Newsletters

Newsletters posted by Monday of each week during each CSA season.
Posted 10/23/2017 1:31am by Dillon.

Traditional Regular: Spicy greens mix, Orange sweet potatoes, Beets, Nittany apples, Spaghetti squash 

Traditional Large: Spicy greens mix, Orange sweet potatoes, Beets, Nittany apples, Spaghetti squash, Cauliflower, Tomatoes

Item of the Week: This week's item is Spaghetti Squash. A strange vegetable that looks more like a melon than most types of squash, the spaghetti squash is a wonderful substitute for angel hair pasta. It is slightly crunchy with a mild flavor and can be cooked in a variety of ways. A recipe for spaghetti squash hash browns follows. Ingredients: cooking spray, Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place spaghetti squash onto prepared baking sheet with cut sides down. Bake until squash is tender, about 45 minutes. Scrape strands of flesh from the squash with a fork and place in a large bowl. Mix flour and Parmesan cheese into squash strands. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon 1/4 cup of the spaghetti squash mixture into the skillet and pat and press to form squash into a patty about 1 inch thick. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve patties topped with a dollop of sour cream.

Storage: 

Greens: Store unwashed in the fridge.

Sweet Potatoes: Store in a cool dark place.

Beets: Store in the fridge unwashed. 

Nittany apples: Store in the fridge or on the counter for a short period of time.

Spaghetti Squash: Store in a cool dark place.

Cauliflower: Store in the fridge unwashed.

Tomatoes: Store on the counter if they are not as ripe as desired or in the fridge.

Recipes:

Sweet Potato and White Bean Soup: 

Ingredients: 1/4 cup water, 2 pounds sweet potatoes (cut lengthwise into quarters), 2 teaspoons butter, 1 cup chopped red onion, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage, 5 garlic cloves (minced), 2 cups unsalted chicken stock, 1 cup canned unsalted cannellini beans (rinsed and drained), 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (divided), 1 cup diced apple, 1/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt

Directions: Place 1/4 cup water and potatoes in a microwave-safe 8-inch square baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap; pierce plastic 3 or 4 times with a fork. Microwave at HIGH 15 minutes or until potatoes are very tender. Remove plastic wrap; cool. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, sage, and garlic; cook 7 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add stock; bring to a simmer. Remove potato skins; discard skins. Place potatoes, stock mixture, beans, milk, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in lid; process until smooth. Return pureed soup to pan over medium heat; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Divide soup among 4 bowls; top each serving with 1/4 cup apple and 1 tablespoon yogurt. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

Beet Medley: 

3 medium sweet potatoes (cut into chunks), 1 large sweet onion (chopped)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a bowl, toss the beets with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Mix the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and sugar in a large resealable plastic bag. Place the sweet potatoes and onion in the bag. Seal bag, and shake to coat vegetables with the oil mixture. Bake beets 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Mix sweet potato mixture with the beets on the baking sheet. Continue baking 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.

Posted 10/15/2017 5:28pm by Joseph Cicatko.

We hope everyone enjoyed their share last week. Below is a list of the bounty we have for you this week!

Traditional Regular: Italian Kale, Broccoli and/or Cauliflower, White Peele Sweet Potatoes, Candy Crisp Apple, and Collard Greens.

Traditional Large: Italian Kale, Broccoli and/or Cauliflower, White Peele Sweet Potatoes, Candy Crisp Apple, Collard Greens, Festival squash, Apple Cider.

Storage tips and suggestions:

Kale/Broccoli/Cauliflower/Collards: use a soon as possible for optimal flavor and quality. Will be good for 2-3 days in refrigerator. With most our produce, or any fresh produce, the sooner you use it the better, especially with greens. All our greens are picked the morning of your pickup day so they are pretty much as fresh as you can get.

Sweet Potatoes: store in cool, dark place preferably a panty. They'll store for months and even up to a year.

Festival squash: store in same place as the sweet potatoes. Will last for weeks. Do not refrigerate, which hinders shelf life.

Cider: refrigerate after opening

Item of the week: Candy Crisp Apples.

Apple season is in full force in the mid-Atlantic region, and that means endless varieties to choose from. It also means apples are at their peak quality and flavor. This week's apple is Candy Crisp, which is a fairly new and exciting variety. It was discovered in an orchard as a seedling in a red delicious field, which is where they get their distinctive pointy shape at the base similar to a red delicious. This apple is super sweet and crisp and eats like a cross between a honeycrisp and a golden delicious. It's one of our favorite apples and we hope it will become one of yours too.

Recipes:

Collard Greens Soup

1 T olive oil, 2 t paprika, 1 t chili powder, 1 t cumin, 1 chopped onion 3 carrots sliced, 3 stalks celery chopped, 10 c water, 15 Oz diced tomatoes (way to use your leftover ones from last week!?!?), 6 Oz can tomato paste, 2 T soy sauce, 2 T lemon juice, 1 t roasted garlic, salt and pepper to taste, 1 c lentils, 6 cup collard greens (or split 3 and 3 with kale if you need something to do with yours this week!), 1/4 c quinoa or another grain

1. Prep veggies

2. Add oil to a large lidded soup pot

3. Add paprika, chili powder, cumin

4. Raise heat to medium

5. Add onion, celery, carrot. Sauté about 10 minutes

6. Add water, tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper, lentils. Stir and combine all.

7. Stir in Collard Greens (or collards and kale). Raise heat to medium/high and bring to a boil. Cover and heat down to a simmer.

