresh onions may look like grocery store varieties but they have NOT been dried and they won't last in a dark spot in your kitchen cabinet for weeks. Use them up right away. Enjoy their intense flavor and, put what's leftover in your fridge. I LOVE fresh onions with soup beans, cornbread, and fresh tomatoes.

The stringless green beans in your share are NOT like the green beans used for canning. If that's your favorite way to eat green beans, then check out this blog post from 2013 with my own recipe for turning "Fresh Pick" green beans  into a side dish like my grandma use to make. If you're not a fan of overcooked, southern-style green beans, you can stir fry or blanch them until bright green and enjoy a crisp, tender bean. (Nancy's note: add sliced almonds, too!)

#####

I see the makings for a wonderful summer salad with most ingredients from this week's bounty!
Here's an interesting take on the http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/tomato-and-cabbage-tabbouleh site:


Tomato and Cabbage Tabbouleh
A proper tabbouleh will be mainly vegetables and herbs, with just a smattering of bulgur threaded through.

Ingredients
Servings: 8
1 cup bulgur (not quick-cooking)
½ medium head green cabbage, cut into 1”-thick wedges, then very thinly sliced crosswise (about 4 cups)
1 small sweet onion (such as Vidalia), finely chopped (use fresh onion in share)
4 cups assorted small tomatoes, halved, quartered if large
3 cups coarsely chopped fresh mint (add the basil from the share)
¾ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or ½ crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt

Preparation
Place bulgur in a large bowl and add 1½ cups boiling water. Let soak until softened and water is absorbed, 40–45 minutes.
Toss bulgur, cabbage, onion, tomatoes, mint, oil, lemon juice, and Aleppo pepper in a large bowl to combine; season with salt.
Do Ahead: Tabbouleh (without oil and lemon juice) can be made 4 hours ahead. Toss with oil and lemon juice just before serving.
Recipe by Anissa Helou
Photograph by Peden + Munk

Bon appetit, for sure!
~ Nancy

Monday, July 13, 2015

2015 CSA Week 10

Greetings,

Will this weather ever settle down? Maybe not, so let's just enjoy each long day of our summer, especially when we can eat this well!

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Peppers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Tomatoes room temperature ~1 week
Cucumbers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Summer Squash and Zucchini unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Swiss Chard washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Cabbage washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Eggplant room temperature 3-4 days
Sweet Corn shucked or with husks on in the coldest part of your fridge (usually the bottom vegetable crisper) Enjoy as soon as possible!
Basil store in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water 1-2 weeks

One of the Waterstrat's favorite recipes, Zucchini Cheddar Squares, is a creamy, delicious casserole full of zucchini and cheese that is perfect in any shape (like the round dish below)!  Just add a salad, like the Creamy Mexican Kale Salad I found (recipe below) to make a complete meal with almost all of the veggies in your share!



Zucchini Cheddar Squares
from Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

- 3 cups grated zucchini
- 2 tsp salt
-1½ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cups grated Cheddar (I prefer sharp or extra sharp.)
- 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
-1 tsp freshly ground black pepper or lemon pepper
-1/2 cup canola oil
- 3 large eggs

Combine the zucchini and salt in a colander and toss to mix. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess water.
Preheat oven to 350oF.   Grease a 7- by 11- inch baking dish with butter or use cast iron skillet.

Stir together the flour & baking powder in a medium bowl.  Add the onion, zucchini, cheese, thyme, and pepper.  Mix well with a fork, breaking up any clumps of zucchini.

Whisk together the oil and eggs and pour into the zucchini mixture, and thoroughly combine.

Spread evenly in the baking dish.

Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, cut into squares and serve warm or at room temperature or serve immediately as a warm, cheesy casserole.

#####

This salad from the website ifoodreal.com utilizes kale, tomato and corn from our shares.


