Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Butterworks Farm Article


Simple recipe, worth striving for

By David Rocchio for the Stowe Reporter

A staple in our refrigerator is a 32-ounce, white plastic yogurt container featuring an old-fashioned drawing of a jersey cow.

On the container, under the cow, is written “Jersey Milk, Organic Whole Yogurt.” It is the best yogurt I have ever tasted.

But it’s not just the taste of the yogurt. The yogurt is made right on a family farm in Westfield, Vt.; the Butterworks Dairy, not far from where we sit.

The farm is self-sufficient and organic, growing everything the cows eat. The cows eat well — grains and alfalfa, corn and oats and barley. The herd is closed, meaning all of the cows are born and raised right on the farm — no imports.

This yogurt is so good, it could become the Ben and Jerry’s of yogurt (and all that implies. both good and bad). Right on the package, though, the family writes, “We want to remain a small, one-farm operation.” A successful, organic, closed-herd, single-farm, family-run dairy with the stated goal of not becoming too big: I had to visit this farm.

I parked my car near the barn just beyond an abandoned old split-windshield truck. Jersey calves roamed about in the tall grass hemming in the truck. I meandered around the farm and found Jack Lazor in a small, crowded room near a loading dock.

Backed up to the dock sat an old white refrigerator truck, hand-lettered with the name of the farm. The truck was being loaded, and the processing room was busy.

After Jack apologized for being tired — “I was haying until midnight last night” — we walked together to a field, where it was time to stake out new pasture for the milk cows. We talked as we walked. Jack and Anne Lazor met in the early 1970s. Jack was farming at Old Sturbridge Village, where he was practicing some of what he had studied in college — agricultural history.

Jack graduated from college in 1972 and was not interested in the political ragings around him. A deceptively simple question — how did the original colonists feed themselves? — stuck in Jack’s head, and that question turned into a life.

We walked into a field of grass. Jack described what was growing under my feet, a mix of five or six different grasses and clovers, and we began to pull thin fiberglass fence posts from the ground. As I pulled the posts, Jack twirled the electric fence wire onto its spool and poured a fire-hose volume of knowledge over me: land management; treatment for sick cows without use of antibiotics; how to grow grain corn and strip the kernels from the husks; impact on the milk of different feeds; new grasses now growing on certain fields; organic composting; milling grain; using wind to make electricity; his idea for a steam plant.

We finished moving the posts and stringing wire to create a new area for the cows to graze.

“I move the cows every 12 hours, so they eat all of the grass in an area and don’t just pick and choose, leaving a monoculture of weeds behind. They eat and fertilize an area, and then we move them a bit and they do the same again. The grasses grow up again behind the cows and the fields remain complex and healthy.”

Behind us, two work horses grazed. A tall tower hosted the windmill. The barn, granary and milk shed spread out near the field. Trucks and tractors were tossed around the landscape.

Jack and Anne began farming their land over 25 years ago. The idea of making great yogurt wasn’t a careful plan; the original small herd made too much milk and they needed to do something with it. So, the kitchen became a laboratory, and the products made sold briskly at markets nearby. The farm grew, well, organically.

We finished staking the field and Jack struggled with his new cell phone and called the barn: “Send the cows.” The cows walked past us to the pasture, knowing the drill. I could see the personality in each lady as she swayed by and Jack had a comment for each one. The herd closed in 1981, so the family and each cow know each other well.

When the milkers were all in, we stopped talking. The only sounds were cows eating grass and church bells in the distance.

We toured the rest of the operation. We walked to the house for lunch. The house is not reached by a road. It is reached by a path from the barn. A garden and more fields dominate the view.

Inside the house, papers and notes and reports and whatnot are piled high; a true farm house. Jack offered me some bread and butter — all ingredients from the farm — and I could not help but ask for more.

The butter was a deep yellow and sweet as pie. “How do you make it?” I asked. “Put cream in a jug and shake it,” Jack replied. He told me someone who buys their butter once called to ask what went in it to make it yellow. “You’d have to ask the cows,” was the gist of the answer.

Anne joined us and we ate, interrupted by orders coming in over the phone, scribbled on scraps of paper to be brought to the barn. Most everything we ate was made on the farm. Anne guesses they produce 85 percent of what they eat.

Jack walked me back to the barn, where the work of shipping yogurt continued. Someone joked about the radio — it was tuned to a Quebec station — and I asked if it was a good station. “It’s the only one, so I guess so” was the reply.

Jack told me the farm’s No. 1-selling product is the fat-free Jersey milk yogurt, which is ironic. Jersey cows are known for their cream. If you take away the fat, it’s not really the cows that distinguish the yogurt. Maybe people are trying to buy something other than yogurt in that 32-ounce container. Maybe they are just supporting a straightforward and direct approach to life.

It is a simple recipe to recite, like making butter, but it is harder to execute and well worth striving for.

David M. Rocchio lives, works and writes in Stowe. E-mail our writers at news@stowereporter.com. All messages will be forwarded.

Newsletter Dec. 12

Pete's Greens Good Eats Newsletter Dec. 12, 2007

This week's share includes: a small bunch of leeks, kohlrabi, mixed potatoes, mixed beets, shallots, festival or red kuri squash, popcorn, Oyster or Shitake mushrooms, organic raw honey, organic yogurt, Elmore Mtn. bread (organic unbleached flour with germ, salt, water, sourdough starter), organic Quebec rolled oats


Notes and Localvore Goodies
As we enter the second half of the share, there are a few updates and notes to share with you. Most importantly, please note we will not be distributing a share on December 26, 2007. Next week, December 19, we will have a bonus share with lots of localvore goodies, including cranberries, organic butter, organic apple cider, cave aged clothbound cheddar from Jasper Hill, and some more of the organic Quebec grains. The next share will be January 2, 2008.

We are beginning to plan the next share period that begins on Feb. 20. We are still sorting through the legal issues but are actively considering providing raw apple cider and raw milk in our Feb.-June share. Raw cider would replace our currently pasteurized cider in the Vegetable/Localvore share. Raw milk would be offered as a separate share by itself. So, I want to hear from you! Do you want to have access to raw cider and milk through Good Eats? Do you have health concerns about either product? Do you think this is a good direction for Good Eats to take (providing harder to source, more delicious and nutritious but potentially controversial foods?) Please e-mail all responses to pete@petesgreens.com

I have been working on the newsletter formatting and hope that it is legible for all of you this week. If it is full of symbols and nonsense, please email heather@petesgreens.com. You can also read the newsletters at petesgreens.blogspot.com. There, you will find previous newsletters, related articles, and recipes. Check it out!
An important issue came up this past week concerning the vinegar from Reed Miller. As mentioned, and written on the label, it’s from Dummerston (north of Brattleboro). We have consistently attempted to source our localvore food from within 100 miles of Craftsbury and Reed's vinegar falls outside that circle. While we'd prefer to source all localvore food from within 10 miles of Craftsbury (and perhaps someday we will!) we feel that important products not available within the 100 mile radius are still worth including. Production of local food of all types is an evolving process. You (Good Eats customers) are an important stimulus that is creating more and better markets for localvore producers, and I suspect that it won't be long before we can enjoy vinegar from much closer to home.

