Welcome to the first week of our 2011 CSA! As returning members know, the first few weeks tend to be all about strawberries – especially this year, since we have so little else to offer! That should be changing soon, though, as lettuce, peas, summer squash, and radishes should all be making appearances in the next few weeks.
This is our second year, but we’re still working on trying to make our CSA work for all of our members. We’ve made a few changes – we’ve planted more greens and beets and carrots this year, for instance, and we’ve made the pick-up times earlier. We’re also trying a new system for missed pick-ups (see below). If you have any suggestions for how we can improve the CSA, though, please let us know!
This Week’s Share
2 quarts strawberries or 2 $5 PYO vouchers (or one of each) ($10)
1 lb. hot house tomatoes ($3)
1 bunch scallions ($1.5)
1 bunch chives ($1)
5 lbs. last fall’s potatoes (sprouted — must be peeled!) ($2)
Total retail value: $17.50
3 quarts strawberries or 3 $5 PYO vouchers (or any combo) ($15)
2 lbs. hot house tomatoes ($6)
1 large bunch scallions ($2)
2 bunches chives ($2)
5 lbs. last year’s potatoes ($2)
Total retail value: $27.00
Next Week’s Produce
We’re really hoping to have radishes, lettuce, and maybe peas next week. The one thing that’s certain, though, is that they’ll be more strawberries!
If you miss a pick-up this year, you have a week to claim a voucher at the register that will allow you to “buy” produce off the stand. The voucher for the small share is worth $17.50, and the voucher for the large share is worth $25.00. If you are going on vacation you can either give your share to a friend, or you can e-mail me and let me know that you’re going away and I’ll set aside your voucher until you can claim it. Hopefully this makes things easier for everyone!
Every year Paul saves a few bins of potatoes for himself and many of the employees to eat during the winter and the spring. This year we have quite a few left. Despite the fact that they are sprouting, the russets and the yukons are still delicious, as long as they’re peeled. I usually roast them with olive oil, dried rosemary, and onions, but they’d also be great mashed, in potato pancakes, in soups, or in potato salad. I put last year’s recipes for latkes and for potato salad on the recipe page of the website. Both would be delicious with scallions and/or chives, too!
Note: These potatoes will keep best if stored in the refrigerator.
Red Hen Bread
A few weeks ago Shawn and I (Georgia) visited the Red Hen bakery and Café in Middlesex and got a tour of the bakery. We got to see the bread in all stages (from starter to fully baked), and to taste pretty much every variety they make. Besides learning a good deal about how bread is made, we also got a good lesson on storing it: the bakers recommend freezing it in a freezer-proof zip-lock bag if you can’t eat it (or eat it all!) within the first 2 days. We tried this with some of the samples we were given, and it worked really well. If, however, you don’t do this, remember that there are many uses for stale bread: bread pudding, breadcrumbs, French toast, croutons, stratas, even soups!
This Week’s Bread
The Red Hen Bread this week is Ciabatta. I love this bread since it’s perfect for hearty sandwiches and for home-made garlic bread. Here’s what they say about the Ciabatta on their website:
The unusual shape of this traditional Italian loaf gave it its name – Ciabatta is Italian for “slipper.” Large interior holes are Ciabatta’s classic characteristic, making it ideal for dipping in olive oil and sauces.
Although we did lose some strawberries to this spring’s flooding, we still have plenty. As long as we get a few sunny days, the pick-your-own-fields will hopefully be open by the weekend. If you’re curious about whether or not you can use your PYO voucher (if you decide to take one), please don’t hesitate to give us a call (879-3760).
We sell biscuits on the stand, but if you want to make your own there’s a recipe for cream biscuits on the recipe page of the website.
This recipe is from Bon Appetit magazine. I like both the flavor and the fact that it’s VERY easy (no jar-sanitizing involved!)
Note: The recipe call for 4 cups, which is about 1 lb. of berries. There is about 1.5 lbs. in a quart of strawberries.
4 cups strawberries, hulled, halved
¾ cup superfine sugar
Peel (with white pith) of ½ lemon
Combine all ingredients in a heavy, wide pot. Cover: let sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours. (The berries will ooze and sugar will dissolve)
Bring strawberry mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Cook, stirring gently, until strawberries are just tender, about three minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer strawberries to 1 pint jar. Continue simmering liquid until it thickens to a syrupy consistency, 1-2 minutes. Discard lemon peel and pour syrup over strawberries: seal and let cool to room temperature. Chill for up to 1 month.