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Community sustainable seafood

Is there anything like a CSA for seafood in the Boston area? I think I read something in a local paper just recently about one in Maine and talk of establishing something similar in Gloucester. I'd be very interested in being part of a csf. Thanks.

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  1. I was very interested in this after reading the article as well (http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/food/...

    )

    I hope the idea catches on. Perhaps all it would take is some interest. I know that the farmer I currently get my meat share from was a bit skeptical that there would be enough interest for such a CSA, but he's been pleasantly surprised at the level of interest and has said the CSA is a major part of his financial stability in these uncertain economic times. Fishing is a tough life, and I'd gladly pay even retail prices direct to the fishermen for fresh product procured by local fishermen through sustainable fishing practices.

    1. I just got an email about an area CSF - Cape Ann Fresh Catch.

      http://www.namanet.org/csf/cape-ann-f...

      They will be having a Cambridge pickup site if they get enough interest. I'm not sure if they offered the CSF last year or if this is their first year, but I'd be interested to know if anyone has any experience with them.

      3 Replies
      1. re: e.lizzy

        I'm very interested in the cambridge drop-off. Do you happen to know which Cambridge Farmer's market they would be using as a drop?

        1. re: Snowflake

          We have signed up and are waiting to hear about which market will be the drop off location. Stay tuned!

          1. re: Small Plates

            I received the email from the Harvard University farmer's market (takes place Tuesday afternoons on Harvard's Cambridge campus). The email states: "It is possible that the Farmers’ Market at Harvard may be named a drop-off location for CAFC Cambridge customers."

      2. I would be very interested in a half share from the Cape Ann CSF if they deliver to Cambridge. I looked at the website and a half share is $90 for 12 weeks, sign up by May 9. I will most probably join but have some questions.

        4 Replies
        1. re: cassis

          isn't the half share $180? or do you mean half of a half share--do they do that?

          1. re: autopi

            According to the website:

            Cape Ann Fresh Catch will deliver a variety of the freshest haddock, cod, flounder, hake, dabs, grey sole, monkfish, pollock, and redfish - and possibly other seafood such as clams, lobsters and scallops.

            The fish will be dressed (cleaned and gutted, NOT filleted) and packed on ice. A 12 week subscription to our summer CSF will start in early June:

            Half share of whole fish: 4-6 lbs per week (1-2 pounds of fish after filleting) $180
            Full share of whole fish:8-12 lbs per week (3-4 pounds of fish after filleting) $360

          2. re: cassis

            Am I missing something...it says the 1/2 share is $180.

            1. re: cassis

              I'm sorry, I must have been calculating what it would cost to split a half share with a friend.

            2. They are also considering a Boston drop-off (according to their latest email) depending upon the amount of interest, so for those of you in Boston who are interested, let them know! At $3 per pound, this deal can't be beat to get your hands on local, fresh seafood!

              www.thevitullos.blogspot.com

              15 Replies
              1. re: kristinayee

                We received an email today identifying the Boston area drop-offs. They include:

                Cambridge - Mondays, 4- 6:30 p.m. at Morse School, 40 Granite Street
                Jamaica Plain - Tuesdays 1- 4 p.m. at Jamaica Plains Farmers' Market in the Bank of America parking lot on Centre Street
                Harvard - Tuesdays 4 - 6 p.m. at the Harvard Farmers' Market on Oxford & Kirkland Streets (near Sanders Theater)
                Acton - Wednesdays 1 - 3 p.m. at Butter Brook Farm, 982 Main Street
                Lincoln - Wednesdays 4 - 6 p.m. at Codman Community Farm, 58 Codman Road
                Marblehead - Thursdays 3 - 6 p.m. in Stramski Park on Stramski Way
                Gloucester - Thursdays 4 - 6 p.m. @ Fishermen's Wharf on Rogers Street June 18th & 25thand then at the Cape Ann Farmers' Market, on Harbor Loop from July 2nd through the rest of the season
                Ipswich - Saturdays 10 - 12 p.m. at Appleton Farm, 219 County Road

                Cannot wait for the first pick-up. Will report then.

                1. re: Small Plates

                  I so wanted to sign up for this but my husband thought it would be too much fish for us per week. Do you think you'll consume all of it within the week or are you going to freeze some too? The Ipswich drop-off pont would be good for us.....

                  1. re: Gio

                    We are splitting a full share with another couple - will probably end up freezing some of it. A full share is 8-12 pounds (fish will be dressed. i.e., cleaned and gutted, not filleted). So that means 4-6 lbs per couple for a week. We usually have cookouts on the weekend, so I imagine we will be OK - but freezing is definitely an option with a big vat of fish chowder likely in the future! :-)

                    1. re: Gio

                      I am getting a half share and hoping that we can keep up! If not, the freezer will be full of fish and fish stock. We have been "shopping the freezer" for a month now [to use LindaWhit's expression] clearing it out for the bounty of summer.

                      I hope that I can cook more from Fish Without a Doubt and plan to investigate some Asian whole fish dishes. Pickup is wildly convenient and I love the idea of buying almost directly from the fisherpeople. I haven't check David's fish recipes, but certainly the Mediterranean cooking must include lots of fish.

                      1. re: smtucker

                        Thanks SM! I just noticed there's now a final contract with payment info at the CAFC site with a deadline of 10 June that guarantees a place on the list.
                        I'm going to go for it. I'd rather eat seafood than anything else. And with the Ipswich pick up point on Saturdays that will give us time to sort out and plan our meals.

                        They said that the response has been overwhelming. They expected 100 respondees and got 900.... 901, including me.....LOL

                    2. re: Small Plates

                      I signed up for a half-share, too...Can't wait! I was a little disappointed they didn't keep the Memorial Drive drop-off on Saturdays, tho...Oh well...

                    3. re: kristinayee

                      Anyone interested in spliting a half share (1/4 share)? I'd prefer a Boston drop-off but am willing to go to Harvard or JP.

