Monday, November 24, 2008

November 25th Update

Happy Thanksgiving week to all!
Please don't forget our special Tuesday pick-up this week. The site hours are the same as usual.
We have two updates/changes to the list we sent out on Friday:
  • A small portion of the sausage is now Hot Italian. Carnivores please double-check what you are taking if you have a preference!
  • We ran short on purple top turnips today. Those sites that do not get turnips today will get them next week.
If you have any questions, please email Nancy or call 586-2882 x2.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - November 25, 2008

Pick-up next Tuesday, November 25th!

Thanksgiving Week's Share Will Tentatively Include:
Yellow Potatoes (Some Russets and Other Mixed In); Bunch Kale (Maybe, see below*); Shallots; Mars and/or Torpedo Onions; Turnips -or- Rutabaga; Pie Pumpkin -or- Red Kuri; Parsnips; Brussels Sprouts; Bag of Greens (Probably Mix of Claytonia and Tatsoi); 2 Mini Decorative Pumpkins; Butterworks Farm Early Riser Cornmeal; Fresh Cranberries from Vermont Cranberry Company.

Depending on the share you've signed up for (check the list at pick-up), you will also receive:

Carnivore Shares - Winding Brook Farm Sausage

-OR-

Vegetarian Shares - Dozen of Deborah's Eggs & Organic Quebec Flaxseed

*Though we've been planning kale, the temperatures may not cooperate. It needs to warm up above freezing for a day here before Tuesday in order to harvest. The forecast may not cooperate. I'll send out an update Tuesday morning.

Storage and Use Tips
Kale - We grow many varieties of kale at Pete's, including Green, Lacinato, Red Russian and Redbor. The variety in your share this week is called Winterbor. One of the most winter hardy kales, Winterbor has finely curled, thick, blue-green leaves, handles frosts well and lends itself to successive cuttings. Keep kale loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. Strip the leaves from the stems and wash them well before chopping and cooking.
Torpedo Onions - These are shaped as they're named. We are finishing up the last of these this share. Though some may have a root or two sprouting from the base, they are still good eating. Keep torpedoes in the fridge. Mars go in a cool, dry and dark place, away from potatoes.
Pumpkin vs. Red Kuri - Some sites will get pie pumpkins this week and some will get red kuri's. You can use pureed kuri in recipes calling for pureed pumpkin. Both will do equally well in a pie, custard or the rolls recipe below. Store both in a cool, dark place. If you're going to use them within the week, they should do fine on the counter.
Parsnips - These are the "cream colored looking carrots" in your bags. This is the first time we've had parsnips in the share since back in June. Though a relative of the carrot, they aren't just like them. You'll want to peel parsnips and cook them before eating. They are wonderful sauteed or pureed, as well as in soups and stews. In the Thanksgiving menu below, they are parboiled in salted water, then pan fried in butter. Yum! Keep parsnips unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Pete's Musings
Part 2 of the refrigerated truck-buying saga. Last week, I described how I traveled to Delaware to buy a reefer (refrigerated) truck and returned with a little pickup. I threw myself back into reefer truck research, spending hours some days attempting to locate the perfect truck. Whenever we need a major piece of equipment like this, I prefer to search for it aggressively but for a relatively short period of time, as it is such a distraction.

I found a real gem in Kansas City that Ryder Used Vehicle Sales seemed to have miss -priced. Because the refrigeration unit had some strange names on it that the Ryder pricers did not understand, (the theory is the unit was made in Canada so has a different name), this truck was discounted several thousand dollars compared to similar trucks. I decided I would fly to K.C. and drive the truck home, but really wanted to fill it with cargo to make the trip more worthwhile.

This led to the search for the Kubota L245H. These are mythical tractors in the New England vegetable scene. They are an offset cultivating tractor, meaning that where you sit is not in line with the hood of the tractor. The hood of the tractor is to the left of where you sit. This allows an open view of what you are cultivating with tools that are mounted in the middle of the tractor between the front and rear wheels.

Cultivating in this sense almost always means weeding. These are weeding tractors that do the work of dozens of people. There are many other tractor brands that made similar tractors decades ago but they were all powered with gas and generally had lower horsepower than the diesel Kubota, limiting their use to certain light tasks. Kubota L245H's are nearly impossible to purchase in the Northeast, as those who own them do not sell them. When they are offered for sale, the price is generally $6500-$9000. Adding to the scarcity is the fact that Kubota and all other brands stopped making cultivating tractors 15-20 years ago.

My farming buddy, Jon Satz, had good luck locating L245's in Kentucky a few years ago. Many of these tractors were sold to tobacco farmers in the 80's and many tobacco farms are now out of business. Some quick ebay and craigslist searches found a tractor south of Lexington, KY that was one owner, full maintenance history, low hours, and $4,300. We are changing many of our cropping plans for 2009 and we could use several L245H's. I had room in the truck for 2, but could not find another.

The drive was uneventful. The truck is beautiful and the tractor is just what we need. The tractor was located in beautiful, really poor, old tobacco and coal country in Appalachia, Kentucky. People there said that after tobacco, no one could find any crops that were worth growing in the small mountain valley fields. I'd like to learn more about the area. Is there really no market for good local food or has no one started the movement? Visits to places like these do cause me to appreciate what we have started in Vermont and I hope that we can be a good example to other areas in how to rebuild a local economy. -Pete

Thanksgiving Menu
As I mentioned in the last newsletter, we attempted to design this week’s share around a Localvore Thanksgiving menu. It is actually the menu my family and I followed last year for our holiday feast. We managed to make it an almost all local meal, celebrating the bounty that can be found close to home, save for the Marco Polo exceptions* and a bit of non-local flour in the Red Hen bread, Whether you attempt to make the whole meal, a dish or two, or use your share for entirely different purposes, we wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving.

For those of you interested in checking out the meal, the localvore Thanksgiving menu includes:

Crispy Kale
Local Cheeses
Red Hen Bread

Roast Turkey with Cornbread and Kale Stuffing
Your Favorite Gravy Made With a Bit of Local Wine
Your Favorite Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Apple Cranberry Chutney
Parsnips Sautéed in Butter
Pumpkin Nutmeg Dinner Rolls

Maple Pumpkin Pots de Crème

*The Marco Polo exceptions for local eating include any spices that would have been freely traded in the time of said explorer, plus leaveners.