8. Simmer about 30 min. Add quinoa. Simmer another 15-20 min. Now you're all done.

Broccoli/Cauliflower Salad:

Ingredients: 12 slices bacon, 1 head broccoli diced, 1 head cauliflower diced. (with broccoli and cauliflower you may need 2 of our sized heads since we harvest ours at a little smaller sized than you would find traditionally at a grocery store), 1/2 red onion diced, 3/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1 cup creamy salad dressing, 1 1/2 T white wine vinegar, 1/4 cup white sugar.

1. cook, drain, crumble and set to the side bacon.

2. combine bacon, cauliflower, broccoli, onion, and sunflower seeds

3. whisk together salad dressing, vinegar, and sugar, Pour over salad and toss. Refrigerate and chill before serving. Enjoy!

Mashed White Sweet Potatoes:

Ingredients: 2 lbs. white sweet potato, 3 T butter, ground black pepper, 1/4 cup warm whole milk, 1/4 cup sliced green onions.

1. peel sweet potato, cut into large pieces, cover with water in large pot and boil. Cook until knife or fork inserts easily. Drain

2. Add potato to hot pot, pour in milk and butter and mash until smooth.

3. Season with salt and pepper and green onions. All done. Easy. 

 

 

Posted 10/8/2017 7:36pm by Joseph Cicatko.

Hope everyone enjoyed their box last week. This warm weather has continued to push along late Summer crops such as tomatoes and summer squash, so even though it's October they will remain a part of the box again this week.

Traditional Regular: Napa Cabbage, Slicing Tomatoes/Roma Tomatoes, Pickling Cucumbers, Grey Kabocha Squash, Apples

Traditional Large: Napa Cabbage, Slicing Tomatoes/Roma Tomatoes, Pickling Cucumbers, Grey Kabocha Squash, Apples, Yellow Squash/Green Zucchini, Muscadine and Scuppernog Grapes

Storage: Everything besides the tomatoes and Kabocha squash should be kept in the fridge and used as soon as possible for optimal flavor/quality. Tomatoes should just be placed on a countertop on plate or bowl and should be good there for 5-6 days. As soon as you cut open into one place it in fridge. Kabocha squash is good in the pantry or countertop for a while.

Items of the Week: Kabocha Squash and Napa Cabbage

Kabocha squash is a green fall/winter hard squash with a sweet taste and moist and fluffy texture. Most describe the taste somewhere between a sweet potato and pie pumpkin. The most common cooking method is roasting with either the skin on or off. Check out this page for some more neat info and facts on the Kabocha squash.

Napa Cabbage: Popular in Asian cuisine, napa cabbage is also referred to as
Chinese cabbage. The flavor is milder and sweeter than traditional cabbage and serves as a great substitute for it in any dish.

Recipe time!

Of course you could always roast Kabocha squash, but how about a soup?

Kabocha squash soup:

Ingredients:

1-2 Kabocha squash

2 cups vegetable stock

Little bit salt

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 400 and one baking sheet with parchment. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Then cut in chunks and place on sheet. Roast 30-40 min. Until tender, flipping halfway through.

Let squash cool and then peel off green skin. Put squash in food processor/blender and add vegetable stock, salt, cayenne, and brown sugar. Process until smooth.

Reheat on stove and garnish with fresh rosemary for serving. Enjoy!

Asian-style Coleslaw:

Ingredients:

1 cucumber, halved and thinly sliced

1 cup peas

3/4 cup rice vinegar

1 T. salad oil

2 t. toasted sesame oil

Very little but some sugar and salt

1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes

4 cups Napa Cabbage, shredded

1/2 cup dry or honey roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped.

Make dressing by stirring together vinegar, oils, salt and sugar, and red pepper. In another large bowl combine cucumber and peas. Pour dressing over cucumber and peas and cover and chill for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours

Then stir in Napa Cabbage into cucumber mixture, Sprinkle nuts. Makes 8 servings.

In large bowl combine cucumber and peas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 10/1/2017 6:47pm by Dillon.

Traditional Regular: Golden Delicious and Autumn Crisp Apples, Broccoli, Curly Kale, Yellow Squash, Salad Lettuce mix 

Traditional Large: Golden Delicious and Autumn Crisp Apples, Broccoli, Curly Kale, Yellow Squash, Salad Lettuce mix, Pickling Cucumbers, Asian Pears

Item of the Week: This week's item of the week is broccoli! Broccoli is a fall staple fall produce item and it’s harvest definitely marks the start of cool weather. Broccoli is a member of the cabbage family which produces a flowering head which is the part of the plant that is consumed. It has long been touted as one of the healthiest vegetables because of its nutritional value, loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and vitamin c. Whether it’s be steamed or sautéed, broccoli makes for a great tasting and healthy meal!

Storage: 

Apples: Store in the fridge or on the counter for a very short period of time.

Broccoli: Store in the refrigerator and use within a few days for optimal flavor.

Curly Kale: Store in the fridge, unwashed. 

Squash & Zucchini: Store in the fridge, unwashed.

Lettuce: Store in the fridge, unwashed. 

Pickling Cucumbers: Store in the fridge, unwashed. 

Asian Pears: Store in the fridge, unwashed.

