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News and Notes
from the Field

Posts Filtered by Month - July 2019 |
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July 28, 2019
A Beautiful Week
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

The first watermelons out of the field just had to be sampled.
Sometimes mother father weather deity treats us kindly and lovingly. A brutally hot heatwave that was sandwiched by just the right amount of precipitation was followed by wonderful sunshine, cool nights, and low humidity. July just might be our most difficult month on the farm, and it's so close to being over. We enjoyed a busy and productive work week. The march of weekly transplanting continued with the first rounds of fall beets, chard, and kale going in the soil along with the 18th succession planting of lettuce. The few thousand feet of fall broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and rutabaga were cultivated for the first time. Outdoor plantings of tomatoes were pruned and trellised again. Seeds were sown into thousands of cells. Compost was spread following the harvest completion of more spring and early summer crops such as peas, strawberries, and garlic. Cover crops will soon be sown there to protect and nurture the soil through the rest of this season and the winter. Yields of many summer crops are nearing peak production and weights of produce continue to provide ample upper and lower body exercise. Into August we're about to ascend and we look forward to another great month of organic farming.

The first of hopefully four full truckloads from a productive watermelon patch.
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July 28, 2019
It's a Summertime Thing
Expected Harvest
by Farmer Dana
Harvest #12 (Week B) should include watermelon, tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, scallions, fresh garlic, sweet peppers, hot peppers, okra, basil, dill, cilantro, and Italian dandelion. U-pick should include tomatoes (cherry, grape, plum), tomatillos, husk cherries, blackberries, snap beans, flowers, and herbs.
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July 28, 2019
Upcoming Event: Potluck!
Other News
by Farmer Dana

Monarch butterfly larva on milkweed.
Saturday, August 17th, 5-8pm: Potluck in the pavilion. Meet and mingle with your farmers and other CSA members. Bring a dish to share, your own place settings, and a beverage of your choice. The meal should be followed by a small fire and perhaps even live music. S'mores anyone?
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July 28, 2019
Workshifts for Week of 7/29/19
Other News
by Farmer Derek

Transplanting beets (and chard and lettuce and kale) at the tail end of last weekend's heat wave just before some nice soaking rain.
Workshifts scheduled for this week:
  • Wednesday (7/31) 9-11am
  • Wednesday (7/31) 6-8pm
  • Friday (8/2) 9-11am
  • Sunday (8/4) 7-9am (special early-riser and heat-beating start time!)
Workshift sign-up instructions may be found here. Calendar is here.
If it is actively raining during the time of the shift it will be canceled.
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July 21, 2019
Feeling the Heat
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

Hello beautiful monarch butterfly enjoying a blazing-star snack!
Whenever we have extreme weather I try to notice and acknowledge the wild species on the farm that seem to be thriving or at least seem to respond in a positive way or are able to ignore completely the unique weather circumstances. Observing these creatures provides a nice distraction from any worry associated with crop health because we can feel happy that they're happy. After flash floods I listen to a chorus of eastern gray tree frogs or aptly named green frogs and may watch our resident also-aptly-named big brown bats echo-locate around the trees and buildings while they snatch their insect prey from the moist air. During this brief but intense heat wave the calls of the midsummer nocturnal cricket-like katydid are ratcheting up and joining their daytime cicada cousins while june bug beetles seem to be intensely pursuing each other haphazardly. A romp through the woods yields spiderwebs galore filled with patiently waiting arachnids. The moist duff of the forest floor beckons the fruiting bodies of various species of fungi to cast their spores. Amidst this extreme heat, we slow down, cool down, and wait for it to break.
Before the heat's arrival we were fortunate to receive three-quarters of one-inch of rain, slowly and surely. We are very thankful and appreciative of this dose because without it we would be fretting the absence of moisture during these high temperatures. Anticipating the rain, we began putting some fields 'to sleep' for the off-season. That's a weird saying and I'm not sure what it means exactly, but what we did was mow and chisel plow and sow cover crops and disc-harrow to incorporate the seeds in fields where production is over for this growing season. If the seeds germinate well and the plants grow well we won't have to disturb the soil there until next spring. So, they're resting/sleeping but also photosynthesizing/nourishing/providing habitat/nectar/pollen/capturing carbon/beautifying. We sowed a mix of buckwheat, oats, and daikon radish. We'll use this mix for another month or so then we'll switch to oats and crimson clover and end with rye or wheat with hairy vetch in October. Cover crop nourishment of the soil is integral to crop health and something we emphasize here.

