Orders placed today will be delivered on Saturday 02/01 and Tuesday 02/04

This Week's Food

Kitchen Yoda.

Kitchen Yoda.

KITCHEN YODA

We'll admit to having way too many cookbooks. From Indian to Classic French Pastry our shelves are full of them, crammed with beautiful glossy photos and slightly complicated recipes. 

But, to be honest, most don't see every day use. Frankly, I don't always have time to sous-vide a tomato before passing it through a centrifuge and applying it, using a microscope, with tweezers to my plate at 7pm on a weeknight. I'm just not that motivated.

One book that I turn to over and over is Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden. (Obligatory note: we get nothing out of this commercially or otherwise- we just love the heck out of this and want to share it with you!)

This book is a wall-to-wall love letter to seasonal vegetables penned by the Master. Vegetables are venerated on center stage and highlighted using normal ingredients and approachable preparations. 

It's the perfect company for your weekly Family Dinner share. Think Winter Squash and Leek Risotto, Smashed Rutabaga with Apples and Ham or Grated Carrot Salad with Walnuts and Burrata (hello!).

Of the book Chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill says it best: "This is not a cookbook for coffee tables or artfully curated bookshelves. Its recipes demand to be tasted until the pages are dog-eared and sauce-splattered and stick together.

So if you're looking to up your veggie game, without having to use CRISPR on your cabbage, this is might be the book for you.

(And yes, I just made a CRISPR joke in a food blog. We're that nerdy.)

 

A Trip Across the Pond.

A Trip Across the Pond.

Good Morning! 

Just a reminder about the "In Season Dinner" series, a collaboration between Forge and Family Dinner.  This year we are kicking off with the famed Pizza and Beer night.  There will be tasty brews from Idle Hands and pizza from the magicians at Forge.

It all takes place on January 30th, 6:30 pm at Forge Baking Co in Somerville.  Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite - we would love to see you there!

Also: CALLING ALL BAGS!  if you have a treasure trove of Family Dinner bags or ice packs - maybe you're taking them on vacation or letting your kids built a fort of out them that looks like Hogwarts (if so, send pics!) - we would love them back!  You can leave them out for your driver or exchange them in person for a high five!

Thanks!!

Erin + Tim

 

A TRIP ACROSS THE POND

Today we are headed to see these wonderful people at Heron Pond to pick up Sweet Potatoes (400#- that's a lot of spuds!) for the shares and Cranberries to bring to Forge for their new pastry special. Heron Pond is in South Hampton, NH, right over the border.

From their site: Heron Pond Farm is owned and operated by Greg Balog and Andre Cantelmo. Friends from college where they studied soil science, they have been a team for twenty years. Heron Pond is a four season farm that grows over 250 varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers. Farming year-round has allowed us to grow and maintain an incredibly skilled and experienced staff whose passion brings higher yields, quality, and flavor to our food all year long.

It's a beautiful drive through Amesbury and down the long winding road that leads to the farm; no matter the weather I have the windows down and the music up.  It's a classic rock kind of a drive, if you know what I mean.  There's a real joy in meeting the people who grow the food we love to bring you; knowing their passion and trusting their process. Whether it's talking with Tad about meat or visiting Sarah at Vinal to pick up hundreds of her perfect English Muffins, its like being part of a big happy food Family. 

And so we'll spend this frigid New England day driving around in a truck full of hundreds of pounds of potatoes, hundreds of heads of lettuce drinking perfectly roasted Tandem coffee and cranking Queen's greatest hits with the windows down - all to bring you another week of delicious food from this wonderful Family. That's the dream right there.

PIZZA AND BEER! Hoorah!

PIZZA AND BEER! Hoorah!

Howdy! 

It is that time of year again, time to humble brag about our awesome collaboration with Forge Baking Co to bring you the "In Season Dinner" series.  This year we are kicking off with the famed Pizza and Beer night.  Idle Hands Brewing will provide the suds and Forge will provide the alchemy that turns flour and water into the most perfectly doughy, chewy crust imaginable. And it will all be topped with locally sourced goodies from your friends (us!) at Family Dinner.

It all takes place on January 30th, 6:30 pm at Forge Baking Co in Somerville.  Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite - we would love to see you there!