Preparation Schedule
I find that it always helps to spread the tasks of big, holiday meal preparations over several days. Here is a guideline for breaking down the tasks of the above dinner:

2 Days Ahead
Make turkey stock
Apple Cranberry Chutney
Cook and puree pumpkin/squash

1 Day Ahead
Make Pumpkin Nutmeg Dinner Roll dough. Form into rolls. Place on sheet pans. Cover and refrigerate.
Make Cornbread
Make Pots de Crème

Day Of
Roast Kale
Make stuffing mixture and stuff bird
Roast Turkey
Slice and parboil Parsnips, set aside an hour or two before turkey is finished
Slice Brussels sprouts and shallots, place on cookie sheet an hour or two before turkey is finished
Take dinner rolls out of fridge to come to rise about 90 minutes before turkey will come out of oven.

Last Minute
Boil and mash potatoes
Pan fry parsnips
Raise temp and pop dinner rolls and Brussels sprouts into oven as soon as Turkey comes out
Make Gravy

Localvore Lore
It was a pleasure putting together the share for this week. I had my eye on all of the ingredients before we even made our first delivery. Of course, a Thanksgiving meal is not complete without the commensurate serving of cranberry sauce. Thanks to Cranberry Bob and the Vermont Cranberry Company, we all have 12 ounces of the state’s finest to work with. Enjoy these cranberries while they last. The fresh ones disappear by early to mid December.

Jack Lazor at Butterworks Farm really came through for us. He cleaned out the remainder of last year’s harvest from the corn storage bin and ground it for this week’s share. This year’s corn for his famous Early Riser cornmeal has only recently been harvested and is currently in the aeration silo drying out.

This is the first time that we have meat from Winding Brook Farm. Arthur Meade has been a real treat to work with. He has a very diversified animal operation at his farm up in Morrisville. His menagerie includes lambs, pigs, goats, chickens and turkeys. I'm sorry that I forgot to mention his turkey's last newsletter. He asked me to mention he still has a few turkeys for you procrastinators! You can call him 888.5922.

You might have heard about his work with the state’s Muslim community to create a halal slaughter facility to provide goat meat for their tables. The facility allows Muslims to come to the farm and slaughter their animals themselves according to the laws of Islam. You can see a full article about the halal facility at Winding Brook by Suzanne Podhaizer at the 7 Days site.

This share we have his breakfast sausage to work with. It is a mild sausage, flavored with a bit of sage, perfect for a turkey stuffing!

For our vegetarian shareholders, we have eggs and flaxseed. The eggs are from Deborah, one of our most loyal and efficient crew members. She took the chickens from our farm at the end of last summer and started up her own egg business. Her birds are happy and well taken care of. We’re sure you’ll enjoy her eggs.

The organic flaxseed comes to us from Michel Geuidro’s Golden Crops up in Quebec. It’s one of the grains Tim and I picked up on our recent Canadian buying run. Although ground flaxseed has a very limited shelf life, the whole seeds that we are delivering in this share will stay fresh for 2 to 3 years if stored in a cool dry place, like a bottom drawer or cabinet. You will want to grind the seeds up in a coffee grinder before adding to a recipe.
Link
Flaxseed is naturally rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and high in fiber. It has been attributed with many health benefits, including reducing cholesterol, decreasing the risk of cancer and heart disease and fighting constipation. You can find out more about the benefits of flaxseed, as well as peruse some delicious sounding recipes at the following Websites:

FlaxHealth
About.com

Recipes
Turkey Giblet Stock
Adapted from Epicurious.com. Makes about 5 cups.

the neck and giblets (excluding the liver) from 12- to 14-pound turkey
5 cups chicken broth
5 cups water
1/2 small turnip or rutabaga, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

In a large saucepan combine the neck and giblets, the broth, the water, the turnip, the carrot, and the onion and bring the liquid to a boil, skimming the froth. Add the bay leaf, the thyme, and the peppercorns, cook the mixture at a bare simmer for 2 hours, or until the liquid is reduced to about 5 cups, and strain the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl. The stock may be made 2 days in advance, cooled, uncovered, and kept chilled or frozen in an airtight container.

Crispy Kale
This is so easy and makes a nice light snack that won't interfere with anyone's appetite for the main event. Serves 6.

1 - 2 bunches of kale, washed and spun dry
1 - 2 tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt

Preheat oven to 300F. Remove kale ribs and chop into bite size pieces. Wash kale and spin dry. On a large cookie sheet or sheet pan toss kale with oil and a generous sprinkling of kosher salt. Place in oven and toast kale for 25-45 minutes, tossing occasionally, until kale is crispy. How long kale will take to dehydrate depends on both the variety of the kale as well as how dry it is when it goes into the oven. Serve as an appetizer or side dish.

Cornbread (for Stuffing Recipe)
Adapted from Epicurious.com. Makes about 4 cups.

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups early riser cornmeal
1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

In a bowl whisk together the flour, the cornmeal, the baking powder, and the salt. In a small bowl whisk together the milk, the egg, and the butter, and stir the mixture into the cornmeal mixture, stirring until the batter is just combined. Pour the batter into a greased 8-inch-square baking pan and bake the corn bread in the middle of a preheated 425°F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the top is pale golden and a tester comes out clean. Let the corn bread cool in the pan for 5 minutes, invert it onto a rack, and let it cool completely. Crumble the corn bread coarse into 2 shallow baking pans and toast it in the middle of a preheated 325°F. oven, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it is dried and deep golden.

Cornbread and Kale Stuffing
Adapted from Epicurious.com. I like adding about a pound of sausage. The Winding Brook Farm in the share would be ideal. Serves 8.

1 lb. mild breakfast pork sausage, crumbled (optional)
2 large onions, chopped (about 4 cups)
1 small turnip or rutabaga, chopped fine
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large bunch of kale, stems discarded and the leaves rinsed well and chopped (about 10 cups)
about 4 cups corn bread for stuffing
1 tablespoon crumbled dried sage (or 2 TB minced fresh)

If including sausage, fry until mostly brown in a large skillet over medium heat. Drain, remove from pan and reserve. In the same pan, cook the onions and the turnips with salt and pepper to taste in butter over moderately low heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened. Add the kale in batches, stirring until each batch is wilted, and cook the mixture until the kale is bright green. In a bowl combine the mixture with the corn bread and reserved sausage, stir in the sage and salt and pepper to taste, and toss the stuffing gently until it is combined well. Let the stuffing cool. The stuffing may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled. (To prevent bacterial growth, do not stuff the turkey in advance.)

To cook, either stuff the bird, or place in a well-buttered casserole dish. You may find that you fill the bird and still have enough to bake in a casserole dish. Drizzle stuffing in dish with 2/3 cup stock and 1/2 cup of turkey pan juices. Bake in a 325F oven for approximately an hour.

