Contact Us

September 18th, 2012 FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter

FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter for 18 September 2012

What’s in this week’s boxes?





Sweet 100/Sungold mix cherry tomatoes

Mountain Fresh tomatoes

Cherokee or Striped German Heirloom tomato


Alibi Pickling Cuke


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

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


Cucumbers are members of the gourd family. The thin skin does not require peeling, just a good washing. Cucumbers are usually eaten raw, most often in salads, cut into pieces and served with a dip, or sliced for sandwiches. They are also used to make pickles of course (recipe in older CSA Newsletter). Store whole, unwashed cukes on the counter if you want to enjoy them in the next day or two. Otherwise, place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


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.


Tomato Plate

With the beautiful selection of tomatoes this week, you should have a family tasting! Just slice your tomatoes, dress lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper and compare notes. You’ll find that each tomato tastes different. We would love to hear your reactions: which did you like the best and why?

Vegetable Stew

*A Veggie Venture


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, diced
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
2 bell peppers: green, red or yellow, or a mixture, diced in large chunks
1 pound eggplant, skin on, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 yellow squash or zucchini, trimmed & diced

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed & snapped in bite-size lengths
3 medium perfectly ripe tomatoes (blanched to remove skins if you like), cut in pieces or 30 ounces canned diced tomato
kernels from 2 ears of corn (if you have some frozen kernels these would work too!)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt +  pepper
1 tablespoon good vinegar (don’t skip)
Tabasco – few drops

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven or large kettle over medium-high heat until shimmery. Add onion, stir to coat, sauté for about 5 minutes until just soft. Add garlic and peppers, sauté another 5 minutes. Add eggplant, cook another 5 minutes. Add squash, beans, and any other vegetables and let cook for about 5 minutes. Finally, add tomato, corn, oregano, and season to taste. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are done but still crisp-tender. Stir in vinegar and Tabasco, adjusting seasoning to taste. Serve immediately or better yet, refrigerate for 24 hours. Can be served warm or cold with a spoonful of yogurt or a splash of cream! If you have leftovers, on the second night, roll out some refrigerated pizza dough, top with Summer Vegetable Stew and any other toppings, then bake according to package instructions.


Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence


Tomato Sauce:

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 cans (28-ounce) whole, peeled tomatoes, drained

Handful fresh basil leaves, torn

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


2 small (3/4 pound) eggplants, stemmed but not peeled

2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound dried spaghetti

1 pint cherry tomatoes, stemmed

1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino, plus extra for serving

Handful fresh basil leaves, torn


First, make the tomato sauce: Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 7 to 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft but not browned. Add the tomatoes, crushing them in your hand to break them up. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce is reduced and thickened, about 10 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Cut the eggplants crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick rounds and put them in a large bowl. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper, and drizzle generously with olive oil. Toss to coat, drizzling in more oil if you needed. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast 20 minutes until eggplants are very tender.


While the eggplants are roasting, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta. About 5 minutes before the eggplants are done, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook until al dente, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain. Bring the tomato sauce to a simmer and pour it into a large pasta bowl. Add the drained spaghetti and stir to coat with the sauce. Fold in the eggplants and the cherry tomatoes. Add the cheese and basil, and another drizzle of oil, and toss gently. Serve immediately and pass extra cheese at the table.


Apple-Stuffed Squash



2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 medium apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 carnival or acorn squash, halved and seeds removed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted (optional)


Preheat oven to 375F. Combine butter, syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon, and apple in a bowl. Place mixture into the hollow of each squash half. Set in a baking dish and roast for about 45 minutes or until squash is soft (test with a fork). Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, if desired.


Apple Pie Bars

* This crowd-pleasing dessert was developed by FamilyFun staffer Sandy Wickland

Makes 18 bars



2-1/2 cups flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter

1 egg

Milk (about 2/3 cup)


1-3/4 cups cornflakes

8 cups peeled and sliced cooking apples

1 cup sugar

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg



2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a medium-size bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbly. Separate the egg yolk and white, reserving both parts. Beat the yolk in a liquid measuring cup, then add enough milk to measure 2/3 cup and blend well. With a fork, stir together the yolk-milk mixture and flour mixture until the ingredients form a sticky dough. Halve the dough and flatten each half into a 3/4-inch-thick disk. Cover the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate them until well chilled, at least 30 minutes.


Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour the cornflakes into a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to lightly crush them. On a sheet of waxed paper, roll one portion of dough into a 15-1/2- by 10-1/2-inch rectangle. Transfer the dough to an ungreased 15- by 10-inch jelly roll pan. Sprinkle the crushed cereal over the dough, then layer on the apple slices. Roll out the remaining dough just as you did the first portion. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg for the filling. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples, then lay the dough on top. Use the tines of a fork to seal the dough edges.


In a small bowl, use a fork to beat the reserved egg white until foamy, then brush it over the dough. In another small bowl, stir together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping and sprinkle it on the crust.

Bake the pastry until lightly browned, about 50 to 55 minutes. If the pastry begins to brown before the bars are fully cooked, and there are at least 20 minutes of baking time left, cover the crust with foil to keep it golden brown.


Let cool for an hour, then mix the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla extract to make a glaze and drizzle it over the top. When the dish has completely cooled, cut it into bars and serve.

All the Best,

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

Tel: +1 603 926 3721

Leave a Reply

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