Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - March 26, 2008

Farm Update
After the harvest last fall, we had tons of bagged storage vegetables stacked to the rafters in our large root cellar. Those colorful carrots, rainbow roots and beautiful beets have sustained us well over these long, cold months. But now, as the days lengthen, we are beginning to see a few empty palettes and hints of bare floor. We still have some wonderful vegetables in store for these upcoming weeks, including the banana fingerling potatoes in your share today. Of course, we are also looking forward to all of the new green things that we will soon be adding to your shares.

Final Bulk Order
We will have one more bulk order delivery for the season on April 9th. We have frozen tomatoes, lamb and chicken still available. In order to deliver on April 9th, we need to receive your order form and check at the farm no later than next Friday, April 4th. For more details visit our Bulk Order page.

Vermont Farm Share
This is the first share period that Pete's Greens will be participating in the North East Organic Farming Association (NOFA) Farm Share program. We are very excited about this program, as it assists limited-income Vermonters in obtaining fresh, local produce directly from family farms. In partnership with NOFA VT, we will be offering subsidized CSA shares to qualifying individuals and families within our delivery area. If you know of someone who may be in need of this program, please encourage them to check-out NOFA's Website, as well as ours. Farm Share relies on donations from CSA members to help fund those who might not otherwise be able to afford a CSA share. The Good Eats Summer Share Sign-up Form includes a place to donate to the program. To find out more about Farm Share and Pete's Greens participation, please visit our Farm Share page. To find out more about qualifying for a partially subsidized Pete's Greens CSA farm share, please visit the NOFA Vermont Website.

This Week's Share Contains
Banana Fingerling Potatoes; Orange Storage Carrots; Mixed Gilfeather and Red Turnips; Mixed Red and Chiogga Beets; Sunflower, Radish, Pea and Cress Sprouts; Champlain Orchards Cranberry Apple Cider; Blue Ledge Chevre; Elmore Mountain Honey Oat Bread.

Bread Ingredients: Sifted Organic Wheat Flour (Quebec), Organic Rolled Oats (Quebec), Vermont Honey, Water, Sea Salt, Yeast.

Vegetable Storage and Use Tips
Banana Fingerling Potatoes - With a firm texture and great flavor, the banana fingerling is perfect for salads, as well as roasting. These should be kept in a cool, dark place. Make sure that they are dry before storing.
Orange Storage Carrots - Carrots should be stored loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer, where they will keep for a couple of weeks. Store them away from apples, pears and other produce that create ethylene gas, which causes them to become bitter.
Red and Chiogga Beets - The chiogga beets and red turnips in your bag can look very similar from the outside. If you need help distinguishing one from the other, visit our vegetable identification chart. Store beets loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Gilfeather and Red Turnips - The gilfeather turnip was bread here in Vermont. Here is an excerpt from the Slow Food site about gilfeathers: "The Gilfeather is an egg-shaped, rough-skinned root, but unlike its cousins, it has a mild taste that becomes sweet and a creamy white color after the first frost. While the hardy Gilfeather turnip does well in nearly any climate, this touch of frost contributes to its unusual taste and texture. Developed and named after John Gilfeather from Wardsboro, Vermont, this turnip is one of the state's unique contributions to cold weather agriculture. Mr. Gilfeather carefully guarded his stock to ensure that no one else could propagate the vegetable. However, some seeds slipped by and a few folks have continued to grow the Gilfeather Turnip after Mr. Gilfeather died." These turnips are truly unique, and we are fortunate that the seeds made their way to other Vermont farmers. Try boiling and mashing the gilfeathers with potatoes. Turnips can be kept for a couple of weeks loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Sprouts - This week's mix contains radish, sunflower, cress, and pea sprouts. Keep them in your crisper drawer. They'll last up to 5 days.
Maple Sugar - I do realize that it's not a vegetable, but I wanted to write about it anyways. Maple sugar is one of my favorite "localvore" ingredients. You can substitute it for white or brown sugar in almost any recipe without worrying about the resulting texture differences and liquid adjustments that you need to consider when substituting maple syrup. Being a bit sweeter than conventional sugars, you could also theoretically cut back a touch and achieve the same level of sweetness. As maple sugar comes with a higher price-tag than white or brown sugar, I try to use it in recipes where I get the biggest bang for my buck, for example recipes that call for 1/3 cup sugar or less. Thus, it's a wonderful stand-in for sugar in recipes such as scones, muffins, biscuits, etc. If you want to splurge, you could also use it in your favorite cake or cookie recipe.

Localvore 'Lore from Heather
We have a great combination of localvore goodies this week. If you like, you could have a lovely little picnic snowshoeing to your favorite picnic spot! Just imagine, some of the Blue Ledge chevre spread on the Elmore Mountain Honey Oat Bread, with the Beet Carrot Slaw (recipe below) and a thermos of sweet tart Champlain Orchards-VT Cranberry Cider. Perhaps you'll even bake a maple sugar treat, too! With these sunny late afternoons, it's just possible to imagine spring on its way...

Blue Ledge Farm was established in Leicester, Vermont as a goat dairy in 2000 and became a cheese operation in 2002. The husband-and-wife team is Hannah Sessions and Greg Bernhardt, with help from daughter Livia and son Hayden. They use the milk from their 75 goats to produce their three varieties of cheese: fresh chevre, semi-aged crottina, and La Luna farmstead gouda.

They believe that contented goats make good tasting milk and cheese, so they go to great lengths to provide a good life for their animals. As a local reporter once noted, "Sessions and her husband half-jokingly describe their goats as employees. However, their obvious affection for these animals led this observer to speculate that these [animals] are more like an extended family."

They operate on a seasonal basis, following the goat's pattern in nature. This means no milk is produced during the months of early winter. Their goats graze in pasture and woods from April through November, when a great majority of the cheesemaking is happening. This leads to busy springs and summers, but allows time for reflection during the winter months. This varied diet also results in a cheese which has a great complexity of flavor. - from the Vermont Cheese Council website www.vtcheese.com.

The cranberry apple cider is a Good eats exclusive! Bob, from the Vermont Cranberry Company, and Bill, of Champlain Orchards, collaborated last fall to create this delicious cider. It has a wonderful sweet-tart balance I think you will love. It's a great example of how we all benefit from local partnerships. Bob has another market for his cranberry juice, long after the fresh cranberries are gone. Bill presses more of his storage apples into apple cider. The tasty result? Good Eats members enjoy the cider!

Blaire and Andrew, owner/bakers of Elmore Mountain Bread, go out of their way to bake localvore bread for us. This week they are baking a Honey Oat bread made with all local ingredients. When Andrew was developing the recipe and baking test batches last week, he emailed me asking for honey and oat sources. I gave a few leads, and he worked it out. The oats and flour are from southern Quebec, the honey is from Butternut Mountain in Morrisville.

