I had to get out of the house. That’s what happens when you work from home. “I’m just running out to get a few things,” I told Mark and the dogs. “I shouldn’t be long.” Mark smiles, thinking, “Ri-i-ight.”
Really, I was just going to get some strawberries at Fairview Farms around the corner, stop at the post office and pick up some greens at Organnon’s. But within the hour I had assembled some amazing food and returned home a new, much more cheerful woman.
1st Stop: Fairview Farms (Pineville)
While best known for their juicy, sweet peaches, Fairview Farms carries fresh fruit and vegetables from Lancaster County all season long. You can also pick up some of their own lamb in the freezer case. They also stock fresh, bottled milk from Pennview Farms, cinnamon buns from the Central Bucks Senior Center, interesting jams and condiments, ice cream, and even P&S Ravioli from South Philly. It’s great to have them in the neighborhood. The farm is only ¼ mile down Pineville Road from the Pineville Tavern on Route 413. They will usually have a sign at the intersection announcing what’s new and fresh. Right now it says, “Strawberries.”
2nd Stop: Organnon’s (Wrightstown)
Another blessing for us is having Organnon’s Natural Food Market just a few miles away (and owow cow creamery right next door). The store just keeps getting better and better since opening in 2013. In addition to a wide variety of organic and non-GMO groceries, they now have freshly baked breads and pastries. This time of year their organic produce section is supplemented by local farmers who use organic practices like Snipes Farm in Morrisville and Amberland Farm in Southampton. I picked up some kale for dinner (see recipe below) but I also got this huge head of romaine lettuce for only $3.99 grown at Amberland Farm.
We were running a little low on supplies so I decided to drive down to Newtown and pick up a bottle or two. As I perused the bourbon and rye aisle, looking for deals, a big grin spread across my face. Dad’s Hat Rye Whiskey was on sale, $3 off, just in time for Father’s Day. That was an easy decision. (Also picked up some Tito’s and Maker’s 46, also on sale).
4th Stop: Madara’s Seafood at the Newtown Amish Farmers Market
Buoyed by the image of a nice cold vodka martini, I decided to surprise Mark and bring home oysters. Madara’s has a deep selection of seafood and great service. At a $1.25 per oyster, and shucked free, it’s so easy to treat ourselves to oysters here in Bucks County, hours from the sea.
The oysters were from Long Island (yes, not local, not even Cape May Salts). The last time I bought them — and had them shucked — I was dismayed to see that the oyster juice had all spilled out into the container on the ride home. (For those of you who don’t eat oysters, “drinking” the juice left over after eating the oyster is one of the joys of life.)
So I visualized what I would do next time: bring a big plastic container, have them fill it with ice, and then snugly place the shucked oysters on the ice. The only problem was that I did not have the container with me. The young woman at the Madara’s counter worked with me though, as I explained what my end goal was — for the oysters to arrive home, shucked and oyster juice still in the shells.
Ten minutes later (and only $15) I was presented with a big plastic container, filled with ice, with 12 shucked oysters snugly in place, and a couple of lemon wedges. It was exactly what I had envisioned, even though I had never described it to the staff. Some things are just meant to be.
If you are wondering what we had for dinner, here’s the recipe. Easy and a great way to eat our local greens this time of year.
Sautéed Greens with Cannellini Beans and Garlic
From the Philadelphia Inquirer, via Anchor Run Farm
Serves 4 – 6
This can be used as a side dish, or served over pasta, rice or other grains.
5 TBSP extra virgin olive oil, divided use
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
¼ tsp dried, crushed red pepper flakes (or amount to your taste – be careful!)
1 large bunch greens (mustard, kale, collards, spinach and/or broccoli rabe), tough stems removed, chopped into 1 inch strips (spinach can be used whole). Should have about 10 cups packed greens.
1 cup or more vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth
1 15-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp, or to taste, of sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
Note: If you will be serving this with pasta, rice or grains, start that before making the greens. The greens can be made while the pasta is boiling.
- Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and dried crushed red pepper; stir until garlic is golden, about one minute. Add greens by large handfuls, stirring until just beginning to wilt before adding more, tossing with tongs to coat with oil.
- Add 1 cup broth, cover, and simmer until greens are barely tender. This can be 1 – 10 minutes depending on the type of greens you are using. Add more broth a tablespoon at a time if the mixture gets dry.
- Add beans. Simmer until beans are heated through and liquid is almost absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, salt and pepper and adjust seasoning, adding more vinegar if you like.
- Drizzle with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and serve.