Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Pete’s Greens Good Eats Newsletter February 20, 2008

Important Share Information
Welcome to the new spring share! We think that you are really going to enjoy how this share evolves. Your first pick-up is today (Wednesday). If you are unsure of your pick-up times, please visit our website's Pick-Up page. If you have any questions with your pick-up please email Nancy Baron or call 802.586.2882 x2.

Special Red Hen pick-up instructions: Please enter on the left side of the building. Use the door that is as far towards the back as possible. It's a regular entry door, versus a loading dock door. Also, please check-in with someone in the office. They will tell you where to find your share.

When Picking Up Your Share Please:

  • Cross your name off of the pick-up list.
  • Follow the specific item list/instructions to assemble your share.
  • When splitting your share, coordinate with your share-mate to make sure that you DON'T take double the amount of any items.
This Week's Share Contains
Frozen strawberries, carrots, banana fingerling potatoes, onions, red beets, Jasper Hill Constant Bliss cheese, Charley's Oat & Barley Loaf, dried cranberries and Pete's eggs.

Charley's Oat & Barley Ingredients: *Wheat Flour, *Rolled Oats, *Rolled Barley, *Oat Flour, *Barley Flour, *Malted Barley Flour, Deep Well Water, Whole Wheat Sourdough, Sea Salt. (*Organic)

Farm News
We have had a lot of comings and goings lately, and we just wanted to catch you up! First of all, we want to thank Heather for the great job she has done handling the Good Eats Winter share and writing the newsletter, all-the-while sourcing our localvore products, taking care of the chickens and more! This spring Nancy will be picking up managing the CSA, including getting the newsletter out. An avid localvore and long-time CSA member, Nancy recently sold her bed and breakfast and is thrilled to be working at Pete's Greens. Having Nancy pick-up some CSA responsibilities will give Heather more time to focus on searching out new and delicious local items for your shares. Heather will still be writing the Localvore section of the Newsletter, contributing recipes and running the farmstand in season.

We also want to say "goodbye" to Melissa, our Wash House manager and her husband Isaac who has been helping with all of our construction. This is their last week at the farm. They will be making a whirlwind trip around the country before heading to Panama for a three-year Peace Corps stint. We wish them well! Meg will be stepping-up to run our wash house, managing the crew who cleans and packs all of the wonderful veggies for your shares!

Localvore 'Lore from Heather
Localvore items this week are a sample of good things to come!

Monday afternoon I went to Jasper Hill to pick up the Constant Bliss cheese. Mateo was there loading another order for a specialty distributor from White River Jct. Before the holidays, I saw the Jasper Hill cheeses featured in the Williams Sonoma catalogue. (A cheese of the month deal, wouldn't you know!) And here I was just driving right up to the delivery dock with my Volvo and 2 kids to pick up cheese for Good Eats. We are truly lucky to have this kind of access to artisan cheeses made by our neighbors and friends.

The dried cranberries are specially made for us by Bob and Betsy of Vermont Cranberry Company. Last fall we talked about buying some of their dried cranberries, but they usually make them with regular sugar. I asked about maple or honey sweetened and they gamely agreed to try! After some test batches and fine tuning, Bob emailed me a couple of weeks ago that they're ready. He did say that they are moister than the sugared ones, and recommends fridge or freezer storage, if they last that long! I can't wait to try them and hope you all enjoy this very special treat. He'd love some feedback, so please let us know.

Once again this share, we are glad to offer you Patchwork Organic bread, baked fresh to order for us by Charley Emers of Hardwick. Charley buys organic whole wheat berries from a farmer in Glover to grind his own fresh flour. He also buys organic flour produced in Quebec, along with other grains. Every batch he makes is truly special and we love this bread.

Lastly, I humbly offer you the Pete's eggs! I have been "chicken lady" this fall and winter, which is not as glam as it sounds! It's all about hauling water and slinging grain bags and unloading cabbage trimmings and washing eggs, pretty much non-stop. Good thing I really like chickens!

Vegetable Storage & Use Tips
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, leave them on the counter to dry. Then wrap loosely in a dish cloth or plastic bag (but don't tie it shut), before transferring to the crisper of your fridge.

Frozen Strawberries - We froze these for you at their peak of freshness. For best results, keep frozen until you are ready to use them. The green hull that is still attached is best removed by scraping off with a spoon while the berries are still frozen. If you allow them to thaw without removing the hull they end up being extremely messy to work with.
Carrots - Store loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Banana Fingerling Potatoes - Keep these in a cool, dark, dry place, like a drawer or cabinet. I like to keep mine in a paper bag that protects them from light and allows them to breathe.
Onions - Also, keep these in a cool, dark, dry place, but away from your onions. Onions stored with potatoes can cause them (the potatoes) to sprout.
Red Beets - Store beets, dry and unwashed loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.

Recipes

Chocolate Beet Cake
Heather brought in this beet cake to the farm today and it was really delicious. It's a sure-fire way to get your kids to eat their beets!

2 c pureed cooked beets
1/2 c chocolate chops
1/2 c cocoa powder
1/2 c (1 stick) butter
1 c sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven 350F. Grease a bundt pan.

Steam 5 or 6 beets until tender, peel and puree until quite smooth. Set aside.

In a sauce pan, melt chocolate, cocoa, and butter together until just smooth. Using a mixer, beat eggs until light yellow and very foamy. Slowly beat in sugar until very fluffy and pale yellow. Combine beets, vanilla, and chocolate. Whisk flour, soda, and salt. Fold into eggs in this order: 1/3 chocolate beets, 1/2 flour, alternating until all is incorporated. Use a light quick hand with a rubber spatula, cutting down into the center and scooping up towards the outer edge of the bowl. Combine well, but don't over mix.

Pour into greased pan and bake until a skewer comes out clean from the center; at least 35 minutes, up to 50. Watch carefully after 35 minutes. Cool on a rack, then loosen the center with a knife and turn out onto a plate.

Drizzle with ganache:
Over a double boiler heat 2/3 c milk or cream to a bare simmer. Add 5 oz bittersweet chocolate. Stir to melt, adding more milk or chocolate to get a smooth pourable consistency.

Beet and Carrot Pancakes
These are great, be they a side to some nice sausage or the main attraction. Inspired by a recipe on Epicurious.com.

1 1/3 cups (packed) coarsely shredded peeled beets (from 2 medium)
1 cup coarsely shredded peeled carrots (from 2 medium)
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 large egg
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter

Creme Fraiche

Preheat oven to 250°F. Place baking sheet in oven.

In a large bowl toss together beets, carrots and onion. Mix in egg, salt and pepper. Stir in flour until well blended. Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat in a heavy large skillet. Once hot, use a large spoon to pour 4 pancakes into the pan, flattening into 3-inch rounds. Flip once pancakes are nicely browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Keep cooked pancakes warm in oven, while you repeat the process with the remaining batter. Serve warm with a dollop of creme fraiche.

Steamed Fingerling Potatoes
Inspired by Ina Garten.

1 pound fingerling potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
pepper to taste

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed between your fingers
1 tablespoon sunflower or olive oil

In a saucepan cover potatoes with cold water and add 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered about 15 minutes, just until tender.

Drain potatoes in a colander. Toss with thyme and leave in colander, covered with a kitchen towel for about 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle. Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Toss with remaining salt, pepper, thyme and oil. Serve warm.

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