The maple sugar in your shares this week is also from Butternut Mountain, a new partner we are glad to have. It is extra special, because it's from the Marvin's own certified organic sugarbush. I found a great article on the Northern Forest Lands website, www.northernforestlands.org/marvin.htm. Here's a bit of that article which I think really applies to the Good Eats localvore philosophy of supporting local agriculture:

“The mission of the Land Trust is just perfect for this time,” said David, whose 635-acre Butternut Mountain Farm in Johnson was conserved in 1995. “I feel very, very optimistic about the future of forestry and agricultural enterprises in Vermont. There is going to be world demand for what we can produce in this temperate climate with willing people and lots of knowledge. I feel we need measures that are going to protect and conserve the land resource until world demand catches up and produces the economic climate that we need.

David and his wife, Lucy Routhier Marvin, own and operate Butternut Mountain Farm, producing maple syrup, Christmas trees, and timber products. The major part of their business today is a nationwide and international distribution of maple syrup and honey for 75-100 farmers, nearly all in Vermont. David also serves as a forestry consultant to landowners around the Northeast.

As for serving on VLT’s Board, David says, “I think the area that I'm really excited to be part of is the whole stewardship enterprise—being part of the creative brainstorming that can help Vermont agriculture move into the next century.

“I believe the best way to eat, and the best food supply system, is one in which people buy locally and consume locally grown foods,” he added. “I also think there are going to be parts of this country and the world that are going to need food from places like Vermont. In the not-too-distant future, we’re going to play a much greater part in helping to feed people who need what we can produce.”

Recipes
Roasted Vegetable Pizza
This dough makes a very flat crust that is crisp on the edges and a bit toothsome in the center. Though the version below tosses the vegetables with chevre or blue cheese, it is also delicious with some tomato sauce and shredded mozzarella as base for the veggies. Makes two 12" pizzas.

Crust
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 package Rapid Rise (Instant) yeast
1 tsp salt
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons warm water
1 TB honey
2 tsp sunflower or olive oil, plus more coating dough

Topping
4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
1 medium onion, diced
4 small potatoes*
3 medium carrots*
1 medium turnip*
3 small to medium beets*
1 tsp crumbled dry thyme leaves or rosemary
1 tsp kosher salt
black pepper to taste
2 TB sunflower or olive oil, plus more for drizzling
8 oz chevre or blue cheese

For the crust, combine all of the dry ingredients in a food processor. Pulse to combine. In a large measuring cup, stir together 1 cup warm water, honey and oil. With the food processor running, slowly pour the liquids through the chute. If needed, add the rest of the water a bit at a time, until the dough all holds together nicely. It should be slightly sticky. Process for a total of 2 minutes. Form the dough into two tight balls, rub with oil and cover with plastic wrap or a dish towels. Leave in a warm place to rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Don't be worried if the dough doesn't double.

Preheat oven to 500F.

While the dough is rising, cut all of your root vegetables into a 1/2" dice. Combine the roots with the garlic, onion, herbs, oil, salt and pepper on a large baking sheet. Toss to coat. Roast in a 500 degree oven for 15-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften and the edges begin to brown. Remove from the oven, cool slightly and toss with the cheese.

Turn oven down to 425F.

Stretch pizza dough out, then roll to make two 12" pies. Lightly cornmeal your baking stones or pans before placing dough rounds on them. Spread the roasted veggies and cheese on top of the dough and drizzle with oil. Bake at 425F for 20-25 minutes, until edges are lightly browned and crisped.

*Any combination of roots works nicely here. Feel free to substitute celeriac for potatoes, rutabagas for turnips, etc.

Beet Carrot Slaw
4 servings

2 Beets, peeled
3 Carrots, peeled
1 c sprouts
1/4 c oil
1/4 c cider vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup or sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
Blue Ledge Chevre

Whisk together oil, vinegar, maple, garlic, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Grate beets into a small bowl. Grate carrots into another bowl, mix in sprouts. (Keeping them separate for now will preserve their colors.) Toss 1/2 the dressing with the beets, 1/2 with the carrot & sprouts. Set aside to marinate for a bit. Combine just before serving, with some of the goat cheese crumbled over the top. This would also be yummy in a sandwich.

Carrot "Souffle"
Erika Bruner, one of our shareholders, emailed me this recipe about a month or so ago. It looked so intriguing, I had to try it. Her version below is more of a pudding than a souffle, sweet and delicious with maple, butter, cinnamon and vanilla. When I made this for Easter, I went much more savory. See my substitutions at the bottom of the recipe to make an Indian-inspired version. Serves 4-6.

2 lbs. carrots, peeled if you like, sliced, and steamed until very tender, then cooled somewhat
1/4 c maple syrup or maple sugar
1/2 t cinnamon
1t vanilla
3 T melted butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 t baking powder

Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 2-quart baking dish. Place carrots in blender with sugar or syrup, cinnamon, vanilla and melted butter. Puree until smooth. Pour into medium bowl and beat in eggs, flour, and baking powder. Pour into prepared baking dish. Bake about 1 hour or until top is golden brown and souffle has puffed slightly.

To make a savory version, cut the maple back to 2 tablespoons; add 1/2 tsp of ground ginger; replace the butter with sunflower or olive oil; get rid of the vanilla; and replace the 1/2 tsp cinnamon with 1 tsp garam masala (an Indian spice mixture available in most good spice sections, or make your own following a recipe.)

Crisp Maple Wedges
A really thin, crisp cookie with delicious maple flavor. Adapted from an Epicurious.com recipe. Makes 8 wedges.

4 oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2/3 cup maple sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F and put a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom in freezer to chill. Blend butter, all but 2 tablespoons of the maple sugar and vanilla in a food processor just until smooth, about 30 seconds. Sift flour and salt over butter mixture. Note that some germ flakes will remain in your sifter. You can just add those to the processor as well. Pulse just until all of the flour is incorporated into the mix.

Press evenly into an 8" circle in the middle of the chilled pan, then sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons maple sugar. The cookie will spread during baking. Prick all over with a fork and freeze 5 minutes.

Bake in middle of oven until edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes and, while still warm, cut into 8 wedges. Cool completely before removing from pan.

The recipe says that you can keep these in an airtight container at room temperature 5 days, but I don't think that they'll last that long.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - March 19, 2008

Important Share Information
Thank you to everyone for crossing your names off the list at pick-up! Please remember to bring back your empty plastic bags and egg cartons. We love to reuse them!

