Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - April 29, 2009

This Week's Localvore Share Contains
1 bunch Salad Turnips; Spring Dug Parsnips; Medium Red Beets; European Greenhouse Cucumbers; 2-3 heads of Pac Choi; Mesclun Mix; 1 quart of Pete's Applesauce; 8 oz Champlain Valley Cream Cheese; 1 lb of Butternut Farm Maple Sugar and....

...either 1 bunch of sorrel or 1 bunch of parsley.

Storage and Use Tips
Sorrel - Sorrel is a green leaf vegetable native to Europe. It is also called common sorrel or spinach dock. In appearance sorrel greatly resembles spinach and in taste sorrel can range from comparable to the kiwifruit (or lemons or a combo) to a more acidic tasting older leaf (due to the presence of oxalic acid which increases as the leaves gets older). Young 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. Older sorrel is best for soups and stews where it adds tang and flavor to the dish.

Parsley - Much more than a garnish, parsley has lots to offer. Chopped parsley can be sprinkled on a host of different recipes, including salads, vegetable sautés and grilled fish. Combine chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest, and use it as a rub for chicken, lamb and beef. Add it to soups and tomato sauces. It is a key flavor ingredient in the mediterranean dish tabouli (I felt compelled to add the recipe below). Parsley is one of those vegetables with huge nutritional benefits, even when using just a couple tablespoons of the minced green. The vitamin content is very high (particularly vitas A, C, K, and folic acid). And what's more, the activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens.

Maple Sugar - This form of maple was first developed by Native Americans for its ease of storage and transport. Its has robust maple flavor, low moisture content, and a long shelf life. It is a natural alternative to cane sugar. Store it in a tightly sealed container. If it becomes fused into a maple sugar lump, use a cheese grater to grate it when you use it. See both Lovalvore Lore and the Recipe section for use ideas.

Pete's Musings
Lots happening in the fields. We are gearing up to transplant one by one 250,000 baby onion plants. It is a slow and laborious process but leads to a great crop and there is little work to do with them after the transplanting. Our 3 acre potato field is being prepped today and we'll try out our new potato planter later this week. Outdoor greens are about a week away-I think a new record for earliness on this farm. The crew is shaping up well-we have lots of folks and it is a challenge to keep ahead of them at times. Meg has been a great addition as a field manager running a crew of 2-4 folks while I do the same. I'm able to get my crew started on projects and then run around doing tractor work or all the little things that seem to take me all day to accomplish. I like the response to the question "What did you do today?" "Not sure, but it took me all day.". That is often how I feel and it can be tough to focus on a task and complete it.

We are looking for a very large dump truck to purchase. We have a nice connection with a dairy farm 2 miles away that is willing to give us rotten sileage and sell us manure. Mixed together the two ingredients make great compost but we have to haul most of it ourselves. Our current dumptruck is on it's last legs and Steve has done a great job nursing it the past couple years but it is time for something larger and newer so that we can haul more with each load. These additions of organic materials are the base of our soil and crop health and we appreciate having access to them. ~ Pete

Localvore Lore
Nancy was thinking of you all when she put this share together several weeks ago. It was her plan to have the maple sugar appear in the share with the cream cheese. The idea of course is to spread the cream cheese on your favorite bread, and then sprinkle the maple sugar on top. Yum!

The bread this week is Elmore Mountain's Pain au Levain. It is a sourdough loaf made with bread flour and rye flour from La Meunerie Milanaise in Quebec, whole wheat flour from Butterworks Farm, spring water and sea salt. It is a universal bread that makes delicious sandwiches and toast, is good with strong cheeses, dunked in soup, or enjoyed on its own.

Champlain Valley Creamery in Vergennes has provided their award winning Old Fashion Organic Cream Cheese. This cheese is made from cultured fresh organic cow’s milk and cream using traditional methods. I asked Carleton Yoder to share with us a bit about how he makes this cheese:

We haul organic milk in cans from a dairy in Bridport, we separate the cream and add it to whole milk in the vat. We then vat pasteurize the milk/cream combo, cool and culture for 7 hours. The resulting thick curd is scooped into muslin bags and drained overnite, then pressed lightly in the morning. The cheese is emptied out of the bags and is salted and packed, all by hand. The cheese you are getting was milk on Friday, packed Saturday. The cheese is never reheated to stop the culture, and no stabilizers (like carob, guar or xanthan gums) are ever added. It's very unlike that ubiquitous foil wrapped gummy brick! It has the perfect balance of creaminess and tanginess that is unlike any other cream cheese you’ve ever tasted. It’s great on a bagel, on sandwiches, baked in your favorite dessert or simply on its own.

The Maple Sugar comes from Butternut Mountain Farm in Johnson. We are fortunate to be able to provide it as Butternut is one of only two operations in the US to make maple sugar. Maple sugar is produced simply by boiling all of the water out of the syrup and mixing it into a granulated state. Some cooking tips from Emma Marvin:

Maple sugar is highly versatile. I use it when making chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies in place of the brown sugar and some of the white. I use it on salmon sprinkling maple sugar, ground sea salt and pepper over the top just prior to cooking. It makes a great maple salad dressing! Mix approximately equal parts of olive oil, maple sugar and vinegar (cider or rice wine works well). I’m sure there are infinitely more ways to use maple sugar, but these are just a few of my favorites. We'd love to hear about any recipes you find yourselves using our maple sugar in!


Recipes

Spicy Parsnip Soup
This recipe from www.jamieoliver.com gets numerous rave reviews. Serves 4.

olive oil
knob of butter
1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon garam masala
6 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
500 ml milk (full fat or skim)
1 quart vegetable stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
optional: 1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
optional: a handful of fresh minced cilantro (or parsley!) leaves
crusty bread, to serve

Heat a splash of olive oil and the butter in a large saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and garam masala. Gently fry for around 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and sweet.
Drop in the chopped parsnip and stir together so that everything gets coated in the oil and flavours. Pour in the milk and stock, season well and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes with a lid on. After half an hour, check that the parsnips are cooked by sticking a knife in. If you’re happy, remove them from the heat and carefully whiz up using a hand blender or liquidizer. Taste the soup to see if it needs a little more salt or pepper.

Serve topped with some strips of fresh red chili peppers (or a sprinkle of dry) with a good chunk of crusty bread.

Tip: Use coconut milk instead of regular milk for a twist.

Sorrel Soup
This is a very simple light soup that highlights the fresh, slightly lemony flavor of the sorrel. It's from the Sundays at Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen.

2 c. well-packed, washed and stemmed sorrel leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
3 T. butter
1 T. unbleached white flour
3 c. vegetable stock
2 egg yolks
1 c. milk or half and half
salt and freshly ground black pepper
dash of Tabasco or other hot sauce (optional)

Finely chop the sorrel leaves. In a medium saucepan, sauté the onion in the butter until translucent. Stir in the flour. Mix in the sorrel and cook for a minute or so, just until it wilts. Add the vegetable stock. Bring the soup to a low simmer and cook for about 3 minutes. Beat the egg yolks and milk in a medium mixing bowl. Slowly add 2 c. of the hot soup while stirring constantly. Stir this soup-egg mixture into the soup pot. Reheat the soup gently but don’t let it boil. Add salt, pepper to taste and a dash of Tabasco, if you like.

Tabouli
I had to include this to go along with the parsley. Make sure you give it time to marinate in the fridge! Serves 6.

