4 Helpful Tips to Utilizing All of the Delicious Produce Found in the Farmers Market Subscription Boxes
Even with COVID-19 it has still been an extremely busy spring for us here at the Chamber/CVB. We have found ways to keep busy by doing things like painting doors and cleaning baseboards to upping our video game and starting things like the Farmers Market Subscription Box program. We have enjoyed the last almost eight weeks of offering this program, being able to help local merchants and vendors and really coming together as a team to provide something that the public has enjoyed immensely.
One of our board members told us recently that we are the heartbeat of Liberty County and during a time when it felt like there was nothing we could do, this one statement made us realize how much we accomplish with things that might seem silly to some people and how much it matters. We have two more weeks left of Farmers Market Subscription Boxes, and I thought it would be nice to offer four tips to get the most of your last two weeks of boxes.
– Be sure to unpack everything when you get home with your box. Knowing what you have is one of the first steps to understanding what you can make and not becoming overwhelmed by the ingredients. This can also help you separate the things that will rot first from the things that can wait a bit. Typically, things like potatoes, apples, oranges, zucchini, etc. can wait a few days, while you would want to eat the berries, greens, etc. fairly quickly. There are also creative ways to use things that maybe you let sit too long, like those apples can easily become a cobbler in a few simple steps!
– You can prep some of the food to last longer. You can roast those potatoes easily or toss ‘em in the Instapot and freeze for future use. It’s also easy to pickle things like cucumbers and even some fruits (like we did on Episode 2 of our version of Chopped) and save that by refrigerating them. If you have tons of herbs (which are awesome by the way from Jones Creek Farm) you can do a quick pesto that will keep for weeks in the fridge!
– Don’t drive yourself crazy looking for new recipes for everything! I have to admit before we started doing our version of Chopped two weeks ago, I would get my box each week and frantically start looking on Pinterest for the best ways to use the fruits and veggies and it was getting overwhelming fast! Then Chopped started, and I realized that what I would normally use pasta in I could sub potatoes, or where I might want an onion for a slaw, I could sub a fruit and get a different but great taste! I realized that the goal wasn’t to make 8-10 different meals, depending on what was in the box, but to figure out how to avoid the grocery store, feed my family something they would enjoy and also enjoy making it. I realized as well that those ingredients I tend to avoid and use only for specialty dishes, like sesame oil, chili powder, soy sauce, vinegar, etc. they can be used whenever I want and add so much more dimension and flavor to my food.
Pictured is Chopped Episode 1 winning dish. Potato hash w/ground beef, zucchini, onion & squash with Caribbean seasons. Alongside a cucumber, onion & corn pickled slaw. And finally, caramelized bananas and cantaloupe over jasmine rice.
– And finally, be flexible and get familiar with dishes that can be flexible. Sautéed veggies are very adaptable to almost any meal, whether you’re adding rice or pasta. And if you get super stumped and just can’t figure out what to do with the last carrot, potato, squash, zucchini, etc. try making refrigerator soup (which is basically just one of everything you may have and broth). Sometimes I add ground beef and beans to mine too!
We still have 3 more episodes of Chopped left! So who will win the tournament? We don’t know, but we encourage you to tune into our Facebook page & find out! And maybe you’ll get a little inspiration for your own kitchen!
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