The Bushel, The Baker, The Campbell’s Soup Maker

The Bushel, The Baker, The Campbell’s Soup Maker

All good things are worth waiting for and Homestead’s July trio of tomatoes, corn, and peaches is about to bring the wait to sweet fruition. Whether you’re looking for sweet, savory, or somewhere in between, this month’s bounty of fruits and vegetables will provide you plentiful options.

While the old farmers’ adage, “knee high by the Fourth of July,” may be a bit off between the science of genetics and the delay of the 2018 growing season, Jersey corn has finally arrived! However you measure it, at 800 kernels and 16 rows per ear, corn makes a delicious addition to summer meals.  Try grilling them with this fun recipe for Crazy Corn (Elotes Callejeros),  courtesy of one of my favorite chefs, Pati Jinich.

Summer peaches make their debut this week and withNJ ranking 4th nationally in production, it’s no wonder there are more than 100 varieties available from the 5,500 acresof orchards throughout the state.  With names like Obsession, Devotion, and Temptation, the promise of a fresh and fragrant peach for snacking or baking is irresistible.  Now that I own an ice-cream maker (and I highly encourage you to purchase one too), I’ll be churning up a batch of Stella Parks Bourbon Peach Brown Sugar Ice Cream Recipe since she’s the whole reason I purchased an ice-cream maker tobegin with!

Expect Jersey tomatoes to roll in on the 14th.  Technically a fruit, but legally labeled a vegetable in 1893,  the iconic Jersey tomato is a staple ingredient in everything fromTrenton Tomato Pie to Campbell’s Soup.  Any way you slice it,  you’re in for a juicy, tasty treat, and here’s Ina Garten’s marvelously delicious recipe for Tomato and Goat cheese tarts.  You can always count on her to keep it easy.

Fresh produce every day. Locally grown produce in season. Homemade lunches and dinners to go. Fresh-baked award-winning pies.

© 2018 Homestead Farm Market

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The Asparagus Has Arrived!

The Asparagus Has Arrived!

The ancients appreciated their asparagus. Long before Clarence Birdseye and his US Patent #1,773,079 marked the inception of the modern frozen food industry, Emperor Caesar Augustus had an “Asparagus Fleet”— an elite military unit complete with the fastest runners, who would carry asparagus spears high into the Alps to be frozen for later use. Caesar, in fact, coined the term “Velocius quam asparagi conquantur”—literal translation “faster than cooking asparagus,” colloquially meaning, “get going already.”

Once dubbed the “Vegetable of Kings,” even King Louis XIV’s affinity for asparagus was so passionate he had them cultivated in greenhouses so he could enjoy them year round. The Greek Physician Galen touted the health benefits of asparagus during the second century AD and his claims hold great truth with this vegetable that’s low in calories and a good source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein.

Homestead’s fresh asparagus has arrived from Katona Farms, a fourth-generation operation for over 60 years, dedicated to cultivating Jersey fresh fruits and vegetables. This versatile veggie can be wrapped in prosciutto, tossed in pasta, broiled, baked and grilled. But sometimes, simplicity is what best suits a fresh quality ingredient. Try this delicious recipe for Lemony Roasted Asparagus, courtesy of Cookie and Kate:

INGREDIENTS

Basic roasted asparagus

1 large bunch (about 1 pound) fresh asparagus
1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

My seasonings (use one or all, like I did)

Zest and juice of 1/2 medium lemon, preferably organic
Lemon wedges, from the remaining 1/2 lemon
Sprinkle of finely grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
Small handful fresh mint, finely chopped
Light sprinkle of red pepper flakes

Other options

Pat or two of butter
Garlic butter
Light drizzle of balsamic reduction or regular balsamic vinegar
Toasted sliced almonds

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Snap off the woody ends of the asparagus (if you sharply bend the asparagus near the base, it will snap in the right place). Discard the ends.
Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Place the asparagus on the sheet and drizzle with 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil, just enough to lightly coat the asparagus. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the asparagus, and toss until the spears are lightly coated in oil. Arrange the spears in a single layer on the pan.
Bake until the asparagus is tender and roasted to your desired level of doneness (I may have left mine in a little longer than necessary, but I like the crispy tips). Very thin asparagus, like the kind shown here, will take as little as 10 to 12 minutes, whereas thicker asparagus will need 15 to 20 minutes.
Transfer the roasted asparagus to a serving platter and season however you’d like. You could keep it simple with a squeeze of lemon juice, or just Parmesan, or add a pat of butter or drizzle of balsamic vinegar. For my variation here, I grated the zest of about half a lemon over the asparagus using a Microplane, then squeezed the juice of half of a lemon over it, and garnished with a few lemon wedges, for good measure. Then I grated some Parmesan over the dish, followed by a light sprinkle of chopped mint and a very light sprinkle of red pepper flakes.

Fresh produce every day. Locally grown produce in season. Homemade lunches and dinners to go. Fresh-baked award-winning pies.

© 2018 Homestead Farm Market

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A season of thanks, a season of giving.

A season of thanks, a season of giving.

At Homestead we believe in giving back to the community and in doing what we can to preserve the environment. In that spirit, our ongoing employee charity drive endeavors to do both. It works like this: Every few weeks an employee chooses a charity to donate to and for every customer who uses their own bags we put a nickel into a donation jar. “We want to put out the message to use less plastic,” says employee Roz Dunn. It’s Homestead Market’s hope that not only can we give back, but also do our part to encourage and remind our customers that reusing and recycling means one less plastic bag and a little smaller carbon footprint.

Over the past three years Homestead has donated to nearly 50 organizations across a broad and diverse spectrum locally and internationally, from animal and human rights groups to churches, hospitals, food banks and educational foundations.

As thoughts of turkey and stuffing, football and pumpkin pie transition into dreams of a White Christmas and boughs of green, holly and ivy, here are a few holiday fun-facts to ponder.

•  The first Macy’s Day Parade debuted in 1924 and featured real animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.

•  The German American illustrator Anthony Frederick Sarg orchestrated the helium-filled inflatable cartoons that are now synonymous with the Macy’s Day Parade. Incidentally, he also owned a shop in New Hope, Pennsylvania called Tony Sarg’s, a children’s store, where he also sold his own textiles, wallpapers, rugs and furniture.

•  The song “Jingle Bells” was originally written for a Thanksgiving celebration.

We hope you’ll share your fun facts and your thanks with your family and friends this holiday season. Feel free to drop a nickel or two in our donation jar. We’ll be here until Christmas Eve and then bid you and yours good tidings, a cozy winter and blessings until we see you again for our 2018 Spring opening.

Fresh produce every day. Locally grown produce in season. Homemade lunches and dinners to go. Fresh-baked award-winning pies.

© 2018 Homestead Farm Market

CONTACT