Healthy Creamy Kale Salad

Ingredients
Salad:
4 cups baby or full-grown kale (stalks removed & coarsely chopped), packed
14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used my cooked beans)
1 cup corn (thaw if using frozen)
2 large bell peppers (any colour), finely chopped
1 + 1/2 large avocado, finely chopped
1 large tomato, finely chopped
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1 tbsp jalapeño peppers, seeded & minced
Dressing:
1/2 large avocado
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 lime, juice of
1 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions
Add Salad ingredients to a large bowl. In a food processor, blender or Magic Bullet, process Dressing ingredients until smooth. Pour over salad, toss and serve. P.S. You could prepare Salad and Dressing in advance and combine before serving. The Dressing does get brown a bit but once mixed with the Salad, it's not noticeable.

Storage Instructions: Refrigerate tossed or separately for up to 24 hours.

#####

And, eggplant! I love it! The eggplant SHF grows is not the large, pear-shaped variety. They're long and slender and closer in size to zucchini.

This recipe on the same website ifoodreal.com looks super yummy and healthy.



Low Fat Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip

I found gluten free chips at Aldi's that would go really well with this dip.
Enjoy and have a great week!

~ Nancy

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2015 CSA Week 9

Greetings,

I hope everyone enjoyed the holiday weekend and had some fun between the rain drops!

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Peppers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Tomatoes room temperature several days
Cucumbers, 1 or 2 washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Summer Squash and Zucchini unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Kale washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Cabbage washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Cornmeal store in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag weeks
Kohlrabi washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Basil store in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water 1-2 weeks

From Amanda...

The July issue of Southern Living has a recipe that should have Sustainable Harvest Farm CSA written on top.  The recipe for Broiled Pork Chops with Basil Butter and Summer Squash includes 3 items from your share this week AND you can buy your pork chops from Ford when you pick up your share at the Somerset or London Farmers Market.


Another recipe you might enjoy are these Polenta-Stuffed Peppers from the Vegetarian Times.  I love to make stuffed peppers and, with a small tweak, you can make this one with the peppers and cornmeal from your share.  Simply replace the instant polenta with our cornmeal and prepare as directed.  Because the cornmeal is a little more finely ground, it will cook just fine in 5-7 minutes – but be sure to whisk thoroughly to keep it from clumping.  …also, I’ve found that polenta is MUCH creamier with a little butter and/or cream so, if you’re not afraid of the calories, add a few tablespoons of butter and whisk in a little cream or whole milk for a smooth, creamy consistency.

These sound wonderful, Amanda!

As for me, I continue to enjoy my beautiful, colorful meals with the week's bounty. This week, I seasoned the veggies with my fresh herbs, basil, oregano, even mint and spooned them over a combination of lentils and quinoa I cooked in vegetable broth. I like the consistency of the combination - not too soupy and not too dry - just right! I'm totally satisfied after these meals!


  Enjoy!
~ Nancy

Monday, June 29, 2015

2015 CSA Week 8

Greetings,

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Peppers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Tomatoes room temperature several days
Cucumbers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Summer Squash and Zucchini unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Swiss Chard washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Broccoli or Cabbage washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks

As stated on the site: http://gluten-dairy-sugarfree.com:
Were you totally aware that tomatoes are one of the top 12 foods you should always buy organic, because of their thin skins and tendency to retain pesticide residue.  Non-organic produce not only contains traces of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, but also contains fewer nutrients because it is often a mass-produced monoculture grown in poor soil that has been stripped of nutrients from too many years of growing the same crop.

With the 4th of July holiday approaching, and if you are watching your gluten, sugar and dairy intake, this is a beautifully simple yet tasty salad using tomatoes and cucumbers. Add chopped green peppers, too!

Tomato Cucumber Cilantro Salad

Just chop each ingredient, add a fresh squeeze of lime, and season with sea salt and cracked pepper.

1 cucumber
2 ripe organic tomatoes
1 bunch scallions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 lime
1/4 tsp sea salt
fresh cracked pepper

#####

From Amanda...