Recipes:

Parmesan Pepper Curly Kale: 

Ingredients: 3 pounds curly kale, 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided), 8 tablespoons finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (divided), 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (divided), Fine sea salt (divided)

Directions: Heat oven to 275°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Line rimmed sheet pans with parchment or nonstick foil. Cut out and discard stems and center ribs from kale. Aim for 32 cups of leaves (use a 1- or 2-quart glass measure and pack leaves without crushing them). Wash leaves and dry well. Transfer half of kale to a large bowl. Toss with half of oil, rubbing leaves to make sure they are well coated, then toss with half of parmesan, pepper, and salt. Once the first half is in the oven, repeat with the other half of the kale. Working in batches, spread leaves in a single layer on lined sheet pans and bake, switching positions of sheets halfway through, until crisp, about 25 minutes. Transfer crisps with a metal spatula to baking sheets or platters to cool. Reuse parchment or foil for successive batches.

Parmesan Bake Squash and Zucchini Spears:

Ingredients: 2 zucchinis (quartered lengthwise), 2 yellow squash (quartered lengthwise),  cup parmesan (grated), ½ tsp dried thyme, ½ tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp kosher salt (or sea salt), ¼ tsp ground black pepper, 1 tbsp olive oil

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and then lay an oven-safe cooling rack over the parchment paper. Rub the cooling rack with ½ the olive oil to coat and then set aside. In a small bowl, combine the parmesan, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, kosher salt, and pepper. Place the sliced zucchini and squash in a medium mixing bowl and drizzle the remaining ½ tbsp. olive oil over. Toss to coat evenly. Add the parmesan-spice mixture and toss to coat. Place the zucchini and squash spears onto the prepared cooling rack on the baking sheet. Sprinkle any remaining parmesan-spice mixture from the bowl over the squash and zucchini. Place into the oven and bake until tender, about 15-18 minutes.

Crispy Turnover with Apples, Bacon, Carmelized Onions: 

Ingredients: 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, 6 strips bacon (diced), 2 medium-sized yellow onions (sliced thinly), 1 apple (diced small), 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2-3 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 egg yolk mixed with one tablespoon warm water, optional: 4-6 ounces gouda or sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:  Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and set it on the counter to thaw, still in its package. Set a large skillet over medium heat and gently cook the bacon until all the fat is rendered and the bacon is just starting to become golden and crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set it on a paper towel to drain. Pour off all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat. Still over medium-heat, slowly cook the onions with a pinch of salt until they are completely soft and caramelized. For best flavor, this should take about 30 minutes. But if you're pressed for time, you can turn up the heat a nudge and cook them faster.  When the onions are as done as you like them, add the apples and another pinch of salt. Cook for 5-10 minutes until the apples have softened but are still firm in the middle. Stir in the cinnamon and a final pinch of salt. Add the cider vinegar and scrap the bottom of the pan to get up any caramelized brown bits. Let the cider bubble until the pan is nearly dry again and then remove from heat. Combine the onion mixture and bacon in a bowl. If using, add the cheese when the mixture has cooled slightly. Heat on your oven to 400°F. Line two sheet pans with parchment or silpats. Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface and unfold the puff pastry on top. If there are ridges in the pastry, gently flatten them with a rolling pin. Cut each piece of puff pastry into four equal squares (eight squares total). Place two spoonfuls of the filling in the middle of each square. Dampen the edge with egg yolk and fold the squares over into triangles. Poke vent holds in the top with a paring knife and brush each turnover with egg yolk. Transfer to the baking sheets, spaced a few inches apart. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tips of each turnover are toasted brown and the tops are golden. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

 
Posted 9/24/2017 9:21pm by Dillon.

Traditional Regular: Sweet Potatoes, Collards, Purple Kohlrabi, Honeycrisp, Slicing Tomatoes

Traditional Large: Sweet Potatoes, Collards, Purple Kohlrabi, Honeycrisp, Slicing Tomatoes, Motsu Apple, Acorn Squash

Item of the Week: This week's item is collards. Collards are a common fall and early winter crop that thrive in colder temperatures but don't last too much longer than the first frost. Like most leafy greens, collards are nutritional treasure troves and even have cancer-fighting agents and can help lower cholesterol levels. Although traditionally cooked southern collards are delicious, they are not one of the healthiest options. A recipe for collard greens and black-eyed pea soup follows. Ingredients: 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 large onion (diced), 1 large carrot (sliced), 1 stalk celery (sliced), 5 cloves garlic, (4 sliced and 1 whole, divided), 1 sprig fresh thyme, ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste, 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, 5 cups chopped collard greens (about 1 bunch, tough stems removed), 1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas (rinsed), 6½-inch-thick slices baguette cut on the diagonal, 6 tablespoons shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese, 2 slices cooked bacon (finely chopped). Directions:  Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring, until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add sliced garlic, thyme and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Increase heat to high and add broth, tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in collard greens (or kale), reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Discard the thyme sprig. Stir in black-eyed peas; remove from the heat and cover. Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler. Place baguette slices on a baking sheet and broil until lightly toasted, 2 to 4 minutes. Rub each bread slice with the remaining garlic clove. (Discard garlic.) Turn the slices over and top with cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted, 1 to 3 minutes. Serve the soup topped with the cheese toasts and bacon.

Storage: 

Sweet Potatoes: Store in a dark, cool place.

Collards: Store in a dark, cool place and do not wash until you are ready to use them. 

Kohlrabi: Store in a dark, cool place.

Apples: Store in the fridge or on the counter if you plan on eating them in the next day or so. 

Slicing Tomatoes: Store in the fridge if they are at the desired ripeness or on the counter if they are not quite ripe enough.

Acorn Squash: Store in a dark, cool place.

