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How to Eat Your BOX! (Week of 4/16/17)

Chives:

Chives are an herb, related to onions and garlic, with long green stems and a mild, not-too-pungent flavor. Chives are typically chopped to be used as a garnish. They can be featured in all sorts of recipes, from baked potatoes to soups, salads, sauces and omelets. They’re frequently mixed with cream cheese to make a savory spread. Chive butter, a compound butter made by blending freshly chopped chives into butter, is frequently served with grilled steaks or roasted poultry.

Celery:

Celery is a popular finger food as well as a flavorful addition to soup or salad. It has a salty taste, and, depending on the variety, may taste very salty. The natural organic sodium in celery is very safe for consumption. In fact, it is essential for the body. Even individuals who are salt-sensitive can safely take the sodium in celery. Because of it’s boat-like shape, celery works great with a filling as a fun and healthy snack. You can get creative when it comes to what to pair it with. Peanut butter is a common ingredient, but you can stuff your celery with things like cream cheese with chopped nuts and raisins, garlicky chicken spread, or a nut butter with seeds and honey. When making a celery themed salad, you can either go sweet (with thinly sliced apples, pecans, raisins, yogurt or sour cream, honey and a pinch of cinnamon) or savory (adding it to your everyday green salad or making a chicken salad with it).

Featured Recipe: Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash

Ingredients:

1 medium acorn squash

2 teaspoons butter

1 medium apple, cored and finely diced

1⁄4 cup dried cranberries

3 -4 tablespoons orange juice

1⁄4 teaspoon apple pie spice

2 tablespoons pecans, finely chopped

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions:

1. Cut the squash in half; discard seeds.

2. Place the squash cut side down in a microwave safe dish; add 1/2 inch of water.

3. Microwave on high, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes or until tender; drain.

4. While the squash is cooking, melt the butter in a non-stick skillet and add the diced apple.

5. Cook, stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes, add the orange juice, apple pie spice, cranberries and chopped pecans.

6. Continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the orange juice has evaporated, stir in orange zest.

7. Divide the mixture between the squash halves, drizzle with maple syrup and place under broiler for a few minutes to brown lightly.

Hint: For easier cutting of the squash, place in microwave and microwave on high for 1 minute or until slightly warm.

Recipe adapted from food.com

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Thanksgiving Holiday Planning

Every year for the Thanksgiving holiday we offer an additional special Holiday Box ($35) full of traditional Thanksgiving meal items for your celebration. Not only can you schedule a Holiday Box to be delivered the week of Thanksgiving, but also the week before and the week after. You can have this box delivered along with your regular order or in place of your regular order. The box menu is as follows (*denotes local):

Holiday Box Menu

Granny Smith Apples, 2 lbs.*

Cranberries, 8 oz.*

Satsumas, 3 lbs.

Breadcubes for Stuffing, 1 lb.*

Celery, 1 bunch

Acorn Squash, 1 ea.*

Green Beans, 1 lb.

Garnet Yams, 2 lbs.

Carrots, 2 lbs.

Yellow Potatoes, 3 lbs.*

Onions, 1 lb.*

Remembering Neighbors in Need

If your celebration includes helping the less fortunate who live in our community, we would like to partner with you by giving you the opportunity to purchase a discounted Holiday Box for $25, to be given to local food banks the week of Thanksgiving. Last year 174 Holiday Boxes were donated and this year we’d love to have a greater impact. The volunteers at the food banks have expressed again and again how wonderful and satisfying it is to be able to supply people with fresh produce. Please call or e-mail us to set up this donation.

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Traditional Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash should be stored in a cool dark place.  Do not refrigerate.  As with all produce items, first wash and scrub outside of squash so that when cutting squash dirt does not get on the flesh.  Be careful when cutting raw squash—use a large, heavy knife, work slowly, gently rocking the knife or the squash while cutting.  With a spoon , scrape all seeds and strings from the center cavity.

Ingredients:
1 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Turn acorn squash upside down onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven until it begins to soften, approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove squash from the oven and turn onto a plate so that the flesh is facing upwards. Place butter and brown sugar into the squash, and place remaining squash over the other piece. Place squash in a baking dish (so the squash wont slide around too much) while baking.
Place squash in the 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven and bake another 30 minutes.

image from farmplate.com

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Fresh This Week Tips, Week 10.23.10

Gala  Apples
STORE: To store, keep Gala apples as cold as possible in the crisper of your refrigerator.
PREP: Wash apples prior to eating under cool water. Peel, core and chop them if you plan to make sauce or simply cut them into thin wedges for making apple pie.