1 cup bulgur
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice -- and/or lime juice
1 teaspoon garlic -- crushed
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 teaspoon dried mint flakes
1/4 cup olive oil -- (good quality)
fresh black pepper
2 medium tomatoes -- diced
1 cup fresh parsley -- chopped and packed

Optional: 1 cup chopped cucumber and/ or 1/2 cup coarsely grated carrot

Combine bulghar, boiling water, and salt in a bowl. Cover and let stand 15-20 minutes, or until bulghar is chewable. Add lemon juice, garlic, oil, and mint, and mix thoroughly. Refrigerate 2-3 hours (this is important, the bulgher needs to marinate). Just before serving add the vegetables and mix gently. Correct seasonings. Garnish with olives.

Braised Parsnips
1 bunch parsnips
3 tbsp. butter
1 pinch salt, pepper, and nutmeg
Chopped parsley

Clean and scrape parsnips. Slice lengthwise. Melt butter in a skillet; add parsnips and seasonings and cook covered over low heat until tender. Serve garnished with finely chopped parsley.

Carrots - Turnip - Parsnip Dish
5 large carrots, peeled or scrubbed and chopped
1 medium turnip or rutabaga, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into small chunks
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons butter or margarine

Prepare vegetables and place them in a large saucepan. Cover with water, bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutues or until vegetables are tender. Drain well. Add salt, pepper and butter and mash well. Serve as a side vegetable with your meal.

Maple Sugar Bread
This is really quite a decadent sounding loaf, particularly when considering the option of spreading cream cheese on each slice. From the website www.recipeland.com.

Ingredients
1.5 cups of applesauce
1 cup nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans)
2.5 cups flour, all-purpose
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon ground
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins, seedless, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon butter softened
1/2 cup butter softened
1.5 cups maple sugar (finely grated if necessary)
3 large eggs

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use teaspoon of butter to coat bottom and sides of a 9x5x3 loaf pan. In a medium sized bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt.
In a large bowl, cream 1/2 cup of softened butter and maple sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts alternating with the apple puree in 2 parts, mixing just enough to incorporate the ingredients fully. Then stir in the nuts and raisins. Pour the batter into buttered pan, spreading it and smoothing the top with a spatula, and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cream Soaked White Bread with Maple Sugar
OK, I know this is not exactly healthy fare... I found it on www.saveur.com and I couldn't pass it up. Crunchy Maple sugar, lush pillowy cream, on coarse country white bread ...mmmmm.

3/4 cup heavy cream
4 thick slices of hearty white country bread
4 tbsp. coarsely grated maple sugar

Put cream into a medium bowl, and whisk until slightly thickened. Pour 1/4 cup of the cream over each slice of bread. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. of the maple sugar over the cream. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - April 22, 2009

This Week's Localvore Share Contains
Nicola Potatoes; Carrots; European Greenhouse Cucumbers or Baby Salad Turnips; Pac Choi; Mesclun Mix*; 8 oz of Pete's Onion Puree; 1 Dozen Farm Fresh Eggs; 1 Pint Bonnieview Ewe's Feta; Bag of Champlain Orchards Red Delicious Apples; and...

One Basil Plant!
Please note that you will not receive both European Greenhouse Cucumbers and Baby Salad Turnips in this week's share. We did not have enough of either so some people (most) will receive cucumbers this week and some will receive baby turnips

Storage and Use Tips
Pak Choi - Also known as Bok Choy or Chinese Cabbage this vegetable is most common in Chinese cuisine. Part of the cabbage family, it packs in nutrition with high scores for vitamins A and C and calcium. Both leaves and stems may be eaten raw or cooked, but leaves, particularly when they are more mature are more often served cooked. To prepare Pac Choi, use a chef's nice to make thin slices across from the bottom of the head up freeing the stalks as you do so. Wash the stalks to remove any trapped silt from between stalks. Although you can cook chopped leaves and stalks together in a dish it is nice to separate them when chopping so that you may toss them into a dish at seperate times allowing stalks to cook a little longer than leaves so that leaves aren't over cooked. Pac Choi should be stored in a plastic bag in the produce drawer of your fridge.
Salad Turnips - Tender fresh dug Spring Turnips can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw they have a texture similar to a radish, but are not so sharp. Or slice, dice, or quarter them and saute with butter or oil. Cook until just tender and still a little crisp. Just a little salt or maybe a little bit of vinegar is all they need. Cooked with butter and given a slight drizzle of honey and even picky little eaters may gobble them up. Don’t forget the greens! Turnip greens are tender and flavorful. Chop and saute with the turnips for a side dish, or cook up with other greens, or by themselves. I often chop them and toss them into pasta sauces.
Onion Puree -The onion puree in your share this week was inspired by the French onion puree called soubise. The onions were cooked very slowly in their own juices until the flavor mellowed and sweetened. You can use the puree in many different ways. Mix it with a little mayo and some cayenne, or paprika or another spicy spice to make a nice onion dip. Heat some up, put in a bowl and crumble a little of the feta in and then spread on some toast made from a crusty bread. Use in tomato sauce or a sauce served along meats. I have given a recipe below that uses it both in a tart and an onion confit that goes with the tart.
Basil Plant - Because everyone deserves to have a basil plant of their own Meg has grown some extra for our shareholders! See Meg's care instructions below. These plants should be given a place of honor in a sunny window, watered as needed (not wet and definitely not allowed to dry out), and pampered as the stars they are. There is nothing like a little fresh basil on your pasta, in your soup, on your salad.

Pete's Musings
This week marks the end of the Nancy Baron era at Pete's Greens. Nancy took over management of Good Eats from our founding manager Elena Gustavson a year and a half ago and has done a great job. Her newsletters, recipes, customer service and overall professionalism are top notch and she has been a real pleasure to work with. Amy Skelton is taking over the reins. Amy managed Phish in its early days and was the head of merchandising for Phish for many years. Recently she has run a small farm and local foods restaurant in Nova Scotia. We figure that after her years with Phish, Pete's Greens will be tame and boring. We've been blessed with great Good Eats managers. Beginning with Elena, continuing with Nancy, and on to Amy they have provided a crucial link between the farm, the food, and the eaters. Thanks ladies for all you have done! ~ Pete

Meg's Musings
This week everyone will receive a potted basil plant. I started them in late January. The variety is Aroma and has excellent flavor and "aroma". I recommend keeping in a sunny window and watering frequently. Pinch off the tops of the plants to maintain a healthy plant and use the tops for eating. This helps the plant to bulk up and grow out instead of up, preventing the plant from becoming to tall and lanky. Your basil plant can also be transplanted outside after the last frost, sometime after mid June. You may decide to eat it all right away,or let it grow for awhile and continue to pluck a little here and there. Either way, enjoy and savor the Aroma. ~ Meg

New Adams Court Pickup Location Starts This Week
Today is first day picking up at our summer location at the Romm's house. The Romms are just up the block from the Picchi/Dodd's house. Pick-up will be in the Romm's garage. They have a white house on the right of Adams Court, before you make the turn to the left. The number is 25 Adams Court. Look for the sign.

Summer Shares Available
We have put a lot of planning into the vegetable mix for the upcoming share period and are very excited about the expected selection in each and every summer bag. Lots of center of the plate veggies, like broccoli, kale, chard, beans, peas, head lettuce, summer squash and tomatoes will make frequent appearances, along with onions, garlic and herbs for great flavor combinations. Check out our Vegetable Availability Chart for a more complete selection. To ensure that you will receive a weekly selection of fresh, organic produce through out the summer sign up for our Summer Share now!