Recipes:

Kohlrabi Home Fries:

Ingredients: 2 pounds kohlrabi, 1 tablespoon rice flour, chickpea flour or semolina (more as needed), Salt to taste, 4 tablespoons canola oil or grapeseed oil (as needed), Chili powder, ground cumin, curry powder or paprika to taste

Directions: Peel the kohlrabi and cut into thick sticks, about 1/3 to 1/2 inch wide and about 2 inches long. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet (cast iron is good). Meanwhile, place the flour in a large bowl, season with salt if desired and quickly toss the kohlrabi sticks in the flour so that they are lightly coated. When the oil is rippling, carefully add the kohlrabi to the pan in batches so that the pan isn't crowded. Cook on one side until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then, using tongs, turn the pieces over to brown on the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes. The procedure should take only about 5 minutes if there is enough oil in the pan. Drain on paper towels, then sprinkle right away with the seasoning of your choice. Serve hot.

Acorn Squash with Kale and Sausage: 

Ingredients: 2 medium acorn squash (halved down the middle, seeds removed), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, Olive oil cooking spray, 3 teaspoons olive oil (divided), 8 ounces mild or hot Italian turkey sausage (casings removed), 1 large leek, white and light green parts only (halved and sliced), 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped), 4 cups tightly packed torn kale, 1/3 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan, 2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs

Directions: Heat oven to 375°. Cut a thin slice off round side of each squash half to create a stable base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; coat with cooking spray. Place squash flesh side down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil; bake until golden and tender, 30 minutes. Remove from oven; flip squash and set aside. Heat broiler. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage; cook, breaking into coarse pieces, until brown, 6 minutes; transfer to a bowl. To same skillet, add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and leek; cook until leek is soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, 30 seconds. Add kale and toss; add broth. Cover and cook until kale is tender, 5 minutes; stir in sausage. Divide kale-sausage filling among squash. In a bowl, combine walnuts, Parmesan and panko; sprinkle evenly over squash bowls and coat with cooking spray. Broil until panko is golden, 2 minutes.

Caramel Apple Pull-Apart Bread:

Ingredients: 1 tube refrigerated biscuit dough (such as Pillsbury), 3 tbsp. unsalted butter (melted), 1/4 c. brown sugar, 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, kosher salt, 1 c. minced granny smith apple, Warm caramel, for drizzling

Directions: Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9"-x-5" loaf pan. Cut each biscuit in half (through the layers) and brush both sides with melted butter. In a medium bowl, mix together the sugars, cinnamon, and a generous pinch of salt. Coat each biscuit in the cinnamon sugar mixture, tapping off excess. Make your first stack: Onto one biscuit, sprinkle a handful of apples and cover with another biscuit. Repeat this process until you have used 1/4 of the biscuit dough, ending on apples. Repeat to make 3 more stacks, with the last stack ending on a biscuit. Place your biscuit stacks into the loaf pan on their sides, so the layers stand upright. The stack with the biscuit on top should be at the end. Bake until biscuits are puffy and golden, 38 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly, then remove from pan. Drizzle with warm caramel and serve immediately.

Posted 9/17/2017 7:33pm by Dillon.

Traditional Regular: Rainbow Chard, Muscadine or Scuppernong Grapes, Apple mix, Summer Squash, Bartlett Pears

Traditional Large: Rainbow Chard, Muscadine or Scuppernong Grapes, Apple mix, Summer Squash, Barlett Pears, Slicing Tomatoes, White Peaches

Item of the Week: This week's item is Rainbow Chard. Rainbow Chard is a visually exciting addition to the basket with its' brightly colored red, orange, and yellow stems. Not only is it one of the prettier fall crops, but rainbow chard is packed full of nutrients like C, K, and E and minerals like zinc. It is particularly tasty while the leaves are still on the smaller side as they are typically more tender. Fun fact: rainbow chard is a cousin to beets! A recipe for rainbow chard with pine nuts, parmesan, and basil follows. Ingredients: 13 to 14 oz. Rainbow chard (about 1 large bunch), 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, 3 Tbs. pine nuts, Kosher salt, 1 Tbs. minced garlic, 1 Tbs. cold unsalted butter (cut into 4 pieces), 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (8 to 10 large). Directions: Pull or cut the stems from the chard leaves. Cut or rip the leaves into 2- to 3-inch pieces and wash and dry them well. Rinse the stems and slice them crosswise 1/4 inch thick. In a 12-inch nonstick stir-fry pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate, leaving behind as much oil as possible. Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the chard stems and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrunken and beginning to brown lightly, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the chard leaves and 1/4 tsp. salt. Toss with tongs until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. (If using a skillet, you may need to add the chard in batches, letting the first batch wilt before adding more.) Remove the pan from the heat, add the cold butter pieces and stir just until the butter has melted. Using tongs, immediately transfer about half of the leaves and stems to a serving plate and arrange. Sprinkle on half of the Parmigiano, basil, and pine nuts. Layer on the remaining leaves, stems, and pan juices, and garnish with the remaining cheese, basil, and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Storage: 

Rainbow Chard: Keep unwashed and whole in the fridge.

Grapes: Keep unwashed in the fridge.

Apple Mix: They should be kept in the fridge to prevent them from over-ripening. 

Summer Squash: Keep unwashed in the fridge.

Barlett Pears: Store unwashed in the fridge.

Slicing Tomatoes: Should be kept on the counter- be careful to watch how quickly they soften.

Peaches: Store in the fridge if they are at the desired ripeness; if not, leave them on the counter at room temperature to ripen more.

