Sunday, February 14, 2010

Distribution - February 14, 2010

Distribution number seven is like a Wednesday afternoon, our season's hump day. It means that we're more than halfway through winter C.S.A. season. Who knows where the time goes?

We've still got plenty of good stuff in our stores. And, because it's the day of love (as if we shouldn't focus on our hearts every day!), we've got heart healthy food, bright bleeding pink food, and food shaped like an anatomical heart. Here's what the love share brings:

- frozen tomato* sauce, Huguenot Street Farm
- frozen blueberries, Fishkill Farms
- root cellared garlic, Huguenot Street Farm
- dehydrated apple rings, Fishkill Farms
- pickled beets, Huguenot Street Farm
- hoophouse cilantro or parsley, Madura Farm
- hoophouse celeriac, Madura Farm

*Again, these tomatoes were sprayed with copper to survive late blight, and you can skip them if you choose. Sadly, I can't remember the exact numbers, but they were sprayed with something like 1/15th the amount allowable under organic standards. That's good to know when it comes to soil health. When it comes to your health, you'll want to know that they were triple washed before cooking. I'm skeptical of the copper spray, but am trusting my beloved farmers who know far, far more than I ever will about soil, and fungicides. Still, I worry. I intended to skip tomatoes entirely last summer after late blight hit, but couldn't walk away from these when presented with their alluring smell. Be warned, if we have the same disease problems in the growing season of 2010, wintergreens may have a tomato-less 2010-2011 season.

That said, right now we've got sauce! Some jars are perfectly smooth and without skin and seeds, and others are chunky with a bit of bell pepper and eggplant thrown in. Both were made without salt or herbs (that's up to you), and both have a bit of virgin olive oil. If you're passionate about smooth v. chunky, come early. Happy lycopene day!

Ah, the blueberry. These roly-polys come up over and over on all the superfood lists. For me, they're love-ly because blueberry bushes are perennials, of which I am a fan. No work and delicious—what's not to like? Also, because there's nothing as excellent as coming upon a patch of wild blueberry bushes when hiking. Or blackberry. Or rasberry. But I digress... Last but not least, I totally heart foods that make your tongue look like a chow chow's, and I think all our toddler members will agree!

Garlic. Love it. Need it.

Dehydrated apple rings: another excellent short person snack. These hula hoops for your tongue are incredibly sweet and satisfying, making me wonder why I ever bothered to get addicted to chocolate. Use these to get the next generation wanting healthy snacks.

We're going in for a second round of pickled beets. They're a productive plant, they're great for you, the color is appropriate for the holiday, hearty-y and bloody and pink. And, the real reason: we had an indoor picnic during one of the snowstorms that included wine, crusty bread, nice green olive oil, cashew cheese, and pickled beets. The beets were the star of the meal, and when the jar was done, I wanted more. That must mean you want more, mustn't it?

Celeriac is celery grown for the root instead of the stalks. It's great because it stores well, and works in situations where celery flavor is desirable, but strings are not. If you're a celery string hater, you might also want to try cutting celery, which is essentially an herb.

Parsley is one of those hearty herbs that will stick out the snow under a drape of plastic or a cloche, and has thankfully graduated from its days as a garnish. I had some yesterday juiced, with celery, and I'm still on the top of the world from it.

All herbs are great for you in, like, a bazillion ways, and fresh cilantro is no exception. You either love it or you think it tastes like soap. If you fall in the second category, gift it to someone in the first who you want to adore you. I always remember gushing over a restaurant server who had a leaf of cilantro stuck to her cheek—I thought I could love her forever. Herbs, they're that powerful.

Happy hump day.

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