Author: Erica Scranton

Holiday Platters and More!

Chaos from the holidays can bring lack of time and energy. You have just finished Thanksgiving but now it is time to double down for Christmas and Hanukkah! With office parties, kids concerts, Christmas shopping and more all in your agenda, make baking and cooking one less thing to do! At Bishop’s we try to make the busiest time of the year as convenient as possible.

Cooking for large families or office parties can add up, both in time and money!! Save both by ordering some of our Bishop’s Party Platters!! We have a wide variety available, with favorites like Lasagna (beef & vegetable), Linguini with Clams, Chicken Parmesan, Mac and Cheese, Pot Roast and more!! What’s a popular one you might ask?! Penne ala Vodka!! Our house made sauce is a popular one here that you cannot get anywhere else!! Linguini with Clams is a great pick especially if you are having a traditional, Italian Christmas Eve with the Seven Fishes. Serve all our party platters with petite rolls and a delicious pie and your guests will be all set! But make sure to not forget the wine!!!

Bishop’s has plenty of CT Wines, both our own and from other local wineries & vineyards. Fruit wines, sparkling wines, dry wines, hard cider… you name it!! Here at Bishop’s we specialize in wines made 100% from our own fruit! We just released a NEW hard cider, Crosby! It is the perfect blend of apples and local black currants. Semi-sweet and a deep purple color, it is great for the holidays. Other wineries that are featured in the farm market are Hopkins Vineyards, Jonathan Edwards Winery, and Jones Winery.

All platters, pies and side dishes are made fresh, with our hardworking bakery department working tirelessly leading into the holidays. Planning for special holidays or events can be made simple by submitting your order online or by giving us a call at 203-453-2338!! Let us know your pick-up date/time so we can guarantee your items! Click here to see varieties and side dishes. As with every year, we look forward to being a part of your festival spreads with friends and family!

 

FEATURED PERSONALITY – DANA HOWD

If you have ever called Bishop’s to place an order or ask when Pick Your Own is open, chances are you have had this conversation with our Administrative Assistant, Dana Howd!! Dana is the right hand to all our upstairs management staff, knowing the ins and outs of the entire company. If you have a question, she knows the answer! Her spunk and fiesty demeanor carries through the entire building. It is safe to say that the administration would be lost without this key player!

Dana started working for the business in 2005 as a front end cashier while she was in high school. During her 13 plus years here she has moved positions from Front End Supervisor, to Retail Buyers Assistant, to Accounts Payable and now Administrative Assistant. Her most important role/position came in June of 2017, when her husband Jason and she became first time parents to a beautiful baby girl, Harlow!!

“My greatest accomplishment will always be becoming a mom! It’s the best thing that I’ll ever do” says Dana. “The Bishop’s family is so understanding of time being spent with family. Coming back from maternity leave and adjusting to working full time while being a mother was tough, but the family has always allowed for family to come first!”

Dana has experienced quite the milestones personally and professionally. Being at Bishop’s for over a decade, she has seen the business go through 2 renovations, the addition of a winery, CSA Program and the business’s 140th anniversary! “The most exciting transitions that I have seen happen through my years here has been the office interior” says Dana. “As the company grows, so does our employees. We have had to increase our office space quite a few times now, allowing for new employees to have desk space. It is a huge and detailed process, but the change is exciting and shows just how far we have come!” Additional growth that she hopes to see is a seperate building for the Winery and its events. “The Winery was a huge incorporation to the business and now with the level that it has reached, it deserves its own luxuries.”

Outside of work, Dana enjoys spending time with her family and animals. During the summer when she isn’t helping Pick Your Own get by, she can be found in the waters of Stony Creek, cruising the sound on her Whaler.

 

Pick Special

When Pick Your Own Apples comes to an end, the holidays are right around the corner. At Bishop’s Orchards we’re always striving to bring something special to our loyal customers and the holiday season is no exception. From specialty items to baking staples we keep our Farm Market stocked for you and your family.