This summer we will be offering three different shares:
Vegetable/Localvore - $748 (avg. $44/week)
Vegetable Only - $493 (avg. $29 a week)
Meat Share - $199 (avg. $50 a month)
Visit the Summer Share page to find out more or to sign-up.

Looking for Someone to Split a Share With?
If you would like someone to split a share with during the growing season, we can help hook you up. We maintain a Members Seeking page on our website to help those looking for a share partner. If you don't have a neighbor, coworker, family member or friend interested in sharing in the summer bounty, check out the Members Seeking page. We have several people currently look for a summer partner. Or, if you don't see your pick-up site listed, let me know and I would be happy to post your information.

Localvore Lore
I feel so lucky to be coming back to Vermont. Being away for a few years really gives a new perspective on how progressive Vermont and particularly the farmers here really are. This is a special corner of the world where, much more than average, consumers and farmers understand the principles of sustainability and land stewardship. This week we have products from four different farms, all of whom are exemplary in their commitment to sustainable agriculture.
From Neil Urie we have Bonnieview's Ewe's Feta this week which is always such a treat. This cheese is a 2007 American Cheese Society award winner. I look forward to crumbling a little into my salads this week.
Applecheek Farm is a sustainable, organic farm in Hyde Park that the Clark family has been farming for over 40 years. They grow organic pastured laying hens, turkeys, chicken, beef, and veal. They also have a wide variety of other animals and they welcome visitors to the farm. Applecheek Farm and Deborah Rosewolf have provided our eggs today. These eggs come from happy hens who live happy fulfilled lives able to dig and scratch and forage in the manner that they are evolved to do. Because their diet contains forage and other live food (insects, worms), the yolks will be more orange than grocery store eggs and the more intense color means higher vitamin content. These eggs are high in omega 3, vitamin E, and beta-carotene and more importantly, they are delicious.
Champlain Orchards have sent along their Red Delicious Apples this week and along with the apples they have graciously provided us with some background on how they are able to provide such high quality produce months after harvest.
Every year we strive to grow the most ecological apples possible, using only minimal spraying and careful growing, pruning, and harvesting practices. All our apples are hand picked at the peak of ripeness. This is done by picking every tree through three times instead of once, which allows for the apples that mature at different times on each tree. In your share today you are receiving Red Delicious apples that have been kept in our controlled atmosphere storage rooms over the winter. The Red Delicious is probably the most iconic of American apples next to the Macintosh. Its flesh is yellow and slightly juicy, somewhat tart, and highly aromatic. It is good for fresh eating and flavor has actually improved in storage.
At Champlain Orchards we use a total of seven controlled atmosphere, or CA rooms. Each room can hold 2,700 bushels of apples. To maintain the stored apples at perfect ripeness the oxygen levels in the room are lowered to 3%, essentially putting the apple to sleep minimizing respiration and thus hindering further ripening. The oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the rooms are monitored and maintained with a computer “carbon filter scrubber.” All the rooms are sealed air tight and kept at 34º at all times. During the winter we open one of our CA rooms approximately every 3 weeks. Your Red Delicious apples come straight from one of these CA rooms. We hope you enjoy the taste of fresh harvested apples now in the spring.
Recipes

Awesome Apple Pancake Recipe
Adapted from a Champlain Orchards recipe that was contributed to the "Dishing up Vermont" cookbook by Tracey Medeiros
3 eggs
1/2 cup plus 3 TB whole milk
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (or substitute whole-wheat for up to 1/4 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp almond or pure vanilla extract
2-3 peeled apples, cored and thinly sliced
2 TB honey
3/4 tsp cinnamon
2 TB butter
Maple syrup for garnish

Warm an iron skillet in a 425F oven. With a handheld blender, whisk together the eggs, milk, flour(s), salt and extract until smooth. In a separate bowl, toss together apples, honey and cinnamon. Melt butter in the warm skillet. Arrange the apples in a single layer on the bottom of the skillet. Carefully pour the batter over the fruit. Bake for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. To serve, drizzle with maple syrup.

Apple and Spring Greens Tart
w/ Feta and Sweet Onion-Thyme Confit
Adapted from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Alsterberg and Wanda Urbanowicz, c. 2001. Rebar is a hip restaurant in Victoria, BC. Savory and sweet strike a nice balance in this tart. A small portion of rich onion confit served alongside is an indulgence, and not necessary because the tart stands on its own (but rewarding if you choose to go the extra step).
1 pre baked whole wheat tart shell
1 TB butter
1 TB olive oil
1/2 cup onion puree
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 bunch of greens (original recipe called for spinach - a combo of turnip greens and pac choi leaves would be great)
3 eggs
1 cup light cream (or milk)
1 cup crumbled feta (or blue cheese!)
3 apples
1 egg white, beaten
Heat the oil and butter in a pan large enough to hold the greens and saute the onions just a bit to flavor them up even more. Chop the greens and toss them in with the onions and wilt the greens. Next lightly beat eggs in a bowl. Add cream (or milk), salt and pepper and whisk together. To assemble the tart, evenly distribute the feta over the bottom of the prebaked shell. Follow with the onion/greens mixture. Then pour in the egg mixture over top. Quarter and core the apples and thinly slice each quarter into 6-8 wedges. Starting at the outer edge of the tart, overlap the apple slices, skin facing out in a circle around the edge. Spiral the overlapping slices toward the center of the tart to cover the entire surface. Beat the egg white in a small bowl and brush over the aples. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until the egg is set and the crust has browned. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.
Onion Thyme Confit
2 TB butter
1/2 cup onion puree
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp brown sugar
1/3 tsp thyme (or 1 tsp fresh minced)
1 TB balsamic vinegar
Melt butter in a skillet, add onion puree and saute for 1 minute. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook 5-10 minutes on medium-high heat until the onions are golden.

Garlic and Ginger Pac Choi
Serve this delicious Asian style side dish alongside grilled chicken and some rice for a great simple meal.
2 small heads of Pac Choi
1 TB finely minced ginger
2 gloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 TB tamari or soy sauce
6-8 drops of toasted sesame oil
Use a chef's nice to make thin slices across from the bottom of the Pac Choi head up freeing the stalks as you do so. Wash the stalks to remove any trapped silt from between stalks. Chop the white stalks crosswise into 1/2 to 1/2" slices until you reach the leaves. Chop leaves into 1" or wider ribbons and set aside.
Heat a saute pan on the stove top and add some cooking oil. When hot add the stalks and let them sizzle for a minute until they are just starting to soften a bit. Add the ginger, garlic and the red pepper flakes. Saute for 1 more minute. Add the tamari, 6-8 drops of toasted sesame oil, and the leaves. Saute until the leaves have wilted.

Asian Cucumber salad
I like to celebrate the first cucumbers of the year with this salad.
2 cucumbers, peeled, cut in half, scoop seeds out, thinly sliced
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 TB honey
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB rice vinegar
Mix together the dressing ingredients then toss with the cucumbers. Though you can certainly eat it right away it's best after a few hours and still excellent the second day.

