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.

 

Week 14: Aug. 6, 2014

In this week’s box:

2 pints blueberries

1 flat peaches

half dozen eggs

9 ambrosia cantaloupe

4 watermelons

1 bag tomatoes

1 dozen corn

8 half-pints OPTIONAL BONUS pick-your-own raspberries, 8 a.m. until noon on Wed., Aug. 6, CSA members only

4 half-pints OPTIONAL BONUS pick-your-own raspberries, 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sun., Aug. 10, CSA members only

Emily’s notes:

These are all familiar summer vegetables, so here are a few ideas you may not have thought of yet:

Cantaloupe sorbet – You could mix in other fruits, as well.

Roasted cantaloupe – This sounded strange to me at first, but now I am kind of craving the idea of eating it over oatmeal.

Cantaloupe and prosciutto with balsamic vinegar and mint – This is kind of a fussy version of a simple appetizer that can be done many ways. You could simple wrap juicy cantaloupe slices in salty prosciutto, or you could put them on skewers with prosciutto (or maybe salami slices instead) and chunks of a good mozzarella.

Cantaloupe jam with vanilla – A beautiful and delicious way to preserve this bounty.

Cantaloupe margarita – If you don’t do this when you have nine cantaloupes in your house, when ARE you going to do it? Already ate your cantaloupe? Guess you’ll have to hit the watermelon margaritas.

Cantaloupe can also be used in smoothies, either fresh or frozen (just remember that with smoothies, you want at least one of the fruits you are using to be frozen for texture. I love to eat a quarter of cantaloupe with a big dollop of cottage cheese nestled in the space where the seeds were for breakfast. No bowl to wash!

Don’t forget, as we mentioned last week, that you can puree cantaloupe and/or watermelon to freeze as popsicles, especially with some whole berries or peach slices thrown in.

I am going to leave you with my husband’s favorite recipe for berry pie. This is traditionally done with blueberries (and you have enough in your box this week), but in my house we have made it with raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. Try a mix of raspberries and blueberries!

One tip: Don’t skip the homemade graham cracker crust. The store-bought kind just isn’t the same.

Summer berry pie

Ingredients

Crust:

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

Filling:

1 quart blueberries, blackberries or raspberries (if using raspberries, you will want about a half-pint to a pint extra for topping the finished pie)

1 cup sugar

3 tablespoons corn starch

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

1 tablespoon butter

Method:

Make the crust. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine graham crumbs and sugar in a medium bowl. Stir in melted butter until blended.

Pack mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and press firmly to bottom and sides, bringing crumbs up to the rim in an even layer. Bake 8 minutes and allow to cool before filling.

Wash berries.

Mix 1 cup berries, sugar, corn starch, salt and water in a saucepan over low heat. Cook until mixture thickens.

Allow to cool a bit, then add butter and the rest of the berries (If making with raspberries, hold off on adding your extra pint until the pie is assembled.).

Pour berry mixture into crust and chill for at least an hour before serving. If using raspberries, place extra berries on top of pie after filling. This pie will get better the longer it sits in the refrigerator, as the mixture thickens and soaks into the crust a little.

Serve with whipped cream.