Fresh This Week
Notes from the Farm
Busy time at the farm, planting, weeding, picking. I spent the last two evenings in a field cultivating. The cool evening, with the air full of honeysuckle sweetness. Wonderful time to get work done after a hot day in the field picking berries. Lots more to plant to keep crops coming all season long.
Garlic scapes are the sprout of the garlic plant—a thin green stalk that curls above the ground and is more tender and sweeter than the bulbs that grow below ground. The season for garlic scapes is only a couple weeks; after that, they become tough.
Scapes can be used in place of garlic, scallions, onions or ramps in most recipes. They have a garlic taste, but it is milder and “fresher” than that of garlic cloves. They are a great addition to croquettes, guacamole, omelets, stir fries, salads and more. For a colorful take on garlic butter, mix chopped garlic scapes with softened butter, and other herbs if you like; herbed butters will keep refrigerated for a couple weeks.
Scapes store well for a couple weeks.
Garlic Scape Pesto
To make a quick garlic scape pesto (using garlic scapes instead of the more traditional basil), combine in a food processor until smooth:
½ cup almonds or pine nuts
½ cup olive oil
½ cup grated parmesan
1 cup garlic scapes
Serve immediately with your favorite pasta or crusty bread, or refrigerate and use within a few days. Note that this pesto is for serious garlic lovers. Since the garlic scapes are not cooked in this preparation, though milder than raw garlic, they still have a strong flavor in this quantity.
Recipe: modified from SeriousEats.com
Links of the Week
For more garlic and garlic scape recipe ideas, visit 2sistersgarlic, or try this white bean and garlic scapes dip from the New York Times. (You'll need one can of cannellini beans, garlic scapes, fresh lemon, salt, pepper and olive oil for the dip.)
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Fresh This Week
Friday, May 21, 2010
Fresh this Week
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Notes from the Farm
It is a busy time of year at the farm. We planted peppers, more tomatoes, eggplant and melons this week. Rain has prevented us from doing much weed control but as soon as it stops and the soil dries we will have to get right after the weeds. Weeds never sleep! Weather is cooler than normal but strawberries are coming in full. I hope you all enjoy the flavor of our traditional strawberries. They are not as large in size as the berries you see in a store, but they are giganic in flavor compared to those strawberry look alikes!
Fresh mint comes in two main varieties: spearmint, which has bright green wrinkled leaves, and peppermint, which has smooth leaves. Chop or crush fresh leaves to release their flavor (remove stems). Mint is traditional with peas or potatoes, but it goes well with many fruits, vegetables, yogurt-based sauces and chutneys. Or, if you're feeling more festive, try mojitos.
When I have fresh mint, I make Indian food, including the raita (a cold yogurt dish) recipe below. It's also great in tabouleh, served alongside warm pitas and hummus.
1/2 cup fine- to medium-grind bulgur wheat
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (adjust according to taste)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups roughly chopped parsley leaves
1 cup roughly chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 cup shopped green onionsSoak bulgur in hot water to cover until tender, 15 to 30 minutse. Drain well, squeezing out as much water as possible. Toss with oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
Just before serving, add remaining ingredients and toss gently. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.
Sources: How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman 2008, and The Food Life. Photo: wikipedia.com
1 large cucumber, diced1 cup thick plain yogurt1 clove garlic, minced1-2 tbsp. fresh mint, chopped1 tsp. salt½ tsp. grated fresh ginger½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Add yogurt right before serving. (Keeps in fridge without the yogurt for up to 2 days.) Serve with fresh naan, tandoori anything, or a great masala or daal.
Recipe: The Kitchen Studio
Link of the Week
This news article from the Associated Press reports a "persuasive" link between ADHD in children and organophosphates (a common type of pesticide) used to grow fruits and vegetables. Yet another reason to eat organic!
Your Recipes, Blog Links and CSA Cooking Tips Wanted!
If you've got great recipes for any items you'd like to share, please send them to email@example.com. We'll generally need them by Sunday for inclusion in that week's newsletter. Also, if you're blogging about your CSA share, please send us a link to your blog so we can include them all here in a future edition. Thanks, and happy cooking!
