Week 15: Aug. 7, 2013

In this week’s box:

1/2 dozen eggs

1 flat of peaches and nectarines mixed

1 1/2 pints raspberries

1 pepper

2 eggplants

1 ambrosia cantaloupe

4 watermelons

1 bag of sweet potatoes

1 bag of yellow squash

1 bag of zucchini

14 ears of corn

***PLUS***

Here is something different for those that may be interested in picking your own berries!

Optional: 9 am-12 noon only

1 pick your own half pint of blackberries

1 1/2 pick your own half pints of raspberries

Emilys’ notes:

A quick note on our running tally of your CSA retail value. Did you know that the retail value of last week’s box rang in at $90.50? And this week’s box, with all its summer fruits, has a retail value of $102. That puts the total value of goods distributed so far this year at $810.50. So no matter when you signed up for the CSA, you have more than broken even on your investment!

It just keeps getting better. Here’s another installment of summer in a box. The sweet potatoes in this box are a smaller variety that has a higher sugar content. Ambrosia cantaloupe is a classic variety that is very sweet, with tender flesh and not very much rind. It’s good eating!

This week, I’m liking this Cooking Light recipe for Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette. I am thinking of adding some fresh corn to it, as well. A galette, like a pizza, is a great option to have in your toolbox for serving vegetables and fruits in unique ways. On the savory side, I think grilled squash and eggplant with a mix of ricotta and feta cheeses would be another great galette filling. It’s a free-form tart that doesn’t take a culinary school degree to master. And you can make sweet versions, too, with a slightly different dough. In fact, a peach or nectarine galette (like this one from Simply Recipes) sounds pretty good to me right now.

I’ve talked about ratatouille in past posts, and there are vastly different ways to serve this dish. If you’d like to serve your family a dish that resembles the one served in the animated movie of the same name, here is Smitten Kitchen’s approximation of it, which looks beautiful.

A flat of peaches and nectarines is truly a gift. We feasted on them last week and still had plenty to put away in the freezer for winter crisps and cobblers. This week, I think I’m going to try my hand at freezer jam. Preserving is a weak spot for me, mainly because I am nervous about keeping things sterile with two small children running around, but it’s definitely a goal. If any of you have great canning recipes to share for any of the produce we’ve been getting, please e-mail me so I can share them with the group. The rest of you can learn about freezer jam with me. I’ve always seen freezer jam as sort of a gateway to more involved canning and preserving. You need to make sure you are using special jars or containers designed specifically for freezer use, which you can pick up at many grocery and big-box stores these days. There are many recipes out there. Here is one to start with, but you might want to seek out a few to compare based on what kind of sugar content, flavorings and specific ingredients you are interested in.

You might want to consider chopping up one or two of your watermelons and placing the pieces in the freezer. When they’re frozen, you can take them out, place them in the blender and add peaches, berries, a squeeze of citrus or whatever else you desire. At this point you could serve the mixture to your whole family. If it’s after bedtime, feel free to add a little (I’m not judging) vodka or–gasp–tequila and mix away. From some of the toddler-wrangling and baby-wearing I’ve seen out on the farm on pickup days, I’d say you’ve all earned it.

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