The bad news is that last night I got a call from Tim, the wholesale manager at Pete’s Greens, letting me know that they couldn’t provide the greens I had ordered due to quality issues (the greenhouses got too cold). The good news is that I was able to get ahold of Dick Wilcox, the owner of Amber Ridge Maple in Underhill, and he was able to provide a lot of maple syrup on VERY short notice. So instead of greens, everyone will get a pint of medium amber or fancy Vermont maple syrup. This makes the retail value of the share go up a lot, but we had wanted to add something extra to the share this week as a thank-you, so it works out. Still have your frozen blueberries? Now’s the time to make blueberry pancakes! The syrup also makes an awesome glaze for parsnips and carrots.
This Week’s Produce
1 pint maple syrup (Amber Ridge Maple) ($11)
3 lb. bag Macintosh apples (Sunrise Orchard) ($4.5)
1+ lbs. parsnips (Jericho Settler’s Farm) ($2.5)
2 lbs. carrots (Jericho Settler’s Farm) ($3.5)
1 jar our own blueberry jam ($5)
2.5 lbs. Canadian onions ($3)
5 lbs. our own white potatoes ($3.5)
1.5 lbs. our own beets ($3) (or skip the beets and get 4 extra lbs. potatoes)
Total retail value: $37.5
End of Year Survey
This is the last winter CSA pick-up of the year. Please feel free to e-mail me your thoughts and ideas for making the CSA better! The one comment I have heard a lot already is about greens – I wish we could have given out more! Hopefully next year we can find a more reliable producer, or figure out a way to give out our own for more of the season.
We’re giving out 5 lbs. of large white potatoes this week. If you don’t want beets, you can also take an extra 3 or 4 lbs. of potatoes.
If you have a paper bag, I’ve found that the potatoes are less likely to turn green in paper, even if kept in a dark cupboard or pantry. You don’t want to eat potatoes that look green (they’re mildly toxic), but if you find that the potatoes sprout a little, don’t worry about it; just break off the sprouts. I’ve found that this is a good job for small kids who want to help with dinner preparations.
White potatoes are a waxy potato, which means that they’re not the best for mashed potatoes, but they’re good for soups, stews, and potato salad. I’ve also found that they’re nice roasted and they make good French-fries, especially if you use the cold-oil method. The cold oil method is easier than the tradition method, and also healthier (the potatoes actually absorb less oil). Cook’s Illustrated recommends Yukon Gold potatoes, but I’ve found that whites work well too.
Cold Oil French Fries
(Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)
2 ½ lbs. potatoes, washed, dried, and cut into ¼ inch “fries”
6 cups oil (vegetable or canola works, but peanut is best)
Combine potatoes and oil in large pot or Dutch oven. Cook over high heat until oil has reached a rolling boil, about 5 minutes. Continue to cook, without stirring, until potatoes are limp but exteriors are beginning to firm, about 12-15 minutes.
Using tongs, stir potatoes, gently scraping up any that stick, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and crisp, 5-10 minutes longer.
Using skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer fries to thick paper bag or paper towels. Season with salt and serve immediately.
We’re giving out Fancy and Medium amber syrup this week. While the darker syrups (like dark amber and grade B) are better for baking (they add a stronger maple flavor), I’ve found that most sugar makers I know like the fancy or medium the best. I buy fancy, because I like it on pancakes and plain yogurt, and I use it in cooking because it’s what I have. I’ve come to really like the subtle maple flavor it adds to soups and glazes. It’s sweet and maple-y without being overpowering.
Here’s my go-to recipe for very easy maple-glazed carrots. A mix of white and gold carrots would be nice here, or even carrots and parsnips.
Maple Glazed Carrots
(From Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything”)
- 1 pound carrots
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves for garnish, optional
Trim the tops and bottoms from the carrots and peel them if the outsides are tough. Then cut them into coins or sticks about ¼ inch thick. Put them in a large pot with the butter, maple syrup, ½ cup water, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper; set over high heat and bring to a boil.
Stir once, then lower the heat so the mixture bubbles gently but steadily and cover the pan. Cook, undisturbed, until the carrots are just beginning to get tender and have absorbed almost all of the liquid, 10 to 15 minutes. They’re ready when you can spear them with a fork but still meet some resistance.
Remove the lid and keep cooking until the remaining liquid thickens into a glaze and coats the carrots, then remove from the heat. Taste, adjust the seasoning with salt or pepper, and serve hot or warm, garnished with the parsley if you like.
If you didn’t try the little jam-filled cookie recipe last time we gave out jam and want to this time, here it is: https://paulmazzascsa.com/?s=jam+thumbprint
Blueberry jam is also great mixed into plain yogurt, or added to a blueberry sauce made with frozen berries (and very little sugar, since the jam has plenty!) If you’re feeling ambitious, it’s also great on toast made from home-made bread!