New this year, we’ve added onto our bulk foods set to offer more staples for your baking and cooking regimen. Organic Oats and Basmati Rice are versatile ingredients for planning meals ahead and can be incorporated into your cooking year round. Another fantastic item you can find in our produce department is organic broccolini. In season now, this hearty cruciferous vegetable is a fantastic way to keep eating greens during the winter. A cross between Kale and Broccoli this almost addicting vegetable holds up well to roasting with root vegetables and stays firm and crisp in slow cooking soups.

One very recent addition to our grocery selection is a new line of bean and lentil pastas. These trending products provide a heaping amount of plant based protein and taste delicious! Made without any added sugars or fillers, the Tolerant line of organic and gluten free legume pastas are loved by kids and adults. If you bring healthful food staples with you when you travel this is a good pick as it’s loaded with plant based protein and its shelf stable. These lentil pastas taste wonderful with Bishops Crushed Tomato Sauce or in a hearty soup that reheats nicely for lunch to go.

By the close of 2018, for the first time ever, Bishops will have created their first nutrition bar set located right next to our fresh cut flowers. People have asked and inquired about healthful on the go items that they can bring to work, school, the gym or carry on the Shore Line East to sustain them throughout their day. We’ve created a brand new nutrition bar set that covers every category from plant based, paleo, organic, raw, nut free and high protein. There are many delicious and clean options for you and your family… not to mention great stocking stuffer ideas!

Are you hosting this holiday season? We’ve got you covered… we can outsource the job for you and we’ll still give you full credit. We carry D’artagnan meats and charcuterie for your dinner and entertaining needs. You may not find Duck Leg Con Fit or Venison at your conventional supermarket but we always offer a specialized selection to make your holiday feast a more unique experience. If you’re guests are staying overnight, we sell our own Bishop’s eggs right from across the parking lot from our own hens… they are as fresh as it gets! As for dessert, remember that we make our ice cream right here at the Farm Market and it pairs perfectly with our freshly baked pies. New this year, we now carry our own dairy free ice cream in Coffee, Chocolate and Vanilla. If you want to create a larger platter of desserts we’ve got our holiday tables displayed with variety of holiday sweets and treats, mostly imported from Europe. We are stocked with Marizpan and Pannetonne that make a memorable holiday dessert feature.

Year round we carry a comprehensive selection of cheeses from around the world. This is the time of year for baked brie with apricot jam…. (we’ve got a selection of both) Try Triple Crème Goat or Normandy Brie as a gift, or if you’re hosting. In the same aisle as our cheese display we have apricot and fig jams for you to try with brie for a sweet contrast to the cheese. If you need help putting together an appetizer before dinner, let our cheese Monger, Max know and we can help you pick out everything you need from brie, to jam, crackers and a beverage to bring it all together.

If you find yourself traveling far to see family, make sure to plan ahead and pack snacks for the trip! We carry organic and gluten free natural snacks that won’t drag you down during your travels. We have an ever growing selection of great snacks for the road including Vegan Robs Puffs, gluten free pretzels, veggie chips and paleo granolas to keep you satiated over the hours spent aboard planes, trains and automobiles! Come visit the Farm Market and you will be sure to find what you need this holiday for hosting, gifting and traveling.

Give Gifts From the Farm

This holiday season give a gift from the farm!! Fresh and local gifts from Bishop’s Orchards are the perfect way to show your appreciation towards others! For years our customers have enjoyed special gifts from the Farm Market. Whether it be a small basket for a teacher or hostess, or an apple shipper sent across the country, our products and produce are sure to not disappoint this holiday season.

Apple shippers are our most popular gifts that are available for shipping. Large, crisp, juicy apples are nestled in foam to insure tree perfect apples from our farm. When you purchase a shipper, you will receive eighteen handpicked fancy apples!! If you don’t know what variety to pick, you can get a sampler that will include varieties that are in season. What is great about our apple shippers is that it provides flavor and exclusivity from a different area. Send some apples down south or to the midwest where they can enjoy varieties that are not grown out there. Along with our apple shippers, we also ship our Bishop’s own apples cider, kettle corn popcorn and apple cider donuts!

