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August 10th, 2012 FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter

FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter for 10 August 2012

What’s in this week’s boxes?


Apples: Jersey Mac




Green Leaf Lettuce






Summer squash + zucchini

Green Beans


Storage, handling and general cooking tips


Storage + Handling

Apples should be kept uncovered or in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. Warm temperatures will cause apples to lose their crispness and flavor, so if they are kept out of the refrigerator, make sure it is in a cool, ventilated place far from direct sunlight. To prevent cut apples from turning brown, sprinkle with lemon juice or soak them in a bowl of ½ cup water and 2 tbsp lemon juice.


Storage + Handling

Peaches, like tomatoes, are climacteric, which means they will continue to ripen after they are picked. Leave them on the counter to soften to your liking before eating or stick them in a paper bag with a banana to quicken to ripening process. If your peaches are already at the softness you desire, store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. They should last up to a week. But please do not put under-ripe fruit in the fridge as it will dry out the flesh and turn mealy. When testing for ripeness, be gentle, never squeeze or press hard on the peach. Peaches blemish and tear easily. Wash peaches in cool, soapy water just before you intend to use them. To remove the peach stone, slice the fruit lengthwise around the pit, down to the stone. Then, twist each half in opposite directions to release the peach from the stone. Peaches are chock full of vitamins A and C and potassium.

If you plan to cook with your peaches, peel the skin first. To do this, cut an X with a sharp knife at the bottom of the peach and pop in boiling water to blanch for a couple seconds, then quickly put into a bowl of ice water. The ice water will stop the peach from continuing to cook and the skin will easily peel away. If the fruit is incredibly ripe, blanching is probably not necessary. You can just pare it with a knife.

If you are using cut fruit, sprinkle some lemon over it to stop it from browning as the exposure to air will cause enzymatic browning.


Storage + Handling

Blueberries will last up to 10 days, covered, in the refrigerator as long as they are kept dry. Just before using, wash and drain well. Blueberries also freeze well. Sort your berries, wash and dry them thoroughly (very important that they are dry!) Spread berries in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once hard, store in a labeled Ziploc bag.

Raw blueberries are delicious as is – just pop them in your mouth for an anytime snack. For a vitamin boost, (they are high in vitamins C and K, plus pack some powerful antioxidants and fiber) add them to salad, smoothies, a glass of lemonade, or a bowl of yogurt or cereal. Blueberries are yummy baked in pancakes, muffins, pies, cobblers, and crisps. Blueberries make wonderful jam!

Green Leaf Lettuce

Storage + Handling

Keep unwashed lettuce in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you want to prep the lettuce for dinner later, the gentlest method of washing is to place the entire head in a bowl of cold water and gently swish to get the dirt out.  You may have to do this a few times with fresh water if you find a lot of dirt settling at the bottom. Then rinse and slice the head at the base to allow the leaves to separate.  Roll the leaves in paper towels and place them in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator. If you have a salad spinner, by all means spin the leaves dry. Wet greens wilt quickly, so be sure they are good and dry before refrigerating them.


Storage + Handling

Kale has that beautiful curly edge. It’s chock full of minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and potassium, as well as vitamins A and C, plus 13 different antioxidants. You should eat these leafy greens once a week!

Kale is also very perishable, so enjoy it soon after pickup. It can be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for two to three days. The leaves can be eaten raw, like beet greens and spinach, or cooked. Before cooking, separate the leaves from their large center rib/stem. The easiest way to do this is to fold the leaf in half along the stem and then just slice the rib off. Next, rinse the greens under cold running water. Do not soak it as this will result in the loss of water-soluble nutrients. Dry the leaves. Now the kale is ready to be parboiled, steamed, baked, or sautéed. It is wonderful with pasta, in omelets, frittatas, soups, or lasagna.

If you hate to throw anything away, rest assured, you can also eat the stems! One easy way to prepare them is to slice the stems into 3-inch chunks, boil in salted water for 5 minutes or so, then bake in a 400-degree oven with butter, salt, pepper, and ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese for 20 minutes.

Kale also freezes well after blanching. Blanch for 2 minutes then immediately immerse the leaves in a cold-water bath for 2 minutes. Dry the leaves and pack them into freezer containers, leaving no headspace or air. Leaves last for up to one year in the freezer. Don’t forget to date your storage bags.


Storage + Handling Tips

Broccoli should be stored unwashed, in a perforated bag in the refrigerator and enjoyed within 3-5 days. Unrefrigerated, broccoli will quickly become woody and fibrous. If broccoli is not used right away and looks a bit tired, soak it in a bowl of ice cold water for 30 minutes to refresh it’s vibrant crispiness. Always remove leaves and wash broccoli before eating. Broccoli sometimes comes out of the field with innocuous friends tagging along in its depths.  Immediately before cooking, soak your broccoli, head down, in cold, salted water (1 teaspoon salt to 8 cups of water) for 5 minutes.  Any critters will float to the top. Broccoli florets are rich in vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A, B6, and folate. Broccoli is also high in fiber and provides small amounts of calcium and iron.

Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked. If you cook it, please do so rapidly (by either steaming or blanching) so that it will retain its bright green color, crisp texture, and nutrients. The stalks can also be used, but cook them separately from the head because it is tougher and the cooking times vary. Peel the woody parts of the stalks and slice. Broccoli can be frozen for later use. Just soak in salted water for 15 minutes, then blanch for 3-4 minutes. Drain, cool, and wrap your blanched broccoli in a labeled plastic bag before placing in freezer.


Storage + Handling Tips

Tomatoes bruise easily, so handle them with care. They are best stored at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, stem-side down. Keep them away from your bananas and onions to avoid decay and icky taste. Never refrigerate tomatoes! The cold renders tomatoes mealy and flavorless. Eat them within a few days.

You can also freeze tomatoes. There is no need to peel or blanch them beforehand. Once thawed, the tomato skins will slip easily off. Simply rinse and dry the tomatoes thoroughly, then place in freezer bags. You can suck any air out of the bag with a straw. Frozen tomatoes are great for cooked dishes.

Fresh tomatoes are yummy sliced and layered with mozzerella cheese, basil, olive oil and salt. They work wonders for burgers, wraps, pastas and salad.


Storage + Handling Tips

Corn is best when eaten right away, before the sugars turn to starch, and diminish its sweet taste. This is mostly true for eating corn right off the cob, but after 4 days, corn will still be edible and tasty enough to cook with. Corn should be refrigerated with the husks still on. The husks will preserve that milky moisture in the kernels. Keep them in the crisper drawer without any strong smelling foods, as corn will easily absorb those odors.

Shuck corn only before using by pulling down, breaking off the stem, and removing the silky threads by hand. If there is some worm damage – no fear – just cut out that part, the rest of the corn is still good. Wash the corn in cold water. To remove the kernels, place the corn vertically in a large bowl and run a sharp knife down along its length. If making a soup, or if you want some extra milky juice, run the knife down the length of the corn again, but with the dull back of the knife to avoid shaving off the cob. To freeze corn, blanch in boiling water for about 5 minutes, cool and drain, then wrap in plastic.

Tip from Thomas Keller: After you have removed the kernels from the cob into a bowl, place a smaller bowl of water next to it. Swirl your hand around the corn and the silk will stick to your hand. Remove the silk from your hand by dipping it into the bowl of water. Or running water would work too, I’m sure.

Try eating your corn raw – when it’s fresh like this, it’s yummy! My kids love to pick an ear off the stalk, shuck it in the field, and chomp away. To cook your corn, boil it in water for about 4-6 minutes, depending on how soft you like it. Last night, I cooked it for just 3 minutes then let it steam in the pot until the rest of dinner was ready a few minutes later. It was perfectly cooked and just popped off the cob! Corn is best when eaten simply: boil, slather with butter, and sprinkle with salt. Do you twirl your corn and eat around the cob or lengthwise like a typewriter? In our family, I’m the typewriter.

Corn is also delicious grilled. Pull back the corn husks without removing them fully, remove the silks, then pull the husks back up and soak for at least 15 minutes in water. Grill corn in its husks (maybe brush some pesto on the corn before pulling up the husks), turning occasionally until charred about 20 minutes.  Corn is super versatile. Think: creamed corn, corn bread, corn chowder, salsa, succotash, or as a topping to salad.


Storage + Handling

Just-picked cucumbers dehydrate faster than the waxy supermarket variety, so be sure to put them in the refrigerator right away.  If you store unwashed cucumbers in a sealed plastic bag in the vegetable crisper bin, they should hold for at least a week.  Cucumbers store best at around 45 degrees F, but refrigerators are usually set cooler than this.  Keep cucumbers tucked far away from tomatoes, apples, and citrus fruits, as these give off ethylene gas that accelerates cucumber deterioration.

You can do a lot of fancy things to the skin of a cucumber, and when it is young, fresh, and unwaxed, it really only needs to be thoroughly washed.  However, if the skin seems touch or bitter you can remove it. If the seeds are bulky, slice the cucumber lengthwise and scoop them out.  Scoring the skin of a cucumber with a fork or citrus zester gives it attractive stripes and may help release any bitterness.  Slice, dice, or cut a cucumber into chunks according to specifications given in your recipe.

Cucumbers are delicious raw in sandwiches, salads, or as a tasty mid-day snack. Add cucumbers to egg or tuna salad for a crunch or simply sprinkle with salt.


Zucchini + summer squash

Storage + Handling

Zucchini and summer squash respire through their skins, so they need to be refrigerated as soon as possible.  Store them unwashed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable bin, or refrigerate them in a sealed plastic container lined with a towel.  In the refrigerator, they keep for about a week. Before eating, rinse the veggies under running water to remove any dirt, then slice off the stem and blossom ends.  They can be cut into rounds, quarters, or chunks.

Zucchini and squash are great grilled. Slice the veggies lengthwise, then top with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Just before serving add some slivers of basil or pesto. You can also cube them and put them on a kabob with cherry tomatoes, meat, and peppers before grilling. If you don’t want to fire up the grill, zucchini and squash also fry well. Just slice and put in a sauté pan over medium heat with butter or olive oil. When almost done, reduce heat to medium-low, top with parmesan cheese, salt and pepper, and cover pan until the cheese melts. Your side dish is done!


