Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CSA Week 19, 2012

This weeks share includes:
12 Corn, 2 butternut squash, 4 lbs white potatoes, 8 apples (Cortland, Gala, or Ginger Gold), and 2lbs Pole Lima Beans

Please excuse the missing picture.

Please take note there is corn and potatoes in the share this week!  The perfect week to make some corn chowder.  Check out my favorite recipe here.

Butternut Squash is a winter squash very similar to pumpkins. Butternut squash is wonderful roasted, pureed in soup, or mashed to mix into casseroles, bread, or muffins.

This recipe for Butternut Squash Soup is my all time favorite way to use butternuts.  
    I tailor the recipe to suit me by -- only using butternut (no acorn squash, I like butternut flavor better)
                                       -- I don't normally make the fancy toast to go with, crackers work in this house

Here is another recipe for Squash with Browned Butter and Thyme.

Pole Lima Beans from LaRosa's in Woodstown, NJ are included in your share this week.  Check out their website dedicated to Pole Lima Beans.

--To cook lima beans first you must shell them. Open the shell and pluck out the beans.  Put the shelled beans in a pot add water to cover.  Add a couple slabs of butter, salt and pepper to the pot.  Bring to a boil. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes or until tender, adding more water if necessary.

Lima beans are delicious served along with sweet corn.  Succotash, a traditional thanksgiving dish, is boiled lima beans and corn. YUM.

***Reminder next week, is the last pickup.***

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Grilled Cantaloupe. . .Who knew?

Grilled Cantaloupe. Its yummy.

 -Take 1 cantaloupe, slice parallel to the equator.  I got 5 slices from 1 cantaloupe.
-Scoop out the seeds.
-Fire up the grill to medium heat.
-Make sure your grill is super clean, you don't want any meat flavored cantaloupe!
-Grill for 3-5 minutes per side, or until you get nice grill marks.
-When you flip to the 2nd side sprinkle a little brown sugar on the top.  2 Tablespoons of brown sugar is enough for the five slices.  It will melt on the hot lope and oh, baby, yum!

-Remove from grill and place each slice on a separate plate.
-Fill the center with vanilla ice cream!
-Serve as the warm cantaloupe starts to melt the ice cream!

Such a fun new way to enjoy your melon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It is time to plant the Strawberries

It's August.

We are up to our eyeballs with work, picking and packing all your favorite summer fruits and veggies.  

But at the same time we are thinking about next season.

Especially next strawberry season. 

Strawberry plants reproduce by sending out daughter plants or "shoots."  In June, after we are finished harvesting the juicy berries we go out and cut these "shoots" and put them in cold storage. 

We pull them out of cold storage in the middle of August and plant them to be next years strawberry crop.

The strawberry plants take special care.  This is a propagation bed.  The misters above the plants keep the leaves moist while the shoots grow roots.

 Each shoot or tip is carefully placed in the growing medium. Then we baby them for the next couple weeks.

-they get misted every 10 minutes for 10 seconds during the day
-they have a shade cloth over them for the first day, to help ease the transition
-the ventilation fan runs continuously to help prevent fungal diseases.

All this to get the roots growing.

Look at how much the roots have grown after just one week!

Three more weeks in the greenhouse and they will be ready to move to their new home in the field.

For the number people, 14520 strawberry plants per acre. We are growing 24,000 plants ourselves, (actually 25.500, just in case) and buying an additional 8,000 plants from a supplier for a total of 32,000  strawberry plants on 2.2 acres. High hopes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

2012 CSA Week #16

SugarBaby Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Red Cubanelle Peppers, Green Tomatoes, Red Tomatoes, Yellow Peaches, Sweet Corn, (not pictured PYO flowers, herbs, hot peppers)

Here we are WEEK #16.

We are enjoying this mild August weather! To quote Pop-Pop Buzby, "This is good weather for WORKING!"  To quote Farmer Andy, "Man, it is a beautiful day, I think you all should pay me for letting you work outside today!"  Haha.  Can you tell we love our job!  What a privilege to work out in this wonderful world we live in, the sun, fresh air, dirt.  We wouldn't want it any other way.

We have gotten about 5 inches of rain so far this August.  The corn is loving it, I just hope the pumpkins make it through this wet spell.

This originally came to me as a Jalapeño popper recipe.  Recently we have started filling cubanelles with it.  Both ways are amazing! 

This is what my father-in-law, Farmer Andy has to say about Stuffed Cubanelles, "I could eat about 10 feet of the that!"  

The filling:
One 8 oz block of cream cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
dash of chili powder
dash of garlic powder.