Here's a cool hummus recipe that incorporates Swiss Chard from site food52.com:


Tara Duggan's Chard Stalk Hummus
By Genius Recipes • June 23, 2015
Makes 1 cup

Chard stalks from 1 pound whole chard, trimmed and chopped
1 whole clove garlic, peeled
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the stalks until very tender, 18 to 20 minutes. Drain.

Place the garlic in a food processor and pulse until chopped. Add the chard stalks and purée, then add the remaining ingredients and process until very smooth.

Transfer to a shallow bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and serve at room temperature. The hummus also can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Return to room temperature before serving.

#####
On another note:
Update from the farm

Summer is in full swing. Favorite summer veggies like squash, zucchini, cucumbers, and tomatoes are plentiful, these beautiful sweet potato vines are really taking off, and we’re scrambling to keep our farm’s finest produce out of the hands of our sneaky, four-legged neighbors.

The most recent acts of wildlife thievery have been from groundhogs. They’re really cute - like big, floppy, cuddly animals your children would like. One in particular likes to lay on the warm pavement in front of our house and I always think he’s injured until I get close and he scurries away. Those furry creatures seem cute and pleasant but I’ve learned that the groundhogs on Pistol Creek Road are NOT nice neighbors, particularly for farmers.

This year groundhogs have eaten no less than 200 young, tender fennel plants, 100 tomato plants, countless green beans, and more. …and once the young plants are snatched from the field, there’s not much you can do. We started the seeds weeks before in the greenhouse, so when the plants in the field are gone, if we don’t have extras going in the greenhouse, that crop is essentially gone for the entire season.

There’s no 24-hour super center for USDA-certified organic vegetable plants and, due to timing issues, sometimes it’s not even practical to try to start new plants from seeds. …so, farmers must plan carefully to have enough crops for all customers with enough excess to account for unexpected damage or loss but not so much excess that we are wasteful or compromise our profit margin. This is tricky because every year is different and the crop that the produces abundantly one year may be the one that is compromised the next. That’s why I’m so thankful that Ford is so smart, resourceful, and hard working. You won’t believe some of the cool tricks he uses to protect your food from our four-legged and winged neighbors.

So what did we do about the groundhogs? Ford went on a wild groundhog chase in the field last week that culminated in his throwing a box (open-side down) on top of a young groundhog. He thought he’d captured the little guy but, ironically, the box landed right on top of one of their burrows so it escaped into the earth. …almost too cartoon-like to believe.

Since running like a wild-man out in the field to chase surprisingly fast groundhogs is neither practical or successful (and potentially dangerous – they’re not as friendly as they look), my crafty husband uses tricks like this electrified netting to create a fence between the groundhogs and the veggies. It doesn’t even go all the way around the crops but it’s enough to create an effective barrier that fools the groundhogs and redirects their attention to other sources of food.

As you probably know, crows also prize young corn plants and ears of corn. One way we combat those feathered “friends” is with the tape from old VHS cassettes. That’s right. We take old VHS videos (I know, our kids don’t even know what those are), rip out the tape and hang them up in the corn field. It deters the crows. If you have old VHS cassettes you plan to discard, please consider donating them to us. We can always use extra tape in the corn.
The story doesn’t end there, however. In just a few weeks Ford will be using the same electrified netting to keep raccoons out of our sweet corn. Their nimble hands find the golden ears at their peak so if we aren’t careful, we’ll find evidence of a raccoon party in the corn field with only empty shucks on the ground.

We use single strands of electrified wire with metal squares covered in peanut butter to keep deer away from fruit and young plants. The deer are enticed by the smell of peanut butter but, upon tasting, they receive a mild shock that lets them know the area inside the fence is off-limits. Can you imagine getting shocked the next time you sneak into the peanut butter jar? We also use solar-powered, flashing, red lights to discourage the deer in areas where the electric fences aren’t practical.

