Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - February 18, 2009

Important Share Information
Welcome to the new Fall - Winter Share! Your first pick-up is tomorrow (Wednesday). If you are unsure of your pick-up times, please visit our website's Pick-Up page. If you have any questions about your pick-up please email Nancy Baron or call 802.586.2882 x2.



When Picking Up Your Share Please:
  • Check off your share name on the pick-up list. Note that only one name is listed for the share. Be sure to look for your partner, if you don't find your name.
  • If you can't find your share name at all, do NOT take a share. Please contact Nancy right away and we'll figure it out.
  • Flip the page to find the pick-up instructions.
  • Follow the specific item list/instructions for the share you have selected to
    assemble your share. (Vegetarian or Not)
  • When splitting your share, coordinate with your share-mate to make sure that you DON'T take double the amount of any items.
This Week's Share Contains
Shallots; Nicola Potatoes; Yellow Storage Onions; Parsnips; Orange Storage Carrots; Red Cabbage; Rutabaga; Mix of Pea, Sunflower & Radish Shoots; Elmore Mountain Apple Cinnamon Bread; Champlain Orchards Malcoun Apples; Dancing Cow Bourree.

Storage and Use Tips
Shoots - Some people call these sprouts, but we like to call them shoots to distinguish them from the more common and less hardy sprouts like alfalfa. Today's shoots are a mix of sunflower, daikon radish and pea seedlings. They make an excellent stand-in for greens during the winter months in Vermont. We grow them in a sprout room, with artificial light, in our headhouse (connected to our heated greenhouse). Sprinkle them with cheese and toss them with salt, pepper and dressing for a green treat. Store shoots in your crisper drawer, where they'll keep through the weekend.
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 are delicious boiled and mashed with butter (with or without potatoes). Rutabagas should be peeled before use. Keep them loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your fridge.
Nicola Potatoes - These slightly waxy potatoes have a smooth yellow exterior and white and are creamy within. Nicolas are excellent for boiling, roasting and using in salads. Store in a cool dry place away from onions.

What To Do If You Have a Problem
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.

Our site hosts have instructions to distribute left over food by Thursday afternoon if we have not heard back from anyone. This assures that they don't end up with bad food on their hands. If you would like to receive an item that you missed at pick-up, you must contact Nancy by Thursday morning.

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.

Newsletter Intro
My name is Nancy Baron and I write the Good Eats newsletter each week. It goes out every Tuesday evening with helpful information, farm updates, the week's share contents, storage and use tips, localvore information and recipes. Pete will often chime in with farm updates, thoughts and pleas for feedback. Though we do try to get the newsletter out just as early as we can, we do like to wait until the share is finalized. Sometimes there are last minute changes to the contents and we want to make sure that you've got the right information to go with your pick-up.
If, as happens occasionally, there are changes to the share that occur after the newsletter has been sent, you may receive a follow-up email Tuesday night or Wednesday. If you have any feedback on the newsletter, recipe contributions or just general questions about the CSA, feel free to email me.

We also post each newsletter on our blog at PetesGreens.Blogspot.com. It generally gets posted sometime on Wednesday. There's a good history there for recipes, farm stories and share contents.

Pete's Musings
Hi Folks, Welcome to our Spring Share!

We are excited as we have greens germinating in the greenhouse, thousands of sprouted onion seeds, and newly sown tomatoes. The farm is in much better shape than past springs as we have not spent the winter building greenhouses or buildings (although Steve has been plugging away at one little greenhouse), but rather organizing, planning, and preparing for our best year yet.
Thanks for joining-we can use a few more members, so tell your friends. We hope you enjoy the bounty of the Vermont spring. -Pete

Localvore 'Lore
Each week in this section we try to highlight some of the localvore items you'll be receiving at pick-up. We try to mix up what you'll receive each week, so that everyone gets to sample a wide variety of locally grown and produced food items. We do our best to source items from within 100 miles of the farm, directly if at all possible. Though we occasionally wander outside this radius, it's pretty rare. Our 100 miles allows us access to many interesting products from Quebec, New York, New Hampshire, and of course, most of Vermont. This week, we're staying pretty close to home with Apple Cinnamon Bread from Elmore Mountain Bakery, malcoun apples from Champlain Orchards and Dancing Cow Bouree cheese. I am thinking that there is a pretty good meal lurking between just those three ingredients and a bowl full of shoots and dressing.

Elmore Mountain is a beloved bakery in our neck of the woods, and bakes for the share just about every other week. Andrew and Blair do a fantastic job of sourcing their flour and other ingredients close to home. This week is no exception. Blair writes:
"The bread this week was inspired by our Maple Cinnamon Raisin Bread. We figured that a localvore version made with apples would be a delicious change. We used Cortland Apples from Champlain Orchards and roasted them in our oven to dry them out. We also added their fresh cider and maple sugar from Butternut Mountain Farms to sweeten the bread a bit."
In addition to having some of Bill Suhr's apples in the bread, you'll also be receiving a bag of malcouns. We work with Bill to see what is available each time we put apples in the share. Our goal is to keep mixing up the varieties to keep it interesting. Though Champlain Orchards is not completely organic, they do follow a low-spray regimine to balance the quality of the apples they produce with the environmental and health impacts.

