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North Shore CSA Newsletter

News from the Farm

Dear Members,

We hope to see you at Long Hill at our Fall Fiesta this coming Saturday. We'll be having a potluck lunch from 12:00 - 1:00 PM, and then will be pressing apple cider afterwards with our old-time cider press until 3:30 PM. Please join us for all or part of the day.

During my pre-farmer days (while in college) I read a passage from Hermann Hesse’s Beneath the Wheel that struck me with the beauty of Fall and of sharing a harvest. I found the passage on Google books just now:

The crunching of the apples sounded harsh but appetizing. Anyone passing by who heard this sound could not help reaching for an apple and taking a bite. The sweet cider poured out of the pipes in a thick stream, reddish-yellow, sparkling in the sun. Anyone passing by who saw this could not help asking for a glass, taking a sip and then just standing there, his eyes moistened by a sense of well-being and sweetness which surged through him. And this sweet cider filled the air far and wide with its delicious fragrance.

This fragrance really was the best part of the year, for it is the very essence of ripeness and harvest. It is good to suck it into your lungs with winter so near since it makes you grateful and brings back a host of memories: of the gentle May rains, summer downpours, cool morning dew in autumn, tender spring sun, blazing hot summer afternoons, the whites and rose-red blossoms and the ripe-red brown glow of fruit trees before the harvest—everything beautiful and joyful that happens in the course of a year.

Come take your turn at the press! It's going to be lots of fun.

-- Farmer Tim

Recipe of the Week

Cowles Apple Pie - a recipe from a farmer friend of mine, Nick Cowles:

The Crust....

2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks of butter (yes, I use butter!)
1/3 cup ice cold water
pinch of salt

In a food processor - Add the flour, butter (cut into 1/2 inch chucks), water and salt. Mix until the mixture starts to thump around, less than a minute. If you don't have a food processor then put the flour on a cutting surface and make a pond in the middle of it with the water. Add the cut up butter and salt. With a large knife, chop the butter into the flour, using the knife to keep the water from running off. Chop until mixed, knead into ball, cover and cool.

... The Filling....

8 good size apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch pieces.
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice to taste
1 tablespoon instant tapioca

Simmer in a large skillet with brown sugar, maple syrup, spices and tapioca until apples soften. Remove from heat and let cool.

... and The Pie

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the ball of crust dough in half. One half will be the bottom crust and the other the top crust. Role both crusts out using plenty of extra flour on both the rolling pin and the dough. When the size is right, (10’ circle for a 9’ pie) brush off extra flour and set one of the crusts into the pie plate. Add the apple mix, slightly wet the top edge of the bottom crust, cap with the other crust, pinch and trim. With thumb and first finger of right hand and thumb of left hand, work your way around the crust pushing the edge between your fingers making a ruffled edge. Slice 2 holes in the top of the crust for air to escape (everybody has their own design for this). OK, now into the oven. Cook for 35 to 40 minutes. I check for doneness by poking a fork through one of the holes in the top into an apple piece inside to see if it is soft but not sauce.

Special Crust Treatment

Soften 3 tablespoons of butter. Mix with 1 egg white. This mixture should be soft enough that it can be brushed right on the crust while the crust is hot. After 15 to 20 minutes of cooking, brush the butter/ egg mixture on the ruffles and all over the top crust. Sprinkle sugar over this and slap that baby right back into the oven. When the pie is done the crust will be slightly golden brown and the filling will bubble and ooze a little. Let cool....

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