Apple and Turnip Salad
From a recipe submitted to the website www.organicatoz.com
In this very simple recipe sweet apple contrasts with the sharp turnip for a tangy, crisp jaunty salad.
1 cup grated apple (2 or 3 apples)
1 cup grated spring turnips
2 to 4 TB of chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 TB of extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 Lemon, about 3 or 4 TB
Salt and Pepper

Grate the apple and immediately toss it with the lemon juice, this will keep it from discoloring. Toss in the grated turnip, parsley and all the rest. Adjust the seasoning to taste (some people may prefer more or less parsley).

Foolproof Hard Boiled Eggs
From Cooks Illustrated March 1, 1999.
Boiling an egg seems easy. Just drop the egg into a pot of water and wait, right? Unfortunately that's not the case. More often than not the egg comes out overcooked, with a green ring around the yolk and an unpleasant sulfurous smell. After countless tests, we found this method to be best.

Place eggs in medium saucepan in a single layer, cover with 1 inch of water, and bring to boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a medium bowl with 1 quart water and 1 tray of ice cubes (or equivalent). Transfer eggs to ice water bath with slotted spoon; let sit 5 minutes. Peel and use as desired.
If you plan on peeling your eggs immediately after cooking, drain the hot water from the pot used to cook the eggs and shake the pot back and forth to crack the shells. Then plunge them in enough ice water to cover the eggs until they cool down. The water seeps under the broken shells, allowing them to be slipped off without a struggle. If you want to leave the shells intact (perhaps for decorating), and wish to peel them later, the best way is to start to peel from the large end of the egg, which has an air pocket. This lets you get under the membrane without digging into the white.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - April 15, 2009

This Week's Localvore Share Contains
Purple Viking Potatoes; Celeriac; Detroit Red Beets; Sunchokes; Mesclun Mix*; 1 Pint Sauerkraut; Red Hen Corn & Unbleached White Batard; 1 Piece Bayley Hazen Blue cheese; 1 lb Frozen Cranberries from VT Cranberry Co ; 1 kilo of Tullochgorum Farm Popcorn and...

Depending on the share you've signed up for (check the list at pick-up), you will also receive:
Non-Vegetarian - Pete's Chicken Stock
-OR-
Vegetarian - Vermont Soy Tofu

*The mesclun mix this week is a combination of Spinach, Claytonia, Red Russian Kale, Tatsoi, Ruby Streaks Mustard, Sunflower, Pea and Radish Sprouts.

Storage and Use Tips
Celeriac - Celeriac also goes by the name of celery root. It tastes a bit like a cross between celery and jicama, but is mellower than celery. It can be eaten raw or cooked. If eating raw, some cooks suggest plunging the grated celeriac into boiling water for 1 minute to reduce bitterness and then plunging it immediately into cold water to stop it from cooking further. A tip for preparing celeriac - cut the root in large slices about 1 inch thick, then lay each slice flat and cut off the skin as if you were cutting the crust off a pizza. Then continue to process the now unskinned pieces as your recipe dictates. Celeriac should be stored unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Sunchokes - Sunchokes are the tuber of a perennial flower in the sunflower/aster family and are native to North America. There are competing theories as to how they came about their other name Jerusalem artichokes. In 1605, Samuel de Champlain first saw Native Americans harvesting these sweet crunchy tubers. The Native Americans called them sun roots, but Champlain thought they tasted like artichokes and called them artichauts de Canada. The plants were also clearly a member of the sunflower family and so were also called girasole (Italian for sunflower, meaning "turning to the sun"). It is thought that somehow these two names merged to become Jerusalem artichokes.

Sunchokes can be eaten raw or cooked in all the same ways that you can cook potatoes. Scrub the tubers thoroughly with a brush. Peeling can be difficult because of the knobbiness and is not necessary, the peels are edible. Like potatoes the flesh will darken with exposure to air so if serving them raw, dip in acidulated water. Because of high levels of iron, stored cooked sunchokes will also turn gray. This can be minimized by adding ¼ tsp cream of tartar or 1 TB vinegar or lemon juice to the cooking water. They cook quickly and will turn to mush so monitor carefully. Sunchokes should be stored in a cool, dry place or in the vegetable drawer wrapped in paper towels to absorb moisture and sealed in a plastic bag.

Pete's Musings
Things are clicking along on the farm. Very dry all of a sudden, funny how we go from a mud hole to dusty in about 3 days this time of year. We have 4 acres of baby greens, chard, kale, cilantro, scallions and other hardy crops direct seeded outside. Some are up already. Greenhouse tomatoes are setting fruit and looking great as are our greenhouse cukes. We have a bunch of potatoes sprouted in the greenhouse and will be planting them out later this week. An exciting new crop for us this year is ginger. We have received seed stock from an organic ginger farm in Hawaii. We had to disinfect it to hopefully prevent contamination of our greenhouses with any tropical diseases and now it is sprouting in the greenhouse. We'll grow it in the heated greenhouse for a few weeks and then transplant to an unheated house. The result will not be the buff colored ginger we are all familar with, but rather fresh ginger. Fresh ginger is beautifully colored with most shades of the rainbow and has a fresher, milder ginger flavor. We're excited about this one - look for it in September. ~Pete

Out with the Old, In with the New
It has been a real pleasure for me to write this newsletter each week, sharing the stories of our farm and our localvore partners. Knowing that you made good use of the storage and use tips and tricks and the myriad recipe ideas makes it even more rewarding. This newsletter has been and will continue to be a destination for connecting those on Pete's farm with all of our wonderful CSA members. Even in this modern world, relationships can still be built and sustained via the written word, even if it is typed and delivered via pixels on a computer screen.

While I will miss writing and connecting with all of you, I am confident that I am leaving you in good hands with Amy Skelton. As I wrote last week, she is transitioning into the role of CSA Manager and will be writing the newsletter, designing shares, sourcing the ingredients, maintaining our online communities and so much more. We are thrilled to have found Amy, who comes to us having run her own small organic farm up in Nova Scotia, as well as a local foods focused restaurant. She brings a great ethic to the farm, as well as communications and logistical experience, having been the Merchandising Manager for Phish for much of their touring career. Today is Amy's first day writing the newsletter and I look forward to reading it this evening along with all of you.

What will I be doing? In addition to becoming a member of the CSA later this spring, I have found a job closer to my Warren home working on climate change communications. I look forward to staying a part of the Pete's CSA community. All the best. ~ Nancy

I am thrilled to be moving back to Vermont and becoming part of the Pete's team. While my family and I have enjoyed Nova Scotia, we have missed Vermont and its beauty and its endlessly creative people. I have always been involved in farms or farming in one way or another. I am a home gardener and a beekeeper. I have been a stable owner and a farmers’ market coordinator. I gave milking cows and goats and cheese making a try. I tried growing organic poultry and berries. I ran a café. Through it all a couple things have become clear. I love the natural world, raising a few animals, growing a small garden. I get very excited in the presence of great ingredients. But a true farmer or chef I am not. My passion is in connecting people to good food, healthy living and organic and sustainable agriculture (and cooking and eating it). How lucky am I to have the opportunity to do just that while working with Pete’s Greens? Pete's mission to provide folks with four seasons of local organic produce (and meats!) and in connecting people to other local producers is a noble one and one I wholeheartedly support. Looking forward to the seasons ahead. ~Amy

Many thanks and good wishes to Nancy for all her guidance through this transition and for all the good systems that she leaves behind.

