Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - October 28, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Head Lettuce; Napa Cabbage; Upland Cress; Large Leeks; 3 lbs of Mixed Potatoes; 2 lbs Yellow Storage Onions; 2 Sugar Dumplings Squash; 1 Fennel Bulb; 1 bunch Thyme -or- Rosemary -or- Oregano; plus 1 Green Pepper

The peppers in the share are an extra. They got slightly frosted and there may be some translucent spots on them. But they were too good otherwise and we decided you'd all probably enjoy them anyway.

Localvore Offerings Include
Pete's Greens Sauerkraut
Aurora Farms Vt Grown Organic White Flour!
Stateline Farm Sunflower Oil

Upland Cress - There are many types of cress, the type in the share today is upland cress. Eaten cooked or raw, cress has a very mild peppery flavor. It may be eaten raw as in a simple salad with oil and vinegar, or wilted in soups or other dishes. I love it on sandwiches and in salad. Watercress is a very powerful antioxidant. A two year study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007 determined that eating watercress daily can significantly reduce DNA damage to blood cells, which is considered to be an important trigger in the development of cancer. It is brimming with more than 15 essential vitamins and minerals. Gram for gram, it contains more iron than spinach, more vitamin C than oranges and more calcium than milk.

Fennel - Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise. It is delicious and slightly sweet served raw but is just as often served cooked on its own or in other dishes. Though most often associated with Italian cooking, it has an uncanny ability to blend with other flavors adding a light and fresh note. It is delightful in many dishes, and in soups and stews and sauces and is particularly great with tomato sauce dishes. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. To prepare, trim off the fronds and stalks and reserve them for garnish or seasoning. Cut off the hard bottom and slice vertically or into quarters. Or cut the bulb in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut into strips. Add it raw to salads or try some thinly sliced fennel on your sandwich. Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves. Or braise, roast or saute it. It is done when tender enough to pierce easily with a skewer.

Leeks - Leeks are easy to use, and their delicate, irreplaceable flavor makes a meal special. The subtle, buttery taste of leeks imparts elegance to many dishes, including old standbys that call for onions. Though generally only the white part and an inch or so of the green is used in dished, the rest of the green leaves add great flavor when tossed into a pot with other vegtables for vegetable broth. Loosely wrap unwashed leeks in a plastic bag and store them in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator. They will keep for at least a week

Bulk Orders Delivered One Week Before Thanksgiving
Later this week we will begin to take bulk orders for potatoes, onions, turnips, beets, cabbage and many other root crops and storage vegetables and some of our localvore products like flour, oats, cooking oil, miso, tamari, oats and other grains. We have also partnered with a neighboring farm who has some pastured turkey available. The bulk order form will be available on our website on the bulk order page later this week. Placing an order will work the same way as it does for chicken orders. Your printed order form and payment must arrive by mail no later than Nov 11th, one week before the November 18th delivery date. A second bulk order delivery day will be scheduled for December 16th. Stay tuned for more news on this. An email will be sent as soon as the bulk order form is available on line.

T-Shirts!
Some of you were entitled to receive a free Pete's Greens T-shirt for signing up early and paying for your share in full. We had intended to get these right out to you with the first share but we have been so busy! The Ts will go out to sites with next week's share - I promise!


Pete's Musings and 8000 lbs of Squash
Squash, squash, buried in squash. We are blessed by being close neighbors and good friends with High Mowing Seeds. Founder Tom Stearns and I started our businesses at about the same time and have enjoyed many joys and tribulations together over the years. Much of our seed comes from High Mowing seed and it will be exciting to watch this business over the next few years. This year High Mowing grew Honey Nut butternut and Musque de Provence pumpkins as seed crops. Honey Nut is a new variety, a miniature butternut with orange flesh and great flavor. Musque de Provence is an old French heirloom with a Cinderella pumpkin flattened shape, deep ribs, and a tan color. It happens to have exceptional flesh and makes by far the best pumpkin puree we have ever tasted.
















Squash on pallets in the barn. Phillipe dumps squash into the barrel washer.

Here's how the process of making squash puree from a seed crop works:
  • Squash is gathered in High Mowing's fields into boxes and put onto pallets
  • We load our flatbed truck with palletized squash
  • Back at Pete's Greens we unload the pallets of squash for storage in our barn
  • We barrel wash the squash to clean them and cut off all the stems with a machete like whack with a large knife. This step is alot of work as the Honey Nuts are not very big so there are alot of them.
  • Katie from High Mowing arrives with the seed extractor. This gizmo chops the squash and tumbles it down a barrel. The seeds fall through the sides of the barrel and the squash flesh goes out the end. Nick and Steve catch the flesh in clean crates and palletize.
  • Squash chunks are cooked in the tilt skillet and steam kettle until soft. This takes about an hour and a half. Once soft they are run through a food mill that purees the squash, and removes the skin and fibrous pieces.
  • Puree is ladled into bags and the bags are chilled in a water bath
  • Bags of puree are put in the freezer.
It's alot of work and by the end of this week we will have put away close to 2,500 quarts. Thanks to Nick who has been working overtime to make this happen and to High Mowing for the great squash. We will all enjoy eating it this winter. ~Pete


















Pete and Deb hack the tops and bottoms off Honey Nut squash. Nick in the kitchen with a kettle of squash.