The moral of the story? Farmers have to work extremely hard to grow food in ideal conditions, and they are always facing interesting new challenges presented by wildlife, weather, and all the things that everyone else faces when it comes to work / personal life balance. We hope it encourages you to know that we protect your crops in safe, humane ways that do not involve dangerous chemicals or unnecessary cruelty. We love living and farming out here even if it means finding creative ways to coexist with our four-legged and feathered neighbors. Thank you for supporting us and making it possible for us to do what we love in a way that we believe it should be done.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2015 CSA Week 7

Greetings friends,

Can you believe it's been 7 weeks already? I know I feel the healthiest I've been in months from eating all the fresh organic produce provided so graciously by our hosts the Waterstats. They obviously work very hard in order to supply so many people with perfect food. I suggest we all take the time to thank them in an email or better yet, in person at the farmers markets. Thanks Ford, Amanda and boys!

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Fresh Garlic unwashed, in fridge up to 1 week
Kohlrabi washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Summer Squash and Zucchini unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Cabbage washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Cucumbers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Basil stored in an unclosed container in fridge, or snip off bottom of stalks and immerse in water 1-2 weeks
Early Tomatoes room temperature several days

From Amanda...

The fresh basil in your share marks the height of summer flavor.  Add it to almost ANYTHING.  Although you'll receive a small quantity this week, look for more in the weeks to come!

Fresh garlic is a delight.  If you've never had the pleasure of enjoying freshly harvested garlic, you may be surprised, as I was, at just how nice and vibrant it is compared to the dried version in grocery stores.  For a lovely description of fresh garlic and step-by-step instructions for how to get the most out of every single morsel of your garlic, check out Fresh Garlic from Chocolate and Zucchini.



fresh garlic bulb - photo from Chocolate and Zucchini site.
Another new item in your share this week is cabbage.  I was never a big fan of cabbage until I tried the small tender heads that we grow here on our farm.  They are much more flavorful and tender than the large, mostly-white cabbage heads my grandparents grew.  These little beauties are delicious finely chopped in slaw or a salad like the famous house salad at Alfalfa in Lexington or slaw but our all-time favorite cabbage recipe is the simple, creamy cabbage casserole below.


Creamy Cabbage Casserole

1 small cabbage head, washed and cut into slender wedges

½ tsp salt

½ cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

1 small onion, finely chopped

½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Dash of paprika or ground red pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

-Bring pot of water to boil (enough to immerse all cabbage wedges simultaneously).-Immerse cabbage in boiling water for about 4-5 minutes, then drain.-Combine cabbage with salt, yogurt and onion and spread evenly into a 8x8” square baking dish.-Top with shredded cheddar and paprika/ground red pepper.-Bake for 30 minutes.
 *Note – this is very easy to double if you have two small cabbage heads or one large cabbage head. Just prepare in a 9x11” casserole dish.
##### 

I'm still enjoying chopping everything up and cooking in my wok with a little coconut oil & olive oil and water to steam, adding fresh herbs from my garden with other spices. I will cook either rice or lentils then ladle the veggies on top. One trick I've learned to complete the different tastes is squeezing lemon juice while cooking. Try it, you'll love it!

Have a great week!
Nancy

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

2015 CSA Week 6

Greetings,


Everything should be familiar in this week's shares EXCEPT the garlic scapes. These are beautiful and tasty morsels. See Amanda's description and photos below.

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Swiss Chard washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Kale washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Summer Squash and Zucchini unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Bell Peppers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Cucumbers washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Garlic Scapes washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
Tomatoes room temperature several days

I really enjoyed the tomatoes from last week. I chop them into salads and pasta, then made big slices for sandwiches. Heaven!



From Amanda...

Garlic - a primer
In the spring and early summer, our garlic plants send up lots of long leaves and a thin shoot with a few interesting loops and a little knot called a "scape."  It is essentially the "flower" of the garlic plant although it doesn't actually look like a flower.


