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pastrytroll's Profile

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Need Help with Choosing a CSA for Summer '12

I'm still a huge fan of First Light Farm CSA: Farmer Mike's passion shows through in his immaculate gardens and selection.

Winter CSA Help Needed

My husband (who is not a veggie lover!) and I split the large summer share with our son and his girlfriend; worked well for all of us. We won't be splitting the winter share - I thought it was good for two people. Don't think we will split the medium share next summer: the kid will be on his own!

Winter CSA Help Needed

First Light's first winter CSA was last year. I did it, and signed up for it again this year, and think it's a great bargain - and wonderful to have fresh greens to serve for Christmas dinner. No, it didn't supply all our vegetable needs for the whole month (the summer one is a true challenge to use it each week) but there was a generous amount that we were able to use comfortably. And I know you're going to ask 'what's generous'. Maybe someone else kept better records/had a better memory than I. I do remember the bottle of maple syrup at the end!

Unpasteurized Apple Cider

We got a gallon of unpasturized cider and some cider donuts at Russell Orchard yesterday. The doughnuts were meh, haven't tried the cider yet.

Russell Orchards
143 Argilla Rd, Ipswich, MA 01938

Winter CSA Help Needed

Me too! Already sent an email to hold my place. AlsoFirst Ligiht sent an email saying they are going to revise the size of the boxes and pricing for next summer's share, too.

Winter CSA Help Needed

Thanks! The online form is still set for summer. Mike told me he'd fix it soon, but in the meantime, sending an email is the best way to reserve a place. The cost is more than last year, which was a flat out bargain, but still -- I'm signing up, as well as some of my friends who belong to other summer CSAs.

Winter CSA Help Needed

I joined First Light Farm's first winter CSA last year, and will do it again. It was inexpensive ($150? don't remember exactly) We had monthly pick-ups. I had expected mostly potatoes and beets and carrots - but Mike manages fresh greens from his hoop house, too. We didn't have a pick-up for February (remember how insanely cold it was? nothing was growing!) but Mike extended the season another month, and threw in a bottle of made-in-Topsfield maple syrup as a bonus.

First Light Farm
94 Locust St, Danvers, MA 01923

CSA Rating

We're still loving First Light Farm's CSA. We got a full share, to split with our son, and even half is almost more than we can keep up with. Quality and variety are very very good, too: the little watermelons were terrific. one year, we tried a new CSA in Haverhill - which was horrible. That experience makes us appreciate First Light Farm even more!

First Light Farm
94 Locust St, Danvers, MA 01923

Best Pizza on North Shore???

This is where the "what kind of pizza do you like" plays a factor. Industrial strength pizzanlike Same & Joes just isn't my thing - but it's the real deal for some. Diversity for everyone!

Coupons and Deals- July to August 2011

Groupon today Saturday) has $10 for $20 Worth of Authentic Persian Fare Plus Dessert at Shiraz Cuisine in Watertown ($24.99 Value). I should note that more than one Yelp reviewer referenced spoiled food! I'm beginning to wonder about many of the Groupon restaurant deals....

Shiraz Cuisine
72 Bigelow Ave, Watertown, MA 02472

Looking for the best Whole Foods in the Boston area

Third Portland: went there once a month in the past couple of years. Very nice, very big! I loved the noodle bar. At exit 7 off 295 - quick and easy to get to, then get back heading north.

Coffee roasters

ThreeDogs taught me to roast my own. Prices for green beans have gone up, too, but you can still order truly great beans for about $8/lb, including shipping and insurance! The price difference isn't as great as it used to be, though. Even a year or so ago the beans were about $3.50/lb.

Coupons and Deals- July to August 2011

BuywithME has a deal for North by Northeast :
"$60 gets you a shared 10-course tasting dinner for two at East by Northeast, valid Tuesday through Saturday ($100 value)."

East by Northeast
1128 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

Coffee roasters

You should try Howell;s - but I gotta say he roasts way, way too rare for my tastes! Hope you stomach heals.

Sopha's Greek Pantry in Saturday's Wall Street Journal

We went for the first time today. Everyone was talking about the WSJ article. The WSJ picked Speed's too - do they have a thing for Boston? When we left, even though the store was very busy, the owner gave us a cup of watermelon yogurt to share. So nice - even though I've never cared for frozen yougurt, this was fantastic: tasted like watermelon with a creamy finish.

Thoughts on KO Pies/Catering

My husband grew up in Australia, and has happy memories of the meat pies. I took him to KO when it opened, and and he just *glowed*, squirting ketchup under the crust of his beef stew pie (He says it's tradition, go figure.) One way to beat the dried out problem: bake them yourself. for his birthday, I emailed KO (got an instant reply), and drove into the city to pick up a bag of frozen pies and sausage rolls. Warm from the oven, uuummm.

Freds Franks in Wakefield

We're on Carl, the new guy's email list, and got an email from him last week. He said he would be closed for a while, to take care of personal matters, and that he will send out an email when he's open again. I know Monday's lovely weather would have meant an over-the-top day for him. So, all I can say is - I hope he's all right. I'll post on CH when he sends out an email. I love me a monstah!