With Pizza and Love,

Erin + Tim

 

Doughy Pillows of Joy.

Doughy Pillows of Joy.

Happy 2020 Folks!

It's been another great year at Family Dinner! We have been expanding - more cities and towns, more drivers, more wonderful members and more Farms and Producers that make the incredible food we are honored to bring you every week.

And it's been a year of growth and new horizons for us as well. Erin left MIT after 11 years to be fully at the Family Dinner helm, Tim has been focusing more on optimizing and streamlining processes - we even promoted Frank to CDO status - Chief Dog Officer. It's been a whirlwind.

We are incredibly grateful to everyone's support, love, patience and feedback as we continue this journey into 2020.

Love,

Erin, Tim + Frank

* And speaking of growing the Family, we have a promo going for 50% off new customers' first order with the code 2020 at checkout. Is your brother interested in grass fed meats? Are your co-workers always reading these emails over your shoulder? Is the town librarian an aspiring locavore? Spread the word and give them some love. And thank you!

 

You say "Tomato"...

You say "Tomato"...

... I say "let's make BLTs!!!"  Oh wait. That doesn't rhyme at all. 

Anyway, today we are headed out to Hadley, MA to visit Five College Farms and pick up a truck full of tomatoes for the shares this week! (spoiler alert: there's also Bacon from Tad!)

A bit about them:

 "Five College Farms is a USDA certified organic farm nestled in Hadley, in the verdant Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. We are a 72 acre farm with  2 acres farmed  under roof in our greenhouses. We’re all about growing some of the healthiest produce.  Currently, we grow several varieties of certified organic tomatoes. Our organic tomatoes are vine ripened and harvested by hand at peak ripeness. All of our tomatoes are grown in greenhouses, which means that you can enjoy healthy and locally grown produce year round.

Hence, the indescribable joy of a perfectly delicious tomato for your perfect BLT in the dead of Winter. It's like magic.

We are really looking forward to picking these gems out today. Who knows, maybe Erin will even relive her undergrad days at UMass and drink some terrible beer, eat a whole pizza by herself while throwing a frisbee into the wind and listening to Ani DiFranco on repeat.  Ah, the Zoo.

We hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and is enjoying a Happy Hanukkah.

Cheers,

Erin + Tim

 

Flour Power.

Flour Power.

Hello!

They say it's the most wonderful time of the year and we totally agree. It's the time of year when you can wear foolish jammies, put brandy in all of your warm beverages and watch Love Actually AND Die Hard on repeat. What's not to love? 

This week we have a few reminders:

-We are selling amazing meats for your Holiday table. Holiday Roasts will be delivered on 12/24, just in time. Choose from Prime Rib, Pork Shoulder Roasts, Whole Chickens and More! Add on Bacon, Eggs for brunch left overs!

-We still have Gift Cards! Give the good gift of Food.

We hope you enjoy everything the season has to offer. Have an extra slice of pie, ogle at Bruce Willis a little longer and hug the folks you love just a little tighter.

Much Love,

Erin + Tim

 

FLOUR POWER:

For this week's grain we turned to Noah and Sophie (pictured, photo by Paul Carey Goldberg) from Aprilla Farm in Essex, MA. Aprilla is a beautiful place, nuzzled by the Castle Neck and Essex River estuaries. They milled Wheat Flour for Family Dinner just this week, to order.  You may be saying to yourself: Grains? In Massachusetts? What the Holy Heck are you talking about?

At Aprilla they explain it this way:

"As farmers in the 19th century pushed west, it’s not hard to understand how big stretches of flat prairie were enticingly able to pump out a huge amount of shelf-stable, shippable, commodity calories. Subsequently, the small, regionally-adapted New England grain varieties, and the knowledge, threshing, milling, and baking infrastructure that accompanied them slowly died out in the Northeast.
 
And yet, at Alprilla, we’ve made a significant push to try our hand at growing wheat, flint corn, barley, and beans. Our reasons are both intellectual and practical. As Noah says, the Local Food Movement can’t be just a Produce Movement; We need beer and bread, too."

Beer and Bread. Sounds like supper is ready. 

Enjoy!

Mariah had it all Wrong.

Mariah had it all Wrong.

In Mariah Carey's breathy rendition of the classic holiday jam, she croons:

"I don't want a lot for Christmas, there is just one thing I need...