Once again, we have some fabulous localvore items for this week. The oyster (grey, blue and yellow) and shitake mushrooms are from Amir Habib in Colchester, VT, Organic raw honey from Northwoods Apiaries in Westfield, VT, Butterworks organic yogurt, also from Westfield, and bread from Elmore Mountain Bread, made with organic flour from Quebec. I also have packed up 5# bags of Quebec grown and milled organic rolled oats.
Storage and Use Tips
Leeks: Leeks are good keepers in a bag in the fridge if you don’t use them right away. Should the outside start to look spotty, don’t despair. You can peel back a few layers and the inside will still be fine. Use all of the white and light green of the leeks. The very dark green is good for use in stock.
Potatoes: Keep in a dark cool location. They will turn green when exposed to even indirect light.
Winter squash: Stores best at about 50 degrees. Red Kuri tends to have a thinner skin and may not keep as long as others. If it does develop a spot, just cut it off, the rest is usually fine.
Popcorn: This is Pete’s own popcorn and we are thrilled to have it for Good Eats. Last week Melissa popped a test ear in the microwave (which you can do without removing the kernels from the cob). Unfortunately, she didn’t have it in a bag and there was a popcorn explosion! Put it in a paper bag and tape it closed. If you don’t have a microwave, like me, you should be able to twist the corn off of the cob. Start on the fat end of the ear and work a few kernels off the ear by slowly spinning the ear inside your tightly clasped hand. Once you remove a few kernels the rest comes off more easily. Once the kernels are removed you can use it like any popcorn.
Recipes
Perhaps you have a growing collection of beautiful winter squash and pumpkins decorating your counter top. They are stored sunshine on these snowy dark days. Here are a couple of yummy dishes, one with a southwestern flavor, the other East Indian. Other dishes I’ve made recently include roasted squash and black bean burritos, roasted squash soup, and simple steamed mashed squash with maple syrup and butter.
COLACHE
¼ c oil
4 cups cubed peeled squash
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp cumin powder
1 pepper, chopped
1 fresh hot pepper, minced or dry chile pepper to taste
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes or equivalent of frozen tomatoes, chopped
1 c frozen corn
1 tsp salt, to taste
Sauté squash in oil in a dutch oven or deep wide skillet for 5 minutes. Add onion, garlic and cumin. Continue cooking 5 minutes. Mix in remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer gently about 20 minutes, until tender. Add water, if necessary.
Adapted from The Best from New Mexico Kitchens
BRAISED SQUASH WITH INDIAN SPICES
3 # winter squash, peeled and cubed
¼ c oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp each cumin, coriander
½ tsp turmeric
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt, to taste
1 c water
1 tomato, diced (frozen works great)
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp garam masala (cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, black pepper blend)
Chopped cilantro for garnish, optional
Heat oil in a dutch oven and sauté onion, garlic, ginger, spices and mustard seeds. Cook until the seeds start to pop around. Add the salt, water, tomato maple syrup and squash. Simmer until squash is tender, covered for the first 15 minutes. Stir in the garam masala and cilantro, mashing the squash a bit if you’d like.
Adapted from The New American Cooking
And the kohlrabi, what to do with those big green or purple orbs? In the Farmer John’s Cookbook, there’s a great idea for making hash browns. Peel and shred the kohlrabi as you would potatoes. Squeeze out excess moisture in a dish towel. Combine 2 eggs, 1 diced small onion, 2 tbsp bread crumbs, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp ginger powder, ¼ tsp red pepper flakes. Mix in the kohlrabi. Heat a griddle with a bit of butter. Fry up patties of the mixture, until golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes per side.
You could also make fabulous mashed potatoes and kohlrabi. Oh, and add some sautéed leeks, too. Yum!
Happy Cooking!
Heather


Pete's Greens at Craftsbury Village Farm
266 S. Craftsbury Rd, Craftsbury, Vermont 05826
802-586-2882, #2

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Newsletter 12/5/07

Pete’s Greens Good Eats Newsletter Dec. 5, 2007
This week’s share vegetable/localvore share includes: yellow onions, sweet potatoes, napa cabbage, parsnips, celeriac, mini pumpkins, leeks, vegetable soup base, bread (whole wheat flour, spelt flour, roasted potatoes, sourdough, salt), cream, hard winter wheat flour, and vinegar
This week’s root share contains: sweet potatoes, parsnips, celeriac, carrots, beets, and kohlrabi
Please note that this week veg/localvore shares are in tan bags and root shares are in purple bags. Please return bags and egg cartons to sites. We will gladly reuse them.
Weird root storage and lore
Celeriac: Also known as celery root, this has a lovely celery flavor. It goes well in soups and stews. You can make a cream of celeriac soup. Don’t be scared by the wild gnarly shape, it peels relatively easily. We store these with the soil on for better keeping. They are cleaned and trimmed before we send them to you, and so will keep for about a week in the fridge.
Parsnip: It looks like a white carrot, but is a closer relative of parsley. These roots are sweet and mild
Kohlrabi: Think of this as something between broccoli stems and turnips. The bulb of kohlrabi grows above ground at the base of flat kale-like leaves. In the spring you may see these with the leaves on, but the primary vegetable is the bulb. Peel it and it will look just lovely. Put it in soup. The flavor gets stronger with storage, but it keeps fine in the fridge.
Localvore Treats
I had hoped to have all the grains here from Québec for this share, but it wasn’t to be. With production difficulties at Michel Gaudreau’s mill, and now this exceptional snowfall, it will have to wait until next week.
The localvore items this week include Butterworks cream and Patchwork bread, falsely advertised for last week. Again, I want to apologize for that unfortunate mistake, all mine to be sure. We also have more flour from Ben Gleason in Bridgeport, VT; fine whole wheat bread flour. I made a delicious flatbread and also a rosemary focaccia last week to try it out. While yummy, the gluten content was low and neither bread was as chewy as it would be with some unbleached flour. I asked Ben about unbleached white flour and he said he doesn’t mill it for two reasons. One is that he would need more equipment, but more importantly, the whole wheat is better nutritionally.
And lastly, we are so excited to have found a source for Vermont made organic apple cider vinegar. Reed Miller is both the grower and the vinegar producer. It was especially fun to connect with him because his daughter, Ruth, is a student here in Craftsbury at Sterling College. That’s my other day job! You will see from the label, it’s from all the way down in Dummerston, but he dropped it off when he brought Ruth back after Thanksgiving. Carpooling must count for something when you’re dealing in localvore miles.
Recipes
This week, Pete challenged me to create recipes for a couple interesting items in the share. The soup base is a puree of potatoes, carrots and beets that Meg and Maria made at the Food Venture Center in Fairfax. The scrubbed and trimmed roots were cooked in big steam kettles and put through a food mill. I’ll admit I was skeptical about it at first and now I’m a convert! It’s so mellow, sweet and smooth, making for a rich and creamy soup. The mini pumpkins were a different challenge all together. I found their flavor quite delicate; the texture is fine and not at all dry. It’s been fun trying some different ideas. I hope you enjoy the results from my “test kitchen”. About ginger, I guess the weather has put me in a mood for some spicy heat. While I’m considering it a spice, of course it’s not localvore at all, so omit it if you like.
Here’s a very loose and adaptable recipe for using the frozen soup base and whatever vegetables you have on hand. You can give it a spicy ginger kick, or keep it totally localvore with earthy herbs such as rosemary and thyme. Last night I made this with squash, carrots, beets and parsnip with the ginger seasonings. It was creamy thanks to the vegetable base, and had a nice heat from the spices. It would also be delicious with a single vegetable, such as winter squash if you still happen to have that pretty sugar pumpkin decorating your counter!
ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP
1 QUART VEGETABLE SOUP BASE
1 QUART WATER
2 TBSP VEGETABLE OR OLIVE OIL
3 CLOVES GARLIC, CUT IN ½
1 LARGE ONION CUT IN WEDGES
8 CUPS PEELED AND CUBED ASSORTED WINTER VEGETABLES; CARROTS, BEETS, PARSNIP, WINTER SQUASH, SWEET POTATO, CELERIAC, LEEKS, ETC
SALT TO TASTE
SEASONING OF CHOICE:
1 TBSP MINCED GINGER, 1 TSP CUMIN, ½ TSP CORRIANDER, ½ TSP RED PEPPER FLAKES
OR
2 TBSP FRESH ROSEMARY, PINCH THYME, BLACK PEPPER, PARSLEY
2 QT WATER OR VEGETABLE BROTH
PREHEAT OVEN TO 425
PLACE SOUP BASE AND WATER IN A SAUCEPAN, COVER AND SIMMER UNTIL MELTED. STIR OFTEN TO MAKE A NICE SMOOTH PUREE.
COMBINE CUBED VEGETABLES WITH ONION WEDGES, GARLIC, 2 TBSP OIL, SALT, AND GINGER IF USING. ROAST IN OVEN FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR; STIR OCCASIONALLY.
WHEN VEGETABLES ARE TENDER AND NICELY CARMELIZED, COMBINE IN A LARGE STOCK POT WITH THE PUREE AND ADDITIONAL WATER OR BROTH AS NEEDED. PUREE WITH A STICK BLENDER, OR IN BATCHES IN A FOOD PROCESSOR OR BLENDER. ADD WATER OR STOCK AS NEEDED TO MAKE A SMOOTH AND CREAMY SOUP. ADJUST SEASONING AND SIMMER 15 MINUTES TO BLEND FLAVORS.
These pumpkins make a lovely side dish to impress company or delight your children. Omit the ginger to make these completely localvore.
MINI PUMPKINS WITH MAPLE GINGER APPLES
4 MINI PUMPKINS, TOPS SLICED OFF AND SEEDS SCOOPED OUT. SAVE THE TOPS
4 APPLES
1 SMALL ONION, IN THIN VERTICLE SLICES
1 CLOVE GARLIC, MINCED
1 TBSP OIL
1 TBSP MAPLE SYRUP
1 TBSP GRATED FRESH GINGER
DASH RED PEPPER FLAKES
SALT
PREHEAT OVEN TO 350
BAKE PUMPKINS IN A BAKING DISH WITH AN INCH OF WATER FOR ABOUT 30 MINUTES.
CORE AND CHOP THE APPLE. IN A SMALL SKILLET, HEAT THE OIL AND SAUTE THE ONION, GARLIC AND GINGER UNTIL FRAGRANT. ADD SALT, AND THE RED PEPPER IF USING AND SAUTE A FEW MINUTES MORE. ADD APPLES AND MAPLE SYRUP; COOK FOR 5 MINUTES. REMOVE FROM HEAT AND FILL EACH PUMPKIN WITH ¼ OF THE APPLE MIXTURE. RETURN TO OVEN, ALONG WITH THE TOPS FOR 20 MINUTES, UNTIL PUMKINS ARE COOKED THROUGH AND THE APPLES ARE TENDER.
The following is a recipe I saw in the Williams-Sonoma catalogue that came in the mail last week. Then, since this share has all the vegetables and the cream it calls for, I decided it was meant to be. I would probably cut the cream with half milk, since the Butterworks cream is so rich. I have not tried it yet, so if you do, please let me know.
ROOT VEGETABLE GRATIN
1 TBSP BUTTER
3 CLOVES GARLIC, MINCED
3 CUPS HEAVY CREAM (½ MILK ½ CREAM, OPTIONAL)
SALT & PEPEPR TO TASTE
¼ TSP NUTMEG
1 LB PARSNIPS
1 LB SWEET POTATOES
1 LB CELERIAC (CELERY ROOT)
8 OZ GRUYERE OR OTHER STRONG, SHARP CHEESE, GRATED
1 TBSP FRESH THYME, OR 1 TSP DRY
3 TBSP MINCED FRESH PARSLEY, OR 1 TBSP DRY
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 AND BUTTER A 3 QUART BAKING DISH
MAKE CREAM SAUCE:
IN A MEDIUM SAUCEPAN, MELT THE BUTTER AND SAUTE THE GARLIC FOR A MINUTE. ADD CREAM, SALT, PEPPER, AND NUTMEG. HEAT JUST UNTIL BUBBLES FORM AROUND THE EDGES OF THE PAN, 5 MINUTES. REMOVE FROM HEAT, STIR IN THE HERBS AND LET STAND 10 MINUTES
PREPARE VEGETABLES:
PEEL AND THINLY SLICE THE VEGETABLES.
ASSEMBLE GRATIN:
ARRANGE A LAYER OF HALF OF THE VEGETABLES: PARSNIPS, THEN SWEET POTATOES, THEN CELERIAC. SPRINKLE WITH HALF THE CHEESE AND POUR OVER HALF OF THE CREAM SAUCE. REPEAT LAYERS WITH THE REMAINING INGREDIENTS, ENDING WITH CHEESE. COVER WITH FOIL AND BAKE FOR 1 HOUR. REMOVE FOIL; LIGHTLY PRESS GRATIN DOWN WITH A SPATULA. RETURN TO OVEN FOR ANOTHER 15-30 MINUTES, UNTIL THE VEGETABLES ARE TENDER AND TOP IS GOLDEN BROWN. LET STAND 15 MINUTES BEFORE SERVING.
Heather