Farmer selfie with some fresh cilantro.
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July 21, 2019
And From The Heat Wave
Expected Harvest
by Farmer Dana
Harvest #11 (Week A) should include sweet peppers, eggplant, carrots, scallions, fresh garlic, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro, basil, dill, parsley, hot peppers, Italian dandelion, cucumbers, zucchini, and watermelon. U-pick should include snap beans, tomatoes (cherry, grape, plum), tomatillos, husk cherries, flowers, and herbs. We're into peak U-pick!
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July 21, 2019
Workshifts for Week of 7/22/19
Other News
by Farmer Derek

Wild bergamot and gray-headed coneflower blooming in the pollinator habitat at sunset.
Workshifts scheduled for this week:
  • Wednesday (7/24) 9-11am
  • Wednesday (7/24) 6-8pm
  • Friday (7/26) 9-11am
  • Sunday (7/28) 7-9am (special early-riser and heat-beating start time!)
Workshift sign-up instructions may be found here. Calendar is here.
If it is actively raining during the time of the shift it will be canceled.
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July 21, 2019
What are husk cherries?
Other News
By Linda Dansbury

Ripe husk cherries turn gold and often lose the gravity battle.
Husk cherries/ground cherries/cape gooseberries are in the same family as tomatoes and tomatillos and are very nutritious. The ripe fruit have a good amount of beta-carotene. Plus, they also have significant amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, bioflavonoids, protein, and fiber. On top of this, ground cherries only have 53 calories per 3.5 ounce serving.
Ground cherry flavor profile is somewhat tropical. The flavor has been called a cross between a strawberry and pineapple. They are delicious as a healthy snack eaten all by themselves. But, their high pectin content makes them perfect for Ground Cherry Jam, Ground Cherry Pie, fruit compote, an addition to salsa verde, and as a component in a Corn, Basil and Ground Cherry Salad. My personal favorite is Ground Cherry Salsa - if you chop everything by hand it does take some effort, but it is worth it! They keep for a long time just sitting out on your kitchen counter - leave the husks on them. Since they have such a long shelf life, you can also save up a few week's harvest and then use them up.
They are also one of the easiest crops to harvest - just pick the ones up that have fallen off the plants - yum!
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July 21, 2019
Summer Bounty
How I Enjoyed My Harvest
By Linda Dansbury

Swallowtail butterfly on wild bergamot aka bee balm.
Cooking this time of year is easy and rewarding because everything is so delicious! There are so many options and variations of using our harvest. Please share how you are using your harvest by emailing me at lindadansbury@comcast.net and please put Anchor Run in the title so I can find your email. Here is some of how I enjoyed my harvest.
Zucchini, cherry tomatoes, pesto - time to get the zoodle maker out! I already had pesto in my freezer so this was so simple. Zoodled some green and yellow zucchini, halved cherry tomatoes. It can be left completely cool or cold, but I put the zoodles in a warm pan and heated till just warmed through - you don't want to really cook it because the zucchini will get mushy. Put zoodles in a bowl, add tomatoes and a good amount of pesto, mix well, add a bit of fresh basil or parsley and enjoy.
Green beans, sweet pepper, scallions, cherry tomatoes, parsley, basil - made a large green bean salad - I have some beans from my garden as well and this is a great way to enjoy the beans. Using a red wine vinegar based dressing allows the beans to stay fresh for a long period of time.
Eggplant, onion, garlic, basil - made a new dish this week, called Spicy Eggplant Pasta. Pretty simple to make and very delicious. You can keep it vegetarian, but I cooked shrimp slightly in pan and removed before doing the onions and it was delicious. Sausage or chicken would also work well.
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July 14, 2019
A Seriously Great Garlic Harvest
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