Recipes:

Pear Pie:

Ingredients: 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Press pie crust pastry into a 9-inch pie dish and refrigerate while preparing filling. Beat butter, white sugar, brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, allspice, salt, and cinnamon together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth. Beat eggs, 1 at a time, into butter mixture until incorporated; fold in pears. Pour filling into chilled crust.Bake in the preheated oven until filling is set in the middle, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely before serving, about 1 hour.

Muscadine Cake:

Ingredients: 2 1/2 c. muscadines grapes, 1 box white cake mix, 1 box blackberry Jello, 3/4 c. oil, 4 eggs

Directions: Cook 2 1/2 cups muscadines in 1 1/2 cups water until hulls are tender. Remove seeds. Separate hulls and juice. Mix one box white cake mix, one box blackberry jello, 3/4 cup oil and 1/2 cup muscadine juice, add eggs one at a time. Beat until fluffy. Fold 1 cup hulls into batter. Pour into greased and floured Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees until done. For topping: Bring to a boil 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup juice. Spoon over cake while cake is still hot.

TexMex Squash Casserole:

Ingredients: 2 pounds summer squash (sliced), cup diced onion, 3/4 tsp salt, 1 can rotel tomatoes (drained) (may use mild if desired), 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese (grated, reserve 1/2 cup for topping), 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add squash, onion and 3/4 tsp salt to a large pot and cover with water. Simmer until crisp tender-about 7-9 minutes. Strain squash and onions and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together squash and remaining ingredients (except 1/2 cup cheese). Adjust salt and pepper if desired. Pour mixture into a medium-sized casserole dish and sprinkle with reserved cheese. Bake until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly-about 20-30 minutes.  Allow to set 5-10 minutes.

Posted 9/10/2017 7:39pm by Dillon.

Traditional Regular: Fall Squash, Italian Prune Plum, White Nectarines, Kale, Colored Pepper

Traditional Large: Fall Squash, Italian Prune Plum, White Nectarines, Kale, Colored Pepper, Slicing Cucumbers, Yellow Peaches

Item of the Week: This week's item is white nectarines. A sweeter, more delicate cousin of yellow nectarines, white nectarines are a delicious way to enjoy a little bit of summer even in the early fall. Their tendencies to be slightly sweeter comes from having a lower acidity than yellow nectarines. They have a slightly shorter shelf life though and should be kept in the fridge unwashed and uncut. A recipe for grilled white nectarine follows. Ingredients: 4 nectarines (halved and pitted), melted butter (for brushing), 1 cup coarsely crumbled feta cheese. Directions: Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush nectarines with butter. Grill nectarines, cut side down, until grill marks appear, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn nectarines over. Sprinkle with cheese, then pepper. Grill until grill marks appear on bottoms, 4 to 5 minutes.

Storage:

Fall Squash: Store in a dark, cool place.

Plum: Store in the fridge. Leave whole and unwashed until you are ready to eat them.  

Kale: Store in the fridge, unwashed. 

Pepper: Store in the fridge, whole and unwashed. 

Slicing Cucumbers: Store in the fridge, whole and unwashed.

Yellow Peaches: If they are at the desired ripeness, store them whole and unwashed in the fridge. If they are still unripe, leave them on the counter at room temperature and they will ripen in a few days (about 2). If you are in a rush to eat them, leaving a tomato or banana next to them on the counter can speed the process up. 

Recipes:

Plum Torte: 

Ingredients: ¾ to 1 cup sugar, ½ cup unsalted butter (softened), 1 cup unbleached flour (sifted), 1 teaspoon baking powder, pinch of salt (optional), 2 eggs, 24 halves pitted purple plums, Sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon, for topping

Directions: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cream the sugar and butter in a bowl. Add the flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well. Spoon the batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10 inches. Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter. Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit. Sprinkle with about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, depending on how much you like cinnamon. Bake 1 hour, approximately. Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream. (To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.)

Sausage and Kale Baked Ziti: 

Ingredients: 12 ounces ziti, 1 lb. ground Italian sausage (recommend using spicy Italian sausage), 4 cloves garlic (minced), 3 large handfuls roughly-chopped kale leaves  (stems removed), 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, optional additional toppings: shredded Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper flakes

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Heat a large stockpot full of generously-salted water for the pasta. In a (separate) large skillet, saute the Italian sausage over medium-high heat until browned (about 8-10 minutes), breaking the sausage up with a spoon into bite-sized pieces while cooking.  When the sausage has browned, add in the minced garlic and saute for 1-2 additional minutes or until the garlic is fragrant.  Remove pan from heat and set aside. While the sausage is browning, cook the pasta al dente in the stockpot of boiling water according to package instructions. Drain. Return pasta to the stockpot and add the sausage, garlic and kale. Gently toss to combine until the kale is dark green and slightly wilted. Pour half of the pasta into a greased 11×7-inch or 9×13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup of cheese. Layer the remaining half of the pasta evenly on top. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining 1 cup of cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and just barely starts to turn golden. Remove and serve immediately, sprinkled with additional toppings if desired.

