Saturday, July 4, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - July 1, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
1.5 lbs Tomatoes; 1 Bunch of Basil; 1 Bunch of Red Bore Kale; 1 Bunch of Carrots; 1 Bunch of Parsley; 1 Bunch of Garlic Scapes; 1 Head of Napa Cabbage; 1 Bunch of Scallions; 1 Bunch of Easter Egg Radishes; 1 Bunch of Dill; plus... some sites will receive Broccoli and others will get Zucchini

Localvore Share Members Also Receive
Elmore Mountain Bread
1 Dozen Deborah's Eggs
Dancing Cow Minuet Cheese
Castleton Crackers

Storage and Use Tips

Napa Cabbage - The flavor of Napa cabbage is somewhat milder and a bit sweeter than that of regular green cabbage. It is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. It is extremely popular in China partly because of its versatility. In Korea it is pickled, salted, and flavored with ginger and chili peppers to make Korea's national dish kim chi. Store in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Pete's Greens Video at Seven Days
Last week Seven Days' Eva Sollberger published a video for Seven Days website. Eva visited with Pete and Meg at the farm and talked lots about the local food movement and feeding Vermont. This is a really fun video that also gives a great glimpse of life on the farm. Check it out!

Click here to watch the video!

Summer Share Info
Yes, there are still just a few more Summer Shares still available. Please direct interested friends or family to me or to the website. We will prorate the cost of the remaining share weeks.
Summer Share
Meat Share

Chicken Orders
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

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

The Good Egg
By Julia Shipley
It’s a Friday in June in the washhouse at Pete’s Greens, and Deborah Rosewolf has just realized she needs to return to the fields and harvest 46 more pounds of spinach. She shoves the last four totes of lettuce, chevril, and kress across the concrete toward the gleaming stainless steel pool filled with water and the first mesclun of the season. As she dumps a tote of golden endive in, the brilliant yellowy lacy leaves brighten the sea of greens. With one hand she nabs imperfect leaves and throws them at the floor, with the other arm she churns through the watery mix. After she gives several swift ballet-like sweeps, assistants begin to lift the washed greens out with pool skimmers and tip them into tall tubs. Deb and Socorro bring in carrots.

When Deborah answered Pete Johnson’s ad for washhouse help, she was only looking for a stop-gap job. She had been working construction jobs for 34 years, driving graders and dozers, and the traveling, sometimes as far as Pennsylvania, was beginning to wear on her. “I wanted something closer to home, ” she says with a grin. But working at Pete’s wasn’t what she would have called her dream job - she wanted to work outside, not in the washhouse, but that was what he needed. So they gave each other a try. “He tested me—he gave me some crappy jobs.” She remembers spending a whole week pressure washing the side of the voluminous barn in the rain. But after showing her perseverance, Pete began to give her more responsibilities, “and I’ve learned a ton!” she says.

One year later, she’s lost 30 pounds keeping up with the brisk pace at Pete’s Greens, her watch dangles from her wrist like a bracelet, and she has gained two titles: Washhouse Manager and the “Egg Lady”
“Pete said if he didn’t find a new home for the chickens he was going to kill them,” Deborah explains. She’s referring to the 100 Rhode Island red hens that Pete purchased as a starter flock to supply eggs for Good Eats, but, dissatisfied with the process of raising hens, decided to de-accession last August. “So I said I’d take em.”

The hens made the move to Deborah’s. When egg production continued to decline as the hens got older, Pete nagged her about committing to a 500 hen replacement flock. “500!…I said, ‘how about two hundred?’” Deborah recalls. Six months later, on a foggy Sunday morning, she introduces me to the three hundred Rhode Island Red- Leg Horn crosses. Some hens prowl the yard outside, some are visiting in clusters, others have just gone in to lay. Inside their long cedar board palace tidy egg laying boxes line the back wall like school lockers. Almost all the materials for the building was recycled, salvaged, or homegrown. They buy chicken grain by the ton, and stack it in the ante room of the hen house where Phillip is polishing this morning’s eggs. They’re getting 170 dozen per week.

In addition to supplying the CSA members, Deb is selling eggs to the local health food stores and restaurants. “You have to pay for yourselves, don’t you girls?” Deb said to the cooing, croaking rusty colored hens pecking and strutting in their yard. When asked, “How long will they lay?” Deb looks away from the flock and states that after two years their production declines so sharply as to make keeping them unprofitable. So when the time comes, these birds will make great stews and pot pies. In the meantime they eat clover and grain, wander in and out of their mansion, and socialize with their sisters. Reflecting on the great changes in her life over the past year, changes begun by applying for a “temporary” job, she grins, “ I always wanted chickens.”