Finley dissected one in the field and exclaimed - "Look, there are garlic babies inside!"  



We clip these thin, curly shoots and scapes for two reasons: 1) they are delicious! and 2) it allows the plant to direct energy into the roots for a better harvest of garlic bulbs in the fall.  You can think of these as you might green onions - thin, tender versions of the familiar bulb.  Grill or sautee them as you might any other green vegetable and serve them as a flavorful side alone or mixed with other veggies.  If you're not a huge garlic fan and you'd prefer to use them as an accent rather than a main ingredient, chop and sautee them and add them into a salad, hummus, or pesto or create your own herbed butter.  The good news is, you can't go wrong. Enjoy!

#####

We express special thanks to Dr. Tara Horn for this beautiful shot of bok choy sauteed in sesame oil, soy sauce, and garlic.  We LOVE seeing the creative ways our CSA members enjoy products from the farm and this lovely photo and simple recipe delighted us.  Thank you Dr. Tara Horn!


 Have a great (and nutritious) week!
~Nancy

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

2015 CSA Week 5

Greetings!
I hope everyone is doing well.

I enjoyed seeing both Ford and Aurora at the Market on Main in Somerset last Thursday! Tell your friends these incredible organic goodies are available for sale at the market, as well as a supply of their naturally raised meat.


This week members are getting their FIRST TOMATOES of the season!   ...and the green onions, bok choy, and kohlrabi are also new for this season.

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
1 Green Onions (bunch) Lightly rinsed, dried, and stored in plastic wrap of fridge container 1-2 weeks
1 Bok Choy (head) washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
2 Summer Squash (lb)​ unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
2 Kohlrabi (each) washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
1 Cucumber (lb) washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
1.5 Broccoli (lb) washed or unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
1 Early Tomatoes (lb) room temperature several days

From Amanda...

Just when you thought you'd figured out how to prepare everything in the share, just like the rhythm of the farm, it changes.  This week you'll see the season's first harvest of bok choy, kohlrabi, green onions and, yes, .....TOMATOES!!  You'll probably know just what to do with the green onions and tomatoes, so I'll save those recipes for another time, but if you've never tried bok choy and kohlrabi, please allow me to introduce them.  Bok choy is an Asian green with a flavor somewhere between cabbage and tatsoi.  If you liked the spice of tatsoi you'll find and even stronger "kick" from the larger, stronger bok choy leaves.  My favorite way to enjoy bok choy is in a salad.  The mild white stems complement the stronger greens so, combined, they make a great base for salads like this:

Bok Choy Apple Salad     1 large head bok choy
     2 large or 4 small apples (sweet & crunchyarebest)
     1/2 cup sliced almonds
     ½ cup raisins
     1/4 cup olive oil
     1/4 cup cider vinegar
     2 tablespoons soy sauce
     1-2 Tablespoons sugar
            
     Rinse bok choy and separate stems.  Clean thoroughly – dirt likes to hide out down at the bottom of those long white stems! 
Layer the leaves in stems in one tall stack then chop off the stems and dice them into ¼ thick pieces.  Roll the leaves up tightly into a log shape and slice into fine ribbons.

     Toss chopped bok choy with remaining dry ingredients except sugar.
     Combine remaining ingredients and whisk vigorously.  Pour over salad, stir and enjoy!
This will last 3-5 days in the fridge.


Kohlrabi is a very spicy veggie in the cabbage family.  The edible root looks very alien-like and have an almost rubbery outer skin covering a tasty, crunchy white bulb.  You can eat roots and leaves, but for a photo and a more exhaustive intro to kohlrabi, please check out this great post on "kohlrabi and what to do with it."


~ Amanda

 Don't forget about the farm tour coming up this Saturday! You will be amazed!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

2015 CSA Week 4

Hello all,

Don't forget about the upcoming Farm Tour on June 13! If you haven't been to the Waterstrat's farm, you will be amazed! It's a fun time too! Take a look at pics from last year here.