NEW ADAMS COURT Pickup Location
Today is the last day picking up at the Picchi/Dodds house. We are moving to our summer location a bit early this year, just up the block at the Romm's house. Pick-up will be in the Romm's garage. They have a white house on the right of Adams Court, before you make the turn to the left. The number is 25 Adams Court. Look for the sign.

VT Agency of Ag seeks Mobile Quick Freeze Operator
In 2008, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture acquired one of the nation’s first mobile quick freezing units through a grant from USDA – Rural Development. This unit can quickly freeze products of almost any size and shape. The unit increases the speed with which farmers can freeze their products and the quality of the final frozen product. Its mobility allows it to reach many farms, food producers, and commercial kitchens with no single user needing to invest in individual quick freeze capacity. The intent of this equipment is to expand sales opportunities for Vermont farmers, especially in providing ingredients for Vermont specialty products and bringing products to market year-round. This equipment also plays an important role in exploring the feasibility of mobile processing in general as one tool for reducing processing bottlenecks in the state. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture is now seeking an operator to manage the mobile quick
freeze equipment from May 2009 – May 2011. The Agency has posted a Request for Proposals (RFP) for operating the Mobile Quick Freeze unit (IQF). This equipment provides a mobile, commercial freezing station in an 8 x 18’ trailer. Deadline for Proposals is April 27th. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity the full information packet is available at www.vermontagriculture.com or by contacting Helen Labun Jordan at Helen.jordan@state.vt.us or 802-828-3828.
Posted by request from Helen Jordan

MACA Suggests Crop Protection for White House Garden
(sign the petition)
In reponse to Michelle Obama's plan to plant and tend an organic vegetable garden with the help of a local elementary school, Mid America CropLife Association (MACA) sent Michelle Obama an email asking her to use "crop protection products". MACA represents the interests of agricultural chemical companies and are apparently disturbed by the message a White House organic garden may send to the public. An activist network called Credo has created a petition that asks MACA to "Stop asserting that the First Lady is somehow disserving our nation's citizens by encouraging them to grow their own food locally, sustainably and without your industry's chemicals." Thanks to one of our Good Eats shareholders for sharing this article.
http://www.examiner.com/x-4612-Midland-Food-Examiner~y2009m3d30-Michelle-Obama-takes-flak-for-organic-garden

Localvore Lore
The localvore portion of the share remains high this week to augment the value of the share as we await the freshly harvested bounty of Spring. This share has me dreaming of soup and salad. There are some great salad combinations possible using mesclun, roasted beets, Bayley Hazen Blue cheese, cranberries, grated celeriac and sunchokes. And the chicken stock and various tubers and root vegetables just beg to be made into hearty soups. With this week's bread below and a little saeurkraut on the side, it's a tasty week indeed. See the recipes below for some ideas.

It's always exciting to learn what the Red Hen Bakery has in store for us. Randy George, owner and Baker in Chief, had this to say about this week's bake:
One of the great things about doing the bread for the Pete’s Greens CSA is that it allows us to experiment with new things that we’re thinking about adding to our regular rotation. For years I’ve wanted to make a bread that uses a good quantity of cornmeal. Aside from making an interesting new bread, corn provides us with a new opportunity to use another local ingredient. Corn has been grown in Vermont probably since before recorded history, so it seems fitting to make a bread with this grain that grows so well here. 25% of the grain in this week’s bread is local, organic cornmeal grown by Aurora Farms in Charlotte. (You can find it in local stores under the name Nitty Gritty Grains.) The variety that we used is an old heirloom called Wapsie Valley. Although they don’t get the same yield from this corn, it has a flavor that makes it worth growing. We think that the flavor comes out most in the crust, so we made it into a batard shape (like a fatter version of a baguette) so that you get a little crust in just about every bite. The other 75% of the grain is organic unbleached wheat flour from Quebec. This bread makes use of two different starters: our wild-yeasted levain and a yeasted one. That combination gives the bread a milder flavor that we thought allowed the corn to come forward more. As always, Email me to let us know what you think… should we make this bread regularly? What should we call it? If we end up making it regularly and we use a name that you suggest, we’ll give you a gift certificate to our café! ~Randy
If you have never tried Jasper Hill Farm Bayley Hazen Blue, you are in for a real treat. This cheese receives regular rave reviews like this one from Cynthia Zarin who described Bayley Hazen Blue for the New Yorker Magazine this way “"It was tangy, sweet, creamy, velvet on the tongue, the most delicious blue cheese I’d ever tasted." Bayley Hazen Blue is named after a road running through the Northeast Kingdom. The road was built and named after two Revolutionary War generals Bayley and Hazen, who were stationed along the Canadian Front. Jasper Hill summarizes this delicious cheese as follows. "The paste of a Bayley Hazen is drier than most blues and the penicillium roqueforti takes a back seat to an array of flavors that hint at nuts and grasses and in the odd batch, licorice. Though drier and crumblier than most blues, its texture reminds one of chocolate and butter."
Tullochgorum Farm in Ormstown, Quebec have provided us with their organic popcorn. Steve and his wife Lorraine made a special day trip down to drop it at the farm. Nancy helped Steve navigate the very complex and unintuitive prior notice system on the FDA website. It is white popcorn instead of the blue this time. Steve said he's had comments that the white is actually fluffier and tastier than the blue. Let us know what you think. Pete sent him home with a big bag of farm vegetables as thanks for making the trip.

From Vermont Cranberry Company we have included a pound of frozen cranberries. I have used them in a salad dressing recipe below, but options abound. Bake them into pies, cookies, muffins, or breads or make them into chutney or jam. Cranberry Bob writes:
It is really gratifying to start the growing season and have a market for frozen berries. We are really excited about the extended season. The frozen berries are the same berries as we sell fresh in the fall. Cranberries are wonderful in that they survive freezing with little change in applicability. Try some in braised fiddleheads!
From Pete's kitchen we have the first batch of Meg's Sauerkraut!
This year I made 35 gallons of sauerkraut. I used regular green cabbage which does not have a high water count and therefore the kraut has less liquid in it. I used a small amount of salt to help with the fermentation process. I take cabbage and slice it thin. It then goes into a big barrel with pickling salt, sea salt also works. I then pound the cabbage down with the salt until liquid starts to form. Once i am finished, I create a water lock on top of the mixture so that the sauerkraut is not exposed to any air. The kraut then sits for 2 months and is checked every so often to see what stage fermentation it is at. As the kraut ferments, it likes warmer temperatures to aide in the process. We keep the barrel in the washhouse where it is warmer. It still takes a little longer to ferment in there because it is cooler in temperature some days. Eventually I decide when it's good to go, and it goes into containers and into the cooler to slow down the fermentation and keep the kraut fresh.

This kraut is not strongly fermented. It is more of a fresh sauerkraut and is on the sweeter side versus the tangy salty side. If you like you kraut stronger in flavor, I recommend leaving it out on the counter for a couple of days. I have experimented with this and it works well. The kraut does not spoil and gets a little more tangy. If you like it fresh, it is great for breakfast as a side with eggs and greens. Pete and I eat it like this all the time and we love it. I hope you enjoy. ~Meg
We are excited to have you all try the sauerkraut and give us your feedback. Fermented foods deliver to our bodies live cultures of lactic acid producing bacteria. These beneficial bacteria help us to digest our food better allowing us to derive more of the nutritional value of the foods we eat. Sauerkraut is at the top of the fermented foods list due to its abundance of lactobacilli, the most important type of friendly bacteria type found in the digestive tract. In addition Sauerkraut delivers a hefty dose of Vitamin C , manganese, vitamin B6 and folate. So very tasty and good for you too. Let us know what you think.