Localvore Lore

The sauerkraut in the share today was made on the farm by Nick Augsberger. He has made several kinds, the flavors of which are very similar but the ingredients differ somewhat. Nick usually starts with grated cabbage, onions, beets and then gets creative after that. Some of you will get the batch made with onions, napa cabbage, fennel, carrots, beets, dill seed and salt. Others will get onions, red cabbage, parsnips, beets, garlic scapes, dill seed and salt. The vegetables get layered and packed down into a barrel with salt. An airlock is created for the barrel and the lacto-fermentation process begins. Our sauerkraut has fermented for about 6 weeks. Sauerkraut should be kept in your refrigerator and should be good for several weeks or more.

A bit about the lacto fermentation and its benefits...
Lact0bacilli are present on the surface of all living things particularly the leaves and roots of plants growing near the ground. Left to ferment, lactobacilli convert the starches and sugars in vegetables and fruits into lactic acid which preserves the vegetables. The benefits of lactobacilli go far beyond just preservation. The proliferation of the lactobacilli on fermented foods enhances their digestibility and increases vitamin levels. The lactobacilli produce numerous beneficial enzymes as well as antibiotic and anticarcinogenic substances and lactic acid also promotes the growth of healthy flora throughout the intestine. This is an excellent food and it is highly recommended that we each eat a small amount of fermented vegetables each day.

We have Vt Grown Organic White flour today, thanks to a partnership between Red Hen Bakery and Aurora Farms. Randy George took some time to fill us all in on the flour's history and characteristics.

The flour in this week’s share is the product of a unique, fortuitous, and unprecedented combination of hard work, patience, luck, and cooperation. In the fall of 2006 (right in the midst of planting season for winter wheat), I approached Tom Kenyon of Aurora Farms in Charlotte about growing some bread wheat for us. He enthusiastically agreed and planted 25 acres that fall. Unfortunately, Tom had to suffer through two unsuccessful harvests in 2007 and 2008 before harvesting a crop that was worth milling into flour. When the wheat from this season’s 30 acres were harvested, the initial test results looked good enough to try milling it into flour and making bread with it. A sample of white flour was milled by Champlain Valley Mills (in Westport, NY). 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. Tom and I made an agreement with Champlain Valley Mills to mill Tom’s entire crop. Hillcrest Foods has been enlisted to warehouse and transport the flour to us. I insisted that Tom get the price he needed to get for the wheat and as a result we are blessed with a minor miracle: a white bread flour produced from locally-grown wheat.

Although we have laid claim to most of this flour for use in our new Cyrus Pringle bread (which we are now baking and delivering daily) and upcoming CSA breads, a small amount of it is being offered to Pete’s CSA shareholders. In the eyes of localvore bakers, this is gold. You can’t find this flour in any stores. But the good news is that a committed group of farmers is working hard to making wheat of this quality a regular reality in VT, so you may be able to find it more readily in years to com. But for now, savor what you have and make some of your own bread with it.


A note about baking with the flour: By normal standards for bread flour, this flour has low protein. It nearly falls into the category of all-purpose flour for this reason. But we have found that, with gentle handling, it can make excellent hearth breads. You may find that it is good for other breads and you should also find that it is good for a variety of other purposes such as muffins, biscuits, pancakes, etc. Enjoy… and happy baking!
--Randy George

The organic sunflower oil in the share today comes from John Williamson's State Line Farm in Shaftsbury, VT. This is a good all purpose mild flavored oil that you can use wherever a recipe calls for vegetable oil. It will come to you in a plastic quart container, but we recommend transferring it to a glass container. If you will not use the oil quickly in your household, it's best to store it in the fridge. This is an unrefined product and can spoil. In the fridge it will last indefinitely. It may get a little cloudy in your fridge but this is normal and the cloudiness will disipate as it warms up. John Williamson and Steve Plummer have built Vermont's first on farm biodiesel facility using oilseeds grown on site. John and Steve are testing different oilseed crops, learning how best to grow and harvest and make biodiesel.

Recipes
Blue-Ribbon Black-Powder Buttermilk Biscuits
This recipe comes from the book A Measure of Grace, which is partly a cookbook and partly a story about a restaurant called Hell's Backbone Grill and the community it has become an integral part of in Boulder, Utah. I make these biscuits nearly every week and they get gobbled up immediately. The dough stacking technique shared in the recipe is key to making these layered flaky biscuits. Yet the method is still quick and easy. With a food processor I can have these biscuits on a cookie sheet ready to go on the oven in 10 minutes. These are marvelous with this new flour.

3 Tbsp. cornmeal
2 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1 tsp. sugar
1 stick butter, cut into chunks
1 c. buttermilk (sub: 1 c. milk w/ 2 tsp. lemon juice)

Preheat oven to 450º, grease 9x11 cookie sheet, sprinkle 2 tbsp. cornmeal over surface.

Place flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, pepper, and sugar in a large bowl and whisk together. Cut in butter with pastry blender until it looks like coarse crumbs. Or if you have a food processor, pulse about 7 times for one second each time or until when you run your forl through the mixture it looks like coarse cornmeal. You don't want it smooth! You want a few butter lumps ideally no large than a pea.

