Iris Member Diary for Week of Nov 4th

IMG_126Veggie Share: Red potatoes, yellow onions, scallions, kale, popcorn on the cob, cilantro, acorn squash, butternut squash.

Orchard Share: One quart apple cider, apples

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Our household stats: We are a family of four (two adults, a four-year old, and an infant) with a Week B half-share of both Veggie and Orchard. It takes us a full two weeks to use up all the produce. Sadly, Berry and Egg Share season is over. This week we enjoyed hearty meals featuring roasted potatoes, roasted butternut squash, apple crisp, hot apple cider, snake bites (IPA with cider!) and kale salad. Lots of kale salad. Continue reading

Veggie Monster Member Diary from Oct 28th Share Week

Share pic by katerina barry This week we got butternut squash, potatoes, red onions, carrots, kale, mustard greens, cilantro, parsley, popping corn, apple and apple cider.  We have a Full Monty share; We eat mostly vegan and usually have no problem getting through our fruit and vegetables each week.  This is our 5th year in the CSA, so by now there are very few surprises.  We have our favorite recipes for each vegetable that we return to each year.
Image02_SquashChickpeaCurryWith butternut squash, we pretty much always make a butternut squash and chickpea curry from Madhur Jaffrey’s wonderful “World Vegetarian” cookbook. Continue reading

Member Diary #4 — AJ’s

CSA life: May 28th – June 3rd

I chose this week to do a member diary, because I thought it would be a quiet and calm week after my teaching semester had ended, a week with plenty of time for cooking. But somehow I always think that, and I’m always wrong. This week my new class started, I had meetings and site visits everyday and many evenings.

 

That means that his diary ends up being what the CSA usually is in my house…something that has to be flexible and quick, something that is sometimes a chore, but often ends up making for the few moments of calm and pleasure in my running-around life. You will also get to watch the fun game that we play:  how to use the random food items that we have collected in our house and turn them into something at least edible if not delicious.  At this point, this is one of my favorite games, and I am so accustomed to cooking from a CSA share that have a really hard time figuring out what to do otherwise.  You just go to a grocery store and look for things you want?  Bizarre.  After belonging to a CSA for 4 years, I find that rather overwhelming.

Continue reading

Lovely Lemongrass

MimoMex provides us with an ample supply of lemongrass. At our house, the kitties cant get enough of the stuff so we gladly scoop up the extras left behind. However, we wanted to post a few uses and recipes, hopefully inspiring you to take yours home and use it. Please note, a lot of the recipes call for use of the bulb; MimoMex harvests the leaves which can easily be used in place of the bulb.

Continue reading

[even more] stuffed inspiration plus berry fruity drinks

Last night was one of the best and most rewarding meals I’ve ever made. Knowing that 50% of my ingredients came from a local farm made me so happy and this farm share has changed my life! :) I was never much of a cooker so this is a huge step for me!

Thanks Southside CSA! – Ruth

Blueberry, Peach & Mint Refresher: Continue reading

Member Diary Week # 5 – Jecca & Jay

Southside CSA Veggie Share: red leaf lettuce. kale. celery. zucchini. spanish onions. red onion. leek. rosemary. mint. lemongrass

Week 5: Jecca Barry & Jay Dunn

A bit about my eating habits — I’m a vegetarian with strong vegan tendencies. My exeption to the vegan rule is the eggs from the CSA. The way I see it…if the chickens have names, they’re probably pretty happy…so the eggs are ‘happy eggs’. Continue reading

Order up some New York State MAPLE SYRUP

pic by ComeUndone @ flickr.com

It’s a rainy Sunday here in Williamsburg and Earth Day in McCarren Park has been postponed until next Sunday (May2). Here on the Southside, we were up early but in no mood to venture outside into the wet streets. (Not to mention that our favorite brunches in the hood don’t start until 11am at the earliest…) Well, good thing we too have kitchen skills. Have to say, not much is better than homemade brunch featuring Yo’s secret recipe for the fluffiest pancakes ever topped with Maple Syrup. Usually associated with Vermont or Canada, Maple Syrup is also a product of New York State. However, local maple syrup can be pretty difficult to find in the City. Our local bodega carries organic syrup but its from a factory in Vermont. Thanks to one of our fab members, we have been hooked up with the fine people at Circle C Maple Farm and now there is a plethora of New York Maple Syrup to be found on the Southside.

