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October 16th, 2012 FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter

FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter for 16 October 2012

What’s in this week’s boxes?



Apple Cider


Green + Purple Peppers


Braising Greens: Swiss chard + Kale

Heron Pond Potatoes: red, white + purple


Green Tomatoes

Butternut Squash

Green Beans

Bicolor Corn



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.

Apple Cider

Storage + Handling

Hurrah for the official state beverage of New Hampshire! Applecrest’s apple cider is pressed here on the farm each week from apples culled from our very orchards. To make our cider, we wash and grind our apples into a mash, then wrap this applesauce-like mash in cloth and place it on wooden racks. A press then squeezes the layers together, pressing the juice out and into a waiting tank for bottling. Our cider is unfiltered, unsweetened, and unpasteurized – although we do add a smidgen of potassium sorbate (an odorless, flavorless, colorless preservative) to extend the cider’s shelf life. The sweetness of the apple cider depends on the sugar content and variety of apples that were pressed that day.  The natural yeasts found in the cider will cause it to ferment over time, but it should last for a few weeks.

Sweet Bell Peppers: green + purple

Storage + Handling

Store whole peppers in a cool, dry place or refrigerate 3-4 days in a plastic bag. Always refrigerate cut peppers. If you do a taste test, you’ll find the purple peppers tend to be sweeter than green. Peppers are high in vitamin C and also contain vitamins A, B6 and K. The purple variety offers some antioxidants as well.

Sliced peppers can be eaten raw, roasted, or sauteed in olive oil or butter for 3-10 minutes until soft. Peppers can also be frozen. Wash your peppers, then slice and remove seeds and pulp. Place sliced peppers in a pot of boiling water to blanch for 2 minutes than submerge in ice water until cool. Place peppers in a labeled plastic container and freeze for up to 9 months.


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.

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.


Storage + Handling

Refrigerate dry, unwashed carrots in a plastic bag for two weeks or longer. Carrots are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Thiamin, Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 and Manganese. They are also chock full of dietary fiber.

Carrots fresh from the farm generally don’t need to be peeled, but should you decide to peel them, the nutrient loss is negligible.  Peel carrots or scrub them well with a stiff brush just before using.  Trim off any green spots, which can taste bitter.  When slicing carrots for cooking, be sure to make all the pieces relatively the same size to ensure an evenly-cooked dish.


Carrots are great raw. Dip your carrots in hummus, peanut butter, or a creamy dressing. Add some to your children’s lunchbox! Slice or grate raw carrots into salads or cole slaw. Cooking will bring out the carrot’s inherent sweetness.  Just be sure to remove them from the heat while they still have some firmness to them.

You can steam (15-20 minutes), stir-fry (2-4 minutes) or braise (15-20 minutes) your carrots.


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, sauteéd, 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.

Butternut Squash

Storage + Handling

Butternut squash boasts a pinkish-tan skin with a dark orange flesh. The flavor is sweet and nutty. They are picked when fully mature and their skins have hardened. This hard skin means that they have a long shelf life and do require a sharp knife and careful hand to prep. Store uncut squash in a cool, well-ventilated area for up to two months. Wrap any cut pieces in plastic and refrigerate for up to five days.

Wash your squash well when ready to eat. The flesh can be removed from the skin before or after cooking (after is MUCH easier!), although if you plan to sauté the squash, we recommend removing the skin first. Use a sharp knife to cut away the skin as well as any seeds and fibrous stringy parts inside the cavity. Slice the squash into equally-sized pieces and you are ready to sauté!

Green Tomatoes

Storage + Handling

True green tomatoes come from heirloom stocks that produce a tart flavor. This particular variety sweetens with cooking and should not be eaten raw. Green tomatoes are often fried to attain a balance of tart-sweet taste or used in relishes.  With care, mature green tomatoes will keep and ripen for about 4 to 6 weeks in the fall if you care to wait!


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 Tips

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. Lettuce salads are a great addition to any meal, but are also good for tacos and sandwiches.


Braising Greens: Chard and Kale

Storage + Handling Tips


You’ll recognize the chard with its rainbow-colored stems and leaves. The Kale leaves will be distinctively curly. These greens are 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 them once a week! The flavor is mild, earthy, and a wee bit sweet.

Braising greens are very perishable, so enjoy them soon after pickup. Greens can be stored unwashed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for two to three days. The leaves can be eaten raw like 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 them as this will result in the loss of water-soluble nutrients. Dry the leaves. Now the greens can be covered or bagged in plastic and refrigerated for a few hours until needed. Braising greens can be parboiled, steamed, baked, or sautéed. They are 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.

When sautéing greens, it is good to work with just-washed greens. The water helps with wilting and releasing bitterness. Heat 1-2 Tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Add a minced clove of garlic if desired. If there is too much water on the greens or the oil is too hot, the oil will sputter, so take care. Chop the greens you are using into bite-sized pieces. Stacking the washed leaves is an easy way to make efficient, uniform cuts. Place cut leaves in the skillet and keep them moving. Stay with the process and test every minute or so for doneness. When the leaves are still full of color and tasting proves not bitter, but sweet, they’re ready!

