- There will be a U pick blueberry event for CSA members this Saturday August 1st from 9-12 noon. Berries are quite limited however due to the light set and significant bird damage. We will also have meat products available for purchase including chicken, pork chops and spareribs and some sausages. We will be offering a few “package” deals on pork products. Remember that the CSA farm is located @ 2112 County Line Rd. Alden. Please come via Genesee St. (Rt. 33). GPS directions are not helpful or necessarily accurate. Bring containers to pick into and please leave pets at home. Park in the grassy area to the left of the barn. Meet us in the barn for instructions.
- For members who are coming to the farm Mon – Fri., we are unsure of the schedule for road construction on County Line Rd. south of the farm this week. Please consider accessing the farm from the north again this week.
Farm News from Jane
An early welcome to sizzling August would be accurate this week; even the cicadas were singing at 8 pm last evening! Do they “talk” more when it’s hot or is it the heat that gives them to their mature voices? We were all glistening this morning while harvesting beans, beets, and blueberries; but we’re sure that you are going to really enjoy the fruits of everyone’s labor. It has been a bit disappointing picking blueberries this season. The harsh winter and a possible freeze at blossom stage caused a light fruit set. But even more disappointing is all the damage from our feathery friends. If they would eat whole berries it wouldn’t be so bad but they seem to peck at a half dozen before they decide on one!!! We know that they are important to the food web on the farm because during other times of the season they are eating bugs and moths which damage other crops. So when all is said and done (or at least picked) there are only enough blueberries to share with you for two weeks this year. But if you are energetic and are up for some gleaning please come out on Saturday to pick a few to take home. And please take a few frozen chickens home with you as our freezers are filled to the brim with them. We also have lots of spareribs and chops for the grill.
The good news is that the potato and green pepper harvest will commence next week and the sweet corn is just about a week behind them. We also have cut some garlic of the drying stalks to share with you this week. The crop is stellar both flavor and size. I guess that deep, cold blanket of snow which lasted almost five months this past winter was good for something!
The cucumbers this week are small to large and some are very odd shaped but they are all very crisp and tasty. We hope that with a bit of irrigation that the vines will hang in there for one more week. It’s interesting that some veggies like the summer squash seem to thrive through all conditions until you are ready to say, “ENOUGH ALREADY”! And then there are those special delights of summer which one can never get enough of that struggle under adverse weather conditions.
This week there is a “blue moon” on Friday. With the heat and humidity is should be a hazy and balmy viewing. Please take the time to stop and enjoy Mother Nature at her finest. Perhaps a blanket out on the lawn or a nearby park to see the full moon rise would be a nice evening’s entertainment. Enjoy the show (and the yummy veggies), Jane
Produce: Walla Walla onions Garlic Burgundy beans Red beets Cabbage
Zucchini Yellow squash Cucumbers Head lettuce Blueberries
Coming soon… new red potatoes, green peppers and sweet corn!!!
Fruit Share: Peaches Plums Apricots
– Burgundy beans will not keep their beautiful color when steamed, blanches, roasted or stir fried; we’ve tried everything!
– Although the garlic is ready please leave it out on the counter to continue to dry and cure until utilizing it.
– Please refrigerate cabbage.
– Bagged fruit should be opened and sorted for ripeness on share day. Refrigerate ripe fruit and allow the unripe fruit to set out at room temperature until fully ripened. If extremely green placing in a brown paper bag will hasten the process.
– Peaches are clingstone and are difficult to halve and utilize in recipes. Freestone peaches will come later in the season.
APRICOT CRUMB PIE
1 9-inch PIE CRUST
Filling: 2 3/4 cups cooked fresh, frozen, or dried apricots; 2 eggs; 3 tablespoons warmed honey; 1/8 teaspoon salt; 1 tablespoon lemon juice; 1/2 cup cooking liquid from apricots (or orange juice); dash of nutmeg
Crumbs: 1/4 cup whole wheat flour; 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; 2 tablespoons soft butter; 1 tablespoon honey
Preheat oven to 450 F. Arrange cooked, drained apricots in pie shell. In a small bowl, beat eggs, add honey, salt, lemon juice, fruit liquid, and nutmeg. Pour mixture over apricots. Blend flour, cinnamon, and butter into crumbs. Add honey. Sprinkle over filling in pie shell and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 3500 F. and bake 20 to 30 minutes longer, or until set in center. If using fresh apricots for this pie, cook only 3 to 5 minutes; frozen, about 7 minutes; and dried, about 15 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid. Yield: 1 9-inch pie Recipe from Naturally Delicious Desserts and Snacks.