Add buttermilk in a pool in the center of the flour. Turn the flour carefully into the buttermilk pool carefully to blend, swiping it from the sides and puching it into the middle. You don't need a smooth dough, you just need to get all the moisture incorporated into the flour. You want inconsistency.

When the dough holds together as a messy, lumpy, somewhat wet mass, dump it out onto a floured board and flatten it with floury hands into a rectangle shape, 1" thick. Then cut the rectangle in half, and stack one half on the other. Flatten it into another rectangle and repeat, two more times. This stacking will increase the layering and flaki-ness of the biscuits. After stacking the third time, transfer to the cookie sheet and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tb or cornmeal. Then roll dough to 1" thick and cut 2x2 squares. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.
Braised Fennel and Potatoes
In this dish the potatoes are perked up with fennel. The fennel becomes very tender and lends loads of moisture to the dish. Makes 4 to 6 side-dish serving. Gourmet February 2006.

1 large fennel bulb with fronds
1 large onion, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb red boiling potatoes
1/2 cup water

Quarter bulb lengthwise and core, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cook fennel, onion, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, covered, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut potatoes crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Add potatoes and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to fennel mixture and cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, 3 minutes. Add water and cook, covered, stirring once, until potatoes are tender, 10 to 12 minutes more.

Spicy No-Mayo Coleslaw
This one is from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook. Serves 8 as a side.

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, red wine vinegar, or freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chile (jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habenero), or to taste, optional
1/4 cup peanut or extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups cored and shredded Napa, Savoy, green and/or red cabbage
1 large red or yellow bell peppers, roasted and peeled if you like, seeded, and diced or shredded
1/3 cup diced scallion, more or less
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced parsley leaves Instructions: Time: 30 Minutes

1. Whisk the mustard, vinegar, garlic, and chile together in a small bowl. Add the oil a little at a time, whisking all the while.

2. Combine the cabbage peppers, and scallion and toss together with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve. (It's best to let this rest for an hour or so before serving to allow the flavors to mellow; the cabbage will also soften a bit and exude some juice. Or let it sit for up to 24 hours if you like. Drain slaw before continuing.) Just before serving, toss with the parsley.

Apple Slaw Variation-- A little sweeter: Use carrots instead of bell pepper. Use 1 medium onion, grated, in place of the scallion. Shred or grate 2 medium or 1 large tart, crisp apples and include them in the mix. Lemon juice or cider vinegar is the best choice for the acid here.

Tuna Salad
I do love a tuna salad or tuna salad sandwich and figured that most of you would have tuna on hand to try this recipe. Rave reviews all around. From the Cookbook Starting with Ingredients: Quintessential Recipes for the Way We Really Cook by Aliza Green. Authors Note "The salad is light because the tuna is dressed with olive oil and fresh lemon juice instead of the usual mayonnaise. The fresh herbs give it brightness, and the red bell peppers and purple olives make for a colorful and appetizing preparation. The important thing here is to use the tasty tuna packed in olive oil enjoyed throughout the Mediterranean region, rather than the drier, rather mealy white tuna packed in water."

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon (or 2 teaspoons dried)
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
2 (6-ounce) cans tuna in olive oil, drained
1 small head fennel, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 of a small red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

Salad Mix:
1 pound mixed greens (head lettuce and watercress and maybe a bit of Napa?)
Tuna Salad
1 red or orange bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives

Using a whisk or an immersion blender, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper, tarragon, and parsley. Lightly chunk the tuna, then toss it with the fennel, celery, onion, and most of the dressing. Reserve.
If you're using mixed greens, trim, wash, dry, and slice them cross-wise into 1-inch-wide strips. Toss the mixed greens or spring mix with the remaining dressing. Arrange on serving plates. Top with the Tuna Salad, and garnish with the bell peppers and olives.

Watercress and Potato soup
This is a simplified version of the French classic. The fresh bite of watercress adds interest to velvety smooth potato. Submitted by Jill Dupleix to The Times Aug 2007. Serves 4.

1 quart water
1 tsp sea salt
1.5 lb all-purpose potatoes
1/4 lb watercress leaves, eg, 2 bunches
2/3 cup milk
2 tbsp double cream
A little grated nutmeg
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bring the water and salt to the boil. Peel the potatoes and cut into quarters. Cook the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes until tender. Pick the watercress leaves from the stalks and discard the stalks. When the potatoes are cooked, fish them out of the water (reserving the water) and mash them or put them through a potato ricer. Set aside. Add the watercress to the potato water and simmer gently for five minutes. Fish out the watercress and whizz it, with a little of the liquid, in a blender or liquidiser. Return the watercress and the mashed potatoes to the potato water in the pan, stirring well. Add the milk and reheat gently, stirring. Add the cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer gently, without boiling, for five minutes. Serve in bowls, with a little extra swirl of cream on top.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - October 21, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Head Lettuce; 2 lbs beets; 2 Sugar Dumpling Squash; 1 Butternut or Buttercup Squash; 2 lbs fresh Red Storage Onions; 1 Garlic; 1 bunch Mizuna; 1 bunch Lacinato Kale; 1 lb Green Tomatoes; 1 lb Green Peppers or Eggplant

Localvore Offerings Include

Elmore Mountain Country French Bread
Pete's Greens Dill Pickles
Vermont Soy Maple Ginger Baked Tofu
Champlain Orchards Liberty Apples



