August 2009


The seasons are definitely changing! Starting this Saturday (9.5.09) you can definitely expect to see citrus is your Buyers’ Club box. The limes and pears are coming to an end but this upcoming Saturday we will be able to put the very first pickings of satsumas into your box. According to LSU Ag Center the variety of satsuma, which is ‘St. Ann’, has been culitvated to come in around early September to mid-October. The fruit itself is slightly acidic, juicy, and sweet similiar to your usual ‘Armstrong’ variety but with a bit of zing.

This past weekend you may have noticed some unusual varieties of produce on the lagniappe table: ‘star of david’ okra and a bowling pin-shaped squash known as a Cushaw pumpkin. ‘Star of David’ okra is cooked in the same manner as you would for the traditional ‘clemson spineless;’ some people like to cut down one side and remove the seeds as they are rather large and then chop the ‘star of david’ okra. The Cushaw pumpkin like most other squash are great for soups, pies, and custards. It is best to cut it into manageable chunks to remove the seeds and stringy pulp. While some people suggest ‘peeling’– which I never quite figured out exactly to do that — it just seems easier to crank up the oven to 375, roast the halves or quarters for 60 to 90 minutes until tender and scoop out the soft flesh for whatever dish you may be preparing. Less work and less chance for injury (at least in my case.)

Speaking of preparing items that seem daunting in your Buyers’ Club box some of the staff have noticed that the popularity of the pears is, well, not that popular. Being the buyer for your weekly box and picking up the produce often affords me to land some, well, actually a lot freebies from the farms. For the past two weeks I am sent home with at least 10 pounds of pears from our friends at A & K Citrus. I can’t help but think what am I gonna do with all this fruit?!

So the inspiration for the recipe this week it is really incredibly simple: poached pears. Yes, while we strive to supply our customers with dishes that involve at least 4 items for that week’s box it is important that you know just how great poach pears are. Poaching the pears made the whole house smell like Christmas and speaking of holidays you can freeze what can’t eat (trust us, you’ll want to eat all of them) use them for desserts for either Thanksgiving or Christmas. Think–bread pudding with layer of poached pears on the bottom and drizzled with some of the honey from the market. Go ahead and give those pears one last try and don’t forget about the rice pudding with pear & lime from last week.  Hope y’all enjoy.

Recipe: Poached Pears

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Kale Salad45 weeks down & only seven more until the one year anniversary–it seems almost a little surreal. Seasons change and before you know it all those strawberries in the freezer are still frozen still left unused for all those summer time plans you made. The good news is that there is most certainly a long anticipated change in the seasons that we all know is hard to resist: citrus. Growing up a 6th generation Floridian I must say Louisiana most certainly, hands down, grows the juiciest and tastiest citrus I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing in my life.  In the coming months in mid-October you can expect to see satsumas start to appear in your weekly buyers’ club box. Around the holidays and after; oranges (2-3 different varieties), grapefruit, tangerines, and many more will be in your box simultaneously.

Speaking of citrus, a new, very new, cafe opened in the Bywater just about two weeks ago: Satsuma. Satsuma is located at 3218 Dauphine St. and is open Wednesday — Monday from 7:00am to 3:00pm. They offer an ever-changing menu of tasty salads and is a great place to do Sunday brunch; while they don’t offer a brunch menu it is easy to sample just about everything on the menu. The menu offers fresh squeezed organic juices, salads, and sandwiches, as well as, of course, coffee. Our choices from the menu included 2 BLT sandwiches on sourdough at $6 each. We also tried the Kale salad which included dill, chard, fennel, pea shoots, parsley, chopped egg, tomato, avocado, tamari pumpkins tossed in a Parmesan dressing for $8 which is easily split between two people but I could have ate it all-savory and delicate. We also ordered a fruit bowl which definitely is a portion for one but we split it anyway at $3 and for drinks, of course, a double latte for myself at $3.50 and a 16 oz fresh juiced limeade for John at $6. The total bill: $32.16 not bad for a relaxed, no wait for seating, surprisingly Fall-like Sunday morning in August.

Everything issatsuma cafe made to order so it does take a little time, about 15-20 minutes, but it is worth the wait. The building itself and decor is a funky mix and match of chairs and tables, textures, color, fun artwork, vibrant but earthy tones makes a great place to tuck into when you might want to avoid actually going into the office since they also offer Wi-Fi. It is well worth the trip to have an alternative to usual option of eggs, bacon, & toast–so please next time a Sunday rolls around try something a bit different and support a new local establishment.

As for the upcoming changes in your weekly box be sure to keep an eye out for more guavas & guava jelly, avocados (yes, I said avocados), young tender mustard greens, squashes: butternut, blue hubbard, delicata, and more! Right before Labor Day you can expect pastured goat & lamb and be sure to look for another article on pastured meats in the September 1st newsletter.

Recipe: Rice Pudding with Pear & Lime (It’s low fat & tasty!)

IMG_0065_1Hollygrove Market & Farm is fast approaching the year mark for the Buyers’ Club and it just continues to grow and there have been a lot of changes along the way. Change is a good thing just like the seasons it offers us new opportunity, growth, and experience (hopefully for the better). HM&F has been through a major transformation in the last year with addition plots/growing fields, renovations to the interior, chickens, and ever expanding composting all these things are absolutely amazing and would not be possible with out you coming week in and week out. Change is again on the horizon as Ashley Locklear, our farmer coordinator, has fulfilled a year term of service through Americorps as of August 22nd and will still continue to be involved on a part time basis.

