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The City Cook

With the arrival of winter comes the departure of easily accessible fresh produce.  The temptation to order take-out can be great, at times. However, The City Cook can help you create delicious, simple meals with recipes and a guide to finding the best ingredients in the city – including a section on urban CSAs!

The City Cook
is an elegantly simple and eminently practical guide to fitting great cooking into a busy life and a small kitchen, including more than 90 recipes from Kate McDonough, editor and founder of TheCityCook.com.  You’ll learn how to find the best ingredients at specialty shops and farmers’ markets, how to curate an urban kitchen, and how to entertain in the city.  Deceptively simple showstoppers like Green Beans with Tomatoes and Prosciutto, Salmon Cakes with Spicy Sriracha Mayonnaise, Broiled Black Cod with Miso, and Seared Duck Breasts with Port-Shallot Pan Sauce give you exciting weeknight options. Recipes for Bloody Mary Sorbet with Crab Salad Brioche, Simple Oven-Roasted Whole Duck, and Grand Marnier Soufflé give you an excuse to host a sumptuous supper for your friends.


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Tribeca CSA: STILL ON!

Tomorrow’s CSA is still happening and in celebration of our last distribution, we will have a potluck and apple recipe swap.

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Due to the insane weather conditions, tomorrow’s CSA distribution will be postponed to a later date – either later this week or next Tuesday.  Many of the side streets in Carroll Gardens are still not paved and there are some stranded cars blocking some roads.  We will keep you all updated on when the last distribution will be rescheduled for.  Sorry for any inconvenience.  We hope everyone is staying warm and safe!

The Tribeca CSA is still scheduled for this Wednesday, December 29th.  We will let you know if this changes.

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Dear CSA Members,

As I walk through the orchards this time of year, I am reminded of the past but also the future of Red Jacket Orchards.  2010 has truly been the year of innovation for Red Jacket; we have implemented a new environmental-friendly juicing facility, launched our Fresh Bodegas program, and welcomed on board Farmer Mike who has just this year begun to transition Red Jacket Orchards into being organically certified.  The CSA program, which consists of over 150 households throughout New York City, has grown to three distribution sites and we now provide workplace CSAs – the first orchard to do so in New York City.  Our ability to grow as a farm is all due to your support.  More specifically, the CSA program in its first year has provided us with the support to expand our pear production, which we are very excited about.

For us, the most important aspect of CSA is the community; we feel honored to become a staple in your home and welcome you into our own lives.  Thank you for making Red Jacket Orchards a part of your community.  We hope you can all visit us on the farm next CSA season.

From our family to yours, happy holidays!

Brian Nicholson
President of Red Jacket Orchards

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The Red Delicious originated at an orchard in 1880.  In the 1980s, the variety represented three-quarters of the harvest in Washington State.  The Red Delicious apple looks great for a long duration and thus are the favored choice for holiday centerpieces and wreaths.


Known as Mutsu in its native Japan, Crispin looks like a large Golden Delicious and indeed one of its parents is Golden Delicious so it has the lovely sweet honeyed flavor.  Crispins are also known as ‘oven busters’ – take a big one home and bake it and you have a feast for two and you don’t need many for a deep apple pie!

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Apple Trivia

We’re very excited for our head farmer Mike Biltonen’s lecture this week at Third Ward on heirloom apples.  He will be discussing the four seasons of growing apples, and the history of apples in literature, art, and cuisine.  Q and A will follow.

I’ve created a fun trivia on apples – two winners will be chosen; the prize being two tickets to the lecture (monetary value of $40).  Below are the trivia questions – please send a response back to me (redjacketorchardscsa@gmail.com) by Wednesday evening.  If you’re interested in attending the lecture but missed the registration deadline, you can purchase a ticket through me via e-mail.  As a reminder, the lecture is this Thursday from 7 – 9:30pm.

1.  Which of these is not the name of an heirloom apple?
a. Margil
b.  Gala
c.  Keepsake

2.  Which of these apples originates from Geneva, NY?
a. Honey Crisp
b.  Jonagold
c.  Fuji

3. The Golden Delicious and Cox Orange Pippen are parents of which apple?
a.  SunCrisp
b.  Golden Supreme
c.  Orange Banana

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Chestnuts Roasting

Last week, I threw a bit of a curveball and gave chestnuts in the share.  For those of you who are still unsure on what to do with them, below is an easy recipe to roasting chestnuts and also a video.

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in the middle.

Cut an X in rounded side of each chestnut with a small sharp knife. Roast chestnuts, cut side up, in a shallow baking pan until shells curl away from nutmeats, 20 to 30 minutes.

Wrap hot chestnuts in a kitchen towel and squeeze gently to further loosen shells. Let stand, wrapped, 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

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