There are signs of hope coming out of the ground and they're taking the unexpected form of Spring Dug Parsnips.
According to the wonderful folks at Clover Food Lab: "Spring-dug parsnips are the first vegetable coming out of the ground in early spring. Parsnips planted in the previous spring are left in the ground to “Winter” and experience a deep freeze. As this happens, the starches are converted to sugar, the flavor matures, and the flesh becomes a bit more tender."
So they are sweeter, softer and tastier. They are also like the Paul Revere of the vegetable world, riding into your shares and letting you know that "Spring is Coming!"
Also- because it IS still grey and cold; we're bringing you pizza. As we know, pizza has naturally occurring curative properties- it makes everything better.
Dough from Forge, Fresh Mozzarella from The Mozzarella House and Chorizo from Tad. Just gives you the warm fuzzies all over.
The title of this week's email may sound the start of a bad/uncomfortable joke - but is just shorthand for three nuggets of news we would like to share with you!
Ted: The TedX Natick talk that we gave a few months ago is now live! You can see us gush all about local food on the YouTube link.
Blondies: This week's treat is Chocolate Sea Salt Blondies from Dirty Blondies Bake Shop. Dirty Blondies Bake Shop was founded in 2018 by a dirty blonde, Alyssa Nadeau, after she discovered the glory that is brown butter. With its toasty flecks and nutty flavor, this 'dirty' butter is at the base of every Dirty Blondie. In four signature flavors, bite-sized so you can try more than one, Dirty Blondies are the dessert you saved room for...even if you didn’t!
Follow them at www.dirtyblondies.com and @dirtyblondies on instagram & facebook!
Vegan Loaves: This week we went to Mandarava Organic Kitchen in Newburyport to taste some of the vegan goodies coming out of Akara, their newest culinary concept. Mary is a lovely lady and her food is crazy delicious- we are so happy to share with you!
We are hosting another In Season Dinner with Forge Baking Co in Somerville!!
She wants you to mooooove on over to Eventbrite and join us.
(Yes, I know that joke was brutal. Its 7 am)
The inspiration for the dinner will come from Forge's owner and chef Jennifer Park’s heritage to highlight Japanese and Korean Street Food. This will be a vegetarian-friendly meal with a few pescatarian dishes. The fresh ingredients for the meal will be sourced from local farms by Family Dinner. Come with an empty stomach and ready to experience a unique cultural flavor combination!
Included in your ticket price is the fresh food made that evening with Japanese and Korean inspired drinks.
We will be giving a percentage of our proceeds from this dinner to Community Cooks! If you would like to donate more, we will have an option to do so at the dinner.
Doors open at 6:30 - Seating is limited so be sure to get your tickets before it is too late!
** Daisy is unfortunately unable to attend the dinner - but she is GORGEOUS And we wanted to include her in this week's email. Daisy lives at Busa Farm in Lexington where she enjoys getting her hair brushed (so fun!) eating bagels and grazing in the sun for hours. We LOVE our jobs.
When we got there we found that the sheep (and goats!) had been moved out of the barn and onto the field. Can a sheep look delighted? Because these guys sure did, basking in the sun to chew and nap their days away. It is a scene to take pride in, animals being raised with love and respect, letting nature play its part. Letting sheep, be sheep.
The joy of the scene was contagious. Feeling the suns warmth made me day dream of all of the amazing produce that is being planted and that will make its way into your shares. Bok Choy, Micro Greens, Greenhouse Tomatoes, and Fiddleheads! Warmer weather also means maple syrup and more abundant eggs from the hens.
As much as we love rutabaga, change is in the air- and it's going to be delicious.
You know who else loves sunshine? Your insulated Family Dinner bags! Please return them to your driver so they can see the light of day and be reused!!
We were tickled pink to be featured by the amazing Rachel Caldwell in the most recent edition of Edible Boston.
It perfectly captures what we are trying to do with Family Dinner, the love we have for our farmers and members and that facts that we're complete nerds. We would say that's about perfect.
We have two New Kids on the Block this week!!
Maine Grains and Lark Fine Foods are coming into your Family Dinner shares for the first time!
Maine Grains is the maker of the rolled oats you'll discover in your bags. Maine Grains wants to be a "partner in the regenerative economy by milling nutritious, organic and heritage grains using a traditional stone milling process. "
These little guys are packed with flavor and ready to play a role and in your sweet or savory recipes.
Next up, Lark Fine Foods is a 100% female owned (oh, heck yes!) bakery of "Cookies for Grown Up" in Essex, MA.
We got to visit the beautiful facility two weeks ago and sample all the fresh goodies. Erin ate cookies for breakfast for days. (Three cheers for Research!) We settled on the flavors we see in your shares. We hope you love them as much as we do!
About the Nectar & Green Almond Milk:
Our almond milk is made from whole, organic almonds—a lot of them. First we sprout them. Then we press them. Then, we combine them with a short list of ingredients that we find especially beautiful and nourishing (like honey from local hives and sea salt from the Atlantic). We never use heat to process, and we say no to refined sugars and fillers. Because almond milk should be delicious, and what you put in your body matters.
It has so many uses; coffee, milk for your granola, add it to oats (they're on the slate for next week!), soak your bread for a different French Toast, or drink it straight. So many ways to love it!
The lambs that arrive each year at Clark Farm are a joy to see. They are birthed and within twenty minutes they are walking around and feeding off their mothers. Surrounded by hay and warmth they have all the space and time they need to stumble, get back up and wander around like the tiny, furry drunken adults they are. It's amazing.
