....It ain't easy being Green.
This week you have a share that's chock full of greens. A veritable verdant Vesuvius! Late Spring in New England = Leafy greens for days. Let's load up on iron and Vitamin C, folks!
Seeing all that leafy loveliness can overwhelm some as they open their fridges. We share a few recipe ideas below and link to an article from Cooking Light to fire up your creative engines.
Also, its steak time from Tad at Feather Brook Farm. We order whole animals from Tad and so we have a whole variety of steak cuts this week, and a few ideas on how to cook each. (With a healthy serving of greens on the side obviously.)
Finally, and maybe most importantly, which Muppet are you? (These are things I think about.) Kermit gets a lot of attention but I think I'm more of a mix of both Waldorf AND Statler with a pinch of the Swedish Chef.
We brag a lot at Family Dinner; about our incredible farmers and makers, about our wonderfully enthusiastic customers (I see you Amy R and Mel L!) and about the joys of warm donuts from Union Square Donuts. Something we don' talk nearly enough about is our amazing team behind the scenes. These are the folks who lovingly sort, pack and drive your goods to your home.
There's a wide spectrum of talents on our team: we have a lawyer, a banker, non-profit workers, musicians and teachers. There's a professional glassblower, a designer, a new Dad, a new farmer and a Chuck. Chuck is just a legend, I'm not sure what else to say.
Each of these folks shows up early Saturday morning, a bit sleepy but ready for a few hours of bad 90's music, terrible Dad jokes and the good work of packing all of your shares.
We are so proud of our team and honored that they work with us.
Outside Family Dinner, and outside their day jobs, many of them lend their talents to charitable organizations. This week both Shannon and Rachel (pictured) will be leading youth empowerment workshops; Shannon with Massachusetts Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership (MA HOBY) and Rachel with DivestEd and the Better Future Project.
Both these women are working to make the world a better place through their energy, time and activism. We couldn't be prouder to support them with our time and our food :)
Friends, meet Vikram Mathur, owner of Yatra Tea Company. Vikram is a local guy, born is India and is completely passionate about tea. His company direct sources tea from estates India (no middleman, which is music to our ears!) and they are "fanatical" about quality and freshness.
When Vikram first approached us about including his hand-selected teas in our shares, we paused a moment, given that - you know- we are a local food company. Unless your goods grow on the rolling hills of Belmont, we said, no deal.
But his insistence on touring the terroir, knowing his producers, sourcing directly and giving back to the community made us think again.
We are obviously very keenly dedicated to eating locally. But we know that isn't always possible/easy. (Case in point: they don't make much coffee or white wine in Somerville and those are definitely part of the food pyramid in our house.)
We realized that when you can't buy from your neighbors, when you can't source it from your backyard- its best to go to someone who knows the product, the producers and the supply chain inside and out and who obsesses over every step of the process.
So we are trying this out. We are brining his tea to our whole and double shares this week. We would LOVE to hear what you think!
"The tea itself is a lightly oxidized black tea produced in the Spring. It is the highest grade of tea (SFTGFOP1) produced by the estate. It brews a lovely golden liquor and is extremely fragrant with pronounced floral notes. The taste is smooth and well rounded."
For more info, visit their site!
This week we got to head to Lexington Montessori School to check out their greenhouses, their farm and their farming curriculum. It was amazing! All the students from Pre-K to Middle School participate in creating a beautiful environment and a delicious bounty. We were GIDDY thinking about kids learning about the importance of food and treating it with respect throughout its life cycle. Heck Yes, LMS! We bought some seedlings for the double shares too!
About the program, from their site:
"Children discover where food comes from, how it is grown sustainably, and begin to appreciate the hard work it takes to grow nourishing food on a small “farm”. We spend time learning and discussing nutrition, aiming to understand the importance of eating a rainbow of colors. In addition, the middle schoolers take a compassionate look at food insecurity in America and the lack of fresh fruits and veggies for those in need. From toddlers to 8th graders, the farming program allows students at LMS to explore their surroundings, challenge themselves, think deeply, and participate in growing and nurturing new life."
What a dream. To start the mission of all of THIS early. We know we sound like a broken record**, but thank you all so much for supporting the mission of Family Dinner and spreading the good word of local food.
** To all of our 20-30 something customers: "records" are an analog sound storage medium in the form of a flat disc with an inscribed, modulated spiral groove. It's how we all listened to music when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
There is a really specific joy in getting out to see them on their land and spending time in the field, to see how it's all done. Andrew and Diana Rodgers run the farm and have an incredible team.
Clark is an idyllic place; expansive fields and happy animals snorting and baaaah-ing here and there. They didn't even mind when I stole a baby pig and drove off like a maniac with it riding shotgun listening to Phil Collins. How kind is that??
Behind the beauty is a passion and dedication to mission that makes us proud to work with them and be a small part of what they're trying to do. If you're ever in the neighborhood, stop by their farm stand. If you're feeling like geeking out on sustainable food conversations; check out Diana's podcast Sustainable Dish on iTunes. And keep an eye out for her forthcoming film Sacred Cow - making a case for better meat. We can't wait!
It's the Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo and, most importantly (!), we are celebrating our 100th order with Tad from Featherbrook Farms - Break out the Chips and Dip!
You've probably seen photos of Tad before, a lovable guy with a big smile and an appreciation for overalls.
Tad has been with us since the beginning, since even before the beginning. Teaching us, encouraging us and supporting us as we explore the wonderland of local food. He sent this week's invoice with a note: " Yayyyyy! Order number 100. Who would have thought!!!"
We couldn't do any of this without the incredible network of farmers that makes up Family Dinner. Tad, Fran and Brenda from Busa Farms in Lexington, Luke and his family at Brookford Farm, Andrew at Clark, Andre at Heron Pond- and the many, many makers, bakers, and purveyors whose goods fill your bags every week . We are so grateful for the amazing, and delicious, work they do. Here's to 100 more orders, Tad.
(DID SOMEONE SAY CHIPS ???)
Oh yeah! We also have Tortilla Chips from Mi Nina this week. Perfect for watching the latest episode of GoT on repeat.
Have a great weekend!
This allows you to customize the components and amounts of your share a bit more. You can add meat or fish each week, choose veggie shares of different sizes etc. These can be add-ons to your current share or you can design your full share out of these parts.
Some of your waved the flag that you wanted more meat (and more of the same kind) to feed the unquenchable appetites of a houseful of teenagers. Some of you wanted to say YES to veggies and fish but take a hard pass on eggs, dairy and grain.
We hear you! Thanks for the input! We have been slowly rolling out the B.Y.O.S concept and gathering feedback.
Let us know what you think!
Erin and Tim
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!!
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