Friday, August 17, 2012

Weekly Newsletter 4 (week 6)

August 12-18, 2012

Last Sunday was the first apple press of the season here at the farm.  The Gravensteins made a really tangy, crisp delicious cider! Of course it is great for drinking fresh, but can also be used in cooking as well as to make hard cider.  This traditional alcoholic drink is part of our countries heritage.  It was the main beverage served with meals during colonial times because water was often unsafe.  There are many theories as to why it has lost popularity in this country, one of which being that when German immigrants arrived in the 1840s and 1850s they brought with them superior methods of brewing which produced better beers and thus replaced cider with beer.  Hard cider is still very commonly drank in the pubs of Britain, and as the urban homesteading movement continues to gain momentum we see more people interested in drinking and making this awesome beverage.   Last year we had a lot of success with the Beginning Hard Cider classes we offered here at the farm.  Our affordable, fun, hands-on class is a great way to spend an afternoon and students go home with all the basic knowledge they will need to make their own hard cider, as well as 5 gallons of their own to get started.  We will be scheduling classes later this summer and into the fall so look out for more information if this is something you might be interested in trying out.  For now you can purchase sweet cider at the stand to enjoy - look for it in the fridge.


In this weeks full share box:

Red Gravenstein apples
Bartlett Pears
Basket of Satsuma plums
Heirloom & early girl tomatoes
Basket of cherry tomatoes 
Blue Lake, Romano & Trionfo Violetto beans
Lemon cucumbers
Bell peppers
Basket of Padron  peppers 
Zucchini & summer squash 
Chard or Kale
Red onion


Pork Tenderloin with Apples
2 pork tenderloins
2 cloves garlic, slivered
salt and pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tb oil
1 cup broth (chicken or beef)
1 cup apple cider
2 medium sized apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Preheat oven to 400° F. With the tip of a sharp knife, make deep little slits all over the tenderloin and insert the garlic slivers. Season with salt, pepper and cumin. • Heat the oil in a skillet on medium high heat and sear the tenderloin well on all sides (about 10 minutes). •Remove the tenderloins from the skillet (do not discard the juices in the skillet) and place in a roasting pan. Add the broth and white wine to the roasting pan. Cook in the oven at 400°F for 10 minutes.  •After you've placed the tenderloins in the oven, cook the apple slices in the same skillet (with the remaining oil and juices) that you used to brown the tenderloin. Sauté until soft. Remove the apples from the pan, set them aside, saving the juices once again in the pan.  • After the tenderloins have cooked for 10 minutes remove them from the oven. Remove the tenderloins from the pan to a cutting board.     • Pour the roasting pan juices into the skillet and boil everything on high heat for 5 minutes, or until you get a gravy the consistency of melted ice cream.  Adding the sliced apples back to the skillet and mashing some up a little will help to thicken it up.  Stir in a little flour if needed.  • Slice the tenderloin and return to the pan – cook in gravy until no longer pink.  • Place on serving dish, drizzle some gravy over and serve immediately.



Those of you that have been with us for a while have no doubt seen me print this recipe before.  And you will see me print it again! It is the easiest most delicious pie ever, and a great way for us to use those overripe, soft, bruised pears that we inevitably end up having.  We try to be sure you all get perfect pears in your boxes, but they are so finickiy it can be tricky not to let any over-ripe ones slip in.  We will always take bad stuff back in the event that this happens, or this recipe is the perfect solution!  Otherwise we are happy to sell you some softies for cheap if you would rather eat the ones in your boxes fresh.
5 or 6 very ripe Bartlett pears, cored, peeled and halved
1 unbaked pie shell (homemade or store bought)
¼ c butter           ½ c sugar            ¼ c flour                
2 eggs          1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325°
Arrange pear halves in pie shell, rounded side up, with small ends pointed toward the center. (see photo at right)
Beat butter, sugar, flour, eggs and vanilla on high until well blended.
Pour over pears and sprinkle lightly with sesame seeds (optional, but really nice)
Bake 45-50 minutes, til light golden brown on top.





I haven’t tried this one but it sounds good! Of course a traditional baked lasagna (using the no-boil lasagna noodles) layered with squash, basil and tomatoes would be yummy too!


