Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 15, CSA

Health y Food Can Be a Big Change with Big Benefits

Accessing healthy food grown on local farms is easier now more than ever. Almost every county in Kentucky has a farmers market with local food items, CSA programs are available from more farms, and some restaurants are sourcing locally for menu items. Many farms (including Elmwood) participate in the WIC program and Senior program that gives vouchers to low income seniors and young mothers to spend on Kentucky grown fruit and vegetables. And many farmers markets are set up to process SNAP or EBT benefits as well.

Changing a family’s food consumption from processed items purchased at a conventional grocery store chain to local produced foods, eating food that is in season where you live, food offered for sale at an independent food market or restaurant, and food items you grow yourself are all more than just a simple choice – it does turn into a change in lifestyle. Not having all the ingredients in that recipe you saw on TV, having family members unwilling to try foods that are “different”, or not having enough time to think through your meal preparation are all real challenges.

However, often folks find surprising benefits if they get far enough into the lifestyle change. Examples are weight loss from including more vegetables and whole foods in the diet, healthier medical test results, quality family time as meals are prepared and eaten together, better food choices by the kids at school, and people are generally happier as a result of consciously eating nutritiously and becoming well-nourished.
While some CSA members are making plans for seasonal vacations, many others are back into the routines of school schedules. Unusual weather patterns this August push us to think a little bit about fall, but from the growing season on the farm, we are really just about halfway through the year. Continuous producing summer veggies like tomatoes and yellow squash have been coming ripe for harvest for several weeks, and items that have a one-time harvest like cabbage and sweet corn have had somewhat good growing conditions with all the rainfall. We still have a few items that take the whole summer to reach maturity like sweet potatoes and onions, other items like spinach and lettuce prefer the shorter, cooler days of autumn for their primary growth and harvest. 
The summer season CSA program goes through the week of September 28th - October 1st. We offer a shorter season Fall CSA that runs October through mid-December. Shares are expected to contain some combination of cooking greens such as kale and collard; salad greens; root crops such as turnips, radishes and beets; and storage items such as potatoes and winter squashes. We offer only one share size and pickup is every second week: 6 pickups over the three months. Some members are already signed up, and we have the Fall Season signup available on our website now. Organic pastured chicken shares, grass-fed beef shares, bone broth shares, egg shares, and pantry shares are available for the Fall also. The pickup locations are fewer due to weather conditions in December that move us from some of the neighborhood pickups to indoor pickup locations.
This time of the season, we start taking pre-orders for Elmwood’s organic heritage breed and broad-breasted breed turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas. You can reserve the type of turkey you want in the size range that meets your family’s needs, and then we’ll make arrangements for pickup at the farm or at one of our Fall CSA pickup locations the week prior to the holiday. We were extremely honored last fall to be featured in Cook’s Illustrated magazine as a “Recommended” farm to acquire a heritage breed turkey out of several turkeys that were sampled. Once the feature was published, our turkeys quickly sold out with calls coming in from all over the country. Please contact us by email, and we can send you all the details regarding the different types of turkeys we raise, sizes we expect to be available, and pricing. Or, just google Elmwood Stock Farm Turkeys – they have their own blog website, and some nice photos also.
In Your Share :
Sweet Corn
Hot Chile Pepper
Sweet Bell Pepper
Green Beans
Jose Andres Tomato Sandwich (makes 4)
½ C mayonnaise
1 T Dijon-type mustard
2 tsp capers, chopped
2 tsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ tsp fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt
1 large tomato
4 brioche buns, split in half and toasted
2 avocados, halved and cut into 12 slices
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Olive oil, for drizzling
¼ C pickled onions
1 C alfalfa sprouts
