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Back to School/Heat Wave Sale!

Posted 8/29/2018 5:19pm by Christy and Chris Kantlehner.

I just met Graham at the school bus from his first day of Kindergarten! He was all smiles, saying the bus was so fun and that class was pretty fun too! My heart and mind are in a little bit of turmoil as I try to reconcile my little guy moving on to elementary school, riding the school bus, and just  being so independent in general.  Graham is quite the character, obsessing over different sports (and especially the gear, footwear, helmets, and uniforms) in turn. He is currently on a golfing bender, donning his collared shirt each day in hopes that we will take him to the 9 hole course at forekicks after camp or school. 

With the start of school, I will have to pack a snack and lunch each day. Of course the kids will probably just eat the cheez-its and pretzels, but I figured I would mention a few veggie and fruit options that you can pack in the bag. All of these make good lunch sides and take to work lunches for us big kids. 

  • Watermelon - Prep in pie shapes for easy snacking. 85 cents/lb this week! max $10, as always :)
  • Cantaloupe - cut into cubes. real, ripe melon 
  • Cherry tomatoes - whole or halved, or even mixed with diced mozzarella or halved ciliegine mozzarella balls. 2 pints for $6
  • Lunchbox Peppers - we have mini red and yellow bells, and those supersweet orange ones, "Yummy." You can teach the kids to hold the stem and take bites around the seeds in the center or make it really easy by cutting into strips or rings. 2 quarts for $8
  • Carrot Sticks
  • Cucumber Sticks, slices, or half moons. Maybe with some hummus for dipping?

I checked in on our unstoppable field crew as I guiltily made my way from doing my cousin's wedding flowers in the naturally cool (plus air conditioned) root cellar ("flower dungeon") to go meet Graham at the bus at 3:21. They had harvested the mammoth tomato haul this morning and were sorting the ripe (sell today), less ripe (sell in a day or two), and seconds ($10/10lb box). The bread tray stacks were tall, the black bulb crates were stacked with all colors of cherry tomatoes, but thankfully the green harvest buckets were nearly empty. They were close enough to finishing that I felt okay leaving, telling them I'd be writing an email to our mailing list. "Tell them to buy tomatoes!" they nearly shouted in perfect unison. So by golly, I am telling you! This is the moment! Taste and compare all of our different heirloom varieties. Indulge in BLT's or just a good old mayo and tomato sandwich. Tomatoes are always enhanced by a pinch of salt and twist of fresh cracked pepper, in my opinion, even when hidden in a sandwich.

DRYING: Our two-bite tomatoes are terrific dried. I tend to use frozen dried tomatoes most of any of my preserved farm products. I cut the Juliets (small plum), Mountain Magic (ping pong sized round), and Jaune Flame (apricot like) in half lengthwise, arrange cut side up on my stackable dehydrator trays, season with some sea salt, and let the dehydrator do the work! If a batch comes out super dry, they can get packed into a jar and be covered with olive oil - that can go on your shelf or in your fridge where the oil will turn solid and preserve them for a very long time. Don't overlook the tomato infused oil for making dressings or homemade hummus! If they still have a little plumpness (=moisture) they will do best in a freezer ziplock bag or other airlock container. If you do not have a dehydrator, you could use cooling racks on baking sheets in a low heat oven (convection if you have it). But honestly, I hate to even mention the word oven right now!

QUICK SAUCE: Thin slicing can be the key to getting a quick impromptu sauce from tasty tomatoes. I like to get a slick of olive oil hot in the pan, add a pinch of cracked red pepper, garlic, and salt and allow that to soften, then add thin slices of onion - red or yellow, then add the thin slices of any type of tomato, and let them cook down. If they stick to the bottom you can deglaze with a tiny bit of red wine or vinegar. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. A finely chopped fresh herb like basil, parsley, rosemary, or thyme finishes the sauce perfectly. I used my little julienne peeler (not a big spiralizer gadget - just a cheap Y-peeler variation that fits easily in a drawer) to make long strips of golden and dark green zucchini "noodles." I just peel, skin and all, until i get to the seeds in the center. I cooked those briefly in olive oil w/ a touch of butter - doing single layer batches to avoid too much steaming and sprinkling w/ finely grated super dry parmesan to add salt, flavor, and preserve texture.  The dish was a hit and was surprisingly satisfying, despite its complete veggie-ness.

Mixed Grill! Onions, Eggplant, Peppers, Summer Squash and Zucchini. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, or good old Italian dressing. I like to do big chunks of veggies and start them early. The Asian eggplants can be sliced once in half lengthwise, same for zukes and most onions. But if you've got a little army of hands this is the perfect time of year for shish kabobs! 

Huge shoutout to the farmstand workers who have been enduring the heat wave, as this is such an important time for us to sell all these ripe fruits!! No closing for heat danger! We can send the field crew home a little early - but the farmstand crew is in it for the long haul! We value each and every worker here at White Barn, they are not paid nearly enough and work tirelessly with such responsibility and resolve. We could not be more grateful for our peeps!

Speaking of peeps! Tell your friends, your kids, your parents, your kids' friends' parents, your hairdresser, your soccer coach, and anyone you meet that it is primetime at the farmstand. It is time to enjoy the difference between grocery store and locally grown, field-ripened melons and tomatoes especially. Taste the rainbow of delicious specialty peppers! Add some heat with our unique selection of hot peppers. Just come on in! Thanks to all of you that already do!!

Don't forget Jordan Brothers Seafood Truck - enabler of quick, healthy, tasty meals: Tuesdays and Fridays, 2pm to 6pm.

We are open:
Tuesday-Friday: 10am to 6pm
Saturday&Sunday: 10am to 4pm
Closed Mondays only.

www.whitebarnfarm.org

Thanks for enduring this trying email! Hope a fan is blowing your hair back as you read!

 We sincerely appreciate your support!

Christy Kantlehner, on behalf of the whole farm family and crew!