Blog and Website Update
As many of you may already know, we archive our previous newsletters at www.PetesGreens.Blogspot.com. We usually post the newsletter here the same day as the share delivery. Going back to August of 2007, it's a great place to look for past recipes. There are also some interesting local food related articles posted there. As of this week, you can subscribe to the blog as an RSS feed. If you're using My Yahoo!, for example, you can set it up so that the newsletter feed automatically updates to your homepage.

Many of you have been asking for pictures to help you identify some of the veggies you get in your bags each week. So, last week I brought my digital camera into the washhouse with me and took photographs of many of the lesser-known varieties that we had on hand. Thanks go to Meg for helping me to pull and identify vegetables. The images are posted on our Website, reachable from the Vegetables & Recipes page.

Pete's Musings
I've been absent from the newsletter for a few weeks. We've been putting the finishing touches on our headhouse and starts greenhouse. The finishing touches take a lot of time! The saying that the devil is in the details is certainly true, especially when you are dealing with plumbing and electronic greenhouse control systems. It is turning out to be a great facility and today plants moved from our indoor grow room out into the greenhouse space for the first time.

We are heating with waste fryolator oil collected from restaurants on our delivery route, and it is working great with our new set up. I never like to get too confident about our waste oil burners, as they are fairly fickle and can sometimes develop problems that can be maddening to diagnose. Fortunately, we have been using them for 2 seasons, so I have become a good grease furnace mechanic and can usually figure the problem out.

The furnaces are designed and built to burn waste motor oil so we are stretching their capabilities to burn vegetable oil. The service personnel have little experience with using them to burn vegetable oil. Often times when I call for help, I'm teaching them more than they teach me. Fortunately, I have a buddy in southern Vermont who is using the same furnaces and we can usually help each other decipher problems. He and I often comment that keeping up with our grease furnaces adds a whole new element to our spring. It is very different than turning on the propane heater and walking away. But in the end, the cost savings do make it worth it. It is actually a stimulating mental challenge to troubleshoot the furnaces when there are problems, just not at 3 a.m., which is when problems usually happen.

Here's hoping this snow will melt soon. Most seasons we are driving tractors around our fields on April 4. That seems a little unlikely this year. -Pete

Summer Share Enrollment
Although it seems like we have just begun this share period, we are already looking ahead to summer. We've just posted the new share information and sign-up form on our Website. You can find out all about it on our Summer Share page. Those of you who like to get things done early can send your forms in now. We don't cash any checks until right before the share begins.

This Week's Share Contains
Kohlrabi; Celeriac; Shallots; Fermented Vegetable Medley; Radish, Pea, Sunflower & Cress Sprouts; Frozen Strawberries; Vermont Soy Co. Tofu; Butterworks Cream; Champlain Valley Creamery Cream Cheese; and Patchwork Farm Bread.

Bread ingredients: organic wheat flour, organic wheat flakes, organic malted barley flour, sourdough, salt, deep well water.

Vegetable Storage and Use Tips
Having trouble distinguishing the kohlrabi from the celeriac? Check out the vegetable identification chart.

Celeriac - Savor the celeriac this week, as it is the last of our reserves. It should be stored unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Kohlrabi - You will find purple and/or green kohlrabi in your bag this week. A descendant of wild cabbage, its cousins are the usual brassica suspects: broccoli, cabbage, kale, and the like. I find that they are best peeled before use, especially if they've been in storage awhile, like these have. They are very tasty raw and take well to steaming, roasting and sauteing. Store loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Shallots - A member of the allium family, shallots are sweeter and milder than onions. You can slice them thin and saute them in recipes that benefit from their sweet, mild onion flavor. When minced, they are fantastic in homemade vinaigrettes and pan sauces. Store them in a cool, dark place.
Sprouts - This week's mix contains radish, sunflower, cress, and pea sprouts. Keep them in your crisper drawer. They'll last several days. Try making a salad of the sprouts, thinly sliced kohlrabi matchsticks, chopped apple and cheddar, tossed with your favorite homemade vinaigrette.
Frozen Strawberries - A wonderful preview of summer to come, these berries were frozen at their peak. They're best frozen until you are ready to use them. Then, let them sit on the counter for about 10 minutes before using a spoon to scrape out their hulls. Don't let the berries thaw fully before de-hulling, or you'll have a mess. Gail Falk, one of our members, suggests letting them thaw a little, then throwing them in the blender with yogurt and a bit of honey for a refreshing smoothie.
Fermented Vegetable Medley - Also known as "colorful kraut," this is a delicious mix of green, savoy, and red cabbage; onions; carrots; black and daikon radishes; and a tiny amount of dried cayenne peppers. Kept refrigerated, the fermented veggies will last at least two months.

Localvore 'Lore from Heather

The "Not-Kimchee"
A couple of months ago, Meg, Melissa and Elena shredded up a huge vat of cabbage, radishes, onions and carrots, with a bit of dried hot chilies, to make the Fermented Vegetables. It would be kimchee, if it had ginger and were spicier. It took a couple days for them to put it together. I walked into the wash house one day to find them busily prepping vegetables to shred. As one put them through the food processor, another tossed them into the stainless steel washing tank. They mixed it all up in the tank, salted it, and then transferred the mix into the fermenting barrel. Meg had cut this great cedar pole last fall for compacting the vegetables in the barrel. A bag of water went on top to seal it. Then the whole ensemble was trucked up to the house. Last week, Meg declared it ready and Eden helped her pack it into containers. We had a few samples, too! The flavor is light, tangy and not at all overpowering. 'Hope you enjoy this as much as they enjoyed making it for you!

Also included this week is tofu from Vermont Soy, made with local soybeans. They have been refining production and this tofu is firmer than the last batch we had. Vermont Soy is located right down the road in Hardwick. Sofia sent us the following information about their company and products:

Our Mission: At Vermont Soy in Hardwick, we make high-quality soy products, while supporting sustainable agriculture and local economies. We believe that fresh, organic, and local products are the healthiest alternative for both the consumer and the planet.

Our Beans: Soybean agriculture is new to Vermont. With the help of the University of Vermont, we are pioneering a viable crop for Vermont farmers to grow and sell. This helps to diversify farming revenues, while keeping Vermont's beautiful agricultural lands in use. Our artisan tofu is made with 100% Vermont-grown, non-GMO, and organic soybeans. Check out the latest Edible Green Mountains to learn more about Vermont Soy!