Green Beans

Storage + Handling

Store dry green beans in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator. They are best eaten soon after picking, but can keep for 5 days or so. Wash beans thoroughly in cool water before eating.

Beans can be cooked whole, cut crosswise, diagonally, or French-cut (sliced along the length of the bean). Many say that preparing beans with a French-cut yields the most tender and sweet taste. Perhaps that’s true, but remember that beans retain the most nutrients when cooked uncut. Green beans are rich in protein, fiber, iron, and Vitamins C and A. They are also high in beta carotene, which is most commonly associated with carrots. Some say you can lower your cholesterol levels by 12% just by eating a cup of beans a day!

The easiest way to prepare beans is to steam them. First trim the ends of the beans. I like to have my son do this step. He just snaps the ends with his fingers. It gets him involved in the meal and he ends up eating a few along the way! Next, steam the beans for about 8 minutes, or until they have turned bright green and are just tender. Drain and place in a bowl to toss with butter and salt and pepper.

Many people like to stir-fry green beans. This method retains more nutrients than other cooking methods. Stir fry beans with garlic and some cherry tomatoes for a beautiful and tasty side dish. Whatever cooking method you choose, remember to cook beans as little as possible, using the least amount of water possible, as beans release nutrients into the water. If you boil your beans, why not re-use the bean water to cook rice and thereby regain some of those nutrients?



Kale Chips

It’s the perfect snack to enjoy while watching the Olympics!


One bunch of kale

2 tablespoons olive oil

sea salt


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Wash and dry kale then remove stems by folding in half and cutting lengthwise along the stem. Slice kale into bite-sized pieces. Toss with olive oil and salt and lay on a baking sheet. Bake 8 minutes and flip. (time will vary depending upon the size of your kale so check frequently!) Continue baking until crisp. If you like spice, try adding chili flakes, cayenne pepper or paprika.


Pan-Grilled Corn With Chile and Peach Salsa

From The New York Times, 2005

6 ears of corn, shucked
1 tablespoon corn oil
1 jalapeño or ½ habañero chile, stemmed, seeded and minced, or ½ teaspoon dried red chili flakes

4 or 5 scallions, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2-inch lengths
4 ripe peaches, pitted and chopped, with their juices
½ large red onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
¼ cup chopped Thai or other basil, or mint leaves, or a combination
Fresh squeezed lime juice to taste
Salt and freshly ground black pepper.


Stand an ear of corn in a shallow bowl, stem-side down. With a knife, slice kernels off from top to bottom until all are removed. Continue with every ear.  Put a large skillet over high heat and add oil; a minute later, add corn and chilies. As corn cooks, shake pan to distribute it so that each kernel is deeply browned on at least one surface. While corn is still in skillet, but with heat off, stir in scallions and let sit for a minute, stirring occasionally. Remove to a bowl and combine with remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve within an hour.



Broccoli sauteed in wine and garlic

From Mario Batalli


6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, sliced

3 lbs broccoli, cut into spears; stalks peeled and cut into strips

1 cup dry white wine

1 tbsp hot red pepper flakes (optional)

zest of lemon and orange


Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add the garlic. When it sizzles, add the broccoli stems for 2 minutes then the broccoli heads, tossing frequently and gradually add the wine to keep the garlic from browning and the stalks are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and zest, tossing well. Serve immediately.


Peaches in Muscat Wine

The Zuni Café Cookbook

This is a simple, beautiful and delicious adult dessert!


½ bottle sweet Muscat wine (1 ¾ cup)

sugar, if needed

4 perfectly ripe peaches (white or yellow)

blueberries (for garnish)


Pour the wine into a bowl and taste. Sweeten as needed until it tastes “like dessert.” If your wine is super sweet, you may not need any extra sugar at all! Now peel the peaches. To do this, prepare a bowl of ice water large enough to hold the peaches. Slide one or two peaches into a few quarts of simmering water on the stove. Remove as soon as you can slide a spot of skin free of the flesh (Lift a peach with a slotted spoon and rub gently with your thumb to check.) This should take between 15 seconds and 40 seconds. Immediately slide the hot fruit into the bowl of ice water and swirl to ensure a rapid, even cooling. Repeat with the remaining fruit. Remove the skins, then carve the flesh off the pit in neat wedges about ½ inch thick and place into bowl of wine. The fruit should be submerged. Swirl the bowl gently. Lay a sheet of plastic or parchment over the surface of the bowl so the edges don’t discolor and place in the refrigerator to macerate for up to an hour. About 30 minutes before serving, remove the peaches from the fridge and taste. Sprinkle with more sugar as needed. Spoon into pretty wine glasses and garnish with blueberries.
As always, if any questions, always feel free to email us or give us a call!

All the Best,

The FarmShare Team
Applecrest Farm Orchards
133 Exeter Road, Hampton Falls NH 03844

Tel: +1 603 926 3721

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Applecrest Farm | 133 Exeter Road (Rt.88) | Hampton Falls, NH 03844 | Phone 603.926.3721 |