Saturday, June 27, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - June 24, 2009

First Week Pick Up Results
There were a few problems and shortages last week but in general I thought the first pick up of the new share period went well. There is room for improvement and you will see some attempt on our part to clarify some things for you over the next couple of weeks. Please help us improve the pick up experience for everyone by remembering the following:

1. Check the Weekly Name list for the type of share you are signed up for and then refer to the Pick Up Instructions for that share type.
2. Check off your name at pick up. This helps us tremendously when we have to track down someone who may have forgotten to pick up their share.
3. Follow the Pick Up Instructions for your share type (Vegetable Only, Localvore, Localvore Vegetarian)
4. If you are splitting a share with someone, take only one veggie bag (to split between you and your share partner) each week.

Pick up times and locations are posted on our Pick-Up page.

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; Head of Lettuce; 1 Bunch of French Breakfast Radishes; 2 Lbs Nicola Potatoes; 1 Bunch of Green Kale; 1 Bunch of Dill; 1 Bunch of Garlic Scapes; 1 Bunch of Beet Greens; 1 Bunch of Scallions; 1 Bunch of Dandelion Greens plus.....

1 European Cucumber -or- Tomatoes
(depending on site location)

Localvore Share Members Also Receive
Red Hen Mixed Northeast Grain Bread
Maple cream from Echo Hill Farm
1 lb Grafton Village Farm Cheddar
plus....

Chicken Stock
~or~
Vegetable Stock (vegetarians only)

Laughing Moon Vegetarians will receive tofu

Problems or Questions?

If you have any questions about your pick up please email me, Amy Skelton. You can also leave a message on voice mail at 802.586.2882 x2, but in nearly all circumstances email will get a quicker response.

We do our best to make sure that every delivery and pick-up goes smoothly, but 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 me know right away! If you can call or email me as soon as you discover the problem, I may be able to resolve it the same day or the following day.

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 Amy 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.

Storage and Use Tips

Garlic Scapes - The curly soon-to-be-flowering-if-we-didn't-pick-them stalks that a garlic plant sends up at this time of year are a short season delicacy. With a mellow green but garlicky flavor, they can be eaten raw or cooked and are delicious added to many dishes. Add to stir fry recipes, pasta dishes, guacamole, salsas, vegetable dishes. They are also good in salads and on bruschetta & pizza and so many more ways.

Dill - The freshly harvested dill in the share today can be used right away or preserved for later use. This is the part of the plant called dill weed, the feathery spring growth. Later on in the season the seed heads of the dill plant will mature There are numerous methods for preserving dill. The easiest is to simply hang the dill for several days in a warm dry place (attic perhaps). You can dry it in your oven if your oven can operate at a low temp of 100°F. You can also freeze the leaves in a plastic bag. Dill perks up soups, salads, casseroles. It pairs really well with cucumbers, potatoes, eggs, beets, fish, salads and sald dressings, tomatoes, yogurt.

Dandelion Greens - These nutrition packed greens can be eaten raw in salads, braised or sauteed, or tossed into dishes calling for greens. The level of bitterness in the greens depends on several factors from the age of the greens to amounts of rainfall and sunlight they have received while they have grown. How to tell? Try a piece! Bitter greens will mellow in flavor with more time in the skillet and are great accompanied by minced onion and garlic, and/or stock or water. Some recipes call for bitter greens to be cooked over low heat for as much as 20 minutes.