NOTE:
This week's Thursday pick up will take place at the fountain at Somerset's Judicial Center during the first Market on Main! Hope to see everyone there!

Here's Aurora and Bear passing out goodies last week to CSA members Marcie and Addie.
(Bear was more into socializing than posing)  Thanks guys!
 


I just couldn't resist taking a still life photo of my beautiful goodies.
Don't forget to turn in the bags to be reused.

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
1 lettuce (head) washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 3-5 days
2 salad greens (bag) washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 3-5 days
1 summer squash (lb) unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
1 swiss chard (bunch) washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 3-5 days
1 tatsoi (head) washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 3-5 days
1 sugar snap peas (pint) - Thurs. only store in fridge after opening 1-2 weeks
broccoli - Sat. only washed or unwashed in refrigerator 1-2 weeks

From Amanda...

If you're feeling extra "green," this week's share is for you.  There's plenty of tender green lettuce - both head lettuce and mixed salad greens - along with our first harvest of Swiss chard, Tatsoi, broccoli, and sugar snap peas.   ...but don't worry, you'll also get to enjoy the very first harvest of beautiful, yellow summer squash!  Perfect for grilling, stir fries, and much more.

Tatsoi
 

If you've never tried Swiss chard (it's not roasted cheese) you might be surprised by the earthy flavor.  It's in the beet family and you'll recognize that taste when you try it.  If you like it, slice it into thin ribbons and toss it into a salad but if not, you might prefer this DELICIOUS creamy dish called Swiss Chard Gratin from Serving Up the Harvest.

Swiss Chard Gratin serves 6; from Serving Up the Harvest by Andrea Chesman

Ingredients:
-2 pounds (12-16 stems with leaves) chard, stems sliced & leaves
cut into 1-inch ribbons                
*hint – it’s easier to get the “ribbons” if you stack the leaves, roll them up jelly-roll style, then slice down the roll perpendicular to the long side.
-4 Tbsp butter
-1 onion, halved & sliced
-¼ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
-2 cups milk
-1 cup grated Gruyere or parmesan cheese
-salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
-1/4 cup dried bread crumbs (optional; it’s great without)

Directions:
Boil large pot of salted water.  Add chard stems and cook 2 minutes.  Add leaves and cook 1 additional minute. Drain well.
Preheat oven to 350oF & grease 1.5 quart casserole or 9x13 inch baking dish with butter.
Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan.  Add onion and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.  Whisk in flour to form a paste.  Now whisk in milk and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper.
Remove from heat and fold in chard.
Transfer chard mixture to prepared dish & sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Bake 25-35 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the top is browned.  Serve hot.


Have a great recipe you'd like to share? Please email it to me and I will include it in the blog. Send to nanjp10@gmail.com.
~Nancy

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

2015 CSA Week 3

Hello all,
I hope everyone enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend and all the fresh goodies from the farm!

Don't forget about the upcoming Farm Tour on June 13!

In shares this week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
kale washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
salad greens washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
strawberries unwashed in fridge 2-5 days
salsa store in fridge after opening 1-2 weeks

From Amanda...

I think this week screams "Green Smoothie!"  ...so here's a recipe I found and liked that uses the kale and strawberries as well as coconut oil.


Strawberry Kale Green Smoothie

Author: Skinny Mom's Kitchen


Ingredients
2 cups frozen strawberries
2 cups fresh kale
½ cup plain greek yogurt
1 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 banana, optional for sweetness
1 – 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, optional for sweetness
water to reach consistency like.


Instructions
Place all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. If needed add water till you get the consistency you want.

