Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - September 16, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 2 lbs Walla Walla Onions; 1 lb Summer Squash/Zucchini (may be a mix of types); 1 Bunch of Green Kale; 1 lb Green Peppers; 1 lb mix of Romanesca Cauliflower and Broccoli; 1 large or 2 small Honeydew Melon or Canteloupe; 1 Bunch of Flat Leaf Parsley; Beefsteak Tomatoes plus...

1 pint of Husk Cherries -or- 1 Pint Strawberries

Localvore Share Members Also Receive
Vermont Cranberry Co Dried Cranberries
Pete's Sour Pickles
Red Hen Cyrus Pringle Bread!

Storage and Use Tips
Husk Cherries - Included in today's share is a pint box full of little papery husked things that look like tomatillos. In fact they are close cousins of tomatillos and are also related to tomatoes. But they are sweeter and have a diiferent flavor than either. Some liken their taste to vanilla, others to cinnamon bread (!). They are tasty little treat and will be wonderful on your salads this week. They would also be welcome in any dish that cries out for a touch of sweetness. If you don't eat them all straight out of the box.

Pete's Musings
Contrary to what you might have heard this farming life is just one big party. On Saturday we had the Vermont Land Trust annual meeting at Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro. Attendees toured local ag operations, swamps, woodlands and other notable features of the Northeast Kingdom in the morning, and then enjoyed music and a great local lunch under a tent in the afternoon. Several of us were on a panel discussing our businesses and the future of farming in Vermont. The future of farming in this State is pretty clearly small, diversified operations serving our local market and the huge regional markets that are nearby. Land access is a major impediment to starting these operations and the Land Trust can play an important role in getting farmers onto land.

On Sunday High Mowing Seeds in partnership with Center for an Agricultural Economy and NECI held their annual field days at their trial gardens in Wolcott. Great weather, people, food, and beer. I'd recommend putting this free event on your calendar for next year.

This is Emeril week in the Hardwick area. He is coming to film several episodes for his Emeril Green show. His staff has already been to the farm a bunch of times and they are planning to film here Tuesday and Thursday. They are very nice bunch of folks. Emeril's planning to harvest some onions and make some root kraut while on our farm and they are interested in including as many of our beat up farm trucks in the scenes as possible.

Hope you can get outside and soak up some of the September rays this week. ~ Pete

Pete's New Potato Digger

This is a cool new implement that Pete was testing out last week. He worked with a small farm implement company to invent it. It digs the potatoes or in this case onions, it sifts the soil from them as the vegetables rumble across the flat conveyor belt, and then drops the veggies on top of the soil where they can dry and cure in the sun. When the crops are ready to be brought in from the fields, Pete will install the people platforms that bolt onto the sides and the platform will skim along less than a foot from the soil level. As Pete drives really slowly, people on the platform will be able to sort and bag the vegetables as they cross over the conveyor belt which means that people don't have to bend over to pick up all those onions and roots.

New Richmond Site Added for Fall
On the Rise Bakery in Richmond has been added to our delivery route for the Fall/Winter Share! We are excited to have an option again for folks there. Ben and Rachel, owners of On the Rise Bakery, are looking forward to hosting the site and baking the localvore breads that go into the Richmond shares. If you live in the area or know people who do, please spread the word about the new site. We are really hoping for a solid number to start the share there and will need good membership to keep the site next Spring and Summer.

Montpelier Mud replaces May Day Studio for Fall Share

It's official. Montpelier Mud, a pottery studio owned and run by Mike Sullivan, will replace May Day Studio as site host beginning Oct 14th. Montpelier Mud is located right on River St down the street from May Day. The hours will be a little later than May Day - 11 am to 9 pm. Mike has been a Good Eats share member off and on and is excited to have the share move to his place! If you sent in your form with the "Site TBD" circled, and if you were previously a May Day member, I have selected Montpelier Mud as your site. If you'd prefer National Life, just send me an email and I'll switch you.

New Burlington Site?
I am interested in exploring options for a new Burlington site. Presently we have great site hosts at Adams Court and Grove Street but I think the community could support a share closer to the downtown area. If any of you have ideas for potential site hosts, please share. I am particularly interested in finding a downtown business that would like to have us deliver weekly but would definitely consider a residence as well.

We look for sites that have space to develop the share; that have ample and easy parking for our truck to unload and for members to park and pick up; and that have minimal stairs for Tim to climb on delivery. Site hosts receive compensation in the form of reduced price or free share depending on how many members they have at their site. If a site host has over 1o members, their own share is half price. If over 20 members, their own share is free!

If you are interested in becoming a site host I'd be happy to explore that possibility with you.

Fall/Winter share is now 4 weeks away
The sign up forms are rolling in now. Do we have yours yet? Please visit the Fall/Winter Share page for details and to download a sign up form. Plus, folks who sign up early may receive a colorful Pete's Greens T.

Looking to split your share?
If you are looking for someone to split a share with someone this Fall, maybe we can help. On our Members Seeking page, we post requests from people looking to split shares or share pick up duties etc. It's not an interactive page, so please email me if you'd like to have a message posted there.

Sign Up Early and Receive a Pete's Greens T-Shirt

The 1st 100 people who sign up and pay in full will receive a free Pete's Greens T shirt!

