Sunny Citrus Treats
By the time this letter reaches you the weekend rains will have begun and we'll be taking cover in the Farm Store or sorting our incredible heirloom beans in the barn, but the clear skies over the last week provided ample time to devote to outdoor projects. Among many tasks, our cane berries received a careful pruning and we put some finishing touches on our new produce washing station. We hope the weekend ahead treats you well - stay dry and safe!
In the newsletter this week: bright and juicy citrus, fantastic new canned goods, and our flavor-packed raw nuts
The citrus harvest continues to progress as the season rolls along, with a number of new varieties having shown up in the store over the past week or two. We're currently carrying Navel Oranges, Clementines, Meyer Lemons, Lisbon Lemons, Eureka Lemons, and Rough-Skinned Lemons. At home, we've had great success creating marinades and salad dressings with our citrus.
A fun option to celebrate the fruit of the season is a Shaker Lemon Pie - a simple, easily made treat that has tons of bright, sunny lemon flavor and strikes a satisfying balance between sweet and bitter.
For a double crust, we'll need 12 oz flour, 8 oz butter cut into small cubes, and 4 oz water. The recipe can be scaled up or down depending on the size of your pie dish, but this is a good start. Make sure your butter and water are as cold as possible, kept under refrigeration until just before they're needed. Using a food processor or stand-up mixer, cut the butter into the flour until it's well incorporated and forms small crumbs. Next add the water, very slowly, until the dough starts to stick to itself and begins to form into a ball - stop adding water at this point, and don't be surprised if you haven't used it all. It's important not to overwork the dough after adding the water, or it will become tough and lose that lovely, flaky texture. Form the dough into a rounded disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until you're ready to roll it out into your pie dish. For convenience, this can all be done a day or two ahead of time.
For the pie filling, carefully use a very sharp knife to slice 3 medium lemons as thinly as possible, picking out any seeds - any wide bits of rind will translate to a harsh flavor in the finished pie (about the width of a dime or thinner should do). Choose your favorite lemon variety or varieties to use here - any combination should work beautifully. Toss well with 2 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon salt, coating all the lemon slices well. Cover and refrigerate the lemon and sugar mixture for 12-24 hours, stirring once halfway through. Prepare your bottom crust and form it to the bottom of your pie dish. Beat 4 large eggs well and thoroughly incorporate into your lemon and sugar mixture. Pour the filling into your pie dish and cover with the top crust, crimping the edges to seal the top and bottom crusts. Cut a few slits in the top crust to release steam. Place your pie into an oven preheated to 450 F and bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 F and bake an additional 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Allow to cool and set, and enjoy!
Navel Oranges - $2.00 per pound
Clementines and Lemons - $3.00 per pound
We're proud to announce the arrival of a few delicious new choices in our ever expanding selection of canned goods. This weekend in the Farm Store we'll be sampling a number of these new treats. Look for Fig Jam, Pepper Jelly, Pickled Peppers, Pickled Beans, and Pickled Beets. As always, sugar additions have been kept to the minimum necessary to achive a balanced flavor.
Our pepper jelly is made from a blend of sweet and hot peppers, but carries only a light touch of heat. It's absolutely amazing with cheese, charcuterie, and bread - an application that's also wonderful with our fig jam, made from white figs. The pickled beans are made with a gourmet blend of fresh beans, and along with our pickled peppers (the sweet Gypsy variety, with no heat) will make a perfect garnish for your weekend Bloody Mary. Finally, our pickled beets are a flavor and nutritional powerhouse, maintaining the same vibrant red as when freshly harversted.
Fig Jam, Pepper Jelly, Pickled Peppers, and Pickled Beans - $6.00 per jar
Pickled Beets - $8.00 per jar
In addition to our marvelous beef, our ranch in Red Bluff provides the store with delicious Pecans, Walnuts,and Almonds - all sold raw and in the shell at the peak of flavor and nutrition. They're excellent in pies, salads, and just about anything else you can imagine. A favorite use around here is a walnut pesto that also makes use of our super healthy Nettles.
Quickly blanch 2 cups of Nettle tips and leaves in boiling water - woody stems removed - and cool immediately with ice water. In a food processor combine blanched nettles with 1 cup walnuts, 6-8 cloves garlic, and enough olive oil to reach a smooth pesto consistency. Add salt to taste and serve on pizza, crusty bread, or pasta!
Pecans, Walnuts, and Almonds - $4.00 per pound
Thanks as always for reading, and we look forward to seeing you in the Farm Store!
Store hours related reminder:
The Green String Farm Store is operating under Winter hours, open from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Farm tour related reminder:
Our weekly Saturday farm tour has been put on hiatus for the time being, at least until the Spring has sprung. Those wishing to coordinate school group tours may still inquire at email@example.com
A request for paper bags and egg crates:
Help the Farm Store reduce waste and conserve our natural resources by bringing us your clean, folded paper grocery bags to reuse when packing purchases for our customers. Bringing your own reusable bags is another way to cut landfill waste and save money on plastic bag fees. We always love paper egg crates, both to reuse in the Farm Store and as nesting material for our happy hens!
Available in the Farmstore...
Produce: Nettles, Mustard Flowers, Clementines, Lisbon Lemons, Meyer Lemons, Rough-Skinned Lemons, Navel Oranges, Green Cabbage, Beets, Lacinato Kale, Red Russian Kale, Curly Winterbor Kale, Chard, Mustard Greens, Turnips of multiple varieties, Rutabagas, Sorrel, Collards, Fennel, Mizuna, Baby Lettuce, Tatsoi, Dandelion Greens, Cherry Bell Radishes, Celery, Winter Squashes (Sugar, Pie Pumpkins, Red Kuri, Delicata, Acorn, Butternut, Sweet Meat, Spaghetti, Buttercup, Blue and Golden Hubbard, and Banana), Fresh Herbs, a variety of Onions, Leeks, and more...
Other Farm Goods: Beef, Bread, Butter, Cheese, Eggs, Raw Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, Raw Honey, Freshly Milled Whole New Mexico Heirloom Wheat Flour, Red Wine Vinegar, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Canned Goods (Marmalade, Concord Grape Jelly, Pickled Beets, Pickled Beans, Pickled Peppers, Quince Slices, Tomato Sauce, Whole Peeled Tomatoes, Ketchup, Quince Sauce, Apple Sauce, Peach Slices, Pepper Jelly, Plum Jam, Peach Jam, Fig Jam, and Nectarine Jam)