                      1. re: alwayscooking

                        Don't want to be a buzz kill, but we were interested in splitting a share with some friends till we realized that the fish would not be filleted...so basically someone would have to take the fish home, fillet it, then split it up. Kind of a pain, IMO.

                        1. re: twentyoystahs

                          Couldn't you split the whole fish, and each family filleted their own? This would allow you to do whole fish preps too.

                          1. re: twentyoystahs

                            Or you could just alternate pick-up weeks.

                            1. re: PorkTerrine

                              That's exactly how a friend and I will be sharing our half-share; we have also done that with a meat CSA. In that case I got one delivery out of three.

                              What I am really looking forward to about this CSF arrangement is that the fish are whole (and so fresh). My freezer will have a bag for fish frames. Plus, I will be steaming flat fish in my wok. Yum yum, nothing is as simple or good as Chinese steamed fish preparatons (think scallion, ginger, maybe some whole brown bean sauce in the finishing sauce). You just can't do that with fillets.

                            2. re: twentyoystahs

                              I want the whole fish and have no problem filleting them. Frames are hard to come by in the city (except for the Asian markets) and whole fish are welcome.

                              Again, happy to split the weekly haul or alternate weeks.

                                1. re: alwayscooking

                                  Did you get my email about upcoming trip?

                          2. Cambridge - Mondays, 4- 6:30 p.m. at Morse School, 40 Granite Street

                            This will be my pickup spot for the Fish CSS. Would love to have a short list of others who will be part of this pickup. Just having a small list of backup folks could be useful for times you can't get out of the office or when you have popped out of town for a three day weekend. If you are interested in being on a private, non-commercial list, email offline at smtucker at mac.com.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: smtucker

                              Duh...just looked at it, and didn't google to see it was the same place...thanks!

                              1. re: smtucker

                                I had the same question for the organizers of the CSF and was informed that once all the forms are received, they will set up a listserv for the locations. I feel your pain though - I'll either need to find someone willing to alternate pickups or risk forfeiting half of my shares to the food bank, since work prevents me from stopping by the farmer's market every week.

                                1. re: chevrelove

                                  Be in touch if you are a Morse School folk. I won't be missing any pickups with one exception.

                              2. I was so looking forward to this. I am disappointed by the lack of pick-up in and around either downtown Boston or somewhere in Newton or Brookline. Unfortunately, it's just not possible with the current pick up locations. Oh well, I hope everyone else enjoys! Can't wait to hear how it goes.

                                www.thevitullos.blogspot.com

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: kristinayee

                                  If they get 50 people to sign-up or express interest, they will add a Boston location.

                                  1. re: alwayscooking

                                    Dave's Fresh Pasta works with local seafood places for fresh weekly drop off...and if you sign up on his website, he lets you know each Thursday what the FRESH delivery will be....

                                    1. re: alwayscooking

                                      I requested it, but I guess there weren't enough people interested in a Boston/Brookline drop off, which I find hard to believe.

                                      1. re: kristinayee

                                        Hmm, I'm in Brookline, but equidistant from one of the Cambridge pick-ups, and the JP one....

                                  2. Well - my check is in the mail. I cannot wait for this to begin. I've never filleted a fish before so I've ordered a Dexter Russell filet knife and am anxious to learn. As PinchOfSalt mentions, steaming a whole fish will be wonderful. As will having heads and bones for stock.

                                    19 Replies
                                    1. re: Gio

                                      This filleting thing will be new to me too. Guess I better get a knife ordered! Maybe we can share recipes on Home Cooking as we find out what the weekly catch is. I may need some inspiration. Happy they had such a good response.

                                      1. re: Snowflake

                                        I ordered mine from Fisherman's Warehouse. It's a DEXTER-S133/8-Narrow FILLET KNIFE - 8" STAIN FREE HIGH CARBON after JoanN's high recommendation on the Home Cooking board. Here's their web site if you're interested:

                                        http://www.fishermansheadquarters.com...

                                        1. re: Gio

                                          Kitchen Arts at 215 Newbury Street (they moved) is doing a knife sharpening demo this Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30. I worked my way through college on a fish counter. The real knife issue with filleting and skinning fish is keeping your knife very sharp.

                                          I still have my Dad's old LL Bean fillet knife with about half of the blade left after years and years of sharpening. It looks a lot like the one you choose.

                                          While on the fish vendor topic. I just received my first email from the fish lady at the Brookline Farmers Market. See her at the market and she'll add you to her email list and you can pre-order exactly what you want and pick it up in Brookline on Thursdays. This is not a CSA but it works for small families or those of us who live in small spaces.

                                          Penny

                                          http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                          1. re: BostonZest

                                            Thank you for that information, Penny.... Love your blog BTW.....

                                            1. re: Gio

                                              Thanks! Let me know how you like your knife. I may spring for a new one before mine disappears!

                                              Penny
                                              http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                            2. re: BostonZest

                                              Oh, PERFECT--that Kitchen Arts moved, that is, to a neighborhood I'm in several times a week. I am very lazy!

                                          2. re: Gio

                                            Love the idea of steaming the whole fish.

                                            Asked a few questions and checked the website for info when I signed up. FYI - fish will not only not be filleted, it won't be scaled either. I've never done either, so was pleased to learn they will be demo-ing at least at the first few drop-offs.

                                            They are also considering adding an additional 12 week share and a winter shrimp share.

                                            1. re: JRL

                                              I've never scaled a fish either.... Although I remember someone saying it was relatively easy. I can only hope. I wonder if I need yet another tool??

                                              If this goes over well in my house of only 2 people, a couple of extensions would be fantastic!

                                              1. re: Gio

                                                I'm sure they sell a scaling tool, but you don't need it. It is a messy, messy process - if you do it inside be prepared to find dried out fish scales in surprising places for weeks afterwards. Do it outside, or leave them on and cook the fish on the grill scale side down.