Now you have a heap of cooked greens! How do you serve them? You can keep it simple and add a dash of vinegar and a sprinkle of tamari, then toss and eat. Or you can add your cooked greens to soups, quesadillas, lasagna, beans, grain dishes, omelettes, or gratins. You can prepare a heavenly peanut sauce to drizzle over greens, or toss them with toasted sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds for an Asian flavor. A squeeze of lemon is fine, but how about a little orange juice with garlic and a touch of chipotle sauce? Serve it over slices of polenta and it’s fit for company.

Braising greens also freeze 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. And when cooking veggies that you have blanched and frozen, always bring them back (cook) in butter.


Fried Green Tomatoes

Southern Living, July 2003


1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices

Vegetable oil

Salt to taste


Combine egg and buttermilk, then set aside. Combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or pan. Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour, dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture. Pour oil to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a large cast-iron skillet and heat to 375°. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt. Serves 4-6.


Farmgirl Susan’s No Sugar Green Tomato Relish

Makes about 3 pints. Recipe may be doubled; increase cooking time by 10-15 minutes


2 lb. green tomatoes, cored and chopped

1 lb. white or yellow onions, chopped

3/4 lb. sweet red, green or purple peppers, cored and chopped

1/2 lb. tart apples cored and chopped

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup apple cider vinegar (use ½ cup if not planning to process in canner)

1 Tablespoon kosher or sea salt

4 jalapeno peppers, cored, seeded if desired, and finely chopped

2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)


Combine the tomatoes, onions, peppers, apples, garlic, vinegar, and salt in a large, nonreactive pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about an hour.


Stir in the jalapenos, cilantro, and cumin and simmer for 5 more minutes. Carefully purée the mixture using a stick immersion blender or in a traditional counter top blender, in batches if necessary, until still somewhat chunky. Do not overmix; you don’t want it smooth.
This green tomato relish will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. If canning, return the puréed relish to a boil, then ladle the hot mixture into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.


Use this relish to dress burgers, eggs, burritos, and steaks, or as a new dip for chips.


Orzo with Butternut Squash and Sage Cream

from Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes

½ small butternut squash

2/4 cup heavy cream

12 large, fresh sage leaves, sliced crosswise (substitute 1 ½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary if you prefer)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound orzo pasta

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 ½ cups chicken broth

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper


Peel and seed the squash and cut into 1-inch pieces. Put the squash in the food processor and pulse to coarsely chop it into ¼ to ½-inch pieces. (Squash can be prepared a day ahead and kept in refrigerator).


Simmer the cream and sage leaves in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan over medium heat until reduced to ½ cup, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside. Melt the butter in a heavy, large saucepan over medium heat. Add the orzo and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and garlic and mix well. Add 3 cups water, the broth and salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered until the liquid is almost completely absorbed but the mixture is still slightly loose, about 13 minutes. Stir the parmesan cheese into the orzo and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the orzo into shallow bowls and drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of the sage cream. Sprinkle with additional cheese and serve immediately.

Corn Soup with Salsa

Chez Panisse Vegetables


1 medium onion

¼ small carrot

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons butter

1 sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

1 small piece prosciutto or bacon

3 cups fresh corn kernels

4 cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons half and half

2 cups corn and roasted tomato salsa


Peel and finely dice the onion, carrot, and garlic, and stew slowly in the butter with a little water, covered, until the onion is translucent. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and prosciutto or bacon, and stew for 3 or 4 minutes more. Add the corn and cook another minute or so. Pour in the stock, add the salt, bring the soup to a boil and shut off the heat. Cover and let stand for 3 minutes. Remove the thyme, bay leak and pork, and puree the soup in a blender for 3 minutes. Strain through a sieve, add the half-and-half, reheat the soup to just below a boil and serve, garnishing each bowl with a spoonful of the corn and roasted tomato salsa. Serves 6.


Corn and Roasted Tomato Salsa


1 tomato

1 sprig thyme

2 sage leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh corn kernels

salt and pepper.


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel and seed the tomato, and cut into ½-inch dice. In a small baking dish, toss the tomato with the thyme and sage and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Put the dish in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the oven, allow th cool and remove the thyme and sage. Toss together with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the corn, and season to taste. Serve as a garnish for the corn soup. Makes 1 cup.


Roasted Vegetables

Sometimes the simplest methods are the best! Cut your veggies in a way that maximizes contact with the pan and don’t crowd them on the baking sheet – ensure they can all fit on one layer. Keep your oven at a high enough temperature to ensure the starch in the vegetables carmelizes and check progress often.


New potatoes, cut in half or quarters

Carrots, sliced on the angle

Butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes or rectangles

Garlic cloves, peeled and whole

Onions, sliced

Olive oil


Toss veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in a 425-degree oven for 20-40 minutes, turning half way through. When done, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and serve warm.

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 |