Greetings CSA Members! We probably sound like a broken record at this point, but it really does seem like summer doesn’t want to let go. With highs in the 80’s this past week during the peak of fall colors, it’s been a pretty surreal autumn thus far…but we’re far from complaining about it!
That said, we’ve still got quite a few summer veggies for you. Our tomatoes have yet to shut down, plus we have plenty cold-picked green tomatoes ripening up in our storage that are helping our hot weather crops go the extra mile…I don’t think we’ve ever had this much abundance of tomatoes this late in the season!
Still, we’re pretty happy about it for the sake of our CSA members! After this week, with lows dipping back toward the lower 30’s and freezing, it’s more than likely that we’re seeing that last of summer this week and next.
Without further ado, this week’s box will contain:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Mushrooms (Shiitake or oyster, but most likely shiitake!)
- Small/Medium green cabbage
- Sweet peppers
- Rainbow hot pepper blend!
While our cherry tomatoes continue to be picked fresh (and are still bursting with flavor!), a heads up that because of the cooler seasonal conditions, our slicer tomatoes may not be as flavorful as they usually are during the summer! I personally can’t tell the difference, while many others out there can and do. That said, you may enjoy these more as cooked tomatoes, but again, everyone is different.
So Many Hot Peppers! And What to Do With Them
This week you’ll notice that we’ll be unloading quite a few hot peppers on you! Some of you spicy hot food lovers will be thinking “bring it on!” While maybe some of you might be feeling a little overwhelmed by the idea.
The great thing about hot peppers: you can do easy things to get them to last a long time, and even then, you can control how much you add to meals for a bit more interesting flavor and dimension.
Me (Adrian), personally, I love a bit of heat – but not too much! It’s a fine balance. Will can handle a pretty intense dose of heat, and he loves it. But not everyone is that way.
Here’s a few ideas for how to handle these hot peppers:
- Dehydrate them! You can easily do this at home even without a dehydrator. You can put them on a clean baking sheet and let them slowly dry at a setting of around 200 degrees F. After they’re dried you can keep them whole in a bag in your pantry at room temperature, to use bits and pieces here and there to add a little heat to things, as much or as little as you want. Or, you can try drying out multiple hot peppers together and then powder them into a sort of chili powder! (Warning: if you dry hot peppers by chopping them up first, be sure to wear gloves while chopping….I learned the hard way!) Some folks hang dry their hot peppers with string in their kitchen, this is certainly an option too and looks really beautiful.
- Make a simple hot sauce. Really, an easy hot sauce is just throwing hot peppers, garlic, maybe onions, a bit of vinegar, and herbs together in a food processor and blending until smooth (and then adjusting /adding certain ingredients for taste). We personally LOVE blending in squash (cooked of course) into hot sauces, but you can also use mango, tomato, you name it. Keep it in the fridge and it will last you a week or two and help you turn up the flavor as much or as little as you want. There’s tons of really simple and delicious hot sauce recipes online, too.
- Spice up soup or chili. If you’re a bit more daring, try throwing a whole one of these hot peppers in whole into the next soup or chili you make (it is fall, after all, and time for these sorts of dishes even if it’s warm! Right?). If you think you’re sensitive to heat, maybe hold off on throwing one of the whole habaneros or jalapeños in there, that could be too intense. But you might like the little upgrade of heat that an Anaheim, poblano, yellow pepper, or Chinese red pepper might give it. (And if it’s not hot enough…you can always throw in another!)
If you EVER have questions about items in your CSA or farm share box, please let us know! Whether it’s how to use them, what they are, or anything that might make you curious.
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Thank you for choosing us to be your farmers!
Adrian & Will | Jupiter Ridge Farm