Fisherman's email alert list

Thanks! I love the Cape Ann people, but my husband wimpered that he just wasn't *that* into fish.... not that he ever seemed to leave leftovers!

April 2011 News on CSA, Farmers Market, farm stands etc.

Hey, I'll miss you, but it is such a drive for you. Yes, Mike does have some shares (and half shares this year) available.

April 2011 News on CSA, Farmers Market, farm stands etc.

I just picked up my April share of the First Light Farm's WINTER CSA - yes folks, it's still going.
Incredible: red (inside and out) potatoes, huge bag of spinach, butter crunch and asstd. lettuces, white turnips, beautiful beets,bok choi, greens, tiny spring onions - but the jaw-dropper was - a bottle of maple syrup from Valley View Farm. I love this CSA and Mike the farmer.

First Light Farm
94 Locust St, Danvers, MA 01923

Are Costco's Kirkland Foods Any Good?

The one thing I've found with Kirkland brands is that they are tooth-achingly sweet. The other problelm is that the store will have some products for only a very limited time. I found some smoked bacon once, that was fantastic. Next trip to the store, it was gone (and hasn't been back in two years). So I tried a Kirkland 'natural, apple-smoked' bacon. It was as if it was encased in a sugar shell. Even after washing the strips, it was still nasty-sweet. I tried Kirkland yogurt - same uber-sweetness. So far they don't seem to have added sugar to the canned tuna, so I still buy that. It's fine for tuna salad. And the unsalted butter is a good price, but it's not premium quality 83%

Apr 22, 2011
pastrytroll in Features

Looking for green/unroasted coffee beans

I've had wonderful coffee from the guys who split bags of green beans at ThreeDogs referred me to them, and I'm grateful!

The Great Boston Pastry Hunt

Last Friday, after a jumbo at Fred's Franks, I went to Swiss Bakers in Reading for dessert. and got (in so many ways) a mixed bag. The prices are dirt cheap: $1.00 for a swiss sin - a nice roll with rich dough and a little cinnamon, $1.25 for a weggli -my favorite of the bunch- same rich dough with good quality chocolate chips. The berliners -raised 'filled' doughnuts- are $1.25. The apricot had maybe 1/2 tsp. of filling, the chocolate maybe a whole tsp. The molecules of filling were very good, but almost impossible to locate. Had to try a croissant, which wasn't: not a trace of lamination in the dough, just a big dry roll.
I'd go back for some weggli's, and to try the pretzel bread, but over all not the pastry store I'd hoped for.
One of the owners was at a table going over plans for a much bigger place, though.

Fred's Franks
390 Quannapowitt Pkwy, Wakefield, MA 01880

Freds Franks Opening for the season on Friday!!!

You beat me too it! The new owner, Carl, said he has a second Big Green Egg, and a new kielbasa. Hope he keeps the habanero sauce.

Green Eggs
576 Metacom Ave, Bristol, RI 02809

Finale Desserts @ Park Plaza?

Maybe some people have never had anything but mediocre desserts made with less than quality ingredients - and just go for the ambience/convenience? It's more of a scene place than a dessert place. The quality is poor, and the over-pricing might just convince some that therefore the desserts *must* be good. I'm with Penny and StriperGuy!

(and no, I'm not trolling here: my now unfortunate name came from when I was working like a troll in the (pastry) dungeon at Maison Robert!)

Karl's Sausage Kitchen

Uuuuuuummm - Karl's is not really on your way home? If your shopping list didn't shout foodie, that detour alone would be a tip-off.
Did you enjoy the pick-your-own? We couldn't believe we were eating salad and fennel and broccoli and pak choy we had picked in December.

December Markets, CSAs, Farm Stands, etc. [old]

THe CSF today was haddock. Last week I got my first box from the First Light Farm winter share: a large box full: acorn and butternut squashs, carrots, turnips, two kinds of breathtaking Chinese veggies, dill, cilantro, lettuce, purple broccoli, leeks, bunching onions.. Wow!

GUITTARD chocolate chips

The Market Basket in downtown Haverhill has them. Might be worth it to check an MB near you.

Where Does Trader Joe's Food Come From?

I love TJ's products, but won't eat the baked goods.
I used to work next to a bakery that made Trader Joe's bread for my area - disgusting place: no screens on the window, no refrigeration, wooden counters (nice, but can't be sanitized so who knows what lurks), no soap in the entire place, for dishes or hands. In TJ's one day I met someone who told me she was TJ's bread buyer, and I asked if she had actually visited to see the bread made, and she nodded 'no'

Nov 23, 2010
pastrytroll in Features

Winter CSA plans

Sign up is by November 19. I wasn't in First Light this summer, but had been the previous year. 30 shares being offered, 15 left - 14 now that I've signed up! Shares are $150, with 5-6 monthly pickups. Interesting that it's once a month - works better for my small family.
You can email Mike at for details - or email me and I'll forward you the offer.