                                                1. re: Gio

                                                  Had an errand in Brookline this morning and stopped into Sur la Table and Williams Somoma. Neither has a fish scaler in stock. Sur la table only sells them online while Williams Sonoma was out of stock. When they get them back in, they will be [gasp] $35.00. Wow! That is an expensive gizmo.

                                                  The Courthouse guys use something that looks like a dog brush. It is flat with a loop to slip your hand through. Much easier on the hands. I plan to ask them where they get them, and perhaps ask them to order me one. Will keep you posted.

                                                  But I am not spending $35. Back of a knife for me, I think, maybe inside a large bag to capture the flying debris.

                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                    I am surprised that late night TV doesn't have something to offer.... like the Gansu(TM) electric automatic fish scaler and potato ricer. Just 16 easy payment of 24.99$. Call right now and you get a free sham-wow and the latest copy of Buzz-balads.

                                                    1. re: tdaaa

                                                      Actually, the singing mounted bass might be a great throw-in with the fish scaler.... there must be tons of them in a warehouse somewhere...just saying...

                                                      1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                        Hahaha.. you guys. You know I'm not buying a fish scaler. The back of a table knife will be just fine for me. I do like the idea of a flexible fillet knife, however. That other thread about cleaning fish is very informative. Especially Dr. Sam's first step. i.e. Hit the fish over the head with an empty wine bottle.....

                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                          Or just nail a couple bottle caps to a stick. Work outside if possible, with a hose.

                                                2. re: JRL

                                                  Scaling is easy, but it can be messy. Recommendations to do it outside are worth listening to. Other strategies include doing it with the fish at the bottom of a deep sink, and spreading newspaper over a wide area. Scales can fly.

                                                  You can buy a tool for scaling, but I just use the back edge of a chef's knife. It works perfectly. Do not fear. Scaling is easy and it is quick to do. You will probably do a better job than a fishmonger; you will no doubt be feeling around the fins and near the head and tail for the last few stray scales before you declare a fish done. The only thing that can be bad about scaling a fish is the potential for scales flying and landing in places you don't want them to be.

                                                  1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                    For messless scaling, put the fish in a plastic trash bag in the sink, and reach in, working inside the bag. The side of a soupspoon makes a good scaling tool.

                                                  2. re: JRL

                                                    Oh, I should add that certain fish, like flounder and sole, can also be sauteed whole (no need to fillet) and others, such as bluefish and mackeral are great baked or grilled whole (no need to fillet). When I saute a flat fish, the usual method is lightly dust with flour before cooking in a hot pan that has already heated or melted olive or or butter in it. You need a wide spatula for turning. Very thin fish cook very quickly. If so moved, one can make a quick sauce in the pan. For example, if you were cooking with butter, you can add some capers and maybe some more butter and cook carefully until the butter is brown; add some lemon juice, swirl, and pour over the waiting fish. Baked blue fish and mackerel work very well with robust tomato preparations. It is cheating, I know, but pouring some spicy tomato-based spaghetti sauce over the fish and then baking can be very nice. Or you can put together something from scratch, say, tomato, garlic, celery, onion, bay leaf, olive oil, white wine, salt, some black or red pepper according to your mood. One final thought about whole fresh fish, especially the thicker ones. They can be very nice in a quick Thai curry using one of those inexpensive cans of curry paste that you can buy in Asian markets...

                                                3. Time to get my godforsaken knives sharpened, FINALLY. THIS TIME I MEAN IT.
                                                  (unless I do all my filleting at my share partners' house)

                                                  1. Found a nice scaling tool at Roach's Sporting Goods in Porter Square for a grand total of $3.95 plus tax. Good heft, nice handle, my kind of price point.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: smtucker

                                                      Thanks for the suggestion. The Internet has more fish scalers (at every price level) than you can believe. I'm worried about scales flying everywhere! Off to my local sporting goods store to get a scaler; I'm a bit dubious about the back of the knife trick (I confess I'm a world class klutz).

                                                      1. re: smtucker

                                                        I have a scaler in the bottom of my tackle box that couldn't have cost more than a few bucks. Works fine for my purposes.

                                                        If you plan on opening a fish market, 1 of the high powered electric models would be nice but most of us will do fine with a cheapie.

                                                        Put the $ you save into a good knife...:) A cheap fillet knife is miserable to use. Constant resharpening.

                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                          on this tip, i went to roach's this afternoon and picked up a fish scaler. when i got home, i noticed the package said the thing had lead in it, which is "known to the state of california to be a carcinogen." why on earth would a fish scaler have lead in it?

                                                          1. re: autopi

                                                            Nevermind that a fish scaler is totally unnecessary. I do all my scaling with a knife. Works fine.

                                                        2. Well - *I'm* ready to go. Got my Russell-Dexter 8" narrow fillet knife in the mail a few days ago.... but I have to say I'm scared. I hope I can do this. I do have a question though.... are we going to be notified if we're on "the list." ? I sent my check, etc. and contract last week.

                                                          4 Replies
                                                          1. re: Gio

                                                            I got my confirmation this morning. They said if you weren't in the first batch NOT TO WORRY because they still had lots more to get thru, and they'd be sending them out in batches.
                                                            "If you are getting this email it means as of June 10, 2009 we have received your contract and payment, and are therefore all set for a share or half share of seafood starting next week June 15, 2009. We have a lot more contracts to process still and more on the way. So if you forward this to your friends, they should know that just because they didn't get an email today doesn't mean we haven't received their contracts, yet. We'll send confirmation emails in batches as we receive and process the contracts."

                                                            1. re: galleygirl

                                                              Oh, thank you galleygirl.. I better check my e-mail then. I always come here first before anything else.....