To make herbed mayo: In a small bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, capers, parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and set aside. Makes 1 cup.
To make the sandwich: Prepare an ice bath. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Using a paring knife, cut a small "x" on the bottom of each tomato. Using a slotted spoon, lower the tomato into the boiling water and cook until the skin starts to peel back slightly, 10 to 20 seconds. Immediately transfer the tomato to the ice bath. After about 10 to 15 seconds, remove the tomato from the ice bath and use the paring knife to peel off the skin. Cut the tomato into four ¾-inch-thick slices.
Spread both halves of each bun with the herbed mayonnaise. Season the tomato and avocado slices with salt and pepper. Place 1 tomato slice and a few slices of avocado on each bottom bun, then drizzle with olive oil. Top each sandwich with pickled onions, alfalfa sprouts and the top bun, and serve.
Garlicky Green Beans food on the food The author of this recipe reports: The kids used to hate green beans prepared this way, but now they love them. We love the basic recipe, but there are lots of variations, too. You can add 1 T of chopped scallions and/or minced fresh ginger. You can add a splash of toasted sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Or you can heat things up with a half teaspoon of sriracha or some sliced fresh chilies. It's all good.
1 lb green beans, trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 T vegetable oil
1 T soy sauce
1 tsp hoisin sauce (or honey)
1 T rice wine or white wine (or water)
1 T finely chopped garlic
Pinch of kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté the green beans, tossing occasionally, for about 7 minutes or until they blister and brown in places but are still crisp-tender, not mushy. Remove the green beans to a plate. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and rice wine. Set aside. Add the garlic to the hot pan and stir-fry for about 20 seconds until fragrant but not browning. Add the beans and sauce, and stir until heated through and the sauce reduces to a thick glaze, 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
Scalloped Tomatoes
4 slices bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 small onion, chopped
¼ C seasoned dry bread crumbs
3 medium tomatoes, sliced ¼-inch thick
In pan over medium heat, cook bacon until done, remove bacon and set aside. Discard all but 1 T fat. Add onion to pan, cook until translucent, 5-7 minutes. Stir in bread crumbs. Cook 3-4 minutes more until brown and crisp, stirring often during cooking to keep onions and bread from burning. Around edge of 9-inch oven-proof pie plate, arrange tomato slices overlapping.  Sprinkle crumbs and bacon on tomatoes. Put into 350°F oven for 12-15 minutes until heated through.
Baked Eggs in Tomato Cups, Vegetarian Times
8 medium tomatoes
1/3 C grated Parmesan cheese
8 organic eggs
1 T fresh or 1 tsp dried herbs (oregano, chervil, basil or sage)
Preheat oven to 425°F. Slice tops off tomatoes and scoop out seeds and pulp. Place tomatoes in shallow baking dish, and sprinkle cavities with salt, pepper and pinches of cheese. Crack one egg into each tomato. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, herbs and remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes for soft yolks, 30 to 35 minutes for hard yolks. Serve immediately.
Sweet and Sour Greens from Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert’s Simply In Season, serves 4
1 bunch fresh greens (kale!)
1 medium onion
¼ C dried cranberries or raisins
2 cloves garlic
3 T white or cider vinegar
1 ½ T sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse and pat dry kale.  Remove stems and discard.  Stack leaves, roll up, and slice in 1 inch strips.  Saute onion about 2 minutes in deep frypan in 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add rest of ingredients to pan, cover and cook for 7-8 minutes.  Place chopped leaves on top of the mixture, cover and cook another 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir and serve.
Creamy Potato Salad
2 ¼ lb white potatoes, scrubbed
3 tsp salt, divided
2 large plum tomatoes, diced
3 T finely chopped onion
½ C mayonnaise
2 T white balsamic or white-wine vinegar
½ tsp pepper
Cut potatoes into 1-inch pieces. Bring potatoes, 2 tsp salt, and enough cold water to cover by 2 inches to boil in a large saucepan. Cook 15 to 17 minutes, until fork tender.  Drain potatoes in colander. Rinse under cold running water just until cooled to room temperature. Drain again. Meanwhile cook tomatoes in a skillet over medium-high heat 3 to 4 minutes or until thick. Cool. Combine tomatoes, onion, mayonnaise, vinegar, remaining tsp salt, and pepper in food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to medium bowl. Add potatoes and toss to coat.