March 2012 CSA Newsletter

Posted on March 08, 2012  /   Posted in Newsletter

WHAT’S IN YOUR SHARE THIS MONTH

CRYSTAL SPRING MARINARA  Pasta & Pizza Sauce: Crystal Spring Community Farm is   a certified organic farm located in Brunswick.  The farm does a large summer CSA in the Portland and Brunswick area.  Seth Kroeck was one of the first farmers I visited when I started my work for MOFGA six years ago.  When Seth attended one of my Farm Food Safety workshops in early April last year, and told me that he would have some extra capacity in sweet bell peppers, we were really excited.  As it turns out, in addition to peppers, we were able to purchase sweet onions, jalapeño peppers, and Genovese basil.  Then one day, Seth called to see if we needed more tomatoes.  Seems that he had grown one variety in his hoop house that was quite prolific…we were fortunate to receive over 2000 pounds.  When cooking down these tomatoes, we decided to make them into a single variety sauce.  Crystal Spring Marinara is crafted in true Italian fashion.  The garlic is sautéed in olive oil until fragrant, and then the tomato puree, herbs and seasonings are cooked until the sauce becomes thick.  We love the fresh tomato taste of this sauce, and hope you will also!  And the good news is, next year, Seth will be growing even more food for us…we’re meeting soon to talk about varieties and quantities…go Maine farmers!

PROVENCAL ROASTED VEGGIE  Pasta & Pizza Sauce: Costoluto Genovese is the primary tomato in our  hearty flavored 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.

This deeply flavored Provençal-style sauce is crafted from roasted eggplant from Crystal Springs Community Farm and roasted red pepper from New Leaf Farm.  We add onions, garlic and rosemary sautéed lightly in olive oil.  The sauce is simmered for hours, allow the flavors to marry.  We enjoy Provençal Roasted Veggie Sauce in a lasagna, or as part of a bean soup.

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 or the Liberty  Howard Wulf, from Wulf Orchards in Unity  is the artist that produced this fruit.

CARL’S CAULIFLOWER: Our friend Carl used to buy jars and jars of pickled vegetables just to eat the pickled cauliflower.  He helped us in the kitchen during the harvest, and we decided to save him all those jars and just pickle the cauliflower.  We’ve added some sweet bell pepper for color.  Enjoy this vegetable with a hanger steak and frites, or with baked beans, or as Carl does…straight out of the jar!

ZUCCHINI RELISH: No burger is complete without ketchup and relish.  Our Zucchini Relish has organic zucchini from Ripley Farm in Dover-Foxcroft, organic onions from Crystal  Spring Community Farm, organic peppers from New Leaf Farm, and organic cider vinegar from Sewall Orchards in Lincolnville.  Use it to make a mean home-made tartar sauce.  Limited availability.

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.

WILD BLUEBERRY MARGARITA MIX  Surprise from the chef!
The base for our mix comes from Washington country blueberries that were part of some research we did in the Cornell Food Processing Laboratory last year.  Prepared from a colloidal pressing of wild blueberries, the juice is blended with organic lime juice and just a touch of organic cane sugar.  Enjoy Wild Blueberry Margarita Mix with sparkling water or club soda…or with your favorite libations.

SPICED PEACH BUTTER: The peaches for this delicious spread were grown by Five Star Nursery and Orchard in Brooklin.  Tim Seabrook and Leslie Cummins are fruit artists…and they also operate a cider house that presses our juice from Barbour Farm.  We blend peach puree with apple puree and simmer it slowly with organic spices and sugar.  This has long been a favorite of our family’s..enjoy!

AROOSTOOK FOUR GRAIN PANCAKE & WAFFLE MIX: I just love the county…Aroostook County…home to potato fields, tractors, root crops and grains.  Did you know that during the Civil War, the county was the “bread-basket” of the North?  All research indicates that the county will play a major role in feeding Maine, and the Northeast as our oil supplies deplete and food will be too expensive to ship from China.

All four grains; whole wheat, rolled oats, buckwheat, and corn, for this easy and delicious mix were grown in the county.  Wood Prairie Farm is always testing heirloom varieties of corn…the Bouchard Family is renowned for their buckwheat, and Matt Williams at Aurora Mills has the highest quality wheat and rolled oats.  Because this mix is made from freshly ground grains and not treated with any preservatives, please enjoy within the month, or store in the refrigerator.

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