                                                            2. re: Gio

                                                              Don't be scared...:) Like many things, it just takes some practice. You've got a good knife. Here's a short tutorial of a thin fish fillet. Thinner is much harder than a bluefish or bass..Less margin for error; but if you leave too much flesh on the bone, just broil the bone. Key is a sharp knife that cuts cleanly though the fish; not a dull knife that tears at it.

                                                              BTW, if anyone is planning on freezing, I highly recommend a vacuum sealer. I use a Tilia, but any brand should work and you'll experience negligible loss in flavor or texture.

                                                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/61246842...

                                                              http://www.flickr.com/photos/61246842...

                                                              1. re: 9lives

                                                                Thank you for the encouragement, 9lives! And, thank you for the pictures. So you want to be arty too....LOL

                                                                The selection of the knife was a recommendation by one of the home cooks on the COTM board, JoanN. I'm thinking that most of the fish will be on the small size and will only require scaling, which although messy is probably easy enough. I do want to try to fillet though and will do so when I see exactly what we get.

                                                            3. we love fish in our family, but try to stick to one serving per week because we have small kids and worry about the mercury content and its long term affects on the brain. any idea what the mercury content of this locally caught fish is? also, is it too late to sign up for it since its way past june 10th? finally, try frying the fish whole without flour. just cut a few slits into the fish salt and pepper it, and deep fry it. its so tasty and delicious to eat off the bone. works best with tilapia.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: craveyummyfood

                                                                Don't know about the mecury content of the fish we'l be getting.... but that's an easy search on Google or the Montery Bay Seafood Watch site.

                                                                I think it's too late for this first happening but They are thinking about extending the CSF for another 12 weeks and then through the winter for shrimp. So I suggest keeping informed through the web site or actually contacting them to find out when the second go around will start..........

                                                              2. They have established a facebook page as well for each drop-off location - mine is Harvard on Tuesday - here (I know they have pages for other locations as well)

                                                                http://www.facebook.com/pages/Communi...

                                                                1. Monday, June 15 • Morse School Pickup • 1/2 share

                                                                  4.3 lb cod, caught this morning. Filleting wasn't too difficult but I won't be working at the Courthouse Fish Market any time soon. Some odd bits and pieces will turn into cod cakes, the rest I will cook as whole fillets. The carcass and head are in the freezer for fish stock.

                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                    Thank you so much for reporting what was in the first batch, SMT. I wondered how it would break down. When, during the pick-up was the demonstration held? I mean... did they wait till everyone was there? Or were there several demos over time? Just trying to plan our arrival.

                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                      Nom, nom, nom...I'm already considering making a big caldeirada with mine!

                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                        No demo. Turns out that demos MUST be done in a professional kitchen. Each community has their own health regulations, but this seems to be universal. They are trying to find kitchens near each of the drop off centers, but are clearly overwhelmed by the shear number of subscribers..

                                                                        Currently 750 have sent money and that is all they are accepting. However, there is a waiting list of 500 and they plan to start a second 12 week round in a month's time. Winter share will be shrimp.

                                                                        1. re: smtucker

                                                                          OK thanks. I guess I've watched enough TV chefs over the years to get a rough idea of how to proceed. That and all the youtube videos on the subject. I find it utterly amazing that so many people around here are interested in this. I thought it wouldn't be so.

                                                                          1. re: smtucker

                                                                            They should get in touch with the folks over at How2heros and see if they can produce a demo that would be available on the How2Heros site.

                                                                            http://how2heroes.com/

                                                                            Penny
                                                                            http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                                                        2. re: smtucker

                                                                          sounds like you have the hang of it ..:)

                                                                        3. Picking up my first share tomorrow in Acton and am very interested to see how smoothly it works out (the distribution, the instruction, etc). I'll report back. Coincidentally, my husband is going striper fly-fishing on the Cape the same day. Hopefully, he'll catch and release as he usually does. Can't exactly figure if 4-5 lbs a week is too much--it's just the 2 of us, but weekend bar-b-q sounds like a good way to use it up. Thanks for the tips.

                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                          1. re: rosiedq

                                                                            We're just 2 here also, rosiedg.... but it's said that after filleting etc., only about 2 - 3 lbs will remain. That's not too bad, I think. Then of course the head and rack will go into the freezer for stock.

                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              Email for the Morse School people today. The Health Department in Cambridge has approved fillet demos on the truck next week.

                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                While that's terrific for Cambridge we're picking up our share in Ipswich on Saturday morning.... I'll be surprised if the goodfellows of that town will so readily approve. I hope I'm wrong tho. If all else fails, I have James Peterson's, Fish and Shellfish cookbook which has many detailed illustrations and will be Very helpful.

                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                  Did you buy Fish without a Doubt? Really good filleting photos in the first chapter which I found AFTER our fillet adventure.

                                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                                    Yes, I have that book as well and cooked from it during its recent COTM tenure. Talk about adventure. The thing I'm really worried about is how to find and dispose of /cut away the gills. What a wuss I've become.

                                                                            2. re: rosiedq

                                                                              Do you think it'll still be good for a weekend BBQ?

                                                                              1. re: galleygirl

                                                                                gg - according to the CAFC new newsletter, "fresh fish is good for up to 4 days if properly handled." Here's the link to the newsnetter:
                                                                                http://www.eatlocalseafood.org/files/...

                                                                            3. we got a big beautiful cod for the 1st pickup--roasted our portion with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. it was a revelation, in terms of flavor and texture. really opened my eyes as to what truly fresh fish can taste like, great cod flavor, tender but not insipid, just really incredible. and, at $7.50 per week (we're splitting a half share) for enough fish for 4 meals, an incredible bargain. wowza!

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: autopi

                                                                                Hey, autopi, c'mon over to our CSF recipe thread on the HomeCooking Board....
                                                                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/628478#
                                                                                Did you fillet the cod first, or just hack it in half?

