Tuesday, June 25, 2013

2013 week 7


For all you folks who love your sweet corn, happy day to you. . . it's here!

It's New Jersey Blueberry season! Yippee!  The Pine Barrens of Atlantic and Burlington counties grow the best blueberries.  The berries in your share come from Hammonton, New Jersey.  

Did you know New Jersey is second, only to Michigan in blueberry production for the United States?

Parsley- a lovely herb that brightens flavor.  It is just wonderful added to so many dishes.
Have you ever made Chimichurri sauce for your steak, chicken, fish or pasta? It's amazing. 
Here are some recipes to try with Parsley

Chimichurri Recipe from Simply Recipes
Tabbouleh Recipe from Ina Garten
Parsley Tea to aide digestion
 Cucumber, Onion, Parsley Salad from Kalyn's Kitchen

 We are seeing the ill effects of all this rain.  Water laying in the field is not good.  We are pretty certain these peppers will not survive in this wet part of the field.

 To much rain is effecting the pickle crop as well, mold and fungus love to grow in wet areas
But we look to the future with hope for some dry, sunny days.
 Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

2013 week 6

We are up to almost 9 inches of rain for the month of June.

The legendary Case 730 Comfort King. When the going gets tough the tough get the 730.  When other tractors get stuck in the mud, everyone around here know to go get the 730.  In the mud this tractor is a BEAST.  Rated at 56 horsepower and weighing in at 7000lbs the 730 can out-work larger tractors.

Once, our John Deere 2840 (80hp, 9000lbs) got stuck while pulling a fertilizer spreader.  The 730 came to the rescue.  Greg hooked up the chain and started pulling before Pop-pop had a chance to put the John Deere in gear. The 730 pulled out the John Deere AND the spreader while the John Deere was in neutral!

Love this tractor!
We still have to keep going through all this rain.  The turnips and pickles still need to be harvested and packed every single day.  We gear up and get the work done.

Other jobs around the farm just don't get done when it is raining: pruning, staking, tying.

But we are still able to stay busy.  The tunnel tomatoes are pruned and clipped whilst the rain.  The  packing line has been thoroughly scrubbed and is in the process of getting pre-season maintenance.  Shop projects like the trash belts are coming along. There is always work to be done on a farm.

Romaine- I know it has been in the share for 6 weeks.  This weather has been good for the lettuce not too hot.

Rainbow Carrots- Aren't they just so pretty! Just use them like regular carrots.  Yum!

Beets- I love roasted beets. Here is my favorite recipe.

Broccoli/Cauliflower-  I was hoping to have enough of both so everyone got 2 heads of both, but remember back in early spring we had a spell of nice warm weather and then it snowed.  Well, we had planted the broccoli and cauliflower right before the snow.  The harsh weather killed about half the crop. :(  Anyway we are happy we have some to harvest.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

2013 week 5

Wet N' Wild

What a week we've had.  We've had nearly 6 inches of rain in the last couple of days.  Most vegetables prefer about 1 inch a week.  Needless to say we are all feeling a little water-logged. 

Thankful for our sandy soils in this kind of weather pattern. Water generally goes right through.  Even so, tractors have been getting stuck in the mud, making unwanted ruts.  Rain suits and boots are getting lots of use. 

Since the weather has been so unpredictable, we were thankful for a break in the rain for our farm tour.  Saturday afternoon the sun came out and it was BEAUTIFUL!  Thank you to every one who came.  We had a lovely time getting to know you and sharing the farm with you. 

 This weeks share. Not pictured pick-your-own snap peas and flowers.

Kirby Pickles are making another appearance.

Yellow Squash- I just love yellow squash cooked with onion!  Or Here is a link to a satisfying yellow squash casserole.

Zucchini- This may be the week to make THE BEST STUFFED ZUCCHINI EVER.

Spring Onion- They are fresh and not dried, meaning you need to use them up within a week.  And keep them in the fridge until you are ready to use them. 

Cabbage- I've already made coleslaw.  And I have an Asian Slaw recipe in the meal plan for later this week. Cabbage is also great cooked in soups and stews

Basil- like to be stored in water, like flowers. Eric and I totally apologize for having Basil in the share and no tomatoes.  Our bad.  Miscalculation.  Can you help us out by being creative with your basil this week.--- I'm thinking basil pesto, basil hummus.  What else can we do with basil?

Friday, June 7, 2013

My All Time Favorite Salad

Shout out to my good friend Rachael who first introduced me to this salad quite a few years back.  Rachael and I share much in common, our love of food, trying new recipes, and browsing cookbooks.  Throughout our friendship she has introduced me to many wonderful foods: BBQ chicken nachos, Cheesecake Factory Factory Burrito, Bean Corn Salsa, Iced Lattes, Death by Chocolate Cupcakes, Amish Market Donuts, and the list goes on.   Gosh, writing all this makes me NEED a girls night out with my girls!  Love you Rachael! This one is for you.

My All Time Favorite Salad

First grill some chicken.  

During the last couple minutes of cooking slather in BBQ sauce.

While the chicken is grilling cut up 1 onion, 1 red, and 1 green pepper.  I make this salad in the winter with Buzby peppers that I froze.