making maple frosting for carrot bread. pic by ComeUndone @ flickr.com

The Maple Share isn’t really a “share” in the traditional sense of the word. There will not be weekly deliveries of Maple Syrup since the season for Maple Syrup comes once a year (and is usually the first sign of Spring). Our farmers will be delivering the syrup the first week of our 2010 season and members can pick it up at either the first or second distribution. The idea is to buy up your year’s supply of syrup and reap the sweet yumminess of NY maple all year long.  Not just for pancakes, Maple Syrup can work as an essential ingredient for many savory meals and sweet treats. Everything from a sugar substitute to a flavoring for a craft beer or vinagrette, Maple Syrup is all over the place.

pic by CircleCMaple @ flickr.com

This mild Spring the weather has been great for us city folk, but it has been pretty lame for the Maple harvesters. Early buds are nice for our streets, but budding trees mean the end of maple season. This year’s end has arrived about 4 to 6 weeks early this year, seriously cutting the harvest short.  Here are some good articles about the situation [via our maple Farmers twitter feed]:

This particular quote stuck with me. “Everything has to do with the weather, just like in any other kind of agriculture,” Pete added. “You can’t control the weather, and that’s the whole trick of farming.” I have been a member of a CSA for 8 years now, having my eating habits dictated by the yields of the field. Bouncing from years of early spinach and bountiful tomatoes to ones when the weather didn’t cooperate with my favorite recipes. Our maple farmers have been making syrup for their family for years now. 2010 is the first time that they had sold outside the family, thinking Circle C was ready to produce more and hook up with some NYC CSAs. However, Mother Nature was not quite cooperative this Spring, as far as maple sap is concerned. The first sugaring came in early March with a steady flow of sap.  But then it got too warm; Most NE maple syrup producers had a short season. In Central New York it was over by April 9th. Circle C came in with a grand total of 33 gallons of syrup this season. They had 2 more sugaring events on their calendar.   According to the newspaper, Maple News, a maple producer in Vermont who typically produces 300 gallons a year, was only able to produce 60 gallons.

pic by CircleCMaple @ flickr.com

For our farmers this translated into a lot of $$ put into preparing for a big season, only to barely harvest a fraction of the expectation. In preparation Joe @ Circle C had hand built a new, larger evaporator for the season. He and his wife, with their snowshoes tied,  tapped 725 trees in two feet of snow; 525 more than last year! At the end, they had three more holding tanks waiting to be used, each waiting for 250 gallons of sap.

pic by CircleCMaple @ flickr.com

This year they kept the fire going with all wood and no oil.  Unfortunately a pan was burnt during the very last sugaring as the fire got too hot. Despite a crazy sugaring season, Joe & Cathy are already planning for next year and are off to get more supplies and meeting with other producers soon at the 44th annual Vermont Maple Festival.

For those of you who are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, locally harvested and produced Maple syrup is a great way to reduce your consumption of non-local sugarcane based products. Maple can replace sugar in lots of recipes and can make a real impact in your footprint size. Maple syrup could be utilized more in our local diets and menus. Check out some yummy ways to cook with Maple Syrup.

Craving cooking with maple yet…

Support our local producers by ordering some Maple Syrup through the Southside CSA. Details about prices and sizes available on the FARMs page.

Maple Glazed Carrots & Turnips. pic by ComeUndone @ flickr.com

Beautiful Berries!

This year for the first time EVER at Southside we are offering the fruitylicious Berry Share. For 13 weeks this summer from July to September Grieg Farm will be picking blackberries, blueberries and red and yellow raspberries first thing in the morning and delivering them to our CSA in the afternoon. That’s right folks – they will be oh but a few hours old.

Last year we got a few deliveries of berries, but whenever they reared their little berry heads, we were all super excited. SO excited in fact that we thought a whole share devote to berries would be just the ticket in 2010.

We will be running a workshop on jam making and canning which will easily swallow half your entire berry share. We will also receive a whole bunch of recipes for pies, sauces, ice creams, cocktails and other berry madness from you lot. Here are a few to get your salivary glands going…

Jellies and Jams

Ahh – the Guardian, lots of proper English recipes. Here’s one for no nonsense Jam making. And for those of you who just down right laugh at the thought of making Jam (aka, Jelly, but we’ll wean you off that term) the NY Times has kindly put together a stress free Raspberry Jam article – it apparently takes 30 mins. Totally worth a go and quite frankly if i can do it, you certainly can.