                                                                                1. re: autopi

                                                                                  Hi. I filleted and skinned my cod, and will make fish stock for chowder tonight. I cooked my fillets on a bed of onion, celery, chopped garlic, and herbs, with some chopped tomatoes on top, drizzled with olive oil. Yum. Apparently there's an article in WSJ about the fish CSA. Way to go.

                                                                                  1. re: autopi

                                                                                    We got the front half of autopi's first cod, and I describe what happened next on galleygirl's recipe thread below. To all the ecstatic comments about how the fish tastes I just want to suggest that part of the joy we're all feeling is the connection to the source and life cycle of the fish, something we have been missing at the supermarket. The comment about all our smiling faces lined up at the truck suggests that all the people who bring us the fish feel this joy too. I hope we can restore this connection to more of the food we buy.

                                                                                    1. re: cassis

                                                                                      Well said.

                                                                                      Speaking for myself, I'm not participating in the CSA..but reading about how much you are all enjoying it is a real pleasure.

                                                                                  2. We have a large share - the cod was about 6 pounds and then we received 4 flatfish (flounder or fluke). We netted about 4 lbs of cod after filleting and about 1-2 lbs of flounder. We immediately made fish stock then chowder, which I just enjoyed for lunch - delicious! We are having the flounder tonight as fish and chips for band rehearsal supper with a giant slaw made from the Napa cabbage from Steve Parker's farm share. Local eating is the way to go.

                                                                                    1. I'm really enjoying following this thread. Keep posting what you get!

                                                                                      1. It's killing me that I'm not in on this! Anyone interested in splitting a half share for Round 2, picking up preferably in Cambridge but willing to negotiate, please email me at address in profile. Happy to split each week or alternate weeks.

                                                                                        1. another article. very happy with our first half share, picked up in Gloucester. one medium cod and a flounder.

                                                                                          http://www.gloucestertimes.com/punews...

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. re: munghq

                                                                                            I was up in Gloucester today. The Gloucester Times and the Wicked Local Weekly, or whatever they call it in Gloucester, had front page articles. Man, was I proud!

                                                                                          2. WBUR ran a story on this today.

                                                                                            1. picked up my first at Appleton Farms in Ipswich this morning. Very easy pick up, in a lovely setting: 4.6 lbs. of cod. I'm so excited to be dealing with a whole fish! And my cats were twirling on their toes as I filleted it

                                                                                              1. We picked up our first fish fhis morning at Appelton Farm too.
                                                                                                Had a cooler with gel packs all ready for it in the car.
                                                                                                Came home, put it in the fridge.
                                                                                                When came time for dinner, took out the bags the fish was in,
                                                                                                put them in the sink, opened bags and saw that the fish
                                                                                                although was scaled, was not gutted. Proceeded to try to take
                                                                                                out the entrails and the flesh simply turned to mush in my fingers.
                                                                                                I have never seen anything like this before. I have fished from
                                                                                                an ocean going boat and this fish was nothing
                                                                                                like I've ever seen. It simply disintegrated in my hands

                                                                                                We had toasted cheese sandwiches for dinner.

                                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Gio

                                                                                                  Oh my goodness! I would say that an email to the organizers is clearly in order. This isn't the deal [but you knew this.]

                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                    Email them, gio, this is some aberration...I feel so bad for you!

                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                      Gio...That's a shame. If a fish isn't gutted; and left whole for an extended period, bacteria or toxins can get into the flesh from the organs and turn the flesh mushy.

                                                                                                      I'd definitely contact the seller. They should make good on this.

                                                                                                      1. re: 9lives

                                                                                                        Thank you all for your advise. I have contacted them.
                                                                                                        We were so disapointed.

                                                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                                                          I could pick up a replacement for you on Monday [if they are willing] and bring it North. I have to run an errand in that general direction anyhow. Email me if this would work for you.

                                                                                                          1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                            That's so kind of you SMT! I really appreciate it. Monday would not be a good day for us. DH gets home too late to help me in the kitchen, and I need that help because of my mobility problem. We'll wait till Saturday and see what we get then and there. Again, many thanks to you!!

                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                              Maybe we could have a secret handshake or something so the hounds doiong each pick-up could meet each other?

                                                                                                            1. re: galleygirl

                                                                                                              No. No response other than an automated reply regarding their new 12 week program, etc. Since I didn't want to cause any problems on their web site by stating my situation, I sent the e-mail via their contact address on the site. If I don't hear back in a day or two I'll have to write it up on the thread that's over there...I suppose I could try phoning them, though.

                                                                                                        2. re: Gio

                                                                                                          Oh Gio,
                                                                                                          I am so sorry to read this, you were so excited....ugh!
                                                                                                          I hope they realize their mistake and will make it right by you.

                                                                                                          1. re: mcel215

                                                                                                            Thank you, mcel! It will all work out eventully, I'm sure.

                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                              What a bummer!!!!I hope for your sake they remedy this.

                                                                                                              1. re: cassoulady

                                                                                                                I got several very apologetic messages late this afternoon and I'm sure they will remedy the aberration. The gal who was at Appelton on Saturday remembered me and I have no doubt that all will rectify itself in due time.

                                                                                                                In the meantime I'm in overload watching videos (yet again) and reading about seafood, how to clean it, how to gut it, how to fillet it. Waiting till I finally get to eat it..... I'm ready for Friday's quiz.

                                                                                                        3. This week's Morse School pickup yielded a 4.8 lb cod. This fish was no longer in rigor and is clearly not as fresh as last week's share. The gutting of the fish was a much nicer job though. We will have to eat the fish more quickly this week, so I am thinking of a bouillabaisse-style soup with the two cages and heads, plus fish chunks.

                                                                                                          1. I can't wait to hear what folks are picking up this week at their respective locations....
                                                                                                            Anyone know what's running out there on the high seas?

                                                                                                            13 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                              I got a lovely cod today, at the JP pickup. That was the only choice. i've become addicted to cod ceviche...

