Entries categorized "local food"

csa share :: week 11

csa week 11

 

csa week 11

 

csa week 11

 

csa week 11

 

csa week 11

 

csa week 11

 

This week's farm share included:

tomatoes of all sizes (two pints of cherries + 8 pounds of slicers)

dandelion greens

savoy

chard

basil

red onion

carrots

radish

cucumbers

peppers (bell + hot)

*plus I picked up 40 pounds of paste tomatoes at $1.25 a pound! 

 

We had a good visit with my mom and we're getting back into our groove as a family of six. The big kids are registered for public school and start next week. 9th and 12 th grade! I can't really beleive it. The school is known for having a great drama department and Jade was really excited to take drama as an elective. And art, of course. I think the big kid has decided to take psychology and an extra science class as his elective. Night & day these two of mine.

But, back to the food....

Local summer food happenings in my kitchen::

*giant delicious heirloom tomatoes eaten like apples by my kids, sliced with a bit of salt for Joe & I.

*The kitchen will be full of salsa making all day today. some traditional stuff and I'm trying my hand at a half gallon of this.... have any of you made fermented salsa before? I have only eaten it. it's really delicious in that tangy sour way that fermented foods are. I'm hoping the kids like it.

*roasted tomatoes, garlic + onion blended with a bit of veggie broth makes a delicious tomato soup. we like ours with a bit of shredded sharp cheddar on top. and red pepper flakes, of course.

*this frittatta

*making this today too (from last week's eggplant)

*one pan pasta

 

What's yummy and local in your neck of the woods?

 


csa share :: week 10 + summer food......

Firstly..... thank you all for the sweet words yesterday. I'm always a little uncertain when baring my soul like that.... and you are always so sweet & fill my heart up. Seriously awesome. Thank you~

Secondly, Monday was one of those rough days. We had a ton of things to get done, Joe got in a fender bender on the way home from work. Scary but no one was hurt. He & I ran a zillion errands and arrived home totally exhausted at 8:30 (then tackled building a bed for the big kid, it was a long night!) Needless to say, there was not a speck of sunlight to get a lovely photo of our share this week. Instead you'll have to settle for this::

 

csa share :: week 10 + summer food......

 

This week's farm share included : 

. lots of tomatoes . cucumbers . the last zucchini . potatoes . onions . salad mix .

. eggplant .yukina savoy . peppers . kale . sage . basil . oregano . 

 

But hey, don't leave yet, I do have something worth sharing today. A few simple dinners inspired by our farm shares. Easy, fresh, delicious, summer food. Enjoy.....

 

csa share :: week 10 + summer food......

*the* zucchini fritters. we love them. like really love them. especially with my new favorite summer salad : gently steamed green beans, boiled new potatoes & cherry tomato halves tossed with a generous amount of garlic scape pesto and a bit of olive oil & sea salt. amazing. really.

*

csa share :: week 10 + summer food......

 grandma karen's "cruddy tomatoes" : fresh diced tomatoes, basil, garlic, sea salt, fresh mozzerella + pasta. summer flavors at their finest.

*

csa share :: week 10 + summer food......

lastly, this : roasted tomatoes, chick peas, and sauteed kale. a bit of garlic and sea salt. sprinkled withfreshly grated asiago and some red pepper flakes. because really, red pepper flakes are awesome on everything. 

*

That's it for today. I'll be back Friday with some shop news and some link love and hopefully a great photo of blackberries after we find a local place to pick/visit while Grandma is here!

Happy local eating to you!

xo,

s

 


Farm . Food . Life

I'm sure most of you know that I am really passionate about supporting our local farmers. When we lived in Louisiana we drove over an hour twice a month to pick up farm veggies and talk with our "local" food growers. To see my kids interact with farmers and farm life makes my heart swoon with love. Plus coming home from farm visits with an abundance of local food is pretty darn awesome too.