Egg Stuffed Peppers:

Ingredients: 3 sweet bell peppers, red, orange or yellow, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 cloves garlic (diced), ½ cup onion (chopped), 1 pound butternut squash (peeled, seeded and cut into a large dice, about 2 cups, 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, Kosher salt, ¼ cup brandy, ½ cup Ricotta cheese, ¼ cup crumbled Feta cheese, 6 eggs, 2 cups prepared marinara sauce, black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 F°. Cut peppers in half and remove ribs and seeds. Place cut side up in shallow microwave safe bowl or dish. Add ⅓ cup water to bowl. Sprinkle peppers with kosher salt and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Heat large skillet over medium high heat and melt butter and olive oil. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring after 30 seconds. Add onion and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add butternut squash, thyme leaves and kosher salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add brandy. Return to heat and cook for 4-5 more minutes until brandy has cooked down and squash has softened and is easily pierced with a fork. Keep warm and add Ricotta and Feta cheese. Taste and season with more salt if desired. Pour marinara sauce in bottom of 9 x 12 inch baking dish. Place peppers cut side up and spoon ½ to ¾ cup of butternut squash mixture into each pepper, creating a hollow for egg. Bake peppers and squash mixture for 10 minutes or until warmed through. Remove from oven. Carefully break egg into small ramekin or measuring cup and slowly pour into each pepper taking care not to overflow egg. Repeat until each pepper is filled. Season with freshly ground black pepper and bake peppers for 10-12 minutes or until whites of eggs are set. Serve each pepper with marinara sauce and extra feta cheese if desired.

Posted 8/13/2017 9:10pm by Dillon.

Traditional Regular: Melon, Yellow Peaches, Tomatoes, Acorn Squash, Rambo Summer Apples, Snaps/Butterbeans

Traditional Large: Melon, Yellow Peaches, Tomatoes, Acorn Squash, Rambo Summer Apples, Crowder Peas/Snaps/Butterbeans, Figs/Butterbeans/ Crowder Peas (if not already included), White Donut Peaches

Traditional Jumbo: Melon, Yellow Peaches, Tomatoes, Acorn Squash, Rambo Summer Apples,  Crowder Peas/Snaps/Butterbeans, Figs/Butterbeans/ Crowder Peas (if not already included), White Donut Peaches, Yellow Nectarines, Grapes

Fruit Regular: Blackberry, Muscadine/Scuppernong Grapes, Yellow Peaches, White Donut Peaches, Ginger Gold Apples

Fruit Large: Blackberry, Muscadine/Scuppernong Grapes, Yellow Peaches, White Donut Peaches, Ginger Gold Apples, Melon, more Yellow Peaches, White Peaches

Item of the Week: This week's item of the week is acorn squash! the beginning of fall crops, acorn squash is harvested earlier than traditional fall vegetables because it is actually more closely related to summer squashes like zucchini and yellow squash. Unlike summer squashes, you should remove the seeds and stringy center, like you would when carving a pumpkin. The hard exterior means that they have a longer shelf life, so long as they are left in a cool, dark place. Their shelf life is cut in half when they are refrigerated. A recipe for roasted acorn squash follows. Ingredients: 1 acorn squash (halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into ¾ inch pieces), ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, 8 spring thyme, 2 tablespoons olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper. Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Toss squash slices, Parmesan cheese, thyme, olive oil, salt, and pepper together in a bowl until the squash is evenly coated; spread into a jelly roll pan. Roast in preheated oven until golden brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Storage:

 

Acorn Squash: Keep in a cool, dark place.

Tomatoes: Keep at room temperature in a dark place. Do not wash them.  

Peaches: Should be kept in the fridge in already ripe. If they are not ripe yet, leave them on the counter until they soften.

Melons: If unripe, leave on counter until it develops a decent sized yellow spot. if ripe, cut and store in containers in the fridge. 

Apples: Should be kept in the fridge, unwashed. 

Tomatoes: Should be kept on the counter. 

Squash: Keep in the fridge, unwashed.  

Grapes: Keep these in the fridge and be careful not to wash until just before you eat them. With these types of grapes, you typically do not eat the skins.

Figs: Should be kept in the fridge. Figs have a very short shelf life and should be eaten within 2-3 days. 

Snap Beans: Should be kept unwashed, in the fridge.

Butterbeans and Crowder Peas: should be kept unwashed in the fridge. They have a very short shelf life- think 2-3 days!

Nectarines: Same as peaches

Grapes: Should be kept unwashed, in the fridge.

Recipes:

Butterbeans with Corn, Tomatoes, and Bacon:

Ingredients: 3 slices of bacon (chopped), 2 cups of butter beans, 1 ear of corn (shucked and trimmed), 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes (halved), 1/4 cup of green onions (chopped), basil leaves, oregano leaves, Manchago cheese, 1/2 ounce of unsalted butter, Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. 

Directions: In a large sautee pan on high heat add in the bacon and render the fat. When the bacon becomes crispy, remove from the pan and set aside. In the pan with the bacon fat add in the butter beans, corn, tomatoes and green onions and saute on medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes. Next, finish off with butter, salt and pepper. Pour the vegetables in a bowl and top off with the crispy bacon, Manchago cheese, basil and oregano leaves.

Grilled Peaches with Pecans: 

Ingredients: Fresh peaches (halved and pitted), maple syrup, for brushing, butter, for grilling, pecans (chopped), vanilla ice cream. Directions: Brush the peach halves with maple syrup. Smear butter on a grill or grill pan over low heat. 

Directions: Brush the peach halves with maple syrup. Smear butter on a grill or grill pan over low heat. Place the peaches cut side down onto the grill/grill pan and cook them low and slow for a few minutes, rotating them 90 degrees halfway through. Monitor the cooking temp and keep it low enough that the maple syrup doesn't burn. Remove the peaches when they're slightly soft but not mushy and have great grill marks. Brush a little extra maple syrup over the tops. Scoop ice cream into a bowl, then cut peach halves in half. Press the slices into the ice cream, sprinkle pecans all over the top, and drizzle on extra maple syrup.