Recipes
I immediately thought of salad and soup combinations when I looked at this week's share. Blue cheese pairs so nicely with beets and with cranberry. Try roasting some beets and having them on hand to toss into a salad this week. If you are making soup with the sunchokes and celeriac, try holding a little fresh aside and grating it for salads as well. In addition to the salads and a very versatile soup recipe I have included a simple side dish recipe for both sunchokes and celeriac.

Mesclun Salad w/ Blue Cheese & Cranberry Vinaigrette
I won't give an actual salad recipe because a salad begs for improvisation. But I am dreaming of mesclun greens in a bowl, with grated raw sunchokes (dipped in lemon juice to prevent discoloration) or grated celeriac, dressed with the Cranberry Vinaigrette and then topped with crumbled Bayley Hazen Blue, toasted nuts (pecans, walnuts, or sunflower come to mind), and perhaps grated apple.

Cranberry Vinaigrette
Mix in a food processor or blender.
1/3 cup olive oil
3 TB red wine vinegar
1 TB dijon mustard
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper 1/4 to 1/2 cup cranberries (thawed)

Roasted Beets and Blue Cheese Salad

Adapted from Michael Symon’s recipe on www.foodnetwork.com
1 pounds red beets
4 TB olive oil
1 tablespoons sea salt (plus a bit more at end at your discretion)
2-4 ounces blue cheese
1 orange juiced and zested (or subsititute a bit of lemon juice or a bit of apple cider vinegar)

Brush beets with 1 TB olive oil and sprinkle with 1 TB salt (this seems like a lot but beets will get skinned later removing much of the salt). Place in a preheated 400 degree oven and bake for 1 hour or until beets are tender. Remove skin from beets and slice into 1/4-inch thick discs and set aside. Place beets on plate. Top with crumbled blue cheese. Drizzle with remaining olive oil, zest and orange juice. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste and serve.

Celeriac Remoulade (Celery Root Salad)
This salad is a refreshing cool coleslaw-like salad. A food processor makes the job of grating the celeriac much faster.
* see tips for preparing celeriac in Storage and Use in the first part of this newsletter 1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 lb celery root - quartered, peeled, and coarsely grated just before mixing
1/2 tart apple, peeled, cored, julienned
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice and parsley in a medium-sized bowl. Fold in the celery root and apple and season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour.

Celeriac Soup
There are many variations one could use to turn out a lovely soup using the ingredients in this share. The recipe below is just a suggestion. Soup is a great place to experiment. If you don’t have an ingredient omit it and/or substitute something similar. Try adding other herbs if you'd like. A bit of sage or thyme would be nice in this soup.
* see tips for preparing celeriac in Storage and Use in the first part of this newsletter
2 TB Oil (or butter or combo)
1 medium onion, or 2 leeks, or 2 shallots (peeled and sliced thinly)
2 garlic cloves (peeled and sliced thinly, or minced)
1.5 lb celeriac (peeled and chopped into chunks)
2 stalks celery (peeled and chopped, use peeler to remove tough outer strings)
2 potatoes (or sunchokes or combo) – scrubbed and chopped
2 carrots – peeled or scrubbed and chopped
1 quart of chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
1 Bay leaf
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup water (as needed)


Heat butter/oil in Dutch oven or soup pot. Add onions, cover and simmer until tender. For more flavor, remove cover and simmer until onions have browned slightly. Add garlic and celery and simmer 2-3 minutes more. Add the other vegetables and let cook for about 5 mins. Add the chicken stock and bay leaf and water if needed, enough to cover the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer covered for about 20 mins, until the vegetables are tender. Puree in batches in a blender or use a hand mixer to puree the vegetables. If you think your soup is too thick, add some water or more stock. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

For garnish consider a dollop of crème fraiche or yogurt or cream, (especially if you used veg stock). Crumbled bacon or some crumbled/grated cheddar on the top of each bowl would be delicious and make a very hearty meal with a hunk of this week’s bread.
I saw a recipe for a very similar celeriac soup in which the vegetables and broth were all thrown together in a Dutch oven, simmered on stove top for 5 minutes, then simmered in the oven covered for 3 hours. Not a quick dinner solution but this method would sweeten and deepen the flavors and would be lovely.

Celeriac Gratin
This recipe was posted on the website www.toomanychefs.net and looks simple and wonderful.
1 small celeriac head (about 1 lb)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup crême frîche
1 large egg
2-3 oz Danish blue or other mild blue cheese
pinch of salt
Butter for gratin dish

Wash peel and slice the celeriac in thin (1/2 cm) pieces. Butter a small gratin dish and layer the celeriac in the dish. Beat together the milk, cream and egg and pour over the celeriac. Crumble the cheese in small chunks and spread over the top of the dish. Bake in a hot (200c/400f) oven for 25 minutes or until a sharp knife easily runs through the tender slices of celeriac. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Note: if the top of the dish starts to brown, cover with brown paper or tin foil. Blue cheese can turn very acidic and sharp if it cooks too much and will overpower the delicate celery aroma of the dish.

Simple Roasted Sunchokes
.5 pound sunchokes, sliced into half-inch rounds
.5 pound potatoes or carrots, sliced into half inch rounds
2 Tablespoons oil
1 TB lemon juice
Sprinkle with dried Rosemary or thyme
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss the sunchokes with the oil & lemon juice. Sprinkle with the herbs. Bake in a shallow gratin dish with the herbs for thirty to forty-five minutes or until done. (Pierce them with the tip of a knife. They should be mostly tender but offer some resistance. Don’t let them get mushy.) Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.




Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - April 8, 2009

This Week's Localvore Share Contains Red Onions; Mixed Colorful Carrots; Parsnips; Mixed Greens and Shoots; Frozen Strawberries; Japanese Style Miso from Les Aliments Massawippi; Oyster -or- Shitaki Mushrooms from Amir Habib; Butterworks Farm Cornmeal; Butterworks Farm Buttermilk; Grafton Classic Cheddar Ends;

Storage and Use Tips

Greens Mix
- Our greens continue to get more diverse as the season progresses. Today's mix includes claytonia, lettuce, arugula, mustard, kale and tatsoi, as well as sunflower, radish and pea shoots. The bag is topped off with Tatsoi flowers. Try making a salad with grated carrots and miso dressing.

Frozen Strawberries
- More yummy berries are in the share from Four Corners Farm this week. As a reminder, please keep the berries frozen until you are ready to use them. The green hull that is still attached is best removed by scraping off with a spoon while the berries are still frozen. If you allow them to thaw without removing the hull they end up being rather a mushy mess.

Miso
- As a fermented product, miso will keep in your fridge many years. Please don't let this happen, though! There are so many delicious and interesting ways to eat miso. To make a cup, mix a heaping teaspoon of miso with cold water to make a paste. Then, stir in hot (but not boiling water) to make a hot breakfast beverage, midday pick-me-up or soup base for a meal. As miso is a living food, try not to cook it, rather, stir it in at the end of cooking once the pan is off the heat. For a wealth of miso recipes, check out: TraditionalMiso.com.