·                     1/2 cup ricotta
·                     3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
·                     3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
·                     Coarse salt and ground pepper
·                     8 lasagna noodles, broken in half crosswise
·                     1 small garlic clove, minced
·                     4-6 tomatoes, chopped
·                     2 zucchini (about 1 pound total), halved if large and thinly sliced
·                     1 tablespoon torn fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving


1.                   In a small bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, and 2 teaspoons oil; season with salt and pepper. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook noodles according to package instructions; drain.
2.                   Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Add garlic and tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until slightly broken down, about 3 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil and zucchini to skillet; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to another bowl and stir in basil.
Place some tomatoes on four plates; top with a noodle and small spoonfuls ricotta, zucchini, and more tomatoes. Repeat layering twice, then top with remaining noodles and tomatoes. Garnish with basil.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Weekly Newsletter 3 (week 5)

August 5-11, 2012

Hello everyone, sorry there has not been a newsletter the last 2 weeks.  Things are just so busy and with 2 little ones at home and I am finding it hard to keep up! As if that were not enough, I arranged all the flowers for a friends wedding last weekend! It was a lot of work but I really enjoyed it and everything turned out beautiful.  Here on the farm things are great, we had our first farmers market of the season up in Felton on Tuesday, and will be down town next week as well.  The summer crops are really coming in now - these cooler evenings, misty mornings and warm temperate days have been ideal conditions so far this summer, let's hope it keeps up!  The tomato vines look amazing, thanks to a lot of hard work and attention, and we are expecting the crop to be abundant.  As many of you may remember, August and September bring on an avalanche of goodness and this is just the start!

 GRAVENSTEIN  (and their cousin red Gravenstein) APPLES
Our earliest apple, the Gravenstein is well known for its versatility as a terrific eating, sauce and pie apple.  With a crisp and juicy texture, and good old-fashioned sweet- tart taste the Gravenstein has been a favorite since it was introduced in North America in the early 1800‘s. They are dense with lots of flavor, which makes them perfect for sauces and pies, and they are crunchy and tasty enough for fresh eating!


Because Bartlett Pears ripen from the inside out they are never ripened on the tree, but picked and left to sit at room temperature to mature at a more even rate.  They are ready to eat when they turn almost completely yellow, begin to soften when gently pressed around the stem end, and give off a sweet aroma.  Place them in your fruit bowl if they are still a bit green, and check them often.  Never place in the fridge to ripen.   They are very delicate and do tend to bruise easily when ripe so be sure to treat them very gently! When properly ripened they are so sweet and juicy and very delicious, but due to their fragile nature this finicky fruit is not widely grown commercially.  Enjoy!


Grilled Veggie Sandwich

·               1/4 cup mayonnaise
·               3 cloves garlic, minced
·               1 tablespoon lemon juice
·               1/8 cup olive oil
·               1 cup sliced bell peppers
·               1 small zucchini, sliced
·               1 red onion, sliced
·               1 small yellow squash, sliced
·               2 (4-x6-inch) focaccia bread pieces, split horizontally
·               1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese, or 2 slices any cheese
·               3 or 4 basil leaves

In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, minced garlic, and lemon juice.   Set aside in the refrigerator.   Preheat the grill for high heat. Brush vegetables with olive oil on each side. Brush grate with oil. Place bell peppers and zucchini closest to the middle of the grill, and set onion and squash pieces around them. Cook for about 3 minutes, turn, and cook for another 3 minutes. The peppers may take a bit longer. Remove from grill, and set aside. Spread some of the mayonnaise mixture on the cut sides of the bread, and sprinkle each one with feta cheese. Place on the grill cheese side up, and cover with lid for 2 to 3 minutes. This will warm the bread, and slightly melt the cheese. Watch carefully so the bottoms don't burn. Remove from grill, and layer with the vegetables and top with basil leaves.  Enjoy as open-faced grilled sandwiches

Tomato Basil Green Beans
·  3/4 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
·  1 tablespoons unsalted butter
·  ½  tablespoon olive oil
·  1 small onion thinly sliced
·  2 garlic cloves, minced
·  2 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 basket cherry tomatoes
·  2 TB white wine
·  1 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
·  Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling water until just crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain well; set aside.
Melt the butter and oil in a heavy, large skillet over medium heat.  Add the beans and cook a few minutes. Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes, stir in the wine and basil and cook until the juices evaporate and the beans are tender, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving bowl, and serve.