In the past six years I've been lucky enough to live in places (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Louisiana, & now Massachusetts!) that I could get to know my farmer, even though sometimes it took a little effort or extra mile to do it. Something I've really enjoyed is meeting our next generation of farmers. Young people. People younger than me even.... choosing to take on one of the most important roles in our society: Growing Food! I am continuously in awe of farmers. They spend so much time and hard work so I can feed my family. They smile with gratitude when we pick up or CSA share. And they even take the time to answer my questions as a very novice gardener. How do I prune this tomato? What does soil ph mean? Do you think I can grow quinoa in Massachusetts?

Basically, they're a pretty amazing lot.

Somehow in the past week and a half I bumped internet elbows with the very talented farm photographer Kimberly Peck. The girl has got talent, let me tell you! I sent her a note telling her I had found her work and supported her kickstart project.... a day later I got an email with a heartfelt thank you and then we conversed back and forth about roasting tomatoes for sauce and freezing stuff in mason jars and making homemade pesto. Good stuff, right? She's a gem for sure.

Some of you may have seen her images on the pages of Taproot and she's got an amazing project in the works. She's self publishing a book this fall about farm life and food in New England :: Farm, Food, Life : Photos & Recipes Inspired by Local Farms. The book will share her visits to farms around New England and will also have farm fresh recipes inside. This is the kind of book a girl like me dreams of. I told her I would love to share her project on my blog and she graciously sent over a sneak peek of five gorgeous images that will be in the book! Gypsy Forest is the first place these have been published on the web, so you're really in for a treat!

 

_MG_3230 WEB

 

_MG_4180 WEB

 

_MG_7463 WEB

 

_MG_8341 WEB

 

garlic scape double WEB

 

In Kim's words : "In 2011, drawing inspiration from my childhood in Vermont and my home in the Monadnock Region, I began photographing local farms to support the growing local food movement and to feed my passion for documentary photography. The goal of my farm series is to use the visual narrative of photography to connect farmers and their communities. I want people to see who is growing their food and to understand the hard work that goes into farming. Every farm has a unique story to tell, and through the photographs, each farm has the opportunity to share theirs. During the past three years, I have documented over thirty farms, with more visits planned this year."


 

Amazing right? I'm completely inspired by what she's doing. I think something as beautiful as this book will encourage a whole lot of people to look closer at their plate, to seek out their local farmer and to visit their farmer's markets. 

So while I really, truly wanted to share this just because I love it, I also want to let you know that the project has nine more days to get funding. Even though Kim has met her minimum funding (yeah!), more backers means a bigger book and more farms and recipes she can share. If you'd like to donate a few dollars to make a dream project happen, that would be awesome

Thanks to Kim for the fabulous sneak peek, and for dreaming big.

Thanks to everyone who has helped her make this project happen too.... the magic that can happen when we pull together for a common dream is good stuff for sure.

much love,

stephinie

 


csa share :: week 9 + my late night tomato date.....

csa share :: week 9 + a late night tomato date.....

 

csa share :: week 9 + a late night tomato date.....

 

csa share :: week 9 + a late night tomato date.....

 

csa share :: week 9 + a late night tomato date.....

 

csa share :: week 9 + a late night tomato date.....

 

csa share :: week 9 + a late night tomato date.....

 

csa share :: week 9 + a late night tomato date.....

 

This week's share from the farm::

4 pints of cherry tomatoes

7 pounds of mixed tomatoes

2 heads of Lettuce

1 bag of Onions

1 bag of Beets

Swiss Chard

Savoy

Cucumbers

Zucchini & Summer Squash

Basil

Dill

Bell Peppers

Hot Peppers

Eggplant

 

Plus I picked up an extra 35 pounds of tomatoes to put up. I spent all day making this sauce yesterday. The last batch was finished up at 10:30. I doubled the garlic and added fresh basil from our share for the italian one. 35 pounds of tomatoes makes 9 quarts of sauce..... and it is out of this world awesome goodness. I did five marinara and four with just garlic. I imagine the plain one will make some seriously good tomato soup with a bit of veggie broth added to it. I filled wide mouth jars with a one inch head space and chilled them overnight. All of them went into the freezer this morning. As long as I follow these steps, I haven't had a jar break.