                                                                                                              1. re: galleygirl

                                                                                                                Ah... cod again. Since DH did such a splendid job filleting the Sand Dabs last week I'll just have him tackle the cod if that's what we get on Saturday. Thanks galleygirl.

                                                                                                                1. re: galleygirl

                                                                                                                  How do you make your cod ceviche? Sounds interesting, but I've never made it before. Thanks!

                                                                                                                  1. re: keencook1

                                                                                                                    I used a whole fillet,(1lb?) the juice of three limes, one lemon, and half an orange, a quarter or so of a chopped red onion, 3/4 of a jalapeno.
                                                                                                                    Excellent! I added tomatoes and red pepper after it was cooked.

                                                                                                                    The next batch, I added a clove of garlic and some more S&P to the above. One again, slurpalicious. I keep forgetting to buy cilantro, which it also needs.

                                                                                                                    To read more about what everyone did with their shares, go to
                                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/628478
                                                                                                                    where lots of hounds are sharing their piscine preparations!

                                                                                                                2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                  Cod on Monday as well. 4 lb 9 oz. Almost all gone now.

                                                                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                    Hmmm. Cod is all I've had so far, and I have to say that if I get cod again I'm going to start being disappointed. I know it's about whatever they're catching but I'm definitely hoping for more variety.

                                                                                                                    1. re: celeriac

                                                                                                                      At Ipswich with a half share I've gotten 1) whole cod 2) small whole cod + 2 yellowtail flounder 3) 5 sand dabs so far. I see the mention of ceviche above -- now there's a good idea for this week if it's cod on Saturday.

                                                                                                                      1. re: celeriac

                                                                                                                        The fishermen can't catch what's not there. I agree that more variety would be nice, but having really fresh fish is such a joy! I did beer battered fish and chips with part of my share and baked cod with the rest. Just about ready to make chowda.

                                                                                                                        1. re: keencook1

                                                                                                                          WRT variety: I know, I understand the CSA/CSF system intimately. I've helped to run a CSA. That doesn't mean that when the tomato crop is weak this August I won't be disappointed. I'm still very happy with the program, for the most part, and I also realize it's their first year and running extremely smoothly for such a grand experiment. Don't mistake my desire for variety with a complaint about the CSF.

                                                                                                                          I do have some concern, which actually has more to do with the fact that Atlantic Cod as I understand it (and I'm a novice in this area) is pretty overfished already, so receiving it for a whole month has me feeling a bit guilty. I was expecting more of the traditionally undesirable fish (mackerel, etc), as a nod towards sustaining the local fish populations. I'm no expert, and I understand the argument that by getting a better price the fishermen don't need to fish as many, but I'm still a bit troubled by all the cod.

                                                                                                                          1. re: celeriac

                                                                                                                            Mackeral is so good. I asked one of the folks handing out shares if we might get some; they said that mackeral were running right before the CSA started and we might have to wait until late in the summer for them to be back.

                                                                                                                            1. re: celeriac

                                                                                                                              You have voiced my concerns about the already over-fished cod, celeriac. Especially since we had been adhering pretty strictly to the Monterey Bay seafood avoid list for the east coast.

                                                                                                                              Somewhere on the NAMA site or the CAFC site there's a statement about the fact that all the fish caught may not be on the sustainable list but that's not what this program is about. I think the thing about the cod we're getting is that they are caught by local fisherpeople in local waters, not by huge commercial fishery conglomerates. I was very happy to see those sand dabs, I'll tell ya.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                i share celeriac's concerns, both about variety and about endangered species. in fact, i assumed at the outset that cod would be one of the fish we would NOT be getting--so am surprised and somewhat disquieted by seeing cod for 3 weeks running.

                                                                                                                                i don't know what difference it makes to the cod who catches them, local fisherman in quaint yellow jackets and pipes or big mean ships with nets. if they're endangered, they're endangered.

                                                                                                                                that said, i don't know anything more about this than what i read in the papers. i assume the CAFC folks know what they are doing and are catching within reasonable limits.

                                                                                                                      2. re: Gio

                                                                                                                        We split a large share and yesterday got 2 gigantic cod - did not weigh as husband was completely in full on filleting mode - I was busy splitting up the Parker Farms veg and Chestnut Farms meat shares -- all in one day - what a bounty! Last week we got about 10 whiting fish in addition to our cod.

                                                                                                                      3. New NPR story recorded at our CSF pick-up, last week!
                                                                                                                        http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st...

                                                                                                                        1. Monday, July 13th, Morse School pickup

                                                                                                                          Another week of [drum roll please] cod. This week's fish was just under 5lbs, and very fresh. [Last week's fish wasn't caught that morning.] I spent a little time chatting with Steve Parkes, who mentioned that they considered throwing in a few whitings this week, but chose not to.

                                                                                                                          Why not I asked? I loved the Whiting. He indicated that it was due to the negative feedback from subscribers last time. He further said that he was glad to hear positive feedback and would try to throw some on the truck for us next week.

                                                                                                                          I need to remember to email "I'm happy" emails to counteract any negative feedback they might be receiving.

                                                                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                            I am also on the Monday pick-up schedule. I split my half-share with a friend. Like you, I noticed how fresh today's cod was. Two weeks ago it was not as fresh, though perfectly okay. It's funny how when one is exposed to something really good, you begin to be able to tell the difference between the superlative and what you previously thought you wanted.

                                                                                                                            Thanks for the heads-up about the whiting. I really enjoyed mine too. It is more work to clean a bunch of smaller fish, but in the case of the whiting I thought it was really worth it.

                                                                                                                            I arrived early and watched Steve's filleting demo once again. It can't hurt. There was a video crew from a website (howtoheroes.com ?). So we will all be able to watch Steve over and over until eventually we get it right. Another thing I noticed today was how many fellow Chestnut Farm CSA people also subscribe to CapeAnnFreshCatch. You can tell us by our coolers. :-)

                                                                                                                            Now I have a cod head sitting in one bowl in my fridge (for tomorrow's fish head curry) and a fillet in another. Tonight's fillet was baked under a cover of Portuguese tomato sauce. Heaven!