Handmade fruit baskets are a really nice touch for a centerpiece or as a gift. Our front end staff makes these per request, featuring our freshest and finest of fruits, gourmet specialty cheese, and treats from the bakery! These baskets are gorgeous and are even suitable as corporate gifts. Other gift basket options available are our Grab N’ Go baskets. These smaller scaled baskets are great to give your teacher or a hostess. The baskets feature the following themes: breakfast, chips & salsa, and Italian!  Grab N’ Go gift baskets are available in the farm market, only while supplies last.

If all else fails, gift cards are always a good go-to for any function. Give them as office gifts or in a yankee swap! Gift cards, apples shippers, cider, donuts and other gift items can be ordered online. Fruit baskets must be ordered on the phone or in person at the Customer Service desk. If you have any questions or would like to place an order, call 203-453-2338.

Paint N’ Sip

Back in May, Bishop’s Orchards teamed up with Painted by the Shore to host one-of-a-kind DIY paint classes at the Little Red Barn. Each class features specialty designs with a more unique approach, inviting guests to create usable art like coasters, glassware and serving trays! Art instructors simplify the process by teaching you as you go, inspiring creativity in an environment to socialize with current and new friends. When paired up with local wine and pickings, we have what we call Paint & Sip Classes.

So far we have hosted a few evenings, all receiving fantastic feedback!! We are excited to further this partnership by making these evenings a more frequent occurrence. Come out to the farm for our next Paint & Sip Night with a Snowman Chalkboard on December 6th! We will be launching another event on December 4th for kids called our ‘Lil’ Paint & Sip Night. Kids can come spend an evening painting Christmas Ornaments while enjoying some festival treats like hot apple cider, popcorn & donuts!

Tickets for all events must be purchased ahead of time, with limited space available. Our November class sold out in two weeks, so register now. All supplies and directions come ready for you, all you need to bring are some friends!!! Our December classes will be the last for 2018, with new classes starting in February. To stay up-to-date with Paint & Sip Nights on the farm, check back in on our What’s Happening events page.

Pick Fresh Pies

Out with pumpkins and in with Pies!!! With the fall season coming to an end, we are gearing up for Thanksgiving here at Bishop’s Orchards. No holiday would be complete without our own pies! When you pick Bishop’s during the holidays, you are picking fresh, local flavor that is convenient for you!!

Enjoy the convenience of our Grab N’ Go Fruit, Nut, Cream and No Sugar Added Pies! Bishop’s Orchards strives to make your holidays easier with the convenience of everything already done! Our fruit pies are baked fresh everyday. We have the popular pies like Apple, Blueberry, Pumpkin and Pecan, as well as specialty pies like Cherry, Peachberry and a fan favorite, Fruits of the Farm! If you are looking to stay traditional but if you want to step it up a notch, try our crumb pies that are available for blueberry and apple pies!! This crunchy, sugary crumb topping accompanies the delicious fruit in such a savory way!

Cream pies are a change in pace, with a sweet and creamy filling. Thaw out an hour before you are going to serve and voilà! Flavors include Banana Cream, Lemon Meringue, Chocolate Cream and Key Lime. Also in the freezers are a few of our frozen fruit pies. Keep them in the freezer until the day of when you can bake it fresh and have the smell wafting through your home! No sugar added pies are available in a few of our popular flavors like Apple, Fruits of the Farm and Peach. Indulge during the holidays while refraining from non natural sugars.

More Grab N’ Go side dishes are also available for the holidays! Enjoy mashed potatoes, stuffing, soups and rolls already premade. Traditional “must haves” have never tasted better than when you are left without the prep and clean-up mess!!

All pies and side dishes are baked fresh, with our hardworking Bakery Department working around the clock, 24-hours a day leading into Thanksgiving. Planning for special holidays or events can be made simple by submitting your order online or by giving us a call at 203-453-2338!! Let us know your pick-up date/time so we can guarantee your items! Click here to see varieties and side dishes. As with every year, we look forward to being a part of your festival spreads with friends and family!

