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