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Newsletter 11/20/07

Pete’s Greens Good Eats Newsletter Nov. 20, 2007

VERY IMPORTANT: VEGETABLE/LOCALVORE SHARES ARE IN THE PURPLE BAG THIS WEEK. ROOT SHARES IN BEIGE BAGS.
This week’s vegetable/localvore share contains: cutting celery, big bu. of salad turnips, big bu. of collards, potatoes, parsnips, pie pumpkin, festival squash, red torpedo and walla walla onions, red beets, french chantenay carrots, cranberries, chevre, eggs, apples, and pastry flour
This week’s root share contains: big bu. of sweet salad turnips, chantenay carrots, yellow potatoes, beets, parsnips, and sweet potatoes
We think these are a couple of pretty sweet shares! It is so much fun to have all this great localvore food flowing through the farm and getting a chance to sample it all. Many of the localvore providers have been self delivering food to the farm and it is a great bunch of folks to be in contact with.
Monday morning we broke ground on our new greenhouse project. The past 4 days have been a whirlwind of planning and brainstorming and while some plans are still in development we think most of it is nailed down. I have the pleasure of working with 2 incredible builders, Chris and Isaac Jacobs. They are a father/son team, very creative, very thorough, and they get a lot done in a day. Isaac is married to Melissa who is our washhouse manager and has taken on more tasks recently such as helping design Good Eats shares. She is doing a great job running the show in the washhouse and we will miss she and Isaac dearly when they leave for the Peace Corps spring of ’08.
Thanks for all the positive feedback about Good Eats. Our anecdotal impression is that our members are happier than ever in the year and a half history of Good Eats and that we are gradually improving our program in ways that you like. That’s great, but I know we still have a ways to go and as always appreciate constructive criticism.
Look for our bulk order form in your e-mail. It’s a great way to stock up on items you’d like more of.
This week we have some fabulous localvore items. The beautiful cranberries are from Bob at the Vermont Cranberry Co in Fletcher, VT . The flour is soft whole wheat pastry flour from Ben Gleason in Bridport, VT. The chevre is from Greg & Hannah Bernhardt of Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury, VT. The apples are Cortland from Bill Suhr's Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, VT. And of course, eggs from here at Pete's Greens.

Next week the share will include an Apple Pie from Champlain Orchards, Cream from Butterworks Farm, and smoked Mozzarella from Maplebrook Farm. I haven't heard yet from Pete what the vegetable share will include.

Get Ready For The Pantry Stock Up!

In a couple weeks we will be distributing a whole lot of dry goods to stock your pantry. We'll have rolled oats, flax seed, oat flour, pearled barley, yellow peas, all from Quebec, and WW bread flour from Ben Gleason. I'll probably get it all packed to include in the first two weeks of December.


I'm really excited about the pastry flour this week. I have been bagging it up for you and decided to try it out in a couple of my favorite recipes. I know for Thanksgiving many of you have your traditional family recipes, so I'm not going to try to tell you how to cook the sweet potatoes, etc! These muffins might be just the thing to snack on Wednesday while you are preparing the big dinner, or to bring along if you are visiting.

CRANBERRY BUTTERMILK MUFFINS

1/3 C OIL
1/2 C SUGAR
2 EGGS
1 C BUTTERMILK
3 C WW PASTRY FLOUR
1 TBSP BAKING POWDER
1/2 TSP SALT
1 C FRESH CRANBERRIES, WHOLE OR CHOPPED UP A BIT
ZEST OF 1/2 ORANGE
1/4 TSP NUTMEG

PREHEAT OVEN 400

IN A BOWL BEAT TOGETHER THE SUGAR AND OIL. BEAT IN EGGS ONE AT A TIME, UNTIL LIGHT & FOAMY. SLOWLY POUR IN BUTTERMILK AND MIX UNTIL WELL COMBINED. ADD THE REST OF THE INGREDIENTS AND STIR TOGETHER BY HAND UNTIL JUST BARELY COMBINED. DO NOT OVER MIX SO THE MUFFINS WILL BE TENDER. FILL 12 GREASED OR PAPER LINED MUFFIN CUPS EVENLY. BAKE AT 400 FOR 15 - 20 MINUTES.

OPTIONAL GLAZE: COMBINE 1 C CONFECTIONERS SUGAR WITH A BIT OF ORANGE JUICE TO MAKE A SMOOTH GLAZE. SPOON OVER COOL MUFFINS.

THIS IS THE MOST FLEXIBLE MUFFING I HAVE EVER TRIED. YOU CAN ADD 1 CUP OF ANY FRUIT, EVEN BANANA OR PUMPKIN, OR 1/2 CUP OF NUTS, OR CHOCOLATE CHIPS. ADD A 1/2 TSP OF CINNAMON, NUTMEG, OR VANILLA OR ALMOND FLAVORING. ADD LEMON OR ORANGE ZEST. ONE IDEA I HAVE NOT TRIED IS USING ONLY MAPLE TO SWEETEN, BUT THAT MIGHT BE NEXT.


PUMPKIN BREAD

3 1/2 C WW PASTRY FLOUR
1/2 TSP BAKING SODA
2 TSP BAKING POWDER
1/2 TSP SALT
1 TSP CINNAMON
1/2 TSP GINGER
1/2 TSP ALLSPICE

2 EGGS
1/3 C VEGETABLE OIL
1/2 C BROWN SUGAR
1/2 C MAPLE SYRUP
1 C PUMPKIN PUREE
3/4 C MILK

GREASE 2 LOAF PANS OR ONE MEDIUM BUNDT PAN. PREHEAT OVEN TO 350

IN A LARGE BOWL COMBINE THE DRY INGREDIENTS. IN ANOTHER SMALLER BOWL, WHISK TOGETHER THE WET INGREDIENTS. POUR INTO THE DRY INGREDIENTS AND COMBINE QUICKLY JUST TO BLEND. POUR EVENLY INTO PAN(S), BAKE ABOUT 45-60 MINUTES, UNTIL A TOOTHPICK IN CENTER COMES OUT CLEAN.