The cream cheese from Champlain Valley Creamery is a whole different taste experience from the regular cream cheese brick! Carleton Yoder makes it at his creamery in Vergennes. Here's some of what Champlain Valley Creamery has to say about their cream cheese from their website www.cvcream.com:

Our first product is Old Fashion Organic Cream Cheese, made using traditional methods. Produced without stabilizers or preservatives from cultured fresh organic cow’s milk and cream, it’s very unlike that ubiquitous foil-wrapped gummy brick! Of course our Old Fashion Organic Cream Cheese is not only great for breakfast on a bagel, but also on sandwiches or in your favorite baked goods.

The texture of Old Fashion Organic Cream Cheese is similar to fresh goat cheese, but with more creaminess and without that distinct goat’s milk flavor. Because we don’t stabilize the cheese with any sort of gums (carob bean, xanthan, etc), the cheese may separate. The liquid is simply whey, just stir it up and enjoy! The cheese is best in the first week after it’s made, but it will last 4 weeks in your fridge. Check the “Best By” date on the bottom of the container.

Our milk comes from a certified organic producer in Bridport, Vermont, near the shores of Lake Champlain. Our Creamery is Certified Organic by Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF). To learn more about organic agriculture, check out NOFA-VT’s website.

Recipes
Creamy Kohlrabi and Celeriac Gratin
For a hearty and satisfying lunch, try frying up leftover wedges of this gratin with eggs on the side. Serves 8.

1 cup thinly sliced shallots
3 TB butter
1 lb. celeriac, peeled, quartered, then thinly sliced.
1 lb. kohlrabi, peeled, quartered, then thinly sliced
2/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup whole milk
1 tsp dried, crushed tarragon
dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400F. Butter a deep dish pie plate. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a small skillet over medium heat and saute shallots until translucent, but not yet browned, about 3 minutes. Set aside. Combine the remaining ingredients, including the 2 tablespoons of butter, in a large pot. Cover and place over medium-high heat.

As soon as the mixture boils, remove the pan from the heat and mix in sauteed shallots. Pour into prepared pie dish, smooth and cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for about 15 minutes more, until the veggies are tender, the top browns and the sauce bubbles thickly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Tofu Kimchee Pancakes
This recipe was adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman. Serves 4.

12 to 14 oz. firm tofu
2 tsp dried ginger, or 2 TB fresh chopped ginger
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
6 TB whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup, or more of soymilk or water
2 tsp dried crushed cilantro, or 2 TB fresh chopped
1 cup chopped Fermented Vegetable Medley
cayenne pepper to taste
2 TB sunflower oil
1 TB dark sesame oil

4 cups sprout mix

For Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 TB cider or rice vinegar
1 TB dark sesame oil
1 TB toasted sesame seeds
1 TB honey
1 large clove minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp peeled and grated ginger
2 TB minced shallots

Preheat oven to 200F. In a food processor, process the tofu, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, soy sauce, flour and soymilk or water, until smooth. Add more liquid if the batter is too thick. It should be easily spoonable. Mix in cilantro, chopped fermented vegetables and cayenne. Heat oils in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon batter into pan, about 3 TB of batter for each pancake. Cook until browned on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes. Then flip and repeat. Place cooked pancakes in a pan in preheated oven while you finish with the rest of the batter.

Mix all ingredients for dipping sauce in a small bowl. Toss the sprouts with 1/4 cup of the dipping sauce and arrange on platter. Place tofu pancakes atop the sprouts and serve with extra dipping sauce on the side.

Stir-fried Kohlrabi and Mushrooms
Serves 4 as a side.

1 TB cooking oil
1 small onion, or several shallots, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
6 oz. shiitake mushrooms, sliced, stems removed
1 lb. kohlrabi, peeled and cut into thin, matchstick slices
1 TB water
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp dark sesame oil
2 tsp cider or rice vinegar
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp dried ginger or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped ginger

Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add onion and garlic (and fresh ginger, if using) and cook stirring frequently for about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, continue cooking another minute or two. Add kohlrabi and cook for three minutes, stirring frequently. Add the water, soy, sesame oil, vinegar, pepper and dried ginger. Cover, reduce heat slightly and cook at a high simmer for about 5 minutes, until kohlrabi is crisp tender.

Thai Curry Tofu Sandwich
Makes 2 sandwiches

I love a good sandwich and am always looking for interesting combinations. I've eaten many with coleslaw this winter, and thought the fermented vegetables would be a yummy alternative. - Heather

4 Slices Patchwork Bread
Pete's Fermented Vegetables
4 Curried Tofu Slices (below)
sprouts
thinly sliced onion
Mayo, optional

Curried Tofu
1 cake tofu
1 tbsp oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 tsp red Thai curry paste, to taste
1 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Pat tofu dry and slice into 4 even slices along the wider side. Pat these dry again. Combine the garlic, curry paste, fish sauce and soy sauce. Coat the tofu slices with the spice mixture. Heat oil on a griddle and brown the tofu on both sides.

To assemble the sandwiches, toast the bread and spread with mayo, if you like. Then layer on the tofu, vegetables and top with another slice of bread. The tofu is good cold or warm. Enjoy!

Cabin Fever Strawberry Shortcakes
In the mood for spring food? Since we have these great frozen strawberries, this seems like a good antidote to too much snow! This recipe has a few steps, but don't worry, it goes together easily. While the scones are baking, cook the strawberry sauce. While those both cool, whip the cream. Assemble just before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

Cream Scones
1 1/2 C ww pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 C maple sugar or other sweetener
1 C Cream

Preheat oven to 400F. Blend dry ingredients in a bowl, then quickly stir in the cream. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and kneed very gently 8 times, just to bring it together. Pat out to an even thickness, and cut into 6 wedges, or rounds with a biscuit cutter. Carefully lift onto a baking sheet. Brush with a bit of cream. Bake 10 -12 minutes until just lightly golden.

Strawberry Sauce
3 C Frozen Strawberries, hulls removed
1/2 C maple syrup, or to taste

Thaw strawberries slightly and chop them up a bit. Cook strawberries and syrup about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently as they begin to bubble. Adjust sweetness with more syrup, to your taste.

Whip cream until fluffy. Butterworks cream whips up quickly, be careful not to make butter! Sweeten if you like.

In individual bowls, split a scone, top with berry sauce and cream. Dream of spring!

Monday, March 17, 2008

From Farm to Foodbank: Gleaning Project Brings Fresh Veggies to Low-Income Tables

Originally published in The Barre Montpelier Times Argus

Sunday, March 16, 2008
By Mel Huff Staff Writer

SOUTH BARRE – Three volunteers and Theresa Snow, the founder of Salvation Farms, sorted potatoes in the Vermont Foodbank's warehouse Saturday morning, tossing the culls into a plastic garbage container marked "compost." Around the corner in a walk-in cooler, 30-bushel cardboard bins of sorted beets, rutabagas and turnips salvaged from Pete's Greens waited to be distributed.