The final step of the garlic harvest: hanging from wire to dry and cure for 4-6 weeks.
And just like that, it is done. The Great Garlic Harvest of 2019 has been successfully completed by your farmers and 50 or so CSA members. We don't just say that it is one of the best workshift tasks to lure unsuspecting members out to help in this process. It is truly a wonderful team-oriented endeavor with our food community. Many hands do make lighter work. We start at 8am with 2,100 feet of garlic bulbs planted in 3 rows per bed, 6 inches apart in row. That's a total of 12,600 plants that need to be tugged out of the ground, bundled and tied together in groups of 5, then hung from wire and beams in the barn. It sounds and looks like a lot to accomplish, but with everyone working hard and together we were actually able to finish well before noon. Now, we simply let the garlic plants do what they want to do while they hang in suspension above our heads. Their outer skins dry out while the energy of the plant moves into the bulbs allowing for extended storage life. We'll replant 12,000 cloves in early November for a 2020 harvest. Our garlic has been saved and replanted every year for the past 16 years, so we can authentically call it Anchor Run Garlic.
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July 14, 2019
Incoming Summer Produce
Expected Harvest
by Farmer Dana
Harvest #10 (Week B) should include zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, sweet peppers, tomatoes, scallions, fresh garlic, cabbage, celery, beets, carrots, hot peppers, Italian dandelion, basil, dill, cilantro, and parsley. U-pick should include tomatoes, tomatillos, husk cherries, snap beans, flowers, and herbs.
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July 14, 2019
CSA Member & Coffee Roaster!
Other News
by Farmer Dana
Longtime CSA member and coffee aficionado Sukhi Bedi has started his own small batch coffee roasting company, Happy Cat Coffee. Orders can be placed on the website and can be shipped directly to you, or you can arrange for him to bring it to the farm for you to pick up. Currently, Anchor Run CSA members can enjoy a 20% discount with code 'ANCHORFARMROCKS'. Also, Sukhi is planning to be at the farm on Thursday, July 25th, 4:30-6:30pm with his freshly roasted coffee for sale.
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July 14, 2019
Yummy Stir Fry
How I Enjoyed My Harvest
By Linda Dansbury
How have you been enjoying your harvest? Please share with members by emailing me at lindadansbury@comcast.net and please put Anchor Run in the subject line so I can easily find your email.
I am constantly thinking about what needs to be used first out of each week's harvest so I concentrate on consuming the items that are the most perishable. Right now that are the greens, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, celery and scallions. Carrots, beets, cabbage, tomatillos can wait awhile, so I don't worry about them. Every couple of weeks on a Sunday, I will spend time preparing dishes with things like beets and tomatillos and cabbage.
Celery, cucumbers - I eat "bunny food" with my lunch every day so right now are my go-to things, along with cherry tomatoes, and a carrot and/or little turnip thrown in.
Green beans, scallions, cilantro, turnips, zucchini, greens - made a huge stir fry this past week, which fed me for a couple of nights. There are countless recipes on the internet, so choose one that sounds good to you but adjust the veggies to what we have now. They often don't include the mix of what we are receiving so you have to be flexible. Just remember to add things in the order that they take to cook.
Zucchini, garlic scapes, lettuces - made the Warm Sausage and Summer Squash Salad on this site. I love this meal (as I have said countless times) because it uses one pan and 1 large bowl and comes together in 30 minutes, including chopping, so it is a great busy weeknight meal.
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July 14, 2019
Workshifts for Week of 7/15/19
Other News
by Farmer Derek

Processing garlic to be distributed as fresh/uncured bulbs for a couple of weeks.
Workshifts scheduled for this week:
  • Wednesday (7/17) 9-11am
  • Wednesday (7/17) 6-8pm
  • Friday (7/19) 9-11am
  • Sunday (7/21) 7-9am (special early-riser and heat-beating start time!)
Workshift sign-up instructions may be found here. Calendar is here.
If it is actively raining during the time of the shift it will be canceled.

Tying garlic with string prior to hanging.
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July 14, 2019
What to do with Tomatillos
Other News
By Linda Dansbury

A ripe tomatillo fills out and splits its husk.
Tomatillos are in the same family as tomatoes and eggplant and are very nutritious. Since our farmers have added the black fiber between the beds, they are so easy to harvest: the contrast of the color of the fruit to the black makes it easy to spot the fruit - just be careful walking the rows - the walkways are uneven. Tomatillos are ready to harvest when the husk starts to dry/turn yellow and splits open. The fruit often falls out of the husks, so they can be just picked up off the ground.
Tomatillos keep for a couple of weeks when stored in a plastic bag in the fridge. It is best to remove the husks before storing. I normally keep a couple weeks of pickings and then make into salsa or a sauce.
My favorites recipes are the Chicken Stew with Tomatillo Sauce and of course, Salsa Verde, which is what tomatillos are probably mostly known for. I make several batches a year of the tomatillo sauce for the chicken recipe. It freezes great and I always have the basis for an easy meal at hand. I have added a new version of Salsa Verde recipe to this site, because I love to broil or grill them and get that smokey flavor.
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July 14, 2019
Summertime Haul
Other News
By Linda Dansbury

