Nebraska Box April 19th pickup

Good glorious spring morning Nebraska Box subscribers!

You are likely tucking in to the contents of your first Nebraska Box that you picked up on Friday. We hope you are thoroughly enjoying them. Take a moment now to check out what we have in store for you for next weekend.  Read through to the bottom of this newsletter each week for the list of pre-selected NE Box items, preparation tips, and background information on your local food items!

Start making your plans. Are you the type of person to cook pretty much on the fly? Or, do you like to follow exact recipes? Whatever your method, we are here for you! Contact us via email with any questions you may have on your box contents or questions about who grew your food and how. However we can help you get the most out of your Nebraska Box, we will! We also love learning about what you made. Post your photos or drop us an email with the details of the dishes you’ve created with your local foods. We like to share our tips and tricks and also learn yours.

Easter is right around the corner and we’ve got a spectacular deal on eggs! These eggs are from 3-season pastured and non-GMO fed chickens. We know many of you got eggs last week, but we don’t want you to miss out on this deal.

Boil eggs for dyeing, devilling, pickling, egg salad or straight up snacking. Eggs are good for breakfast. Lunch. Dinner.

 

BEST BREAKFAST
Whole bean Coffee from Cultiva
Chicken Eggs from Country Lane Gardens
Frozen Hash Browns from Clear Creek Organic Farms
Breakfast Sausage from Clear Creek Organic Farms 
 

VEGGIE
Oyster Mushrooms from Nebraska MushroomSweet Potatoes from Grandview Farm*Organic Frozen Sweet Corn from Erstwhile Farms

Lettuce Mix from The Edible Source  

Green Onions from Clear Creek Organic Farms

 

SUPREME

Sweet potatoes from Grandview Farm*

Oyster Mushrooms from Nebraska Mushroom

Green Onions from Clear Creek Organic Farms

Spinach from The Edible Source

Chicken Eggs from Country Lane Gardens

Grassfed Ground Beef from Range West Beef

Pecans from Twin Springs Pecans

Kidney beans from Clear Creek Organic Farms

 

BIG SUPREME

Sweet potatoes from Grandview Farm*

Oyster Mushrooms from Nebraska Mushroom

Spinach from The Edible Source

Green Onions from Clear Creek Organic Farms

Organic Sweet Corn from Erstwhile Farm

Chicken eggs from Country Lane Gardens

Grassfed Ground Beef from Range West Beef

“Naturally Almond” Granola from Big Green Tomato

Pecans from Twin Springs Pecans

Featured Farm This Week:  Clear Creek Organic Farms

Bob and Kristine Bernt (above) are the backbone of Clear Creek Organic Farms of Spalding, NE.

Along with their 12 children–who each play a part in the farm’s production– The Bernts farm with an organic mindset on 15 acres with two big greenhouses in Spalding.  They’ve experienced quite a bit of the recent flooding that many Nebraska farmers also have. We are happy to report that they are doing all right now and we are so glad of that.
This week they’ve brought you green onions, hashbrowns, breakfast sausage, and kidney beans. Delicious butter and cheese from their grassfed herd will be coming our way soon and I can hardly wait!

Info About Your Box Items This Week:

Green Onions

Thinly slice these gorgeous green onions and sprinkle them on top of your baked potatoes, chili, fried eggs, mushrooms, rice bowls, noodle bowls, nachos… Fold into yogurt and mayo for a delicious spring dip. Scallion cream cheese please! Use all the green parts and most of the white leaving an inch or so of the white part attached to the roots. Set the root ends in a small glass with water covering them and place the glass in a window. Watch them regrow and you’ll have another bunch of green onions soon enough.

Hash Browns

Potatoes with peppers and onions–Not only grown by Clear Creek Organics, but also prepped and frozen in their Certified Kitchen. I’ve found that these hash browns need some thawing before cooking them in hot oil in a skillet, in a single layer. Salt and pepper.

Ground Pork Breakfast Sausage

You will receive your sausage frozen. Allow it to thaw before using it. However, a tip from the Jimmy Dean folks on easily slicing sausage is to put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before slicing! Slice into 1/2 inch thick slices and place them in a cold skillet. Over medium heat, cook 15 minutes or so, turning the sausages all the while. You’ll want to cook these long enough so the center of the patty is not pink.

