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Hi, folks,

We’re going to move all of the CSA recipes and lists over to SneadsFarm.com for the 2015 season. This blog will remain as an archive of the last two seasons, but we won’t be putting new posts here. The best way to stay on top of 2015 CSA and Snead’s Farm news is to subscribe to the Snead’s Farm e-mail newsletter. You’ll find a form to do that on the right-hand side of our homepage, here. While you’re on the site, be sure to check out news about new pickup options this year at Braehead Farm and in North Stafford.

Thanks for reading, see you at the farm!

Quadruple Fall Pickup! Oct. 1, 2014

In this week’s box:

2 large bags sweet potatoes

3 large bags Gala apples

2 large bags tomatoes

8 butternut squash

4 acorn squash

1 half-gallon jug apple cider

1 dozen eggs

1 bunch curly kale

3 green peppers

2 two-pound bags white potatoes

2 bags string beans

5 edible heirloom hubbard squash

**CHOICE OF 4 pre-picked pumpkins OR 6 pick-your-own pumpkins of any size (9a.m. until 6 p.m.)

**2 OPTIONAL BONUS PICK-YOUR-OWN bouquets of sunflowers, 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.

**1 OPTIONAL BONUS PICK-YOUR-OWN quart of raspberries, 9 a.m. until noon

**1 OPTIONAL BONUS family hayride, 9 a.m. until noon

Total retail value of this week’s box: $201

Total retail value of goods distributed this season (adding in $80 for Christmas pines): $1,609.50

Emily’s notes:

There are items in this week’s box that you will want to use up within a week or so (tomatoes, kale, peppers and string beans) and then there are many more that you can keep for weeks, even months, making your CSA dollar stretch even further. Each year, I love to use the winter squash in the fall box to decorate around my house, pulling them down one by one to bake for pumpkin bread, soups, risotto and all the other great things you can make with pumpkin or winter squash. The hubbard squash in this year’s box are a real treat. These pumpkin-shaped gourds are not only beautiful, but they are also some of the most sought-after varieties for making soups, pies, souffle and other dishes. I would recommend against using any squash you plan to eat as outdoor decoration. Squirrels, birds and occasional neighborhood teenagers have a tendency to take chunks out of them, leading to quicker decay and possible contamination.

If you pick up one thing at the store on the ride home from this pickup, make it bacon. Use it to make this classic Southern recipe for green beans and new potatoes, which I’ve shared before, but it’s hearty and so good I had to share it again for fall eating. I am considering trying it with sweet potatoes.

This box can truly get you through to Thanksgiving and even Christmas cooking. These sweet potatoes are grown by Miles Hastings at Canning Farm in Dogue, and they are delicious. While many holiday sweet potato dishes are packed with butter and sugar, you really don’t need them to make a dish so decadent it tastes like a dessert. This recipe from Cooking Light is what I put on my Thanksgiving table last year. It’s so good, I don’t think I’ll be able to wait that long to make it again.

Acorn squash can be eaten very simply–baked with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon or stuffed with rice, sausage, beef or whatever else suits you. But it can also make for a very elegant presentation when sliced and roasted. Its pointed shape and the contrast of the dark peel against bright flesh adds interest to many dishes. One that caught my eye recently is this one for roasted acorn squash and apples with kale, quinoa and tahini dressing. I love the flavor combinations here, and the variety of textures.

As for butternut and hubbard squash, I tend to use these interchangeably. These are all great for your pumpkin pies at the holidays, and the numerous other uses for pumpkin you’ll find on Pinterest and the Internet. I recently added diced butternut squash (one whole medium squash, diced) to my go-to chili recipe, and was pleased with the result. It allowed me to get more meals out of a pot of chili, and provided some vegetable nutrition to a meat-heavy dish.

Apples are wonderful for quick crisps and more involved pies, but don’t forget that they’re great in savory dishes, also. This recipe for baked sausages with apples and potatoes is a favorite in our house.  I also love apples and kale together. Massage some kale with your favorite vinaigrette, toss in some chopped apples, blue or goat cheese, dried cranberries, walnuts, bacon…some cubed and roasted butternut squash would be nice here, too.

Have fun with this box, folks!

Week 17: Aug. 27, 2014

Remember:

  • This is the last CSA pickup until the quadruple fall pickup on Wednesday, Oct. 1.
  • You can join the Snead’s Farm CSA for 2015 by downloading the application here. Hard copies of the application are also available at the farm stand.

In this week’s box:

1 flat peaches

1 dozen eggs

1 dozen corn

1 quart okra

2 1.5-pound bags string beans

1 bag eggplant (4 eggplant)

2 bags tomatoes

2 2-pound bags potatoes

2 butternut squash

The following pick-your-own opportunities are for CSA members only

1 half-pint optional bonus pick-your-own raspberries, 8 a.m. until noon, Wed., Aug. 27

1 quart optional bonus pick-your-own Concord grapes, 8 a.m. until noon, Wed., Aug. 27

2 half-pints optional bonus pick-your-own raspberries, 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31

Total retail value of goods in this week’s box: $80

Total retail value of goods distributed so far this year: $1,551.50 

Emily’s notes:

As usual, this summer sped by, and the advance of fall is evident in this box, with butternut squash and tomatoes and raspberries side-by-side. If you’re not quite ready to start cooking winter squash, don’t worry, you can hold onto butternut squash for months if you keep it in a relatively cool place. I’ll have lots of squash recipes coming before the fall pickup, but for one that feels more summer than fall, here’s a Mexican Butternut Squash and Corn Saute from Food52. You could use your CSA tomatoes instead of canned. Maybe add a dash of ground chipotle chili powder or red pepper flakes to make up for the fire-roasted element.