Apple and Cranberry Chutney
This assertive chutney balances the sweetness in the rest of the meal nicely. I find the apple and cranberry combination a refreshing change from the standard cranberry sauce. Serves 8.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 medium onion, chopped
2 lb macintosh apples (about 4 or 5), peeled, cored and cut in 1/2" dice
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
12 oz fresh cranberries

Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add apples, saute for another 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the cranberries. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in cranberries and continue cooking until cranberries are softened and most of the liquid is absorbed. Taste and adjust seasonings and sweetness as desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Shallots
Serves 8.

2-3 TB melted bacon fat, sunflower oil or olive oil
2 lbs. Brussels spouts, washed and halved
3 medium shallots, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

Toss Brussels sprouts and shallots with melted bacon fat or olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in 400F (375F convection) oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pumpkin Nutmeg Dinner Rolls
Adapted from Epicurious.com. Makes 14 rolls.

1 1/4-ounce package (about 2 1/2 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1/3 cup maple sugar
3/4 cup milk, heated to lukewarm
7 to 8 cups whole-wheat bread flour (or 1/2 all-purpose, if you prefer)
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 large whole egg, beaten lightly
2 cups fresh pumpkin purée*
an egg wash made by beating 1 large egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water

In a small bowl proof the yeast with 1 teaspoon of the sugar in the milk for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is foamy. In a large bowl combine well 7 cups of the flour, the nutmeg, the salt, and the remaining sugar and blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the whole egg, the pumpkin purée, and the yeast mixture and stir the dough until it is combined well.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead it, incorporating as much of the remaining 1 cup flour as necessary to prevent the dough from sticking, for 10 minutes, or until it is smooth and elastic. Form the dough into a ball, transfer it to a well-buttered large bowl, and turn it to coat it with the butter. Let the dough rise, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it is double in bulk. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide it into 14 pieces, and form each piece into a ball. Fit the balls into a buttered 10-inch springform pan and let them rise, covered with a kitchen towel, in a warm place for 45 minutes, or until they are almost double in bulk. Brush the rolls with the egg wash and bake them in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until they are golden brown. Let the rolls cool slightly in the pan, remove the side of the pan, and serve the rolls warm. The rolls may be made 1 week in advance and kept wrapped well and frozen. Reheat the rolls, wrapped in foil, in a preheated 350°F. oven for 25 minutes, or until they are heated through.

Pumpkin Pots de Creme
Adapted from Epicurious.com. Serves 10.

1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup pumpkin puree*
7 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt

Special equipment: 10 (2- to 3-oz) custard cups* or ramekins

Preheat oven to 325°F. Whisk together cream, milk, syrup, and pumpkin in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a simmer over moderate heat. Whisk together yolks, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl.

Add hot pumpkin mixture to yolks in a slow stream, whisking constantly. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large measuring cup, then divide among custard cups (you may have some custard left over, depending on size of cups). Bake custards in a hot water bath, pan covered tightly with foil, in middle of oven until a knife inserted in center of a custard comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer custards to a rack to cool completely. Chill, covered, until cold, at least 2 hours. Serve garnished with whipped creme fraiche sweetened with maple syrup.

*My preferred method of making puree is to cut the pumpkin in half, then oil, salt and pepper the flesh. I put the halves, cut side down in a baking pan with about 1/4" of water in it. I then bake the pumpkin/squash in a 350F oven until the flesh is soft. Let the pumpkin cool slightly, then scoop the flesh into a food processor and puree.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - November 19, 2008

Please bring back your empty plastic bags and egg cartons when you pick-up. Thank you for helping with our recycling effort!

This Week's Share Contains
Mixed Colorful Carrots; Kale in Same Bag as Mesclun; Garlic; Celeriac; Leeks; Winter Squash; Kohlrabi; Napa Cabbage; Manchester Cheese from Consider Bardwell Farm; 1/2 Gallon Champlain Orchards Apple Cider; Elmore Mountain Honey Oat Bread.

Hen of the Wood Only: Empire Apples, to make up for missing apples on 10/29.

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

Celeriac - Clearly the ugliest vegetable in your bag this week, celeriac also goes by the name of celery root. Though entirely different in appearance from celery in the grocery store, celeriac is in the celery family. It is grown for it's root instead of its stalk, however, and has a hint of celery taste and smell. Do your best to peel celery root without loosing too much of its cream colored flesh. Celeriac makes a tasty raw salad, though it should be mixed in with a bit of acid like vinegar or lemon juice to keep it from turning brown. It is also delicious in soups, casseroles, gratins, or boiled and mashed with potatoes. Celeriac should be stored unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Kohlrabi - A descendant of wild cabbage, kohlrabi's cousins are the usual brassica suspects: broccoli, cabbage, kale, and the like. They are best peeled before use. Kohlrabi is very tasty raw and takes well to steaming, roasting and sauteing. Store loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Napa Cabbage - Also called "Chinese Cabbage," Napa is sweeter and milder than round cabbage. It can be sliced and used raw in salads, thrown in stir-fries, or fermented in traditional kimchi. Napa cabbage should be stored unwashed in your crisper drawer, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag. To use, first cut out the core. Soak the leaves in cool water to rinse and crisp them. Then, remove from the water and drain.

Thanksgiving Week Delivery, Share Contents and Newsletter
Just in case you haven't been reading the newsletter for the last few weeks, next week our DELIVERY WILL BE ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 25th.

We've attempted to design next week's share around a Thanksgiving meal, including recipes. To help you plan your menu and shopping list, I've posted the tentative share contents on our blog. We'll do the best we can to stick to our intended list, but please understand that things do come up and that an item or two may change before we are ready to deliver next Tuesday.

I will be sending out next week's newsletter by this Friday. So, if you would like to make any of the localvore thanksgiving recipes, you can arrange your shopping trip and time accordingly. I will make sure to send out an updated share contents email should anything change between now and Tuesday.

Thanksgiving Markets
We are very fortunate this Saturday to have several Thanksgiving markets in the area. If you need to pick up some additional local vegetables, cheeses, poultry, meats or specialty items, please keep these markets in mind:

Montpelier: 10-2 pm, Montpelier High School (We plan to be here.)
Burlington: 10-2pm, Memorial Auditorium, Corner of Main St and S. Union
Waitsfield: 9am to 1pm, at the Lareau Farm Pavilion.

Turkeys
And, if you haven't gotten it together to get your turkey yet, rumor has it that several farms may still have some birds available. The last week before the holiday is usually a rush, so call as soon as possible for the best selection.