Malcoun apples are named after a Canadian fruit grower, W.T. Malcoun. The variety is actually a cross between Macintosh apples and Jersey Blacks and was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva in 1932. Malcouns are great eating apples and also make a good sauce and addition to salads.

Finally, in the share today we have the Bourree from Dancing Cow. Dancing Cow is located in Bridport, with a view of the Green Mountains to the east and the Adirondacks to the west. Steve and Karen Getz, owners and cheesemakers at Dancing Cow, have mostly Jerseys and Guernseys, with a bit of Shorthorn, Normandy, Holstein and Dutch Belt in the mix. Their cows are pastured during the warmer months and eat hay that was grown on the farm during the winter. Following sustainable principles, they use no pesticides, herbicides or petroleum based fertilizers on their fields. Steve and Karen are proud of the fact that they run a seasonal diary, with the cows giving birth in the spring and taking a break from the milking routine in the coldest winter months. From the milk, they lovingly handcraft raw milk cheeses, like the bourree. They describe the Bourre on their website as follows:
Bourree is a washed rind cheese with an earthy aroma, supple paste and a rich, creamy texture that melts into a beautiful smoky, meaty, lingering finish. Bourree is made from raw cow's milk, un-cooled, from only a single milking. The name Bourree comes from a French peasant dance with rapid foot movements, much like the cows when first turned out into lush, green spring pasture. Bourree is aged at the Cellars at Jasper Hill a minimum of eighty days and available directly from them. Bourree was a 2008 American Cheese Society winner.
Recipes
Honey-Glazed Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

From Epicurious.com. Serves 8.

2 pounds carrots (1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter), peeled, halved lengthwise
2 pounds parsnips (1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter), peeled, halved lengthwise
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Position 1 rack in center and 1 rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 400°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil. Divide carrots and parsnips between prepared sheets. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, then drizzle 3 tablespoons oil over vegetables on each sheet; toss to coat.

Roast vegetables 10 minutes; stir. Roast vegetables 10 minutes longer, stir, and reverse sheets. Continue roasting until vegetables are tender and slightly charred, about 15 minutes longer. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Tent with foil and let stand at room temperature. Rewarm uncovered in 350°F oven 10 minutes.)

Melt butter in heavy small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in honey and vinegar. Drizzle honey glaze over vegetables and serve.

Rutabaga, Potato and Apple Gratin
Adapted from Jame's Peterson's book, "Vegetables." Serves 6-8.

1 small garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 cup milk combined with 1 cup heavy cream, or 1 3/4 cups half-and-half
2 medium (about 1 and one-half pounds total) waxy potatoes
1 rutabaga (2 pounds), peeled
3 medium apples, cored, peeled and sliced thin
1 cup (about 3 ounces) grated/crumbled Bourree cheese (cheddar works too)
salt and freshly groound black pepper
One-quarter teaspoon grated nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Rub the inside of a large, oval gratin dish or square or rectangular baking dish with butter. Crush the garlic clove into a fine paste with the side of a chef's knife and combine it in a saucepan with the milk and cream.

Peel the potatoes -- keep them under cold water if you're not using them right away -- and slice them into three-sixteenth-inch-thick rounds with a mandolin, vegetable slicer, or by hand. Peel the rutabaga into rounds the same thickness as the potatoes. Cut the rutabaga in half to make the slicing easier. Bring the milk and cream mixture to a simmer.

Arrange the potato, rutabaga and apple slices in alternating layers in the gratin dish, sprinkling each layer with cheese, the milk and cream mixture, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Save a fourth of the grated cheese for sprinkling over the top of the gratin. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the top of the gratin is golden brown and the vegetables are easily penetrated with a paring knife.

Red Cabbage and Haluski
This recipe harkens back to my family's Slovak roots. A comforting meal on a cold winter's eve, it comes together surprisingly fast, even with homemade noodles. If you need to have meat with every meal, serve it up with some kielbasa. Serves 6.

1 onion, diced
3 TB butter
1/2 large head of cabbage (or 1 medium head), chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
A few good shakes of paprika
3 finely grated potatoes
2 tsp. salt
4 eggs, beaten
3 or more c. flour
Pinch of baking soda
2 TB melted butter

In skillet over medium-high heat, brown onion in butter. When browned, add salt, pepper, paprika and cabbage; simmer 5 minutes covered. Add a little water occasionally, as needed, until cabbage is tender.

Grate potatoes, add salt and beaten eggs. Add enough flour with baking soda to make a stiff dough. Drop by 1/2 teaspoon into boiling water. Boil about 8 minutes.* Drain and rinse with hot water. Add to prepared cabbage; stir well, heat through. Drizzle with melted butter.

*Cook's note: I like to send the batter through a potato ricer or spaetzle maker. It makes very quick work and the dumplings boil in less than half the time. You'll know they are ready when the rise and stay at the top of the water.

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