Soon the autumn leaves of red and gold will appear and at Homestead the harbingers of autumn have begun to debut—pumpkins, corn stalks, and gourds. We’ve also got plenty of apples, including the best-selling Honey Crisp, an apple “designed” to be a crowd pleaser. The Honey Crisp is the result of researcher David Bedford’s use of cross pollination techniques at the University of Michigan. That pleasing crunch and clean fracture in every bite was engineered; the cells of a Honey Crisp are actually twice the size of other apples. Patented from 1991-2008, the Honey Crisp earned the University of Michigan more than ten million dollars in royalties!
Homestead’s Honey Crisps come from Melick’s Town Farm in Oldwick which has been in operation since 1725 and is the largest apple grower in NJ. Winner of Outstanding Farmer of 2017 by the Garden State Culinary Arts Awards, Melick’s has over 650 acres of land with over 20,000 apple trees.
Please join us on October 15 from 1-4 for Local Vendor Day where you can meet the folks from Melick’s Farm as well as lots of our other vendors. There will be pumpkin painting for the kids and delicious samples of a variety of items. Our resident Thai chef, Bhu, will be on hand as well as an opportunity to meet our friends from here:
Fulper Farm, a fifth generation family operation that produces wholesome, quality dairy products using environmentally friendly practices. We’re stocked up on their delicious Ricotta, fresh Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese as well as milk and Plain and Vanilla yogurt.
Griggstown Farm, the gold standard of fresh, antibiotic free poultry. We carry a wide variety of their delicious products—Chicken; Turkey Burgers, Ravioli, Pot Pie; Chicken & Turkey Sausages, and Ground Turkey and Chicken.
Bassett’s, another purveyor of wholesome old-fashioned goodness. Be sure to pick up a pint of their seasonal Pumpkin flavor ice cream for your Fall dessert menu. Quantity is limited, so get yours while it’s still available.
Fall’s chill inspires hearty rib-sticking dinners and veal is the perfect protein to add to your table. It’s loaded with nutrient-rich zinc, niacin, Vitamin B-12 and B-6 and we’ve got rib chops, loin chops and ground veal from Eagle’s Nest Farm. With over 22 years experience, Eagle’s Nest is owned and operated by the Sigle family—Andrea, Bill and their daughter Emily. They raise Holstein calves on their 17 acre farm to provide local, free-range and antibiotic-free veal.
The folks from Mt. Salem Lamb farm will also be on hand. Of course lamb is another nutrient-rich lean source of protein. Try this delicious Roast Lamb with Artichokes and Lemons.
Doug Riexinger. founder of Grandpa Doug’s Soap, is a former chemist who began experimenting with soap-making 7 years ago. Doug was in search of a soap that would be free of the harsh ingredients and chemical additives of commercial soaps. His hand-crafted alternative is soap made from olive, coconut, or red palm oils, whole wheat or oat flour and scented with lavender an essential oil known for its long-lasting fragrance and therapeutic properties.
Meet the guys behind HankSauce, a company created by college roommates Hank, Matt, and Josh who built their brand on a shared passion of the ocean and a summer of farmers markets. Come find out what makes their hot sauce, home-based in Sea Isle City, so hot it flies off the shelves of their local taco shop and everywhere else.
If you’re looking for a reason to feel good about eating ice cream, consider this — according to the International Dairy Foods Association, “ the ice cream industry in the United States contributes more than $39.0 billion to the national economy and creates more than 188,000 jobs in communities across the country.”
Besides, it’s National Ice Cream Month, or as some call it, July! You can thank President Ronald Reagan who proclaimed July National Ice Cream Month in 1984 and established the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.
Why not celebrate ice cream’s honorary month by picking up one or several of Homestead’s premium cow to cone options? The freezer case is stocked with Bassetts, Goodnoe Farm, and Bhu’s homemade Thai Coconut ice cream.
BASSETTS WORLD FAMOUS ICE CREAM
Bassetts, in the iconic blue and white carton, is one of the oldest ice cream manufacturers in America In 1861 Lewis Dubois Bassett, a Quaker school teacher and farmer, began making ice cream in his backyard with a mule-turned churn. He sold his wares on 5th and Market Streets in Philadelphia, eventually opening a retail store in The Reading Terminal Market. The secret to Bassetts’ yumminess is the base recipe which is high in butterfat — one of the hallmarks of premium ice cream.
THE GOODNESS OF GOODNOES
If you grew up locally, you already know the goodness of Goodnoe’s, a local favorite for generations. The Goodnoe family’s commitment to wholesome, high quality ice cream dates back to1918 with John and Mabel’s dairy farm. Years later their son “Skip” opened The Goodnoe Family restaurant and Dairy Bar, a Newtown, Pennsylvania landmark for 33 years. The original family recipe is now in the hands of Skip’s son Colin who uses the finest ingredients to continue the family tradition of old-fashioned quality.
