[CSA]: Week 14

Around the Farm

As I said earlier, Keren has returned from Africa but, now our lovely Miss Jackie (a faithful helper and teacher) is getting married and the farm is all a-twitter!

We've had two helpers get married this year (not to each other) and helping with wedding flowers is always such a joy, helping to make the seasonal "wall" September creates, a little easier too. (Even though we'll really miss Jackie's help).

A fellow farmer in Stockbridge recently remarked that they face many "walls" throughout the year and, I'm beginning to relate. There's nothing particularly difficult about September that is any more difficult than any other time of the year, it's simply that it comes at the end of a long season. You can see the end is near but, there's still a great deal of harvesting to come before you can (kinda) relax a little more. 

September marks a time when we transition our hoophouses and farm into the fall and winter so, there's always a lot to do. We're seeding, ripping things out, planting, planning, marketing and still harvesting along the way. 

These super hot days don't make it any easier either. Oh well- it's so rewarding to see the tasty things coming from everyone's hard work and enjoying tomatoes everyday! 

Coming in October: -Winter Squash -Broccoli/Cauliflower -Brussels Sprouts -Rutabagas -Sweet Potatoes

The Menu

Please Choose 8

  • Regular Red or Cherry Tomatoes

  • Heirloom Tomatoes

  • Garlic

  • Red or Yellow Storage Onions

  • Hot Peppers

  • Shishito or Padron Peppers

    • Make these into a simple appetizer or snack by sauteeing or grilling these whole until they blister then, sprinkling them with salt and serving.

  • Sweet Bell Peppers and Carmen/Escamillo

  • Eggplant

  • Kale

    • Hopefully, it's the return of the Lacinato/Dino Kale plus, Curly and Red Russian

  • Rainbow Chard

  • Savoy Cabbage!

    • a sweeter, nuttier and slightly thinner-leaf version of regular cabbage. They're huge too!

  • Green (Unripe) Tomatoes!

    • We're clearing out the hoophouse and making way for the fall crops. 

Maybe List

  • Kossack Kohlrabi

  • Broccoli

  • Tomatillos

  • Leeks

Recipe Ideas: Tomatoes!

I'm sure you've found at least a few tasty things to enjoy with tomatoes!

Whether is the a perfectedTomato Sandwich (NYT version is seriously good), or, a Simple Raw Tomato sauce that is good on anything, there are endless ways to use tomatoes.

It seems like once a week, we make some sort of grainy salad that will be great in lunches for the coming week.

This One-Pan Farro with Tomatoes from Smitten Kitchen is going into the rotation soon, with simple ingredients and method.

Shakshuka...
if you're not sure what the heck it is, you've been missing out.

I like using fresh tomatoes (just a mix of whatever I have on hand) to make an extra spicy sauce, then, just as this recipe from Tori Avey indicates, we crack some eggs into it and cook them until they're still a little runny and luscious in the yolk. This dish is great served with a light salad and some crusty bread for dinner, or, at a family breakfast table.

You'll notice there's also green tomatoes in this week's share! These are tomatoes that are picked before their prime, in this case, because we're pulling out the hoophouse tomatoes to make way for winter plantings of lettuce and spinach.

Green tomatoes can be made into relishes and cakes (yeah, I know, that one surprised me) but... let's start at the beginning. 

If you're new to green tomatoes, you've got to start with the classic. It takes a few tries but, you'll find a fried green tomato recipe that speaks to you. Here's a super simple basic recipe from Southern Kitchen. I almost always add a little thyme to mine... and alternate using and not using buttermilk. 

If you're ready for the next level green fried tomatoes, try these from Vivian Howard.

The whole recipe is pretty involved but, the methods and attitudes are solid. I love her idea that this little tomato disc should be a vehicle for other flavors! In this recipe, the tomato is basically just a crouton for an apple salad.

 

[CSA]: Week 13 🍀

Around the Farm

The season of transition is upon us!

For those who read our plea last week, we've found a few farm-friends to help us out this week and save the day. However, we've also chosen the menu items carefully so that we can still provide you with what is ready to harvest on the farm and what our small crew can accomplish.