"This is part of winter gleaning," Snow explained as she wiped a potato with a white cloth. Salvation Farms, the three-year-old gleaning project that she piloted in Lamoille County, saves crops that would otherwise go to waste and makes them available to Vermonters in need. Last month the organization became a program of the Vermont Foodbank.

Snow, a sinewy woman with intensely blue eyes, sees the relationship as a base for spreading Salvation Farms' gleaning model throughout the state. The Vermont Foodbank sees the relationship as expressing its mission of building partnerships to end hunger in Vermont.

In the past three years, Salvation Farms has gleaned more than 88,000 pounds of apples, beets, carrots, chard, collards, kale, green beans, garlic scapes, fennel, cucumbers, potatoes, winter and summer squash – more than 40 crops in all. Some farms are gleaned on a regular schedule. Other farmers call when they have a crop they want gleaned to avoid tilling it under.

In Lamoille County, Salvation Farms recruited volunteers from high schools, colleges, correctional centers, a foster care program, Reach Up, Lamoille County Mental Health and other programs, to harvest excess crops. Snow and Jen O'Donnell, the organization's assistant director, worked side by side with the volunteers in the field, showing them what to pick, how to judge ripeness and which blemishes were acceptable.

They also recruited drivers to distribute the food to local emergency food shelves, nursing homes, senior meal sites, early learning centers and adult day care centers. When they harvested more than they could distribute, they donated the excess to the Vermont Foodbank.

Now, as member of the foodbank staff, Snow has broader responsibilities and a new title: program director of agricultural resources. She has two goals: establishing the Salvation Farms Gleaning Network and coordinating the Foodbank Farm Network.

The Foodbank Farming Network is a collaboration – a kind of CSA arrangement – between the Vermont Foodbank and Foodworks at Two Rivers Center. In 2006, the Vermont Foodbank first contracted with Food Works to grow 40,000 pounds of produce. The Foodbank then sold shares of the crops to its member agencies. Snow sees foodbank farming as a complement to gleaning because it provides the foodbank with the certainty of having a determined amount of produce.

One of Snow's first tasks is building relationships with farmers across the state. Currently, she's creating a database of Vermont farms, "from dairy to meat to eggs to vegetables – and fruit, too," she said. "We want to secure as much Vermont-grown food as possible, because we feel that it is more economical. It is certainly more responsible when you think about resource management and costs associated with bringing food far distances. It's bound to benefit the foodbank as well as the farm economy." And it will make locally-grown food – commonly considered an elitist luxury – available to people served by the foodbank.

Identifying "the density of producers and need" will determine where the next gleaning projects are established. "It has been our goal to inspire communities to do this so each community is serving itself, supported by the resources of the Vermont Foodbank," Snow said. She anticipates "melding" the Foodbank Farming Network and the Gleaning Network, so that when gleaners are not available to pick crops, farmers can have fields harvested and sell the crops to the Foodbank at a reduced price, rather than letting them go to waste.

Snow envisions as many as a dozen grassroots gleaning groups spreading across the state, supported by local steering committees that "will have their own voice and their own character." The steering committees will be made up of people who donate a certain number of hours to organizational tasks or to working in the fields in order to bring gleaning to their communities.

"They should have a presence and an identity in the community – hold events, host workshops, do tabling at colleges and high schools, be involved in farm-to-school conversations and hunger activities," Snow said. They will "take an active role in a remedy and a solution, not just providing a band-aid."

"There's a lot of infrastructure that's going to need to be put into place (at the foodbank) – logistics regarding reporting, recording, liability issues in terms of volunteers, expectations," Snow observed. "The foodbank itself needs to increase its infrastructure – its ability to handle large volumes of fresh foods, to lightly process these fresh foods in our kitchen. We need to make supplies available. We need to make our trucking available. These are all logistics to be ironed out."

Snow had long been pondering how to expand Salvation Farms beyond Lamoille County when the opportunity of joining the Vermont Foodbank arose. "It has been our goal to inspire communities to do this. We weren't quite sure how it was going to happen – whether we would be able to use a statewide nonprofit as a vehicle. I'm not sure what's going to happen on the way, but I can see the vision at the end of the tunnel," she declared.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - March 12, 2008

Important Share Information
Please remember to cross your name off on the clipboard when picking up your share. The day's pick-up instructions are on the clipboard behind the names sheet. If you don't immediately see the names sheet and clipboard, keep looking. The person before you may have put it down where it's a bit harder to find.

Farm Update
Meg is doing a great job managing the wash house now that Melissa is gone. She's got Eden, Laura and Julie working with her every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Laura and Julie both attend local colleges. Eden splits his time between Pete's Greens and Jay Peak, working and riding. During this time of year, sacks of vegetables are hauled from our cooler, cleaned in the barrel washer, sorted for quality and packed for delivery. The crew of four somehow manages to wash, sort, bag and pack an enormous amount of vegetables every week. And, this is our slow season. In addition to assembling all of the produce for Good Eats, they are also responsible for getting out the wholesale orders, readying vegetables for market, and putting together the bulk orders. Speaking of bulk orders....

Pick-Up Your Bulk Order This Week!
Bulk orders will be delivered this Wednesday, March 12th. If you've placed an order, please note that vegetables and localvore items (ordered at the end of the last share period) will be in a box or bag with your name on it. If you've also ordered meat and/or frozen tomatoes, please check the coolers for bags with your name on them.

This Week's Share Contains
Green or Savoy Cabbage, Sweet Storage Carrots, Mixed Yellow Potatoes, Rutabaga, Copra Onions, a mix of sunflower, radish, and cress sprouts, Champlain Orchards Squash Puree, Champlain Orchards Empire Apples, Vermont Milk Company Cheddar Cheese, Pete's Eggs and Anadama Bread.

Elmore Mountain Anadama Bread: Quebec sifted organic wheat flour, Butterworks cornmeal, Butternut Mountain Maple, water, sea salt, yeast.

Vegetable Storage and Use Tips
Cabbage - Wrapped loosely in a plastic bag, cabbage will keep in the crisper drawer for several weeks. Discard any exterior leaves that may have begun to tear and/or discolor before using.
Sweet Storage Carrots - Store these carrots unwashed and loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Potatoes - Potatoes should be stored in a cook dark place away from onions. The moisture given off by potatoes can cause your onions to spoil.
Rutabaga - Known as "swede" in the U.K., the rutabaga is believed to have originated as a cross between a turnip and a cabbage. Sweeter than a turnip, rutabagas should be peeled before use.
Copra Onions - Great keepers, the Copra have a high sugar content for storage onions. They are wonderful in French onion soup and cooked with meat. Store in a cool, dark place, away from potatoes.
Sprouts - We weren't sure if they were going to make it in until the last minute. The sprouts are included for free this week because we are unhappy with the amount of husks left on the sunflower sprouts. You will need to pick them off before eating. We're developing a system so that the husks come off during washing.
Butternut Squash Puree - It's fabulous to get organic squash ready to use, no peeling or cutting required. The squash was frozen, and likely mostly thawed by the time you get it. You will want to refrigerate it when you get home and use it soon for best quality. We are their first customer for this product. Though they are still learning, we're sure you'll enjoy having it!