More good food stuff::

Zucchini Fritters, every week. I always make a triple batch so we can eat them cold for lunch the next day. Luke says "it's like a good vegetable pancake."

Erin made this. I want to eat at her house for dinner.

My big kid has been in Alaska with his grandparents for the past few months. When he comes home I am making him one of his favorites, Moussaka. I love how the chef in this post is honest about this being an insanely involved dish. Not a typical thing around here, but good for a little celebration.

Also, Ratatouille & Pickled Pink Eggplant & Beet Hummus.

 

What are you cooking up from the farm or garden? Do share....

 

xo,

s

 


lemongrass + lavender blueberry jam......

lavender + lemongrass blueberry jam

 

lavender + lemongrass blueberry jam

 

lavender + lemongrass blueberry jam

 

lavender + lemongrass blueberry jam

 

lavender + lemongrass blueberry jam

 

After 3 batches of simple blueberry jam, we are starting to get adventurous. I had my heart set on ginger, but didn't have it in the house. I did have lavender though. And lemongrass. Both dried herbs in the cabinet. I remembered the lavender peach butter from a few summers ago and I was instantly inspired. 

It turned out pretty good. Delicious in fact. Even the guy of the house gave it a thumbs up and he's not a huge lavender in his food fan. The floral flavor of lavender pairs beautifully with the berries. And the lemongrass just takes the whole thing to gourmet. You could certainly do one or the other. (I'd vote for the lavender, it's that good.)

 

Lavender + Lemongrass Blueberry Jam

20 cups blueberries

1 cup lemon juice

3-4 cups sugar (depending on your taste)

1 cup lavender blossoms (dried)

1 cup lemongrass (I used dried)

1 box Pomona's Pectin

 

Mix three cups of sugar with the pectin powder and set aside. Mix calcium powder with water & set aside. Add fruit, lemon juice & dissolved calcium powder water to a large pot. Cook over medium heat until the berries begin to break down and get saucy. Stirring often to prevent sticking. Puree the berries in a blender or with a handheld wand. (be careful blending hot liquids! only fill the blender half way.) Add the pureed berries back to the pot with dried herbs. Cover and let steep 3-4 hours. Strain the mixture to remove the dried herbs. I use a fairly wide mesh strainer to do this. It won't let the herbs through, but all the good blueberry pulp gets through so you still end up with jam. A smooth jam, but still jam. Bring the strained mixture to a boil and stir in the sugar-pectin mixture. I like to use a whisk for this part to avoid any clumps of pectin. At this point, test for sweetness. Add more sugar if you like. Bring the jam back up to a boil. Fill sterilized hot jars with the jam, leaving a quarter inch head space. Process the jars for ten minutes in a hot water bath.

This is a huge batch. It uses an entire box of Pomona's pectin. I only make huge batches. The jam jar count must be worth the hot mess that jam making is, right? But you might not have kids who sneak this and eat it with a spoon. ahem~ So feel free to halve or quarter it for smaller amounts. It makes about 8 pints of jam. (I made 5 half pints, 5 pints, and had a tiny bit left over for the fridge.)

If you're not using Pomona's, you can still add herbs to your jam the same way. As with any canning, please follow all instructions on your box of pectin and be safe.

Here's hoping this jam brings a smile to your face and warm memories of summer when you eat it slathered thickly on toast sometime this winter.

xo,

s

 


csa share :: week 8

csa share :: week 8

 

csa share :: week 8

 

csa share :: week 8

 

csa share :: week 8

 

csa share :: week 8

 

I'm in the midst of finishing up a room redo Joe & I have been working on..... so today's post is going to be a quick one. Even though I'd rather stay here and hang out with you guys than scrub baseboard heaters. I suppose that's a given, huh?

 

Our farm share this week included::

tomatoes                                                

peppers

summer squash & zucchini

cucumbers

eggplant

onions

savoy

one awesome hot pepper

lettuce heads

new potatoes

 

So far this week we've eaten roasted veggies & quinoa with black beans. No recipe, just toss together farm veggies, quinoa, black beans and mexican style seasoning. Makes a great cold salad on day two for the guy's lunch also. Pad Thai (farm veggies and sauce inspired by this recipe). Veggie frittata & tomato-cucumber salad. Likely my favorite summertime meal. (on a random note, spell check does not like the word quinoa or frittata.... maybe they need to update?!)


