Newsletter No. 4

orchard3Our root cellar is steadily filling up with the autumn bounty supplied by our vegetable gardens and orchards. Crates of celeriac, carrots, beets, and apples line the shelves. Jars of fermented tomatoes and sauerkraut hibernate in the corner. One's cravings have certainly by now switched from the sprightly, crisp, lighter fare of summertime, to the deeply satisfying and robust flavors of fall. And eating locally just doesn't get better than this. With all the good food, the striking reds and oranges lingering in the treelines, and traces of soothing woodsmoke wafting through the breeze, there is almost too much to take in this time of year. Sensory overload! We are continually struck by the fullness of October, and how, yes, all that hard work and patience for these long-season crops has indeed paid off. We've moved well beyond the short-lived summer apples of the first pick-up; these fall varieties will thankfully stick around for awhile until you're ready for full-on baking mode. And nothing says comfort food like warm apple pie.

This week's picks:

20 Ounce

Blue Pearmain

Fireside

Frostbite

Gray Pearmain

Red Blaze

Rhode Island Greening

When you open your bags this week, take one apple out from each, and set them in a row on your counter.  If that sight doesn't convince you of the rich apple heritage available to us in New England, nothing will.  The apples this week truly range from the sublime to the ridiculous.  On the ridiculous end of the scale we have the giant 20 Ounce that can grow as large as a baby's head; one apple can feed a family.  On the sublime end, three varieties vie for that coveted position.  Blue Pearmain with its purple skin, russet blaze around the stem and blue bloom is a standout for its beauty - and what great baked apples it makes.  Gray Pearmain shares a name with it's Blue cousin, but nothing else.  It is yellow-green and covered with a rosy blush and a net of russet.  Take a bite, and you will think we snuck a pear into your bag.  And finally there is the OOAL crew favorite - Frostbite.  We  have the only trees we know of here at Super Chilly Farm, and they are still young.  This was the first year that they have produced enough of the small purple and orange apples to share with you, and we admit that it was hard to give them away since we would happily eat them morning, noon and night.  Be prepared - they are unusual tasting; you will either love them or hate them.  Frostbite is an apple meant for fresh eating so don't bother cooking with them.  To round out the rainbow of colors in your share this week, we offer you Rhode Island Greening, Red Blaze and the striped Fireside.  Make them into sauce or pies, dry them, or eat them out of hand.  If you can't decide, no worries.  All these apples will keep till the ground freezes.  Enjoy.

Our apples come to you straight from the tree, so, as with all fresh produce, please be sure to wash them thoroughly before eating. Unless otherwise specified, the apples are grown using Integrated Pest Management by the orchards we collaborate with throughout Maine.

 

fireside1Fireside

Event Reminder: Great Maine Apple Day, this Sunday!

Celebrate the history, flavor and tradition of Maine apples, while honoring the importance of a diversified, perennial agriculture. Sample from dozens and dozens of varieties - some familiar, others too rare even to feature in the CSA. John will be identifying apples. Learn about MOFGA's new and established orchards. Workshops will be focused on cider-making, pest-management, and cooking. Stop by our Out On a Limb booth to purchase additional apples or to simply say hello.  Books, tools, local foods and crafts also for sale.

Sunday, October 27th, 10 am - 4 pm.

Common Ground Education Center 294 Crosby Brook Rd, Unity Maine

$4 admission, $2 for MOFGA members.

More details can be found here.

 

blackoxford3Black Oxford - coming soon!

 

Fresh From the Palermo Test Kitchen

Apple Quick Pie Bars

This simple recipe comes to the CSA newsletter by way of Emily's Aunt Sue in West Allis, Wisconsin. It is a combination of an apple pie and apple quick - crust on the bottom with a sweet, oat topping. This is almost like an apple dessert sandwich, but not overly sweet. Drizzle with apple molasses or boiled cider instead of the lemon glaze for a truly seasonal treat.

SROscottswinter

Ingredients
3/4 cup and 2 tbsp butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
3-4 tbsp milk
4 cups chopped, pared apples
1/2 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
spices (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg) to taste
Lemon Glaze (optional)
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Directions 1. Cut 3/4 cup butter into flour and salt until fine. Set aside 1 cup.

2. To remainder add milk gradually while stirring lightly with fork until dough is moist enough to hold together. Form into a square. Flatten slightly; smooth edges. Roll out on floured surface to 13 x 9 -inch rectangle. Place in bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch pan.

3. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with apples.

4. Combine oats, brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons butter with reserved crumbs. Sprinkle over apples. Bake 30 - 35 minutes or until apples are tender. If desired, combine ingredients for Lemon Glaze and drizzle while warm.

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radarloveOur dog Radar loves apples, too. She's learned well!

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Ginger-Roasted Apples with Vanilla Ice Cream

Here's an easy and quick dessert that you can make during the 7th inning stretch and finish eating before Big Papi hits a walk-off home run in the 9th.  It calls for 4 large apples - bet one or two Twenty Oz. apples would work.

(Serves 4)

Ingredients

1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
Butter for greasing the pan
4 large apples - peeled, cored, cut into 1/2" thick slices
Vanilla ice cream

Directions

1. Combine water, sugar and ginger in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce to simmer and cook for 5 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes and strain through a fine mesh sieve.

2.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Butter a baking sheet, and place apples slices on it in a single layer.  Drizzle the apples with 1/4 cup of the ginger syrup.

3.  Roast the apples until tender, about 20 minutes, tossing once.

4.  Ladle some of the syrup onto each of 4 plates.  Scoop the ice cream into the center of the syrup.  Fan the apple slices around the ice cream and serve.

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Have a fabulous recipe you'd like to share? Do you have a strong opinion of an apple we've offered? We love hearing your feedback. Get in touch at csa.outonalimb@gmail.com.