First Week Pick Up Results
There were a few rough spots last week as people picked up for the first time, but all in all, it went pretty well. The big take home messages from last week are:
  • Make sure you READ THE PICK UP INSTRUCTIONS when you arrive and carefully select your items. We count out the right number of each item, so it's important that when you pick up, you select just what the pick up instructions tell you to, so that the right number remains for people picking up after you.
  • LOOK THROUGH ALL TOTES, BINS, AND BOXES! Last week a few people went home without some of their items and when I checked in with sites hosts, the food was there, just in an unopened tote. As totes are emptied by members they are often left on top of full totes. Look through everything before going away empty handed.
Fall Localvore Share is Full
We have filled the share to capacity! It was a busy last couple of weeks as new sign-ups came each day in the mail. We'll probably begin Spring sign up a bit earlier so that we aren't bombarded with quite so many last minute applications! We are thrilled to have reached our target number so quickly though, thanks to all of you for being with us this share.

Pies for People
The Center for an Agricultural Economy, in collaboration with Sterling College and University of Vermont, is organizing a second Pies for People project to benefit various organizations throughout Hardwick, Craftsbury and Greensboro. Last Tuesday, October 13th, a group of Sterling College students helped folks from Pete's Greens harvest thousands of squash from seed test fields at High Mowing Seeds. Yesterday, Nick was busy in the kitchen at the farm steaming and pureeing squash and preparing to freeze the puree in 5 gallon buckets. In early to mid November, volunteers will gather in the Sterling College kitchen to make hundreds of pies and gallons of soup which will be distributed to senior homes, schools, and food shelters in the area, all based on donated ingredients and volunteer work.

The Center for an Agricultural Economy is a membership driven non-profit that works to facilitate, support and create a locally-based 21st century food system in the greater Hardwick area bringing healthy local food to every plate. The Center relies on membership to support its mission. If you would like to receive information about how to become a member or to receive seasonal newsletters from the Center for an Agricultural Economy, please email Elena Gustavson at elena@hardwickagriculture.org or phone her at (802) 472-5840.












Localvore Lore
Blair and Andrew at Elmore Mountain baked us some of their Country French bread today. This bread is made with organic winter wheat, whole wheat, and rye from Meunerie Milanaise in Quebec, plus sourdough, sea salt, and spring water. It's a great hearty, crusty loaf that remains fresh for several days. I usually place mine in a plastic bag after I get it home to preserve freshness. Great sandwich bread.

This is the second time we have put these dill pickles in the share and we had some great comments from folks who tried them last round. Nick makes the pickles on the farm. These are made in barrels, by layering the pickles with salt and herbs and letting time do the pickling. They are a tasty treat alongside a sandwich!

I was just about to place an apple order a couple weeks ago when a member emailed and asked where we got those tasty Liberty apples last Fall. Good idea, I thought... So today we have Liberty apples for you from Bill Suhr's Champlain Orchards. Though not organic, Bill selects his apple varieties for disease resistance and sprays his apples very judiciously, preferring to be satisfied with some apple imperfections in order to satisfy the greater goal of cleaner produce. Champlain Orchards description follows. "A sprightly and juicy apple with deep red skin and pale yellow flesh resembling the flavor of its parent, Macoun. Flavor increases during first two months of refrigeration. Delicious dessert apple for eating, pies, and sauce."

The tofu in the share today debuted earlier this year from the Vermont Soy Company.

Our Baked Maple Ginger Tofu is a delicious sweet and savory tofu that is ready to eat. No preparation needed, simply cut to size and enjoy! Made with the highest quality ingredients, including Vermont Maple Syrup, our Baked Artisan Tofu is delicious on salads, in sandwiches, on crackers, or tossed into your favorite stir-fry.

It's actually quite delicious plain, right out of the package as snack food. But it's also fantastic in other dishes. Vermont Soy's mission is to source non-GMO organic soybeans from farmers in Vermont for all of their products. To that end, they work collaboratively with High Mowing Seeds, the UVM Extensions Program and local farmers on seed tria


Storage and Use Tips


FRESH! Red Storage Onions - The onions in your bag today are in an awkward stage between fresh and dry onions. The skins are ugly but a quick peel will make them pink and shiny. Storage onions should be kept in a cool, dry spot, such as a cupboard or a drawer.
Green Tomatoes - Of course, these are really red tomatoes that haven't changed color yet. Green tomatoes are great to make chutneys and relishes out of, not to mention the dish that made the movie famous, Fried Green Tomatoes. You can also ripen them yourself, if you don't like green tomatoes. Store them in a box or in plastic bags with a few holes for air circulation. If you have a cool, moderately humid room, simply place them on a shelf, just keep them out of direct sunlight. They may be stored in the dark. As tomatoes ripen, they naturally release ethylene gas, which stimulates ripening. To slow ripening, sort out ripened fruits from green tomatoes each week. To speed up ripening, place green or partially ripe fruits in a bag or box with a ripe tomato.
Winter Squash - Sugar Dumplings (or Sweet Dumplings) are the small white and green round winter squash in the share today.The buttercup is the darker green squash. Butternut is the tan oblong squash. Squash store well and are easy to cook. Store them out of the sun in a dry, temperature neutral place in your home. A bookshelf works just fine. A very simple way to cook them is to cut them in half, scoop out the seeds, and place them in a baking dish in a half inch of water and cook until a fork or knife pierces them easily. Try simply stuffing with diced apple, walnuts and a pat or two of butter and drizzle of maple syrup. Yum. You'll find a more elaborate recipe in the same vein below.
Mizuna - Also known as spider mustard, mizuna is a Japanese mustard green with tender leaves and a pleasant, peppery flavor. You could substitute it, chopped, in a salad calling for arugula. It adds a nice zest to a stir-fry or saute. Store mizuna, unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Recipes