Good things to try::

Green Pancakes (experiment, swap out the greens for what you have!)

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Spicy Summer Frittata

how to freeze zucchini (you can grate & freeze them too, without blanching. then toss them in soup or make zucchini muffins.)

 

That's it for today..... see you tomorrow to talk about chick(en) love. 

Eat local!

~s

 


csa share :: week 7

csa share :: week 7

 

This weeks farm bounty::

tomatoes

The end.

 

Okay, I'm sort of kidding. But look at those tomatoes!! I still had a crush on the sweet peas that just finished up and then these come along. The holy grail of summer......... better than any candy in my opinion.

But seriously, we did get a lot more than tomatoes. This week's share included::

 

csa share :: week 7

 

csa share :: week 7

 

summer squash & zucchini (4 varieties)

peppers

tomatoes

onions

green beans

cucumbers

eggplant

kale 

chard

thyme

basil

garlic


We're still making those fridge pickles and we made this stew (yummy!). I'm drying herbs in the window and making pesto to freeze. We're making zucchini fritters again this weekend and I give you this bit of advice. Do not forget to salt them. Otherwise you end up making slightly soggy fritters. Still edible.... but sort of soggy. 

Most of these delicious veggies are gobbled up raw. I sautéed some kale and tossed it with leftover roasted veggies, sea salt and nutritional yeast for some really yummy lunch-time burritos. To use up some zucchini, these recipes look super yummy : Zucchini FriesStuffed Zucchini. I also saw it on grilled pizza and tossed with pasta. Easy + delicious.

One more drool-worthy tomato shot for you....... 

ahhhhhh...... so good right?

 

csa share :: week 7

 

Eat Local!

xo,

s

 

ps ~ 28 pounds of berries were picked this morning before the rain rolled in.... bringing the total to 54 pounds! Halfway to one hundered!

 


csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

Week 6 share from our farm included::

    2 heads lettuce                                            1 head cabbage

    2 zephyr squash                                            1 costata

    5 zucchini                                                    3 summer squash

    8 cucumbers                                                2 peppers

    1 bundle thyme                                           new potatoes

    baby onions                                                1 bunch kale

    a few broccoli cuttings                                1 bundle par-cel

    3 eggplant (oriental + italian)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

It has been *such* a hot and muggy summer here. I'm so impressed at the bounty we keep bringing home from the farm. Tomatoes should be in any day now too! I'm going to ask about buying extras they have to get some sauce and salsa canned.

This week we've eaten lots of grilled veggies with a little olive oil + salt & pepper. Last night we had grilled eggplant, tomato & mozzarella cheese sandwiches..... they were amazing! This morning I made a salad (for lunch) with leftover grilled veggies (zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, mushrooms), mozzarella cheese cubed, a splash of italian dressing & olive oil, kidney beans & artichoke hearts. I'm back to making lunch for Joe.... so I always try to think of that the night before at dinner. Leftover grilled veggies make awesome pizza toppings too. So. Good.

With all those cucumbers we're on our second batch of fridge pickles! They are so darn tasty. I really should put some up for the winter.... but the chilled variety really are our favorite anyway. (last week's csa post had lots of zucchini ideas!)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

csa share :: week 6 (+ some other kitchen bits)

 

In other kitchen news.... I got those berries taken care of. Two quadruple batches of jam (6 half pints & 12 pints) and three quarts frozen. Oh what a hot day in the kitchen! Jade also made a seriously kick butt blueberry pie. Which we devoured with ice cream before we thought of taking a picture. I guess she'll just have to make another one. I used Pomona's pectin for the first time and I loved it. The jam set up perfectly, even with a quadruple batch (which is one box of Pomona's) and it uses a fraction of the sugar. I'd like to find some local honey for my next batch. Maybe at the Farmer's Market this weekend?