                                                                                                                            1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                                                                                              Ya got a recipe fer that fish-head curry? ;)

                                                                                                                              1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                                                                                                I didn't fillet the whiting. Cooked it whole, and it was fabulous. Somewhere on this site I posted a Ming Ponzu preparation that was amazing, and was even good as leftovers. I did notice a few FARMS coolers. Now I understand how that works. And yes, post that curry recipe. I am using the heads for stock after pulling meat from the collar.

                                                                                                                                1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                  Like you, I cooked the whiting whole. However i did clean out the guts first. That was what I was referring to by "cleaning". I probably make more of a production out of cleaning out a fish than I need to. Even so, at a few minutes per fish, cleaning eight whiting when I got home took a while. They were so good, though.

                                                                                                                                  About the fish head curry. I have a few cookbooks with recipes from the region that includes Malaysia and Singapore, and in those cookbooks are doubtless some fish head curry recipes. Also doubtless, I will follow one of those recipes one day. But .... sssshhh... there is a shortcut that I use and enjoy. The secret is a little can of Maesri brand Choo Chee Thai curry paste. Anyone who hangs out at places like Super 88 (in its former days of glory) or the Thai aisle at Kam Man (and hopefully soon H-Mart) has seen those little cans of Thai curry paste in various colors and flavors. They are less than $1 each and good for a wok-full of curry. Part of their charm is the microscopic print on the tiny can that explains what to do with the curry paste contained therein. But I digress. Choo chee curry is a Thai specialty that features fish as its protein ingredient and is decidedly soupy. So with my first CSF cod head I experimented with 1 can of choo chee curry paste, a fish head, and the method on the can. I also added some vegetables - what I had available and made sense. That time it was a handful of green beans, a can (drained) of straw mushrooms, and a red bell pepper cut into bite-sized pieces. No doubt this is not strictly authentic, but it still was very very good and the ratio of goodness to (work+cost) was outstanding. Tomorrow I plan to hit the Lexington Farmer's market to see what curry-appropriate vegetables the Hmong farmer might have....

                                                                                                                                  1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                                                                                                    Excellent; I've got some of those little cans kicking around. Considering I use fish heads whenever I get them, it's surprising I've been looking for help here; thanks!

                                                                                                                                    I feel really guilty that I turned don the whiting in favor of cod the one week it was offered; I was just dying to try cod ceviche! I've seen lots of recipes for whole whiting, or similar whole fish, so I wouldn't fillet them, either...

                                                                                                                                    Right after our fish guy said he was surprised he doesn't see whiting on menus, cuz it's so sweet tasting, I saw a Daily Candy video followin some NY chef thru the LI fish market, looking for, of course, whiting...

                                                                                                                                    1. re: galleygirl

                                                                                                                                      Moved by the whiting discussion here as well as a belief that people are always more apt to complain than to praise, I just started a discussion on the CSF's forum. Among other things, I said how much I enjoyed the whiting and hoped we would see more of it and other less well-known fish in the future.

                                                                                                                            2. I read that Marblehead & Gloucester got whiting and cod yesterday. Here's hoping for Appelton tomorrow!! Maybe picking up in Ipswich at the end of the week isn't such a good idea.....

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                Yeah, i read that with envy...The JP pickup (Tuesday) is getting cod every week,too. I thought the deal with nets was, they pick up all kinds of less-desirable fish, as well. I desire those!

                                                                                                                                1. re: galleygirl

                                                                                                                                  Well. there's no pick-up at Appelton in Ipswich today. The weather and ocean swells were too much to be safe.

                                                                                                                                  Actually bottom trawling/dragnet fishing is banned to protect certain species of fish. I'm not sure how our local fisherpeople catch our fish. Day boat, for sure, but I don't know if they use hook and line.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                    The do use some kind of nets, I 'll have to look it up...

                                                                                                                              2. People who missed out on the first wave of memberships can sign up for a 12-week season that begins on August 17. The details are here:

                                                                                                                                http://capeannfreshcatch.ning.com/for...

                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                                                                                                  For that forum link you need to be registered to sign in and likely require an invite. There _is_ a sign-up link on their publically accessable main page.

                                                                                                                                  http://www.namanet.org/csf/cape-ann-f...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: itaunas

                                                                                                                                    Ooops! Thanks for catching that and supplying a link everyone can read.

                                                                                                                                2. Just received this from the Fish Folks [snipped for relevant content]:

                                                                                                                                  <snip>We
                                                                                                                                  want to thank you all for your participation and announce that we will
                                                                                                                                  be starting a winter share starting the first week in December. We
                                                                                                                                  will be E ing you with the detail.
                                                                                                                                  To give you a heads up, we will be offering an every week shrimp
                                                                                                                                  share or a fish one week shrimp the next share as well. The pricing
                                                                                                                                  will change a little and the length of the share has yet to be
                                                                                                                                  finalized. Once we do, we will let you all know.
                                                                                                                                  When we get the word out to you, please send the info along to anyone
                                                                                                                                  you think might want to join up with us!!
                                                                                                                                  <snip>

                                                                                                                                  With my shrimp allergy, I am thrilled that I can continue to get fresh fish over the winter. The variety has increased 100% since the end of summer and with the exception of hake, I have loved everything we have received.

                                                                                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                    Was the quality of the hake an issue or you just didn't like the fish? Hake is a great fish to use to make a moqueca, works nicely with other fish in a caldeirada... just about anything done with it in steaks (I prefer to fry it cut in steaks with the bones, rather than filleted).