Applecheek Farm - Organic heritage and broad breasted pastured varieties.
Maple Wind Farm - Organic pastured turkeys.
Gaylord Farm - White broad breasted turkeys.

For a listing of organic turkey farms in the state, use the search tool on NOFA's site.

Localvore Lore
This week we have Elmore Mountain Bread baking for us again. Andrew told me that their Honey Oat Bread is one of their favorites for breakfast toast and the new batch of oats inspired them to make it again. The ingredients in the bread this week are: Milanaise Bread Flour, Gleason's Whole-Wheat flour, Quebec Oats, spring water, Butternut Mountain Farms Honey, sea salt and yeast.

We also have Champlain Orchards apple cider this share. Champlain Orchards presses its own cider on a refurbished 90 year-old rack and cloth cider press. They have modernized the press, replacing all of the cider contact surfaces with stainless steel. They use only fresh washed apples.

If you are up at their Farm Market in Shoreham, and they are making cider, you are welcome to watch the whole production - from the pressing of the apples to the bottling of the finished, sweet product.

Finally, we have wonderful Manchester goat cheese from Consider Bardwell farm. Here's a bit about their farm from their Website:



Straddling the rolling hills of Vermont's Champlain Valley and easternmost Washington County, New York, 300-acre Consider Bardwell Farm was the first cheese making co-op in Vermont, founded in 1864 by Consider Stebbins Bardwell himself. A century later, Angela Miller and Russell Glover, along with cheesemakers Peter Dixon and Chris Gray, are revitalizing the tradition with goats' milk from their herd of Oberhasli goats. Our cheeses are made by hand in small batches of only all natural ingredients from milk that is antibiotic and hormone free.

We raise Oberhasli (also known as Swiss Alpine) goats. Our herd of 70 goats grows every spring as new kids begin to arrive in April. We graze them rotationally on our pesticide-free and fertilizer-free pastures in order to produce the sweetest milk and the tastiest cheese. Every goat has a name and you can meet them yourself when you come by the farm.

The Manchester is a raw-milk, washed-rind goat’s milk peasant tomme. The cheese, aged at the Cellars at Jasper Hill, has a nutty and earthy rustic bite. Due to rotational grazing on their pastures and the aging process itself, each batch has a distinct note. In addition to the soup recipe below, this Manchester would make a bold addition to any cheese board, as well as for use in salads and savories such as quiche, risotto, or mac and cheese.

Recipes
Winter Squash Braised in Apple Cider
A couple of year's back I gave my sister-in-law Deborah Madison's book celebrating farmer's market seasonal produce called, "Local Flavors." As she has raved about the book ever since, I broke down and bought it for myself last month. This recipe will give you a taste of the recipes in this mouthwatering book. Serves 6.

2 lbs. winter squash
2 TB unsalted butter
2 TB finely chopped rosemary
2 cups apple cider
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
apple cider vinegar to taste

Peel the squash, then dice it into 1/2" cubes or even smaller pieces. Melt the butter in a wide skillet and add the rosemary. Cook over medium heat to flavor the butter. After 3 minutes, add the squash and cider plus water to cover. Bring to a boil, add 1/2 tsp salt, and simmer until the squash is tender, 20-25 minutes, by which time the juice will have reduced enough to provide a glaze for the squash, if not, raise the heat to reduce it quickly. Sprinkle on a teaspoon of vinegar and taste for salt. Add additional vinegar if you need to balance the sweetness, then season with pepper.

Kale and Celeriac Chowder
I've adapted Deborah Madison's original Endive and Celeriac Chowder to accommodate the items of today's share. The result should be an ideal for soup for a cold, late-fall supper. Serves 4.

2 TB unsalted butter
1/2 lb. kale leaves, washed and chopped
2 leeks, white parts only, chopped and rinsed well
2 shallots, chopped
1/2 lb. kohlrabi, peeled and chopped fine
1/2 lb. yellow-fleshed potatoes, peeled and diced into small cubes
1/2 lb. celery root, peeled and cut into small dice
2 large carrots, diced
2 tsp thyme leaves, chopped (or 3/4 tsp. dried, crumbled)
1 bay leaf
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup cream
dash of dry sherry

2 TB finely chopped parsley*
1 TB snipped chives*
1 tsp chopped taragon*
4 slices country bread
2 ounces Manchester cheese (or Gruyere), thinly sliced

Melt the butter in a wide large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables, thyme and bay leaf. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the vegetables smell good and there's a little glaze on the bottom of the pot, about 7 minutes.

Add stock to cover along with 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the potatoes are soft to the point of falling apart, about 25 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the soup so that it is a light green, with only a few chunks remaining. Pour in the cream, taste for salt and season with pepper. Stir in half the herbs.*

Toast the bread and cut each piece into halves or quarters. Divide the pieces among 4 bowls and cover with the cheese. Ladle the soup over the toast and cheese and serve garnished with a dash of sherry and remaining fresh herbs.

*If you don't have frozen versions of these from the summer, try mixing 1/3 of the amount called for in dry form into the soup while it cooks.

Asian Dumpling Soup
Adapted from Epicurious.com. Serves 4-6.

1 (15- to 16-oz) package frozen Asian dumplings (also called pot stickers; about 20 to 24)
2 tsp sunflower oil
1/2 cup finely chopped leeks
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB minced ginger
5 cups vegetable or chicken broth (40 fl oz)
3 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage (from 1 head)
2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom caps*
1 cup shredded or matchstick (1/8-inch-thick) carrots (from a 10-oz bag)
1 cup shredded or matchstick kohlrabi
1/2 cup shredded or matchstick daikon radish
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Fry dumplings in a large, heavy bottomed skillet, according to package directions.

While dumplings cook, heat oil in a 4 - 6 quart heavy pot over medium heat. Add leeks, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes. Add chicken broth, increase heat and bring to a boil. Add cabbage, mushrooms, carrots, kohlrabi and daikon and boil, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes. Stir in sesame oil, salt, and pepper and boil until all vegetables are tender, about 1 minute.

Divide dumplings among 4 soup bowls with a slotted spoon. Ladle soup over dumplings.

*If you don't have fresh mushrooms, try using 1 cup dried shiitake, reconstituted in warm water. Replace some of the broth with the resulting mushroom-flavored water.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Tentative Contents for November 25th Share

This is what we expect to include for Thanksgiving Week:
Please see the November 25th post to see what we are planning to include for Thanksgiving week. Of course, the share is not set in stone until late on Monday.....

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good Eats Newsletter - November 12, 2008

Please bring back your empty plastic bags and egg cartons when you pick-up. Thank you for helping with our recycling effort!