Summer and Summer Meat Share
We will continue to sign new members up for remaining summer share and meat share deliveries.
Summer Share
Meat Share

Pete's Pastured Chicken

Fill your freezers soon! Chicken orders will be available through October. You can now order as few as 3 chickens and have them delivered to your Good Eats pick up site. Visit the Pastured Chicken page for order info including available delivery dates and to download an order form. These are great tasting chickens raised on an abundance of greens and grass throughout their lives. This is healthy, nutritious, vitamin packed meat that you can feel great about eating. Only $3.75/lb.

Localvore Lore
We have a new batch of pickles for you straight from the Pete's Kitchen. Nick made these pickles several weels ago and we think they are delicious. They are sour pickles preserved with vinegar rather than brine cured. They are crunchy and sweet and sour and will pucker the most stalwart face. Enjoy.

Very exciting news this week from Randy George at the Red Hen Baking Co...
Only a few weeks ago, I was still saying that we were years away from baking a bread made exclusively from Vermont-grown wheat.

Well, I am happy to say that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Two weeks ago, Champlain Valley Mills (from Westport, N.Y., on the west side of Lake Champlain) milled 3000 lbs. of flour from wheat brought to them by Tom Kenyon of Aurora Farms in Charlotte, VT. This was the third year in a row that Tom had attempted to grow hard red winter wheat (the type needed for bread making) for us. The first two years yielded nothing but cattle feed, but the initial tests results from this year’s wheat looked good enough to try milling it and making bread with it. Being accustomed to baking with the finest organic wheat Kansas has to offer, I was hopeful that we could use a percentage of this Vermont wheat in some of our breads. Imagine my surprise when I combined this flour with water, yeast, and salt in the mixing bowl and found that it made a familiar-feeling dough! The resulting bread, although not perfect, was surprisingly good. A week later we are making bread that is beyond my wildest dreams of what we could do with an indigenous Vermont bread. The addition of some whole wheat from our long-time supplier and friend Ben Gleason of Bridport adds to the Vermont pedigree and gives this bread a depth of flavor.

Within the next couple of weeks we will be unveiling this true Vermont bread as a daily variety in the stores that we service. In honor of Dr. Cyrus Guernsey Pringle (1838-1911), a renowned botanist and wheat breeder from Charlotte(whose wheat varieties are being revived today), we are naming this bread with (literal) roots in Charlotte simply Cyrus Pringle: From Vermont.

~ Randy

We have included some dried cranberries today from Cranberry Bob at the Vermont Cranberry Company. These are maple sweetened cranberries and will be delicious on salads and in baked goods, on your granola or oatmeal.


Cranberry (or Husk Cherries!), Goat Cheese and Mesclun Salad
Try substituting this week's husk cherries in place of the cranberries! Adapted from Gourmet November 1995. Serves 4.

For vinaigrette:
1 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
.5 tablespoon tamari
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

4 cups mesclun
.5 cup dried cranberries
3 ounces goat cheese, cut into pieces, at room temperature

Quick Moroccan Vegetable Couscous
Bon Appétit January 1996. Serves 2 but can be doubled.

1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups mixed cup-up vegetables (such as red onion, carrots, zucchini and cauliflower or broccoli)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup vegetable broth

1/3 cup sliced almonds

One 5- to 7-ounce box couscous and lentil mix or other couscous blend

Place almonds in heavy medium skillet. Stir over medium heat until almonds are pale golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer almonds to bowl. Add oil to same skillet.Increase heat to medium-high. Add vegetables, cumin and coriander; sauté until vegetables just begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add wine and raisins. Boil until wine is reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add broth. Partially cover skillet; simmer until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, prepare couscous according to package directions.

Mound couscous on platter. Spoon vegetable topping and juices over. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

Spaghetti with Braised Kale
This is a really simple recipe but one that's tried and true. It does call for 2 bunches of kale, but substitutions of broccoli or Romanesca cauliflower would work nicely too to augment the vegetable portion. This is a mighty healthy dish. Bon Appétit October 2009 by Molly Wizenberg. Serves 4.

1 pound kale (about 2 bunches), large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 pound spaghetti
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse kale. Drain; transfer to bowl with some water still clinging.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add sliced garlic and sprinkle with salt; cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add kale and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in medium pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add cooked spaghetti to kale mixture in pot. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Sprinkle spaghetti with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Parmesan Cauliflower and Parsley Salad
Fried with a parmesan coating makes this dish pretty tough to resist! The parsley is refreshing and nutritious. Gourmet May 2006.

For salad
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 oz white mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

For cauliflower
1 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
10 oz cauliflower florets
1 oz Parmisan cheese, finely grated with a rasp
1/6 cup olive oil

Marinate mushrooms for salad:

Stir together zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk in oil until combined, then stir in mushrooms and marinate while panfrying cauliflower.

Blanch the cauliflower for 5-6 minutes in boiling water and then drain and cool and pat dry.

Panfry cauliflower: Lightly beat eggs with salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add cauliflower and toss until coated well. Put cheese in a large bowl. Lift cauliflower out of egg mixture with a slotted spoon and transfer to cheese, tossing to coat. Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then panfry cauliflower in 3 batches, turning occasionally, until golden on all sides, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

Finish salad:
Add parsley and cauliflower to mushroom mixture, tossing to combine.

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