Summer Shares Still Available
There are still 10-15 Summer Shares still available. If you know someone who would like to get on board for weekly Good Eats deliveries please direct them to me or to the website. We'll be prorating the cost of the share based on number of share weeks left at the time of sign up.
Summer Share
Meat Share

Pete's Musings
Killing weeds, killing weeds, killing weeds. Sounds violent and it kind of is. Steel is our weapon, steel that is mounted on various cultivating tractors. Knives that slice, baskets that spin weeds out of the ground, shovels that uproot, shanks that rip, tines that bury. This time of year you cannot let off for even a day or two. Weeds grow remarkably fast in June with the long days, ample rain, and a biological desire to set seed. Setting seed means failure for us. The goal is to prevent the set of weed seed so that each year there are fewer weeds to cultivate. The smallest mistake in judgement, planning, or cultivator adjustment means a poor or failed crop or hours and hours of hand weeding. Steve, Matt and I are on weed patrol, creeping around the fields with silly looking contraptions mounted on silly looking tractors, constantly making minor adjustments for a better kill. The reward is beautiful, clean rows of crops and easy harvesting for the pickers. Wish us luck, it is tedious work but sets the stage for a bountiful year. Best ~Pete

Chicken Orders
Beginning this week chicken orders are now being shipped to Good Eats delivery sites most weeks except meat delivery weeks. Good Eats Members may order chickens and have them delivered to their CSA sites. Non members can order and pick up at the farm in Craftsbury. We will also be selling chickens at the Capital City Farmer's Market every Saturday from 9 till 1:00. More information about placing orders may be found on the website.

Pete's Pastured Chicken

Circus Smirkus This Weekend!

Vermont’s acclaimed, non-profit international traveling youth circus kicks off its 22nd annual season at home in Greensboro ! This year's theme is "Smirkus Ever After: A Big Top Fairytale." Performers ages 10 to 18 dazzle with astounding aerials, clever clowning, mind-boggling juggling and amazing acrobatics. The Boston Globe called Smirkus a "treasure." Family Fun magazine said: "One of America's best circuses!" It’s fee, fi, fo fun for the whole family!
JUNE 28: Greensboro, VT
2 shows; 1 & 6 p.m. - Sunday $18/Adult ; $14/Child ; Free for under 2
JULY 1, 2, 3: Essex, VT (Champlain Valley Expo)
2 shows each day; noon & 6:30 p.m. - $18.75/Adult; 15.75/Child
http://smirkus.org/

Localvore 'Lore

Grafton Village Cheese has supplied some of their cheddar for this week's share. We love this Jersey milk cheddar and we are not alone. Grafton's Premium Cheddar made Wine Spectator's top 100 cheeses list . We also love that the cheese company is part of the Grafton based Windham Foundation, whose mission is to promote Vermont's rural communities.

As usual, Red Hen Bakery in Middlesex has baked something special for the share this week. Randy writes:

The bread we have made this week we will call “Mixed Northeast Grain.” It includes Wapsie Valley cornmeal (an old heirloom variety) from Aurora Farms, Ben Gleason’s whole wheat flour, and a quartet of Quebec-grown and milled goodies: steel cut oats, cracked rye, cracked flax, and unbleached wheat flour. This bread is a different take on our Mad River Grain bread which includes all of the above ingredients as well as sesame seeds and sunflower seeds. Currently we can’t get our hands on local sunflower seeds (although I’ve heard that this may change soon) and sesame seeds could never make it in this climate, so for this week’s localvore share we’ve eliminated those seeds and increased the amount of the other toothsome ingredients that are grown here. The corn should come through a little more since we made that the most predominant of the mixed grains. We hope you enjoy this local grain medley!
- Randy

What a treat to have some freshly made maple cream for this week's share! Maple cream is nothing but pure creamed Vermont maple syrup which has been heated, then quickly cooled and then churned. It is great on toast and pancakes, on a peanut butter sandwich or spread as frosting. Randi and Louise Calderwood of Craftsbury produce maple syrup and maple cream with sap from their trees at Echo Hill Farm. In 2006, the Calderwoods increased their sugarbush from 1800 taps to almost 4000. Still a family business, Randi’s 87 year old mother, Fielda, is still actively engaged in syrup production and sales along with the couple’s teenage sons Doug and Andrew. The Calderwoods welcome visitors to the farm during sugaring season to smell the sweet sap boiling in the sugarhouse and see maple syrup being made. A note about storage... Because pure maple cream contains no preservatives it should be kept refrigerated or can be frozen for longer storage life. If separation occurs in a container of maple cream it is normal and will in no way effect the flavor. Simply stir back to it's original consistency.

