2nd Fruit Delivery week of July 2, 2012
This week we focused on fruit that was just harvested and is great for a picnic. We wish all of you a safe and healthy 4th of July weekend.
Thank You and Enjoy!
Founder and President of FruitShare™
Storage and Ripening
All your fruit should be taken out of your box right away. The nectarines and plums can be placed on the counter and displayed in a fruit bowl as an edible decoration. When these fruits give to soft thumb pressure they are ready to enjoy.
You can place them in your refrigerator after they yield to thumb pressure to enjoy them over a longer period. Keep the blueberries, grapes and cherries in the coldest part of the refrigerator and wash them just before you eat them. These are delicate fruit with high sugar content which can promote mold growth when they are damp, so keep them dry until you’re ready to eat them. Condensation can easily form taking them home so dry them out with a paper towel if needed and trade out dry paper towel in the refrigerator if necessary. Organic fruit has no chemical fungicides and waxes on it so if a blemish develops cut it out and enjoy your fruit in a smoothie or freeze it in a zip-loc to enjoy when your favorite fruit is no longer in season.
What It Takes
Because they are so delicate, Rainier cherries often becomes bruised or soft on the tree if there is too much wind, rain or sun. This spring and early summer were perfect for growing organic cherries, with just the right kind of weather to produce, sweet, high-quality Rainiers. Spencer Farm, who provided the cherries, was founded almost 100 years ago. In 1912, the family emigrated from Nova Scotia and purchased the land where the family still farms. Even before organic food became popular, the workers at Spencer Farm were pioneering many of the techniques that are used in organic agriculture today. The long history of the farm shows in the quality of the Rainier cherries. They’re truly exceptional!
The blueberries are from our favorite blueberry farmer, Lou. At his farm in New Jersey, Lou and his wife, Liz, grow some of the best blueberries we’ve ever tasted. They are big, plump and very flavorful – you’ll notice the difference as soon as you eat just one! Lou and Liz’s farm is a busy hive of activity throughout the growing and harvesting season, and they don’t take the easy way out when it comes to farming. Organic growing practices require a lot of effort, and they like to be as hands-on as possible, which is why they have just a small team of workers. Lou and Liz truly have the best interests of their kids, employees and customers at heart. And we think that’s why they have some of the best blueberries around.
Ignacio “Nacho” Sanchez and his wife, Casamira, provided the plums and white nectarines in your box. There are two kinds of plum this week: Black Splendor and Santa Rosa reds. The white nectarines can be eaten when firm for a light,sweet flavor and no acid tang. For Nacho and Casamira, farming started as a hobby in 1989 when they bought their first 6-acre orchard in Cutler, California. They farmed in their spare time. But over the next four years, Nacho’s orchard expanded rapidly, and he made his passion for farming into his full-time job. When their twin girls were born in 1991, Nacho and Casamira named their orchard Twin Girls Farms; and when their third daughter arrived, Nacho named some varieties of peaches after her. Having converted to organic farming practices in 1999, Nacho uses beneficial insects and cover crops in place of conventional chemicals. He gets great satisfaction from the knowledge that no harmful chemicals can affect his family, his workers, or his customers.
The Sugarone green grapes are from Rucker Homestead. Roy Rucker has a long history of organic farming. He has been farming his land at Rucker Homestead in the Coachella Valley of California since 1955. All that experience truly shines in the high quality of the fruit. Besides his incredible grapes, Roy grows grapefruit, tangerines, oranges, blood oranges, lemons and tangleos. You can store your grapes in the coldest part of the refrigerator and they’ll stay fresh for 1-2 weeks – if you don’t eat them up first!
Health and Wellness
Rainier cherries, which were born of a cross between Bing and Van cherries, are healthy as well as sweet. With about 18-22% more sugar than the average Bing cherry, Rainiers make perfectly sweet desserts eaten fresh – and with only about 90 calories per cup, they are also a healthier option than most other after-dinner indulgences. Rainier cherries are also high in potassium and dietary fiber, as well as offering a good portion of your daily recommended amount of vitamin C.
While they are a great dessert, Rainier cherries can also be sliced and pitted then sprinkled over yogurt for a filling breakfast and a healthy start to the day.
6 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
7 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup fat-free milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/2 pounds plums, quartered and pitted (try using both red and black plums for a mix of color!)
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Preheat oven to 425°. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cardamom in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Cut in 4 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine milk, vanilla, and egg in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into a 9-inch round metal cake pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange plums in a circular pattern over batter. Combine remaining 2/3 cup granulated sugar, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt, lemon rind, and allspice in a small bowl, stirring well. Place remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 30 seconds or until butter melts. Stir into sugar mixture. Sprinkle plums evenly with sugar mixture. Bake at 425° for 35 minutes or until browned and bubbling. Cool in pan 1 hour on a wire rack. Cut into wedges.
Courtesy of cookinglight.com
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