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Tag Archives: value of CSA

She Wolf

Bakery. In Brooklyn. With breads that just amaze with flavor.

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This is sprouted spelt. The description from their web site.

“Bread that comes out of the oven on a Saturday has a production cycle that began on Tuesday! Whole spelt berries are soaked and sprouted over the course of the week, mixed into the dough on Friday, which then undergoes an overnight cold proof before being baked on Saturday. The enzymatic activity of the sprouting process converts starches in the grains into sugars and releases an array of vitamins. Roughly 50% wheat flour, 50% whole spelt flour and ground sprouted spelt berries.”

This is our second week of the fall Community Supported Agriculture from Lancaster Farm Fresh, and this season, the bread share is back. They found this bakery in Brooklyn. Our driver tells us he picks up freshly baked loaves on Monday when he delivers produce to the restaurants and the CSA pick up spots in New York. We get them on Tuesday.

The first week, a sourdough that probably is close to the best one I have ever found.

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Chewy, dense, with just the perfect sourdough taste. We devoured that loaf in three days. I was considering adding a second bread share to have enough for a week.

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The ingredients.

While searching for information on this provider, I found a video on Bon Appetit. It gives a little more insight into the bakery, and the baker.

It doesn’t get much fresher, and it’s why I love buying from smaller regional producers. I hope they offer this bread in the other seasonal CSAs, but I wonder if they can cover the demand. The last bakery, in Lancaster, couldn’t handle the numbers that our CSA wanted.

I think that’s a good thing, in my view. We are supporting and nurturing more small entrepreneurs and looking for the best quality, and not going to the big box stores and the chain stores.

Can’t wait to see what ones we get for the next six weeks. Crossing my fingers for caraway rye and for miche.

The End of the Season

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Markets are finishing. Larriland is closing this weekend. So is Jenny’s. For me, this final weekend in October marks the end of the fresh food season until spring.

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Unless you can find year round markets, or CSAs, or a regional food source to keep you going.

We are lucky. Our CSA got enough members to extend our season until Christmas. That means fresh vegetables for the next eight weeks.

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What is closing this week? Friday market at Howard County General Hospital. Saturday at Maple Lawn, Ellicott City and Glenwood.

Miller Library, Oakland Mills and East Columbia (closes November 12) will be open into mid November.

As for tips, if you can get to Larriland this weekend, their apples will store for a very long time in the refrigerator. We picked about 20 pounds last October and they keep for months. Pink Lady and Cortland will be available out at the farm.

Farm stands will still be open all winter. Like Carroll Farm to Table. By the way, they want your Jack O’Lanterns. To feed their pigs. Pigs love pumpkins. Drop them off at the stand on Frederick Road at Manor Lane.

Here’s to those great fall veggies, wherever you can find them.

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Craving Comfort Foods

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Autumn. When the weather changes and we exit grilling mode and enter comfort food mode.

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Like the beef noodle soup I mentioned a few days ago. That arm roast which has already given us two meals, now will give us at least two more. Made with the leftover beef and the broth from the crockpot.

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This is only the beginning for me. We are most definitely soup people, but I also love to make stews and other one pot dishes.

This week our CSA, which is in its next to last “summer” delivery, gave us quite a bit to process. At the end of the season, we get very large amounts of food. It’s as if they are emptying the fields and sharing the bounty.

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Squash. Cabbages. Potatoes. Carrots. Greens. Food destined to flavor those soups and stews.

New to us.

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Japanese pie squash, and Guatemalan blue banana squash. Time to get creative and roast these.

We also got some very interesting apples this week.

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The crispins on the left are organically grown apples. Not IPM. Let’s just say they aren’t the prettiest fruit in the basket, although they have a wonderful taste. I can understand why farmers don’t want to go completely organic with fruit, as many of these apples would never be selected at a market or farm stand. They have bumps, bruises and bug bites.

The Cortlands on the right are a perfect baking apple, and already my husband requested them for a weekend dessert treat.

Do you have a fall favorite that invokes your childhood? Mine is applesauce, and it seems to be time to make this year’s batch. Just another of those comfort foods.

For those who want fresh apples for baking, Larriland has a couple of weeks left. They also have all sorts of cooking pumpkins. Me, I’ll be dealing with what our CSA gave us. And wishing Indian summer didn’t make it too hot to want soup.

100% Amish

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I just noticed this about tonight’s dinner.

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The food completely was sourced from the Amish farms in our Community Supported Agriculture. Including this absolutely lovely roast from Tussock Sedge Farm.

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I went to their web site (yes, the Amish have web sites, usually maintained by a sales manager) and read all about this grass fed beef. It tells you to slow cook this beef for best results. I did a 20 hour slow cook in my crockpot, overnight and all day. I can say this is some of the best beef I have ever had. Falling apart. Incredibly tender.