Elecampane in the herb garden at sunset.
This is the time of year you need to bring your muscles to the farm for pick up! The sheer weight of all the veggies is incredible!
Don't forget to do your share of U Pick each week of your pick up week. U pick veggies account for a significant part of your share. For the best experience in the heat of the summer, get to the farm early in the day if possible, make sure you wear protective, comfortable shoes, slather on sunscreen or wear long sleeves, pants and a hat. Sunglasses are a must in my mind as well.
Make sure you have scissors and bags, and if you have been bringing the harvest containers home, bring them back to the farm to re-use.
Enjoy the flowers! I have found the best way to do U Pick is to save the flowers for last because they wilt quickly. I bring a large mason jar in which I add some water to before I head to the farm. As soon as my bouquet is cut, I place in the mason jar for the ride home.
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July 7, 2019
A Little Rain is a Good Thing
Notes From The Field
by Farmer Derek

Cantaloupe and the 2nd planting of watermelon looking healthy. Our first planting of watermelon succumbed to excess moisture a few weeks ago when we received 4" of rain in a few days. Fingers crossed these melons reach maturity.
Last weekend I was looking forward to continued dry weather and by the end of last week I was feeling desperate for a bit of rain. And the weather gods did come through with practically 2" received over Friday and Saturday evenings. Following overly wet weather I'm very reluctant to invest time and energy into the set up of irrigation infrastructure. These days I would be very surprised if we don't receive ample rain every week or two. The hardest part is the mental game of deciding whether or not the crops need added well water or if they can wait for sky water. Two full weeks had gone by without a decent rainfall and our soil was probably at its driest in years. Two weeks is a test of tolerance, especially following the planting of 7,000 dormant strawberry plants on a 90 degree day. Physically and mentally, this task is one of the more challenging ones to participate in during the heat of the summer season. With the help of a couple of wonderful CSA members, farmer/mama Dana, and our great crew we managed to complete the job with nonstop planting over 5 hot and humid hours this past Thursday. Thankfully rainfall arrived Friday evening when it was absolutely needed. Another round came through on Saturday and now those dormant strawberry plants should be well on their way to waking up and converting sunshine to 2020 foodshine.
Mid-July marks a pretty big turning point of the growing season here. Spring crops are mostly harvested and now those areas will be cleaned up, mowed, composted, plowed, and sown into cover crops. The 'big harvest' time commences with the large and mostly one-time harvests of carrots, garlic (next weekend), onions (July/August), watermelon (July), cantaloupe (August), potatoes (August), winter squash (September), and sweet potatoes (October). End of June, all of July, and most of August is also the time for the twice or thrice weekly harvests of cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, and tomatoes. Each time these crops are harvested the haul could range between 500-1000 pounds (or more occasionally). This is definitely our peak harvest season, and also peak sun and temperature. It's also the time when our farmer bodies begin to feel the labors of the past few months and our minds are challenged to push through this difficult time. I would say that by mid-August the reduced day length and proximity of autumn provide us with breath of relief. For now, we push through this bountiful season.

Little baby melons forming under vine canopy.
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July 7, 2019
Number Nine Summer Time
Expected Harvest
by Farmer Dana
Harvest #9 (Week A) should include carrots, cucumbers, zucchini (yellow/green), Swiss chard, Italian dandelion, lettuce, scallions, eggplant, celery, cabbage, beets, parsley, cilantro, dill, and basil. Some items will be a choice. U-pick should include green snap/string beans, raspberries, tomatillos, flowers, and herbs.
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July 7, 2019
Zoodles and Salads and More!
How I Enjoyed My Harvest
By Linda Dansbury