Homestead’s resident Thai chef is also an ice cream maker. Check out Siam’s Coconut Ice Cream prepared by Bhu. It’s all natural and traditional Thai Coconut ice cream made with just four ingredients — coconut milk, sugar, salt and half & half.
I recently found myself staring at the different varieties of rice on the shelf at the Market and realized I didn’t fully understand how to maximize each ones’ uniqueness in the dishes that I was preparing. I did some research and would like to share what I learned with you.
- White rice: comes in short, medium and long grain. The size being the length of the grain vs the width. Long grain such as Uncle Ben’s and Carolina are 3X longer than they are wide. White rice is processed with the germ and bran removed and then polished. A medium grain rice is Arborio which is mainly grown in Italy and can be used to make risotto (see shortcut below) and rice pudding. It absorbs a lot of liquid and becomes creamy when cooked. A short grain rice is normally steamed rather than simmered with a lot of water and gets sticky when it’s cooked. A mixture of sugar, salt and rice vinegar is poured over the rice to make sushi.
- Jasmine: a long grain variety cultivated for a distinct flavor. It is known as Thai flagrant rice. It’s steamed (see method below) rather than simmered in water until it is absorbed and sticks together when it is cooked. A great rice for stir frys.
- Basmati: a little longer than a standard long grain rice and cultivated in India. Fluffy when cooked and used in currys and other Indian dishes.
- Brown rice: minimally milled so most of the bran and germ are intact. It takes longer to cook than white rice and is more nutritious.
- Wild rice: not rice at all but the seed of a grass grown primarily in North America. This is very nutritious and has a nutty flavor.
*Steaming rice. Place rice in a large saucepan of salted boiling water and boil for 10 mins. Drain rice in colander (mesh should be small so rice doesn’t come through) and rinse. Set colander over a pan of boiling water (rice should not touch water). Cover colander with a tea towel and the lid of the pan and cook until rice is tender and fluffy about 15 minutes. Make sure water in pan does not evaporate. Be careful when lifting towel as not to burn yourself.
**Making risotto in the microwave. OK I know this seems like blasphemy to an Italian and to a good cook but I pride myself in being both and this method is successful and allows you do many other things while making the risotto instead of standing over a pot stirring and stirring. Stir ½ cup finely chopped onion, 1 clove garlic minced, 2 tbl butter and 1 tbl olive oil in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and microwave on High for 3 mins. Stir in 1 cup of rice and microwave 2 minutes. Stir in 2 ¾ cups chicken or vegetable broth and ¼ cup white wine. Cover and microwave on high for 9 minutes. Carefully swirl mixture and microwave for another 8 minutes. Remove lid and mix in 1/3 cup parmesan cheese and an additional ¼ cup broth; stir for one minute until creamy. Add an additional ¼ cup broth if necessary. Add other ingredients if desired such as mashed butternut squash, roasted asparagus, etc. or just enjoy as is. Season with salt and pepper.
Why Homestead? During the five years I‘ve been working (although cooking is too much fun to call it work) at Homestead Farm Market making magic with fresh food in this bustling kitchen I have been able to observe the goings on of this incredible establishment. Today I want to share my insights into why this should be the ‘Go To”’ place to shop for you and your family. My first revelation was understanding the lengths the owners and staff go to in order to live up to their motto ”We’re picky about produce”. Ed, the owner, personally selects all the produce that’s sold in the market. Before anything is put out for sale it’s inspected and in some cases rinsed, trimmed, primped and arranged in the display case with much TLC. During the course of the day this attention to detail continues so that you are insured of the freshest produce around. I’ve witnessed these practices being taken to extremes when the staff hand fills pint containers plucking only the firmest, plumpest, juiciest strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes etc., from a bin insuring that you are getting the crème de la crop!
A second reason to make this one of your daily stops is that they cater to your busy, healthy lifestyle. They offer prepared foods such as salads, sides and protein options. All the meat/fish that makes its way into the deli case is prepped and cooked at the Market. Whether it’s roasted turkey, poached salmon or any meat used in the delectable sandwiches-it’s cooked fresh in the kitchen-there are no processed, high sodium sliced cold cuts! And of course the sides are made with the freshest ingredients from the produce case. Winter’s behind us –it’s time to think spring – Homestead is re-opening for its 24th season. So come say hi to Debbie, Ed, Dennis and the rest of the gang at the Market. You’ve been missed and everyone here can’t wait to see your smiling faces again. Stay tuned for future posts from the kitchen gnome including gardening tips, maximizing freshness of your herbs, and mango madness.