Stir Fried Tofu with Kale or Other Greens
This recipe, adapted from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, uses several ingredients from this week's share (and other vegetables could be incorporated too!). You could use either the mizuna or the kale with this recipe. If using the lacinato kale, it might be good to first par boil it (place in a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes). It will probably require a longer cooking time than the mizuna. The tofu does not need cooking, just needs to be heated through.

.75 - 1.5 lbs Tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1.5 TB vegetable oil
1 onion, halved and sliced
1-2 green peppers, cored, seeded and sliced
1 TB chopped garlic
1 TB chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 cup Shaoxing wine, sherry, sake, white wine, or water
1/3 c vegetable stock
2 TB soy sauce
1/2 c. chopped scallions

Put 2 TB of oil into a large skillet, over high heat. When hot add the onion and cook, stirring now and then, until it begins to soften (a couple minutes). Add the peppers and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and peppers are crisp tender and a little charred on the edges, about 5 minutes. Remove the peppers and onions from thepan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add remaining oil, garlic and ginger to center of pan and cook for about 10 seconds. Then add the tofu, wine and stock, and the greens and cook stirring until half of it evaporates and the greens are wilted and tender. Then add back in the peppers and onions.

Add the tamari or soy sauce and scallion and cook, stirring, until the scallion becomes glossy, about 30 seconds. Serve immediately alongside brown rice.


Baked Winter Squash with Apples and Maple Syrup
Winter squash and apples are a lovely combination. There are lots of recipes for squash and apple bakes and soups. This one was adapted from a recipe in Bon Appétit November 1995. Serves 6.

1.25 to 1.5 pounds winter squash peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeded, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)
1 pound medium-size apples peeled, quartered, cored, but crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)
3/8 cup dried currants (or dried cranberries or walnuts would be nice too)
Freshly grated nutmeg
3/8 cup pure maple syrup
1/8 cup (1/4 stick) butter, cut into pieces
1.5 sp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook squash in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Combine squash, apples and currants in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Season generously with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Combine maple syrup, butter and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan. Whisk over low heat until butter melts. Pour syrup over squash mixture and toss to coat evenly. Bake until squash and apples are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour.
Cool 5 minutes and serve.

Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with foil; chill. Rewarm covered in 350°F. oven about 30 minutes.

Fancy Fried Green Tomatoes

4 large green tomatoes
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 quart vegetable oil for frying

1. Slice tomatoes 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Discard the ends.
2. Whisk eggs and milk together in a medium-size bowl. Scoop flour onto a plate. Mix cornmeal, bread crumbs and salt and pepper on another plate. Dip tomatoes into flour to coat. Then dip the tomatoes into milk and egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumbs to completely coat.
3. In a large skillet, pour vegetable oil (enough so that there is 1/2 inch of oil in the pan) and heat over a medium heat. Place tomatoes into the frying pan in batches of 4 or 5, depending on the size of your skillet. Do not crowd the tomatoes, they should not touch each other. When the tomatoes are browned, flip and fry them on the other side. Drain them on paper towels.

Simple Fried Green Tomatoes
Not everyone wants to go through quite as much effort to fry up tomatoes. Luckily, there's lots of latitude for creating this dish. The recipe below is much simpler. You can also substitute flour, some fine bread crumbs or even crushed corn flakes for some of the cornmeal. You can dredge on a plate, but some folks just put the breading in a bag, toss the tomato slices in and gently toss them in the bag until coated. Salting tomato slices in advance will pull some moisture out. Medium heat is best. If the heat is too high, the breading will brown too much or burn before the tomatoes inside get a chance to cook.

4 to 6 green tomatoes
salt and pepper
cornmeal
bacon grease or vegetable oil

Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 - 1/2-inch slices. Salt and pepper them to taste. Dip in meal and fry in hot grease or oil about 3 minutes or until golden on bottom. Gently turn and fry the other side. Serve as a side dish - delicious with breakfast!



Monday, October 19, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - October 14, 2009

Important Share Information
Welcome to the new Fall/Winter Share! Your first pick-up is Wednesday Oct 14. If you are unsure of your pick-up times or site location, please visit our website's Pick-Up page. If you have any questions about your pick-up please email 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.

When Picking Up Your Share Please:

  • Check off your share name on the pick-up list.
  • Note that only one name is listed for the share. Be sure to look for your partner, if you don't find your name.
  • Check the share type on the list. Share types are Localvore, and Localvore Vegetarian. If you are listed incorrectly, let Amy know via email.
  • If you can't find your share name at all, do NOT take a share. Please contact Amy right away and we'll figure it out.
  • Pick-up instructions are on a separate clipboard. Follow the specific item list/instructions for the share you have selected to assemble your share. (Localvore Vegetarian or Localvore)
  • When splitting your share, coordinate with your share-mate to make sure that you DON'T take double the amount of any items.
Please note that the first Meat Share pick up is not this week, it is Nov 4th.

