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August 28th, 2012 FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter

FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter for 28 August 2012

What’s in this week’s boxes?




Yellow + White Peaches





Pickling Cukes



Storage, handling and general cooking tips


Storage + Handling

Take care when handling your raspberries – they are very fragile and perishable. If you do not plan to eat your berries today, store them unwashed in your refrigerator on a plate. Raspberries will keep in the refrigerator for one or two days. When you are ready to enjoy your berries, give them a gentle wash and pat dry. To help prevent spoilage, keep berries out of the sun and do not leave out on the counter for more than two hours.

Raspberries freeze very well. Wash them gently and pat dry with a paper towel. Arrange them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, pop them in a labeled freezer container. They will keep for one year.

Raspberries are chock full of vitamins C and K as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. Add some berries to your morning yogurt or pancakes!


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 Tips

Unwashed potatoes should be kept in a cool, dark place.  They will keep for weeks at room temperature, and even longer at 40-50 degrees. Do not refrigerate them as refrigerators will turn the starch in potatoes into sugar. Moisture will cause spoilage, light will turn them green, and onions will cause them to sprout (just cut off the “eyes” – they are still good potatoes!)

Potatoes come in all shapes, sizes, textures, and colors. They are rich in carbs, magnesium and potassium (more pro-rata than a banana!) with some Vitamins B + C. They are low in fat and have as many calories as an apple or glass of OJ. Potatoes are generally known as tubers, but they aren’t actually roots. The potato is a stem. Each potato has its own root system hanging from it. If you find “potato hairs” in your quart, it’s because they were just gathered from the soil in the field – fresh as can be!

Potatoes are incredibly versatile in the kitchen. They can be boiled, steamed, baked, roasted, mashed, sautéd, fried, or microwaved. Before cooking your potatoes, give them a good scrub to remove any dirt. Cut out any black spots, which are bitter internal bruises, and cut off any green skins or sprouts. Many of the potatoes’ nutrients are found in the skin, so whether you peel them is up to you and your recipe. Soups and stews may separate the skins, but roasted, baked, or fried skins will become a wonderful crispy treat. Prick potatoes if cooking whole. Cover peeled and cut potatoes in cold water if not using right away to prevent the flesh from turning brown. Russets, blue and purple potatoes have a crumbly, fluffy texture – perfect for making French fries, baking or pureeing. They easily absorb flavors and fat for crispiness. Waxy red, white, and yellow potatoes are great in salads and gratins where their firm, moist texture will remain intact.

Facts: Potatoes were first grown and cultivated in South America, but were brought over to Europe in the 16th Century. Louis XVI wore potato flowers in his button hole and Marie Antoinette put them in her hair. They were first introduced to America by Thomas Jefferson. The nickname “spud” comes from a tool that was used to weed the potato patch.


Storage + Handling

Eggplants can be kept in a cool space on the counter or in the fridge for up to one week. They don’t particularly like cold temperatures – brown areas are signs of chilled damage. Wrap unwashed eggplant in a towel (not in plastic) to absorb any moisture and keep it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator.  Used within a week, it should still be fresh and mild.

Before cooking, rinse eggplant in cool water and cut off the stem.  Eggplants do not need to be peeled, but they do need to be cooked before being eaten.


There seems to be some debate surrounding the salting of eggplants. Many people like to salt and drain their eggplant to draw out any bitter flavor. With our farm fresh veggies, salting is generally not necessary as bitterness develops only in eggplant that has been stored for a while.  Salting does positively affect the texture of your dish though, it helps make the vegetable less watery and more absorbent when cooking as salt breaks down the eggplant’s cell walls. So, it’s your call whether to salt or not. Why not experiment?

Pierced (don’t forget this step or you may have an eggplant explosion in your oven!), whole eggplant can be baked at 400F for 30-40 minutes. Allow it to cool, then scoop out the flesh. Eggplant can also be cubed and put on kabobs for the grill.

Did you know that botanically-speaking, eggplant is a fruit? It is rich in dietary fiber and potassium with a very low calorie count. It is high in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants, particularly nasunin, which protects the brain.


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.

Pickling Cucumbers

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. Keep cucumbers tucked far away from tomatoes, apples, and citrus fruits, as these give off ethylene gas that accelerates cucumber deterioration. Pickling cukes are best pickled of course.


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 toss with just a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper before grilling. 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!