While people are transitioning in and out, so are the crops. The summer fruit is heading out, while the root crops begin to size up and show up on our plates. The fields are being flipped from melons and cucumbers to spinach and lettuce for fall harvest. 

The appearance of kohlrabi, as well as storage onions, also seems to mark the beginning of true fall.

What's a storage onion?

While we grow a lot of different kinds of onions, they can be easily broken down into two categories: sweet and storage.

Sweet are those that are great for raw eating, are sweeter but, tend to go bad more quickly. For Titus Farms, these are the white and light yellow (Ailsa Craig) onions. Think Vidalia (which btw, can only be grown in Vidalia, Georgia).

Storage onions are those with stronger flavors, harder and heartier than the sweet, that keep much longer. (Think Spanish onions or any onion that has ever made you cry). The presence of the extra sulfur in their flesh gives them pungency but, also staying power. 

Typically, these are the darker yellow onions for us but, I also consider red onions to be better suited for storage. These onions will last for months if stored properly (see below) and, actually mellow in storage. 

Not all onions, turns out, are built the same. 

For a little primer, see the Taste of Home article here.


The Menu

Please Choose 7

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Regular Red or Heirloom Tomatoes

  • Garlic

  • Shallots

  • Kossack Kohlrabi

    • A sputnik-like veggie that is sweet and crispy, even when mildly huge. 

  • Red or Yellow Storage Onions

    • We've ventured into the "hotter" onions that are great for storing through the winter!

  • Hot Peppers

  • Spicy Stuffing Peppers

    • Anaheim or Poblano

      • Anaheim is lighter green, long and, close to a Hatch Chile. 

      • Poblanos are spicier and darker green.

  • Sweet Bell Peppers and Carmen/Escamillo

  • Eggplant

    • Mini, Long-skinny or some smaller Italian

  • Kale!

    • Red Russian, Siberian or Green and Scarlet Curly Kale

  • Rainbow Chard

  • Fresh Herbs

    • Parsley, sage, thyme, oregano, mint and more!

Maybe List

  • Tomatillos

  • Leeks!

Recipe Ideas: Onions

As stated above, we've begun to make the switch to the heartier onions!

For best storage results, keep them in a cool, dry place, out of sunlight. Granted, these storage recommendations are really if you intend to store them for a month or more.

Otherwise, the fridge is fine or, in a bowl on the counter is great too.

If you're not sure about storing a ton of onions for any amount of time... there's always pickling!

We love having pickled onions throughout the winter, to add a little something extra to sandwiches, roasted root veggies or a pickle tray. 

If you're not ready to commit to the canning process yet, try this simple, spicy, Yucatan-inspired pickled onion recipe from Pati Jinich here. You can keep these red onions in the fridge for a month or more and they are perfect on tacos (especially fish tacos).

If you are ready to commit to canning, try this Sweet and Sour Pickled Onion recipe from Food in Jars

I usually prefer to prepare this French Onion Tart from Smitten Kitchen in the winter, when we're counting down the days until garden tomatoes are rolling in... but, after this cold snap, we've been eating waaay to much cheese, soupy things and carbohydrate laced veggies. Right about now, this tart seems dreamy. It's buttery and ooey-gooey that goes great with some chard or spicy salad.

And, of course, there's the classic French Onion Soup (this one is from Epicurious). If you've never actually made it from scratch, it's a bit of effort but, the results are far less salty and much more delicious. 

However, if you happen to have an instant pot, try this Serious Eats version that is still loaded with flavor. Using the instant pot really, really, helps cut down on the time it took to caramelize the onions so, this was a win!

[CSA]: Week 12

Around the Farm

The summer crops (mainly the Solanaceae) are finally rolling in! Peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant are all making a strong appearance at CSA so, we thought now might be a good time for a little pepper review:


Sweet Peppers At CSA, this could include:

Bell Peppers The classic lobe-y pepper, thick walled and great for raw eating or cooking.  These primarily start green and ripen to red, yellow and orange. Exception: purple and white peppers, which start those colors and ripen to red and pink. In their "green" stage of purple or white, they taste just like a green bell.

Carmen and Escamillo Peppers These long, tapering, thinner walled peppers look much like a hot anaheim but, are incredibly sweet and flavorful. Carmen is a classic red corno di toro (bull's horn pepper) and Escamillo is its yellow counterpart.