Speaking Of the Farmers’ Market…Have you been yet? Did you pick up some of our seasonal berry shortcake biscuits and pair it either with strawberries or rhubarb or both??? These are a variation on our light and fluffy Moxie biscuits and tricked out with some fresh thyme and lemon zest, sprinkled with coarse sugar and served with strawberries and whipped cream, they’re a delicious dessert while they last. We also carry breads at the farmers’ market every week. Every loaf is vegan, two are whole wheat, and they’re all yummy for sandwiches, French toast or just al fresco with a salad or a steak. Volunteer and you can spend the whole morning with our booth o' delicious!
The Mission of Cakes for Cause is to empower vulnerable youth and develop social enterprises that engage the community in cultivating meaningful employment and educational opportunities to teach work and life skills. In Frederick, Cakes for Cause operates Moxie Bakery & Café, a social enterprise that trains youth in the hospitality industry.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I am back from the West Frederick Farmers Market. I brought my boyfriend Lou and my dog Lucy with me. I love going to the market with Lou; he is from Athens, Greece originally. He says farmers markets when he grew up involved a lot more haggling and hawking. He tells me about the guy who sold olive oil and offered samples on fresh, rustic bread. The ocean was less than half a mile away, so vendors sold seafood. They sold grains, produce, meats. He said there were lots of varieties of grapes, olives, and feta cheeses from different regions like Attica or Chios or Crete. It's neat to think about how each place can have a totally different market flavor; and that's the point.
We got to the market a little after ten this morning, and it was bustling. Perhaps people found out that strawberries are in! We bought three pints from Jubilee Organic Farm along with two bunches of asparagus. Lou wanted to get the fatter asparagus from Richard at Scenic View Orchards, but the weather this week in Sabillasville was not warm enough to produce much; Richard said that the wet weather was good for the asparagus but the cold was not. We got a bunch of radishes from Summer Creek Farm and chatted with Rick for a while. We also talked to Tim, the Truffle King; I am so sad that I can't eat truffles anymore since I quit eating dairy. He had strawberry and caramel truffles in addition to his chocolate ones. Dave and his son were working at Chesapeake's Choice today; we bought two dozen multicolored eggs from them. Their eggs are gorgeous on the inside too, with a rich, dark yolk that is light years away from grocery store eggs. I bought a gluten-free rice krispie treat from A Better Choice Baked Goods and shared pieces of it with several people. I bought a large, gorgeous bag of spinach for $3 and chatted with Gwen from Glade-Link Farm for a little bit. Their u-pick operation for strawberries begins tomorrow, 5/16, at 7AM. Call 301.898.7131 before you go to make sure they haven't run out. Strawberries will be $1.50 per pound. This info isn't on their website yet, so you get first dibs.
Lucy wandered around and sniffed other dogs. She was very happy. Lou and I talked to our friends. We had a great morning. Then we went home and made bacon burger burritos with fresh greens from the market. I love Saturdays.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Welcome all to the 2010 season. The warm weather has accelerated some crops. We are hoping this does not causes a hole in the produce as we go through the early stuff and current cool weather delays the later produce. Time will tell. I hope you enjoy all the fresh produce we have for you and tell your friends. You can email me at any time with comments or suggestions. Enjoy the season! We are busy planting much more!
Fresh this Week
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About Your Newsletter
To give you some tips on what to do with some of the produce, and let you know what’s coming, we’ll send out a newsletter every week. The same newsletter is sent to all pick-up locations. Since produce becomes available when it wants to, box contents may vary from location to location and day to day. The list included in these weekly newsletters is our best guess as of newsletter publication time (which may also vary from week to week, depending on when Farmer Rick can tell us what will be in the boxes).
