December 2011 CSA Newsletter

Posted on December 15, 2011  /   Posted in Newsletter


GENOVESE BASIL  Pasta & Pizza Sauce: We craft our Genovese Basil Pasta & Pizza Sauce from 2 tomatoes:  Amish Paste and Costoluto Genovese.  It is made in the traditional Italian style of simmering the tomatoes with onions and herbs until thick.  We like the Amish Paste tomato for its rich, sweet flavor and meaty texture.  Slow Food USA, whose mission is to save cherished foods, agrees that this tomato is worth preserving, and Amish Paste has boarded their Ark of Taste.  The tomatoes for this sauce are certified organic and were grown at Green Garden Farm in St. Albans.  Allen and Jose’s farm is a work-of-art, and they also produce seed garlic, pumpkins, sunflowers, and other flowers for the wholesale floral market.  Genovese Basil is a powerful, aromatic variety of basil; very traditional in Italian sauces.  Crystal Spring Community Farm in Brunswick grew this batch of basil.  We puree the leaves with water and olive oil, and freeze the puree for use in the winter to simmer in the sauce.  The kitchen smells heavenly when this is in the kettle!  Enjoy Genovese Basil Pasta & Pizza sauce over fresh pasta, on your favorite pizza (We like it on a Maine Lobster Pizza), and in Broccoli Calzones.        

SNAKEROOT GOLDEN ARROW  Pasta & Pizza Sauce :  Tom Roberts of SnakeRoot Organic Farm in Pittsfield bred and developed the Golden Arrow tomato used to make this sauce.  We told Tom if he grew enough tomatoes, we’d develop a sauce and this is it!  The Golden Arrow tomato has a nice, meaty texture, and is very versatile.  We simmered the tomato puree with golden roasted garlic, sweet onions, and King Hill Farm winter carrots.  The seasoning is a very traditional Italian style, and the result is a gorgeous, golden sauce that surprises the palate and works in all your favorite recipes.

FARMER’S VEGGIE Pasta & Pizza Sauce: Costoluto Genovese is the primary tomato in  our traditional Italian farm-style sauce.  This ribbed tomato was one of the first kind of tomato to be introduced in Europe, initially in Spain, then in Italy and France.  Amy Goldman writes in her book, ‘The Heirloom Tomato’, that “ by the 19th century, the tomato -whether fresh or prepared in pastes, purees, and juices – had become indispensable for cooks and homemakers in Italy, and was grown in virtually every garden.  Cosotoluto Genovese was the local favorite.”  We chose this variety both for its storied history, and for the body it adds to our sauce.  We add leeks from Curra Family Farm in Knox, carrots from King Hill Farm in Penobscot, peppers from Checkerberry Farm in Parkman, and parsley from Ripley Farm in Dover-Foxcroft.  We enjoy Farmer’s Veggie Pasta & Pizza Sauce over cheese ravioli, in Saturday Night Baked Chicken, as part of a home-baked pizza, and in Cajun Turkey Pasta.  This sauce is sure to please “kids” of all ages…and is packed with veggies!

SWEET 16 APPLESAUCE:  The sweet sixteen apple is a variety introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1979, and has Northern Spy and MN 447 for parents.  Although this variety was never patented, it has a very devoted following.  John Bunker and the crew from Out on a  Limb think that the Sweet 16 is a dessert  variety with a unique flavor, almost like cherry lifesavers or a hint of licorice.  The sauce is a rich, caramel color, quite different than the Tolman Sweet from November.  Howard Wulf is the artist that produced this fruit.

EMILY’S TACO SALSA: Created for our middle daughter, Emily, this salsa is a fresh-pack, hot pack sauce.  We start with a base of Amish paste tomatoes, and add fresh, chopped tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic and jalapeños.  Seasoned with lime juice, cumin and oregano, enjoy this premium, fresh-tasting salsa straight from the jar, with tacos and nachos, or try my favorite, Spicy Beans and Beef

DILLY BEANS: The recipe for Dilly Beans is a Maine favorite, and very addictive!  Peacemeal Farm in Dixmont grows the beans, and they are pickled in a brine with Sewall Farm organic vinegar.  In your share, you may have Chilly Dilly Beans…a variation that includes a hot chilly pepper.  The beans themselves may not be extra hot…but beware…the pepper packs a bite!  We have a very limited run of this product and it is available only to CSA members, which is why some jars say  Trial Run., not for retail sale.  Next year, we have folks in the County who want to grow acres of beans….then we’ll make more!

CRANBERRY KETCHUP: In the late 1600′s, Dutch and British seamen brought back a spicy condiment from China known as ke-tsiap, or ketchup.  Variations in the recipe evolved, and Maine’s seafaring families had their favorites.  Our handcrafted version of Cranberry Ketchup dates before the turn of the century.  Organic Maine cranberries from  Sparrow Farm are slowly simmered with organic onions, pure cane sugar and spices to produce a delicious sauce that is tasty on burgers, perfect as a complement to grilled meats, and divine spread on a turkey sandwich.

 APPLE MAPLE JAM: Everyone agrees that this jam tastes like “apple pie in a jar”.  Barbour Farm organic apples are simmered with organic Maine maple syrup and Barbour Farm apple cider and then lightly seasoned with spices.   We make our jams in a traditional, European style.  The fruit is first cooked in the kettle, and then the skins and seeds are extracted.  The puree is then returned to the kettle to create the jam.  Our jams are not made with pectin…they are slowly simmered to bring out the natural fruit sugars.  The result is a product that is almost seed-less, low in sugar, and quite delicious!

SURPRISE FROM THE CHEF! Barbour Farm Apple Juice
We promised you that some months we’d slip in a surprise…something we’re thinking about producing…but would like some consumer feed-back.  Barbour Farm is a MOFGA certified organic apple orchard near our home in Stonington that we tend.  This year we harvested over 60 bushels of apples from 21 trees, pressing many of them in cider.  This cider we bottle as juice, ferment in 5 gallon carboys to make sparkling cider, and  ferment into vinegar.  We think the 10 ounce bottle size is perfect for lunch boxes, or for 2 glasses of morning juice.

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