Top Ten Things I Love About The Home Grown Farm
A QUICK NOTE ABOUT THIS POST: I am blessed to have the very unique position of straddling the fence between Home Grown Farm Insider and CSA Member. First and foremost, I am, like all of you, a CSA Member. I order my produce each Monday and get it a week later just like everyone else. My main purpose in writing this blog is to share my experiences. They are the honest reflections of a regular Home Grown Farm Member and that is specifically what the Tulls want to see. So this Top Ten List is all me, a fact that will be blatantly obvious from the many silly puns. I do get to talk to Toby a bit more than most and I told him I was planning to write this because I really and truly think The Home Grown Farm is the best CSA around and I am so glad to be a part of it!
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, in honor of David Letterman’s sometime-in-the-not-too-distant-future retirement, I offer up to you today, my Top Ten Things I Love About The Home Grown Farm.
#10. Eating our vegetables has never been so easy or delicious. I don’t know if they’re lacing those giant carrots with crack or what but they are good and my family cannot get enough of them!
#9. Q is for Quality, that’s good enough for me. The Tulls absolutely stand behind their products. I distinctly remember the day I got an email from Toby telling me that they just weren’t pleased with a certain product I had ordered and had given me a refund for said product…before I had to say anything. I know for a fact they’d do the same if ever I requested it.
#8. It’s the CIRCLE of life! Um, hello! How cool is it that we can now feel even better about the organic produce we eat knowing those few bits we don’t consume will go back to the farm for use as compost? As an added bonus, we don’t have to actually make the compost. **Be sure to order your compost bag so that you can get started on this ASAP.**
#7. The community garden at Doris Miller YMCA. There’s nothing funny about it, I just think that it’s straight-up awesome.
#6. Which came first the chicken or the egg? I don’t know but you can now get BOTH from the Home Grown Farm!
#5. EIIIIIGHT pick-up lo-cations! (a la “Twelve Days of Christmas”) Do I really need to expand on that? I mean, it could not be more convenient.
#4. Have it your way. Every week. Even if you want it a different way each week. Or a different pick-up location. Or a different time.
#3. I’m a member, he’s a member, wouldn’t you like to be a member too? I’ve often heard it said that Waco is the biggest small town you’ll ever live in and that is even clearer when you decide to join something like the Home Grown Farm. I love those moments when you discover someone you know is totally a Home Grown Farm member! And, clearly, just a little bit cooler than you first thought. 😉
#2. Breads, and jams, and cinnamon rolls – oh my!
AND, the number one reason I LOVE the Home Grown Farm – THEY TEACH YOU HOW TO COOK!!!
In case you missed it, The Home Grown Cookin’ Class this past weekend at the Gourmet Gallery was fab-o! We learned some helpful hints about cooking our veg (roasting is key), watched as the lovely and talented Juanita Barrientos, Executive Chef and Owner of Crav, prepared some amazing food – a delicious Roasted Cauliflower Soup, naan with a to-die-for cheese-less yet cheesy spread, Honey Mustard Chicken, and homemade ice cream – and then we gobbled up the fruits and veggies of her labors! A few of us even got to help out with the cooking. Plus, we got to meet other Home Grown Farm Members, relax and enjoy while someone else did the cooking and cleaning, and we even got to do a little shopping. It was a delightful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. And, if you’re super jealous that you didn’t make it then I’ve got some news for you: there’s going to be another one! In fact, there are going to be several. Keep your ears open for the ding of incoming email and be sure to sign up for the next class. And don’t worry, friends, I got your back; Chef Juanita graciously agreed to let us share a few of her recipes from the class which are included with this week’s post.
For the record, I could have easily done a Top Twenty List. What about you, folks? Anything you’d like to add? I’d love to see your Top Ten Lists in the comments!
For this week’s recipes I chose two of my favorite things from the class, the Naan Flatbreads with Spring Veggie Toppings and Almond Tahini Cilantro Spread. Chef Juanita put the spread on top of the naan and then topped the whole thing with mustard greens, sliced radishes, roasted broccoli, and a spritz of fresh lemon juice and it was SO good. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
Naan Flatbreads with Spring Veggie Toppings recipe courtesy of Juanita Barrientos
2 cups spelt flour
½ cup yogurt (coconut, cow, or goat milk yogurt)
¾ tsp baking powder
½ tsp sugar
½ cup of warm nut milk
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ Tbsp. oil
Mix all the dry ingredients together and make a well.
Mix milk and yogurt together and pour half of it into the well and slowly combine it together.
I don’t think there’s an exact amount of liquid that should be added to the exact amount of flour to make perfect dough. So what I do is add liquid slowly and combine it all together until a soft dough is made. The dough should be soft enough for you to be able to dig your finger into it without applying any pressure. If the dough sticks to your hand too much then use little bit of oil on your hand and then punch into the dough.
Cover with damp cloth and let it sit in a warm place for at least 2 hours.
After a few hours, dust your working board, take out the dough and knead it for about 2-3 minutes. Divide the dough into smaller balls (you should get about 8 balls to make naan).
Dust the board again and flatten the balls to make bread which is a little thick and elongated.
Heat a thick bottom skillet [Juanita said you could use a pizza stone as well]. Once it’s nicely hot place the naan down.
Let it cook for about 30 seconds or until you see bubbles on it then flip over, with the help of tongs, and cook the other side of the naan. When you see some charred brown spots then you know that the naan is done.
Assemble your flatbreads anyway you like! This is a great thing to do with kids! And a great way to have them eat more veggies.
Almond-Tahini Cilantro Spread recipe courtesy of Juanita Barrientos
1 cup almonds, blanched or soaked with skins removed
½ clove garlic, coarsely chopped
½ tsp miso paste (if you don’t happen to have it on hand, just add extra salt to taste)
Juice and zest of one small lemon
1 tsp nutritional yeast (again, if you don’t have it, skip it)
½ to ¾ cup water
1-2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. Tahini
¼ cup mixed chopped herbs – I used chives, parsley, and dill (plus a little bit extra to put on top at the end)
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a high speed blender, combine all ingredients except the herbs. Add more water and/or olive oil as needed to get your blade moving as well as create a creamy paste-like consistency.
Pour into smaller bowl and stir in herbs. Taste and adjust seasonings (salt, pepper, lemon).