USE: Gala apples make delicious applesauce, but they can also be used in pies, juice, apple butter or eaten straight out of the hand. For a tasty applesauce add 4 apples (peeled, cored and chopped), ¾ cup water, ¼ cup sugar (omit for sugar-free sauce) and ½ tsp ground cinnamon (or one cinnamon stick) to a dutch oven. Cover and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the apples are nice and soft. Once apples are cooled, mash with a fork for chunkier sauce or puree in your blender.
image from bestfruitnow.com

Dapple Dandy Pluots

STORE: Your pluots will continue to ripen once off the tree. Turn them upside down and leave them on the counter away from the sun. When ripe, store them unwrapped in the refrigerator for up to three days.
PREP: If stored in the refrigerator, remove your pluots before eating and let them return to room temperature. They taste much better this way. Rinse and leave whole, slice into wedges or cut into chunks.

USE: These sweet Dapple Dandy Pluots can be eaten out of hand, as a fresh topping for yogurt, dehydrated into dried pluots or made into jam. You can also experiment by substituting them for plums in recipes (after all, they are the delicious hybrid of the plum and apricot).
image from newfinmysoup.blogspot.com.


Pomegranates

STORE: A whole pomegranate can be stored for up to a month on the counter or up to two months in the fridge.
PREP: Cut off the crown and cut the pomegranate into sections. Place the sections in bowl of water then push out the arils (seeds) with your fingers. Discard the membrane and strain out the water.

USE: You can either snack on the juicy, tart arils of the pomegranate or use them in dishes. Arils make a beautiful garnish for salads, bruschetta or desserts. Don’t be afraid to try something a little decadent with these jewels. Try this recipe for Beef Filets with Pomegranate-Pinot sauce.
image from my recipes.

Acorn Squash
STORE:
Store acorn squash in a cool, dark and well-ventilated area for up to five weeks.
PREP: Rinse off dirt from your squash and halve it from the stem end to its point with a sturdy knife. If you are making acorn squash rings, begin by cutting the squash horizontally. Clean out all of the fibers and seeds from the cavity with a spoon.

USE: This round, acorn-shaped squash is one of the best for baking. Make a classic acorn squash side with butter and brown sugar(or just butter, then top with a sprinkling of fresh thyme leaves – a Klesick Farm favorite). If you’re feeling more adventurous, stuff your squash or make a risotto.
image from mango tomato.

Cilantro

STORE: Snip off the bottom of the cilantro stems and make sure leaves are completely dry. Fill a jar half full with water and place the stem ends of the herbs into the water. Store in the refrigerator with a plastic bag loosely covering the top of the herbs. Change the water every few days. It should last a little over a week.
You can also freeze cilantro for later use in soups and entrees (it won’t work as a garnish, but will add that nice cilantro flavor). Begin by removing the leaves from the stem and proportionally adding them to an ice tray. Fill the tray with water on top of the leaves and freeze for 2 days. Remove cilantro cubes from tray and place in a freezer bag. Thaw when needed and use within 2 months.
PREP: Fill a bowl with water, submerge your cilantro leaves in the water and swish them from side to side to remove any dirt. Shake off the excess water and pat dry with a paper towel. Slice through the stems with your chef’s knife and finely chop the leaves (by rocking back and forth) or leave them whole.
USE: Cilantro provides great flavor for Mexican, Thai, Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s a staple ingredient for salsa and is the perfect garnish for soups and curries.
image from qwickstep.

Yams*


STORE: Store yams in a cool, dark and dry area for up to two weeks.
PREP: Wash them thoroughly to remove dirt. Slice with a sharp knife into rounds, cubes or whatever cut your recipe requires.
USE: Yams are a wonderful and versatile fall staple. Make candied yams, mashed yams or yam fries. You can also bake them in the oven (rubbed with a little extra virgin olive oil for crisp skin) at 400F for 45 minutes to an hour. For a delicious vegetarian dinner, try this week’s Yam & Black Bean Burritos.

*Note: Did you know that yams and sweet potatoes are entirely different vegetables? In North America we seem to use the names interchangeably, but they aren’t actually related. True yams typically have black or brown thick skin with flesh that varies from off-white to red or purple. These large tubers are from Africa and not readily available in the US.  Sweet potatoes have thinner skin and are generally shorter and stubbier than yams with flesh that ranges from a pale yellow to bright orange. For cooking purposes, sweet potatoes are sweeter, moister and less starchy than yams. In regards to this week’s box of good, here at Klesick Family Farm we call the dark skinned, bright orange sweet potatoes “North American yams.” All that being said, sweet potatoes and North American yams are usually interchangeable in recipes with minimal changes needed to compensate for the differences.
image from rhapsody in books.