Farm Update
We've got lots of comings and goings on the farm lately. Nick, whom some of you may remember from years' past, is back at the farm again. He has picked up the reigns of Kitchen Manager and will be managing our farm animals as well. So far, Nick has made applesauce and chicken stock and is working on a recipe to take advantage of our onion stock. We are really looking forward to having tasty new items rolling out of the kitchen this spring and summer. It's great to have him back at the farm! Also, we are very pleased to have hired Amy Skelton to fill the role of CSA Manager. She is down visiting us from Nova Scotia, her current home, and getting familiar with all of our systems. She will be moving to Waterbury in May with her husband and three small children. I'll write more about her and the transition next week.

Update on the Localvore Community Potluck in Waitsfield!

I wanted to update everyone on the Project Harmony/Local Foods event Elizabeth Metraux (a Pete's shareholder) is putting together. She has found a good home for the potluck and set the date and time.

Date: Sunday, July 12th
Time: Noon

Location: Lareau Farm (Home of American Flatbread), Waitsfield
The potluck is a way to connect with fellow CSA members and enjoy some amazing, local food. PH will be hosting 30 student activists and filmmakers from across the U.S. and the Caucasus during the month of July, as they create films about issues that affect teens around the globe – from conflict to climate change. And what better way to give these young people a flavor of Vermont than to put on a quintessentially Vermont event. Elizabeth is asking CSA members to save the date, spread the word, whip up a favorite dish and join us for a celebration of local eating and global community. For more information, see their announcement, or contact Elizabeth.

Upcoming Classes

Wild Edibles Walk and Talk

10AM-Noon, Saturday, April 25th

Hardwick Community Garden West Church St. - Hardwick


Walk and talk with wild edibles experts Nova Kim and Les Hook, as they search for early spring and year-round wild foods. There will be something to learn even if snow is on the ground. This workshop is outside, so please dress accordingly. In the event of heavy rain or snow, please meet at the Center for Agricultural Economy on 41 Main Street in Hardwick. This workshop is free and open to the public, but requires pre-registration. Contact Rebecca Beidler for directions and registration at 802-472-8280.

Localvore 'Lore

We have another share rich in localvore products while we patiently wait to harvest new growth from the greenhouse. This week, we are supplementing our veggies with mushrooms from Amir Habib. Amir has been growing mushrooms for us for a few years, though he is able to harvest in much greater quantities during the cooler months. Thus, May will most likely be the last month we are able to include Amir's beautiful oyster and shitaki mushrooms until fall. This week's mushrooms will be delicious whether paired with the cornmeal and cheddar cheese (think polenta), or Asian style in a dish with the miso.



Ever since my husband Bob and I went on our Quebec buying spree, I've been dying to talk about this miso. Like the tamari, it's from Les Aliments Massawippi in North Hatley, Quebec.

Back when Tim and I had picked up miso for the Fall/Winter share, Gilbert had mentioned the possibility of making a Japanese style miso for an upcoming share. Japanese style miso has seaweed, herbs, spices and possibly mushrooms, added when the miso is ripe. These additions meld with the miso for an additional one to two months. Though, they were unable to procure local mushrooms for the miso, Gilbert was able to find seaweed from southern New Brunswick and Gaspe Bay.


To make this miso, Suzanne and Gilbert begin by introducing their own lactobacilli culture to washed oats. After culturing for 45 hours, they have what is called, "koji," the basis for making their miso. At this point, they will mix in soy that has been soaked and then slowly cooked for 20 hours. This part of the process takes around 4 days.
Gilbert & Suzanne in their home. The miso production facility is downstairs.

The next phase of miso production is fermentation. Gilbert and Suzanne ferment their miso very carefully controlling the temperature, humidity and oxygen levels. Their fermentation chamber is on premises, and is held at a continuous 60F. The soy and oats variety in the share this week ferments for 2-3 years. 3-4 years of fermentation is required for soy and barley.


Gilbert and Suzanne are big supporters of local growers. Their oats come from Michel Gaudreau, down the road. Their soy beans come from a grower within 60 kilometers of their facility, and their Quebec barley is processed on the south shore of Montreal.


In another 2 years, they hope to introduce a new gluten-free soy and buckwheat variety, the buckwheat grown within 30 minutes of their home.


We have two items from Butterworks in our share today, one an old standby and one making its first appearance in a Good Eats share. Starting with the latter, we have cultured buttermilk to give out today. We only heard that they were starting to make the buttermilk about 3 weeks ago, and wanted to get it in the share as soon as possible. It will pair wonderfully with the Early Riser cornmeal in cornbread, pancakes or cornmeal biscuits.


Finally, we were able to score Grafton Classic Cheddar ends in quantity. We love the taste of Grafton cheddar and being able to buy the ends makes them an exceptional value. Though the ends are obviously not as useful for slicing, they are perfect for grating into polenta, melting into soups, fondue or macaroni, or layering into a gratin.


According to their website,

Cheesemaking traditions in historic Grafton Village date from the 19th century. The Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company was founded in 1892 by dairy farmers who gathered together in a cooperative to make their surplus milk into cheese. In the days before refrigeration, there were many such cooperatives in the rural agricultural communities and an abundance of fresh, creamy milk was turned into a food that could be stored for a longer period of time. In 1912, a fire destroyed the original factory.

Several decades later, the nonprofit Windham Foundation restored the company in the mid 1960s, and a new era for the town was born.
The cheese company is now part of the Grafton based Windham Foundation whose goal is to, "promote the vitality of Grafton and Vermont’s rural communities through its philanthropic and educational programs and its subsidiaries whose operations contribute to these endeavors."
About the Meat Share
We have a very rich meat share for you this week. I went over a couple of dollars on share cost, so will have to make that up over the next couple of weeks. But I think that you will be pleased with the amount and variety represented in the share. You will see that we seem to be settling on a few quality area meat farmers, with others coming in and out. If you have any suggestions for next share, please let me know.
The items in this week's share are:

Bacon from North Hollow Farm - Located in Randolph, North Hollow farm raises its pigs with access to an outside area. They are working on their "humanely raised" certification. The bacon is nitrate free, as is all of their sausages.


Trout from Mountain Foot Farm - We have been trying to get trout from Mountain Foot into one share or another for over a year. We are so pleased to finally have 2 fish this week for every shareholder. They raise the fish in trout ponds. We froze the fish on the same day that Curtis harvested them. These brown trout have been descaled and cleaned, but the skin and bones remain.


Top Round Steak -or- Sirloin Tip from Applecheek Farm - Rocio and John had to dig into their freezers to get the right amount for us and ended up with a combination of equivalent cuts. These are not steaks to take from the fridge and toss on the grill, however. They will benefit from a nice long marinade to soften them up. This cut is great sliced thin and tossed in a stirfry, slow-cooked in bbq sauce in the crock, or grilled for fajitas.


Turkey Sausage from Misty Knoll - Not found at every grocery store like their ubiquitous chicken parts, we thought the sausage would make an interesting and healthy addition to the share. Misty Knoll's turkeys get to spend much of their life outside, making for happier and healthier birds.

Lamb Shoulder - These boneless, tied roasts are from Shuttleworth Farm. Their size makes them perfect for roasting for two people. For a family of four or more, consider cutting into kebabs and throwing on the grill, or using in a stew in the oven.


