by Lisa Shaub
I love fruit, especially right off the tree. It is hard to make it taste even better, but this pie comes close. Here is a fun recipe for when you go adventuring. Your friends upstate probably have a peach tree with ripe peaches falling to the ground at this very moment.
2 large perfectly ripe peaches cut in slices
juice of 1 organic lemon
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup raw coconut oil.
1/2 cup agave or maple syrup
shredded organic coconut
1 tbsp bourbon vanilla
1/2 cup pecans
2 tbsp sweetener
To make the crust blend the pecans, dates, lemon zest sweetener until slightly chunky. Press into a greased
pie pan. Refrigerate for one hour.
To make the filling blend the peaches, juice of the lemon, the vanilla, the coconut oil, and sweetener. Taste the mixture and adjust the sweetener to taste. Pour into the pie crust and cover the top with shredded coconut. Refrigerate 1 hour. You can substitute with other fruit, such as any member of the berry family. Enjoy!
by Hilary Kay
As a CSA newbie I’ve been pleasantly impressed with my experience thus far. I only recently became familiar with CSA programs, and am embarrassed to admit I initially had difficulty remembering what the acronym stood for. On Tuesdays when asked my plans for the evening I fumbled to explain why I was going to pick up a large assortment of vegetables. Now I can confidently say that I’m a member of a Community Supported Agriculture organization, and I no longer have to describe it as the wonderful ‘local veggie program’ I belong to.
The sense of community and bountiful variety of veggies we receive each week have made me realize why our 6th Street CSA has been thriving for 18 years. CSA programs have been around even longer however, and the concept is actually an international transplant from Europe. Community Supported Agriculture practices were introduced to the U.S. in the mid-80’s by Swiss born Vander Tuin and German born Trauger Groh. Their farmer-friendly knowledge was first spread through Massachusetts and New Hampshire, where the first two CSA programs were independently founded. CSA programs began to pop up throughout the rest of the country with most programs organized in New England, the Northwest, the Pacific Coast, the upper Midwest and Canada. The U.S. is now proudly home to 12,549 CSA farms, and as the country strives to become more environmentally conscious that number is sure to increase.
The first CSA program in NYC was started in 1991 by Roxbury Farm, not long before our own 6th Street CSA was organized in 1996. Our relationship with Hepworth Farms and Catalpa Ridge Farms is a special one. While volunteering for a Tuesday pick-up shift, I had the pleasure of meeting some of our long time members. One member I met had originally joined during the late 1990’s, took a brief break, but rejoined not long after because of the quality and variety of products that our farms provide. As community members we help these farms make the most of the season, and the farms so generously provide us with our produce basics and new veggies to experiment with. The mutual benefits for farmers and the communities that support them is what makes CSA programs so unique and exciting, as progress is made to develop the world as a more sustainable place. To be part of a CSA is something special, and our own ‘local veggie program’ is one to be proud of.
by Christopher Totaro
We live in a city full of folks who have emigrated from their home countries, leaving much of their lives behind. But many bring with them some of their traditional practices — especially in the kitchen. So, when faced with yet another burgeoning bunch of Thai Basil, do not fret. Doing some exploration into the hidden corners of Chinatown can help expand your culinary horizons and unlock grand new opportunities.
At any street market in Chiang Mai, you’ll find a plentitude of basil varieties including Thai basil (ho ra pa), lemon basil (maeng luck), holy basil (kra prao), and the traditional American sweet basil — each unique in flavor and application. You can even find a type of eggplant (ma kua puang) that is said to be prohibited from importing to the United States! When ordering panaeng curry (pha naeng moo) in Thailand, you’ll often find these delightful “pea eggplants” in your dish.
Aside from restricted ingredients, there are also plenty of exotic food items available in this city, which are as diverse at its inhabitants. I have two favorite locations for picking up the otherwise hard-to-find traditional Thai cooking components. Asia Market Corp (71 Mulberry St) has the fresh produce that can typically be found at markets in Thailand. This is a great place to find fresh produce like durian (thoo rian) and the main ingredient for making green papaya salad (som tam). At Bangkok Center Grocery (104 Mosco St.) you’ll be able to peruse cramped isles packed with all sorts of non-perishable items like sauces and dried spices as well as a huge array of pre-packaged and frozen foods.
With some Thai garlic (kra thiam), specialty Thai chilies (phrik chee fah), vegetarian fish sauce (nam blah), and palm sugar (nam taan peep), I was able to use the Hepworth fresh corn and Thai basil to create this summery corn salad with a Thai twist. Because the unique anise flavor of Thai basil is more stable under high cooking temperatures, it can be used in stir-fried dishes that you might otherwise avoid when using traditional American sweet basil.
Though the CSA may provide the same items for several consecutive weeks at a time, keep in mind that there’s an entire universe of culinary delight out there and a lot of it can be found just a few blocks away. There’s no reason to allow monotony to pervade your kitchen during CSA season. So when you’re all pesto-ed out, think outside of the box … and below Canal Street.
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