Make my wish come truuuuue... All I want for Christmas is youuuuuu"

We think this dazzling Diva has it all wrong. At Family Dinner we're going with the slight but essential edit of :

" All I want for Christmas (Hanukkah/Kwanza/Festivus/Finish Independence Day) is FOOOOOOOOOOOOOD"

That's right folks; this year skip the footed jammies, the Frozen 2 Electric Toothbrush set and the stuffed armadillo. This year give folks a gift they will really love - a Family Dinner Gift Certificate! They come in Veggie Only, Half, Whole and Double Share sizes. 

Send your favorite people the gift of amazing local food, and if they are worthy of your love and generosity, maybe they'll even cook you meal!
Speaking of favorite people, we have started a fun series on IG and FB about "Humans of Family Dinner" and "Amazing Women in Business" follow along @sharefamilydinner to learn a bit more about your Family Dinner Community.
Happy Fooding!
Erin + Tim

One Pan to Rule them All.

One Pan to Rule them All.

Hello!

Welcome back, we missed you! We thank you for your patience with us as we took the past week off to spend time with family and give our amazing team a moment to breathe.

We hope you enjoyed the holiday with delicious provisions and passable time with Family with minimal quarrels about sports and politics. 

We also want to send a nod and some love to folks for whom the holidays, these in particular, are a time marbled with joy and sadness. Maybe the missing of someone, the sadness of time passing have you not feeling so joyful.  We started taking this week off when my father passed two years ago when Family Dinner was just a baby. It's been a bittersweet season since and we appreciate the time and space to reflect, to be sad and to let food and laughter heal what ails us.

All that said, we have some fun goods in store for this week. Steak from Tad, tomatoes to make you dream of summer and a soapbox sermon about the merits of cast iron pans. 

We hope you enjoy.

Erin, Tim and Frank the Dog

NOTE: 

The snow is making driveways/pathways a little more complicated. If you're not home, please make sure your cooler is somewhere accessible! Our drivers appreciate it!

One Pan to Rule Them All:

Yes. We are making a culinary Lord of the Rings Reference. Yes, we are nerds. And yes you are correct...no one invited us to Prom.

I digress.

The world is full of fancy kitchen crap you don't actually need. The avocado peelers and melon ballers are just as well served by the sharp knives and dull spoons you already have. But if Cast Iron pans are in a different category.

If you love to cook and don't have a cast iron, it might be time to dive in. I cook everything except scrambled eggs in ours. That includes meat, fish, fried rice, frittata and fresh baked bread. 

We prefer Lodge pans and have a slew of them. The basics are under $30, you can buy them anywhere and treated correctly you will have them until Hell freezes over. (Which, given Climate Change, may be before the 2020 elections).

They're great Christmas Gifts, cool Yankee Swaps and amazing weapons of self-defense in the unlikely event of a burglary.

 

A Squash by any Other Name.....

A Squash by any Other Name.....

Ever wonder where "Squash" got its name?
According to the Library of Congress' website " Everyday Mysteries":
Squash” comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means “eaten raw or uncooked." Squashes are one of the oldest known crops–10,000 years by some estimates of sites in Mexico. Since squashes are gourds, they most likely served as containers or utensils because of their hard shells. The seeds and flesh later became an important part of the pre-Columbian Indian diet in both South and North America."
Squash is a hearty fruit that is planted in the summer and harvested in the late fall. We tend to think just of soups when we see it pop up in the shares, but we will explore other possibilities in the recipe section.
Back to the Library of Congress. Their website Everyday Mysteries is incredibly cool.  They tackle burning questions like : Why do fingers and toes wrinkle in the bathtub ? and Why does chopping onions make you cry? It's awesome.
They round out their entry on Squash Lexicon with this tidbit:
"And why is the game also called squash? It used to be called “Rackets” and a “squashy” soft ball constructed of thin rubber was used. It had a number of holes that caused the ball to collapse when hit hard."
Oh, and this incredibly creepy painting of two children carving up a pumpkin which they will likely anthropomorphize and turn into the leader of their whacky farm cult.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  We hope you get to relax for a minute and enjoy some time with the folks you love.
Tim + Erin

Bird is the Word.

