Is it the “peent” of the woodcock? Is it the feeling of dread of a possible later winter snow storm? Is it the vulnerable spring flower buds punching through the ground that lets you know spring is on the way?
For some in our county the harbinger of spring is the annual CSA Day event hosted by the NC Cooperative Extension office which will be held on February 23 from 11-2 at the Old Salem Visitor Center in Winston Salem.
But wait, “What is a CSA”? CSA stands for “Community Supported Agriculture” which allows the customer (you and me) to buy directly from the farmer! Isn’t that the coolest thing ever? If you love to cook, this is the goods! Nothing is better than fresh from the farm produce.
On my recent visit to Plum Granny Farm (I think I told you about picking blackberries there last summer), Cheryl Ferguson explained to me that the “Plum Fresh” CSA boxes for their program will be available soon and full of their local and certified organic strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, onions, garlic, tomato, etc.
Plum Granny Farm grows raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, garlic, ginger, turmeric and other specialty vegetables as well as heirloom tomatoes and potatoes. Any of those could appear in your box! Personally, I can’t wait for those fresh summer tomatoes!
Cheryl reports that they are looking towards a big production year and the boxes will be full of good stuff! If you have any questions about what to do with the contents of your box, please message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll help you figure it out or visit my website at https://www.loavesanddishes.net for some terrific recipes waiting for you today.
Support your local farmer with these delicious recipes, I guarantee he is feeling spring at this time. He is staring a lot of work square in the eye!
Fresh Strawberry Pie
1 quart of strawberries
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 cup boiling water
½ pack strawberry jello
For the Crust
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp. sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp. milk
1. Wash strawberries, remove stems and quarter – or cut into bite size pieces and set aside. Put water on the stove to boil. Preheat the oven to 425. Always make the filling first – because it needs to cool some and can do so while you make the crust.
2. Stir sugar and cornstarch together with a fork or whisk in a large saucepan. Gradually pour the boiling water into this mixture and place on stove top on medium high heat. Stir continuously over medium high heat until mixture turns from clear colored liquid to a milky colored gel (mixture will start to boil – just keep stirring until it turns milky and a gel consistency – about 7 minutes).
3. Once gel consistency is formed – remove pan from the heat and stir in the ½ pack strawberry flavored jello and the strawberries. Set aside.
4. In a 9” pie plate, mix flour, salt, sugar with a fork. Make a well in the center and pour in the vegetable oil and the milk. Gently mix all ingredients together until a dough forms. Press the dough into the pie plate and using fingers, pinch into fluted design at top edge. Poke at least 5 fork holes with the tines of a dinner fork into the bottom of the crust. (to allow steam to escape without buckling the crust). Bake in 425 oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
5. Pour the strawberry mixture into the pie plate and place in the refrigerator until cold and set.
3 cloves of garlic – minced
1 red onion – chopped as small as possible
1 red bell pepper – chopped into pencil eraser size bits
1 jalapeno – seeds and ribs removed and chopped small
3 limes – zest and juice
½ can of peaches – peaches chopped in pencil eraser size bits – reserve the juice
1 Cup chopped cilantro – two bunches
2 fresh peaches – chopped into pencil eraser size bits
½ cup chopped strawberry – about 8 strawberries
½ cup chopped pineapple fresh or canned
2 tsp fresh ginger – grated
¾ tsp chili powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla good quality – NOT imitation
1 ½ tsp Balsamic Vinegar good quality
2 tsp brown sugar
Chop all ingredients as indicated in the ingredient list and mix together gently in a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the remainder of the ingredients and mix well – but gently.
Serve immediately with chips for dipping or as a garnish for your dish.