                                                                                                                                    1. re: itaunas

                                                                                                                                      That's the problem; you HAVE to combine it with other fish, otherwise, it's totally tasteless. i can't tell you how many recipes I found for hake that included clams; now I know why...
                                                                                                                                      TC: "What'd you get from CAFC this week?"
                                                                                                                                      Me: "Hake."
                                                                                                                                      TC: "What's hake like?"
                                                                                                                                      Me: "Cod, without the flavor..."

                                                                                                                                      1. re: galleygirl

                                                                                                                                        Three options w/o combining fish. Moqueca (subtle in a moqueca capixaba, stands up fine in a moqueca baiana, season with garlic/lime/salt a bit first), season the steaks (whatever you feel like based on garlic/olive oil/salt/lemon) and let them pick up the seasoning then lightly batter them and fry them... or throw sauce at it. Also if you can talk your other CAFCers into giving you their heads (for the cheeks), do so.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: itaunas

                                                                                                                                          Hake,unfortunately, are beheaded before they hit the docks...

                                                                                                                                          1. re: galleygirl

                                                                                                                                            That's a bummer because hake cheeks are scrumptious.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: yumyum

                                                                                                                                              Indeed they are.

                                                                                                                                              But I am also kinda with ya GG, I have always found hake to require a little nudging help to bring about some flavour. Although merluza I've had on the other side of the pond has generally been much more flavourful on its own.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: galleygirl

                                                                                                                                              That is criminal (but not surprising)! Since you aren't at all a fan, the other possibility is seeing if you can get it to properly emulsify "al pil pil" if for nothing else as an experiment. Filet it skin on, and keep the thick ends for making the pil pil, skin the rest and freeze it as chowder fish.

                                                                                                                                            3. re: itaunas

                                                                                                                                              Decided to do a caldeirada. Took your idea to marinate the fish first; wine, about 5 slivered serrano chilis (!), half bunch of cilantro, 5 cloves of mashed garlic, shallots, S&P, and, a few glugs of fish sauce to give it the umami that this fish doesn't have.
                                                                                                                                              Basically, the kitchen sink. Then, I used chunkty kitchen ready tomatoes instead of fresh, and a healthy hit of powdered clam dashi broth to make up for the fact I had no clams in it...Not half bad..But i still wouldn't BUY hake by choice...

                                                                                                                                          2. re: itaunas

                                                                                                                                            The quality of the hake was fine. Turns out, there is a fish that I don't like and hake wins the prize. Don't get me wrong, I have no complaints about getting hake. Now I will know never to choose it at a fish market.

                                                                                                                                          3. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                            Clarification. I spoke with Steve at my pickup today and he clarified the intent of the email. There will be an all-shrimp option, and an alternating shrimp/fish option. No all fish option, at least for now.

                                                                                                                                            I may well be looking for someone to split a shrimp/fish half share [Morse School pickup], where someone else gets all the shrimp and I get all the fish. Please email if you might be interested in this option. I won't be able to commit completely until I know the new fee structure.

                                                                                                                                          4. Maine shrimp are in!! Our CSF share begins on 12 Dec. in Ipswich. I can hardly wait. We signed up for the alternate shrimp-fish 1/2 share. I wonder what we'll start with.....

                                                                                                                                            1. I am very excited that our fish share begins again today. 10 more weeks of being a slave to the fish. Cookbooks are lined up on my desk so I can choose menus the moment the email announcement arrives. Any ideas of what fish are running past Gloucester right now?

                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                              1. re: smtucker

                                                                                                                                                Cod today, I can't believe how excited I am, I guess I got "addicted" and have been having withdrawal symptoms! ;)

                                                                                                                                              2. OK... I found the thread I was looking for. Can't say I'm excited to be getting cod again, but at least it's fresher than fresh and I've missed the weekly seafood shares. The summer share was terrific, give or take a few glitches.

                                                                                                                                                1. I am sitting out this season, for two reasons. First, there are two weeks where neither I or my share partner can make the pick-up. We asked CACF if we could make a deal in advance to get and pay for only eight weeks. They said we were not the only people asking for that and that they would be working something out. Unfortunately, if they have, it is a secret. :-)

                                                                                                                                                  The other reason is people who want to get a share that alternates fish and shrimp are being charged a 25 cents/pound premium. We asked CAFC about this via email and got an answer that made no sense. Something similar was posted on their website. My favorite theory about this is they made a math error, and once they started accepting payments and contracts, it was too late and too difficult to fix the problem. In any case, I will probably be back in the Spring. I am definitely having fresh fish withdrawal problems!

                                                                                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                                                                                                                    IIRC I remember reading something about an increase across the board for the winter share. It was either in an e-mail or at the Fresh Catch web site. Your theory certainly is plausable, though.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                                                      The increase was for fish. It went from $3/pound to $4/pound. The $25 premium was aside from that. They are charging $2.50/pound for shrimp. So, a 10-week fish share is $200 and a 10-week shrimp share is $125. You would expect a 10-week share that was half fish and half shrimp to be the average of the two, which would be $3.25/pound or $162.50 for the season. However, CAFC made a half fish half shrimp share $3.50/pound or $175 for the season. They sure know their fish, but math seems to be another matter. Heheheh

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                                                                                                                        I wondered about that discrepancy but didn't hit on your reason, which sounds right to me! I know it was cod again but I was so happy to get my hands on that fish this week. I'm sharing a fish/shrimp share with my share partner getting all the shrimp and me getting all the fish -- here's hoping that they roughly alternate weeks or I will never keep up.

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                                                                                                                                          Well it seems I can't do math either... or maybe the problem is my typing. The premium is a 25 CENT per pound premium, not $25.

                                                                                                                                                    2. I know of a full shrimp share [5 lbs/wk] that the owner would like to sell for the rest of the season. This would be equal to four weeks [though some weeks we are getting double.] This is a Monday pickup at the Morse School starting a week from tomorrow, the 25th.

                                                                                                                                                      Additionally, there is a 10 lb share of shrimp available for sale for tomorrow.

                                                                                                                                                      Email me if you want contact information.