This week we have a lot to be thankful for as we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday. We have a deep gratitude for the beautiful place we have to do our work, and the wonderful people who make it all possible.
We thank our farm and market crew for their work each day: Jasmine, Sergio, Cody, Victoria, Martha, Erik, Aricel, Ramiro, Ryan, Gabby, Maggi, Lesha, Kasie, Russell and many more people who have helped out in various ways with our farm and family. I’d like to especially thank John, for being such a hard-working farmer and business partner, as well as a loving and supportive husband and father. This fall we’ve accomplished four years of farming together, and eight years of marriage.
We thank our CSA members, farmers market customers, restaurant clients, and distributors who make it possible for our farm to exist.
We hope you enjoy a warm and joyful Thanksgiving holiday, as you take a day to appreciate the many blessings and opportunities in your life.
In your CSA shares this week:
Covington Sweet Potatoes – This is a “traditional orange yam” variety. Yam is actually a marketing term in the U.S., it doesn’t apply to most of the tubers sold as sweet potatoes in this country. Check out this fun video describing the difference between sweet potatoes and yams. The Covingtons have a supersweet, tender orange flesh and rose colored skin and are best prepared roasted, mashed or cut into wedges and baked. These guys also make a mean “pie” pumpkin;if your family or friends are having a pie baking contest, here’s your secret weapon.
At the farm, we typically scrub the outside, slice into rounds or chunks and then roast in the oven at 400 degrees. Sweet potatoes are wonderful roasted in a medley with turnips, radishes, carrots and beets. You can also try these twenty-three different Sweet Potato Recipes from Southern Living.
Arugula – Try a salad with dried cranberries, sliced toasted almonds and some goat cheese for a nice addition to your Thanksgiving menu.
Tulsi (Holy Basil) – Often referred to as holy basil, Tulsi is a potent herb that has been used in India for thousands of years to treat colds, coughs, and flu. Tulsi leaves offer a rich source of essential oil, containing eugenol, nerol, camphor, and a variety of terpenes and flavonoids. Boiling the leaves and flowers brews a delicious clove flavored tea rich in vitamins and antioxidants. This aromatic clove-scented basil makes a beautiful, edible garnish (including the flowers), a flavorful addition to Thai and other Asian stir-fry dishes, and is also a healthy, soothing ingredient for herbal tea. To make the tea: bring 2 quarts of water to a boil and turn off heat, add the entire bunch of tulsi (rubber band removed), let steep for 15 minutes. Strain and enjoy hot or iced. You can also dry tulsi by hanging upside down and save it for herbal teas anytime.
Red Radishes – Slice or half and serve as part of a crunchy crudité (fancy word for raw vegetables) platter.
Sunchokes (Jerusalem Artichoke) – It looks like ginger, but you treat it like a potato. Great in soups, roasted, or sliced thin into chips. High in iron, Sunchokes also contain Thiamin, Phosphorus and Potassium. It is a sweet, crunchy tuber that can be eaten raw or cooked. Best stored in the refrigerator, in an airtight container or bag, for 1-2 weeks. You can peel it if you like, but the skin is edible. Sunchoke naturally contains Inulin, which is a soluble fiber (it is a starch that is not digested). Some claim inulin has health benefits, feeding beneficial bacteria in your digestive system, while some link overconsumption of inulin (which can be added to processed foods to replace other types of sugars and starches) to digestive discomfort. It is known as a “prebiotic” benefitting the microbes in your digestive system.
Kale – Red Russian or Lacinato. Red Russian has the purple stems, and the Lacinato is the dark green, bumpy leafed variety. Check out these seventeen different Thanksgiving Greens Recipes from Food &Wine. You can also check out this accessible recipe for Kale with Smoked Paprika.
Bok Choy – Has a delicate flavor and crunchy texture. Try it in a stir-fry, steamed, or shredded and added to a slaw. Here’s a great recipe for a garlic-choi stir fry!
Roselle – We had positive CSA member feedback from Jean Q. in Gainesville. Jean said, “I just made Florida cranberry relish from the roselle from my box. I used tangerine juice plus some rind from the tangerines off my tree and followed your recommended recipe. Very tasty!! If anyone wants to know, I used two packages of roselle from my box and it made just about the 24 oz for the recipe.”
Try this recipe for “Florida Cranberry” sauce for Thanksgiving! You can also pop your Roselle into the freezer, whole, to preserve for later use. Break them out for a festive Sorrell Drink around the holidays with a cinnamon stick and splash of rum. Substitute the pint of fresh Sorrell for the dried in the recipe. You do not need to remove the seed pods if you’re making a drink. You do want to remove them if you’re making relishes or jam. There are many variations including with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, etc.
Florida Cranberry Relish (AKA Jamaican Sorrel Relish)
From the Survival Gardener
1 1/2 c. orange or apple juice
1 1/3 c. sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
a couple of dashes of ground cloves
24 oz. Florida cranberries (seed pods removed)
1 c. raisins (golden or ordinary)
1 c. chopped pecans
*Chopped citrus and orange zest (Amy’s suggestion)
In a saucepan, combine juice, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until sugar is dissolved. Add Florida cranberries and raisins, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, simmer 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat, stir in nuts. Chill for several hours.
Pick up notes for this week:
AvMed and Gator CSA at UF do not have pick ups scheduled for this week since the distribution falls on Thursday.
Please let us know (email email@example.com) if you do not plan to pick your share and we can schedule a delivery hold. You will receive a credit for the week’s share which you can use at the farmers’ market, add an extra box, or extra specialty items such as jam to your orders.