Localvore 'Lore from Heather
Champlain Orchards brings us both ingredients for a terrific Gingered Squash and Apple Soup, (recipe below). How is it that an Orchard is also selling Butternut squash puree, you ask? Bill Suhr, a tall blond fellow with long apple-picking arms, is an innovative farmer, that's how. Before I ever met Bill, Pete told me that he is the most creative entrepreneur grower he knows. I believe so, too. Champlain Orchards is a well-diversified, yet traditional Vermont apple orchard with a pick-your-own operation and wholesale accounts selling fresh apples. They also have pick-your-own raspberries, a CSA offering their own organic vegetables, apples, apple products, and local meat, and a commercial kitchen. From the commercial kitchen, they produce dilly beans, winter squash puree, apple pies, apple butter, applesauce, peeled apple slices, and more. And of course, you can't forget the cider. These guys are bu! sy and Bill is always trying new ideas. I hope to get down there to Shoreham, (south of Middlebury) soon, maybe to get a fruit tree pruning lesson, and of course to see their kitchen. Perhaps I'll even get to bake a few pies with them. Their excellent Website is champlainorchards.com

Our other localvore offerings include Elmore Mt Anadama bread, Vermont Milk Company cheddar cheese, and Pete's eggs. The chickens are still snug in their coop, perhaps feeling a bit too cooped up by now. I know I am! With these longer days, their egg production is really picking up. I hope to include eggs in the share regularly. So far at Pete's we've been fortunate to avoid predators. Just across the street at my place, weasels, skunks, dogs and even foxes plague me. There's also a feral cat who likes to eat my pullets, (teenage chickens). I don't know why Pete's is enchanted, but I just brought my last 2 chickens over to his chicken refuge yesterday. A weasel got the other 5. Sigh!

Recipes
Given that St. Patrick's Day falls this coming week, we couldn't resist including the ingredients for some traditional Irish dishes in the share. Meat eaters need only add a corned beef to round out a Celtic feast for St. Patty's day.

Corned Beef and Cabbage
Based on a recipe found at Cooking.com, this preparation with rutabagas added is a family favorite. Serves 4-6.

2 medium yellow onions, peeled
6 whole cloves
3 1/2-lb. piece corned beef, preferably bottom round
2 bay leaves
8 black peppercorns
6 large carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
1-2 large, or 3-4 small rutabagas peeled and cut into large chunks
6-8 yellow potatoes, peeled and halved
1 medium head green or savoy cabbage, washed, cored and cut into six wedges
Salt and pepper to taste

Stud onions with cloves. Rinse corned beef in cold water to remove brine. Put beef in a large pot and add onions, bay leaves, peppercorns, and enough water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover and reduce heat. Simmer beef for 2 1/4 hours, skimming occasionally.

After 2 1/4 hours add the carrots, rutabagas and potatoes. Return to a simmer and cook, covered for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, add the cabbage and cook for an additional 15 to 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Transfer beef to a cutting board. Tent loosely with foil. Transfer vegetables to a platter. Remove cloves from onions. Strain cooking liquid, discarding bay leaves and peppercorns. Return liquid to pot and cook over high heat until reduced by one-third, 20-30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Return vegetables to stock and heat through for about 5 minutes. Cut beef across the grain, in 1/4"-thick slices. Arrange beef and vegetables on warmed platter. Moisten with stock. Serve with additional stock and hot mustard if you like.

Corned Beef Hash
After all, the hash is the best reason to make corned beef and cabbage in the first place. Recipe adapted from the March Bon Appétit Magazine. Makes 4 servings.

6 slices bacon
2/3 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped cabbage reserved from corned beef
1/2 cup chopped vegetables (mixture of carrots and rutabagas) reserved from corned beef
2 cups finely chopped corned beef
2 cups chopped potatoes reserved from corned beef
2 large eggs, beaten to blend
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter or olive oil

Poached or fried eggs.

Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat; saute bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, leaving 2-3 TB of drippings in the pan. Add onion to skillet and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cabbage and chopped root vegetable mixture and sauté 5 minutes. Transfer vegetable mixture to bowl; stir in corned beef, potatoes and bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add beaten eggs and toss to coat.

Melt butter in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add corned beef hash mixture and cook until golden brown on bottom, occasionally pressing down with spatula, about 4 minutes. Turn hash mixture over in small portions and cook until second side is golden brown, occasionally pressing down with spatula, about 3 more minutes.

Serve topped with poached or fried eggs.

Irish Colcannon
A meal in itself, this traditional Irish dish is comfort food through and through. Serves 6-8.

2 pounds yellow potatoes, scrubbed
6 tablespoons butter, divided
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons salt
pepper to taste
1 large onion, thinly sliced
12 cups green or Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced (about 1 medium head)
2 TB white wine or water

Cut larger potatoes in 1/2, so that all pieces are of basically uniform size. Cover with cold water. Bring to a boil. Simmer, partially covered for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserts easily through potatoes. Warm 4 tablespoons butter and milk together. Drain potatoes and mash. Add milk and butter and mash until fairly smooth. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Meanwhile, heat remaining butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add cabbage, sprinkle with a bit of salt and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage wilts, about 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of wine or water, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 8 minutes.

Add the cabbage to the potatoes. Mix and mash to desired consistency. Taste for seasoning.

Irish-Inspired Soda Bread
I suspect that many of you may still have some of the whole-wheat pastry flour, if not dried cranberries, hanging around from previous weeks. With all of the modifications, this bread may be more appropriately named Vermont Soda Bread. It would be perfect served with Corned Beef and Cabbage. It is also delicious, fresh from the oven, served with butter. Best eaten the same day as you bake it, it can be wrapped it tightly in plastic and served a second day.

4 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
4 TB (1/2 stick) cold butter
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins
1 1/2 cups milk, clabbered* with 4 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut the butter into the flour mixture, until it resembles coarse crumbs; stir in the dried fruit. Whisk the clabbered milk with the eggs and syrup, then add to the flour mixture. Stir the mixture until it forms a dough. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Halve the dough, with floured hands shape each half into a round loaf, and transfer the loaves to prepared baking sheet. Bake the loaves in the middle of a preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer the loaves to racks and let them cool.