This Week's Share Contains
Red Kuri Squash; Russet Potatoes; Mixed Medium Beets; 2 Stalks Brussels Sprouts; Torpedo Onions; Bag Mixed Spinach and Claytonia; Green and/or Purple Pac Choi; Bunch Cilantro; Sweet Salad Turnips; Rolled Oats from Quebec; Butterworks Farm Whole-Wheat Pastry Flour; Red Hen Pain au Levain; Dozen Eggs.

Storage and Use Tips
Cilantro: Cilantro has a long history. It had been cultivated in North Africa and parts of Asia for thousands of years before the Spanish conquistadors brought the herb over to Central and South America. Some Asian recipes will refer to it as coriander leaves. If the plant is left to flower, it will produce coriander seeds. Cilantro adds great flavor to salsa, chili, tacos, salads, enchiladas, stir-fries and curries. For the freshest flavor, add it to the dish once it's removed from the heat or sprinkle it on as a garnish before serving. Storing cilantro with moist leaves in a plastic bag will most likely lead to green slime instead of a good meal. It keeps better if you stand it up, unwashed, in your refrigerator in a glass full of water, covered loosely with a plastic bag. Change the water every 2 or 3 days to keep it fresh.
Russet Potatoes: Russet potatoes, also known as Idaho or baking potatoes, are in the class of starchy potatoes, as opposed to waxy varieties like red and fingerling. They are high in vitamin C and B6, as well as natural sugars. Russets make great baking potatoes, and are ideal for mashing and making fries. Store potatoes in a cool dark place, away from onions. Onions will cause the potatoes to sprout. Storing your potatoes in the refrigerator can make their starch turn to sugar and therefore should be avoided as doing so can give the russet potato an unpleasant, sweet taste.
Brussels Sprouts: Brussels sprouts are a tall-stemmed cabbage in which many tiny heads form at the bases of the leaves along the entire length of the central stalk. The "sprouts" are made up of tightly packed leaves, each resembling a miniature cabbage head. Like all brassicas, sprouts benefit from a frost. These will be sweeter than Brussels sprouts picked at the end of the summer. This share we're providing the sprouts still attached to the stalk. They will stay fresher this way, so remove the little heads just before you're going to cook them. I prefer to cook Brussels sprouts in a way that will maximize their sweetness. My favorite method is to toss them liberally with salt and olive oil and roast them in a 375F degree oven. When the outer leaves are starting to turn brown at the edges, you know they're done. To store, wrap the whole stalk in a closed plastic bag and keep in your crisper drawer.

Tuesday Thanksgiving Week Delivery
To make sure that everyone sees this notice, expect to see it a couple of more times before turkey day. Pickup will be on Tuesday, November 25th the week of Thanksgiving. Please mark your calendars!

Pete's Musings
The following is the first installment of a multi-week series of writings about the recent purchase of a refrigerated truck and moving of the moveable greenhouses. Some of you have been affected in one way or another by the problems we've had with the truck as well as heard a bit about the saga, but I thought the full story would make an interesting read.

There are no trucks of the type we are interested in available in Vermont-and most available in the northeast have more rust than we like. This led to a search of the eastern half of the country. You can find thousands of trucks online with lots of photos and some even have service histories. But it is a tiring process scanning through the websites, calling and trying to find a sales person who you can trust, pondering whether this one is good enough to fly to Atlanta to drive home, etc.

Three weeks ago I thought I had found the one. I'd had extensive conversations with 2 sales people, the truck had been sent to a nearby independent garage for analysis, and everybody said it's a great truck. I flew to Philadelphia, took a train to Delaware, and arrived at the dealership. The truck was sub par. The refrigerated body on it was obviously older than the truck itself and had spent years in the Boston area where it had encountered ample salt. The frame under the body was clearly well rusted and needed full replacement. I was frustrated and decided to walk the three miles back to the train station rather than take a cab.

Not half a mile from the truck dealership while passing a repair garage I caught glimpse of a sleek red beauty out of the corner of my eye. I've been a Toyota truck devotee for many years, but consider the absolute peak of Toyota's excellence to be the 1990-1993 models. These are the pre-Tacoma years. The Tacoma is the small truck Toyota has made since '94. They are ok, but are larger, less fuel efficient and significantly wimpier in the suspension. In my opinion, they've generally been on a downward slide year by year to cater more to the comforts demanded by American drivers.

The trucks Toyota made between '90 and '93 are comfortable enough, but very tough and really do go forever. They are simple: no power steering on the front-wheel drives, clean and basic dashboards, without a million different windshield wiper settings. They are also incredibly well balanced in a hard to describe way, but the result is that even the two-wheel drives have great traction in the snow and mud and they are really fun to drive.

To my mind, they are the peak of late 20th century automotive design. In 1999, my brother bought a red Toyota like the one I saw from a friend of a friend in Colorado. In a weak moment, I convinced him to sell it to me (he's regretted it ever since) and for the next 5 years I loved that truck like I've never loved another vehicle. It's the perfect rig for the bachelor farmer. It drives like a Miata and is easy to clean up for the occasional date. Plus, it's always nice to have a truck bed, as most trips seem to have a double duty involving hauling something farm related.

Four years ago a troubled employee rolled the truck a couple of miles from the farm. Fortunately, he was ok, but the truck was totaled. I'm generally not particularly attached to material things, but I mourned the loss of that truck. It sat behind the barn for months and made me perceptively sad whenever I saw it. Finally we stripped off the good parts and hauled it away. I've been looking for a replacement ever since with no luck. Any in these parts are too rusty or beat up and most of the remaining good ones in salt free parts of the country tend to sell for a lot of money.

So there it was in Delaware-the same red as the one I used to have and in really nice shape. I couldn't tell for sure if it was for sale, but it was sitting out front and separate from the other cars that were waiting to be repaired. I looked it over quickly, almost not letting myself get too attached before I knew if it was for sale and affordable. In the shop, the Korean owner told me it's in perfect shape and $2000.

Half an hour later, I was headed north and my love affair has begun anew.

Folks who knew I had gone south to buy a reefer truck were startled by the small size and lack of refrigeration on what I returned with, but pleased to see me grinning from ear to ear.

Next week the rest of the story on actually buying a reefer truck. -Pete

Hungry Planet - What the World Eats
Many of you may have heard about this book or seen some of the pictures. In 2005, photographer Peter Menzel and writer Faith D'Aluisio traveled the globe, researching and photographing what a typical family eats in many countries throughout the world. The resulting book was basically a weekly meal plan, budget and documented photograph of what 30 families consumed in 24 countries in a representative week. As you might imagine, the difference between the meager diet of a Sudanese family and the abundant menus of the industrialized western families was nothing less than staggering. Two years ago, NPR ran a story on the book, complete with published photographs on their Website. As I looked through the images, I couldn't help but think that a weekly diet built around a CSA share would actually look more similar to a Guatemalan spread than the typical American menu as photographed, and healthier too.

