9th Fruit Delivery: October 9, 10, & 11, 2012

What’s in your box?

 Honeycrisp apple

Hass avocados

Crimson grapes

Bosc pears

D’Anjou pears

Bartlett pears

Storage and Ripening
Your pears and avocados will need between 2-5 days on the counter to give to thumb pressure by the stem and then enjoy them. Green Bartletts will turn yellow as a sign of being ready to eat. To speed up their ripening process you can place some in a paper bag with a banana, but remember to check them every day. The banana gives off ethylene gas that ripens fruit faster. The Bosc and D’Anjou pears ripen differently so be sure to check their descriptions and ripening below. Keep your apples and grapes in the coldest part of your refrigerator. They are ready to eat right away. They will stay freshest when stored as cold as 34 degrees F. Place a paper towel in the bag with the grapes to soak up any condensation that may occur. Eat your grapes first. Your apples and pears will keep the longest.  You can always place your pears in the refrigerator to slow down the ripening process and enjoy over a longer period of time.

What It Takes
You have three varieties of pears this week: Bosc, D’Anjou and Bartlett. Like many of our organic growers, the Stennes family farm in Washington’s Cascade Mountains is a family affair. The farm began in 1894, when the Stennes family emmigrated from Norway and planted apple trees on their homestead. Now, Keith is joined by his twin sons, Mark and Kevin to make up the third and fourth generations of Stennes farmers. They have grown the orchard to include not just apples, but also cherries, pluots, plums, and of course, pears. We love their pears and go back for more every year.  They have a beautiful orchard east of the Cascades and close to the Columbia River.

D’anjou pears are a popular variety that are easily recognized by their egg-shaped appearance. These pears skin will stay green and not change color as they ripen, so don’t wait around for them to change – remember to “check the neck” to gauge their ripeness; when they give to soft pressure at the stem end, they are ready to eat. D’anjou pears are great for most recipes, because they are juicy and fresh tasting. They can be used for baking, grilling or poaching, and they are great sliced in salads. Bosc pears are a distinctive variety with a crunchy-yet-tender flesh and sweet, spiced flavor. Don’t be deterred by their brown skin: the flesh is firm and spicier than other varieties. Bosc pears are more flavorful earlier in the ripening process. Enjoy their complex, sweet flavor before they have fully softened. When you test your Bosc pears to check their ripeness, keep in mind that their flesh is denser than other varieties. This means that when you “check the neck,” it will not give as much to pressure. Don’t wait around for these pears to get super soft; they’re ready to enjoy while they’re still nice and firm! Because of this firm flesh, Bosc pears are great for baking, broiling and poaching. Their strong flavor is also less likely to be overwhelmed by spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg.  If you like a crunchy pear this is the one for you.

The Honeycrisp apples this week come from Adolfo in Prosser, Washington. He has truly worked his way up through the ranks of farming to get where his is today. Adolfo began his career by picking asparagus in the fields, and soon he was driving a truck through the orchard hauling chemicals and equipment among the fruit trees. In time, he became an orchard foreman, and finally a manager, all the while imagining how he would do things differently if he owned his own orchard. Ten years later, that dream is a reality, and Adolfo is the owner of 200 acres of organic fruit trees. He does it for the kids – his own and those of his workers – so that they are not exposed to dangerous chemicals. Instead, Adolfo harnesses nature’s power to grow his fruit and keep it free of pests by using beneficial insects and the intricacies of the orchard’s ecosystem. All of this hard work will be apparent in each and every delicious bite of fruit you taste. Honeycrisp apples are one of the most popular varieties of apples because their flavor and texture make them perfect for everything from snacking to baking and everything in between.

The Crimson grapes in your box are from Joe and Johnni of Three Sisters Farm. Their Thompson grape harvest wrapped up and now their Crimson grapes, that have a short harvest period, have arrived.  You’ll find the “brix” sugar level is very high in these too, so eat them quickly because when they are this high in sugar they never last as long as when they are harvested before they reach their full sugar.  Located near Fresno, CA, they use beneficial grasses and flowers – especially poppies – as cover crops, making their vineyard exceptionally beautiful. Three Sisters has been certified organic since 1981, but even before Joe and Johnni began farming, Joe’s parents owned the farm.

Health and Wellness
Now that fall is truly in full swing, we’re enjoying the beautiful weather, the changing leaves…and the colds. Okay, maybe we’re not enjoying getting sick. But it’s that time of year, and it seems like the flu and some nasty colds are making the rounds. Never fear, FruitShare and Angelic Organics are here! Eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day is a great way to stay healthy. Fruit helps provide essential vitamins and nutrients that keep your body and immune system strong. Incorporating fruit into your daily diet is easy. Simply keep a bowl of pears out on the table or counter, grab a baggie of grapes for a snack or send them to school in your kids’ lunches. Add apples to your dinners by slicing them into salads, or serve sliced pears for dessert. These sweet treats can help prepare your body’s immune system to fight against colds and the flu, so you can get right back out there to enjoy all the good that fall has to offer.

Recipe
Pear, Greens, Parmesan and Walnut Salad
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon dry Sherry
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups of mixed baby greens or spinach (about 4 ounces)
1 cup fresh Parmesan shavings (about 2 ounces)
1 large firm Bosc pear, peeled, halved, cored, cut crosswise into thin slices (about 8 ounces)
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1 shallot, peeled, thinly sliced

Whisk mustard, Sherry, and red wine vinegar in medium bowl to blend. Gradually add oil, whisking until well blended. Season dressing with salt and pepper.
Toss greens, Parmesan, pear, walnuts, and shallot in large bowl to combine. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Divide among plates and serve.
Courtesy of bonappetit.com

Warm Pears in Creamy Sauce
4 fresh pears, chopped
1/4 cup apple juice
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup Grape-Nuts Cereal

Place pears in medium microwaveable bowl. Add apple juice and 2 tbsp of the brown sugar; mix lightly. Microwave on high for 2 minutes; stir gently. Microwave an additional 1-2 minutes or until pears are tender. Stir in sour cream. Spoon evenly into four small serving bowls. Mix remaining 2 tbsp brown sugar and cereal; sprinkle evenly over desserts. Serve warm.
Courtesy of doctoroz.com

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