Our newsletter from Sept. 13:
Dear CSA members,
This is going to be a brief newsletter, since this morning’s harvest ran into my normal newsletter-writing time! Which is maybe just as well, since it will make me keep it together and not get too sappy over the end of the harvest season. In short, we’ve really enjoyed growing your veggies this summer and talking with most of you each week. This will be your last weekly share of the season, but we hope to keep seeing many of you out and about or even here at the farm if you’d like to stop by and play in the gardens with us this fall as we clear beds, plant cover crops, and prepare the soil for winter. We also hope to get some work done in the orchard this fall, taking down trees that are no longer productive and spreading wood chip mulch between the remaining trees to provide nutrients and a place for beneficial soil microbes to grow.
We are happy to have some freshly-pressed cider for you today! This cider is a mix of Pristine, Gala, and Honeycrisp apples and it is unpasteurized and preservative-free. That means it’s not going to keep as long as the cider you usually find in the grocery store. Because it is so perishable and we needed to press it a few days ahead of CSA distribution (because of my teaching schedule), we went ahead and put it directly in the freezer so that it will have the longest shelf life possible once you get it home. Cider keeps really well in the freezer, so if you don’t plan to drink it right away, go ahead and put it in your freezer when you get it home. If you plan to drink it this week, you’ll want to keep it in the refrigerator.
I was hoping we might have some winter squashes for you today, but when I checked them this morning, they didn’t seem like they were curing down very well. So I decided to give them a few weeks to see whether they cure or not. If they do cure down, we may have a few for you at the harvest party on October 20! Fingers crossed for that.
Instead of squash, though, you’ve got potatoes today: two types, a blue potato that is delicious baked and a fingerling that is a good roaster. This recipe from www.jessicagavin.com is very similar to the way we roast fingerlings, though I don’t usually slice them in half or put chives on them.
Roasted Fingerling Potatoes
Ingredients: 1 pound fingerling potatoes, sliced lengthwise; 2 tablespoons olive oil,1 tablespoon minced garlic, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, 2 teaspoon chopped chives
Preheat oven to 400°F (204ºC). Heat a large oven-proof skillet on a stovetop over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add garlic and saute until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add sliced fingerling potatoes and stir until coated with the oil. Sprinkle in salt over the potatoes and stir to combine. Transfer skillet to the center position in the oven. Cook until the potatoes are lightly golden and fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Season potatoes with black pepper and garnish with chives. Place roasted fingerling potatoes in a large bowl and serve hot.
With the cooler temperatures, the kale is regaining some of its lovely flavor and the red peppers are super-sweet. A friend gave me some locally made feta cheese recently and I combined all three in this recipe by replacing the spinach it calls for with kale. It turned out really good.
Spinach, Red Pepper, and Feta Quiche
Ingredients: 1/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour; 1 tablespoon olive oil; 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter; 2 cups packed fresh spinach leaves; 1 tablespoon cold vegetable shortening; 2 large eggs; 1 1/2 tablespoons ice water plus additional if necessary; 1/3 cup heavy cream or milk; 1/3 cup sliced sweet pepper; 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Preheat oven to 425°F. In a bowl with a pastry blender or in a small food processor blend together flour, butter, shortening, and a pinch salt until mixture resembles meal. Add water and toss until incorporated, adding additional water if necessary to form a dough. Pat dough onto bottom and one half inch up sides of a 7 1/2-inch tart pan with removable fluted rim or a 9-inch pie plate and bake shell in bottom third of oven until set and pale golden, about 7 minutes.
While shell is baking, in a large skillet sauté pepper in oil over moderately high heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add spinach and sauté, stirring, until wilted and tender, about 1 minute. Remove skillet from heat and season spinach mixture with salt and pepper. In a small bowl whisk together eggs and cream. Sprinkle feta over bottom of shell and arrange spinach mixture on top. Pour cream mixture over spinach and bake quiche on a baking sheet in middle of oven 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°F. and bake until set, about 10 minutes.
This makes a very thin quiche—the filling will only come about halfway up your pie shell. I like a thicker quiche, so I usually increase the amount of vegetable filling that I use and I add more cheese, an extra egg, and a little more cream. Sometimes I add a sprinkling of dried tomato pieces into the vegetable mixture as well.
We hope you’ve enjoyed your shares this season. We really appreciate all of your support, encouragement, and understanding when things don’t go to plan! We love this work and all of you who make it possible.
Blessings, John & Amy