Blackberry and Lemon Muffins: 

Ingredients: 2½ cups of flour, 1 cup Granulated sugar, 4 tsp Baking powder, ½ tsp Salt, 1 large egg, ½ cup butter (melted), 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1 cup buttermilk, ¼ cup sour cream, 2 tbsp lemon juice, zest from 1 lemon. (For glaze): 1½ cup powdered sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp milk.

Directions: Wash and rinse blackberries under water. Set aside. Preheat oven to 425°. In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour. Measure ¼ C of the sifted flour and pour over blackberries. Gently stir to coat the blackberries in flour. Take your remaining flour and add sugar, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a medium size bowl, beat the egg using a whisk until light and fluffy. Add melted butter and whisk together. Continue to add vanilla extract, buttermilk and sour cream and whisk until smooth. Add fresh squeezed lemon juice and zest. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a wooden spoon to mix just until combined. Your batter will be thick, but be careful not to over mix! Fold in the blackberries last. Grease your muffin pan with Crisco or cooking spray. Fill your muffin tins all the way to the top with batter. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°, then reduce heat to 350° and bake for another 16-20 minutes. Do not open the oven for at least 15 minutes. Baking times will vary by oven. Check your muffins for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the muffin. If your toothpick comes out clean, your muffin is done. Allow muffins to cool completely in the pan. Combine powdered sugar with lemon juice and milk (for glaze). Whisk until smooth. Add additional powdered sugar to thicken or additional milk to make thinner. Drizzle glaze over cooled muffins.

Posted 8/6/2017 8:23pm by Dillon.

Traditional Regular: Sugar Cube melon, Green Onion, Donut peaches, Ginger Gold apples, Mini Tomatoes, Summer Squash

Traditional Large: Sugar Cube melon, Green Onion, Donut peaches, Ginger Gold apples, Mini Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Muscadine grapes, Peaches

Traditional Jumbo: Sugar Cube melon, Green Onion, Donut peaches, Giger Gold apples, Mini Tomatoes, Summer Squash, Muscadine grapes, Peaches, Scuppernong grapes, Blackberry

Fruit Regular: Sensation melon, Figs, Donut peaches, Rambo apples, Sugar Cube melon

Fruit Large: Sensation melon, Figs, Donut peaches, Rambo apples, Sugar Cube melon, Peaches, Scuppernong grapes

Item of the week: This weeks item is the Sugar Cube melon. These little melons are super sweet and are essentially a personal sized cantaloupe. They are known for their higher than average sugar content and resistance to common diseases that plague melons. These little melons can maintain their sugar levels for up to two weeks after they are picked. That said, they should still be stored in the fridge, especially after being cut, so that they do not over-ripen. The best way to enjoy them is to eat them as is, or even cutting it up and eating it over ice cream.

Storage

Green Onions: Keep in the fridge. 

Blackberry: Refrigerate and wash just before using.  

Squash: Best stored in a plastic bag that has had a few holes poked in it for airflow, and then placed in the vegetable crisper drawer. Do not wash before storing.

Tomatoes: Keep at room temperature in a dark place. Do not wash them.  

Peaches: Should be kept in the fridge in already ripe. If they are not ripe yet, leave them on the counter until they soften.

Melons: If unripe, leave on counter until it develops a decent sized yellow spot. if ripe, cut and store in containers in the fridge. 

Peppers: Keep in the fridge unwashed and uncut until you are ready to use them. 

 

Apples: Should be kept in the fridge, unwashed. 

Tomatoes: Should be kept on the counter. 

Squash: Keep in the fridge, unwashed.  

Grapes: Keep these in the fridge and be careful not to wash until just before you eat them. With these types of grapes, you typically do not eat the skins.

Figs: Should be kept in the fridge. Figs have a very short shelf life and should be eaten within 2-3 days. 

Recipes:

Muscadine Smoothies:  

Ingredients: 10 fully ripe muscadines, rinsed; 2 cups unsweetened almond milk; 12 almonds; 2 cups crushed ice

Directions: Blend muscadines, almond milk, and almonds in blender or smoothie mixer (we used Ninja), following mixer directions.  Pulsating enhances fuller mixing.  Add ice; pulsate/mix until desired consistency.  

Donut Peach Shortcakes: 

Ingredients: 6 doughnut peaches (washed, pitted and chopped), 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp. granulated sugar, 1 cup low-fat Greek-style yogurt, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 Tbsp. pure honey, 6 individual-sized sponge cakes, 1 bunch fresh mint

Directions: Wash donut peaches and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove pits. Chop peaches into ½ in cubes and place in a medium bowl. Add lemon juice and sugar and stir to coat. Set aside. In a small bowl, add yogurt, vanilla, and honey and stir to combine. Unwrap individual cakes and divide among six dessert plates. Spoon 1.2 cup of donut peach mixture onto each cake portion and top with a dollop of yogurt mixture. Garnish with mint.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Figs: 

Ingredients: 12 figs, ¼ pound blue cheese (Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton, or any variety), canola oil (optional), salt and ground black pepper

Directions: Cut a vertical slit into the side of each fig. Stuff in about 1/2 teaspoon of blue cheese. Larger figs, obviously, can take in more cheese; smaller figs will hold less. If you feel like making a little bit of extra effort, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat, spray or brush the figs with a neutral-tasting oil like canola, and cook them in the pan, turning them as needed, until lightly browned on all sides. The cheese gets nice and just a bit melted this way, too. As an alternative, you could place them on a broiling pan and broil them briefly to melt the cheese and soften them. Figs can be stuffed several hours ahead of time if you like and refrigerated. These figs will taste best at room temperature (not chilled), so remove from the refrigerator a half hour before serving if you have prepared them ahead of time. *** For variations, you can add a drizzle of honey or balsamic vinegar (or both) as well. That will transform it from a finger food to one that needs a fork, and be sure to serve it with napkins as there is bound to be some sticky fingers. Also, goat cheese is an excellent substitute if you are not a fan of blue cheese. 