Now for another greens idea.

SWEET POTATO AND GREENS GRATIN

2 # SWEET POTATOES
1 BU COLLARDS, CHARD OR KALE
1 ONION
2 CLOVES GARLIC
SALT, RED PEPPER FLAKES, CUMIN OR OLD BAY SEASONING TO TASTE
1/3/ C FLOUR
2 C MILK
1/4 C FRESH GRATED PARMESAN OR OTHER SALTY CHEESE

I think sweet potatoes and collards are an ideal pair. If you manage to have extra sweet potatoes around, scrub & cut into 1/4" slices. Place in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook a few minutes, until barely tender, drain into a colander and set aside.

Combine flour and spices to taste in a little bowl.

Meanwhile, wash, remove middle stem, & chop the collards. Dice an onion and mince a couple garlic cloves. Saute the onion & garlic with olive oil and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Stir in the collards and sprinkle with salt. Saute until just tender & still bright green, a couple minutes.

In a buttered baking dish, layer the sweet potatoes and the collards. First 1/3 sweet potatoes, 1/2 collards, sprinkling the layers with the seasoned flour. Continue layering, ending with the sweet potatoes. Pour over the milk, sprinkle with the cheese. Bake @400 for about 30 minutes, until bubbly and golden.

And that's what I'm going to make for supper right now!

Happy Thanksgiving all

Heather


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Newsletter 11/12/07

Pete’s Greens Good Eats Newsletter Nov. 14, 2007
Not to sound like a broken record but remember next week because of Thanksgiving pickup is on Tuesday the 20th! Same time, same places, one day early.
This week’s share contains: winter mixed greens, baby pac choi, cilantro, daikon radish, shallots, kale, garlic, rutabaga, sweet winter carrots, sweet potatoes, yogurt, whole frozen chicken, (vegetarians receive 3 tofus, ½ pint of local organic tamari, and potatoes in lieu of chicken)
We’re entering the time of year when it is harder to keep green items cosmetically perfect. You may notice that your pac choi has a few spots on it, or that leaf tips on the kale are frost nipped. Think of this as evidence that the greens have lived a full life out in the extreme weather of a Vermont fall. The recent cool temps. (we’ve been down to 15 degrees. F.) cause greens to sweeten tremendously. We find ourselves snacking on what we are harvesting more than any other time of the year.
The sweet potatoes are still not very sweet. I recommend keeping them in the plastic bag and placing them in the warmest spot in your house for a week. They are unwashed because they store poorly once washed. Time in a warm spot will sweeten them.
We’ve been sending you a lot of sugarsnax (long, sweet, orange) carrots. We’ve heard nothing but positive response to the carrots but if you are tired of them and think we are overdoing it let me know at pete@petesgreen.com.
We have finally broken ground on our new greenhouse project. We are planning 10,000 square feet of heated space for vegetable starts and early tomatoes, cukes, and eggplant and another 14,000 square feet of moveable greenhouses for all sorts of crops. This is an exciting project for Pete’s Greens, which will greatly improve our last remaining piece of really subpar infrastructure. Keep tuned for greenhouse construction updates. Pete
All below is from Heather:
This week’s share looks like a great opportunity to make some Thai inspired soup. You can do this either with chicken or the tofu, depending on which share you get. Not all of the ingredients here are localvore, but the results can transport you to warmer sunnier place!
THAI SOUP WITH GINGER AND COCONUT
With chicken, make a stock by simmering the chicken in a large stock pot. Cover with water, and add any vegetable parings as you prepare the vegetables. Remove the chicken after about 30 minutes. Cool and then shred the meat. Strain the broth and set aside 8 cups.
Vegetarian broth can be made from the vegetable parings. For this recipe, use some ginger, lemongrass and garlic to flavor the broth.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 pc lemongrass, diced, or pinch of dry lemongrass powder
2 tsp red Thai curry paste, to taste
2 tsp salt
3 shallots, sliced
6” piece diakon, halved and sliced on a diagonal
2 carrots, halved and sliced on a diagonal
1 c coconut milk
8 c broth (chicken or vegetable)
2 tbsp fish sauce (or tamari for vegetarian)
1 cake tofu, drained & cubed
or
chicken from one bird
1 # pac choi, cut into shreds
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
1 lime cut in wedges
Hot sauce
Combine the garlic, ginger, lemongrass, curry paste and salt together in a small bowl to make paste. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium heat and add this spice paste and the shallots. Sweat for a few minutes, and then add the coconut milk, daikon and carrots. Simmer gently for 5 minutes, add the broth, fish sauce/tamari, and tofu or chicken. Simmer until vegetables are tender, adding the pac choi at the very end. Garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Add hot sauce to taste.
You could serve this with rice or noodles, if you like.
So, as promised, here’s another great greens recipe. This is a dish shared with me by Barry at the Buffalo Mt Coop in Hardwick. He was having his lunch while I was shopping. It looked so yummy he gave me a bite. The sweet flavor of the caramelized onions really shines through, and kale is especially good here. I’m sure I’ve changed it some since then, but that’s the evolution of cooking!
TOFU AND GREENS
1 bunch greens
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 cake tofu, pressed and cubed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Tamari to taste
Wash, remove stems and chop greens. Heat oil in a large skillet; add onion and sauté over low heat until nicely browning. Add garlic and tofu and continue to sauté until tofu browns a bit. Stir in greens in batches until all are incorporated and cook just until they are bright green. Serve with tamari.
Now, as for the rest of the vegetable share, save those sweet potatoes and rutabaga for Thanksgiving next week. So you can plan ahead for it, I’ll give you a sneak peak at the Localvore items. I hope this doesn’t spoil the surprise for any of you! And don’t forget, the delivery is on Tuesday 11/20/07.
Cranberries, VT Cranberry Company
Cortland Apples, Champlain Orchards
WW Pastry Flour, Gleason Grains
Chevre, Blueledge Farm
Eggs, Pete’s Greens
Enjoy!
Heather

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Newsletter 11/07/07

Pete’s Greens Good Eats Newsletter Nov. 7, 2007
IMPORTANT NOTE: Thanksgiving week Good Eats pickup is Tuesday Nov. 20, not the 21st. The times are all the same. Please make a note of it.
This week’s vegetable/localvore share contains: eggs, organic shitake mushrooms, organic cornmeal, delicata or acorn squash, sugarsnax carrots, hot peppers (although apparently they are not all hot), onions, leeks, chard, dill kale, salad turnips, potatoes, and cabbage and mesclun
This week’s root share contains: sugarnsnax carrots, 1 bu. celery (not advertised but it goes well with cooked roots), salad turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, leeks, and potatoes

This is the month of sweet, nutritious, colorful cooking greens. We are attempting to keep our outdoor kales, chards, mustards, pac choi, napa cabbage and more going as late as possible this season. They are covered with small wire hoops and double layer of floating row cover. Row cover is a fabric that lets water and most of the light through and provides a few degrees of frost protection. We plan to add a 3rd layer of row cover when it gets very cold and hope to take these crops into December. Try not to get bored with these greens as you will be receiving a lot the next few weeks. There are many great ways to eat them (steamed, sautéed, in soup, etc) Load up your families bodies with the nutrients these greens proved in preparation for the long and not very green winter ahead.
Some of you requested to not receive our free range chickens in your share as you are vegetarians. Our book-keeping for who is vegetarian got a little sloppy and I suspect that there are more of you who would prefer not to receive a chicken. We intend to distribute chicken sometime in the next couple weeks so please e-mail Pete if you would prefer no chicken. We will substitute tofu and other food in place of the chicken.
We were cruising along finishing our root harvest, feeling like we had just enough room in our storage facility for all our crops when we started to pick the half acre of cabbage. So much volume, it filled the space we set aside for it in no time at all. Fortunately our friends have an unused 10 by 20 ft. cooler that we can rent for a couple months until we clear some roots out of our cooler and make room for cabbage. Pete

All below is from Heather:

The eggs are from Pete’s, the cornmeal is from Butterworks Farm, and the mushrooms are from a new supplier to us, Tom Wisner. I have been working on sourcing local products for a couple weeks now, and it’s really exciting to have it come together in the share. I’m also the keeper of the hens, so I especially hope you enjoy the eggs! Please email me at heather@petesgreens.com for information about, or to suggest, localvore products. We are always seeking locally grown & produced foods.
Both of the shares this week read like soup to me. You could easily put together a rich potato leek soup, even incorporating some of the other roots and the celery in the root share. Another easy recipe to make is colcannon, basically an Irish mashed potato dish with cabbage, onion, and even kale added. Boil chunks of potato in salted water. Sauté the chopped vegetables you want to add in butter. Drain potatoes, mash with milk or cream, add vegetables, season with salt & pepper & a bit of the fresh dill. Cheese can also be mixed in or sprinkled on top. This mixture can then be baked, (nice with the cheese), or just served as is. This is comfort food for these rainy gray November days!
Consider whipping up some cornbread to go with your supper. This is my favorite super fast recipe:
CORNBREAD
2 eggs
1 c milk
¼ c oil
4 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
¼ c sugar
1 c flour
1 c cornmeal
Preheat oven 400. If you have a 9” or 10” cast-iron skillet, put it in the oven to preheat with a pat of butter in it. Otherwise butter a baking pan and set aside.
Whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, salt & sugar. Whisk in the baking powder. Stir in the cornmeal and flour just to combine. Pour into the pan of choice. Bake 20 minutes, until set and golden.
As for all those Great Big Bunches of Greens coming your way, I have lots of ideas for you. I’ll share a few more over the next few weeks. Remember, they cook down to a much smaller volume!
POLENTA & GREENS
2 bunches cooking greens
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
Dash red pepper flakes
2 carrots, halved and sliced (optional)
Italian seasoning herbs (optional)
Sliced shitake mushrooms (optional)
1 c grated cheese, provolone, cheddar, fontina, even feta, as you like
Wash and chop the greens. Sauté onion, garlic, and carrots and/or mushrooms in olive oil. Season with salt, pepper & red pepper and Italian herbs. Cook until browning and fragrant. Gradually add the greens, stir frying until all are incorporated and just wilted.
1 c polenta (coarse cornmeal)
3 c water
1 tsp salt
Boil water & whisk in polenta & salt. Turn down very low, watch out for sputters. Cook until thick, stirring often.
Brush a baking dish with olive oil. Pour in about 2/3 of polenta, spoon in the greens, top with remaining polenta & cheese. Take a butter knife and swirl through the top layers a bit. Bake @ 350 until bubbly and slightly browned, about 30 minutes.
A couple notes on this recipe. It is easily doubled, which makes a generous 10 x 14 pyrex baking dish. The polenta is easier to work with if it is poured right when it thickens. If you wait it will set up into a more solid form. Prep the vegetables and have all ingredients ready before you cook the polenta, so it will be ready at the right time, as the greens take just a few minutes.
Happy Cooking!
Heather

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Newsletter 10/31/07

Pete’s Greens Good Eats Newsletter Oct. 31, 2007
This week’s share includes: 1 pie pumpkin, 1 bu. fennel, purple and red carrots, shallots, mesclun, mixed potatoes, sweet salad turnips, 1 gallon cider, Patchwork bread (organic whole wheat milled at bakery, organic spelt flakes, sourdough, deep well water, sea salt), Jasper Hill Constant Bliss cheese, mixed peppers, broccoli or cauliflower
Important information: Thanksgiving Week Good Eats pickup is on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Please make a note of it!
Some of you might be tiring of peppers. This is the last time you’ll receive from our bumper crop this season. It is remarkable how many lbs. of peppers four, 200 ft. long beds produce. The round white bunched item is sweet salad turnips. This time of year they achieve turnip perfection-sweet buttery flavor. They can be cooked but when they taste this good it’s a shame not to eat them raw. The stems and green are great in stir-fry or soup. Half of you received broccoli, the other half cauliflower.
It’s the last day of October and we have 42 beds of roots still to be harvested out of our original 320. We’ll knock off about half of them today leaving just one more day of digging roots. It is a marathon that sometimes seems like it won’t end. Many thanks to Santiago, Steve, Elena, Meg, Maria, Heather and Emily for their dedicated work on root harvest. Steve has been in charge of transporting the roots from field to cooler and has done a great job arranging the in the cooler in a systematic manner. To give you some perspective on our root crop we harvested 7 acres. This has filled our 35 by 45 ft root cellar to the ceiling with very narrow aisles to walk through. It is about 150,000 lbs. of roots, or 75 tons. If families averaged 10 lbs. of roots per week Nov.-April it is enough for 500 families. We are one of the largest growers of roots in the State. You can see that if we are serious about Vermonters eating locally we need more farms.
We are doing our absolute best to get the newsletter to you before you pickup your share. If it is late it is because our internet service is not working. We have the best service available in Craftsbury and it works great 80% of the time but there is nothing we can do when it is down. We hear rumor that we will have service over phone lines by sometime next year, which will hopefully be an improvement. We are big supporters of government efforts to improve service in the boonies. There is so much business that can now be conducted in the back hills of Vermont but being connected is essential. Pete
With the weather finally feeling more like fall, it’s the perfect time for Pumpkin Soup! I improvise on this, but there are a few essential ingredients and an easy way to prepare the pumpkin. If you aren’t sure what to do with your fennel and turnips, they would be delicious here, too. Their flavor will be delicate in the soup. Otherwise, save the fennel and turnip for another recipe and add few stalks of celery to the soup.
HEATHER’S FALL HARVEST PUMPKIN SOUP
1 pie pumpkin, about 3 lbs
2 medium or 3 small white turnips
1 or 2 fennel bulbs
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
3 Tbs olive oil
1 qt chicken or vegetable broth
1 qt water, as needed
Fresh or dried herbs to taste: thyme, sage, parsley, fennel greens
Pinch or red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350; cut pumpkin in half, place in baking pan cut side down, add 2 inches water. Bake until tender, about an hour. Cool to handle, discard seeds, scoop out flesh and chop up a bit if it’s in large pieces. Set aside for now.
Now you could make a nice vegetable stock with the pumpkin shell, and the parings from the onions, fennel, and turnip. Cover with water in a large stock pot and simmer 15 minutes. While this cooks, you can chop and sauté the vegetables.
Dice the turnip, fennel bulb, and onion. Mince the garlic.
Heat olive oil in large soup pot, add onion, sauté 5 minutes; add the rest of the vegetables and sauté until fragrant and slightly browning. Add the salt, pepper, and seasonings. Stir around a couple of minutes, and then add in the pumpkin. Set a mesh strainer over the pot and very carefully pour in the vegetable stock. Simmer about 30 minutes, adding more stock or water as needed.
This can be a thick chunky soup or a velvety smooth puree, so add as much broth or more water as needed to make the desired consistency. A splash of cider is also lovely. Puree if you wish.
Garnish with fresh snipped parsley/fennel greens and/or some roasted pumpkin seeds.


So now, what about those turnips, fennel and beets if you don’t use them in the pumpkin soup? I saw this intriguing recipe for a Turnip salad. The white sweet salad turnips are the ones to use for this.
SWEET SALD TURNIPS WITH ORANGES
1 bunch turnips, trimmed, halved and sliced
1 tsp salt
1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp harissa or other chile garlic paste
Salt
3 Tbs olive oil
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
Salt the turnip slices and set aside for 30 minutes. Drain and squeeze out the excess liquid.
While the turnip is being salted, prepare the rest of the salad ingredients. Cut the rind off of the orange with a sharp knife. Cut into 1 inch chunks. Blend together the lemon juice, garlic, harissa, salt to taste, and olive oil. Toss turnips, orange and dressing. Garnish with cilantro.
The beets are wonderful as a roasted vegetable. Scrub the roots, but you don’t have to peel the whole thing, just trim as needed. Toss together chunks of beets, fennel, turnips, carrots and any other roots, wedges of onion and minced garlic with salt, pepper and a couple tablespoons of olive oil. A pinch of cumin and paprika are nice, too. Place in a baking dish, roast at 400 for about hour, covered for the first 30 minutes. When done, the roots should be tender and nicely browned. Stir a couple times during roasting.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Newsletter October 24, 2007

Pete's Greens Good Eats Newsletter Oct. 24, 2007

This is the first week of the bi-weekly root share pickups. Root share bags will be labeled root share. Please be careful to make sure you are picking up the correct type of share and cross your name off the sheet. Thanks

This week's Root Share contains: sugarsnax carrots, potatoes, 1 bu. salad turnips, red beets, cabbage, celeriac, 1 bunch of kohlrabi

This week's Vegetable/Localvore Share contains:sweet salad turnips, ruby red chard, yellow onions, tomatillos, cilantro, green tomatoes, spaghetti squash, sugarsnax carrots, garlic, mixed peppers, mesclun, Bonnieview Farm blue cheese, 5# bag apples

This share was advertised as approximately a $25 vegetable value and a $20 Localvore food value per week. For the first few weeks while there is so much garden bounty we are going to provide somewhat less Localvore food and more vegetables. We might err on the side of more than $20 value of Localvore food in January and February when there is less vegetable diversity.
Also, we forgot to mention this in our advertising of this share period, but we are going to skip the Christmas week delivery. There will be no Good Eats on Dec. 26. Many of you will be out of town and the farm crew will appreciate the break. We will make up the $45 value of the skipped week by providing extra food between now and then. If anyone has a problem with this plan let Pete know at pete@petesgreen.com.

