Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - August 27, 2008

Announcing the Fall Vegetable/Localvore Share
Believe it or not, it's time to start thinking about the autumn CSA Share already. This Fall we will be providing a 17-week Vegetable/Localvore Share, our most popular offering. The Share will run from October 22nd through February 11th and will cost $799. Thanks to all of the work on greenhouses this year, we expect to be providing greens much later into the share than last year, and distributing homegrown sprouts when we can't provide full-fledged greens. You can read a more complete share description here.

We are pre-announcing the Fall Share to our current members, giving you the first chance to sign-up for the share. Current members will have priority for sign-up through September 8th. We plan to begin advertising the share to a wider audience the week of September 1st. If you would like to guarantee a spot in the Fall Share, please mail your form in before September 8th. Rest assured that we will not cash any of your checks until October 13th.

You can download a sign-up form from the Good Eats Fall Share page. We will also have printed brochures available at the pick-up sites next week.

You will probably notice that the price of a share has gone up slightly with the Fall Share. The price increase will offset the inflation we've been experiencing with the Localvore products, which have gone up from a few cents to 20%. As the amount we charge our shareholders for our vegetables has not gone up, you will most likely see a slight increase in the value of vegetables in the share over last year.

Pete's Musings
Yesterday, after about a year and a half of planning and attempting to paint our barn, Steve finally got out the sprayer and sprayed a little paint on the wall. Then he lost a part from the sprayer that I think was partly caused by me not putting it away properly last time I used it. So we had about 10 square feet of yellow paint on the wall and had to wait until somebody could make it to the paint store for the sprayer part. Sometimes in the midst of running a farm it is really unbelievable how difficult it can be to do very simple jobs.

Anyway, not an hour after this, a traveling barn roof painter stopped by. I've owned the farm for 4 years and have never been visited by one of these outfits. Within minutes we had agreed on a price to paint the barn roof and then he agreed to spray the walls as well. So yesterday between 3 and 7 p.m. we got our whole barn painted. Pretty great. It's a nice bright yellow. Purists won't like it, but I love yellow and this yellow is historic for barns in the E. Craftsbury area. It clashes pretty badly with the ugly mustard yellow on the house, so now we are trying to decide on a house color. Suggestions are appreciated.

Barn at 4:00 pm, Tuesday afternoon

In case a traveling barn painter every approaches you, their mode of operation is to start high with the price and then negotiate down. Generally they are willing to do the job for about half of the first named number. -Pete

This Week's Share Contains
Bag of Mesclun on Top with Arugula on the Bottom; Mix of Potatoes; Torpedo Onions; Bunch Green Kale; Bunch Spicy Bush Basil; Beefsteak Tomatoes; Mixed Colored Peppers* -or- Cauliflower and/or Broccoli.

Localvore Share:
Champlain Orchards Apples; Four Corners Farm Raspberries; Bonnieview Mossend Blue Cheese; Elmore Mountain Bread.

Bread Ingredients: Ben Gleason whole-wheat flour, Milanaise organic unbleached flour, sea salt, water and sourdough.

*Those sites who received cauliflower & broccoli last week will receive peppers this week and visa-versa. If we end up running short on one of these, you may see a mix or a duplicate from last week.

Storage and Use Tips
Potatoes: We have quite an assortment of potatoes in your bag this week, a veritable spud color wheel. Those in the mix include Adirondack purples and pinks; Nicola (creamy yellow); and Norland reds (red skin with white flesh). The Nicolas and Norlands would do very well in a salad. Or, make a rainbow mash or roast with the Adirondacks and Nicolas. The Norlands are also recommended for frying. Keep all potatoes dried and unwashed in a paper bag in a cool dark place, away from onions.
Torpedo Onions: Torpedo onions are included in the class of roasting onions, though they are great for grilling, sauteing and garnishing, as well as roasting. These definitely have more bite than the sweet onions we've been giving out lately. Torpedo onions originated in the Italian town of Tropea, where the Phoenicians introduced them more than 2,000 years ago. Keep them loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Arugula: This week your clear plastic bags contain both mesclun and arugula. The arugula is at the bottom. You can identify the arugula leaf by its long shape and resemblance to an oak leaf. Arugula adds a nice peppery bite to salads. I like it on its own served only with a drizzle of olive oil, a spritz of lemon and coarse salt and pepper. It also does well with a quick wilt added to pastas, frittatas or calzones, or as a stand-in for lettuce on an Italian-inspired sub.

Localvore 'Lore from Heather
We have a lot of goodies this week! I had already planned the share with apples, blue cheese and bread. Then Pete had the opportunity to buy the raspberries from Four Corners Farm in Newbury. The strawberries we had earlier in the share were also from them. The Paula Red apples are the classic early Vermont apple, most similar to any early Macintosh. They are great for eating while very fresh. Since they don't store well, you could make applesauce from any leftovers. Maybe even a little apple raspberry sauce.

This past Sunday I went to the Stowe Farmers Market with my family. It's a great market, with produce, crafts, bread, meat & cheese, pickles, prepared foods and even pizza from Pot Belly. The most fun was seeing both Neil from Bonnieview and Blaire form Elmore Mountain Bread and having a chance to talk to them about the share this week. Neil wanted to just check on the final count for the Mossend Blue. Blaire was all excited to tell me about the flour they are using.

You may remember that the flour they were using was only partially local from Quebec and we had backed off from bread in the share for a while. Then they got together with Ben Gleason to make the 50% whole wheat bread last time. Now the flour from Milanaise in Quebec is 100% local again, so they are now making all of their breads with local flour! Blair is just thrilled about this. They will also be using as much Gleason whole-wheat as possible to make whole grain breads for us. This week's bread is a whole-wheat levain made with sourdough starter. They are also working on a recipe to make a focaccia with Quebec sunflower oil and the Maine sea salt for a future delivery. It feels so good to have them baking for us again and I know they are inspired to make totally local organic breads. Plus the perks are great; I bought a focaccia, and then she gave me a maple cinnamon raisin and another onion flat bread. Sweet!

