Thursday, March 31, 2011

P&P CSA - March 31, 2011 Teaser Box

What's in the Box:

Purple Passion Asparagus, Meyer Lemons, Dancy Tangerines, Bull's Blood Beets, Carrots - Oxheart, Nantes, Paris Market.  Parsnips - The Student & Guernsey.  Spring Onions - Red & Yellow.  Curly Parsley

Grape Jelly and Dried Italian Herbs.

What's in the Grape Jelly:  Organic Grapes, Organic Sugar & Pomona's Pectin.  Please return the empty jars in your bag when you're done.  

What's in the Italian Dried Herbs:  Organic:  Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Rosemary, & Parsley.  Use it in eggs, spaghetti sauce, stew, soup, butter, garlic bread...etc.

Post Harvest Production and storage. 

Saving leeks & onions for seed
All of your produce is field washed.  That means, you should wash it again before you eat it.  Lightly washed produce stores better than heavily scrubbed produce.  We never wash the eggs, so when you start getting eggs, please rinse them in water slightly warmer than the temperature of the eggs.  Do this just before you use them.  This helps prevent washing bacterial into the eggs.  Eggs should always be refrigerated and are good for up to three months from the date on the carton.

Fresh Herbs.  Store your fresh herbs in a jar with water in it on the counter.  Just like flowers.  Do not refrigerate.  After 3 days, if you haven't used them all, place them on a cookie sheet under a clean dishtowel on top of your fridge and let them dry till crunchy.  Now store them away and you have organic dried herbs.

Asparagus.  Store in a coffee cup with at least an inch of water in the bottom, in the fridge.  Eat them tonight or tomorrow.  Asparagus sugar starts converting to starch very quickly.  The purple passion are much sweeter than the green.  After a week, you won't notice any flavor difference between the purple and the green.   Also, the metabolite called methanethiol which makes that funny smell in your pee after eating asparagus increases.

Refrigerate citrus unless your going to eat them up right away.  (Put them in the crisper drawer).

Strawberries Soon!
Carrots, parsnips and beets should all be stored in the fridge.  The fresher you eat them, the more vitamins they have.  Don't store any of these near apples or pears since they will make them bitter.
As these have been field washed, resist the temptation to wash them until you are going to eat them.

Asparagus and Hollandaise
Trim the last inch or two off the bottom of the asparagus.  Put a small amount of liquid in a frying pan and bring to a boil.  Add the asparagus, cover, and turn off the heat.  No peeking.  Keep covered for 5 minutes.  Make the Hollandaise.

 Hollandaise Sauce
 4 egg yolks
 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
 Pinch cayenne

Vigorously whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice together in a stainless steel bowl and until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a pan containing barely simmering water.  The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl. Continue to whisk rapidly. Be careful not to let the eggs get too hot or they will scramble. Slowly add in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the sauce is thickened and doubled in volume. Remove from heat, whisk in cayenne and salt. Cover and keep warm.  Serve on top cooked asparagus.

Parsnip Chips
4 parsnips
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups vegetable oil for frying
chili powder
cayenne pepper
Peel parsnips and slice into 1/4 inch rounds. Bring a pan of lightly salted water to a boil, and add parsnips. Cook for about 5 minutes, until tender but still crisp. Drain, and cool slightly. Dip slices in melted butter, and place on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until the butter is firm, about 30 minutes.  Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Coat parsnip slices in flour, then fry in the hot oil until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels, and season.

Have a great week.  See you all in May.

Friday, March 25, 2011

March 25, 2011

Quick, someone sing the song about the Itsy Bitsy Spider...I want to hear about how the sun came out and dried up all the rain!

As you can see, the last 2 inches of rain we had on top of the previous 4 inches of rain have left things a bit wet.  What we are looking at is the plot of spring veges, mostly underwater.  This will delay the CSA boxes until at least May.  I need 3 solid weeks of sunshine to get into the fields again.

My normal planting date is April 15.  That's exactly 3 weeks from now.
So, I don't think there will be any deliveries for April.  All is not lost however,
I would like to deliver a basket next week to all the People and Planet folk.  Because, as you can see, the asparagus is not deterred by all this rain.   So there will be a FREE box of some greens, lemons, asparagus, herbs and flowers.   I'd like to deliver this next Thursday.  Anyone who is not interested or won't be around, please drop me an e-mail. 