With September just around the corner you will start to see new items appearing in the box: all type of greens (mustard, collards, turnip) and yes folks, we are getting close to citrus season with satsumas being the first to come in around the end of September. Not too far behind is lettuce, swiss chard, kale, and everything green. buyers' club setupWe should have one more round of early fall corn, tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, peas, and beans.

Not too far from now we will have lamb, goat, and pork available for purchase on Saturdays and will do our best to answer any questions that you may have about preparing those items. Also if you wish to reserve a whole pig, lamb, or goat please be sure to send an email to the info account. Around the holidays which aren’t too far away we will be sourcing and hopefully reserving turkey and duck.

Grazie!

Recipe: Pea Salad with Cilantro Dressing

roman_empireEvery week since starting the Buyers’ Club almost a year ago now we have continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Originally we started with a distribution of 25 CSA-style (community supported agriculture) boxes to close family & friends now on average we are putting together well over 200 boxes a week! The Market & Farm staff has learned a lot this past year ranging from the level of cooking skills while trying to remain dedicated to eating seasonally to reading endless books about the local urban homesteading movement the seems to know no bounds to sourcing awesome produce that is grown right here in our own city — mostly community plots are just right around the corner from where you live.

If there aren’t any community plots nearby then by all means do some research look up and around you because you have figs, bananas, payapas, and pears in season right now which very well maybe the edible type (do your research) and are right outside your window or waiting for you at that stop light on your morning drive to work. There is nothing more exciting than finding food; free food growing so close by.

This past week you had the pleasure of having two new items in the box: pears and limes. The some of those pears were sourced right here in the city just blocks away from the Market & Farm. The pears that you found in your box are ‘cooking’ pears but are actually perfectly good to eat out of hand as well — you maybe surprised to find that their firm texture kieffer pearhas no direct correlation to just how juicy they are.

The history of the pear dates back to ‘remotest antiquity’ according to some  quick research and actually the Romans are to be credited with the cultivation of pears. However, the Romans never ate raw pears but they stewed them with honey and to this day there is a classic recipe that is still very popular: Patina De Piris or Roman Pear Pudding.  Pears are native to coastal mild temperate climates and are harvested in the mid to late summer, maybe, a bit into early fall.

Pears are chucked full a vitamins like A, C, E, as well as, a few minerals like copper and potassium.  So, this week we have a recipe generously donated to us by one our citrus growers and while it may not use several items in your box from Saturday it certainly is tasty and will inspire you to use those pears.

Recipe: Savastano Pear Cake

A huge Thank You goes out to all of our participating restaurants, their staff and mixologists who donated their efforts, as well as, time to help us with our fundraiser! There was amazing food, great libations, and rockin’ music by John Lisi & Delta Funk to be enjoyed by all this past Tuesday. The fundraiser would not have been made possible if it weren’t for our rockin’ set of volunteers working their butts off in the heat the week prior to the fundraiser–we can not say thank you enough.

Be sure to check out the New Orleans Food section to the right where you will find links to all the restaurants who participated in the event and by all means please stop by one or few of these restaurants when you have time or a little extra cash to enjoy the best of what New Orleans has to offer.

Everything from La Divina’s delicious gelato to the mouth watering small plates you can find at HerbSaint. Don’t forget to try out Bayona for a special evening with that certain someone.

In case you didn’t know you can also find the best of what Hollygrove Market & Farm has to offer at Huevos (off of Banks St. near Jesuit High) each and every weekend with a special made from fresh local produce.

If your looking for classic artisanal meats & sausage be sure to check out Cochon Butcher and their tasty sWINE bar. Cochon Butcher also supplies it cured meats & handmade sausages to its family of restaurants as well.

If you ever find yourself uptown be sure to check out Patois (near Audubon Park) which draws liberally from Mediterranean cooking traditions without losing sight of local heritage. If that’s not what your looking for then check out la petite grocery (off of Magazine St.) for inspired French food crafted with local ingredients.

Be sure when in the CBD to a relaxed dinner at Mila with exceptional handcrafted drinks with a seasonal menu driven by fresh picked produce from Lujele Farms, MiLa delivers a new style of Southern fare with a lighter touch using French techniques.

When friends or family comes around for a visit you can always find great contemporary American cuisine at Iris in the French Quarter.

Behind Lebanon’s Cafe on S. Carrollton is probably New Orlean’s one of the best kept secrets: Boucherie. Boucherie offers refined hearty Southern fare at affordable prices.

Headed North up Carrollton you can check out Ye Olde College Inn and if you ever find yourself in Mid-City on Sunday be sure to enjoy an exceptional brunch at Cafe Degas with its classic French Bistro with a New Orleans touch.

Don’t forget to check the Crescent City Farmers’ Market every Tuesday uptown and Saturday (rain or shine) off of Girod and Magazine in Warehouse District where you can support local farmers and amazing chefs like Dan Esses of Esses Foods which offers made from scratch handmade pastas and sauce.

Again many thanks to the all the participating restaurants, volunteers, and sponsors. We are forever indebted to all of you.

Be sure to check back soon for recipes that were created and crafted for the July 28th fundraiser!

Recipe: Summer Squash & Shiitakes