Recipes, tips and suggestions are encouraged. To contact Farmer Rick directly, please email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broccoli raab, also known as broccoli rape, rabe or rapini, is a longtime regular in Italian cooking. With a stronger, more bitter taste than broccoli, broccoli raab is a welcome addition to the adventurous cook’s repertoire. To prepare, trim the dry ends of the stems and pull off any yellowing or wilted leaves. To serve plain, parboil (boil briefly), and shock with ice water to preserve the green color. It is done when you can insert a skewer or thin-bladed knife into the thickest part of the stalk. Overcooked broccoli raab becomes mushy. You can substitute turnip or mustard greens in place of broccoli raab successfully in many recipes. Broccoli raab is an excellent source of Vitamin K, and is also high in Vitamins A and C.
Sources: How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman, and nutritiondata.com.
Basic Pasta with Broccoli Raab
This recipe works well with other leafy greens or regular broccoli as well - simply adjust the cooking time for the greens according to their toughness.
1 bunch broccoli raab
2-4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2-6 cloves chopped garlic, to taste
1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 pound box small pasta shells
¼ cup fresh grated parmesan (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil with salt. Boil the broccoli raab whole until it is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. When hot add the garlic and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook just until it begins to sizzle, then lower heat to keep warm. Scoop the raab out of the water carefully, then drain, chop into 1-2 inch pieces and add to skillet. Scoop boiling water into the skillet 1-2 tbsp at a time to keep moist as needed. Use the remaining boiling water to cook the pasta according to the package’s “al dente” instructions, then drain and add pasta to skillet. Stir to combine, add parmesan and salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Recipe: Adapted from How to Cook Everything, by Mark Bittman, 2008.
Link of the Week
Strawberry shortcake with whole grain biscuits and an interesting twist on cream, from Eating Well.
Shopping list items for this recipe (things you may not keep in stock):
Neufchâtel (reduced fat cream cheese)
Heavy whipping cream
Reduced fat sour cream
Buttermilk (optional, if you have vinegar - see tip in recipe)
White whole-wheat flour or whole grain pastry flour (both available at the Common Market in Frederick)
Friday, May 7, 2010
Greetings from the farm. With Mother's Day being this weekend, I will have plenty of meats available for you to prepare her the best home cooked meal ever. Beef will include ribeye, strip, T-bone, porterhouse, sirloin, flank, and skirt steaks; eye round, boneless chuck, and sirloin tip roasts; stew cubes, ground round, and steak burgers. Pork will include boneless loin roasts, pork chops, spare ribs, country style ribs, boneless butts, and bacon. Mild Italian, bratwurst, applewurst, and sage sausage will be fresh while country, hot Italian, and maple will be frozen. Lamb will include butterflied legs, boneless shoulders, shanks, Frenched racks, loin chops, arm chops, ground lamb, and lamb sausage. I will also have whole chickens, cutup chickens, and eggs. Have a good week and I will see you at the market.
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Click on the image to see it larger
As you can see, "Spring has Sprung" and we're blossoming out, not only in the fields, but also in our market store. Our MARKET opens this Saturday May 1st, and we have awakened our apples out of their winter sleep storage, so we can provide you with fresh, crisp, "just picked from the tree" flavor. We have all your favorites, like fresh pies and an assortment of baked goods, pear and apple cider, jams and jellies, hanging baskets, crafts, mixes, peanuts, sauces, dressings, munchies, fudges, candles, and lots of local items, etc, etc. We also carry a lot of sugar free items for those watching their sugar intake.
COMING SOON: KALE, SPRING ONIONS, SQUASH & LETTUCE
We will keep you informed on all new arrivals through the 2010 season as they become available through www.catoctinmtorchard.com and eBlasts.
To catch you up on our activities over the last few months, let's just say it's been non-stop. From tree trimming, to removing old trees, to planting new varieties of trees, to getting the soil prepared, to planting early season veggies, to starting seedlings in the greenhouses, to getting the latest education info from workshops and seminars, to getting the market spruced up to making a better product for you - wow, makes me tried just thinking about it.
We've already started our tour season, showing where the food comes from, starting new trees through grafting, testing of varieties (looking for the best), conservation practices, selling retail, bee keeping, and Ecological Management.
We look forward to seeing you again as we kick off the new 2010 market season. Make sure you come and seeing the beautiful rolling hillsides of Catoctin, as she shows off all her blossoming splendor.
The Harry Black Family
Greetings Chocolate Lovers: