New Variety Boxes
With the “stay at home” order here in San Diego county, we’ve been concerned about folks who cannot get out to the grocery store for fresh produce. We have figured out a great way to ship some fresh fruit and veggies that come directly from our farm and from a local produce distributer. The produce has been minimally handled, placed in a box, and mailed directly to you. The contents of these Variety Boxes will vary, but the foods will all be great!
Tangerines and Avocados
We are still harvesting our Tango mandarin oranges and Fuerte avocados, plus we’re also shipping Hass avocados. With Easter coming up, lots of folks want to send gifts to family and friends. We promise to work as long as it takes to get these out to everyone who needs them. The tangerines ( or mandarin oranges…same fruit, different name) are so sweet, seedless and easy to peel. The avocados are picked on the day they are shipped, so be sure to allow for a week or more before they soften.
Bacon, Ham, and Sausage
If you live in California, you can order some amazing bacon, ham, sausages, and jerky from a wonderful smokehouse in Bishop, Ca. We used to stop by Mahogany Smoked Meats years ago when we would drive up to Mammoth Lakes. In the last several years we have been ordering their amazing double smoked bacon here at home. This year we ordered a ham for Easter, and some smoked sausage as well. They even have smoked turkeys. Be sure to check them out – a great local business with quality products. (Inside tip: buy a package of the double smoked pork chops and use them to make a huge pot of beans.)
How to Begin a One-Pot Meal
I’ve been making soups and stews during this time of ‘stay at home’. Start with a deep pot, and crisp up a few slices of bacon. Remove the bacon when it’s done, and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Add chopped onions, garlic, celery, and herbs like thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano. If you have a jar of “Italian herbs” or other herb mixture, use that. Let the veggies cook on low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring a few times. Add some water, or stock.
Beef Stew or Chicken Soup?
Most often I add chicken to the pot, and let it cook with the veggies in the stock, then I add more stock to make soup. Canned or frozen green beans, kidney beans, corn, carrots … add whatever you have to make a delicious soup. Add more water or stock to fill the pot. Add noodles, rice, or quinoa.
Yesterday I decided to brown some stew beef to make a stew. After the beef is brown, add it to the veggies in the other pot. Add a little water or red wine to the pan where the beef was browning, just to get the last bits of flavor. Pour the liquid into the pot with the veggies. Add beef stock, if you have it. I have ordered bone broth from Kettle and Fire – was really happy to find some in my pantry yesterday. Campbell’s Beef Consomme soup works very well too. Just let it simmer all day, until the meat is falling apart. If you haven’t already eaten that bacon, chop it up and put it into the pot!
You can thicken the stew by stirring a few tablespoons of flour into a cup of stock or water. Be sure to stir the pot well after you add the flour slurry to the pot. It’s fun to watch the stew thicken up.
I added some frozen veggies to the stew during the last 20 minutes of cooking. Usually I like to use green beans, but I didn’t have any. Found some frozen artichoke hearts from Trader Joes, and some frozen sliced brussels sprouts. Into the pot they went! Another dash or two of garlic powder … a few more herbs. Check the flavor in case you need salt or pepper. Add the salt 1/2 teaspoon at a time …and taste. Don’t put too much in without tasting.
Eat Well, Sleep Well, Stay Connected
I hope you are all doing well. If you need healthy fruits and vegetables without leaving home, take a look at California Avocado Direct Our family farm is shipping every day that the post office is open. Another good place to order healthy produce and foods is Melissa’s Produce, shipping wonderful fruits and vegetables, as well as many other items, from their distribution center in Los Angeles. They ship all over the USA as well.
I’m so glad to hear from many of you. Be sure to reach out and let me know how you’re doing.