We have filled the cellar of the house with our sweet potato crop. We're running the wood furnace and keeping the cellar at 80 plus degrees. Sweet potatoes need 2 weeks of curing at 80 degrees and 80% humidity in order to become sweet and to store properly. It feels so bizarre to place a root crop in those conditions-any other that we grow would be a stinking mess after 2 weeks at high heat and high humidity. We thought our crop was poor because the summer was not very hot but we found some surprisingly nice beds while digging them. You should start receiving them regularly in a couple weeks.
Pete

Tomatillos?! They're a little weird with that papery husk on them, but what a great salsa you can make. A distant relative of the tomato, potato, pepper and eggplant, tomatillos have a succulent tangy flesh. You can keep them in the fridge for several weeks as long as they are firm and unblemished. Store in an open container or loose bag so they don't sweat. But we hope you can't wait to eat them!

They are best cooked for a sauce or salsa. Simmer the peeled fruits for a soft juicy consistency or roast with the husks on for a thicker texture and more concentrated flavor. In either case, you want to watch them carefully so they don't burst. Boil for 10 minutes or so; roast @ 450 for 10-15 minutes. Here's a delicious salsa I like them roasted and you even have all the ingredients in this share!
-Heather

ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA

1 PINT TOMATILLOS
SMALL ONION, MINCED
1/2 C MINCED CILANTRO
1 CLOVE GARLIC, MINCED
1 TSP SALT
1/2 TSP BLACK PEPPER
HOT PEPPER TO TASTE, EITHER RED PEPPER FLAKES OR FRESH MINCED CHILE PEPPER

Rinse the tomatillos and roast in their jackets @ 450 for 10 or 15 minutes. They should brown but not burst open. Cool to handle & peel off the husks. Fork mash the tomatillos in a bowl then mix in all other ingredients. Taste for salt & spice. You can also pulse all together in a food processor, but I like to leave a little texture.

Use this salsa with any Mexican dish, enchiladas, tacos, huevos rancheros, beans & rice, etc. Also great with grilled fish, etc.

Now, what about that spaghetti squash? This is easy, just prick the whole squash in a few places and bake @ 350 for 35-50 minutes, until soft but not mush. Very carefully transfer to a cutting board and cut open so it will not keep cooking. Cool to handle, scoop seeds & discard. Use a fork to separate out the strands into a bowl. Now you are ready to serve with your favorite sauce.

You could also saute up some garlic, onion, red peppers in olive oil; add the ruby chard, dress with a splash of white balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper, toss with the squash and crumble on some of that Bonnieview Blue.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Newsletter, October 17

Welcome to the Oct. -Feb share period. We're excited about the diversity of vegetables that are in the field and piling up in the root cellar.

In your shares this week:
ruby red chard, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, bell peppers, leeks, napa cabbage, fingerling potatoes, sugar snax carrots, mesclun, Patchwork Farm Bread, Vermont Soy Tofu and our eggs.

If you haven't already, visit our blog at petesgreens.blogspot.com
You'll find past newsletters, musings, articles of interest and recipes throughout. A great resource for those of you who have the time for such meanderings and a good way to keep in touch regardless.

Don't forget to grab your complimentary copy of the first edition of Edible Green Mountains that publisher and Good Eats member Deborah Schapiro has graciously given. The magazine is filled with gorgeous photography and informative, lively articles that bring home the experiences of local farmers and producers as well as our own choice to eat on a local level. Recipes abound and there are links to many local resources as well. Feel free to send your thoughts and feedback. I stole a copy from the office and read it in my car today, while waiting for the kids to get out of school.

Vermont Soy Company is a local, organic company located in our neighboring town of Hardwick. Their philosophy is summed up by "The Whole Bean Way", a philosophy that encompasses using the full potential of the soybean as opposed to extracts. It's exciting to offer a product like this to our members and we welcome your feedback. Visit their site for recipe ideas too.

Patchwork Farm and Bakery is a favorite around here and located on Pumpkin Lane in East Hardwick. This bread is a Localvore loaf, meaning the ingredients, save the salt, were procured within 100 miles of our farm. The aroma of freshly baked loaves, 120+ strong, filled the office tonight and my stomach gurgled in response. Eat these loaves quickly and store in the bag on the counter. If you cannot eat them in a day or two, try slicing and freezing in plastic. If not, then remember...stale bread makes awesome french toast for lazy Sunday mornings.

When it comes to storing your vegetables, remember a couple of basic rules. Don't wash your vegetables before storing and make sure they are dry. Washing, for many veggies, removes their ability to protect themselves from the environment. Washed carrots will get limp faster than you can say "Vitamin A" and potatoes get soft. If they come in a plastic bag and it's damp, air out the bag or transfer naked to the crisper of your fridge. A little loose saran wrap or dry dish cloth will often do the trick of retarding moisture loss. -Elena

Chard: Store in the crisper, dry. Use like spinach.
Brussel Sprouts: Can be stored for a little while in the fridge, but taste best when cooked fresh. Try pan roasting in olive oil or sunflower oil, salt and pepper, until the skin is crisp and brown.
Cauliflower: Store wrapped in plastic in the crisper of the fridge. Should be okay for a few days, but will start to speckle and brown if not eaten right away. Great recipe for roasted cauliflower in the Edible Green Mountains magazine. I also like it steamed or baked with lots of butter and cheese.
Leeks: These guys will store for a long time in the fridge, but i prefer to chop off the green tops, slice thinly and store them in the freezer to use at a moments notice. Think carmelized leeks with roasted garlic and pan fried potatoes... I feel a recipe inspiration coming on!
Bell Peppers: Store in the crisper.I believe you will be getting green and red peppers this week. These are both great cooking peppers if you are not partial to the sweetness of raw. The other possible colors are creamy white or purple. Those guys like to be eaten raw as they lose their color when cooked and just look blah.
Napa Cabbage: Good stuff. In a bag in the fridge. Crunchy slaw is an old standby or try braising with apples and onions. Add a splash of cider vinegar and you have a good thing.
Fingerling Potatoes: Small, finger like tubers. Store in a paper bag in a cool, dry place. No need to peel, just scrub clean before cooking. Roast whole with some olive oil, salt and pepper or boil until just tender and toss with butter and herbs.
Carrots: Any need for me to explain storage or cooking?
Mesclun: The greens of Pete's Greens. Wash and spin dry before eating. Will last 3 to 5 days if dry and in the crisper. Eat with absolutely everything. I like mine tossed with balsamic viniagrette and piled on a slice of homemade pizza.


Ruby Eggs on Patchwork Toast
Forgive the casualness of this particular recipe. I'm a fan of Eggs Florentine, but since you received Ruby Chard this week and no tomatoes, I refined and renamed my favorite brunch food. Enjoy!-elena

2 farm fresh eggs, poached (as easy as cracking them into a pot of boiling water and fishing them out 2 to 3 minutes later)
1/2# of ruby red chard, lightly sauteed with butter and chopped leeks
4 slices of roasted red peppers
4 T of creamy mornay (recipe follows)
2 thick slices of Patchwork Farm bread

Assemble the Ruby Eggs: Divide and pile the wilted Ruby Chard on each slice of bread. Follow with poached eggs and the roasted peppers. Toast or broil lightly in the toaster oven or broiler until just heated through, but the yolk is still runny. Garnish lavishly with mornay and eat with gusto! Perfect with sparkling orange juice or hot black coffee.

Making the Mornay: Melt 2 T of butter. Add 2 T of flour and whisk over medium heat for 2 minutes. Lower heat and slowly pour 2 cups of heated milk (for thinner, lower fat sauce) or cream (for thicker, high fat sauce) while furiously whisking to avoid cooked lumps of goo. Let simmer for a minute or two and then add 1/2 cup of freshly grated parmesan or swiss cheese or sharp cheddar. I like to add some blue cheese as well for extra tang. Continue to stir and cook until thickened. Store in the fridge for several days and reheat with a few tablespoons of milk.

