Our New Year Share Includes:
Collard Greens & Turnips. In the south it is understood that if you have the traditional new year’s day supper you will be blessed with good fortune for the entire year. According to legendary southern food researcher John Egerton’s Southern Food: At Home, On the Road, In History, black-eyed peas are associated with a “mystical and mythical power to bring good luck.” If you serve peas with cornbread, it represents gold, and if they are stewed with tomatoes, it symbolizes wealth and health. As for collard greens, they grow in late fall and winter in the south, they’re green like money and will ensure you a financially prosperous new year. Apparently each bite of greens you eat is worth $1,000 in the upcoming year, more reason to EAT YOUR GREENS!!
Steamed Collards- The Sunshine State Cookbook by George S. Fichter
Ingredients: Collard Greens, Salt, Pepper, Sliced Bacon, Butter
Wash the greens and steam or boil them gently in lightly salted water until tender. Fry bacon until crisp. Remove from frying pan and crumble, sprinkle bacon bits over collards and season with salt and pepper, mixing thoroughly in a serving bowl. Dot with butter. Vinegar-Pepper sauce makes an excellent condiment.
Be sure to save a few uncooked greens to tack to the ceiling for good luck or hang over the door to ward off evil spirits.
Purple Daikon Radish– These beautiful, large, purple radishes are most commonly eaten raw, however they may be cooked like turnips, which they resemble in flavor but are more zesty. Slice them up and throw them in the pot with your collards and turnips (they only need about 10 minutes to cook) they will add a colorful flair to the traditional new year’s dish.
Dill– Dill is a very intensely flavorful herb therefore you may have difficulty using up the entire bunch before it goes bad. Make some Dill & Herb Butter, It’s quick, easy, and the butter will stay fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks providing you a tasty, herbalicious alternative to sautée your weekly share of vegetables in, or to butter your biscuits with.
Dill & Herb Butter
1/2 cup salted butter, softened.
2 tsp fresh dill,
Pepper and any other dried herbs you have in your pantry (I used some garlic salt).
Finely chop the dill leaves after removing them off of the stem. Mix dill and herbs into softened butter. Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving.
O’Henry Yams– The O’Henry variety have a thin, off white to light tan outer skin and a white to creamy yellow flesh. Unlike classic Irish white potatoes which are grown from seed, sweet potatoes such as the O’Henry are initially planted using young shoots from the sweet potato root called “slips.” These slips were planted in the spring or early summer at the farm. This variety prefers sandy, lightweight soils much like the ones we have in Florida.
Yam Cakes- The Sunshine State Cookbook by George S. Fichter
Ingredients: 2lbs Yams, 2 Eggs- lightly beaten, 1/4 cup Bread Crumbs, 3 tsp. Butter, 1tsp. Salt, 1/4 tsp. Pepper
Boil yams in lightly salted water until tender. Drain and mash, mixing the salt and pepper, eggs, and bread crumbs. Form into patties and fry in butter until browned on one side, then turn and brown the other. Serves 3-4 people. For variation, add cheese or diced onions or both to the mixture before frying.
Baby Lettuce Mix– Making a rare appearance this late in fall and winter. Enjoy this baby lettuce mix with some fresh dill and a light vinaigrette like the one chef Amy Van Secol created in a past blog.
In a bowl with a whisk, combine vinegar and mustard. Slowly add oil and whisk vigorously to create a creamy emulsified dressing. Season with salt and pepper.
Seminole Pumpkin– Traditionally grown by the Calusa, Creek, and Miccosukee peoples, Seminole pumpkins remain one of the tastiest and most reliable pumpkins for Florida farmers. You don’t have to worry about this squash going bad on you anytime soon. Thanks to their thick skin, Seminole pumpkins can be stored for up to a year in a dry climate. More realistically for Florida’s humid climate, they can be stored for a few months. The inner flesh of a Seminole pumpkin is orange and tastes like butternut squash, but sweeter and is firmer and less fibrous than that of a traditional jack-o-lantern pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo) which have a hard time growing organically in Florida. Cook this pumpkin like you would an acorn, butternut or any other winter squash variety.
I grew up attending the Florida Folk Festival at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park along the banks of the Suwannee River in White Springs, Florida. I was one of the many barefooted, wandering, children that could be seen meandering from the white sandy river banks throughout the music camps and stages in search of our parents, or more likely a familiar face with some loose change so we could buy some warm, sweet, one-of-a-kind Seminole Indian Fry Bread. Every Memorial Day Weekend for the past 66 years the Seminole Tribe of Florida sets up a traditional Seminole camp complete with chickee’s displaying traditional Seminole crafts, such as patchwork sewing, beading, dollmaking and basketry. A series of open fires border the camp cooking traditional Seminole foods. One in particular hosts a flat-bottomed pot filled with hot grease to fry up some fresh, hot, Seminole Indian fry bread. I searched for this recipe when i learned my CSA members would be receiving a Seminole Pumpkin in their share this week. I wanted to find a recipe that was rich in Florida history and more meaningful than the traditional “pumpkin” recipes. So here ya have it, from the Seminole Tribe of Florida’s very own newspaper: The Seminole Tribune- How To Make Pumpkin Frybread.
Sweet Baby Carrots– Most of the benefits of carrots can be attributed to their beta-carotene and fiber content. These root vegetables are also a good source of antioxidants rich in vitamins A, C, K, and B8. Deficiency of vitamin A can cause some difficulty seeing in dim light. Since carrots are rich in vitamin A, they are good for improving eyesight and preventing conditions like night blindness from developing as we age. Eat more organic carrots!!
Looking for some recipes to try this New Years? Check out Southern Living’s: Favorite recipes for Greens, Black-Eyed Peas, Cornbread, Hoppin’ John, and Pot Likker Soup–Lucky New Year’s Meal
What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Cook more? Eat healthier? Support local businesses? Join Our Spring CSA and be sure to fulfill all of those resolutions. There’s no better time to start eating healthy and support your local community through businesses that provide healthy and sustainable jobs! Join before February and receive $20 off your membership! Use Promo Code: EARLYBIRD2018 at checkout.