Localvore Lore
We have a lot of neighboring farms and producers represented in our share today. With the number of shareholders we have now, combined with the lowered egg-laying capacity of chickens in the late fall, we had to work with two different farms to put together the eggs for this week.

I first contacted Applecheek farm in Hyde Park last month. I spoke with Rocio about the eggs and she was confident in providing us with 250 dozen from their large flock of laying hens. I was really excited about working with Applecheek, as I think they are a wonderful example of a diverse family farm. John and Jason Clark's parents started the farm in 1965 and the farm is in transition to the two boys now. John and wife Rocio are heading the agricultural aspects of the farm. Jason is in charge of the catering end of things and running their dining hall. John is on the board of Rural Vermont and I was lucky enough to see a bit of their operation when I attended the annual Rural Vermont meeting there a couple of year's back.

The farm is certified organic and offers eggs from pastured hens, pastured chickens and turkeys, as well as grass and milk fed veal and grass fed beef. They also produce milk for Horizon organics. Applecheek is in the process of building a Localvore store, where they plan to sell their own raw milk, eggs, poultry and meats. You don't have to wait for the store to be completed, however. You can visit the farm and buy any of those products now, just more informally. The family also offers wagon rides and sleigh rides. Visit their Website for more on all of their endeavors.

While still defining this week's share, Rocio called back and said that her hens had drastically decreased the number of eggs they were laying. They don't use any lights to stimulate the production during the colder months and she didn't think they would have enough for the share. So, I got a line on some more eggs from Loren's Happy Hens.

Loren is the 15-year-old son of Crystal and Glen Burkholder, owners of Glenview Jerseys. Mostly a dairy operation, Lauren has taken the reigns on raising, feeding, cleaning and harvesting eggs for about 100 hens at his family's farm. The folks help out a bit with the marketing, but as Crystal says, "Loren really does most of it." We were very fortunate to be able to get eggs from Loren at short notice. They've been gearing the hens up to lay eggs for the new Green Top Market in Morristown. The market is opening a bit later than expected, sources say perhaps next week, so we were able to get their eggs in our share to supplement Applecheek's. All of the eggs you'll be receiving are certified organic, no matter which farm your dozen ends up coming from.

In addition to the eggs, we also have whole-wheat pastry flour from Butterworks Farm and Red Hen Pain au Levain bread. Finally, we have oats from Michel Gaudreau's mill in Compton Quebec. Tim and I had an adventure sourcing all of the Quebec localvore products last week, but that story will have to wait for another newsletter.

Recipes
I would like to thank Carolyn Malcoun for contributing the Eating Well Magazine and Vegetable Love recipes found below. Carolyn is a Good Eats shareholder, as well as an Associate Editor for Eating Well. After receiving the first newsletter, she offered to contribute some recipes for an upcoming share. I sent her the tentative share contents yesterday and she responded with a wealth of delicious-sounding recipes, making my job this week a whole lot easier. Thanks Carolyn!

Meatless Red Flannel Hash
This recipe is from Barbara Kafka's Vegetable Love cookbook -- delicious with eggs your favorite way! Serves 4 as a side dish.

3/4 lb. whole beets, trimmed and scrubbed
2 large floury potatoes, scrubbed
2 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon, melted
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
16 fresh sage leaves, cut into thin strips
2 teaspoons kosher salt
7-8 grinds fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Roast beets until a knife easily slips into the flesh. When just cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and coarsely chop. Place the potatoes in a 3-qt saucepan with water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and refrigerate until cold. Remove the skins and cut into 1/2 inch cubes.

Heat 2T butter and the oil in a 10-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 min. Add sage and cook until wilted. Add the potatoes and cook until brown, about 15 minutes. As the potatoes begin to brown, use a spatula to turn, rather than stirring, so the potatoes don't turn to mush. When the potatoes have browned, add the beets, salt and pepper, folding them in with the spatula. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Pour in the vinegar and 1/4 cup water or stock. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Pour in another 1/4 cup water or stock and cook until the liquid has been absorbed once more.

Place an oven rack on the 2nd level from the top and set oven to broil. Center a 9-10 inch glass pie dish over the skillet. Holding the pie dish in place, flip the skillet over, turning the hash out into the pie dish. Press down into an even layer. (The hash can be made ahead at this point and refrigerated. Bring to room temperature before continuing.) Brush the top of the hash with the melted butter. Broil for 10 minutes, or until the top is crusty and nicely browned.

Spanish Tortilla
From Eating Well Magazine. Don't confuse this with the flour or corn tortillas you use to make wraps. A Spanish tortilla is a potato-and-egg omelet found on numerous menus throughout Spain. Traditionally these are cooked in heaps of olive oil. Our version uses less oil, so it's lower in calories. Serves 6.

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked diced potatoes
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
6 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup shredded Manchego or Jack cheese
3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add potatoes, thyme and paprika and cook for 2 minutes more.

Lightly whisk eggs and egg whites in a large bowl. Gently stir the potato mixture into the eggs along with cheese, spinach, salt and pepper until combined. Wipe the pan clean; add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and heat over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture, cover and cook until the edges are set and the bottom is browned, 4 to 5 minutes (it will still be moist in the center).

To flip the tortilla, run a spatula gently around the edges to loosen them. Invert a large plate over the pan and turn out the tortilla onto it. Slide the tortilla back into the pan and continue cooking until completely set in the middle, 3 to 6 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

Active time: 25 minutes | Total: 40 minutes | To make ahead: Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

Cumin Roasted Squash Salad with Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
Seeing the Eating Well recipe for the cilantro lime vinaigrette (below) inspired me to create this Mexican leaning autumn salad. Serves 4-6.

3 lb. winter squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4" cubes
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
2 TB sunflower or olive oil
4 cups spinach mix
1/4 cup salad turnips, cut in small dice
1/4 cup spiced and toasted pumpkin seeds
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 400F. Place cubed squash in a roasting pan and toss with cumin, salt and oil. Roast the squash for about 20-25 minutes, turning occasionally, until beginning to caramelize and fork tender. Remove from oven and cool.

