Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wed/Thurs - Week # 17


I hope you are doing well. Our small shares this week have candy onions, sweet dumpling squash, russian banana fingerling potatoes, green oakleaf lettuce, red cabbage, and red poblano peppers or yellow/red bell peppers. Our full shares have all of that, inluding additional potatoes, squash, and peppers, as well as heirloom tomatoes and/or slicing tomatoes and ground cherries.

New in the shares this week are our sweet dumpling squash, russian banana fingerling potatoes, green oakleaf lettuce, and red poblano peppers. The sweet dumpling squash is similar to acorn squash in shape, but has a flavor more similar to sweet potatoes. Their shape makes them ideal for stuffing, but they are just as good roasted, in soups, pan-fried, or pureed into cakes, muffins, pies, or pancakes, just as you would use pumpkin puree. The russian banana fingerling potatoes are probably the most common variety for fingerling potatoes. Their narrow, long shapes make them ideal for cooking whole, whether in a pan or in a pot. Their flavor and texture are similar to gold potatoes, but since they can be cooked whole with their skin on so easily, they maintain a very pleasant texture inside--beware though, with the skin still on, they will retain their heat for quite a while after cooking, so don't burn yourself.

The green oakleaf lettuce is largely similar to the green butterhead. They are in the same family, though they have different leaf patterns, and you might notice a slight difference in flavor--both varieties are mild and rarely bitter. The red poblanos are a very special treat--they are hotter, frutier, and more flavor-intense than the green poblanos. You might have had dried red poblanos before; which are known as anchos, and are used widely in Mexican cuisine.

I am sure you will note that this is the first cabbage in a long time--because it has just come back into season. I know they can be pretty large for a lot of households, but if you store them in a bag in the refrigerator, they will stay for several weeks--especially if you keep using the outer leaves. I'm sure many of you know, but cabbage is great in slaws, soups, haluski, stir fried, used as a wrapper, or made into sauerkraut, among many other uses. If you cook it correctly it should be slightly sweet, and not have a foul 'cabbagey' smell--that is a sign it's been over-cooked.

We've had a nice response so far to the Winter CSA, and are hoping to fill all of the available slots in the next few weeks, so if that is a program you are interested in, or you think somebody you know might be--please let them know that they should sign up as soon as possible. Just so you are all aware--the summer season continues through the last week in October (5 more weeks).

In response to some of the feedback in our last survey, I am going to include special notes at the bottoms of the newsletters for the next few weeks, and will compile them into a chart on our web site as well. I am hoping we will be able to make some adjustments and share them before the season begins next year.

Please remember to return your bags.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.



A Note on Checklists:

We distribute checklists to our pick-up sites for your benefit; to help ensure that everybody receives what they have subscribed to and minimize confusion and mishaps. Often, some boxes have a mix of both sizes of shares, so it is important to remember what share you have subscribed to, and to make sure you pick that one up. If you are having somebody else pick up your share for you, it is also important that you let them know these things. The checklist should act to reinforce this, and they have cover sheets which describe which color bags are for which shares and have my phone number in case you have any questions. The checklists are not something we receive back every week or review, and though occasionally I receive some that have notes on them, I am sure that I miss several others. If there is a problem and it needs immediate attention, please call me, otherwise, please send me an email and I will get back to you.

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