Kidney Beans

Soak your dry beans overnight–place in a pot and cover the beans with several inches of water. Cook them at a time you plan to be home and can pop in the kitchen to stir and check on their progress every now and again. Drain soaking liquid from beans and rinse before returning to pot and covering beans again with several inches of water. For these kidneys,be sure to bring them to a boil and boil for 10 minutes. Kidney beans have a high concentration of a chemical called phytohaemagglutinin (say that 3 times fast!). But the 10 minute boiling will take care of it. Just be sure not to cook kidneys in a slow cooker, as they need the boiling time. After boiling, lower the heat to low and gently simmer, Simmer with the lid off for beans you want to be firm for salads and such. Cover with a lid which is a bit ajar for beans that are creamy and meant for soups and casseroles.Beans will cook for an hour to three hours. Start checking them after an hour. When they become nearly all tender, add salt to taste.
.
Sweet Potatoes

Susan and Gordon Miller grew these and let me tell you, they are the best around! They’ve cured the sweet potatoes so well, you can just keep these very nicely on your counter until you use them.

Lettuce Mix

This lettuce mix is sweet and delicate. A light vinaigrette suits these leaves well. See the recipe below for a basic vinaigrette that can be whipped up in 2 minutes or less.

Oyster Mushrooms

Aren’t these just fantastic looking? They are a work of art. Shaped like an oyster, but not with the flavor of one. A simple preparation is to fry these in butter that’s been melted in a frying pan. Separate the layers of the mushrooms or cut them into pieces. Fry for a couple of minutes and turn them. Continue until they are golden. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over and there you are.

Frozen Sweet Corn

Lanette and Larry are the farmers of Erstwhile Farm. They’re a small, sustainable family farm that recognizes the value of food and a simple, fresh, home-cooked meal. Oh how I love frozen local sweet corn.This particular corn was hand-picked and frozen on the same day, at the peak of perfection. Bring a couple of inches of water to a boil on the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add in frozen corn and be sure that the corn is not fully covered with water—we don’t want soggy corn here. Cook for 3 ish minutes and drain. Salt, or, not…It’s going to be so sweet!

Chicken Eggs
I’m gathering eggs for a big ol’ Easter brunch. Followed by an Easter egg hunt. What an egg-cellent day I’ll have.

Coffee
Isn’t it nice to never run out of coffee?

Grassfed Ground Beef

This ground beef comes to you from Luke Jacobsen of Range West Beef. They are a small family farm operation located in Marquette, working hard to produce high-quality grassfed and finished beef. From start to finish, these cows have been grassfed and you’ll taste and appreciate the difference. Grassfed beef is leaner, has three times the amount of Omega 3 and has about 100 fewer calories per serving, than grain fed beef.

Pecans

I confess that I love these pecans so much I recently bought ten pounds of them! Keep them in the frig or freezer. They are so tender and flavorful! I like to use them in oatmeal or salad or just snack on them right out of the bag. They are crunchy yet, soft and butter-y-like. While they are fabulous on their own, take them to a whole other level of deliciousness by toasting them in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toss them frequently and watch so they don’t burn. You’ll swoon with the nutty aroma and just wait til you taste them.

Spinach

Saute some diced onions in oil or butter until golden and brown and caramel-y. Add in spinach and stir together. Cook for several minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper. Eat as is, or pour in whipped eggs for an omelet.

Granola

Jack and Michelle started Big Green Tomato a little by accident. In 2009 Michelle discovered that she had severe intolerances to egg, dairy, and gluten and began experimenting with different recipes. Out of those experiments came this granola. With just 5 ingredients, it is simple and straightforward and a pure delight.

Adapted from ArtFromMyTable.com

WHAT YOU NEED FOR BASIC DRESSING:

*3 parts oil. Olive oil is a good choice here, as is a light, neutral oil, like Sunflower.

*1 part acid. Acid consists of vinegar or citrus juices. Red or white wine vinegars, balsamic, rice vinegar, lemon juice…

If you like your dressing on the tangier side, up the proportions to 2 parts oil to 1 part acid. This is where you can play around with the vinaigrette and adjust it to your own liking. Honey, maple syrup, or a pinch of sugar will tame the bite of the acid as well as producing a sweeter dressing. Optional add-ins to consider are garlic, shallots, dijon mustard. Salt and pepper finish the dressing nicely, as well as any fresh or dried herbs you may fancy.

I recently discovered that Habitat in Lincoln is carrying a huge variety of infused oils and vinegars. I picked up a meyer lemon white balsamic and it’s sooo good! Having these flavored oils and vinegars on hand gets you more than halfway toward making your own vinaigrette.

Instructions for mixing your vinaigrette

  1. For each dressing recipe, place all the ingredients into a jar.
  2. Shake well to combine.
  3. Enjoy!!

A few variations on the basic ratio:

BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE: 
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs dijon mustard
1 tsp pure maple syrup

LEMON GARLIC:
1/2 cup olive oil
2-3 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp honey

ASIAN SESAME GINGER:
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sesame seeds toasted
2 tsp fresh ginger grated
1 tsp honey

Larry and Lanette Stec of Erstwhile Farm.  Look for more of their great items in this year’s Nebraska Box!
   We sure hope you are enjoying your
Nebraska Boxes!Happy creating and happy eating.