1+1/2 pounds apricots; 1/2 cup orange juice; 1/2 cup sugar
Blanch apricots in boiling water. Peel and de-stone. Place in blender with l/2 cup water. Process until almost smooth. Combine with orange juice and sugar in medium saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens. Cool. Serve as ice-cream, shortcake, yam, or sweet-potato topping; as ham, fowl, or pork glaze; mixed into cold fruit salads; or as cake filling. Recipe from The Fruit and Vegetable Stand.
GINGER PLUM GELATO
3 cups whole, unpeeled, pitted plums, ground fresh ginger to taste, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tablespoons water, 2 cups whole milk, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup white sugar, 4 egg yolks, beaten, 1 cup heavy whipping cream. Place plums, ginger and water in a large skillet; cook, uncovered, over medium heat until tender. Place in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat milk to 175°; stir in sugar until dissolved. Whisk a small amount of the hot mixture into egg yolks. Return all to the pan, whisking constantly. Cook over low heat until mixture is just thick enough to coat a metal spoon and a thermometer reads at least 160°, stirring constantly. Do not allow to boil. Remove from heat immediately. Quickly transfer to a large bowl; place bowl in a pan of ice water. Stir gently and occasionally for 2 minutes. Stir in cream. Pour plums into the mixture by straining through a colander to catch the skins. Add cinnamon and liqueur if desired. Press plastic wrap onto bowl of custard. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Fill cylinder of ice cream freezer two-thirds full; freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. Refrigerate any remaining mixture until ready to freeze.) Transfer ice cream to freezer containers, allowing headspace for expansion. Freeze 2-4 hours or until firm. Repeat with any remaining gelato mixture. Yield: 1 quart. 8 Servings Prep: 25 min. + chilling Process: 20 min. + freezing
BARBECUED SWEET ONIONS
1 sweet onion, peeled and quartered; 1 small lemon, quartered; 2 tsp minced parsley; 2 T. butter; Lemon pepper, to taste
Place onion in small iron skillet or on large sheet of aluminum foil. Squeeze lemon over onion, and add lemon piece to onions. Add parsley and butter. Season with lemon pepper. If using foil, fold edges of foil together to seal tightly. Place skillet or foil pouch on grill over medium heat. Cook until onion is soft, about 15 minutes. Stir pan, or turn pouch occasionally. Serve hot as side dish. Makes 2 servings. Variation: Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese over cooked onion prior to serving
2# onion sliced, 1T. olive oil, 1T butter, 1T chopped fresh herbs, such as rosemary, sage, thyme, savory (opt.), salt and pepper to taste.
Toss onions in hot oil in skillet over medium heat until oil coats onions. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, 15 minutes. Stir in herbs; season with salt and pepper. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions are golden brown, about 10. Use as a topping for a vegetable, meat or pizza.