*This is an excellent substitute in recipes calling for buttermilk. Stir vinegar into milk and let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before using in recipe.


Here are a couple recipes for using the squash. I'm loving it. Hope you enjoy it, too.
- Heather

Gingered Squash and Apple Soup
6 servings

3 C squash puree
3 Tbsp butter
2 onions, diced
1 lb apples, peeled & diced
salt & pepper to taste
pinch red pepper flakes
5 c vegetable broth
1/2 c dry white wine
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp fresh minced cilantro
cream or creme fraiche, optional

Saute onions in butter for 5 minutes, add apples with a pinch of salt and saute another 15 minutes. Add the squash, broth, wine, ginger and pepper to taste and simmer 15 minutes. Puree until smooth; adjust salt & pepper to taste. Stir in a bit of cream if you like, or garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Winter Squash Flan
This recipe sounds like the perfect brunch dish. Serves 6.

3 c squash puree
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 c milk
1/4 c flour
1/3 c cornmeal
2 Tbsp butter
5 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 medium onion, cut into medium thick slices
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 c toasted nuts
2 oz crumbled cheese, blue, cheddar, as you like

Preheat oven 400.

Saute onion slices in butter with ginger and a dash of salt. Cook gently until nicely caramelized.

Meanwhile, heat milk in a medium sauce pan, whisk in the flour and cornmeal and 1 Tbsp butter. Continue stirring until thickened. Remove from heat. Cool a bit, then gradually whisk in the eggs. Stir in the squash, maple, 1/2 tsp salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Whisk together until silky smooth with no lumps, or process with a stick blender or food processor.

Butter a large, shallow baking dish. Gently stir the cheese and nuts into the squash mixture. Pour into the baking dish and scatter the onions on top.

Bake 10 minutes at 400, then lower heat to 350 and bake another 40-45 minutes, until golden and slightly puffed. Serve warm or hot.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - March 5, 2008

Important Share Information
We are always looking for feedback as we move through the share period. Please send any positive and not-so-positive comments to Nancy. If there are any issues, we would really like to hear about them as soon as they arise! Please bring back your empty plastic bags and egg cartons when you pick-up.

Farm Update
Monday was a beautiful day to take a stroll down to our new greenhouse and headhouse to check out the progress. The headhouse was cozy-warm inside and it was so energizing to see all the new starts under the growing lights. We are thrilled to be including the first growth of the season, radish sprouts, in your shares today! Amongst other new growth, we have leeks, cilantro, chard, basil and choi started. These seedlings, along with tomato plants, will be transplanted into the greenhouse in the next couple of weeks when the greenhouse is complete.

Bulk Order, Delivery March 12th
This Friday is the deadline for receiving orders at the farm for the March 12th bulk order. In addition to a wide variety of storage vegetables, we also have Pete's chicken and lamb available. The prices on our bulk order items are very close to wholesale, with a minimum order of $40. Visit our Bulk Order page for more details and an order form.

This Week's Share Contains
Sweet storage carrots, Adirondack red and blue potatoes mixed with yellow, Daikon radish, shallots, radish sprouts, popcorn, frozen tomatoes, Butterworks Farm yogurt, cheese curds, Patchwork Farm Organic Rye Speckle Bread, and oyster and shiitake mushrooms.

Bread Ingredients: rye flakes, wheat flour, fresh milled rye flour, deep well water, sourdough, sea salt, all organic grains

Vegetable Storage and Use Tips
Sweet Storage Carrots - Store these carrots unwashed and loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
Potatoes - This week's share includes a rainbow mix of yellow, as well as Adirondack red and blue potatoes. The reds and blues are attracting attention these days, even from the likes of Gourmet Magazine. See what Gourmet has to say about them here. Store these potatoes like you would all others, in a cool, dark place.
Shallots - Store in a cool, dark place, away from potatoes.
Radish Sprouts - These are our exciting, first new growth of the season, radish sprouts. Enjoy the first taste of spring! Keep these in the crisper drawer of your fridge.
Daikon Radish - This is the long white vegetable in your bags, resembling a large, albino carrot. The sharp radish taste you experience eating a raw daikon will substantially mellow when added to soups, stews and stir-fries. Daikon is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and folate as well as sulphur, iron, and iodine. Daikon should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped loosely in a plastic bag, where it should keep for at least a week.
Frozen Tomatoes - These crimson red orbs are surely a fine remembrance of summer. Keep these frozen until ready to use, then run the tomatoes under warm water. This will loosen the skin enough to be peeled right off. Let them thaw a bit more, then chop and use as you would canned, chopped tomatoes.
Mushrooms - Keep mushrooms in a brown paper bag in your refrigerator. When using shiitakes, don't forget to remove the coarse stems before cooking. Save the stems to throw into your next soup or stock. They will impart a wonderful shiitake flavor.
Popcorn - These cobs of popping corn are so much fun! You can twist the corn kernels off, starting at the wide end, and use like you would any other popping corn. You can also put the whole ear in a brown paper bag, tape it closed and pop. Listen carefully as the corn pops in the microwave. When the popping slows down, take the bag out and check for progress. If you wait too long, you'll end up with burnt popcorn!

Localvore 'Lore from Heather
This week's localvore goodies run the gamut from down home to artisanal to gourmet. Amir Habib grows organic gourmet mushrooms in Colchester. Visiting his operation is high on my list, so look for more information on this grower in a future newsletter. In the meantime, enjoy these beautiful 'shrooms! He sends a mix of yellow and silvery blue oysters, along with shitakes. The rye bread this week is another fine loaf from Patchwork Farm in Hardwick. Charley started out as a vegetable farmer after working at Riverside Farm. His focus shifted to baking bread and pizzas for sale to the Buffalo Mt Coop when he was disappointed with the available selection. Now he grows potatoes and some other ingredients for the bread, and grinds fresh whole grain flours. We're so glad he decided to be a baker!

We have two fine Northeast Kingdom dairy products; yogurt from Butterworks Farm and cheese curds from the Vermont Milk Company. Butterworks has been in business for almost 30 years; Vt Milk Company just over one year. Both share a philosophy of local food security and supporting small local farms. Good Eats has offered Butterworks products since we started the localvore shares. Vermont Milk Company is a new partner, and we are excited to be able to support their growing business and offer you a sampling of their products over this share. Here is some information on both companies from their websites. You can also visit butterworksfarm.com and vermontmilkcompany.com to learn more and see great photos.

