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
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.

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