We’re giving out lots of potatoes and apples this week, along with some really delicious baby chard from Pete’s Greens. You have a choice between cabbage and beets, since I know we’ve given both of these out a lot! The share also includes carrots, sweet potatoes, and onions again.
As you know, we’re attempting to store our root vegetables in a cooler that has been turned off for the winter. The temperature stays around 50 degrees, and, since we stored most of the produce dirty, we haven’t had much loss. The only issue we’ve had is with the carrots, which aren’t holding up that well and which are very time consuming to clean and sort. Despite this we think we’ll be able to give them out for most of the rest of the CSA, although we may have to buy some for last week. If you have had any issues with the carrots not lasting long in your fridge, please let me know when you pick up and I’ll replace whatever you have lost.
This Week’s Produce:
1 bag sweet baby chard (Pete’s Greens) ($5)
1/2 peck (about 5 lbs.) Macintosh apples (Sunrise Orchard, Cornwall) ($7)
3 lbs. Canadian onions ($3.5)
8 lbs. white chef (very large) potatoes ($5)
3 lbs. sweet potatoes ($4)
3 lbs. carrots ($4)
1.5 lbs. beets OR 1 head cabbage ($2-$3)
Total retail value: $30.5 – $31.5
Because Douglas Orchard is done selling apples for the year, we got our apples this week from Sunrise Orchard in Cornwall. Sunrise is a large orchard, and they share a special atmosphere controlled storage facility with Champlain Orchard that keeps their apples fresh-tasting and crisp though the winter and spring. This allows them to sell high quality apples for much of the year. Their apples are great, but they are also much more expensive than the ones we normally get, especially this year since prices are higher due to the rough year many growers had. This is why I valued them at $7, not the usual $4. I felt bad about this valuation until I realized that at Hannaford this winter a 5 lb. bag of Vermont apples is $1.79/lb. — about $9!
Apple Recipes and Ideas
Macintosh are the best apple for homemade applesauce. I also believe they are the best baking apple; although they don’t hold their shape as some other apples, their fantastic flavor more than compensates.
Here are some ideas for using your apples:
Apple Bread pudding (great make-ahead holiday breakfast)
Skillet Apple Pie (easy and has a complex caramel flavor you don’t get in a regular apple pie! I would use macs and maybe a few granny smiths in this recipe) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/b.-smith/b-smiths-skillet-apple-pie-recipe/index.html
Like the apples, the local baby chard cost much more than we expected. We felt that it was worth it, though, to have something green and fresh in the share! Baby chard is sweeter and milder than regular chard, and can be substituted for spinach in most recipes. Try it wilted and tossed with pasta, as in this recipe (from the Olivia’s Organic Website).
Pasta with Baby Chard and Shrimp
1 lb. pasta (ziti or cavatelli)
1 lb. large shrimp – peeled and deveined
with tail left on
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion – diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
2 tomatoes – seeded and chopped
1 bag baby chard, larger leaves chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
Cook pasta as directed on package label; cook until al dente.
While pasta cooks, season shrimp with salt and pepper; set aside.
Add olive oil to large sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat.
Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes.
Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
Add chopped tomatoes and baby swiss chard, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring, Add shrimp to pan and cook, stirring frequently, until pink on both sides.
Stir in broth, bring to barely a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Add cooked pasta, toss and remove from heat. Add Parmesan cheese and serve.
Root Vegetable and Cabbage Soup with Kielbasa
If you have any cabbage or rutabaga left in your fridge and you have no idea what to do with it, try this recipe. It is simple and delicious; I’ve probably made it 5 times already this winter! You could also make a vegetarian version by omitting the kielbasa and using vegetable stock instead of water.
2 tablespoons oil or butter
1 large or 2 medium onions, chopped
1 large or 2 medium rutabagas, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (optional)
1 large or 2 medium red or white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
About 5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 package Kielbasa (I use turkey), cut into 1-inch pieces.
2 bay leaves
½ head cabbage, core removed, cut into ½ inch strips.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Saute onions in oil or butter over medium heat until soft (about 10 minutes) Add kielbasa, carrots, potatoes, and rutabaga (if using). Cook, stirring often, for 2 or 3 minutes. Add bay leaves and enough water to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Add cabbage and continue to cook until all of the vegetables are tender, about 10 or 15 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove bay leaves.
Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie
I found this recipe for a fluffier, tangy-er version of classic sweet potato pie on the great Smitten Kitchen blog: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/11/sweet-potato-buttermilk-pie/