Alternative to Cream Sauce: I've not tried this yet, but for those of you who are willing and/or not interested in a lot of fat in your diet, i've got a recipe for a reduced orange syrup. Basically it consists of simmering orange juice until a bit viscous, adding some salt and pepper, a bit of oil and fresh herbs. It sounded like it might work on the Ruby Eggs, but then again...maybe not. Let me know if you try it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Newsletter October 10th

Pete’s Greens Good Eats Newsletter Oct. 10, 2007
This week’s share contains: mesclun, ½# mixed peppers, 1 bu. ruby red chard, ½# zukes, 1 red kuri squash, ½# broccoli, ¾# roma tomatoes, 1# yellow onion, 1 bu. sweet salad turnips, ½# eggplant, yogurt, and eggs
This is the last week of our summer share period! Thanks to all of you who joined. It definitely felt like our most successful share yet. Thanks to all of you who have signed up for our Oct.17-Feb 13 share period and hopefully we’ll see those of you who didn’t again next summer. I have been feeling much gratitude towards our share members as we struggle to collect money from late paying wholesale customers. It has made a tremendous difference to the financial situation of the farm that you are willing to pay us ahead of time and trust us to provide the food promised. It also is very gratifying to see the truckload of CSA shares leave the farm and realize that they are going right into people’s kitchens with no middlemen. We love Good Eats and consider it to be the future of Pete’s Greens.
With that in mind please take a couple minutes to fill out our Good Eats assessment form. Your feedback, both positive and negative helps us to improve. Our goal is for Good Eats to get better and better over the next year so any suggestions are appreciated.
We continue to fill the cooler with roots. In fact we are starting to wonder where this enormously bountiful crop will all fit. Yesterday we pulled a daikon radish that is 2 ½ ft. long and 4 inches thick. I’m hoping to dry it down for firewood. I’ve head rumor of a kohlrabi that is the size of a volleyball lurking somewhere in the field. Some unsuspecting winter shareholder might be lucky recipient of it. We are slightly over halfway with our root harvest with 3 weeks to go. If the weather holds and our backs last, we’ll get it done. -Pete

Recipes and Storage Ideas:
Hi everyone! In your shares this week you received beautiful Kuri Squashes and enough vegetables to make an awesome ratatouille. Serve the ratatouille over hot pasta or creamy polenta and have leftovers in a salad for lunch the next day. There are dozens of recipes out there for ratatouille, but mostly i just cook eggplant, onions, peppers, lots of garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes and zucchini in olive oil. I also like to add fresh herbs and red wine towards the end, but the beauty of this dish is that it lends itself to interpretation. -Elena

Chard: Store as you would mesclun. Dry and in the cooler. Try wilting and tossing with pasta or making a creamy sauce and tossing for a side dish to roasted meat. Anything you use spinach in, chard will substitute quite nicely.
Salad Turnips: Sweet turnips are a treat on salad or as a snack with dip for the kids. Store in the fridge.
Kuri Squash: Leave it out on the counter. Slice through the hard skin, clean out seeds and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until tender.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Montpelier Farmers Market goes year-round!

Includes a blurb about Pete's Greens recent grant for expanding the kitchen too. -elena
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MONTPELIER – Vermont's growing season may be curbed by cold weather, but the thriving marketplace it feeds is not.

The weekly Saturday Montpelier Farmers Market, until now a fair-weather phenomenon, will expand this winter into a year-round enterprise.

"I'm hoping this winter market will really open people's eyes to what is available in Vermont throughout the whole year," says Jessie Schmidt, manager of the Montpelier market. "Vendors are working harder to extend their seasons … There's just a lot more available now."

The wintertime market, to be held in the Vermont College gymnasium from 10 a.m. -2 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month beginning in December, won't be as frequent an occasion as its summertime companion. But the monthly event, Schmidt says, will spotlight the expanding scope of local offerings.

"Farmers work really hard storing an incredible amount and variety of vegetables," Schmidt says. "Traditional root crops – carrots and potatoes, and items like squash, rutabagas, will be available. Vendors also have been successful at extending their seasons, so you can expect to see some winter greens and herbs as well."

Local livestock farmers also will sell their products, offering everything from lamb sausage to T-bone steaks.

Read the rest at Times Argus Article: Montpelier Market to go Year-Round

Good Eats Newsletter Oct. 3rd, 2007

In your shares this week: mesclun, 1# mixed peppers, 3/4# baby kale for wilting, 1.5# colored cauliflower, 2# mixed carrots, 2# mixed potatoes, Localvore apple pie from Champlain Orchards, Butterworks Jersey cream

This week, for the second time in the history of Good Eats we are offering Localvore pies from Champlain Orchards. The crust is made from whole wheat soft pastry flour from Ben Gleason's farm near Middlebury, apples are from the Orchard, butter is unfortunately Cabot (New England local rather than Vermont), and the maple syrup and eggs are local. This is an example of the sort of collaboration that Good Eats is all about.
You are receiving a giant bag of mesclun this week. For the past few weeks we have had extra greens so you have received more than you have paid for. If it's too much for your family pass it on to friend! I like to eat piles of greens this time of year to stock my body with vitamins and minerals for the long and less green winter ahead. Also the cool temps bring out a nice sweetness in the greens and a thicker, juicier texture.
Speaking of cool temps we haven't had many lately. While we are basking in the fine fall weather it is messing up our greens plantings. We carefully calibrate our late summer and early fall plantings to ensure that our greens mature at a staggered rate so that we have lots to wholesale through October. This year they are maturing too soon and I'm concerned that the last week or two of October we are going to be short for our wholesale accounts. Also we need gradually cooler temps in order to harden off our greens so they can better withstand the cold coming. Who knows, maybe we'll have another repeat of last fall's amazing balminess.
Oct-Feb signups have gone amazingly well. We have filled the vegetable/Localvore share with essentially no advertising. Thanks to all of you who have signed up and thanks for telling your friends. I was studying our accounts receivables sheet for our wholesale accounts today and feeling frustrated by how hard it is to get many of our wholesale customers to pay us. It is a pleasure and honor to provide food directly to customers who pay us ahead of time, and who so faithfully let us know what they like and don't like about what we provide.
We do have many Root Shares available. This is an introductory offering that allows you to get a taste of what Pete's Greens in the winter is all about. Read about this new, bi-weekly share on the website or e-mail a mailing address and I'll send a brochure. Pete

Recipes and Storage Ideas:

Hi everyone! Although I’m no longer working at the farm much, I will continue to work on these newsletters until someone fabulous can step in and take over. I’ve included a recipe for a Spanish tortilla that can be intimidating to some, but a wonderful way to eat the baby kale in your shares. –elena

Peppers: Keep cool in the crisper of your fridge. Not sure what colors you received this week, but they are all yummy and sweet eaten raw. The red and green ones will retain their color roasted or cooked, but the purple ones tend to get brown looking, so eat those raw in salads.

Mesclun: Think big salads this week. Use the peppers, colored cauliflower and boil then slice a couple of the beautiful purple potatoes to garnish the mesclun, sprinkle with nuts, cheese, fresh apples and pears and drizzle with a garlicky, balsamic vinaigrette. The essence of “yum”!

Carrots: In a plastic bag in the crisper. If they start to get kind of floppy, try setting in ice water for several minutes before using or eating to crisp them up.

Potatoes: Store in paper bag in the fridge or a drawer. Keep light away. I love these potatoes cut into wedges, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and roasted in the oven at 375 for 30 minutes. The colors are amazing and tasty too.

Cauliflower: Keep in crisper and use sooner rather than later. Dark spots will start to form if not eaten in a day or two, but they can be cut out and the vegetable can still be eaten…it’s just not nearly as pretty!

Kale: Baby kale in your shares this week and the lacy, serrated leaves are beautiful and tender enough to toss in a salad. I prefer to heat sunflower oil, toss in some a couple cloves of minced garlic and heat that until fragrant. Then toss in the freshly washed kale and toss until just wilted. Salt and pepper to your hearts content. Eat with roasted meats or served with creamy, cheesy polenta and you’ll understand my love for winter greens.

Kale and Potato Spanish Tortilla

-adapted from Gourmet, 2003

A Spanish tortilla is very much like an omelet or frittata. It makes a filling supper on a cool night.

2 T olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb potatoes, scrubbed clean, boiled until just tender and diced into 1/2" cubes

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 to 3/4 lb baby kale

7 large, farm fresh eggs

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, saute until fragrant and then toss in potatoes. Cook until slightly crisp, with onions and garlic turning translucent. In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil, generously add salt and cook the kale until wilted. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Drain and squeeze the kale in your hands to rid it of excess moisture, then roughly chop and add to potato mixture. Beat eggs in a bowl and add to vegetable mixture, cooking on low heat, covered, until edges are set but center is still loose, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand, covered, 15 minutes.

