fruit

2016 North Brooklyn CSA Roundup

via Lancaster Farm Share.
via Lancaster Farm Share.

It’s really easy to get all your veggies this spring and summer in North Brooklyn with the vast variety of CSAs. CSAs (which stands for Community Supported Agriculture, and CSAs are also sometimes called farm shares) are a great way for people to have access to local, fresh vegetables, fruit, and other food directly from the farms. Participants purchase a “share” for a season—shares are based on items, delivery regularity, or size—paying in winter or spring for a box of locally delivered goods. By providing financial support to the farmer early on, you support the farmer no matter what the weather—and you get to be treated to the bounty of whatever the weather provides. Best of all, you don’t have to deal with worrying about oversleeping and missing the good stuff at the farmers’ market!

Because you generally don’t get to pick which kinds of vegetables and fruit, and you are often exposed to new kinds of fruit and vegetables, it’s a great chance to learn how to cook new veggies. Many of the CSAs also provide a website or Facebook group with recipes; be sure to inquire.

If you’re interested in signing up for a CSA, you should get a move on. Some have already closed for the season, and many are nearing capacity.

Happy eating! Continue reading

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Farmers, Fishers, Bakers, Makers: Meet Eli Kaplan of Mom and Popsicles

Orange Souchong, Black Sesame and Raspberry, Honeydew Lemongrass, Salted Caramel. These are just some of the flavors that Greenpoint’s local popsicle company, Mom & Pospsicles, has been sharing in their Instagram feed (and at Sunday’s McGolrick Farmer’s Market) lately.  As a self-proclaimed popsicle aficionado, I needed to know more about the person behind this pop-up, so I hunted down the little company’s founder, Eli Kaplan, and asked him to share a little about his relationship to Greenpoint and his experience owning a real mom-and-POP shop. Continue reading

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Recipes Gone Wild: A Summer Breakfast Porridge

Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg

In a recent conversation with a friend, I was asked “have you heard about the latest rage in breakfast?”

Well, no, I thought.

When it comes to breakfast, had I not seen it all? Could any new ground truly be broken in this meal category?

“Two words…” he continued. (The suspense was killing me!)

“Summer porridge.”

Well that sounds a little dull, I thought.

But he followed up by sending numerous links and data on just how amazingly tasty and healthy a breakfast this is. “Perfect for summer”… “loaded with superfoods”… “might start feeding it to my cat”…

Far be it from me to jump on a new food bandwagon, but this particular wagon had so much to offer compared to other wagons I’d recently let drive by (e.g. Peter Pan’s ice cream donut sandwich). This concoction is cool, delicious, and maybe best of all, can be made in a mason jar.

At a glance: Made from oats, chia seeds, yogurt, and fresh fruit, this cool, hearty breakfast is full of omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, protein, potassium, fiber– roughly enough satiation to please and pacify a hungry bear.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup milk of your choice (I like it with almond milk)
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey
¼ cup chopped peaches, blueberries, or other summer fruit

Assembly:

In a half-pint mason jar, stir together oats, milk, yogurt, and honey. Pour in your chia seeds, screw on the lid of the jar, and give it a good shake (which will keep the seeds from clumping together). Now add your fruit to the mixture, and give a gentle stir.

Place the mixture in the fridge overnight, and in the morning you’ll find that the oats have softened, and the chia seeds have expanded, creating a rich pudding-like consistency.

Enjoy it right out of the jar.

Summer porridge can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Adapted from The Yummy Life’s Overnight Oatmeal Recipe

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(EASY) RECIPE: PEACH BOATS

Some of the best snacks are the healthiest and simplest. Peach season is here so make a peach boats! They are succulent, sweet, savory, crunchy and tangy – basically everything that is awesome, in one big juicy bite. A great appetizers at a BBQ, they take no time to prepare. Cut each peach in half and remove the pit. Stuff it with crumbled bleu cheese, top it with almonds (walnuts & pecans are great, too) then drizzle balsamic glaze* on top. That’s it!

Also called Balsamic Vinegar Creme, you can find it at The Garden (921 Manhattan Ave) Or, you can just reduce balsamic vinegar down until it’s thick and syrupy. It last until forever in your fridge and is perfect over ice cream and salads, too.

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Taste Test: Little Duck Organics

Kids are like aliens to me; when I see them I can’t believe they exist. Until we get a small-human-owner to contribute, I will do my best to cover kids stuff in Greenpoint.

Little Duck Organics just moved to the neighborhood and asked Greenpointers to review their snack food product. A box in the mail, even if it’s fruit snacks – actually, “certified, organic, no-sugar added, Non-GMO Project verified 100% fruit snacks,” which are also “gluten-free,” is exciting. According to the well designed packaging that you want to read like a cereal box, there are “no zombies” in it either. But is it artisanal, people?