Julia Shipley, who has a whopping flock of ten hens, is a freelance writer and faculty in Sustainable Agriculture at Sterling College.

Localvore Lore
We have eggs again this week from "The Girls". Deborah had her Coming Out Party last weekend to celebrate her entire flock beginning to lay. You'll notice that the eggs are getting a bit more size to them as the hens mature. To go along with your breakfast eggs, Elmore Mountain is baking a flax seed bread this week.

We have a brand new item for the share this week. Castleton Crackers are the creation of Whitney Lamy who has been rolling out and hand cracking crackers in her Castleton, VT kitchen for family and friends for years. Witnessing the evolution of the artisan cheese movement in Vermont, it seemed natural to Whitney to market her artisan crackers to compliment these outstanding cheeses. These are hearty, flavorful, earthy crackers serve as a perfect vehicle for nice cheeses. They are great on their own, but won't overpower a selected cheese. Castleton Crackers come in three flavors: Middlebury Maple, Rutland Rye and Windham Wheat. An avid cook and baker, Whitney has taught cooking classes for years in Massachusetts and Vermont. A past winner of the King Arthur Flour Winterbake cooking contest, Whitney has also been featured in Bon Appetit magazine and is the host of the new cooking show, “What’s Cookin’ Rutland” airing monthly on PEG TV.

And to go along with your crackers, we have a tasty cheese from Dancing Cow. From the Dancing Cow website:

All of our cheese is handmade on the farm from raw cow's milk, un-cooled, that flows directly from the cows in the milking parlor into the cheese vat. Milk, fresh from the cows, arrives at the vat at the perfect temperature to begin the process of making our style of cheese. We make cheese seven days a week during the milking season, roughly from March to December. This rigorous and unique method of crafting cheese using milk exclusively from a single milking and never chilling, storing or heat treating the milk helps us to capture the true flavors of our "Terroir", the taste of this place. Carefully un molded and hand salted, our cheese is prepared for its affinage in the cave, either on our farm or at the Cellars at Jasper Hill. During its time in the cave the cheese is gently turned, brushed or washed until it emerges precisely when its creamy texture and flavor profiles are at their peak.

Menuet is "a tome style cheese that is sweet and nutty with a creamy texture and long, clean, lingering finish. It reminds you that contented cows make great milk and thus great cheese."

Meat Share

I was thinking about summer grilling when I put the share together for this week. Burgers, chops, ribs, and chicken!
Pete's Pastured Chicken - A whole bird for your roasting or grilling pleasure. Pete's chickens are just fantastic. These birds get all the greens they want throughout most of their life. The result is richly flavored, highly nutritious meat. For a really delicious bird, try this... Mince 3-6 cloves of garlic and place in a small bowl. Add 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1-2 tsp dried rosemary minced, 1 tsp dried thyme. Mix this together. Lift the skin of the bird at the base of the breast bone and separate from the meat so that you can slide your hand under the skin. Then stuff this mixture on top of the breast meat under the skin.
Greenfield Highland Beef Ground Beef Grass-fed and grass-finished, Janet and Ray's Highland cattle produce a more nutritious beef. Less fat and fewer calories, yet richer in vitamin E, Omega 3's, beta-carotene and more. Highland beef are bred for their ability to thrive on grass and meats from Greenfields live up to this promise. Great burgers!
Country Style Ribs from North Hollow Farm - We sent out country style ribs in the Spring share to rave reviews from members. Located in Randolph, North Hollow farm raises its pigs with access to an outside area. They are working on their "humanely raised" certification. Country style ribs are great, marinated and slow cooked, finishing them off on the grill or under the broiler. You can also cut them up and use them to make chili, stews, or a rustic pasta sauce. Click here to check out a recipe for the ribs in the March 11, newsletter.
Maplewind Farm Pork Chops - Beth Whiting and Bruce Hennessey's farm is in Huntington. Using management intensive grazing they pasture 90 head of cattle, 100 sheep, 40-60 pigs, 400 broiler chickens, 100 layer hens, 50 turkeys, and 9 horses rotated over 80 acres. Wow. They really do an exemplary job of raising all of their animals. ON top of this Beth has several acres of vegetables (that she tills with horses) and is running her own CSA. Their pigs are raised on pasture and supplemented with grain.