Bird is the Word.

Last call for Birds!

So we have mentioned a few times that we are doing Thanksgiving orders for delivery on 11/26.  We don't want to be too repetitive but we DO want the idea that you don't HAVE to do the tedious shopping this year to get stuck in your head. Sort of like the terrible refrain from the 1963 ditty from the Trashmen, from which the title of this email is .... plucked.

We have great Thanksgiving shares to offer! Turkeys from Hurd Farm , Chickens from Tad and all the Thankgiving-y produce you want. Let us do all the work for you, order your share today.  All orders will be delivered on Tuesday 11/26.

Happy Not Shopping!

Cheers,

Erin + Tim

A Berry Interesting Story.

A Berry Interesting Story.

NEWS! 
Reminder NO orders will process on Monday 11/25 for regularly scheduled delivery on Saturday 11/30 or Tuesday 12/2.  However we have great Thanksgiving shares to offer! Turkeys from Hurd Farm , Chickens from Tad and all the Thankgiving-y produce you want. Avoid the unequivocal Hell of food shopping the Fourth Week of November. Let us do all the work for you, order your share today.  All orders will be delivered on Tuesday 11/26.
THIS WEEK:
Meet Dom Fernandes, grower and owner at Fresh Meadows Farm in Carver, MA. Dom is a 3rd generation cranberry grower, tracing the tradition back to when his family immigrated from Cape Verde. 
We met Dom this week at an event with the Cape Cod Cranberry Growers Association, who were revealing a new logo for Massachusetts Cranberries. (and yes, I love, love LOVE my job!)
There are hundreds of cranberry growers in Massachusetts, all producing beautiful, delicious fruit. But Dom is one of just a small few who are growing organically. Like most organic growing, it's... kind of a pain. Takes more effort, more labor hours, is far more finicky about the weather and produces smaller yields. But Dom is committed, and is holding strong despite all the additional time, effort and money required. He thinks it produces a better fruit and he wants to bring his customers the best through his packaging partners at Jonathan's Sprouts. It was a joy to listen to him.
Not to get too bogged down (wink, wink) in the details of the day but, 
I didn't expect to drive an hour and half in rush hour traffic to stand in the cold at a cranberry bog and be completely inspired by the simple message of a humble and incredibly talented guy. But there I was, listening to him say the simple truth about what he does - and its exactly the simple truth about we  try to do here at Family Dinner.  Committing to eating local food and supporting small, local farmers can also be... kind of a pain. It takes effort, is finicky about weather and lacks the same cheapness and immediacy as shopping at a chain grocery store. But we sincerely believe it is better.  Better for the environment, better for you and is just the best tasting food we can find.
We hope you love the berries and love knowing where they came from.
Cheers,
Erin + Tim

Kohlrabi? More like KOOLrabi!

Kohlrabi? More like KOOLrabi!

NEWS! 
Looking for something to do this weekend? Family Dinner is excited to take part in the Purely Good in Our Neighborhood Food Festival in Beverly, MA on Sunday Nov 3 from 2-5pm. There will be great vendors, food trucks, beer, music and games! Bring the Family on down and say hello!

THIS WEEK:
At Family Dinner, we love a good challenge and we love the (occasionally weird) bounty of Autumn vegetables in New England. Fall produce can sometimes be silly looking; oddly shaped, brightly colored and bumpy (much like many of us in our adolescence).
Kohlrabi fits squarely into this category. Kohlrabi, with an alias of "German Turnip" is a member of the Brassica clan. Its not so distant relatives include cabbage, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts (also in this week's share! Reunion time, Fam!)
Because of its thick skin and spiky greens, Kohlrabi can be intimidating - we often don't know what to make of it. Even the contestants on Chopped always look like they swallowed a bug when it pops up in the baskets.
But they needn't be scary. They're incredibly versatile, can be eaten raw or cooked and work with a wide variety of flavors.
So this when we saw them at Clark Farm this week we wanted to include them in each share as a fun experiment.  They're not part of your normal produce count for the week, just a little extra thing to try!  There are all kinds of way to approach this, let the KITCHN be your guide. They have a few great ideas on roasting, soup and fritters. (I'm gonna go for the fritters, duh.) Dive in, have fun and get to know the weirdo veggies on the block!