Served with another new item we received. Kennebec potatoes

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I think I have a new favorite when it comes to potatoes. These were very creamy and full of flavor. I just microwaved them for about three minutes. Perfect consistency. They would make awesome mashed potatoes.

The vegetables on the side were cauliflower and broccoli. Steamed for just about three minutes. A little Trickling Springs butter and salt and pepper. We got both of them last Tuesday in our delivery. Food just days out of the ground. Nothing like it.

And, enough leftovers for two more meals, plus a hearty broth that will make that last meal probably be a beef noodle soup.

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It doesn’t get much better than this, and it was very simple to make. Turn on that crockpot and go about your business.

Thanks to Lancaster Farm Fresh, I can make a great Saturday night meal without running all over town.

Bean Eaters

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Tuscan inspired cooking. Using cannellini beans. In the fall, we crave heartier foods and a week ago, our CSA gave us one of my favorite bitter greens, broccoli rabe.

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I knew that my Tuscan cook book had a great recipe using broccoli rabe and beans.

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I made a few changes. Resulting in this.

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I added some sweet pepper, and some scallions to the simple recipe. That called for beans to be cooked, then broccoli rabe added. A little garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil.

Just the thing to counter the chilly weather. Stick to your ribs dinner. Served with baby back ribs from my Friends and Farms basket.

I love cooking with cannellini beans. I have done the soup thing, and made my simple tuna and bean salad countless times.

Check out the Williams-Sonoma Tuscan cook book.

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And go look for broccoli rabe in the farmers markets.

Addicted To Kiwiberries

Every fall when these little berries show up in our fruit share, I marvel at just how good they are.

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Kiwiberries from Kiwiberry Organics, in PA. What amazes me on their web site is the nutritional information for these berries.

Besides their high quantities of vitamins and minerals, they just taste great.

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I like just snacking on them or putting them in salads, but I have been tempted to make jam from them. Or to create a berry nectar to freeze and use all winter. The problem I have is keeping enough of them around to do those things.

According to the web site, you can find them at Wegmans, Trader Joes and Whole Foods, but I have never seen them.

We get them three or four times in our CSA fruit share. In fact, we are getting them again this Tuesday.

They supposedly like the weather around here and the farm in PA grows the largest amount in the world, according to their information. I do know we could buy plants and try to grow them ourselves. I may just do that next year. They would be a welcome addition to my garden.

Opportunities and Adjustments

Fall is coming. I wore a jacket this morning when I headed up to the post office and to Jenny’s to get a few things. The tomato plants are dying off. The garden is pretty much over and done with, except for the garden salsa pepper plant that keeps on giving.

The farmer’s markets will wind down in the next 4-6 weeks. Most Community Supported Agriculture programs are coming to the end of the season.

It’s time for me to adjust what I get, in order to keep fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese coming into the house.

For those looking to find a source once the markets close down, I have found my two choices work well for us. They appeal to me because I can tailor them. Adjust the sizes.

Friends and Farms is year round seasonal. They have a few promotions going right now. Like a sample “Quick and Easy” basket, as well as the choice to buy a sample of any of their other options.

We have been getting the protein and dairy option, since I love my CSA with its “off the beaten path” weird veggies. I don’t want the same eight items rotated through the house. I like the diversity. But, protein and dairy gives us the right portions and allows us to get our veggies elsewhere.

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Local meats. Made here in Maryland. If you notice the absence of dairy, it’s because I don’t drink milk, so I chose the option of a “surprise me” vegetable as a substitute. We do get cheese once a month on this plan.

As for Lancaster Farm Fresh, they continue to refine their product to make it as flexible as they can. For fall, two vegetable share sizes. Options for meat, cheese, eggs, bread, chicken and fruit.

I like getting fresh fruit and vegetables before the holidays. Like our Thanksgiving basket.

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Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, mushrooms, potatoes. This was a medium share. Perfect for a couple that likes vegetables, or a family with little ones. Now, that nine pound squash? If I had children or grandchildren, it would have made a huge amount of baby food. As it was, I used it in a number of ways.

This fall, I am returning to a large basket, and adding cheese, bread and fruit.

Now that I know I can get chicken and other meats from Carroll Farm to Table when I need something, I don’t need the meat share from the CSA. Right now, the CSA and Friends and Farms keep us in just about the correct amount of protein to make 5-6 meals a week.

We have adjusted here though. We were getting more ground beef than I am used to cooking. I’ve been creative. I’ve been traditional. I made meat loaf. I made lasagna. I use the crock pot at least once a week. But, we still aren’t huge ground beef eaters, so I will be eliminating one source of that.

The freezer is full. The CSA and Friends and Farms adjusted for fall. I am ready for the change in seasons.


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