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The Farm: 2014

seedling blog photoWhat an absolutely beautiful spring after that long, snowy winter!  Our farmers have been working hard for months, and the farm looks better than ever.  The lettuce this week is absolutely delicious.

I’m making a few changes to the blog this season.  In past years, I have described my CSA share each week, and then gave ideas, recipes, and hopefully some inspiration for what to do with it all.  People that are new to CSAs have found this information helpful in storing and using their veggies, thereby avoiding any dreaded veggie-spoilage.  Going forward, I will no longer post a share description each week, but rather will post sporadically with new ideas and recipes as they come to me.  However, there is plenty of past content here for lots of veggie ideas!  I would love it if you will comment and tell me what YOU are doing with your veggies.

Not many people need help with knowing what to do with their fresh lettuce, but some may be at a loss when it comes to kale.  Over the years, I have really grown to love seeing kale in our shares.  One of my favorite kale recipes is Kale Salad.  Another favorite is a simple dish that Farmer Anne wrote about in an old newsletter and I posted about last year; just replace the arugula with kale, and you’ve got yourself a fantastic and super healthy meal. (If the cherry tomatoes are not yet ready for the season, I use a small can of chopped or diced tomatoes.)

And remember, there are so many great recipes online at sites such as allrecipes, tastespotting, and the many food blogs out there.

(Image courtesy of Gualberto107 at www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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CSA Share for 2013 Week Thirteen

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMmmmmm…more tomatoes.  Don’t ya love it?  In our share this week:

  • tomatoes
  • red cabbage
  • eggplant
  • cucumbers
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • lettuce
  • mizuna
  • kale

With our eggplant, I tried Farmer Anne’s suggestion from our newsletter from a few weeks ago.  I sliced it, dipped each slice in egg and then then coated them with panko breadcrumbs seasoned with dried oregano/basil/salt, then baked them in the oven.  From there, it was easy to construct a simple eggplant parmesan in a casserole pan with layers of tomato sauce and mozzerella and parmesan cheeses.  What really added to the flavor were the few cherry tomatoes I had left that I cut in half and threw in there.   Covered and baked in the oven till bubbly, this turned out to be a delicious dish that was not too greasy.  A side of our steamed kale topped with dressing made this a fantastic meal.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

CSA Share for 2012 Week Eighteen

This week was our last CSA pickup.  However, it certainly wasn’t the last of the duties for our farmers.  They are already thinking ahead to growing our veggies for NEXT year.  Preparing and enriching the soil, planting garlic, and turning the compost pile are but a few among many preparations that need to be done now.  All we need to do is rest assured that our farmers are taking good care of the fields, and dream of the fresh veggies we’ll receive next year.

In our share this week:

  • kale
  • arugula
  • onions
  • potatoes
  • beets

The farm party was SO much fun, and the weather decided to cooperate after all…it was a beautiful night.  I can’t believe the spread our farmers put out, with all the grilling meat, carving pumpkins, bonfire setup, and s’more supplies.  Truly amazing.  And as always, my husband, boys, and I were in food-heaven with the ever-changing buffet in the farm stand.  People really put in their best effort for their farm party food creations.

I did make the squash pie I mentioned in my last post, and it was  delicious.  I used our buttercup squash, as the Squash Pie recipe suggested.  For my crust, I used the Winter Squash Pie recipe’s no-roll pie crust recipe, which was fantastic and very easy to make.  (As you can see in the photo, I couldn’t stop “tasting” the final product!) I’ll randomly post tasty recipes that I find and try throughout the “off-season,” and of course if anyone hits upon a great dish, just let me know and I’ll post it.

(Top image courtesy of www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Moosewood Restaurant Cooking For Health — Two Thumbs Up!

This library-copy cookbook (Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health, 2009) has the most of my little bookmarks in it, and is one I will probably purchase soon. The first recipe I tried was their Mushroom, Peanut, Tofu Stew with Greens (pictured at left), and it was fantastic and very filling.  I used a bag of frozen farm-collards for this one.  More of my frozen greens (spinach), as well as some frozen farm-leeks, were used in another recipe from this book: Spinach Quesadillas.   These were also fantastic, and I absolutely will be making both of these dishes again.

I was interested in their Four Fruit Smoothies recipes because most of them call for…oatmeal!  Now, I’ve been making all types of smoothies for a LONG time, and have never heard, or thought, of adding oatmeal.  I was skeptical but tried one of them and I have to say it was GOOD.  The oatmeal made it a bit creamier, but really didn’t change the flavor, and so is a good way to get more super-healthy oatmeal in you.  Since we eat oatmeal almost every morning, this is a great way to use up any leftovers.

I also tried Easy Baked Tofu, which truly is exactly what they say: easy (and good).  I am going to love having their Fourteen Ways to Embellish Brown Rice ideas on hand to satisfy any Indian, Italian, or South-of-the-Border cravings that crop up.  And their Sweet Potato Pie with Pecan-Oat Crust has me already looking forward to the local sweet potato harvest.  In addition to all the great recipes, I found the nutritional information articles placed amongst the recipe pages interesting and helpful.

Moosewood Restaurant’s website has lots of recipes for you to try if you can’t wait till you get your hands on one of their many cookbooks.  In fact, I’m going to try their Quick Cinnamon Biscuits during our very snowy New England day tomorrow.

Cookbooks to Peruse…

Happy New Year to you all!  I really love these less-hectic January days to go through cookbooks, old and new, and get ideas for the upcoming CSA season, as well as discovering and re-discovering good mid-winter dishes.  I find myself already dreaming of those fresh farm veggies coming in June as I read through the recipes.  Below I’ve listed some of my favorite cookbooks (in no particular order).  Some of these books I own, and others (the newer ones) I’ve checked, and re-checked, out of my library, so give these a try at your library. Over the upcoming weeks, I plan on posting the results of my recipe trials from these books.

Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health by The Moosewood Collective.  Full of ideas for a healthy new year.

Love Soup by Anna Thomas.  A whole cookbook on (mostly) soups.

Heart of the Artichoke and Other Kitchen Journeys by David Tanis. Basic, simple ingredients and down-to-earth cooking.

The Food Matters Cookbook by Mark Bittman.  Practical ideas on eating more veggies and grains.  Has a very interesting Appetizers and Snacks section.

Feeding the Whole Family by Cynthia Lair. A classic in my collection and my first whole-foods cookbook.

Farmer John’s Cookbook, The Real Dirt on Vegetables by Farmer John Peterson and Angelic Organics. Unusual and quirky, by one of the first CSA farmers in the United States.  (I was tipped off to this book by our CSA farmer!)

Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home by The Moosewood Collective. This is older than the Moosewood book mentioned above, and has recipes that I’ve used over and over again.

The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger. A great book for making your favorites, but using healthier ingredients.

Let me know your favorite cookbooks!