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
1 Head of Napa Cabbage; 3 lbs Mixed Potatoes; 2 Heads of Garlic; 1 Bunch of Red Russian Baby Kale; 1 Bunch Golden Frills Mustard; 1 Bunch of Dill; 2 Handfuls of Tomatillos; 1 Sunshine Squash; plus...

1 lb Tomatoes -or- Pint of Cherry Tomatoes
The Localvore Portion Contains
Elmore Mountain Honey Wheat Bread
1 Dozen Eggs (from Pa Pa Doodles or Gopher Broke Farm)
Champlain Valley Creamery Cream Cheese

Plus either:
Elmore Roots Pears ~or~ Elmore Roots Pear Jam

What To Do If You Have a Problem
Though we do our best to make sure that every delivery and pick-up goes smoothly, there are the occasional shortages and disappointments. Should you arrive at your pick-up spot to find that one or more of your items are missing or that some of your produce is in unsatisfactory condition, please let us know right away! Our goal is 100% satisfaction. If you can call or email Amy as soon as you discover the problem, she may be able to resolve it the same day. Sometimes, a site host is able to find items a shareholder may have overlooked and the shareholder is able to go back Wednesday evening or Thursday morning to retrieve the items. We've also had shareholders who have mistakenly taken an item call to see if they can deliver that item to the family who was shorted.

Our site hosts have instructions to distribute left over food by Thursday afternoon if we have not heard back from anyone. This assures that they don't end up with bad food on their hands. If you would like to receive an item that you missed at pick-up, you must contact 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
We have been working on a database of both storage and use tips for the vegtables we provide and for recipes. It is still not finished but we look forward to finishing it when things slow down a bit! Until then, you can find lots more tips and recipes on the Pete's Greens blog (which is searchable - just enter a term in the search-box).

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. Store in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Mustard Greens - Related to kale, cabbage, and collard greens, mustard greens are the peppery leafy greens of the mustard plant. Young mustard greens are tender enough to liven up salads, and all are stout enough to stand on their own in steamed or stir-fried dishes. Store loosely wrapped in plastic in your fridge.
Tomatillos - These papery husked fruits are often cooked into salsas, sauces, stews, jams and marmalades. They may also be used raw in salsas and some salads. They can be a bit sweet to quite tart. Many cooks will add a bit of sweetener to balance acidity of very tart tomatillos. Store in a paper bag in the fridge for several weeks, or remove the papery husks, clean and pop into freezer-weight zip lock bags and use later.

Newsletter Intro
My name is Amy Skelton and I write the Good Eats newsletter each week. It goes out every Tuesday evening with helpful information, farm updates, the week's share contents, storage and use tips, localvore information and recipes. Pete or Meg will often chime in with farm updates, thoughts and pleas for feedback. The picking for the weekly share begins on Monday and the packing of shares is finished late Tuesday afternoon. Though we try to get the newsletter out just as early as we can, we do like to wait until the share is finalized. Sometimes there are last minute changes to the contents and we want to make sure that you've got the right information to go with your pick-up.

If, as happens occasionally, there are changes to the share that occur after the newsletter has been sent, you may receive a follow-up email Tuesday night or Wednesday. If you have any feedback on the newsletter, recipe contributions or just general questions about the CSA, feel free to email me.

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

If you have issues receiving the newsletter, it would be helpful to add amy@petesgreens.com to your address book.


Roots Harvest
The crew at the farm is deep into roots harvest at the farm right now. It's been going on for many days and Pete estimates at least 12 more full days with all hands on deck to get most of the roots out of the fields into the cellar. Harvest is still done with lots of manpower. The tractor goes through the rows first mowing down the foliage above ground. On the next pass of the tractor, a digging bar passes below the depth of the roots unearthing them from the soil and leaving them mixed with the soil at ground level. And then that is where the people come in, picking and sorting the roots for size and quality, trimming the remainder of the tops off with a knife, and filling the bins that will be taken to the cellar. It's often cold work this time of year, with many hours spent at cold ground level with a good breeze blowing through the fields.

Pete's Musings
Welcome to the new share period! Many of you are good procrastinators and while we were a little concerned by the slow rate of sign-ups early on we have been bombarded lately. Thanks for you support, everyone on the farm is excited and energized by how many share members we have now. We are also a little overwhelmed as we are starting a new share period at the same time that we are being hit with abnormally cold October weather. After tomorrow night we have 3 nights with lows in the low 20's. That is cold enough to wipe out a lot of outdoor production and even cold enough to damage exposed beets, carrots, and other roots. So we are hustling - wish us luck, we've got to get these roots out of the ground and into cellars. ~ Pete


Pete's Chicken Available For Order
An added bonus for Good Eats members is the ability to order the free range chicken raised on our farm and have frozen chickens delivered to Good Eats sites. Our birds are raised on loads of organic pasture and can't help but assimilate lots of healthy forage in their diet. The nutrients the birds take in on pasture become concentrated in the meat. Pasture-raised meats are much lower in fat, higher in heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLA's), and are excellent sources of Vitamins A, B3, B6, B12, D and E. This is meat you really can feel great about eating.