Saute the peppers and onions with a little bit of olive oil. 
Don't forget to season with salt and pepper.
 Now take the sugar snap peas you picked and cut the top off.
Steam the sugar snap peas for a couple minutes.
Now its time to assemble the salad. Start by making a nice big pile of romaine leaves on your dinner plate.
Add some slices of BBQ grilled chicken.
 Next add the peppers and onions.
 Then the sugar snap peas.
 The next layer is cheese! Provolone cheese.  Cut into strips.
 Add cheese slices to salad.
 Now this is when the magic happens. 
 Add a couple globs of dressing.  You won't believe how good this flavor combination is.  The crisp lettuce with the warm chicken, peppers, and snap peas, then the cheese melts from the warmth of the chicken. Then the tangy blue cheese!  It's amazing.
 Now for the kids I keep all the ingredients separate.  They like it like that.
 Oh yeah!

Feel free to modify with a different dressing if blue cheese isn't your thing, but I do believe you will be missing out.

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

2013 week 4

Full share sugar snap peas are pick-your-own

A couple newbies to the share this week.

Kholrabi- German Cabbage.  It tastes like broccoli stems.  My post about Kholrabi from last year.  This year's photo recipe for Kholrabi Ham Bake. Try it. . . you'll like it!

Kirby Pickles-   A variety of cucumber that are used for making pickles.  Many people really enjoy Kirby pickles because they have less and smaller seeds than your traditional cuc.  Use them atop our salad or make a quick refrigerator pickle.  Here is a recipe from "A Couple Cooks". 

Escarole is a bitter green from the chicory family.  Link to my escarole soup recipe.
Other escarole recipes:

Crazy for Kholrabi

I am so glad I have the wonderful opportunity of introducing many of you for the first time to Kholrabi.

It is SO delicious.  I just know you will love it! Just try it!

Kholrabi Ham Bake ( from Simply Recipes)

Absolutely delicious!  We had it for dinner, but it could be a breakfast/brunch food!

So lets get this party started.

 Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large-ish pan.
Add 2-3 kholrabi (peeled and diced) to the pan.

Dice 8oz of thick sliced ham.  I bought a ham steak and cut it into bite sized pieces
Her comes the good stuff. CREAM.  Mmmm.
Separate 3 eggs.  We need the yolks for this recipe.  Add 1 cup of heavy cream.
Add 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
Add 2 tablespoons of fresh, chopped parsley. And season with salt and pepper.
Whisk together.
Your kholrabi has been cooking for about 10 minutes and is lookin' gooooood!
Now it's time to put it all together.  Add half the kholrabi to a 9x9 baking dish.
Add the ham.
Add the rest of the kholrabi and pour on the sauce.  Bake 350 for 30 minutes.
This food was accepted by all members of the family.  Even the pickiest, little guy.

Kholrabi Ham Bake
3 Tablespoon butter
2-3 kohlrabi, peeled and diced
8 ounces thick ham, diced
2 Tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
3 egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
Salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet, melt the butter on medium heat. Add the diced kohlrabi and gently cook for 8 to 10 minutes. In a bowl add the egg yolks, cream, flour, parsley, salt and pepper.  Whisk until well combined. Place half of the cooked kohlrabi on the bottom of an 9x9 casserole dish. Add on the diced ham. Top with the remaining kohlrabi. Pour the sauce ingredients over the kohlrabi and ham.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly browned on top.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Excited for Escarole

Escarole is a lovely bitter green that is in the chicory family along with radicchio and endive.

I normally think of escarole as a "soup green."

So here is my version of Escarole Meatball Soup (Italian Wedding Soup)

First step: Wash your escarole.  Wash it just like all the other greens from the farm and store in the fridge wrapped up in paper towels inside of a ziploc bag.

Heat 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a soup pot,
Chop 2 celery stalks, 2 carrots, and a medium onion.  Add to the pan.

Season with salt and pepper and add two bay leaves.  *Remember to pluck the bay leaves out of the soup before serving.  They are only for flavor, not for eating.
While the veggies are cooking, start the meatballs.  I used a meatball mix of beef, pork, and veal.  You could use whatever you like, just beef, or turkey.
To the ground meat add 1/2 cup of bread crumbs.
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg and 2 cloves garlic, minced.  I didn't have any garlic, so I just added some garlic powder.
Mix well.
After the veggies have cooked for about 5 minutes add 6 cups of chicken broth.

And 2 cups water.  Bring to a boil.

While you wait for the broth to boil start rolling your little meatballs.  I love making them pretty small, but that also means more meatballs to roll. 
When the soup has come to a rolling boil add the meatballs one at a time.

Add 1 1/2 cups of pasta.  My kids choose mini shells, but orzo would be good too. Cook until the pasta is tender 8-10 minutes.
Give your escarole a rough chop. I used about a pound which was 2 heads.

Add the escarole to the soup in batches.  Stirring until it is wilted.

Escarole Meatball Soup ( adapted from Rachael Ray)
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 lb meatball mix (a mixture of beef, pork, and veal)
1 egg
2 gloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
1 1/2 cups pasta
1 lb fresh escarole (you could use any green like, spinach or swiss chard) roughly chopped

In a soup pot heat 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil over medium heat.  Add carrots, celery, onion, and bay leaves.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile mix up the meatballs.  In a large bowl mix, meat mixture, egg, cheese, bread crumbs, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

Add broth and water to the soup pot.  Bring to a rolling boil.  Roll the meat mixture into small bowls and add to the soup pot one at a time.  After all the meatballs are in the soup add the pasta.  Cook for 8-10 minutes or until the pasta is tender.  Then add the escarole in batches stirring until wilted.  Check seasonings and serve.

Happy Cooking!