Friday, July 2, 2010

CSA Share Week 6 and Blueberry Pie with Currant Crumb Topping for the Fourth!

Things are getting crazy at the farm.

Picked just a few hours before I hauled it all home:

Green Beans
Yellow Beans
Italian Green Beans
Italian Yellow Beans
3 Tomatoes
Green Cabbage
2 cucumbers
3 bulbs of garlic
Snow Peas
Sugar Snap Peas
2 zucchini
2 yellow squash
2 8-ball green squash
1 yellow zucchini
1 yellow 8 ball squash
1 patty pan squash
Easter Egg Radishes
French Radishes
Pickling cucumbers
This is what my counters looked like yesterday afternoon.

Crazy right? All kinds of lovely things are coming forth from the land.

Look at that yellow cauliflower and the size of that cabbage and kohlrabi! 

Red, White and Blue Currants - these babies are going on top of a crumb topped blueberry pie! 

How pretty are these radishes? I roasted some with olive oil and salt and pepper and they were SWEET! 

Fresh beans! 

This is too much food for one family, for one week. And this is exactly why I signed up for the CSA. My goal is too preserve what we can't eat fresh so that come this winter, I can reach into my pantry or freezer and serve my family healthy, locally grown produce that was preserved at the height of its flavor. No trucking, no additives, no ingredients other than what I put into it. And certainly nothing in there that a 3rd. grader couldn't pronounce. 

So I spent a few hours yesterday afternoon, peeling and cutting and blanching and packaging. It didn't take more than an hour to get this:

Beans (two kinds) and peas - ready for the freezer. Twenty-two servings. Today I'm going to make some refrigerator pickles to take to my family's Fourth of July picnic. Just some cider vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt and dill, heated up and poured over sliced cucumbers in a mason jar. Refrigerate for a day and two and voila! Crisp, zesty homemade pickles... maybe I'll add some carrots for fun, color and extra flavor. 

I'm also making the most of the beautiful berries in season right now. As a new twist to a centuries old standby of Blueberry Crumb Pie I'm going to throw some of those red, white and blue currants on top of the crumb topping. The heat of the oven should burst the berries creating a stunning patriotic explosion of color and flavor. 

Blueberry Crumb Pie: serves 8

Use your favorite pie crust recipe
6 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup sugar
zest of half a lemon
juice from half a lemon
1/4 cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
Roll out pie crust and fit into pie pan.
In a large bowl combine all the filling ingredients. Pour mixture into pie shell. Place pie on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare the topping.
For the topping
2 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick COLD unsalted butter
In a small bowl combine all the ingredients. Working the butter with a pastry cutter or two knives, blend until large clumps appear. (I don't like to use my hands as the warmth from my fingers melts the butter)
Sprinkle the topping over the blueberries. You can be VERY generous if you like here, or save half the topping and freeze for your next treat. Optional: throw a handful of currants on top of the crumbs. 
Bake pie for 45-60 minutes. You will know when it is done when your house smells amazing, the crust is nice and golden brown, and the blueberries are bubbling.
Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or homemade vanilla ice cream. My Uncle Rich swears that the only topping for blueberry pie is chocolate ice cream. It is pretty darn good if you are the daring type. Enjoy!
A Cook's Notes: You know I support local, seasonal eating and this year's CSA share is my way of walking the walk and not just talking the talk. But does it make a difference? Can ONE person make a mark, take a stand, forge a better way of living and eating? I think so. And I think you, dear readers think so too. There is a movement afoot. A food movement. People care. People want to live healthier, more purpose driven lives; lives that are more closely associated with their surroundings and rooted in this earth we share. I believe this to be true. Do you? 


  1. I am so jealous of all your loot! what a great thing you are doing for the environment and your body!

  2. I'm impressed with all those vegetables. We also have a CSA, but so far we have been in the greens phase. I'm interested in learning more about your refridgerator pickles. What is your recipe?

  3. Wow. I love, love fresh veggies. We just got a farmers market close to us and I am so excited. It doesn't have much yet but is growing. I wish we had enough area for a garden. Okay,it's not really the space but the THREE dogs which keep us from a garden...
    I was just reading an article on canning. I grew up on a farm and vividly recall my mom in the kitchen canning for the rest of the year! What, you didn't know I grew up on a farm!?

  4. Mo - do you ever go to Union Square Market? My CSA farm (Alstede Farms) has a stand there...

    City Share - my recipe:
    1 cup vinegar
    2 cups sugar
    2 tbsp. salt
    1 tbsp. celery seed (or mustard seed or dill, or any flavor you want to come through - I like dill and mustard seed)
    1 cup raw onion rings
    6 cups cucumbers, thinly sliced
    Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and celery seed. Heat to the boiling point. Pour over the sliced onions and cucumbers.
    These keep well in the refrigerator for a long time. Replace the onions and cucumbers as used, if desired.

    Mama - I did not know you grew up on a farm! Details! Details! Do any of your family still live there? What kind of food did you grow? What kind of animals?

  5. I so admire you for growing all of that stuff and eating fresh. I have a black thumb. I even tried growing some herbs in my kitchen window and barely got anything worth mentioning. I must not be living right.

    (Well, duh.)

  6. Yes, I do care, and I am learning so much from you. Thank you for all that you do to teach us as you move forward in a sustainable and healthy way. I am paying close attention and appreciate all that you do.

  7. That blueberry pie sounds incredible. And I love what you're doing with preserving stuff :)

  8. See, this is why I need an extra freezer. I'm already trying to figure out how to make space in mine for the baby food I need to start making.

  9. I was so much hoping that I'd have enough of my own garden produce to freeze for the long winter months, but at the rate that I pick and eat the peas right off the vine, I'm not going to get any to put up.


Wow. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I love feedback... what with being a cook and all. I will respond to your comments via email (if you do not have a "noreply" address or here, below your comment) As always, Bon Appetite!

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