Make Ahead Instructions

You can make a smoothie freezer kit by putting the strawberries, kale, and yogurt into a freezer bag. Take out the night before and let thaw slightly in the refrigerator. Put in blender with rest of the ingredients and blend till smooth.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 smoothie (makes about 3 cups) Calories: 441 Fat: 32 Carbohydrates: 41 Fiber: 10 Protein: 6

#####

Ford's Famous Kale Chips (photo below)

Utilize everything in your share in one fun dish! You'll want to save the strawberries though for the dessert recipe found below that Amanda said is AMAZING! :-)



#####


Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Strawberry-Cream-Cheese-Cobbler/

Submitted By: Nauntie; Photo By: Ruizaid; Prep Time: 15 Minutes; Cook Time: 30 Minutes;  Ready In: 45 Minutes; Servings: 12;

"Fresh strawberries and cream cheese are a naturally delicious combination in this cobbler-like dessert."

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups fresh strawberry halves
1 (4 ounce) package cream cheese, cut
into small pieces

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Pour melted butter into the bottom of a 9x13-inch glass baking dish.
3. Mix milk, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl; pour over the butter in the baking dish. Arrange strawberry halves in a layer into the baking dish. Dot the strawberries with the cream cheese pieces.
4. Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown and edges are bubbling, 30 to 45 minutes.

#####

If you have any recipes and photos you'd like to share from the week's bounty, feel free to send them to me and I'll include them in the blog! nanjp10@gmail.com

Happy Summer!
~Nancy

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

2015 CSA Week 2


Hello all,

I think this is one of my favorite times of year when we can enjoy fresh greens from the garden. My body seems to crave the rich nutrients after a long cold winter of deprivation.

And, strawberries! Words can't describe the most wonderful sweetness and flavor that bursts from this heart shaped fruit from Sustainable Harvest Farm! I'm sure Finley has been busy as a little bee picking these just for us! Thanks, Fin!

In shares this week...
Item How to store it How long will it last?
kale (Thursday pu) washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
spring mixed salad greens (Saturday pu) washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
sweet potatoes (Th + Sa pu) unwashed in fridge 1-2 weeks
strawberries (Th + Sa pu) unwashed in fridge 2-5 days
cornmeal (Th + Sa pu) store in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag weeks

From Amanda...

This week your share contains the perfect combination for a stellar salad!  Everyone will be receiving some type of spring green (kale or spring mix) along with sweet potatoes, strawberries and cornmeal. 

If you’ve never tried a fresh spring salad topped with roasted sweet potato fries and/or fresh strawberries with balsamic vinaigrette and feta cheese, this is the time to try both!  Here’s a great version of a spring strawberry salad from www.pickycook.com


If you’d like a hearty side to go along with your salad, you can use the cornmeal to whip up your very own polenta like this recipe from the same website: Soft Polenta with Grilled Vegetables.

A similar salad recipe with crisp fries can be found on our blog from this 2013 post: Tatsoi, Sweet Potato, Feta and Walnut Salad.  This one used a green called Tatsoi but you can use any spring green as a base for this hearty salad!

#####

Fellow CSA member, Amy Rose Karr, wanted to share how she and her husband also enjoy the strawberries. From Amy...


"My husband and I receive a weekly CSA share and I noticed you asked for recipe ideas for how we use our shares. Well, I thought I would pass along this one (which isn't really much of a recipe). The strawberries are really hard to not just gobble up all by themselves, but one thing my husband and I enjoy doing with them is making strawberry basil water. Simply cut up a few strawberries, drop them in a pitcher with some basil leaves and fill the pitcher with water. I try to press the leaves against the side of the pitcher with the back of a spoon to help muddle the leaves or release the basil flavor a little. Refrigerate for a few hours and it's ready to go. It's refreshing and delicious. You can also refill the pitcher one or two times, depending on how fast you drink the water and how strong you want the strawberry basil flavor. Anyway, not sure if that is something you can share on the blog or not. People probably don't need very many ideas on how to eat more strawberries. Haha."
Thanks Amy! I'm definitely going to make this!

Feel free to share more ideas and photos!

Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend!
~Nancy

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2015 CSA Week 1

Greetings fellow CSA members, and welcome back for another wonderful season of fresh organic produce from our friends at Sustainable Harvest Farm! If you are a new member, you are in for a real treat!