To the left is all the veges that I have not been able to plant due to the rain.  The onions, garlic and tomatoes look great.   Many wonderful seeds have come in from Italy from other small farmers and a few from scientists and plant breeders around the world.

Since it's been raining, we haven't been sitting on our hands.  Check out the new Organic Hemp CSA bag made for us by of Vermont.  Any one looking for a great sturdy bag, made in America here they are.  Susan's work is impeccable and her service was terrific.

The little bags below are the ones I have sewed for fresh greens.  Leo and I dyed and stamped the organic cotton this winter.  When wet they will keep greens from wilting and will save on plastic bags.  You can store your veges in the bags in your fridge.  They can be washed in the washer and dried in the dryer, or line dried.  Just return them with your bag.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just We 3 - CSA - March 15, 2010

What's in the Box?  
Di Sicilia Violetto Cauliflower, Portuguese Cabbage,  Spring Welsh Onions, Purple Passion Asparagus, Beets, Swiss Chard, Oxheart Carrots, Guernsey Parsnips,  Meyer Lemons, Walnuts, Dancy Tangerines, Spaghetti Squash,  Parsley, and Flowers.

Spaghetti Sauce and a wee bit o' the Irish.

Dancy is one of the oldest tangerine varieties known in Florida. The variety originated in 1867 from a seed of Moragne tangerine in the grove of Colonel F. L. Dancy of Orange Mills. The Dancy was known as the zipper skin tangerine for its loose, pliable peel.  Most tangerines can be grown from seed, so be careful where you spit.

As you probably all know, things have been right tough all over.  In San Martin there are a lot of migrant camps.  They are now almost empty and there are lots of vacant houses near us.  Many with tenement camps in their yards.  As a result of this sudden shift, we have been having problems with rats.  We haven't even seen a rat here for 20 years.  But, they are back.  This one made the mistake of trying to steel food from the chickens.  Salman Rushdie The Rooster in charge gave him the dispatch.  Leo is here batting clean-up.   Me, I'm standing on a chair screaming.
And what were the cat's doing?  Well here's the head huntress, M'ma Tutsi, fierce warrior in all her glory.  I had just sorted the farm receipts to do the taxes and she came through the window with a mouse in her mouth.  Here she is looking through my filing for the mouse.  It's under her.

So, this is your last box until April.  Sad isn't it?

But look at this would you?  How the heck can I plant my corn early if I can't find the field?  The rain gauge tells it all, 4 inches of rain and an inch of snow floating on top.

Here's that same field on Sunday.  Dry at last... hey look the fava beans are still there!  Hooray, so are the potatoes and spinach.  There is hope.  The peas are up.  I planted another 50' row on Saturday, so I have high hopes for April.  The second half of May is supposed to be drier.  I'll trying to get more broccoli and cauliflower in this week.  If it doesn't rain. 

So what to do with all those lemons:

Meyer Lemon Curd
3 Meyer lemons

3/4 C. Sugar

2 large eggs

1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 C.), cut into 6 pieces

Finely grate zest from lemons, and squeeze enough juice for 1/2 cup (my meyer lemons were so juicy, I only needed 2 1/2 lemons to get 1/2 cup juice.

Beat the sugar and butter together.  Then add the eggs.  Then add the lemon juice and zest.  Use a heavy pan, stainless steel, anodized aluminum, or enamel.  Pour the mixture into this heavy pan and over medium heat until it thickens to proper consistency (170 degrees and it’s cooked).  This takes about 10 minutes of stirring.  Don’t boil it, it will curdle, and don’t forget...keep stirring.  You’ll have about 16 oz. of silky decadent curd that fits neatly into two 8 oz. jars. One for you, and one for a friend.

Lemony Snicket Bars
    •    1 cup unsalted butter
    •    2 cups all-purpose flour
    •    1 cup white sugar
    •    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    •    1 (10 ounce) jar lemon curd
    •    2/3 cup flaked coconut
    •    1/2 cup toasted and chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter. Add the flour, sugar and baking soda. Mix until the mixture forms coarse crumbs.   Pat 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of one 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly.
Spread the lemon curd over the baked layer. To the remaining 1/3 of crumb mixture add the coconut and the almonds. Sprinkle over the top of the lemon curd. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake bars for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.