Sunday, February 24, 2013

Large Lettuce Harvest: Satur Farms

" To create continual revenues and to offer year-round employment to our team, we began farming in Florida in the winter months. Additionally, we represent our neighbors' farm products during our growing season; occassionally we might source from other growers beyond our region. Sourcing is done only to ensure the sustainability and viability of the farm. The company's social responsibilities continue beyond our fence line, as we donate to food rescue organizations and are involved in local fundraisers for farm organizations and other socially responsible causes."
...from their website (Long Island, NY)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Planting Tomatoes with my Dad

When I was growing up we had a kitchen garden in the backyard - my father came from a farming family - they grew tomatoes for Campbell's Soup Co in the early days.  I learned at an early age how to grow tomatoes.

Tomatoes at the ready for jarring tomato sauce at harvest time - we enjoyed them many ways - most notably as a tomato salad - and 2nd to none in my opinion - in a sandwich with mayo.

My Dad came up with putting plastic down and growing organically long before anyone else thought of it - although I do not use plastic anywhere on the farm - thinking that it must leach into the soil - instead I mulch with straw & grass clippings  - plastic would be so much easier!

Fond memories of working with my Dad in the garden and of my mother watering every night.

In UpState NY I water in the early morning - but in Jersey - the perfect climate for tomatoes outside of Italy - it was preferable to water at night.

Why?  The cooler zones hold moisture overnight due to the drop in temperature - and that can harm the plant  - while warmer nights down South is perfect to absorb the water.  If you were to water during the day in these warmer zones you could burn the plant.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Italian Farmhouse Recipes: Easter Pie

Love, love love this pie - with locally grown organic wheat berries!!! Family Farmers Unite!
I use the "pasta frolla" instructions previously posted on this blog
There are many versions of Ingredients for the filling - here are some - scroll down:
  • 250 grams of cooked whole grains*
  • 200 ml milk
  • 30 grams of butter
  • 350 grams of fresh ricotta (from sheep and cow’s milk, if you can get a mixture of both)
  • 350 grams of caster sugar
  • 2 whole eggs, plus two yolks
  • 100 grams of mixed candied citrus fruit (such as citron or orange), finely chopped
  • grated rind of one organic lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (or 1 vanilla bean pod)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water

  • The Filling
  • 10 ounces (300 g) ricotta (purchase this fresh from a delicatessen) 
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar 
  • 3 eggs, separated 
  • 1 vial (1/4 cup) acqua di fiori d'arancio (not orange extract, but orange blossom water -- purchase this from an Italian deli)
  • A pinch powdered cinnamon 
  • 1/4 cup minced candied citron 
  • 1/4 cup minced candied orange peel

there are so many recipes out there!  I will try some and let you know which I liked best.  Where we grew up the neighborhood had some good bread and pastry shops!  Lucky, right? 
  • 1 kg pre packed frozen short pastry (if you want to make it at home click here for the recipe)
  • 700 gr ricotta cheese
  • 600 gr sugar
  • 400 gr of boiled wheat (you can easily find cans in any supermarket)
  • 80 gr crystallized citron
  • 80 gr crystallized orange
  • a dash cinnamon
  • 100 gr milk
  • 30 gr butter or lard
  • 5 eggs and 2 egg yolks
  • a spoon full of vanilla
  • a spoon of orange flavoured water
  • 1 lemon

  • 1 3/4 cups wheat berries
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 pounds fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup candied citrus
  • 2 tablespoons orange flower water
  • 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Heat oven to 375°.

    Separate remaining 4 eggs. In a large bowl, stir together wheat berries, ricotta, remaining cup sugar, candied citrus, egg yolks, orange water, finely grated zest from orange, 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest and cin

Saturday, February 16, 2013

F.A.B.: Mayonnaise

My guilty pleasure especially during tomato season is Mayonnaise If you make it at home with farm raised free range chicken's eggs - does it have less fat? Maybe not - but we will give Hellman's and Heinz just alittle competition  - small farmers Unite!!!!

 "Hellmann’s alone accounted for $401.2 million in sales last year, according to Businessweek -- nearly a third of the total $1.3 billion mayo market here. Heinz Ketchup is a distant third with $278.6 million in sales, edged out by the $286.2 million worth of Tostito’s salsa sold last year. Mayo’s dominance is such that the varieties account for five of the 10 most popular condiment brands, including Best Foods and Kraft. Kraft, for instance, offers its classic mayonnaise, as well as Miracle Whip, and flavored mayos such as reduced fat Chipotle, Garlic & Herb, Horseradish-Dijon, and regular Hot & Spicy. According to SymphonyIRI Group, a market-research firm that analyzed the sales data, nearly 400 million containers of mayonnaise were sold in the year ending Sept. 5, 2010. That’s compared to 271 million jars of salsa and 256 million bottles of ketchup sold nationwide." 
-from the nypost - not my favorite resource or newspaper - but hey, maybe the numbers are somewhere in the ballpark - either way - we know it is a h u g e market."

"Born from Henry J. Heinz’s horseradish business, Heinz has become one of the best-recognized food companies in the world, with its bottles of deep-red ketchup sitting on millions of kitchen tables. But it has expanded its offerings to include Ore-Ida French fries and Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce.
For the year ended Oct. 28, the company reported $11.6 billion in revenue and $1 billion in profit. It generates a majority of its sales in Europe, but its Asian markets are growing "quickly. And it has improved its net sales for eight consecutive fiscal years.
- from NYTimes regarding the buyout by Warren Buffet's firms

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

F.A.B.: Heirloom Tomato Puree

our tomatoes are cooked and passed through a mill to puree for many uses including pasta sauce, soups, stews, and many other dishes such as eggplant parm
Sold Out  2012