Place the greens in a large salad bowl and toss with about 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette. Arrange squash, pumpkin seeds and chopped salad turnips on top of greens. Drizzle with a bit more vinaigrette and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
From Eating Well Magazine. Orange juice and cilantro yield a tangy dressing that you'll want to have on hand. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

1 cup packed cilantro
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Pinch of minced garlic

Puree cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, orange juice, salt, pepper and garlic in a blender or food processor until smooth. Makes 1 1/4 cups.

Oatmeal Buttermilk Pancakes
These pancakes were a staple of the breakfasts I used to serve at my Inn. One of the best things about them is that you need to mix the batter the night before, making for a much more leisurely morning.

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3 TB maple syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups buttermilk (or milk soured with a bit of vinegar)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for brushing the griddle
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup to 3/4 cup apple cider

Whisk to combine first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, 1/4 cup melted butter and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add to dry ingredients; whisk until blended, but some small lumps still remain. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or over night. When you are ready to make pancakes, remove batter from fridge and stir in enough apple cider to make a slightly thick, but pourable consistency. Heat heavy large skillet or pancake griddle over medium heat. Brush skillet with melted butter. Working in batches ladle batter by 1/4 cupfuls into skillet. Cook pancakes until bottoms are golden brown and bubbles form on top, about 2 minutes. Turn pancakes and continue cooking until bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining pancake batter, brushing skillet with more melted butter in between batches. Keep pancakes warm in a 250F degree oven until ready to serve.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

November 5th Update

Please use your pizza dough by Thursday evening, or freeze immediately.
I just received an email from Andrew Heyn at Elmore Mountain Bread. He said that their freezer didn't get the dough thoroughly frozen, as he had expected. They were cold enough to stop rising, but he wanted to let everyone know how to handle it. They recommend using the dough by Thursday night, in the meantime keep it in the refrigerator. If you won't use it before then, put in the freezer right away and thaw it out according to the directions in the newsletter.

Good Eats Newsletter - November 5, 2008

Please bring back your empty plastic bags when you pick-up. Thank you for helping with our recycling effort!

This Week's Share Contains
Red Kuri Squash; Acorn Squash; Garlic; Walla Walla Onions; Head Lettuce; Green Tomatoes; Bag Mixed Spinach, Baby Tatsoi and Claytonia; Bunch Sweet Salad Turnips; Bunch Kale; Bunch Sorrel; Oyster or Shitakii Mushrooms from Amir Habib; Bufala di Vermont Mozzarella Cheese; Elmore Mountain Pizza Dough.

Storage and Use Tips
Claytonia: Mixed in with your spinach this week, you will find some other green leaves with a thin stem and round-shaped leaf. Claytonia is a cold-hearty salad green, that is also known by the name of "miner's lettuce." During the gold rush, miners foraged for the wild-growing green. It provided a rare source of fresh vitamin C during the winter, thus staving off scurvy for the hungry miners. Claytonia has a mild, but lush flavor. The mix of spinach and claytonia in your bags this week will make a wonderful late-fall salad.
Garlic: We suggest keeping your garlic in a cool, dark, well-ventilated space. I like to keep mine in our basement, spread out on a wire shelf, so that the heads to not touch each other. Once you've broken the head and used the first clove, try keeping the remainder in a small, open bowl in your deli drawer. To remove the paper skin from cloves, try trimming the ends, then giving the clove a whack with the side of your butcher's knife.
Sorrel: Originating in Europe, sorrel is a green leaf vegetable similar in appearance to spinach. Sorrel may be harvested to use in salads, soups or stews. Young sorrel leaves are also excellent when lightly cooked, similar to the taste of cooked chard or spinach. Store sorrel, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer in the fridge. Like any bunched green, separate the leaves and wash thoroughly before use.

Missing or Damaged Items
Though we do our best to make sure that every delivery and pick-up goes smoothly, there are the occasional shortages and disappointments. Should you arrive at your pick-up spot to find that one or more of your items are missing or that some of your produce is in unsatisfactory condition, please let us know right away! Our goal is 100% satisfaction. If you can call or email Nancy as soon as you discover the problem, she may be able to resolve it the same day. Sometimes, a site host is able to find items a shareholder may have overlooked and the shareholder is able to go back Wednesday evening or Thursday morning to retrieve the items. I've also had shareholders who have mistakenly taken an item call me to see if they can deliver that item to the family who was shorted. If we can't resolve your issue right away, a quick call or email ensures that you will get on the pick list for the following week.

Tuesday Thanksgiving Week Delivery
It's hard to believe that we are already planning for Thanksgiving this year, and yet it's only a few weeks away. We will be delivering on Tuesday, November 25th, instead of the Wednesday this Thanksgiving week. Please mark your calendars!

Truck Update
As many of you know, we've been looking for a new, larger truck to replace our current delivery transportation. Pete flew down to Delaware the other week to buy a new reefer (refrigerated) truck, but found the body to be in poor condition.

In the meantime, our truck had some serious problems last week. It seems that we overloaded it to the point that it would not drive safely. We had to rent a truck at the last minute and divide the load in two. Tim took part of the route in his usual direction and Steve took the Morrisville-Stowe run. The whole process resulted in some late deliveries and some missing yogurt and apples. Thank you to all who had to make a second trip to retrieve your items. May Day will be receiving their yogurt this week. Hen of the Wood will receive their apples on November 19th.

Pete's been in and out of the office all day looking at other trucks available on this half of the US. He's got a line on one in Chicago and one in Kansas City. Let's hope one of these pans out.

Squash - Autumn's Bounty
Like many of our favorite vegetables, we seem to pine for squash many months out of the year. We miss its deep earthy flavor and color from mid-winter until the leaves begin to turn color. Of course, now that it's full-on squash season, we sometimes wonder what to do with all of this autumn bounty. Culinate, one of my favorite online food and recipe sources, as well as weekly e-zines, recently ran an article on squash. Not only does it give you a handy guide to squash varieties and what to do with them, it also provides some wonderful ideas and recipes for maximizing the gifts of the season. Enjoy!

Localvore Lore
I am really excited about the share for you today. It should make a delicious localvore mushroom pizza. We are really happy to have Amir Habib growing mushrooms for us again. Amir takes a break during the summer, when it's too hot to grow his crop efficiently. This week's share contains either oyster or shitakii mushrooms. We helped Amir unload them from his van this afternoon. They look beautiful! Please note that mushrooms aren't the best keepers, so try to use them up before Monday.