Cocktails - you can never go wrong with muddling cocktails with a variety of fresh herbs into hard-laced brown sugar and ice cubes. Cocktail Hacker have some Mojito variations with Blueberries – my kind of hackers!

Savory – Berries happily flounce-up many a savory dish. Tea-Smoked Duck Breast with Pears and Blueberry Jus - umm…anything tea-smoked gets my vote. But Roast Duck with Blueberry Sauce – that one will most certainly impress even my mother-in-law.  In fact, it seems you can make raspberry marinades & sauces for many meat dishes -how very sophisticated of you!

Sweet – But for those hazy days of summer there is many a sweet berry recipe guaranteed to tickle your fancy.

I thought blackberry lemonade would be good, but Blackberry-Lemon Tart with Champagne-Mint Granite..?! Oh, sweet berry bliss! Or Blackberry Sour Cream Panna Cotta with Lemon Sauce – its just so Italiano! And then there is Puzzle Pudding with Blueberries & Strawberries - a Nantucket favorite. I wonder if they’ve named an area of Brooklyn after Nantucket yet…

A little about the berry farm


Greig Farm is located on 100 acres of rolling farmland in Red Hook, NY. It is a second generation family farm growing quality fresh fruit and making it directly available to the public for the past 68 years. It has been open to the public for pick your own fruits and vegetables for more than 60 years and this is its second time working with a CSA. They do not use systemic chemicals and chose natural predators over the chemical solution whenever possible.

Jalapeno Maddness!

Margaret's Heirloom Tomato & Jalapeno Shares. Sept 2008.

Margaret's Heirloom Tomato & Jalapeno Shares. Sept 2008.

My kitchen can never get enough jalapenos, however, i heard a lot of gasps when people saw that there were 16 jalapenos in this week’s share. But you shouldn’t be having any fear to step up from using jalapenos as a small part of a dish to being a main component of a meal.

[Need some inspiration, check out this blow by blow blog post from the B Side Blog of her Jalapeno Cocktail Hour which includes jalapeño cornbread, jalapeño poppers, a shrimp and jalapeño salad, jalapeño-cucumber margaritas (with a candied jalapeño garnish), and a shrimp and jalapeño ceviche. Giving me some ideas for the approaching holiday weekend...]

Here are some of my favorite uses; let us know how you use your sixteen peppers…

COCKTAILs:

(it is a holiday weekend after all…)

JAMs & JELLYs:

NON-SALSA STUFF:

SALSAs:

i rarely look beyond my recipe collection for salsa recipes, having been so so so satisfied by my cookbooks (Zarela’s Veracruz and red, hot, & green) but here is some good stuff i dug up from cyber-space…

And of course we can’t forget DESSERTs:

by Arden @ flickr.com

by Arden @ flickr.com

Cooking with (super-ripe!) PLUMS

plums

Yeah plums! How happy are we that this is the time our farmers markets are filled with seasonal stone fruit. Love love love that sweet tart combo of the ripe sugar plums. Die for the mellow flavor of the yellow plums. Can’t wait to fill my belly with every type of NY state plum.

Anyways, one of the joys of the fruit share is FRESH fruit, but it is also one of the biggest challenges. Ripe fruit equals supreme sweetness and equal messiness and it doesn’t wait…when it is ready to be eaten, well, it best be eaten.

Now while we all can’t wait for Naomi to cruise over with one of her amazing plum tarts (hint hint), I overloaded a little on the sweet this past week with a Ginger-Peach-Blackberry Buckle (riffed off this recipe) and am craving a little savory with my plums. Last year on a whim I made a fab little plum sauce and am ready to experiment with some more savory plum recipes.Truth be told, what I really want to do is bust out some plum wine. Plans are fermenting…..hopefully I get the nerve up to try and bottle some up before the season ends.

Below is a bevy of plum inspiration. Please send us your ideas, recipe tips, and plum perfect pictures.

plum sauce (made from local yellow plums)

plum sauce (made from local yellow plums)

Savory Plum Recipes

Sweet Plum Recipes

plum kutchen by aloalosabine @ flickr.com

plum kutchen by aloalosabine @ flickr.com

Plum-Influenced Cocktails

plum royale by michael dietsch @ flickr.com

plum royale by michael dietsch @ flickr.com

BBQ season means cocktail time right. Some yummy ideas we dug up.

plum tree by tz1__1zt @ flickr.com

plum tree by tz1__1zt @ flickr.com

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