There were no kids in sight, just a bunch of workaholics sitting around the table, exhausted on a Friday night after a huge meal of pasta carbonara (and there may have been a funny cigarette going around, but I can’t remember.)

We made do and polished off 3 bags before I could properly perform the taste test!

Continue reading

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RECIPES: SUMMER IS STRAWBERRIES

They sell gigantic and often tasteless strawberries all year round at the supermarket, but when the local farmers start wheeling and dealing these heavenly berries, I go insane. Often over $4 per pint, local strawberries seem pricey, but they are so worth it because they taste like they have been ripened in the sun not like they have been sitting in the refrigerator section of the produce isle. There are so many things you can do with these little treasures.

I have been on a jam rampage. Straight out of the 1970 Blue Ball Book of Canning, I make the trusted and true strawberry jam recipe, but I half the amount of strawberries and 1/4 the amount of sugar and it comes out great.

Strawberry Jam
2 Quarts Crushed Strawberries
3-6 C. Sugar
1/4 C. Lemon Juice (optional)

Slowly bring ingredients to a boil then fast boil it, stirring often, for 40 minutes until it passes the jam test. Hot water boil for 10-15 minutes in sterilized ball jars.

If you’re unsure about anything, don’t risk it, check out the National Center for Home Food Preservation or Ball’s Fresh Preserving.

Continue reading

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The Garden Spot, Week 12

A Forest of Chives

Twelve weeks of gardening, and I can finally enjoy the fruits of my labor! Well, not so much fruits as herbs.

A few days ago I went out onto the balcony and plucked basil, rosemary, and chives, all ready to be chopped up and thrown into a lovely herb crusted chicken dish – which I of course, forgot to take a picture of.

However, now that food-eating season is upon us, I plan to start including lots of my favorite recipes and tutorials. After all, I grew these plants for a reason! And that reason is for them to be in my mouth.

Some of my favorite summer recipes are things like simple Caprese salads, grilled corn with lots of butter, asparagus (by the way, RIP my asparagus, they did not like it outdoors), and most kinds of mojitos. What are some of yours? Are you picking up what they are putting down at the new McGolrick farmer’s market? Tell me everything @everydaycaitlin

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SCOOP: FARMER’S MARKET VENDORS

Sometimes this gig makes me feel like a real journalist. Nicole Reed, our McGolrick Park Farmers Market hero, sent me an email that started out with, “K, you’re our VERY FIRST member of the press to get this info!” (I don’t think people in the press use quite so many exclamation points)
Well, It’s happening! Next weekend, take a stroll to McGolrick Park on Sunday, June 3rd for the very first Farmer’s Market which will be on Russell St. There are pies! If you’re closer to Cooper Park, there will be a Farmers Market there, too. I don’t know about you but I am going to double fist.

McGolrick Park Farmers Market

When: Begins Sunday, June 3rd, and runs every Sunday through November 18th, 2012, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: Along the sidewalk on Russell Street, off of Nassau Avenue (Street Address: 130 Russell Street)

Who: The vendors for the inaugural 2012 season: Feather Ridge FarmBrooklyn CuredThe Amazing Real Live Food Company, J. Glebocki Farms, Horman’s Best PicklesOrwashers BakeryBrooklyn GrangeGarden of Eve Farm, BeePharm, Tierra FarmMortgage Apple CakesAnarchy in a JarNew ConfectionerGreat Road FarmPie Lady & Son, and Valley Shepherd Creamery

Cooper Park Farmers Market

When: Begins Sunday, June 3rd, and runs every Sunday through November 18th, 2012, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Where: Along the sidewalk on Maspeth Avenue at Olive Street (Street Address: 114 Maspeth Ave)

Who: The vendors for the inaugural 2012 season: The Amazing Real Live Food Company, J. Glebocki Farms,Horman’s Best Pickles, Alex’s Tomato Farm, Tierra FarmAnarchy in a JarMigliorelli Farm, and Wave Hill Breads.

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Recipe: Rhubarb Mint Tea

Rhubarb Mint Tea

Last week I picked up some rhubarb at the Greenmarket, even though, short of pie and jam, I have no idea what to do with the stuff. I bit into it like a stalk of celery and my face contorted like a pretzel and my eyes watered. It’s so bitter! I asked our facebook fans for help and Sharon recommended Rhubarb Tea. Of course, Ms. Martha had a recipe I referenced for proportions.

The tea turned out very tasty and refreshing. If you use honey, use wildflower; the buckwheat honey I added was too intense in flavor.

It’s so easy: Boil 8 C. of water and add 8 stalks of chopped rhubarb, plus (1/3 C.) sugar. Instead of sugar, I added honey. I recommend you taste as you go. Pour it through a strainer, then add some fresh mint and fresh limes. (and fresh rum with bitters…)

Bottom line: rhubarb is weird in texture (like stringy snot) and the flavor is strangely savory and bitter, so it needs sweetening up. I would definitely jam it, since the texture is perfect for jam.

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