August 17, 2009

17 Aug

Dear Summer CSA members,

This is your LAST week of the summer season. I hope you have enjoyed the bounty of the last season’s harvest. For those of you who are joining us for the fall season, look forward to a continuation of many “summer crops.” November will mark the beginning of my second year working at Fairview Gardens. I have been excited by how my life has shifted to eat seasonally and will feel a sense of completion to finish a full year of being on the farm. This year I have also read Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. I recommend this book to all of our CSA members and imagine many of you have already ready it. Kingsolver is not only a excellent writer, she also has a comfortable way of using personal storytelling to influence and challenge the way people think about life, agriculture, and food. I was inspired and wanted to give you an excerpt from her book and a few recipes she shared.

From her chapter called, Eating Neighborly: “Buying your good from local businesses rather than national chains generates about three times as much money for your local economy. Studies from all over the country agree on that, even while consumers keep buying at chain stores, and fretting that the downtown blocks of cute mom-and-pop venues are turning into a ghost town. Today’s bargain always seems to matter more…. Tod Murphy’s background was farming. The greatest economic challenge he and his farming neighbors faced was finding a market for their good products…. He found investors and opened the Farmers Diner, whose slogan is ‘Think Locally, Act Neighborly.’ For a dreamer, he’s a practical guy.  ‘Thinking globally is an abstraction. What the world needs now isn’t love sweet love—that’s a slogan.’ What the world needs now, he maintains, is more compassionate local actions: ‘Shopping at the hardware store owned by a family living in town. Buying locally raised tomatoes in the summer, and locally baked bread. Cooking meals at home. Those are all acts of love for a place.’”

Seeking to act lovingly,

Jen Corey

Sneak Peek:

Small Share

Strawberries

Corn

Tomatoes

Lima Beans (shell and boil for 2min)

Peppers

Potatoes

Zucchini

Large Share

Strawberries

Corn

Tomatoes

Lima Beans (shell and boil for 2min)

Peppers

Potatoes

Cherry Tomatoes

Garlic (try roasting at 350… cut the top off, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, check for the top to be golden and the cloves to be tender. Spread on bread)

Recipes:

Family Secret Tomato Sauce (From Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)

The point of this recipe is to make a large amount at one time, when tomatoes are in season.  If you’re canning it, stick closely to the recipe; adding additional fresh vegetables will change the pH so it’s unsafe for water-bath canning.  If you’re freezing it, then it’s fine to throw in peppers, mushrooms, fresh garlic,   whatever you want. This recipe makes 6-7 quarts – you can use a combination of pint and quart canning jars or freezer boxes.

10 quarts tomato puree (about 30 lbs. tomatoes)

4 large onions, chopped

1 cup dried basil 

1⁄2 cup honey

4 tbs. dried oregano

3 tbs. salt

2 tbsp ground lemon peel 

2 tbsp. thyme

2 tbs. garlic powder (or more, to taste)

2tbs. dried parsley

2 tsp. pepper

2 tsp cinnamon

1⁄2 tsp nutmeg

Soften onions in a heavy 3-gallon kettle – add a small amount of water if necessary but no oil if you are canning (very important!). Add pureed tomatoes and all seasonings, bring to a boil, and simmer on low heat for two to three hours until sauce has thickened to your liking.  Stir frequently, especially toward the end, to avoid burning. Meanwhile, heat water in canner bath, sterilize jars in boiling water or dishwasher, and pour boiling water over jar lids. 

Bottled lemon juice or citric acid – NOT optional! Add 2 tbsp of lemon juice OR 1⁄2 tsp. citric acid to each quart jar, (half that much to pint jars).  This is ensures that the sauce will be safely acidic.  When the sauce is ready, ladle it into the jars leaving 1⁄2 inch headspace. Put jars into canner and boil for 35 minutes. Remove, cool, check all seals, label and store for winter.

Four Seasons of Potato Salad: Summer (from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)

2 lbs red or golden new potatoes, cut in 1 inch chunks

3 tbsp olive oil

coarse salt

2 yellow or red bell peppers, cut in chunks

2 cups green beans (stringed and broken in 1-inch lengths)

1-2 ears sweet corn on cob

Toss potatoes with salt and oil and spread on baking sheet.  Roast in 450° oven until tender (20-30 minutes).  Place ears of corn, lightly oiled, with the potatoes.  Add peppers and green beans to roast for last 10 minutes.  When done, loosen the vegetables with a spatula, cut corn kernels off cob, and combine in a large, shallow bowl.  

2 cups tomatoes cut in wedges

1⁄2 cup fresh basil

1⁄4 cup olive oil whipped together with 1 tbsp balsamic or other mellow vinegar

Toss tomatoes, basil and dressing with roasted vegetables, salt to taste.

Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)

(Makes about two dozen) 

1 egg, beaten

1⁄2 cup butter, softened

1⁄2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Combine in large bowl.

1 cup white flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1⁄2 tsp baking soda

1⁄4 tsp salt

1⁄4 tsp cinnamon

1⁄4 tsp nutmeg

Combine in a separate, small bowl and blend into liquid mixture

1 cup finely shredded zucchini

12 oz chocolate chips

Stir these into other ingredients, mix well.  Drop by spoonful onto greased baking sheet, and flatten with the back of a spoon.  Bake at 350°, 10 to 15 minutes.

Succotash of Fresh Corn, Lima Beans, Tomatoes and Onions (from Bon Appétit, October 2008) by Amelia Saltsman

In this side dish, the veggies are cooked until just tender to retain their fresh-from-the-market flavor. For a delicious finishing touch, a handful of sliced basil is stirred in right before serving.

Yield: Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
Coarse kosher salt
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 cups chopped red tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 1/4 cups corn kernels cut from 4 ears of corn (preferably 2 ears of white corn and 2 ears of yellow corn)
2 cups fresh lima beans (from about 2 pounds pods) or 10 to 11 ounces frozen lima beans or baby butter beans, thawed
3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil

Preparation:

Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sprinkle with coarse salt. Sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes, corn, and lima beans. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until corn and lima beans are tender and tomatoes are soft, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Re-warm before continuing.) Stir in basil and serve.

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