Posted 7/30/2017 6:58pm by Dillon.

Traditional Regular: Sweet Potato Greens, Seedless Watermelon, Pepper medley, Sweet Corn or Mini Tomatoes, Nectarines or Peaches

Traditional Large: Sweet Potato Greens, Seedless Watermelon, Pepper medley, Sweet Corn or Mini Tomatoes, Nectarines or Peaches, New Potatoes, Peaches or Nectarines

Traditional Jumbo: Sweet Potato Greens, Seedless Watermelon, Pepper medley, Sweet Corn or Mini Tomatoes, Nectarines or Peaches, New Potatoes, Peaches or Nectarines, Apples, Yellow Onion

Fruit Regular: Yellow- or Orange-flesh Watermelon, Ginger gold Apples, White Peaches, Peaches

Fruit Large: Yellow- or Orange-flesh Watermelon, Ginger gold Apples, White Peaches, Peaches, Cantaloupe, more Peaches, berry

Item of the Week:  

This weeks item is sweet potato greens. Sweet potato greens are incredibly nutritious and not a vegetable that is typically associated with summer. While sweet potatoes and leafy greens are mostly associated with the fall, sweet potato greens can be harvested several times from the same plants, the number of harvests are something that is unique to sweet potato plants. Sweet potato greens, like other greens, are rich in vitamin b, iron, calcium, fiber, and zinc. The greens should be stored in the fridge. When you are ready to use them, rinse thoroughly and remove the thick stems. An easy recipe for sauteed greens follows. Ingredients: 1 large bunch sweet potato greens (about half a pound), 1/2 small white onion (diced), 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup. Directions: Remove sweet potato leaves from stems and set aside. Remove smaller stems from the larger, tougher stems. Discard the larger stems and roughly chop the smaller stems.  Heat olive oil in medium-sized pan over medium high heat. Add onion and sauté until just softened, about 3 minutes.  Add stem pieces and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add leaves, salt and pepper to taste, and maple syrup. Sauté until leaves are wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve.

Storage:

Sweet Corn: Store in the husk in the fridge. 

Blueberry: refrigerate and wash just before using.  

Squash: Best stored in a plastic bag that has had a few holes poked in it for airflow, and then placed in the vegetable crisper drawer. Do not wash before storing.

Tomatoes: Keep at room temperature in a dark place. Do not wash them.  

Peaches: Should be kept in the fridge in already ripe. If they are not ripe yet, leave them on the counter until they soften.

Watermelon: If unripe, leave on counter until it develops a decent sized yellow spot. if ripe, cut and store in containers in the fridge. 

 

Cantaloupe: If it isn't as ripe as desired, leave on the counter. If ripe, slice and keep in the fridge.

Peppers: Keep in the fridge unwashed and uncut until you are ready to use them. 

Potatoes: Should be kept in a dry and dark place.

Nectarines: same as peaches.

Onions: Should be kept in a dark, dry place. 

Apples: Should be kept in the fridge, unwashed. 

Recipes:

Corn and Basil Cakes: 

Ingredients: ½ cup white whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour, ½ cup low-fat milk, 2 large eggs, 2 tablespoons canola oil (divided), ½ teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 2 large ears), ½ cup chopped fresh basil

Directions: Whisk flour, milk, eggs, 1 tablespoon oil, baking powder, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until smooth. Stir in corn and basil. Brush a large nonstick skillet lightly with some of the remaining 1 tablespoon oil; heat over medium heat until hot (but not smoking). Cook 4 cakes at a time, using about ¼ cup batter for each, making them about 3 inches wide. Cook until the edges are dry, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, 1 to 3 minutes more. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter, making 10 cakes total. Reduce the heat as necessary to prevent burning.

Roasted Mushroom and Potato Salad: 

Ingredients: 1 package (10.5 ounces) oyster or cremini mushrooms, trimmed (halved if using cremini), 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, coarse salt and ground pepper, 1 pound red new potatoes, quartered, 1/4 cup packed fresh parsley leaves, 2 to 3 teaspoons sherry or red-wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons capers (optional, rinsed)

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss mushrooms with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. On another rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast until mushrooms are browned and potatoes are cooked through, about 20 minutes, tossing once and rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer to a bowl and toss with parsley, vinegar, and capers, if desired.

Ginger Gold Apple Crisp: 

Ingredients: 6 Ginger Gold apples, 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) (softened), whipped cream or ice cream

Directions: 1. Peel the apples. Heat oven to 375 degrees and lightly butter an 8 or 9-inch-square baking pan. Peel, core, and slice the apples and arrange them evenly in the prepared pan. Place the oats, brown sugar, flour, spices, and salt in a sealable plastic bag, close, and shake until combined. Cut the softened butter into 1-inch pieces and add to the oat mixture. Close the bag again and knead or squeeze until the mixture holds together. Instead of using a bowl to mix the crumb topping, use a sealable plastic bag. This will cut back on dirty dishes and let young bakers--even preschoolers--lend a hand. Open the bag and crumble the topping evenly over the apples. Bake the apple crisp for 40 to 45 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and the juices begin to bubble around the edges. Cool slightly, then serve with whipped cream or ice cream.