More information about placing orders plus the chicken order form that you can fill out and mail with payment can be found here on the website: Pete's Pastured Chicken.

Localvore 'Lore
Each week in this section we highlight some of the localvore items in the Localvore Share. We try to mix up what you'll receive each week, so that everyone gets to sample a wide variety of locally grown and produced food items. We do our best to source items from within 100 miles of the farm, directly if at all possible. Though we occasionally wander outside this radius, it's pretty rare. Our 100 miles allows us access to many interesting products from Quebec, New York, New Hampshire, but the majority of products are from right here in Vermont.

Elmore Mountain
bakes for the share a couple times a month. Andrew and Blair source their flour and most ingredients for their breads close to home. This just in from Andrew:

This week we are making Vermont Honey Oat. It is made with Milanaise Winter Wheat, Milanaise Whole Wheat, Quebec Oats, Vermont Honey from Butternut Mountain Farm, sea salt, spring water and yeast. This is one of our favorites. We have been baking it all summer for the Stowe Farmer's Market and it's become a favorite of many of our customers as well. We are very excited to be back baking for Good Eats again after our hiatus this summer. We have been working on finishing our new wood-fired brick oven and an addition to the bakery. The oven is slowly fire-curing and we are looking forward to using it the next time we bake for the CSA. ~ Andrew and Blair

To go along with Elmore's bread, we have Champlain Valley Creamery Cream Cheese this week. Made in Vergennes, this cheese is made from cultured fresh organic cow’s milk and cream using traditional methods. Last spring 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 this week was milk last Wednesday, packed Thursday. 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. ~ Carleton

In the past we have had trouble sourcing enough farm fresh and free range eggs for the share. Deborah Rosewolf, who works at Pete's Greens stepped up to the plate this spring and increased the size of her home flock considerably. Her hens have a great time at her place, and some of their escapades are chronicled in our blog. Like the time all 300 showed up for a barbecue. Or when some of them learned to use the doggie door and made themselves at home in her house. This week even Deborah's flock wouldn't quite meet the egg demand of the share, so we also have eggs from George Nash at Gopher Broke Farm in Hyde Park also. George and Deb have rounded up every egg for us this week, waiting til after collecting this morning's eggs to deliver. Some sites will be getting eggs Deborah collects Wednesday morning. Now that's fresh!

We are hoping that through these two suppliers we'll be able to provide eggs two weeks out of each month.

At Elmore Roots Nursery in Elmore, VT, David Fried grows a very wide variety of fruits trees and bushes and many other ornamental fruits and trees. David is one of the only certified producers of pears in our region. Yesterday he picked and packed like crazy trying to pull together enough pears for our quickly growing share. The big pears with russet banding are called Pattens. They will be crisp when they arrive but in a couple days in fridge or on counter top they will soften and sweeten. The smaller rounder pears are called Stacy, and these are ready to eat now, crisp and firm and sweet. David fell short of fresh pears and so a few sites will get his pear jam instead, made entirely of his organic pears and organic cane juice.

Recipes

Steamed Savoy Cabbage and Mustard Greens with Bacon
This is a great, tasty steamed greens recipe. From Gourmet November 1998. Serves 4.

6 oz sliced bacon
1 small head Savoy cabbage (about 1 lb)
1 bunches mustard greens
3 large garlic cloves
1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1.5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Cut bacon into 1/2-inch pieces and in a large heavy skillet cook over moderate heat, stirring, until crisp and golden. With a slotted spoon transfer bacon to paper towels to drain.
Thinly slice cabbage and discard coarse stems from mustard greens. In a large steamer rack set over boiling water steam cabbage, covered, until crisp-tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer cabbage to a large bowl and keep warm, covered. In steamer rack set over boiling water steam mustard greens until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add mustard greens to cabbage and keep warm, covered.

Mince garlic. In a small saucepan heat garlic, butter, and oil until butter is just melted. Drizzle butter mixture over vegetables, tossing to distribute evenly, and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer vegetables to a serving dish and serve topped with bacon.

White Bean, Kale and Roasted Vegetable Soup
This is one of those soups that will be even better the second day. Bon Appétit January 2000.
Vegetable oil
3 medium carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise
2 large tomatoes, quartered
1 large onion, cut into 8 wedges
1/2 Sunshine squash, peeled, seeded, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 tablespoon olive oil

6 cups (or more) canned vegetable broth
4 cups finely chopped kale
3 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf

1 15-ounce can Great Northern beans, drained

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease baking pan with vegetable oil. Arrange carrots, tomatoes, onion, squash and garlic on sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake until vegetables are brown and tender, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes.

Transfer carrots and squash to work surface. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside. Peel garlic cloves; place in processor. Add tomatoes and onion; puree until almost smooth.

Pour 1/2 cup broth onto baking sheet; scrape up any browned bits. Transfer broth and vegetable puree to large pot. Add 5 1/2 cups broth, kale, thyme and bay leaf to pot; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered until kale is tender, about 30 minutes.
Add beans and reserved carrots and squash to soup. Simmer 8 minutes to blend flavors, adding more broth to thin soup if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill. Bring to simmer before serving.)