Mix the above and use to fill all kinds of peppers.  For cubanelles bake at 400 until cheese is melty and the peppers are getting some browned edges, about 20-30 minutes. Feel free to use what ever cheese you have, switch out the cheddar for monetary, YUM!

Farmer Andy prefers this filling in red cubanelle peppers.  I cut them in half length wise and take the seeds out, and then smoosh some filling in.  

I enjoy using the cheese mixture to make my own jalapeño poppers. I bake the jalapeños at  300 for little bit longer, 40-50 minutes.  

It is amazing in any hot pepper!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Grilled Green Tomatoes with Herbed Cream Cheese

I have a lovely recipe to share with you that is E-A-S-Y and oh so good.

I got it from a new cookbook (Thanks Maggie and Martha).  These two were raving over these grilled green tomatoes,  I had to give them a try!

Grilled Green Tomato with Herbed Cream Cheese  
adapted from "The Gardener & The Grill the Bounty of the Garden meets the Sizzle of the Grill" by Karen Adler and Judith Fertig

One 8oz block of creamed cheese, at room temperature
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh basil
2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh chives
4 green tomatoes, thickly sliced
Olive Oil

Preheat your grill to a medium-hot temperature.  In a bowl, blend the cream cheese, with garlic, basil, and chives together until smooth.

Lay the tomato slices out on a baking sheet.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, on both sides.

Grill the tomatoes on one side 3-5 minutes, or until the tomatoes have good grill marks.  Then flip and grill on the other side the same way.  Keep the grill open while grilling the tomatoes.  

Take the tomato slices off the grill and then put a dollop of the cream cheese mixture on each tomato.  Serve hot with the melting cream cheese oozing off the tomato!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

CSA 2012 week 13

This weeks share starting at the top going clockwise: sugar baby watermelon, 12 ears of corn, 4 cubanelle peppers, yellow peaches, eggplant, 3lbs tomatoes. (Not pictured) PYO flowers, herbs, grape tomatoes, and hot peppers.

New this week *Peaches*

The peaches this week are from Larchmont Farms on Rt 77. Elmer, NJ

The peaches need a day or two on the counter to ripen. Or keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.

5 ways you can tell it is August around the farm

#1 the weeds- Around this time of year the weeds in every field are out of control.  We are doing our best to keep them out of our late field of eggplants, tomatoes, and pumpkins.  But the farm has definitely lost that clean spring look.

#2 The corn planter is put away-  We have been planting corn on a regular basis since April, but now the corn planter is tucked away in the storage building.  It depends on the weather, but we should have corn through the end of September.

#3 The bush hog comes to work. . . to clean up some fields.  We use the bush hog to chop up the fields when we are through with them.  We have already chopped up the first 2 cantaloupe fields. Next on the list the first tomato field. Oh and lots of corn has been chopped up too.

#4 Red and Yellow Peppers-  The colored peppers take a long time to ripen.  A pepper plant first makes a green bell pepper and then as it sits on the plant the pepper continues to ripen and turn those beautiful shades of red or yellow that we all love.

#5 The farm workers are all a little bleary eyed.  Everyone is pushing the limits of exhaustion.  The to-do list is long and never finished.  The jokes in the packing house get sillier. And everyone is starts dreaming of a fall vacation

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

CSA 2012 week 11

This weeks share includes: corn, green bell peppers, Sicilian eggplant, onions, heirloom tomatoes, PYO grape tomatoes, blueberries, watermelon and cantaloupe.

You can use Sicilian eggplant just as you would use your black globe eggplant.   Sicilian eggplant is great for eggplant Parmesan and is said to have slightly sweeter taste.
 Here is a link to my all time favorite eggplant recipe.

Tomato harvest is in full swing.  I LOVE it.  Here is my BLT I made for myself tonight.  That is one of the Big Beef tomatoes.  I had tomato juice running down to my elbows. YUM-O!

Also enjoying:

-Grilled Cheese with tomato
-Tomato Bruschetta
-Pico de gallo with our tomato, onion, and jalapeno
-Fried Eggplant with a slice of tomato on top
-Eat a tomato like an apple (Gram is famous for this one)


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

CSA 2012 week 10

Share includes seedless watermelon, green bell peppers, heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, PYO grape tomatoes, and PYO hot peppers.

Hi there!
I really C-A-N-'T believe it is week 10 already.  Wow, where has the time gone?

Last week, 4th of July week, is THE busiest week for Jersey fresh produce.  Corn, cantaloupes, watermelon, and tomatoes are a favorite this time of year.  I hope you enjoyed some fresh produce at your celebrations. To add to the busy week we were hit with a wicked storm, power outage,  and oppressive heat wave.  We are still finding the effects of the storm, i.e. hail damage in tomatoes and peppers.  