Squash Season at the Farm Market

You may have seen a new variety of squash hit the Farm Market this Fall. It’s smaller but shaped like a butternut squash with a pumpkin orange color when fully ripe. Honeynut Squash is new to our Farm Market this season and our customers keep coming back for more. Honeynut squash came to market a few years ago as a result of a collaboration between Michael Mazourek, a genetics professor from Cornell University and Dan Barber, New York restaurant owner. The result of this effort brought about a smaller squash with a sweet, deep nutty flavor.

Upon enjoying your first Honeynut Squash you might notice that not only is the color deeper than a Butternut Squash but the flavor and nutrient content is also more robust. Chef Dan and Professor Michael advise roasting the squash at 400 degrees, 20 minutes with a drizzle of Olive Oil and a dash of salt and pepper…. That’s the easiest way to really taste the full flavor of the squash. As with other squash varieties you can also roast and puree it for soups, add it to muffin mixes, mash it up and add it to a fall cookie batter and even supplement your waffle or pancake mix to give it a boost of Vitamins A & C as well as beta carotene.

Bishop’s Orchards Farm Market currently gets our Honeynut Squash from New Hampshire as it’s grown in a few different locations across New England. When choosing your Honeynut Squash know that one with green color is still not fully ripe. You can buy them when they aren’t fully orange and they will keep at room temp for several weeks, but they taste best when they are completely orange. Make sure you eat them before the skin starts to wrinkle as that’s a sign that the squash is starting to dry out.

We urge you to try this new delicious squash but we still have your traditional favorite winter squash varieties including butternut, spaghetti and acorn squash. We source these from just a few miles north at Cecarelli Farms in Northford, CT. These root vegetables absorb so many nutrients as the roots extend deep into the soil to bring you high amounts of Fiber and Potassium.We have been working with Cecarelli Farms for over 30 years and have a bountiful spread of their squash varieties all winter long. Stop by the Produce Department at Bishop’s Orchards to try all of our delicious seasonal root vegetables! Try this simple soup recipe that freezes well for lunch at work, or dinner…

Honeynut Squash Soup

  • 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½  medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds honeynut squash peeled (seeds removed) and cubed
  • 1 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups Silk unsweetened Almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons lime (or lemon)  juice
  • Nutmeg or Cinnamon spice (optional)

In your favorite large stock pot heat up the oil over medium high heat, and and stir in the onions and garlic…cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped honeynut squash and stir in the pot for about 7-10 minutes (still over medium high heat) until the onions become translucent. Add and stir in the the salt, pepper, veggie broth and almond milk. Bring the mixture up to a boil and and then lower to a simmer and cover for about 10 minutes. As soon as the squash is fork tender then remove the pot from heat and pour small batches into your blender (now add the fresh lime or lemon juice) and blend until velvety smooth or to your texture preference. If you don’t have a blender you can also use an immersion blender right in the pot. Add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg right before serving for an extra bit of sweetness

Makes about 6-7 cups, freezes well up to 4 months.

FEATURED PERSONALITY – Bobbi Hallaway

As we enter “Pie” season, we cannot think of anyone better to introduce than Bobbi!! She not only runs our entire Bakery & Kitchen Department but also a Guilford native and business owner! Growing up on the northern side of Guilford, she was part of Guilford High School Class of 1988. After her graduation, she enrolled at Southern Connecticut State University where she studied Business Administration & Management. Immediately after receiving her degree, she married her high school sweetheart Christian in 1992! That following January they had their first son Christian!

For years, she worked off and on managing her father’s local business. During this time she had their second son, Brandon, in 1996. Bobbi and her husband worked a lot to provide for their family, but always made commute and convenience a huge factor in their full-time jobs. They always made time for their kids’ activities, classroom involvement and time to travel. In 2004 Bobbi and Chris had their youngest, Linnea. During their kids’ childhood, she worked for ten years as the Area Manager for a local business. The family of four loved spending so much time with each other, forming a special bond within their extra curricular activity… Martial Arts/Tae Kwon Do/Hapkido.