Shishito Peppers A new and wonderful addition to the farm! A Japanese frying pepper with incredibly thin walls and complex flavor. They are small, green or red and very wrinkly.

Hot Peppers With a love of hot peppers since childhood, you can find our carefully curated varieties at CSA, including:

Chilaca (Pasilla): commonly dried but, mild and smoky. Anaheim: a light green, tapered pepper, much like a Hatch chile. Poblano: a larger dark green pepper, great for stuffing. Garden Salsa: red and narrow, beautiful flavor and perfect heat level (not ready yet tho) 'Capperino' Cherry Bomb: a sweeter version of a cherry bomb, meant for stuffing. Jalapeño: classic, medium heat and nice flavor. Hungarian Hot Wax: bright yellow with a wonderful flavor and appearance. Serrano: a little hotter than a jalapeño and similar in shape. Cayenne: great for drying, red. Thai: small and hot, yellow, orange or red in color Habanero: ouch. They are small, wrinkly and come in yellow, orange, red and chocolate. Necessary for proper jerk though. Ghost: double ouch. Be prepared... but they apparently have a good flavor.

These peppers are listed in order of heat but, keep in mind that all peppers have a range of Scoville units (Scoville units are used to measure heat in peppers). Thus, sometimes the mildest serrano is more like a jalapeño and a really hot anaheim is hotter than a jalapeño. These heats vary from pepper to pepper even within varieties.

When in doubt: consult the sign at CSA.

The Menu

Please Choose 7

  • Cherry Tomatoes!

  • Regular Red or Heirloom Tomatoes!

  • Garlic

  • Basil

  • Red Onions

  • Daikon Radishes

    • Slightly hotter than a regular radish, these purple and white beauties are great raw or cooked.

    • These will be WITH the greens so, prepare for some awesome spicy-ish greens. Try them just like kale... for some advice, look here.

  • Hot Peppers

  • Spicy Stuffing Peppers

    • Anaheim or Poblano

      • Anaheim is lighter green, long and, close to a Hatch Chile. 

      • Poblanos are spicier and darker green.

  • Fennel

  • Sweet Bell Peppers and Carmen/Escamillo

  • Eggplant

    • Long-skinny or some smaller Italian

  • Kale!

    • It's back! It just needed a little break.

  • Fresh Herbs

    • Parsley, sage, thyme, oregano, mint and more!

Maybe List

  • Tomatillos

Recipe Ideas: Hot Peppers

I don't think our family would do well without a little spice in our lives! There's always a hot sauce or chopped chili someplace within reach.

When peppers just come rolling in and, we're short on time, we rinse them, dry them and simply throw them into a plastic freezer bag to be handled later.

Here are some of the things we like to do with fresh (or frozen) chiles.

You'll find hot stuff-able peppers at CSA this week so, this is a perfect opportunity to try your hand at Chiles Rellenos!

Typically, this involves stuffing a poblano with cheese then, dredging and lightly frying it. Try this "traditional" of Chiles Rellenos from Food Network here.

Often though, we don't go to all the fuss of frying, and instead opt for a lighter version using our grill. This Crisper Whisperer recipe, involves much less prep and oil. The addition of beans really amps up the value of these too!

Pepper Jelly
When you have a TON of peppers (and love spreadable things on crackers), try this little treat.
For whatever reason, the first pepper jelly my mother ever tried to make, had cherry juice in it and now, that's our favorite. We love a version close to this one from Ball but, there are lots of variations on this classic.

Except, we throw whatever peppers we have in it! Each jar is then a little surprise, as it varies in heat and flavor.

Or, if you're feeling adventurous, try making your own hot sauce. This version of Fermented Hot Sauce is now a family fav. Do see out the achiote though... the flavor profile is so much different without them.

One last little quick mention: if you happen to have a mountain of Habaneros or, love Jamaican food, Jerk Chicken (or Jerk Anything) is the way to go!

We do this version of (probably Americanized?) Jerk Chicken at least once a month and, freeze habaneros specifically for it. 

Vegetarian? No problem... we love the marinade spread on grilled veggies or, slathered on eggplant and grilled. I've never tried it with tofu or TVP but, it's worth a try!