About Vermont Milk Company
Fifty years ago, it was easy for the average American to know where most of the food on the table comes from. Seasonal eating and knowing the farmers who grew your food was a part of life – not a lesson in world geography. Too many farmers have been forced into the corporate circle, becoming powerless in their markets and enjoying little of the profits, only to see competitive products from across the country or the globe on the supermarket shelves. Today, there is a growing trend to return to our sensible roots – eating locally supports our community and offers us fresher foods to enjoy on the palate and on the conscience.

In a world where you can put food on your table that has been grown and transported from thousands of miles away, we offer the opportunity to consciously choose fresh and delicious local alternatives that not only taste better, but feel better. It’s food you can feel good about.

Cheese Curds are yummy bits of early-stage cheese scooped up fresh from the production line and saved from being formed into blocks to be aged. Their fate? To be gobbled up one after another. These are great for kids, parties, and any-time snacking.

About Butterworks Farm
Butterworks Farm began in 1979 when we left our teaching jobs and began making a variety of dairy products from the milk produced by our three family cows. We made butter, yogurt, cottage and farmer's cheese on our kitchen stove, and delivered these products and bottled raw milk to twenty-five families within ten miles of our farm, here in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Our little business evolved gradually to the point where we began selling products to local food co-ops and health food stores. By 1984, we became licensed by the Vermont Department of Agriculture, to process our cows' milk into yogurt and bottled cream in a little "factory" in the upstairs of our barn.

During the last twenty years our business has grown steadily. Our herd of Jersey cows has grown from the original three to about forty-five. We have been the "number one" selling yogurt (in quarts) in Vermont for a number of years. Now our distribution has expanded to reach many of the eastern states, through distributors such as United Natural Foods and Northeast Co-operatives.

Butterworks Farm stands alone in its uniqueness and in the excellent quality of our products. We are a husband and wife team with a small number of employees, all committed to making quality a priority. Our organic milk is from our own cows, which means we are able to assure our customers that it is totally free of herbicide, pesticide, synthetic hormone and antibiotic residues. All of the food that our cows eat (hay, barley, soybeans, and corn) is grown here on our farm, using sustainable, certified organic practices. We raise all our own cows from birth, ensuring that they have not been treated with hormones, antibiotics, or synthetic growth enhancers at any time.

Butterworks Farm yogurt gets its excellent quality and its fine flavor from the exceptional milk produced by our Jersey cows. Jersey milk is unusually high in protein. As a result, we are able to produce a thick, full flavored yogurt without adding gums or stabilizers. Our organic non fat yogurts are the only ones on the market that do not contain thickeners such as dry milk or whey protein. Our yogurt gets its firm texture and clean taste using only milk and live acidophilus, thermophilus, and bulgaricus yogurt cultures.

Recipes

Overnight Daikon Radish Pickles
This was a highly-rated submission on AllRecipes.com. Using apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar and sunflower oil in place of sesame oil (or omitting oil) makes them Localvore.

1 1/2 cups daikon, thinly sliced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil, or 1/2 tsp. sunflower oil (optional)

In a mixing bowl, toss daikon with salt. Cover, and refrigerate until 1 to 2 tablespoons of water is released, about 30 minutes.

Drain and rinse daikon, removing as much salt as possible. Pat dry with a kitchen towel and return to bowl. Stir in rice vinegar, black pepper and, if desired, oil. Cover, and refrigerate at least 8 hours.

Shroom, Daikon and Carrot Stir Fry
2 TB Peanut Oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 medium Daikon, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1/4 lb. mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 TB water
3 TB soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp powdered ginger
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil, or more to taste (optional)

Heat oil in a wok or skillet over high heat. Add the onion and carrot; stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the Daikon and mushrooms; stir-fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the water and continue to stir-fry until all the water has evaporated. Add the soy sauce, ginger, syrup and chili oil. Stir vigorously for 30 seconds. Transfer to a warm bowl and serve.

This stir-fry can be easily adapted for a main meal by adding tofu or meat (ground pork or chicken come to mind). Begin by heating 1 to 2 TB of oil in the pan. Stir-fry tofu or meat for 2 to 4 minutes (until desired doneness), then remove and reserve. Add the meat/tofu back in just before the soy sauce and syrup.

Rainbow Potato Salad
The colorful potatoes in your bag today would make a beautiful, French-inspired potato salad.

1.5 pounds Adirondack red & blue potatoes (yellow too!), cut in 1 1/2" chunks
1/3 cup olive or sunflower oil
1/3 cup white wine
2 TB cider vinegar
1 1/2 TB Dijon-style mustard
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly-ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup minced shallots
1 large clove garlic, minced

Radish Sprouts
Chopped Hard Boiled Egg

In a medium pan submerge potato chunks in cold, salted water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 12 to 15 minutes, just until potatoes are soft. As you will be slicing these, don't overcook. Drain potatoes. Return immediately to the hot pan and keep over heat for 30-60 seconds to dry out potatoes. While potatoes are simmering, whisk together the oil, wine, vinegar, mustard, tarragon, salt and pepper. Whisk in shallots and garlic. As soon as the potatoes are dry, remove from pan, slice and toss with the dressing. Serve potato salad over a bed of sprouts and garnish with chopped egg, if desired.

Real Canadian Poutine
Cheese curds are yummy as a snack, but to truly appreciate them, Heather recommends the classic Canadian dish, Poutine. Here's a recipe she found online from The Cooking Blog. She suggests making this with some homemade beef gravy. Perhaps you have a roast you can make? Or you can get beef broth and make gravy from that. I also think it would be just as good with pan fried rather than deep fried potatoes. The cheese curds will make it authentic! Makes 4 side servings or 2 main servings

4 large potatoes
oil for deep frying
salt
2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups cheese curds

Peel and slice the potatoes into thick fries (at least 1 cm thick). Soak the potatoes in ice water for about 30 minutes. Remove and blot dry.

Heat oil for frying to about 325F and deep fry potatoes for about 8 minutes. Remove from oil and set on paper towel. Turn the oil up to 375F.

In a saucepan melt the butter and stir in the flour. Add the beef broth and stir over medium-high heat until thickened. Reduce heat and keep hot. (Use a tiny bit of gravy browning to get that nice dark colour).

Return the french fries to the oil and continue frying until golden and crispy. This should take about 5 more minutes. Remove fries to drain on paper towel and salt to taste.

Assemble the poutine quickly while everything is still HOT. (Poutine is best made in a bowl or other container which will contain the heat and help melt the curds. Also, the curds should be at room temperature before assembling the Poutine). Start with a layer of fries. Put some cheese curds in the middle. Add more fries and top with more cheese curds. Ladle gravy over the fries and cheese curds.