Friday, November 21, 2014

Birch Point Fall-Winter CSA Week 4&5: Rolled into one box!

Remember: this week's box is the DOUBLE share, and next week (Sat. Nov 29), there is NO CSA pickup.  In case you missed earlier communications, members (you) voted to double up on this week's box, to ensure extra bounty for Thanksgiving!  And also to skip next week, since many folks will be out of town for Thanksgiving, and/or still in a food coma from Thursday :)

In this week's double share:

Beets: either giant specimens suitable for roasting or grating fresh, or smaller roots for boiling/roasting/steaming
Carrots: Rainbow mix of orange, purple, and white, many of which are small and perfect for roasting whole.
Potatoes: either gold or redskin
Onions: either yellow, red, or cipollini
Leeks: Life is bleak without a leek.  Use interchangeably with onions.  Stores well! (and don't believe anyone or any recipe who says to only use the white parts-- the green parts are totally edible and useable; just slice across the grain finely and cook a minute longer)
Cabbage: a savoyed (crinkly-leaved) variety called "Dead On," one of our faves! Use for slaw OR cooking.
Brussels sprouts: as per earlier note, be sure to double check sprouts on the lower end of the stalk for quality-- we sorted as much as we could, but may have missed some funky sprouts.  Slice in half to examine the insides.  Halved, caramelized sprouts make a lovely Thanksgiving dish on their own OR with cubed, roasted winter squash and sauteed leeks/onions, and sherry vinegar.  If your stalk happens to have leaves on it, slice them up and include them with your Brussels sprout dish and/or with your kale- delicious!
Kale: Holy kalesicles, batman!  Harvesting frozen solid kale from under the snow is an adventure, as you might imagine!  It also means the kale will be a little wilty when it reaches you-- never fear, just thaw out (if it's still icy), store and/or prepare as usual, and it'll be delicious-- extra sweet from the cold.
Winter Squash- You may see either Buttercup/Kabocha (dark green outside, with dry, flaky orange flesh inside-- makes the BEST "pumpkin" pies!!!), Potimarron (red, teardrop shaped, sweet and creamy), Sunshine (also red, but a kabocha type so a little dryer than Potimarron, which it closely resembles), or Blue Ballet- a baby hubbard-type, blue-gray, moist fleshed, and an excellent keeper, if you need to store it rather than use this week.
Celeriac- the funny-looking, alien-like root with hairy skin (requires peeling!) that tastes like celery but cooks up like a potato. In fact, mashed potatoes WITH celeriac is one of our fave Tday dishes!  They'll store reliably for a good long while, so no rush to use them up.  Once you're in the mood for a winter soup, celeriac will be happy to help.
Garlic-- also delicious with mashed potatoes. Or just about anything for that matter!
Parsnips- the tannish-white root veggie that resembles a fat carrot.  Look carefully at the long, white roots in your box-- some are parsnips; some may be white carrots!  Parsnips are slightly scraggly-looking (usually) with tan overtones. Carrots have a much thinner skin and slightly crispier texture.  You can always taste them to get a positive i.d- carrots taste like carrots; raw parsnips are similar but much earthier AND denser and slightly fibrous.  Cooked, parsnips are even sweeter than carrots, but raw parnsips are only for the hardiest palates and jaw muscles.
Last but not least- organic Apples from our friend Gene Garthe in Northport!  These are a variety know as Spy Gold, and excellent eating OR cooking apple.  Firm and slightly tart, they're delicious out of hand but also make an amazing pie or applesauce.  We hope you enjoy this special addition to our own farm-grown produce.

We hope you'll enjoy some lovely ROASTED ROOTS,
Cabbage-Apple-Pomegranate Salad,
Squash pie,
Caramelized Brussels sprouts with Squash and Cranberries,
Kale and Leeks (perhaps with chickpeas?)
and Apple-Celeriac Slaw
with your family and friends this week.

Thank you SO much for being part of the farm this fall!  Remember: no CSA pickup next week (Nov. 29).  We'll see you the following week (Dec. 6) as usual.

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