Let’s Make Apple Cider – Saturday September 13th 1-5 pm

Apple Cider making and Pot Luck Saturday September 13th from 1 to 5 pm. Bring a dish to pass and a container for you cider. Members receive 1/2 gallon free. More will be available for purchase.

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Local Farmer Open House

Please join us and other local farmers – Laura
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Each spring, Riverside Park’s Urban Ecology Center is THE place to be to meet local farmers who grow food sustainably and learn how to buy directly from them. The annual Local Food and Farmer Open House event has grown since it first was organized ten years ago to help our community connect with local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), farmers. Now over 1,000 people attend each year, the number of CSA farmers attending is over 20. During the rest of the year, our community can visit the Center and our web site to learn more about CSAs and where to find local farms.

What is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)?

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is like having your own personal farmer. In a CSA, you become a member of a local farm by purchasing a “share”. In return, you receive weekly deliveries of fresh produce throughout the growing season, typically late May to November. Along with the produce, some farms also offer meat, eggs, and other extras along with weekly newsletters, recipes, U-picks and farm festivals.

Choosing a CSA is about connecting to a farm and your food. You are encouraged to contact farmers directly to determine which farm is the best fit for you. To help you do this, we have information about each farm that participated in this year’s Open House with their contact information, a short description of their CSA and their pick-up sites.

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Apple Cider Making and Pot Luck

  Saturday       September 14           1 – 5 PM     at the Farm

Bring a dish to pass and a container for your cider.

If tomatoes are ready you can also pick your own tomatoes.  We will possibly get to try new watermelon varieties too.

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Red Potatoes and Red Onions

Anytime I get bored with the food I cook I always look into my spice cabinet. I don’t have much, but the jars I do have tend to make GREAT impact on the dish I am creating. Curry, turmeric , Hing, The whole Indian food thing. So, this was the easiest dish in the world to make, but it tasted out of this world !

Here is what I did: I sliced up the those beautiful red onions. Saute them so they became nice and brown….Actually I burned them…but guess what? Burned onions do not ruin a dish! Then I added the cut up potatoes, and I put the lid on. The sweat from the potatoes at this point create enough moisture to steam the potatoes and also prohibit the onions from burning anymore. After about 5 minutes I then added the spices. Stir it up quite a bit, and then let it sit so that the potatoes get a bit crisp and brown. Do this in oil or with butter…(Butter burns faster than oil because of its milk fat, which means it has a low flash point. Extra virgin olive oil has a low flash point too…If it heats up too much it will taste rancid.) Toward the end of this entire process, (which by the way takes less time if you cut everything up much smaller) I also added about 5 cloves of smashed up garlic. This burns so quickly and WILL ruin your dish so just keep it on the fire for about 2 more minutes and then pull the pan!:) At this point your house will smell like heaven.

Garnish this with lots of cilantro, and drizzle with plain yogurt.

You will feel like you are at a fancy restaurant. Throw in an old Bollywood soundtrack and enjoy your snack.

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Savory Strawberry Topping

There are so many fun strawberry jam recipes to try….I have never found one that I stick with for to long. This year I tried the no sugar just flavored jello method for freezer jam. I found some recipes online from a source that I trust, and alas…I got a very jello ish type of jam. Fun for the kids, just not really my style. I did however find a fantastic recipe to use up those super ripe strawberries in my fridge, along with that great bottle of local honey Laura put in our bags weeks ago. Three parts berries, to one part honey. So the smallest batch you could make could be like 3 cups of berries to one cup of honey. This makes 2 1/2 pint jars of topping. I smashed up the berries and honey…With MY HANDS. This is by far the easiest way to do it. Forget food processors and all of that nonsense. Use your hands, it is fun:) I put a lot of fresh herbs into the pot at this point. Sage, thyme, and lots of basil. Then I boiled the heck out of all of it constantly stirring until it coated the back of the spoon like gel. An earthy, pungent, berry sauce perfect for vanilla ice cream, or savory waffles. It will also be great over grilled chicken, which is precisely how I am using it tonight! Garnish it with a lot of freshly cracked pepper and this strawberry topping is heaven on earth. I made a bunch and have it in my freezer in jars. it works! Thanks again Laura for all the great ingredients:) Ciao for now:) katie.

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Red Currants and Bread Pudding

Thanks to Laura I got the most beautiful red currants in my bag the other day! Ooh they were just beautiful. If i hadn’t just made a lot of strawberry and blueberry jam I would have tried to do the whole currant jelly thing…But my jars have already been used up and I wanted to try something different. Honestly, the internet is so overwhelming in terms of recipes…Sage and currant sauce/ glaze for any type of meat looked so good. Adding currants and sage leaves to a grain sounded delicious as well. None of this pulled me in though! I had a ton of bread sitting in my freezer, a dozen fresh eggs from Laura, and honey she had brought the week before…Red Currant Bread Pudding!!!!!

Approximately

  • half a loaf of torn up bread
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup honey
  • cinnamon
  • 2 cups red currants
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • white chocolate

I coconut oiled a square baking dish, preheated the oven to 400, and whisked the milk, eggs and honey together with the cinnamon. Poured it into the greased pan, added the bread until it looked full but soupy, folded in the currants and topped it with the coconut. I didn’t bother with a water bath or any thing fancy…I just baked it until it didn’t jiggle anymore and the coconut on top was nice and toasted. The currants were so perfect for this dish because the bits of tart a midst the sweetness of the bread pudding was perfect! It was colorful, and such a special breakfast treat for the kids…

The white chocolate was melted a drizzled a top the kids bread pudding bowls. Just some added fun for the littles;) Thank you so much Laura!

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Green Onions

Hello this is Katie with a word or two on the deliciousness of those green onions Laura has been gracing us with in our bags this season. What has everyone been doing with them? We have been eating them up that is for sure! Raw, grilled and roasted, they disappear quickly and our recipes have been loving their flavors….Hands down the best way we have used them is in our green salsa…We took maybe three or four of those biggies, halved them, and grilled them along with some tomatillos. Once charred but not yet soft we through all of it,(or as much as you can fit) into our blender with tons of fresh lime juice, cilantro, cumin and salt. The most fantastic sauce ever!!!!! You can add green chilies, or has hot of a pepper as you can stand…we are child focused here so we kick up the spice not the heat in our family recipes. This sauce freezes beautifully I tried to do just that….Although none of it froze because we keep eating it on everything. Spiciness from the onions, tangy from the tomatillos, smokey from the grill, and freshness with the cilantro…this sauce is great on fish tacos, chicken, steak, shrimp corn on the cob you name it!!!!!

If you are not firing up the grill any time soon, this works just as well with roasted green onions, although for this sauce I am waiting for some romas….Slow roasted roma tomatoes with a caramelized green onion and some balsamic vinegar….Heaven….Post your ideas CSA members…I love new ideas…heck I NEED new ideas:) Thank you Laura!

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