Andrew and Blair from Elmore Mountain Bakery have been experimenting with frozen whole-wheat pizza dough for us and they're pretty happy with this final batch they came up with. The dough in your share has been scaled to 1 lb. and fully fermented, so you won't need to let the dough rise anymore. (All of their breads undergo a long, slow fermentation that gives them better flavor, aroma and handling.) Andrew passed along these instructions for the dough:

  • The dough should thaw on the counter top for 3-4 hours or in the fridge for 7-8 hours. It is best to use the dough within 24 hours after it is thawed. (The dough is alive and will continue to rise and ferment, which will make it sticky and difficult to handle.)
  • Lightly dust your counter top and the dough with flour and pat the dough into a disc. Roll out with a rolling pin or gently stretch until you have a crust about 14 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thin. This dough is best baked thin and hot and should crisp nicely.
  • If you are going to bake the pizza on a pizza stone: Place on an upside down cookie sheet or cutting board that has been lightly dusted with cornmeal. Brush the crust with olive oil and add your favorite toppings, don't pile it on too thick though.
  • The best way to replicate a brick oven is to bake the pizza on a baking stone under the broiler. Place the stone 8 inches below the broiler and preheat for 15-20 minutes.

  • Gently slide the crust directly onto the stone. Bake under the broiler, rotating it every couple minutes with a metal spatula until the edges are golden brown.
  • If you are going to bake in a pan, brush a cookie sheet with olive oil and stretch the dough into a rectangle. Top the pizza and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven until golden brown.
  • Ingredients: Quebec bread flour, Gleason's Whole Wheat, spring water, yeast and sea salt.

When I found out that we were going to get pizza dough instead of bread this week from Elmore Mountain, I set my sites on getting some fresh mozzarella. This will be the first time that we are able to offer Bufala di Vermont's authentic buffalo mozzarella in the share. They made a special run of it on Monday just for Good Eats and it arrived on the Black River truck just hours ago. It is a fresh mozzarella, and thus has a short shelf-life. Eat it by Saturday to ensure that you have a fresh, delicious experience.

Frank Abballe and his sons, Vince and Paul, recently bought the buffalo herd after Spoondance Creamery (formerly named Woodstock Water Buffalo Company) closed its doors. They have 750 head of buffalo on 18 acres of their own, plus additional leased land. They milk about 190-200 at a time.

From their buffalo, the family is making fresh mozzarella and yogurt, as well as cheeses aged in Jasper Hill cellars. They also have ground buffalo meat for sale and flavored sausages. While they are all learning the cheese making side of the house, Paul has taken the reigns at the creamery and Vince is specializing in their meat production.

Recipes
Wild Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Pizzas
The method for baking off these pizzas varies slightly from Andrew's recommendations above. But, I would be afraid to get these beautiful mushrooms too close to the broiler element. Makes two 8" pies.

2 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tsp olive or sunflower oil
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise

.5 lb assorted wild mushrooms (such as crimini, oyster, chanterelle, and stemmed shiitake), cut into bite-size pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste

Pizza Dough
Cornmeal (for dusting)
Garlic oil
8 ounces thinly sliced fresh mozzarella

Melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tsp oil in heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until golden, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Melt remaining butter and oil in another heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and garlic. Sauté 4 minutes. Add wine and simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 5-10 minutes. Add rosemary; season with salt and pepper.

Position rack in bottom third of oven. Place heavy 17x11-inch baking sheet on rack (invert if rimmed). Preheat oven to 500°F at least 30 minutes before baking. Roll out 2 dough disks on lightly floured surface to 8-inch rounds, allowing dough to rest a few minutes if it springs back. Sprinkle another baking sheet (invert if rimmed) with cornmeal. Transfer 1 dough round to second baking sheet. Lightly brush dough with garlic oil. Divide the sliced cheese between the two dough disks. Scatter 2 1/2 tablespoons onions over cheese. Scatter 1/2 cup mushrooms over onions. Sprinkle with salt.

Position baking sheet with pizza at far edge of 1 side of hot baking sheet. Tilt sheet and pull back slowly, allowing pizza to slide onto hot sheet. Repeat with second dough disk, garlic oil, cheese, onions, mushrooms, and salt, and slide second pizza onto second half of hot baking sheet. Bake pizzas 6 minutes. Rotate pizzas half a turn. Bake until crust is deep brown, about 6 minutes longer. Using large spatula, carefully transfer pizzas to cutting board. Let rest 1 minute. Slice into wedges and serve.

Spinach and Sorrel Soup
Adapted from the book "Vegetables from Amaranth to Zucchini" by Elizabeth Schneider. Serves 4 as a first course.

2 tsp olive or sunflower oil
1/2 sweet onion, minced
3/4 lb small, tender spinach, stems removed
5-6 ounces sorrel
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1 1/2 TB cornstarch
big pinch of ground nutmeg or ground anise
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
lemon juice
6 TB heavy cream
Link
Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions and saute for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add greens and stock. Bring to a boil, stirring. Simmer until soft, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Puree soup until smooth with an immersion blender. Or, transfer to a blender or food processor and puree. Stir together cornstarch with 1/4 cup of the puree. Combine in pot with remaining soup. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Add nutmeg, zest and juice. To serve, ladle into bowls. Drizzle 1 1/2 TB heavy cream onto each, then swirl gently with knife tip or fork to form a pretty pattern.

Bean Mole with Roasted Winter Squash
This recipes is adapted from 101cookbooks.com. My family enjoyed this the other week for supper, and we thought many of you would too. Serves 4.

3 cups cooked meaty white beans, such as marfax or Jacob's cattle
1 1/2 cups (7 ounces) peeled and chopped winter squash
olive oil
1 bunch kale
2 TB butter
1 medium onion, chopped
2 - 4 red jalapeno chiles, halved, seeded, and chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound green tomatoes, chopped
1 cup vegetable broth or water
2 teaspoons paprika
1 ounce of almonds, dark roasted and finely ground
2 ounces dark 70% dark chocolate, broken into pieces
salt
1-2 TB maple syrup, optional

Preheat oven to 350F. Place cubed squash in a roasting pan and toss with olive oil. Roast them in the oven for about 20 minutes until caramelized on the outside but still firm. Reduce the oven temperature to 250F. (note: alternately, you can brown the squash in a skillet.)

Without removing the central stem, cut the kale across the leaf into 3/4-inch slices. Melt the butter into an oven-proof casserole dish (pot) and fry the onion and chilies gently over a low to medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until caramelized. Add the garlic and fry for three minutes more. Add the tomatoes, liquid and paprika, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Add the ground almonds, chocolate, squash, beans, kale, and a teaspoon of salt. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Taste the mole. Add syrup, if you wish, to your taste. Cover the casserole and put it in the oven to cook gently for 2 hours.

Squash Recipes
Don't forget to check out all the squash recipes in this article at Culinate.com.