Last of all.... the Cicadas are buzzing outside warning me of the hot day ahead of us. We'll be making popsicles and finding some shade. Heat index of 104 will be darn toasty. I guess I'll be turning the chick light off this afternoon!

Stay cool guys.

xo,

s

 


blueberries..... oh blueberries

blueberries..... oh blueberries

 

blueberries..... oh blueberries

 

blueberries..... oh blueberries

 

blueberries..... oh blueberries

 

blueberries..... oh blueberries

 

blueberries..... oh blueberries

 

blueberries..... oh blueberries

 

blueberries..... oh blueberries

 

blueberries..... oh blueberries

 

blueberries..... oh blueberries

 

We made our way to the blueberry farm this weekend. All five of us.

The farm is wonderful. Totally worth the drive..... just over a half hour from us. Friendly folks and lots of berries. Well mulched paths are a bonus with all the rain we've had too. And the berries? Huge juicy and delicious.

Joe would tell you all I have a little.... uhm, berry picking problem. I prefer to say that berry picking is like meditation for me. With Joe keeping an eye on the littlest in the bunch I am free to just pick. And pick I do. Two hands picking simutaneously until nearly full, right handful dumped into left, left handful dumped into bucket. Repeat. It's like knitting in a way.... and I've yet to meet a knitter that does not love picking berries.....

He laughs at me. In that way that someone you've been friends with for nearly two decades laughs at you. What? I ask him. He only smiles. And laughs more. These photos (minus the last two) are all through his eyes, because you know.... I was busy.

The littlest in the bunch surprised us all by picking a whole bucket full. I think he even surprised hisself. Don't you want to celebrate a tiny bit when the eating to picking scale is tipping further to the productive side? Good stuff I tell you. Also, that huge cheesy grin you see above is his favorite smile. He told us so.

When we were done, (which really means, when they were done and told me I could not get a fresh bucket to fill) we had picked 26 pounds in just under two hours! The farm has a frequent picker program and the price per pound gets lower as you pick.... also you get your name written on the board if you pick 100 pounds over the season. You see where I'm going with this, right?

Today though, despite the heat wave, I will be making jam. Lots of jam. 

And waiting for the post office to call. Because we have baby chicks due to arrive. I'll keep you updated here on their status. Yippee!

xo,

s



csa share :: week 5

csa share :: week 5

 

csa share :: week 5

 

csa share :: week 5

 

This Weeks Share::

Basil

Dill

Cilantro

Scallions (2 bunches)

3 cucumbers

3 lettuce heads

1 beautiful pepper

3 eggplant

1 bunch kale

1 red cabbage

1 bunch swiss chard

pac choi (and a bonus one, can't remember what type)

1 bag of beets

6 zucchini (summer squash, zucchini, zephyr + costata)

bonus! second cutting of broccoli

 

My goal this week is to get everything eaten up by Sunday so I can have an empty fridge for pickup next week. While my people are getting wary of cabbage, they love zucchini. Which is so good because on Monday there were ten in the fridge. We've eaten them nearly every day this week in some form.... muffins + stir fry + fritters.

My favorite farm food this week was getting up early to make the guy breakfast on Tuesday. Sautéed choi+dandelion greens with a fried egg. So. Good.

a few things that look delicious, from me and other places too (*on the menu for this weekend):

*zucchini & chocolate

grandma's zucchini stew (this freezes really well!)

*mama ghannouj (with naan, of course)

curry veggie kabobs

 

In other news..... I meant to get this post to you yesterday..... but was distracted by quilting and too many errands. The good news is that I have everything we need for the arrival of baby chicks next week (!!!) and I invited a mom and her daughter from Sophie's writing class to the house for lunch next week. {my mom is going to read that part and think, oh I'm so proud of her.... she's knows my introvert ways....} I'll slip in tomorrow to show you a sneak peek of the quilt progress and a give a list of link love to wander through....

See you then...

xo,

s

 

ps - keep those book ideas coming! I'm in the process to replying to you all but seriously, you rock! thank you!