Remember those tomatoes, that had such a rough start?  Check it out here.  Well, this week is their time to shine.  This week we have picked nearly 3000 boxes off that field.  It has really been incredible.
 We are so thankful they made it through the toughest days.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Grilled Veggies with Herb Vinaigrette!

I'm getting the grilled fired up and ready for the 4th of July. 

What's not to love about fresh veggies cooked with the heat of the grill! And it keeps my kitchen cool on hot days.

Here is what I am grilling today. Zucchini, Yellow Squash, and Eggplant.  

But peppers, onions, and mushrooms  are excellent candidates for grilling.

Let's prep the veggies.
Cut the eggplant in to thick slices. I like to cut the veggies lengthwise.  Then I have less to handle and they don't fall through the grill grates as easy. 

Same with the zucchini and yellow squash.

Aren't they so pretty?

Put about a 1/4 cup of olive oil in a bowl and brush over both sides of vegetables lightly with the oil.

Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.

These babies are ready for the grill.

Start with a clean grill on medium-high heat.  To prep the grill I like to put some olive oil on the grates.  Fold up a paper towel and dip it in the olive oil.

Rub the paper towel on the grates. This leaves a nice thin coat of oil on the grill and prevents the veggies from sticking.

On go the veggies.  Squash and eggplant usually take 8-10 minutes on the grill. Peppers take a little longer like 10-12 minutes.

But you really have to watch because it all depend on your grill and how thick your veggies are.  

LOVE the pretty grill marks!

 You just might live in Salem County if you turn around from the grill and see this going down the road.  That is one crazy big planter.

Back to the grill.

It took me a couple batches to get all the veggies cooked on the grill, but its okay.  The vegetables can be served warm or at room temperature.  

I really didn't want crunchy vegetables. So be conscious of how stiff the veggies feel when you pick them up.  

The challenge is grilling them to just the right point--gently charred on the outside and tender within, not pale and crunchy or blackened and mushy.

Now to take these veggies to the next level: THE SAUCE

For the dressing: 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
3 Tablespoons of red wine vinegar, or balsamic vinegar.  What ever you fancy.

Add 2 cloves of garlic minced.

Grab some fresh basil and parsley

Add the chopped herbs.  Whisk together adding salt and pepper to taste.

Drizzle dressing over platter of veggies. Serve warm or room temperature.

Since I already had the grill warmed up, I threw a steak on for a perfect supper!

Yum Yum Yum.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Fixin' to make some Squash Casserole for Ya'll.

Pour yourself a nice big glass of sweet iced tea and join me on the porch swing while we chat about yellow squash.

Just kiddin'.

But I do think on Yellow Squash Casserole as being "southern food." And with cheese and bacon you can't go wrong.

Lets Git-R-Done.

 Cut up some yellow squash.

Put your cut up squash in a saucepan add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until squash is tender.

Drain your squashes.

Then mash 'em.

In a skillet cook 4 slices of bacon.

I cut my bacon slices in half before I put them in the pan.  They fit better in my pan and are easier to handle.

Drain cooked bacon on paper towels.

Mince an onion.  You need about 1 cup of minced onion.  I used half of a big onion.
This is drugs.  This is your brain on drugs.  Any questions?

 Hold up.  Are we in the 80s?  Tell me I'm not the only one that thinks of that commercial every time I hear butter sizzling in a pan.

Back to 2012 and squash casserole.  Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a skillet.

Add the minced onion and saute in butter until tender.

You will need 18 crackers.  I used Ritz, but use what ever you have on hand.
Take 12 crackers and smoosh them into crumbs.  Add to the sauted onions.

Shred up a nice pile of sharp cheddar cheese.

Beat 2 eggs.
Now combine: in this pan we have the sauted onions, smooshed crackers, drained and smashed squash, cheddar cheese, crumbled bacon, beaten eggs and a little salt and pepper.

Stir it up.

Pour the mixture into a small casserole dish.  Smoosh the remaining 6 crackers on top.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

I guess a real southerner would add pimientos or paprika, but I like it without those extras.

Yellow Squash Casserole
2 pounds yellow squash sliced, about 3-4 
1 cup minced onion
2 tablespoons butter
18 Ritz crackers, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 eggs, beaten
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
salt and pepper

Combine squash and water to cover in a saucepan; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Drain well, and mash.

Saute onion in butter until tender.  Combine onion, squash, cracker crumbs from 12 crackers, cheese, eggs, and bacon.  Pour into a small casserole dish.  Sprinkle with remaining crackers crumbs.  Bake 350 for 45 minutes.

Happy Cooking Ya'll