You could also combine your butternut squash and corn into a chowder, as this recipe from Martha Stewart does (no need for frozen corn, obviously).

We often think of okra as a Southern vegetable, but it also shows up a lot in Indian cuisine. I would sub in fresh diced tomatoes for canned in this recipe for Indian eggplant with okra and tomatoes. This would be delicious over rice, no meat needed! I can also now say that I highly recommend this recipe I linked to last week for okra and potato hash, although I would use a bit more salt. I might throw in an ear’s worth of corn kernels or maybe a diced eggplant this week.

If you’re looking for a new way to eat peaches, this recipe for blueberry peach oatmeal muffins makes a nice lower-sugar snack or breakfast option. A couple of additions I recommend are doubling the peaches and omitting the blueberries, since we don’t have those this week, adding about 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the dry ingredients and using brown sugar instead of white.

 

Week 16: Aug. 20, 2014

Ready to join the 2015 Snead’s Farm CSA? Download the contract here.

In this week’s box:

1 flat peaches

2 quarts Concord grapes

1 quart okra

1 dozen eggs

1 spaghetti squash

2 bags tomatoes

small quantity of summer squash

4 watermelons

1 bag green bell peppers

1 bag cucumbers

2 2-lb bags white potatoes

1 bag yellow onions

The following pick-your-own opportunities are an optional bonus for CSA members only:

On Wednesday, Aug, 20, from 8am to noon:

4 half-pints PYO raspberries

2 quarts Concord grapes

On Sunday, Aug. 24 from 11am to 2pm:

8 half-pints PYO raspberries

2 quarts Concord grapes

Total retail value of goods in this week’s box: $143

Total retail value of goods distributed so far this year: $1,471.50

Emily’s notes:

Let’s talk about Concord grapes. They are so much faster to pick than raspberries because they come in bunches, but unless you are into spitting seeds and chewing through their tough skins, they will take a little more time in the kitchen. Rest assured that the effort is well worth it, though, as these grapes taste a lot more grape-y than the seedless varieties you find at the supermarket. (As an aside, I was at the grocery store today and saw grapes that said on the package they were “cotton candy” flavor. What the…Well, these are not cotton-candy flavored grapes. They are grape-flavored grapes.)

What to do with them? Read this post from last year about the process of turning them into freezer jam. I just finished off the last of my 2013 Concord grape freezer jam a few weeks ago, and boy does it make a great PB&J. It’s also great on good bread for breakfast and in waffles.  You could also turn your grapes into pie filling to make a Northern classic, Concord grape pie. Find a recipe from Saveur here.

Spaghetti squash can make a quick meal that is kid-friendly. To cook, simply slice in half and scoop out the seeds. Place the squash face-down on a sheet pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until tender all the way through. Allow the squash to cool enough so you can handle them, and use a big fork or spoon to scrape out the flesh, which has a spaghetti-like appearance when cooked. Toss with marinara or, better yet, a rich meat sauce like a Bolognese (Try this recipe for a quick one, I make it with beef.).

With bell peppers, don’t forget one of my favorite ways to serve them: stuffed. This recipe for stuffed bell peppers recognizes what a forgiving dish this can be, incorporating whatever you have around. It will also use some of your onions.

As for okra, I am really intrigued this week by this Southern Living recipe for okra and potato hash. Happy eating!

Week 15: Aug. 13, 2014

In this week’s box:

2 pints blueberries

1 flat peaches

1 jar Snead’s Farm seedless blackberry preserves

half dozen eggs

half pint okra

4 watermelons

1 dozen corn

1 bag tomatoes

8 half-pints **OPTIONAL BONUS** pick-your-own raspberries, 8 a.m. until noon Wednesday, Aug. 13, CSA members only

8 half-pints **OPTIONAL BONUS** pick-your-own raspberries, 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, CSA members only

Total retail value of items in this week’s box: $125

Total retail value of items distributed so far this year: $1,328.50

Emily’s notes:

Okra is new this week. Your okra, corn and tomatoes would work nicely in this recipe for maque choux from Southern Living. Every year, I make this recipe for Mediterranean Okra and Tomato stew from The New York Times. It is the first okra recipe I ever liked, and I find it hard to beat. Of course, another classic treatment for okra is to fry it, and for that I recommend this recipe from The Kitchn.

Peach basil pizza sauce

Peach basil pizza sauce

Last week, I put three peaches (sliced, not peeled) and a handful of basil in my food processor and whirred them into a simple sauce. I spooned this onto my homemade pizza dough (recipe here), then sprinkled on parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, a handful of corn kernels and some delicious leftover North Carolina barbecue. It made for a nice flavor combination, and you could do this with any good sausage or even rotisserie chicken in place of the pig.

With this many raspberries, you might want to find some recipes to use them so you make sure to consume them before they go bad (which happens FAST). Here is a simple recipe for raspberry sauce from Martha Stewart. This is great on waffles or pancakes, ice cream and chocolate cake. Speaking of cake, last week I made this raspberry chocolate chip cake using my Snead’s Farm raspberries to celebrate my daughter’s birthday.

Have you been to Kybecca in downtown Fredericksburg lately? They use Snead’s Farm produce in their menu items, and recently challenged their bartenders to create a signature cocktail using watermelon. Read about it here on their online cocktail menu and get inspiration for your own home bar creations. If you’d like to make some watermelon syrup to stock your bar, here is a recipe. These watermelon-raspberry slushies would also make a nice summer refreshment, and would be great virgin or spiked.