Recipes
Skillet-Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
This recipe is adapted from CooksCountry.com. Parsnips wider than 1 inch may have tough, fibrous cores that are best trimmed and discarded. Using warm water helps the sugar to dissolve more readily. Any combination of carrots and parsnips with a combined weight of 3 pounds can be used in this recipe. Serves 6-8.

3 TB sunflower oil
1 1/2 lbs. carrots , peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
1 1/2 lbs. parsnips , peeled and cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp honey
Salt and pepper
1 TB finely chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook carrots and parsnips, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

Whisk water, honey, and 1 teaspoon salt in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Add water mixture to skillet and cook covered, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until vegetables are tender and liquid has evaporated, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper. Serve.

Polenta Gratin with Mushroom Bolognese
Adapted from Epicurious.com. Serves 8.

For the Bolognese sauce
2 TB sunflower or olive oil
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1/3 cup celeriac, peeled and diced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
8 to 12 ounces mixed wild and cultivated mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and diced
1 TB fresh thyme leaves, or 1 tsp dried and crumbled
2/3 cup tomato puree, or canned tomatoes seeded and chopped
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

For the polenta
Kosher salt
1 cup polenta (coarse yellow cornmeal)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, crumbled

To prepare the Bolognese sauce: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until it moves easily across the pan. Add the onion, carrot, celeriac, salt, and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook for 1 minute, then add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are almost tender, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato, cook about 2 minutes more, then add the stock, 2 tablespoons at a time, bringing the pan to a simmer before each addition. Simmer the Bolognese until it is concentrated but not yet dry, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.

To make the polenta: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add a pinch of salt and gradually whisk in the polenta. Stirring constantly, bring the polenta to a boil, then adjust the heat to low. Cook the polenta, stirring occasionally, until it is no longer grainy, about 30 minutes. Whisk the oil and salt to taste into the polenta and remove it from the heat.

Assemble the gratin: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spoon half the polenta into a medium baking dish (an 11-inch oval dish works fine) and cover with half of the sauce. Spoon in the remaining polenta, spread it evenly, then sprinkle with the crumbled cheese. Transfer the remaining sauce to a small saucepan and reserve.

Bake the gratin until the top is golden, about 40 minutes. Just before serving, warm the reserved sauce over low heat. Divide the gratin and sauce among 4 plates, top each serving with sauce, and serve.

Walnut Miso Noodles
Adapted from 101CookBooks.com. You'll likely have a bit of dressing leftover to toss with your fresh greens. Serves 1-2.

4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti or linguini (or soba)
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup sunflower olive oil
1 medium clove garlic, peeled
2 TB miso paste
1 TB apple cider vinegar
2 tsp honey
salt to taste
1/4 cup+ warm water

Topping:
2 cups of mixed baby greens
1 cup sliced, sauteed mushrooms

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and cook the pasta per package instructions, being careful to not overcook. About 10 seconds before you are going to drain the noodles. Now drain and toss with about 1/2 the walnut-miso dressing - you can make the dressing as you're waiting for the pasta water to come to a boil. To make the dressing, use a food processor, blender or hand blender to puree the walnuts, oil, garlic, miso paste, vinegar, and honey. Add the warm water a bit at a time until the dressing is the consistency of a heavy cream. Taste and add salt if you think it needs it.

Add as much or as little dressing as you like to the noodles and toss well. Add the greens and toss some more. Arrange in two bowls or on a platter. Top with sauteed mushrooms.

Cornmeal Waffles with Strawberry Compote
These make a delicious sweet and healthy treat served with a dollop of yogurt. Or, try making the waffles without the honey and serving with a savory mushroom sauce. Makes 6.

Strawberry Compote
1.5 lbs frozen strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Pinch of salt

Waffles
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 TB honey
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter, melted and cooled

Place berries, honey, lemon juice, and salt into a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until strawberries have softened and juices have begun to reduce and start to thicken, about 10 to 20 minutes. Let cool while you make the waffles.

Preheat oven to 200F. Whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. In another small bowl, whisk honey, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and melted butter. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and whisk until smooth. Make waffles according to manufacturer's directions. Keep waffles warm in the oven while you make the rest. Serve waffles with compote and yogurt.

Applecheek Beef Stir-Fry
Turn your top round london broil or sirloin tip steak into a tender, tasty stir-fry. Prepare the marinade the night before. Stir-fry is a great way to stretch meat, creating a quick, family meal that incorporates meat, vegetables, and grains. Stir-fry cooking goes very quickly, typically taking less than 10 minutes to complete the dish, once you start to cook. Prepare and chop all vegetables prior to heating the pan.

1/4 cup rice wine
1/4 cup teriyaki or oyster sauce
2 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 Tbsp. Maple syrup.
1 pound top round london broil or sirloin tip steak., cut into thin strips
oil to cook
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced very thin
1 cup shredded cabbage
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz wild mushrooms, chopped
cooked brown rice, barley or wheat berries

Mix the first 5 ingredients. Pour over steak and marinate overnight, refrigerated, in
a covered stainless steel or glass bowl. Pour off marinade and reserve. Meanwhile, heat a wok or large frying pan. Add 1 Tbsp. oil. Add meat and stir fry until rare to medium-rare (the meat will cook a bit more in the second step). Remove meat from pan, wipe clean, add another tablespoon of oil and stir fry the vegetables. Add the onions and carrots to the pan, saute two minutes, add cabbage and garlic. After two more minutes, add the mushrooms. Cook another few minutes before returning meat and reserved marinade to the pan. Simmer to heat through. Serve with hot, steamed rice, barley or wheat berries.

Mediterranean Braised Lamb
This recipe is adapted from JamieOliver.com. Serve with steamed couscous, barley or wheat berries. He has many good lamb recipes up there that would work for this cut or others in the meat share. Serves 4.

1 small onion, peeled and sliced
light olive oil or sunflower oil
1 lb. shoulder of lamb, diced into small pieces
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
1 red pepper, diced
1 teaspoon tomato puree
14 oz tomato puree from Pete's, or can whole tomatoes seeded and chopped
14 oz water
3 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced into disks
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into disks
1 TB dried, crumbled basil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a large saucepan and gently fry the onion in a little olive oil for 10 minutes. Add the diced lamb, the garlic, red pepper and tomato puree. Stir in the tomato, water and basil. Add salt to taste cover with a lid or a couple of tight layers of foil, then simmer on a low heat for around 1½ hours or transfer into a deep baking tin cover with foil and finish cooking it in the oven at 300F for about 2 hours. Add carrots and parsnips about 30 minutes before meat is finished. Remove from heat when the meat is tender.

Bacon-Wrapped Trout with Rosemary
From Epicurious.com. Trout should be thawed in the fridge the night before, then rinsed and patted dry before proceeding. Serves 2.

2 (10- to 12-oz) whole trout, cleaned
4 (4- to 5-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs
6 bacon slices
6 (1/8-inch-thick) lemon slices

Preheat broiler. Put fish in a shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) or a large heavy ovenproof skillet, then pat dry and season cavity with salt and pepper. Put rosemary inside cavity and season outside of fish with salt and pepper, then wrap bacon slices around fish, 3 slices each.

Broil fish 5 to 7 inches from heat until skin of fish and bacon are crisp, about 5 minutes. Turn fish over gently with a spatula and broil 2 minutes more. Add lemon slices to pan in 1 layer alongside fish and continue to broil until fish is just cooked through and rest of bacon is crisp, 2 1/2 to 3 minutes more.