Recipes

Dandelion Green Salad
This recipe comes from Robin McDermott (by way of the Spring 2009 issue of Edible Green Mountains).

Three strips of bacon
1-2 TB, finely minced shallots (or onion and a small clove garlic)
2 TB good vinegar (cider preferred)
A touch of maple syrup
A little olive oil

dandelion greens chopped
toasted pine nuts

Chop the bacon and cook in a medium sized skillet over medium heat until they releast their fat and become crispy. Add the shallots and cook 5 mins or so until they begin to soften. Next, add 2 TB of vinegar and cook for a few minutes. Add a bit of maple syrup and olive oil. Pour hot dressing over fresh washed greens, toss and garnish with some toasted pine nuts.

Meg's Garlic Scape Smashed Potatoes
Meg can't get enough of smashed Nicola potatoes lately and has been cooking them every which way.
Nicola Potatoes
Garlic Scapes
Butter
Salt
Pepper

Boil or fry potatoes with skins on or off, drain if boiled. In seperate pan cook chopped garlic scapes for a couple minutes with lots of butter. Add salt and pepper and lots of chopped dill at the last moment and stir. Add to potatoes, then half mash the potatoes and garlic dill butter yumminess and serve hot or cold.

Garlic Scape Pesto
There are many recipes for garlic scape pesto and they are all different. That's because pesto is one dish where you can indulge your creativity and personal taste. Experiment!

1 doz. garlic scapes
1/2 cup parsley (or more or less)
1 1/2 cup walnuts (or less)
1/2 – 1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice

Chop or use a food processor or blender to make smooth.
Optional ingredients:
Parmesan to taste
Substitute pine nuts (1/2 cup or more) for the walnuts
Substitute basil for the parsley
You can also make this same basic pesto and add a can of garbanzo beans for a garlic scape pesto hummus. Yum!

Kale-Potato Soup
This is a classic recipe from The New Laurel's Kitchen by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders, and Brian Ruppenthal.

1 large onion, chopped
1 TB butter
1 clove minced garlic
3-4 Nicola potatoes (cut into 1/2 - 1" pieces)
1 bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
5 cups hot water or stock or combo
1/2 tsp salt, more to taste
black pepper, to taste

In a large sauce pan saute the onion in the butter until softened and slightly golden. About halfway, add the garlic. Add the potatoes and 2 cups of water. Simmer, covered, until potatoes start to soften around the edges. Meanwhile, wash the kale, remove stems, chop and steam them (although you can add them to the potatoes, this will result in a much stronger flavored soup). When the potatoes are really well done, puree half of them with the remaining water or stock and the salt and pepper to taste. Then combine all and heat gently, correcting the consistency by adding hot water or milk. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Dilled Potato and Pickled Cucumber Salad
From Bon App├ętit August 2004.

3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1 hothouse cucumbers, very thinly sliced
1/4 cup plus 1.5 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1.5 pounds Nicola potatoes, unpeeled
Additional coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup very thinly sliced white onion or scallions
4 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
3/8 cup mayonnaise

Small radishes with green tops

Stir vinegar and 2 teaspoons coarse salt in small bowl until salt dissolves. Place cucumbers and 1/4 cup dill in sealed container. Add vinegar mixture; seal bag. Turn several times to coat. Refrigerate overnight, turning bag occasionally.

Pour cucumber mixture into large sieve set over bowl. Drain at least 1 hour and up to 3 hours. Discard brine.

Cook potatoes in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain. Cool potatoes completely. Peel potatoes; quarter lengthwise. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place potatoes in large bowl; sprinkle generously with coarse salt and pepper. Add drained cucumbers, onion, sliced radishes, and remaining 1.5 tablespoons dill; toss to blend. Let stand 1 hour. Stir mayonnaise into salad. Season generously with salt and pepper, if desired.

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