Shake skillet gently to make sure tortilla is not sticking (if it is sticking, loosen with a heatproof plastic spatula). Slide tortilla onto a large flat plate, then invert skillet over tortilla and flip it back into skillet. Round off edge of tortilla with plastic spatula and cook over low heat, covered, 10 minutes more. Slide tortilla onto a plate and serve warm, cut into wedges.

Makes about 6 servings

Maple Cinnamon Scented Whipped Cream

The key to whipping up cream quickly is to store the bowl and beaters in the freezer until ready to use. I like this on pear crisp that is made with walnuts. Best to use an electric hand beater for speed, but a blender will do in a pinch or if you are up for it, an icy cold wire whisk.

1 cup Butterworks Cream

1 pinch salt

1 T Brandy, Rum or Vanilla Extract

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 to 4 T Maple Syrup

In a large, icy cold glass or melamine bowl, beat the cream with an electric beater for a few minutes, until beginning to thicken. Add salt, liquor or extract, cinnamon and 2 T of syrup. Continue to beat until cream is thick. Taste and add more syrup as needed. Beat until the cream is thick, slightly clotted and ready to serve.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Tofu Recipes

Last week, you received Vermont Soy Tofu in your shares. Tofu is a fermented soy product, high in protein and rich in calcium. Although it can be eaten raw, it is best used with seasonings and marinades as it soaks up flavor. Before using, wrap in a very clean cotton or linen kitchen towel and squeeze the excess moisture out.

I've been working on a couple of tofu recipes, but I must confess, it's not a staple in our house. That said, below are a few recipes that most (including the kids) enjoy. Let me know what you think!-elena

Baked Tofu in a Sweet Ginger Marinade
I used the basics to a favorite Korean marinade, added some local ingredients and found this to be a really yummy way to eat tofu with rice, sauteed vegetables or even as a cold snack out of the fridge.

1 lb firm tofu, sliced in eight even slabs
Marinade:
2 - 3 T apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar
2 - 3 T Tamari soy sauce
1/2 T fresh, grated ginger
1 tsp sesame oil
2 T honey (or more if you like a sweet flavor)
pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
1 clove of garlic, minced
fresh ground black pepper
chopped scallions

Marinating and Baking the Tofu:
Make the marinade by shaking in a lidded jar
Arrange the tofu slices in an oiled flat baking pan
Cover with the marinade - add more vinegar and soy sauce needed
Cover and marinate 4 - 8 hours in the fridge
Turn over once if possible
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Bake 30 minutes in the marinade, uncovered
Turn over halfway through the baking
Broil for a few minutes if the tofu isn't golden on both sides

Curried Tofu Spread
-Adapted from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin

1/2 lb firm tofu
3 T mayonnaise
3/4 tsp curry powder
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 small carrot, grated
1 1/2 T raisins
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp salt
Ground black pepper to taste

After draining tofu, drop into a bowl and mash with a fork until the texture is fine or resembling course bread crumbs. Stir in remaining ingredients and chill for at least an hour, to allow the flavors to develop. Particularly yummy on crackers or toast with a crunchy bit of lettuce and a slice of fresh tomato.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Good Eats Newsletter Sept 12

Pete's Greens
Good Eats Newsletter 9/12/07

This week’s share includes: tomatoes, mesclun, baby artichokes, Alisa Craig onions, eggplant, mixed peppers, potatoes, lacinato kale, tofu, yogurt, eggs

We are very excited to welcome Vermont Soy to Good Eats. Andrew and Todd “the soy boys” have been working in Hardwick for several years building and equipping an excellent facility. They have been marketing soymilk for several months and we are one of the first lucky recipients of their tofu. We don’t plan to offer their soymilk through Good Eats as it contains sugar, but if you enjoy it, tofu will be a regular addition. I had some for breakfast this morning with eggs and thought it was great.
Baby artichokes might be new to some of you. Here is a simple way to prep them. Peel off bracts until you reach a paler interior. Trim the stem, and trim the top of the choke if it seems prickly. They can be sliced in half, steamed, and eaten with butter, or add them to a sauté. A good Italian cookbook will have a recipe for smashing them and grilling.
We are midway through potato harvest. We had to mow our fingerling plants down yesterday as they are still growing. Mowing them causes the skins to set so they will store properly. Conventional potato growers follow weekly or more frequent spraying all summer with an herbicide that kills the potato vines. They feel that the skins set even better when the vines die via herbicide rather than mowing. From what I have learned about the spraying that occurs at least on eastern grown conventional potatoes, I think this is one of the most important foods to source organically

About Vermont Soy
Vermont Soy, located in Hardwick produces great tasting organic soy products, while supporting local agriculture and local economies. Vermont Soy believes that fresh, organic, and local products are the healthiest alternative for both the consumer and the planet. Organic soymilk and tofu are produced using the highest quality ingredients to deliver a fresh local taste. Freshness and using premium quality organic ingredients is what makes Vermont Soy soymilks and tofu taste so delicious. Organic, non-GMO beans are sourced from Vermont farmers, as well as from growers in Quebec and Michigan. This year Vermont Soy has partnered with five Vermont farmers to grow organic soybeans for the upcoming production year. To learn more about Vermont Soy’s sustainable initiatives visit: www.vermontsoy.com


Monday, September 10, 2007

Good Eats 2007/08 October-February Share

Visit our Good Eats page on our website www.petesgreens.com for more details, a FAQ page and a sign up sheet.



OCT-FEB Vegetable/Localvore Share
: This is an interesting and challenging period of the year to provide a diverse array of produce. For the first few weeks of the share period we will still be harvesting much of the produce from the field. Remnants of summer such as greenhouse tomatoes and peppers will appear but by mid November, summer and outdoor vegetables will be over.
Our root cellar will be overflowing with potatoes, cabbage, carrots, and beets, and the new onion & squash storage room will offer 10 types of onions and several varieties of winter squash.
Greenhouse production this time of year is very weather dependent. If we have a moderate fall it is likely we will continue to harvest fresh crops from the greenhouse until mid December. If there is severe cold it may end sooner. Especially toward the end of this share period the vegetable share will be heavy on root crops. They taste great, are nutritious, and excellent winter fuel for the body and soul, but if you don't care for root crops, this share is not for you!
During the Oct-Feb Share period Localvore items may include: prepared and preserved foods from Pete 's Greens including “everything but the kitchen sink” vegetable soup base, sauerkraut, and other lacto-fermented vegetables; many varieties of apples and cider from Champlain Orchards; several types of yogurt, cream, cornmeal, whole wheat flour, and dried beans from Butterworks Farm; an array of Northeast Kingdom sheep, cow and goat cheese; Localvore bread from Elmore Mtn. Bakery; organic Oyster mushrooms; sunflower oil, popcorn, rolled oats, rolled spelt, rolled rye and pearled barley, and miso from several Quebec farms; cranberries and cranberry juice; and local organic raw honey. Most items are organic with the exception of the apples, cider, and cranberries. (see Champlain Orchards website for an explanation of their growing practices) Pete ’s Greens free-range chicken is a new addition to our share. Expect to receive a 3.5-5 lb. frozen bird about once a month. We may also include our own lamb sausage once or twice.
Localvore perishable items such as apples, yogurt, cream will be provided more often, while long storing staples such as flour and beans will be provided in greater quantity but less frequently.
Root Share: The Root Share is perfect for families that want only bulk root crops. Pickups are every other week and the share will include carrots, beets, potatoes, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, and cabbage. This share is a great base for fall and winter meals and we grow many varieties and colors of these crops for a diversity of appearance and flavor.

Pick Up Sites:


___Burlington, Grove St.
Wed, 2:30pm to 6pm

___Burlington/South End, Adams Ct. (NEW PICK UP SPOT!)
Wed, 2:30 to 6pm

___Montpelier, Nutty Steph’s Granola- (behind the Trading Post)
Wed. 8am to 630pm

___Craftsbury, Pete’s Greens at the Craftsbury Village Farm
Wed. 12pm to 8pm

___Morrisville, Concept II
Wed. 3pm to 5:30pm

___Stowe, Laughing Moon Chocolate
Wed. 3pm to 6pm

___Waterbury, Hen of the Wood
Wed. 3pm to 6:30pm

___Richmond, NOFA-VT
Wed. 12pm to 4pm

COST:

Vegetable/Localvore Share $765 (payment plan available)
-Begins October 17 and Ends February 13th
Root Share $270
-Begins October 24th and is every other week for 9 weeks total