February 18, 2008

Week 24

This will no doubt be a disappointment to all of you but Vernon has been at a conference in Indiana all week. Therefore, you will not be treated to his wit and wisdom in this edition of the newsletter.
For those of you that have not met Vernon in person you can meet him on the website by watching the video. Look for his comments here next week. Surely he will have some insights from the conference and his time away.
That being said much of what you will read in this newsletter will no doubt be repetitious to some of you but it is important stuff.

Want to set vacation days, change your order, put in new payment information, order add-ons, or cancel? Just login and the tools are there. Abundant Harvest staff is not able to perform these functions for you.

We want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you for your patience at the delivery sites. As the areas grow; so do the lines. What worked well when we started does not work as well when the numbers increase. We are developing some new ideas and ways to handle the delivery in these areas and ask for your continued cooperation as we try them out.

Many of you are taking the time to rate the produce by using the How Are We Doing? button on your Subscription Dashboard. We appreciate your input and comments. Your comments are read and discussed. If there are things you like or don’t like this is the place to let us know. What you want more of someone else wants less of so we can’t make all of the people happy all of the time, but we try.

If you are not going to be able to pick up your order at the scheduled time please let your host know in advance whenever possible. Most of the hosts will willingly work out some arrange-ment with you if you will contact them and inform them of your situation. You may feel free to have your order picked up by someone else but please make sure they know exactly what you are to receive. If you have ordered add-ons it would be especially helpful if they brought with them a copy of the invoice that had been emailed to you that Monday.
Just as you should double check your order before you leave the site, you should make sure they are prepared to do so also. If you have gotten the wrong thing that means someone down the road is not going to get what they ordered. Once the truck is gone whatever you ordered, that did not get picked up, is gone with it; on to the next town.

Here is another vegetable that may be new to some of you. Bok choy is part of the cabbage family and can be used in many recipes, raw or cooked. Baby bok choy are immature bok choy or a bok choy dwarf variety and are more tender and milder than big bok choy. Bok choy has no fat and is a good source of calcium. It is also low in sodium and high in vitamins C and A.
It is the opinion of some chefs that baby bok choy is best when cooked whole and used as a side dish, but it is also delicious used raw in salads or cooked in soups and stir fries.
Baby bok choy should be wrapped in a paper towel and stored in an open, or perforated, plastic bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator. Use baby bok choy when it is fresh and do not try to store it for long periods of time.
Baby bok choy has a mild sweetness and you don’t want to overwhelm it with strong sauces. Simple cooking techniques will emphasize the flavor. Try it halved lengthwise, brushed with peanut oil and tossed on the grill. Leave it whole and sauté it with garlic or toasted sesame oil. If you prefer steaming cook until they are crunchy but tender and then drizzle them with some toasted sesame oil and sesame seeds. Chop the leaves and use them in stir fry, or stir fry the leaves until tender and then toss them with pasta or put them in an omelet. As always just be creative and enjoy a new taste experience.

Since many of you have been purchasing oats, raisins and almonds we thought we would provide you with a tried and true recipe for granola.
12 cups regular oats
1 ½ cups olive oil
1 ½ cups honey
2 cups raw sliced almonds
2 cups raisins
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Mix well in that order. Place the mixture on a cookie sheet that has been covered in parchment paper and bake at 425º for 5-10 minutes, or until brown. Cool on cookie sheet and then store in an air tight container. This granola is great with milk as a cereal or stirred into yogurt.
For variety, instead of raisins, try any of your favorite dried fruits like cranberries, chopped apricots, etc. alone or in combination.

Freeze dill leaves in ice cube trays covered with water or stock and then use them in soups and stews.

Here is what you will find in this week’s box.
-Navel Oranges
-Satsuma Mandarin Oranges
M & K, Caruthers
-Butternut Squash
John Tobias, Hollister
-Red Potatoes
Family Farm, Madera
-Romaine Lettuce
-Red Leaf Lettuce*
-Baby Bok Choy
Joe Heger Farms, El Centro
Christopher Ranch, Gilroy
-Nantes Carrots
-Baby Red Beets
-Lovely Dill*
T & D Willey, Madera
* Denotes Abundant Box Only
Contents may vary due to availability on date of delivery.

Cloves of garlic that have sprouted can still be used but they will not have as strong a flavor as fresh garlic. The sprouts can be cut up like scallions and chives and used in dishes.

Ginger Squash Cake with White Chocolate Frosting Preheat Oven to 350º
1 cup all purpose flour 1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon ½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp salt ¼ tsp ground allspice
1 cup finely shredded butternut ¾ cup (packed) golden brown sugar
squash, peeled 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg 2 Tbsp finely grated, peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract ¾ cup chopped toasted hazelnuts (about 4 ounces), divided
Spray a 9x9x2 inch metal baking pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour and
next 5 ingredients in medium bowl. Using mixer beat squash, brown sugar,
butter, egg, fresh ginger, and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Fold in flour
mixture and ½ cup of hazelnuts. Transfer to pan, spreading to edges (layer
will be thin). Bake cake until tester inserted in center of cake comes out clean
about 30 minutes. Cool. Over for frosting recipe.

White Chocolate Frosting
3 Tbsp whipping cream
3 ounces high quality white chocolate (such as Lindt or Perugina)
¼ tsp. vanilla
Bring cream just to boil in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add white chocolate and vanilla; whisk until smooth. Let stand until thick enough to spread, about 20 minutes. Spread over cake (layer will be thin). Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup nuts on top.

Orange Vinaigrette Salad Dressing
¼ cup fresh squeezed orange juice ½ cup olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
Whisk together and toss with salad. For a change of pace and a tarter flavor try using fresh lemon juice in place of the orange juice.

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