This Weeks Box 6/8/2012

Here is the list
carrots
spring onions
romaine lettuce
bunch of basil
spring mix
zuchini and yellow straightneck  squash
red potato
cilantro
oregano
chard
apricots 
tangelos
pink lemons
mini sweet peppers

The conversion from our old system to the new online system seems to be going off without a hitch. Thank you everyone for your cooperation and willingness to adapt to something different. If for some reason, you missed the emails this week, we just need you to log in here  http://www.farmigo.com/account/farmatblueskyranch/CSA and update your account info so that you can take advantage of paying online and doing things like, put a box on hold, change pick up locations and more. Just log in with your email and the password “farmfresh”. It goes without saying that if you need any help at all, we are here to help. Just shoot us an email

Last week one of our long time customers called and started ribbing me about the little you tube I put up and how dehydrating apricots was for sissies. Ok Mary, I said. What method of drying apricots is not for sissies? Sun drying! It’s the only way to dry apricots, she proclaimed. I will look into it, I said.
Here is what we came up with on Tuesday.
We pulled out the old seed tray table. That top opens We lined the inside with foil. Apparently, a reflective surface beneath the apricots really helps speed up the drying process. The wood and rocks in there, are just to hold down the foil. You might be surprised at how many projects around the farm are completed with items within found within 15 feet of the project at hand. Or maybe not. 
We picked the main ingredient. Jade appears to be giving this apricot a thumbs up!
The assemble line commences. “Notice the tupperware containers filled with water under all 6 legs of the drying table”. I am not sure where that idea came from, but it seems brilliant. I think it keeps the ants from getting on the table and munching our precious apricots
After the apricots are washed, halved and pitted. the halves are cut into quarters, dipped into lime juice for preserve and then places on the screen.
Mission completed.

3 days later…  candy sweet, “mostly” dried and chewy apricots with a hint of lime. We put a few pieces in each box so that everyone can taste them for themselves.

Here are a few tips in case you want to do your own sun drying at home. Naturally, it is ideal if you can get your apricots on a screen early on a hot day. That ensures that right away, the outside of the fruit will be able to form a hard, dry protective coating. quartering really speeds up the drying process. These apricots were quartered and still are not fully dry in the very middle after three days. If you want to store your dried apricots for a long period, you need to get them dry all the way through. I have seen dried apricots last over a year in a freezer bag in the freezer. The lime is key for helping preserve. I think the citric acid is the main constituent in the lime juice that is responsible for this.
The lime also keeps the apricots from oxidizing and turning brown.

 
This weeks box has two types of basil in each box. The first is the sweet “Italian” basil. The second is Thai basil “pictured above”. Both are pretty much interchangeable. Thai basil has a strong sweet anise flavor. Its flavor is also more stable under high or extended cooking temperatures than that of sweet basil.

Apricots with basil, goat cheese and almonds 

Apricot basil jam

 
Pickled Swiss Chard Stems

Ingredients

  • Swiss chard stems, chopped
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Preparation

  • Make a mixture of vinegar and sugar, then stir in onions, Sriracha, and celery seeds. Pour it all over the chopped stems, using 3 cups liquid for every 1 1/2 cups chopped stems. Throw it in the refrigerator for a few days, and you’ve got the ultimate refrigerator pickles.

 
 
Remember last years mutant potatoes? Well, they are coming soon. Say goodbye to the standard rounds. We are moving into gourmet potato territory very soon.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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