Bobbi’s husband had always had a background in Martial arts from Guilford educator, John Cuddy. Everyone quickly became involved, leading Chris to take the leap and start their family business, Evolution Martial Arts in Guilford. From 2001-2018 the business continued to grow, opening another location/school in Durham in 2006. During this time, Bobbi became a second degree black belt and had their daughter Linnea in 2004. Shortly after Linnea was born, Bobbi joined Bishop’s Orchards as the Assistant Bakery Manager, working for 5th generation Bishop, Diane Van der Grinten. “Born and raised in Guilford, raising our family here and working for my family’s business and eventually owning my own, instills a  whole new meaning to local pride. It was for this reason that I wanted to work for another local family business,” says Bobbi.

While working with Diane, Bobbi was thrown into everything from fundraisers and seasonal orders, to baked goods and prepared foods. Over the years, these departments grew tremendously to include a whole line of grab n’ go prepared foods, sandwiches, salads, parfaits and more! In 2011, Bobbi was promoted to the Food Production Manager, running the entire Bakery & Kitchen department. So much has happened since she first started leading the department. Bishop’s now has a full ice cream line, carrying plenty of fun flavors, sorbets and ice cream sandwiches. Grab n’ go meals have grown to now carry pre-cut fruit, stuffed breads, crockpot and grill meals and more.

Bobbi credits her staff for all the department’s growth and accomplishments! “I try to treat my staff as if they are extended family, hosting gatherings outside of work such as movie nights, cookouts and holidays parties! Without these individuals the department would not be as successful as it is. It is important for me to show them my appreciation at work and outside of work.” The creativity that stems from our Bakery & Kitchen is never ending, with new ideas and additions always coming out! Always keep checking back in for new recipes, fun ice cream flavors, delicious pastries, party platters and more!

Everyone’s Favorite is Back!!

It is officially everyone’s favorite time of the year! Fall is here and the farm is so excited! Pears and apples are currently being picked, with our Pumpkin Patch now also being open. While pumpkin picking has just started, pear picking will be coming to an end by early October. Pears are being picked on weekends when we are at our Main Orchard off of New England Road. Pears being picked include Bosc and limited Bartlett. Our pears come in various sizes, shapes and colors. Bartlett’s are generally juicy, sweet and excellent for eating, canning and cooking. Bosc pears are crisp with a rougher skin and best for eating and cooking. Pears actually ripen best off the tree so you want to make sure you pick them when they are mature but not ripe. Make sure to store your pears at room temperature as they will ripen in a few days.

Overall the start of Apple Picking has been slow, with varieties available to pick being approximately a week behind. Apple picking is everyday with field locations in Guilford changing, and our Northford Orchard available for apple picking on weekends only. This past weekend we were finally able to open our fan favorite Macoun Apples for Pick Your Own. Other apples that have been available are Daybreak Fuji, Cortland, Autumn Gala, McIntosh, Red and Golden Delicious. We grow approximately 20 varieties, carrying the season through late October. With all our apple varieties, you are sure to find something that suits all your needs, whether it be for cooking, gifts, or a quick snack on the go!

Apples will keep for months if you store them properly, so make sure to stock up!  Inspect all apples for bruises, cuts, and soft spots. Only perfect fruit is suitable for storage. Sort the apples by size: small, medium and large. Since large apples don’t store as well, this will make it easy to ensure that they get eaten first. It’s also a good idea to sort your apples by variety. Different apples ripen at different rates, so if you store each variety separately, it’ll be easy to eat the early ripeners first, while saving the slow ripeners for later. Place the sorted apples in boxes or baskets. To maximize their storage life, wrap each apple in newspaper before you place it in the basket. If one apple goes bad, the paper will protect the other apples from coming into contact with it. Store your apples in a cool basement, garage, shed, fruit cellar or refrigerator. Check regularly for signs of spoilage, and remove any rotten apples before they have a chance to spoil the lot. If you follow these instructions you will most definitely be able to enjoy using these apples for homemade desserts for Thanksgiving! We have plenty of recipes online so check out our Bishop’s Cookbook. Here are a few favorites:

Apple Skillet Pancake

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 apples
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ½ tablespoons butter
  • 3 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss apples with sugar. Reserve. Melt the butter in a 9” or 10” cast iron skillet and remove from heat. Beat eggs and milk in a bowl with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter. Combine cornmeal, flour and salt in a separate bowl and whisk in egg/milk mixture until smooth. Put skillet back on heat and sauté the apples in the remaining butter. After 2 or 3 minutes, before they get mushy, spread the apples evenly in the pan and gently pour on the batter. Put skillet in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until firm and puffy. Loosen with a spatula and invert onto an ovenproof platter. Sprinkle with grated Light Cheddar Cheese and return to oven to melt.

Apple, Sausage & Parsnip Stuffing with Fresh Sage

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ pounds Italian sausage
  • 6 cups onions
  • 2 cups celery
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 3 pounds apples
  • ¾ cup sage
  • 1 ½ pounds sourdough bread
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 pounds parsnips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Bake bread cubes on 2 large rimmed baking sheets until lightly toasted, about 20 minutes. Sauté sausages in very large skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, breaking into pieces with spoon, about 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to large bowl; add bread. Add onions and celery to same skillet and sauté until golden brown, about 10 minutes; transfer to bowl with bread. Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes; mix apples into stuffing. Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add parsnips and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes; mix into stuffing. Melt 1/4 cup butter in same skillet. Add sage and sauté until dark green, about 2 minutes. Mix sage and butter into stuffing. Season with salt and pepper. Butter 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Stuff turkey. Transfer remaining stuffing to prepared dish; drizzle with 1/2 cup chicken broth. Cover with foil. (Can be prepared 4 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate). Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake stuffing covered until heated through, about 1 hour. Uncover and bake until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.

Pear Crumble Pie

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon lemon rind
  • 7 cups pears
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ cups butter

DIRECTIONS:

Combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and the lemon peel.  In a large bowl sprinkle pears with lemon juice. Add sugar mixture to pears; toss to coat fruit.  Fill a pastry lined 9 inch pie plate with the pear mixture. To make topping combine flour, 1/2 cup sugar and spices.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle crumbs over pear filling. Cover edge of pie with foil. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.  Remove foil, bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes or until pie is bubbly and crust is golden. Cool on a wire rack before serving.

Fundraising Opportunities

The fall season brings more to Bishop’s than just apples, pumpkins and cooler temperatures. It brings a time for giving and outreach to the community. Here at Bishop’s Orchards we proudly participate in and support local non-profit charities, schools and other organizations with fundraising needs! Our Pie Fundraiser Program is simple and a great opportunity to come together and raise money.  You can think of this program as if it were a Bake Sale! Purchase your items through us at a discounted price and then sell at a suggested price.

We offer a wide selection of our pies from the farm (baked fresh or frozen), cream pies, tea breads and cookie dough! Apple pie, fruits of the farm, pecan, banana cream… you name it! There is a minimum of 50 pies to participate in this program, an easily met goal by all. For most fundraisers, we suggest doing frozen pies due to freshness factor and having a more flexible pick-up schedule. You are going to want to set-up a cutoff date for incoming orders, so make sure to leave a few extra days to collect and calculate everything. All orders must be placed with Bishop’s Orchards at least 14 days prior to your pick date.

A 50% down payment is due when you place your order, with the remaining balance due upon pick up. Pies are individually packed in pie containers for freshness and protection. Baking instructions are included on each label and pies must be kept frozen until ready to bake. All tea breads are fresh but can be frozen. The cookie dough comes preformed and prepacked with 24 to a container. Nutritional information for our items is available upon request. For more information or to get started, visit us online and download the forms!