Stir Fried Napa Cabbage and Carrots
Here's a simple quick recipe that you could serve with brown rice. This is a basic stir fry into which you could sub in broccoli, garlic scapes, some cooked chicken or pork or beef, and garnish with scallions too. From the 75th Anniversary Edition of the Joy of Cooking.

Combine in small bowl:
2.5 TB tamari
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1 TB canola oil (or sunflower)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TB fresh ginger, peeled and minced
2 cups shredded carrots
1 medium Napa Cabbage, thinly sliced
Minced parsley or cilantro

Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add and stir fry the garlic and ginger for a few seconds taking care not to allow the garlic to brown. Add the carrots and stir fry for 3 minutes. Add the cabbage and stir fry until tender, about 3 more minutes. Add the tamari mixture and heat through, stiring to coat the vegetables. Serve garnished with minced parsley or cilantro.

Tuscan White Bean Soup with Rosemary and Kale
This is a classic Northern Italian Dish, simple, flavourful, wholesome, and healthy. Navy beans make a nice substitute if you don't have cannelini. You can also add 1/2 cup of small dried pasta like orzo tp this soup. Serve with a nice crusty bread.
From the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook by Audrey Austerberg & Wanda Urbanowicz

2 cups dried cannellini beans soaked overnight (or 3 cans cooked)
10 cups water
4 Bay leaves
2 tsp + 1 tsp salt
1 TB minced rosemary
1 TB olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2-3 medium tomatoes
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 TB balsamic vinegar
1 small bunch of kale

Drain and rinse the soaked beans and place them in a large pot with Bay leaves, 2 tsp rosemary, and cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the beans are tender. In the last 15 mins, add 2 tsp salt to the beans.

When beans are tender, heat olive oil in a soup pot and add onion, remaining 1 tsp salt and chile flakes. Saute until onions are lightly golden, then add the garlic and remaining rosemary. Cook several minutes, then add the cooked beans and their cooking liquid (or the canned beans). Bring to a simmer, add the tomatoes and simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Remove the stems from the kale, tear or roughly chop the leaves and rinse well. Add the leaves to the soup and cook until wilted. Season the soup to taste with balsamic vinegar, cracked pepper, and more salt. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Pasta at My House
This is my kind of veggie week. I really never tire of fresh veggies and pasta and fortunately, neither does my family.

4 cloves garlic minced
1 bunch garlic scapes - chopped
2-3 tomatoes chopped
1 zucchini sliced or 1 head and stem of broccoli - stem sliced and florets broken off
1 bunch basil
Olive Oil - 2 TB
salt and pepper
1 lb pasta

Bring pot of salted water to boil on the stove for pasta. Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. When the water comes to a boil add the pasta and cook to al dente according to directions.

Heat Olive oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and garlic scapes the pan and cook for just a minute or two without browning garlic. Add the tomatoes, and simmer a few minutes more. Add the zucchini or broccoli and anything else you'd like to toss in (greens? olives?). Simmer some more until tomatoes have thickened and vegetables are crisp tender. Taste sauce and add salt or pepper to taste.

Drain pasta and mix in the veggie/tomato sauce with the pasta. Add a glug of olive oil if you need to moisten a bit more. Then add chopped basil. Serve with some grated parm and even feta if you'd like.

Herbed Roast Chicken
For a really delicious roasted bird, try this method of flavoring your roast chicken. I have given herb quantities but you can add lots more to even more flavor effect. Leftover chicken sandwiches from birds cooked this way are amazingly good.

3-6 cloves garlic
dried rosemary
dried thyme
black pepper

Rinse your bird well under cold water. After rinsing, salt the skin of the bird and the cavity. Then, mince 3-6 cloves of garlic and place in a small bowl. Add 1 tsp sea salt, 1 tsp black pepper, 1-2 tsp dried rosemary minced, 1 tsp dried thyme. Mix this together. Crushed red pepper is great too, but maybe not for the kids. Lift the skin of the bird at the base of the breast bone and separate from the meat so that you can slide your hand under the skin. Then stuff this mixture on top of the breast meat under the skin. Finally brush olive oil onto the skin of the bird and roast in 400 degree oven until done. The herbs add loads of flavor to the already delicious meat!

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