A combination of plentiful moisture and the most fertile soil on the farm pushed these field tomato plants to the largest and healthiest we've seen by early July. Their fruits are now starting to ripen.
It is really fun eating all of the great veggies we are receiving! Let me know how you are enjoying your harvest by emailing me at lindadansbury@comcast.net and please put Anchor Run in the subject line.
Zucchini, garlic scapes, scallions, basil - Zoodles are just fun to make! I normally mostly grill summer squash but it was so hot and humid I didn't feel like standing over a grill, so I got my spiralizer out and made zoodles out of a yellow and green squash - no peeling needed! I briefly sauteed garlic scapes and scallions in a bit of nice olive oil. Removed from heat, and added the zoodles and stirred, Salted and peppered and sprinkled on some julienned basil and fresh grated parm cheese. Yum.
Green beans, basil, scallions, scapes, parsley - when it is this hot out, I make salads out of a lot of our veggies. For green beans, I boil them a little longer than I do if eating plain so they absorb dressing. Immediately after cooking, I put them in ice cold water to stop the cooking. Allow to drain well and place in bowl. Add chopped scallions, very thinly sliced scapes, and chopped basil and parsley - in a couple weeks I will also add cherry tomatoes and chopped peppers. Make a simple vinaigrette of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Add to green bean/veggie mix, toss and enjoy. I often add chick peas and/or goat or feta cheese. This tastes even better the next day and keeps for at least a week.
Cucumbers, scallions, parsley - another salad, my grandmother's version is one of my other favorites of summer. Slice cukes using a mandolin and place in bowl. Add thinly sliced scallions, chopped parsley and mix. Make a vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, neutral oil, a bit of salt, celery salt and pepper. Mix well and add to cucumbers. Mix well and enjoy.
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July 7, 2019
Inventive Way to Enjoy the Harvest!
Member Ideas and Suggestions
By Linda Dansbury
Fellow member Lisa Mierniki sent me the following email regarding how she came up with a really delicious recipe. I love her message because she saw another, similar dish and thought about the ingredients she had from the farm and adapted a recipe/method to incorporate what she had on hand. This is how I try to think of things constantly as it relates to what is in my fridge. Thank you so much Lisa for sharing with members - and for all of you wonderful cooks out there, please share with everyone by emailing me at lindadansbury@comcast.net and please put Anchor Run in the subject line so I can find your email.
Here is Lisa's message:
I was watching Rachel Ray the other day and happened upon a recipe that I modified (a lot) and it was delicious! I am always struggling to use up the Fennel since I am not a big salad person. But I had a frozen chicken in the freezer to use, so here is what I did:
Boil (yes, boil) the frozen whole chicken in a large pot until cooked and save the chicken stock.
Chop up fennel, garlic scapes, [they are staying really well in my fridge!] and scallions [they, too, stay fresh a pretty long time].
I sauteed the chopped veggies in refined organic coconut oil. Once the veggies were cooked through/soft I added about a cup or so of the chicken stock to the mix, then let that simmer. When most of the liquid was gone, I then added my pieces of chicken (cut to whatever size you prefer) and continued to simmer the mix with just a little more chicken stock. I cooked up some gluten free spaghetti. Once that was done I topped it off with the chicken and veggie mixture. It was wonderful! And tasted like I had put multiple sticks of butter in it, when there was no butter used. My daughter just finished up the last of what I made, so I will call this a successful venture!
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July 7, 2019
Workshifts for Week of 7/8/19 Including The Great Garlic Harvest!
Other News
by Farmer Derek

Tying garlic to hang from barn rafters in 2016.
Workshifts scheduled for this week:
  • Tuesday (7/9) 9-11am
  • Wednesday (7/10) 9-11am & 6-8pm
  • Friday (7/12) 9-11am
  • Sunday (7/14) The Great Garlic Harvest! 8-10am, 9-11am, & 10am-12noon
Workshift sign-up instructions may be found here. Calendar is here.
If it is actively raining during the time of the shift it will be canceled.
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July 7, 2019
Maple Syrup & Honey For Sale Thursday 7/11
Other News
by Farmer Dana
Susan and Todd Klikus of Augusta Acres Farm will be at Anchor Run CSA on Thursday, July 11th, 1:00-6:30pm to share and sell their maple syrup and honey!
  • Augusta Acres is located in Beach Lake, PA and is a family-run operation. They farm using only organic methods and are members of Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture and the Pennsylvania Maple Producers Association.
  • Sap from trees located strictly on the farm is boiled down in small batches on their wood fired arch to produce a maple syrup that is dark and robust.
  • Their honey is extracted from on-farm apiaries and is an "all season", raw honey which is dark and very sweet.
  • Pints are $15; Quarts are $24.
  • Cash, checks, and credit cards are acceptable methods of payment.
  • Questions and to pre-order, contact Susan Klikus directly at susanklikus@gmail.com.
  • If you can't make it to the farm this Thursday during those hours and you would still like to participate in this opportunity contact Susan at susanklikus@gmail.com by end of day Tuesday July 9th and she will set aside your order to pick up on your regularly scheduled pick up day.
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July 7, 2019
Eggplant is Here
Other News
By Linda Dansbury

Eggplant looking good and quite large.
This week, some of us will receive eggplant and hopefully they will be with us for the remainder of the summer. Wonder how to keep it fresh? If you plan to use it within a day or 2, just store in an open plastic bag in a cool place. If you are going to keep it longer, place in a perforated or open plastic bag with a paper towel and place in the veggie drawer in the fridge. Use within 5-7 days. There are ways to freeze it, but I really don't like to do this with raw eggplant - I will prepare a dish and then freeze the dish instead.
A couple of my favorite eggplant dishes on this site that are perfect for the veggies we are receiving now are a delicious main course called Eggplant and Green Beans in a Spicy Garlic Sauce and Grilled Eggplant with Honey Soy Glaze. There are many other yummy recipes, so search for them and enjoy!
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