We are excited to expand our friendship and partnership with Andrew at Clark Farm. We met yesterday to put our heads together about Spring Crops for Family Dinner. Pouring over seed catalogues we brainstormed an array of Asian Greens; mustards, mizuna, tatsoi as well as a few other staples to keep you excited and invigorated about warmer weather cooking. Spring is on its way, people. I promise. And its going to be delicious.
And last but not least we want to talk about new friends in new zip codes.
Like every hero in Game of Thrones does at some point: we are headed North (again).
This time we are expanding to Peabody, Saugus and Salem. We're coming for you, North Shore!
Know anyone who would love to try Family Dinner?
Have them use NSHORE50 for 50% off their first order, and we will bring it North!
This week we have Redfish on the menu and cannot wait to gobble it up. Redfish is, oddly, a white fish that wants to high five all the spices in your cabinet before it gets a quick fry and a lemon spritz. It's also ready to be wrapped up in the warm blanket of your Mi Tierra tortillas and served on Taco Night.
We are serving it to the Pescatarians and the Omnivore Wholes and Double shares. For the half shares, we have not neglected your need for tacos. Please revel in the deliciousness of the Featherbrook Farms Chorizo and it's bright spicy nature. Bon Appetit, buddies.
Pictures of Family, wedding invitations, weirdo magnets from around the world... we aren't going to tell you what should go on your fridge, but here's a few ideas on how to store what you put in it.
Storage Tips for Farm Share Food
Learn how to make ingredients last longer and minimize food waste. One of the biggest goals that drive us at Family Dinner is to build a business that helps sustain the local food system while reducing food waste. We are thrilled to bring you fresh, seasonal ingredients on the reg, and we’re here to give you some tips to ensure they last as long as possible.
The Freezer Is Your Friend
- If you have seafood in your share, it was probably caught within the last 24 hours. As it is at the height of freshness, we recommend prioritizing it as an ingredient and cooking it within 1 or 2 days.
- The freshly packed meats (chicken, steaks, chops, sausage, etc) can be stored in your fridge for the week, but you can also chuck them immediately in the freezer and they can be kept frozen for months (thaw a day in the fridge before you plan to cook it).
- If you don’t foresee cooking it within a few days, fresh pasta can be safely stored for a couple months in the freezer. When you’re ready, you can cook the noodles straight from frozen (do not thaw).
- Butter can be stored in the freezer as well! If you have too much of it, save it for later by throwing it in the freezer and thawing when you’re ready to use it up.
- Bread, grains, and sweets can also be stored in the freezer (not the fridge!) for long-term storage as well.
- Store your fruit and vegetables straight from the delivery bag. Don’t rinse produce until you’re ready to cook or eat it, since extra moisture before storage can encourage spoilage.
- Many vegetables can soften easily in the fridge when they become dehydrated. In order to keep root vegetables hydrated as long as possible, remove any leaves or stems from them before refrigerating. These leaves can be stored separately and be used as a salad or herb (carrot tops are a great alternative to parsley and can also be turned into pesto). If your veggies are dehydrated, whether they are root veggies, lettuce, asparagus, or something else, you can rehydrate them by trimming the root and placing them in a bowl of water for a brief amount of time, until they are firm and rehydrated.
Odds and Ends
Got extra bits of vegetables itching to get used up? Some ideas to inspire you:
- Add to scrambled eggs
- Use as pizza topping
- Throw in a stir-fry
- Add to a soup
- Juice them
- Make quick pickles
- Make slow pickles and ferment them
For more specific storage tips, obviously you can google “how to store ____”, but we particularly recommend these sources to start:
Love and respect are at the foundation of the local food system and we hope you find this week's share to be chock full of it. From the beautiful swordfish from Red's Best to the baby lettuces that Andrew at Clark Farm has grown and harvested just for us. And of course, chocolate. The bars from Taza chocolate make a nice surprise gift or a perfect item to fiendishly squirrel away in your desk drawer when lunch seems like a distant dream at work.
We are so enamored that we wrote you a poem, a haiku in fact, we hope you like it.
Local Food, So good
Tasty, Fresh and Delicious
More Donut Holes*, please.
Besides our (very obvious) poetic gifts, we hope you know how much we love and appreciate all of our Family Dinner members. If this were the final scene of Say Anything, we would be John Cusack outside your house- holding aloft a Family Dinner insulated bag full of treats instead of a stereo.
Thank you for making this all possible!
* Donut Holes will be back in the rotation soon.
While the entire country will be zoned in on the Pats vs the Rams in Superbowl LIII, we want to talk about another Boston football team who is no stranger to championships and has the rings to prove it.
The Boston Renegades are a full contact, semi-professional women’s football team with four national championships under their belts. These women are extraordinary. The game is the same as the men's, the dedication and the drive runs in parallel but I would argue that the passion and grit goes beyond.
Each of these athletes (and the all-volunteer staff and organization) has full-time job. Many have family or grad school obligations. Some are active military. They are not paid for the hours they spend training, or compensated for the long travel to away games. They sacrifice for the love of the game. They have a simple mission: to expand the visibility and influence of women’s football, and to bring another championship home to Boston.
For anyone who is questioning if women can play football, I'll stop my eyes from rolling back in my head long enough to invite you down to watch a game- the skill is extraordinary and the hits are hard.
And Family Dinner has a special place in our hearts for this team. Many of them are members and Erin is a proud alum of the team. You can find Tim and Erin at home games, in matching Family Dinner hoodies, cheering our hearts out.
Oh, and they happened to win the National Title this year. Beating LA on July 28th, 2018 with a score of 42-18. Your turn, Patriots. We already did our job.
Also! We got you guys some amazing chips for the game. Fresh from the Mi Nina kitchen. They are light, salty and awesome. And don't feel like you have to share. We consider this a single serving bag.
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