While I didn't talk to Neil very long on Sunday, today I was able to talk with Michael who works both here and at Bonnieview. He works in the washhouse here, sorting and packing wholesale orders and Good Eats shares. At Bonnieview he milks and makes cheese and then does a little bit of everything else. "Whatever needs doing," he says. They milk 180 ewes twice a day in the summer, and once a day now as milk production declines. They will start drying off in the fall and not milk at all for the winter. Then lambing starts it all again in the early spring. We both love this Mossend Blue. It has that nutty pungent blue flavor with a nice tangy note from the sheep's milk. Enjoy!

Potato Kale Soup
Heather thinks this soup is even better the next day, or made early and heated again just before serving. Serves 4.

1 bunch kale
4 TB oil
salt & pepper
1 medium onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 lb. spicy sausage, crumbled or chopped - optional
red pepper flakes to taste
4 medium potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 quart milk

Wash kale and strip leaves from stems. Chop the kale leaves nice and small. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add one clove of the minced garlic, and saute for one minute. Add kale with a pinch of salt and saute until bright green. Remove kale to another bowl.

Heat the rest of the oil in the same pot, add onions and remaining garlic with (optional sausage), salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Saute until fragrant and browning, about 5-10 minutes. Add potatoes and saute briefly together. Add water to just cover potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer until the potatoes are falling apart tender. Remove from the heat and mash the potatoes with the back of a spoon to make a thick base. Add kale and enough milk to make a creamy soup; taste for salt and pepper. Bring to a very gentle simmer and cook about 15 minutes longer.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with
Grilled Red Torpedo Onions and Pesto Vinaigrette
This recipe is from "The Sustainable Kitchen: Passionate Cooking Inspired by Farms, Forests and Oceans," by Stu Stein with co-authors Mary Hinds and Judith H. Dern. According to the authors, "This fruit salad (remember tomatoes are a fruit) showcases what we think summer is all about: intense flavor, colorful ingredients and playful flavor combinations."

2 red Torpedo onions, peeled, cut into half moons and thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound tomatoes (approximately 4 to 6 tomatoes)
kosher salt or course sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup pesto vinaigrette
basil leaves for garnish

Pesto Vinaigrette:
1 clove garlic, peeled
kosher salt, to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
2 cups fresh basil leaves, stems removed
4 TB red wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
cracked black pepper, to taste

Preheat a grill. Toss the onions in a bowl with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Remove the cores from the tomatoes and cut them in various shapes and sizes (wedges, round slices, half-moons, etc.) and reserve. Place onions on the grill over medium heat and grill until the onions are tender and caramelized, about 10 minutes.

To make vinaigrette, in the bowl of a food processor, purée garlic and salt until a paste is formed. Add pine nuts and basil and process until a fine paste formed. With motor running, add vinegar and then slowly add oil in a thin stream until the mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Arrange the tomatoes on the plates. Season with salt and pepper. Place several slices of grilled onions on top of the tomatoes and drizzle with pesto vinaigrette. Arrange several basil leaves on and around tomatoes and sprinkle with additional cracked black pepper.

Meg's Blue Cheese Potatoes
Meg bought a whole wheel of the Mossend Blue, and this is how she and Pete have been eating it. Recipe serves 4.

2 lbs. potatoes, scrubbed
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 TB oil
salt & pepper
3 TB butter
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Preheat oven to 400F. Cut potatoes into chunks or slice into rounds. Toss with onion, garlic, oil, salt & pepper. Roast in oven until tender and browned, about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, dot with butter and sprinkle with blue cheese. Return to oven for another 10 minutes.

Alternatively, make mashed potatoes according to your favorite method. Place in an oven-proof casserole, dot with butter and sprinkle on the blue cheese. Bake in oven about 10 minutes until melty and bubbling.

Apple, Blue Cheese and Walnut Pizza
This recipe appears in "Dishing Up Vermont," by Tracey Medeiros. It was contributed by Champlain Orchards. If you haven't yet seen Dishing Up Vermont, keep your eye out for it at your local bookstore or food shop. The book does a wonderful job of compiling recipes from a host of Vermont Fresh Network members. This pizza serves 3-4 as a main, 10-12 if cut for appetizers.

1/2 package or 1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 TB plus 1/8 tsp olive oil
1 large apple, unpeeled, cored, and cut into 1/8 inch slices
3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (3 oz)
1/2 - 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (2-3 ounces)
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, or 3/4 tsp dried
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
white pepper

Preheat oven to 450F. Lightly grease a 15-inch pizza pan. Set aside. Place 3/4 cup of warm water in a small bowl. Stir in yeast with a wooden spoon and let rest until yeast begins to bubble, about 5 minutes. Combine the flours, sugar, salt and pepper in a separate large bowl. Make a well in the flour mixture, and add the yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Transfer dough to a clean, lightly floured work surface and knead gently 20 times.

Lightly oil a large bowl with remaining 1/8 teaspoon of oil. Transfer dough to the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave dough at room temperature and let rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. Punch down the dough. Transfer dough to a lightly floured, clean work surface, and roll out to a 13-inch circle. Transfer to prepared pizza pan; build up edges slightly. Bake the crust for approximately 10 minutes, or until it just begins to brown. Cover the crust with apple slices, cheeses, rosemary, walnuts and white pepper to taste. Bake an additional 10-12 minutes, or until edges are lightly browned.

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