Grilled Eggplant with Honey Balsamic Syrup

* Fresh From The Farmer’s Market 2007
1 pound eggplant
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 – 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

Salt + pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon local honey
Fresh thyme (or other fresh herbs)

Heat grill. Trim the eggplant, then slice lengthwise in half-inch thick strips. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil and garlic. Brush the cut sides of the eggplant with oil/garlic mixture, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on the grill for about 8 minutes, turning halfway through. While eggplant grills, mix balsamic vinegar and honey in a small pan and bring to a boil. Let syrup cook down until it is quite thick. Layer the grilled eggplant on a platter, drizzle with the syrup. Sprinkle with fresh thyme.


Raspberry Morning Cake

* Kitchen Parade


3/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature

1-1/4 cups sugar

Zest from 1 orange or 2 limes

1 tablespoon vanilla

3 large eggs, room temperature

3 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon table salt (skip this if using salted butter)

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 – 1 ½ cups raspberries

1 tablespoon flour


1 tablespoon orange juice

1 tablespoon cream

Powdered sugar to thicken, about 8 tablespoons


Preheat oven to 350F. Cream butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer. Add zest and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt. To the mixer bowl, dd 1/3 the buttermilk, stir, 1/2 the flour mixture, stir, 1/3 the buttermilk, stir, 1/2 the flour mixture, stir, 1/3 the buttermilk, stir.  In a separate bowl, stir together berries and 1 tablespoon flour. By hand, stir berries into batter. Transfer batter to well-greased Bundt pan. Bake for 60 – 75 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 30 minutes then gently turn onto serving plate. Let cool another 30 minutes. Mix glaze ingredients, drizzle onto cake.


As always, if any questions, always feel free to email us or give us a call!

Roasted Fall Root Salad

*101 Cookbooks


1 1/2 pounds small, potatoes, halved or quartered

1/2 pound carrots, halved or quartered
1/2 pound parsnips, halved
6 medium shallots, peeled

(try to cut your veggies into similar-sized pieces so they will roast uniformly)
1/4 cup virgin olive oil
sea salt
2 bunches of scallions, greens topped off, and halved lengthwise

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
2 teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon heavy cream


Preheat oven to 375F degrees. In a large bowl toss the potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and shallots with 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 big pinches of salt. Turn veggies out onto a large baking sheet in a single layer. Place green onions in the mixing bowl and gently toss to coat in leftover oil. Add the onions to the baking sheet in one lump (they will finish roasting before your other veggies and removing them will be easier if they are all together). Put veggies in oven.


While the veggies are roasting, pour red wine vinegar into a small bowl with the chopped shallot. Let shallots sit in the vinegar for twenty minutes or so.


Check scallions for doneness after 20 minutes, if browned, they are done, so remove from oven. Let the rest of the veggies continue cooking until they are golden and tender – roughly 40-60 minutes – flipping them once or twice along the way.


In the bowl with the vinegar-soaked shallots, whisk in mustard and salt, before slowly drizzling in the olive oil. Whisk in the cream, taste and adjust with more mustard, vinegar, or salt to taste. Toss roasted vegetables with the dressing and half of the scallions. Turn everything out onto a platter and serve topped with the remaining roasted scallions. You can also serve the roasted veggies on a bed of wild rice. Just splash the rice with a bit of the dressing before adding dressed veggies. Serves 6.


Tortilla Soup


2 TB olive oil

1 poblano chili, seeded and chopped

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

1 zucchini, diced

2 ears corn, boiled and kernels removed

1 cup onion, chopped

1 ½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

2 tsp chopped garlic

1 TB tomato paste

6 Cups chicken broth

1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded (buy a pre-cooked rotisserie to save time!)

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tsp fresh lime juice

6 corn tortillas cut into ¼” strips

vegetable oil for frying

garnish: avocado cubes, sour cream, diced cucumber


Heat oil in Dutch oven on medium-high heat. Add chili, pepper, zucchini, corn, onion, salt, cumin, coriander and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Add chicken stock, simmer 20 minutes. Add chicken, simmer 5 more minutes to heat through. Add cilantro and lime, stir. Remove from heat and keep warm until serving. Meanwhile, fry tortilla slices in vegetable oil until brown, but not burned.  Ladle soup into bowls and top with crispy tortilla strips. Serve with garnishes of your choice.

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 |