My name is Nancy Phelps. Amanda and Ford Waterstrat have asked me to continue posting the weekly blog this season, and I am honored and happy to do so! If anyone has anything else to add or want to share photos and your own recipes, please send me the information and I will gladly include it! My email address is nanjp10@gmail.com.

Amanda has asked that I share the date for this year's Annual Farm Tour, that will be Saturday, June 13. You won't want to miss this opportunity to meet the family (or, see how those boys have grown since last year!) and see how your food is lovingly produced. More information will be provided closer to the date.

The Farm Tour is Saturday June 13. Check out the farm and get to know your farmers! ...and, maybe even a few pigs.


Planting: Many of the crops you'll be enjoying this month were planted in March with the help of our family.


Now, for this first week's share, Ford has asked me to let you know there is an abundance of strawberries, so there will be extras in our shares!

This week...

Item How to store it How long will it last?
Strawberries Unwashed in fridge 2-5 days
Salad Greens or Kale washed & thoroughly dried or unwashed, in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag 1-2 weeks
Corn Meal store in fridge, sealed in container or plastic bag weeks

Strawberries
These won't last at my house long enough to add to a recipe, as I plan to enjoy them rinsed and eaten in their sweet natural state, but Ford asked to include one of his favorite recipes that includes corn meal found in your share as well...


Berry Cornmeal Muffins
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/berry-cornmeal-muffins/

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes    Ready In: 40 Minutes
Servings: 12

"Very refreshing, fruity and delicious! These muffins will bring a smile to anyone's day! Share them with someone you love. You may substitute raspberries or blueberries for the strawberries if you wish and feel free to use either naturally flavored strawberry, banana, or vanilla yogurt."

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt    2 cups chopped fresh strawberries
1 (8 ounce) container naturally flavored
strawberry yogurt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

DIRECTIONS:
1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or use paper liners.
2.    In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl gently toss strawberries in 1/2 cup of flour mixture.
3.    Whisk yogurt, melted butter, and egg together. Stir the yogurt mixture into the flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Fold in strawberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
4.    Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Kale and Salad Greens
Use in salads with your favorite toppings and dressing.
We all know how nutritious these greens are. Here is some information on Massaged Kale Salad.
http://nutritionstripped.com/massaged-kale-salad/

Massaging basically is a process of breaking down the kale to make it more easy to digest.

INSTRUCTIONS:
De-stem the kale leaves from the stem by simply placing your index finger and middle finger (in the shape of a claw), and "claw" down the center of the leaf to de-stem while simultaneously pulling the leaf away from you with your other hand.
In a large bowl, combine the de-stemmed kale leaves with the remaining ingredients.
Lightly pour an additional 1 tsp. of olive oil onto your hands to coat.
Using a massaging action (similar to kneading bread dough), start to tear the leaves apart and massage.
Continue massaging for about 2-5 minutes or until the leaves are softened, the leaves will also turn a more vibrant green.
Use this as a salad base or add toppings of your choice for a complete meal in a bowl.

Cornmeal
In addition to the awesome strawberry muffin recipe found above, Ford has another to share. These sound so yummy!

CORNMEAL SANDIES
1 cup butter, softened 2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla  ¼ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt  ½ cup yellow cornmeal
1 ½ cups flour  3 teaspoons shredded orange peel
2 teaspoons shredded lemon peel

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter for about 30 seconds and then beat in the sugar, eggs, and fruit peels.  Beat in the vanilla.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal and salt.  Slowly mix with the butter mixture until a cohesive ball of dough forms.  Using a one ounce scoop, or tablespoon, roll the dough into ¾ inch balls.  Place 1 inch apart on a greased baking sheet.  Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand.   Bake 10 – 12 minutes.  Cool 2 minutes on baking sheet.  Cool on rack. 
Makes 3 dozen cookies.