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September 4th, 2012 FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter

FarmShare, C.S.A. Newsletter for 4 September 2012

What’s in this week’s boxes?



Yellow + White Peaches


Sweet 100/Sungold mix cherry tomatoes

Mountain Fresh tomatoes

Orient Express (long + thin), Dancer eggplant (thicker and lighter-skinned)

Islander Peppers

Royal Burgundy (purple), Jade (green) & Gold Rush (yellow) Beans

Alibi 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.

Islander Peppers

Storage + Handling Tips

Store peppers in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to a week. Keep your peppers away from ethylene-producing fruits like apples and bananas.

Islander peppers boast a mild taste and beautiful color. One medium-sized pepper will just about fulfill your daily vitamin C requirement! It is low in calories and also contains vitamins B1, B2 and D, plus numerous minerals. You can eat them raw, sauté them, roast them, stuff them, pickle’em, or stir fry them. I’m told you can also freeze them. To freeze, either roast the peepers and remove the skin and seeds, or slice raw and remove seeds. Store in the freezer in labeled plastic bags or airtight containers.


Storage + Handling

The Orient Express eggplant is long and slender, while the Dancer is a bit thicker and lighter colored.

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.


Imam Bayildi – Turkish Eggplant

*From Asparagus to Zucchini


2 medium eggplants


6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 large onions, thinly sliced

1 bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 pound coarsely chopped fresh tomatoes

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon ground coriander

black pepper

4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, divided


Cut stems off eggplants and slice them in half lengthwise. Make a few slashes in the cut sides, sprinkle them generously with salt, and set them on paper towels, cut side down, for a t least 30 minutes. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse salt off eggplants and dry them well with towels. Heat 3-4 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add eggplants, cut side down, and cook them 5-7 minutes. Arrange partially-cooked eggplants, cut side up, in baking dish. Heat another 2 tablespoons olive oil in skillet, add onions, bell peppers, and garlic, and fry over medium heat until vegetables are soft, 10-15 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, sugar, coriander, and pepper to taste. Bring to simmer and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in half the cilantro or parsley. Pour sauce onto eggplants and bake until eggplant is very tender, 30-45 minutes. Spoon any juices that have collected in the pan over the eggplants when they come out of the oven. You can serve this hot, but it is more traditionally chilled before serving. Top with remaining cilantro or parsley and drizzle on a bit more olive oil if desired. This is great with bread and yogurt. Makes 4 servings or 8-12 appetizers.


Sautéd Summer Beans and Cherry Tomatoes

* Fields of Greens

salt and pepper

1 pound mixed beans (about 4 cups)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 shallot, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons dry white wine

1 ½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved, about 1 cup

1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, marjoram, or basil


Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add ½ teaspoon salt. Trim the stems from the beans, leaving the tail ends on. Cut them in half on a diagonal or leave whole if small. Drop the beans into the water and cook until tender, 4-5 minutes. (You might cook the different varieties of beans in different pots as their cooking times may vary). Rinse under cold water and set aside to drain. Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan. Add the shallots, garlic, 1 teaspoon of the lemon juice, and the white wine. Cook over medium heat for 1 minutes, until the pan is nearly dry. Add the beans, ¼ teaspoon salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and herbs. Saute for 1-2 minutes, just long enough so that the tomatoes heat through without losing their shape. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately.


Peppers + Onions

*Nourishing Traditions

2 medium peppers, peeled and sliced thin

2 peppers, seeded and sliced into strips

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ teaspoon dried herbs of your choice

2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

½ cup basil leaves, sliced into strips

salt + pepper


Sauté onions and peppers in butter and olive oil over low to medium heat for about 45 minutes until soft. Add herbs, garlic and basil and cook for a few minutes, stirring. The consistency should be like marmalade. Season to taste. Great as an appetizer served over toasted bread triangles or as a side dish.


Roasted Sungold Tomatoes

I use these to top pasta and add a sprinkling of parm and chopped fresh basil.


1 container Sungold tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

½ tablespoon maple syrup

salt and pepper


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In an oven-safe pan over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add tomatoes to warm oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes and then add your maple syrup. Stir to coat the tomatoes well and pop them in the oven for 20-25 minutes. The tomatoes will burst. Pour tomatoes over cooked pasta and serve with parmesan and basil.


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 |