CUCUMBER PASTA SALAD
8 oz rotini; 2 c peeled cucumber slices; 1 c quartered cherry tomatoes; 1 (l5-oz) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed; 3/4 Tbsp dried dill weed; 1/2 c ranch-style dressing; 1/3 c plain low-fat yogurt; Crumbled feta cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse in cold water. In salad bowl, toss cooled pasta with cucumbers, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, and dill weed. In a small bowl, blend dressing and yogurt. Add to salad bowl; stir until well-coated. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Crumble feta on top; serve. Makes 8 servings
1 medium cucumber, pared, seeded, and cut in large cubes (reserve 4 paper thin slices for garnish); 1/2 tbsp minced fresh chives; 1 tbsp minced fresh mint or 1 tsp dried mint, crushed; 1/2 tsp salt; 1/2 cup plain yogurt; 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice; 1/2 cup dairy sour cream; 1/2 clove garlic, quartered; 1/2 tbsp sugar; Minced mint or mint leaves for garnish
In blender or food processor, place all ingredients except garnish and blend until pureed. Refrigerate until well chilled. Serve with a garnish of cucumber slice on each serving, topped with additional mint. Serves 3
MARINATED BEET AND SUMMER SQUASH SALAD
2 Medium-size beets, cooked, peeled and thinly sliced; 4 bunching onions, thinly sliced; 1/4 Cup olive oil; 3 Tbsp tarragon vinegar; 1/2 Tbsp sugar; 2 Small yellow summer squash (or zucchini, or a combination), cut into 1/4-inch slices; 1 Tbsp minced dill; 3/4 Cup sour cream; Salt and black pepper; 2 Scallions, each with 3 inches green top, coarsely chopped
Directions: Toss together the beets and onions with 1/8 cup olive oil, 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1/2 tablespoon sugar. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. In another bowl toss together the squash slices, the remainder of the oil and vinegar, and the dill. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just prior to serving, drain the squash and toss all the vegetables together with the sour cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper, adding additional sugar and vinegar if desired for a more distinctive sweet-and-sour taste. Yield: enough to serve 3
PESTO- TOPPED GRILLED SUMMER SQUASH
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil; 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts; 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil; 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese; 1 clove garlic, minced; 2 teaspoons lemon juice; 1/4 teaspoon salt; 2 medium summer squash (about 1 pound), sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick; Canola or olive oil cooking spray
Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine basil, pine nuts, oil, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Coat both sides of squash slices with cooking spray. Grill the squash until browned and tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve topped with the pesto. Makes 4 servings
COLD ZUCCHINI AND SUMMER SQUASH SOUP ADAPTED FROM BON APPETIT
2-3 tbsp olive oil and maybe some butter, 1 medium onion, sliced or chopped 2 garlic cloves, sliced or crushed, your choice, 6-9 medium zucchini or summer squash, or a mix, 4 cups broth, sour cream, for garnish
*You’ll need a blender or an immersion blender for this. Because you will be blending everything smooth, it doesn’t matter how well you slice or chop the vegetables—great, right? But, large chunks still probably aren’t a good idea because that will affect cooking time. What I’m saying is: do a mediocre job at chopping, but not a sloppy one. In a large pot over medium heat, cook the onions and garlic in the olive oil and/or butter until they’re brown. It sounds pretentious but, if you are patient and cook the onion until it’s really brown and delicious, that taste will infiltrate the rest of your soup and it’s totally worth the extra time. Add zucchini and summer squash, toss with the onions. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover, lower heat to a simmer, and cook 10 minutes, until zucchini are tender.
Let cool to lukewarm and blend. Serve lukewarm or cold. Garnish with sour cream—it’s kind of great because the soup is somehow, mysteriously, creamy and the sour cream adds a nice tanginess.
CHINESE-STYLE GREEN BEANS
1 lb fresh green beans; 1 tsp vegetable oil; 1 tsp peeled, minced ginger root; 1 clove garlic, minced; 2 Tbsp water; 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce; 1 tsp cornstarch; 1/2 tsp brown sugar; 1/2 tsp dark sesame oil; 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper Trim beans; place in vegetable steamer over boiling water; cover and steam 5 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water; drain. Treat large skillet with cooking spray. Add vegetable oil, and place over medium-high heat until hot. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Add beans; stir 5 minutes until heated through. Whisk together water, soy sauce, cornstarch, brown sugar, sesame oil and red pepper. Add to beans. Cook 30 seconds, stirring, until heated through. Makes 8 servings
BEETS A LA CREME
1/8 cup real butter; 1/2 cup heavy cream; 4 medium beets, cooked; Freshly ground pepper to taste; 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley; Salt to taste
Cut beets in thick julienne strips, cube, or slice as you prefer. In a large skillet, melt butter. Add beets and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring to coat beets evenly with butter. Season with salt; add cream and continue to cook until reduced to glaze just coating beets. Sprinkle heavily with pepper and parsley. Serve immediately. Serves 3
YELLOW SQUASH AND ZUCCHINI DELIGHT
1 zucchini; sliced, 1 yellow squash; sliced, ½ small head of cabbage; sliced, 1 large onion; sliced, 2 cloves garlic; minced, 1 cup chicken broth, 2 T olive oil
In a large skillet sauté onion, garlic in olive oil until translucent. Place zucchini, yellow squash, cabbage and broth and continue to sauté until tender. Serves four; this dish may benefit by the addition of lemon pepper or other seasoning to “zip it up”!