Fried Eggs on Corn Tortillas with Two Salsas (Huevos Divorciados)

Eggs, fresh salsas, served on fried corn tortillas make for a colorful, fun and flavorful meal. A side of black beans, bean and corn salad, or refrieds would complement nicely. Gourmet May 2000. Serves 4.



For red and green salsas:

1/2 lb tomatoes

1/2 lb fresh tomatillos, husks discarded and tomatillos rinsed

2 fresh jalapeño chiles

1 (1-inch) wedge of large white onion

2 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons salt

3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 to 1/2 cup water


4 to 8 tablespoons vegetable oil

8 large eggs

8 (6- to 7-inch) corn tortillas
 


Make the Salsas:

Heat a comal (griddle) or a dry well-seasoned cast-iron skillet over moderate heat until a bead of water evaporates quickly, then roast tomatoes, tomatillos, jalapeños, and onion, turning with tongs, until charred on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes. Core roasted tomatoes. Discard stems from jalapeños and discard half of seeds from each chile.

For red salsa: Coarsely purée tomatoes, 1 jalapeño, 1 garlic clove, half the onion, and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender or food processor, then transfer to a bowl.

For green salsa: Coarsely purée tomatillos, remaining jalapeño, remaining garlic clove, remaining teaspoon salt, remaining onion, cilantro, and 1/4 cup water (add more if needed for desired consistency), then transfer to a bowl.

Cook eggs:

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small nonstick skillet over moderately low heat until hot. Gently break 2 eggs into a cup, keeping yolks intact, then pour into skillet and cook, covered, 5 minutes, or to desired doneness. Season with salt and pepper.

Fry tortillas while eggs cook. Make more eggs in same manner, adding oil as needed.

Fry tortillas:

While each serving of eggs is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in another small nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Stack 2 tortillas in skillet. Cook bottom tortilla 30 seconds on first side, then flip stack with tongs. While second tortilla cooks on bottom, turn top tortilla over with tongs, then flip stack again. Continue until both sides of both tortillas are cooked. Tortillas will soften and puff slightly, then deflate (do not let them become brown or crisp). Fry more tortillas in same manner, adding oil as needed.

Put two tortillas on each plate, overlapping slightly, and top with eggs. Spoon a different salsa over each egg.

Almond Pear Cream Cheese Tart
Here's a simple, tasty dessert - if you can bear to part with the cream cheese and pears. Decadent but yummy.

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 cup sugar, divided
1 cup flour

8 oz cream cheese, softened

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

4 fresh pears, peeled, sliced

1/4 cup sliced almonds



HEAT oven to 425°F.
BEAT butter and 1/3 cup sugar in small bowl with mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour; mix well. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of 9-inch springform pan.
BEAT cream cheese and 1/3 cup of the remaining sugar in same bowl with mixer until well blended. Add egg and vanilla; mix well. Spread onto bottom of crust. Mix remaining sugar and cinnamon. Add to pears in large bowl; toss to coat. Arrange over cream cheese layer; top with nuts.
BAKE 10 min. Reduce temperature to 375°F; bake 25 min. or until center is set. Cool completely. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen torte. Remove rim. Refrigerate tart 3 hours.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - October 7, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 1 Sunshine Winter Squash!; 1 lb Green Peppers; 2 lbs Red Norland Potatoes; 2 lbs Carrots; 1 lb Walla Walla Onions or Yellow Storage or Red Storage Onions; 1 bunch Sweet Salad Turnips; 1 bunch Ruby Streaks Mustard; 1 Bunch Curly Parsley, 2 Garlic Heads
Localvore Share Members Also Receive
Champlain Orchards Localvore Apple Pie
Cabot Clothbound Cheddar

Meat Share Members! - This is a meat share week!

This is the last delivery week for the Summer Share!

Pete's Musings
Thanks everyone for joining us this share period. It has been a summer of challenges mostly weather related but we were blessed with 6 weeks or gorgeous sun in August and September. We have not had the best financial year ever but we have made some significant improvements in our farming abilities and general tidiness of the farm and that feels great. We have several tough weeks of storage crop harvest ahead of us but we'll get it done, we always do.

Last Friday night I was picking up pallets of cippolini onions with the tractor forks in the dark when it started to rain. They really should not get wet once in crates so I was not happy with the situation. These onions were grown in our rented field and near the field there was a spec house built last fall. It is a pretty little red house and this spring the builders added a garage with an open front, no doors. The house has been for sale and is unoccupied. There I was with it raining on my onions and that garage with the open doors just called to me. I don't know the owners but thought it might be ok to put the 6 pallets in the garage for the night.

Of course the next day I was way too busy and never made it over to collect the onions. Then Sunday came and I had pretty much forgotten about the whole thing. I was feeding the chickens Sunday morning when a man came walking across the field. He introduced himself as the owner of the house and I got ready for an earful. Nope, he was just coming by to say it was no problem and then we talked about how I had raced his son in cross-country in high school. I asked about his house and he told me where to find a key if I want to show it to anyone. It was great. ~Pete




Sign Up for the Fall Share Now!
Last chance to sign up without missing the first share week
This is it folks. Last chance to sign up without interruption in your weekly food deliveries. I must have your sign up sheets and payment in hand by the weekend in order to deliver your share next Wednesday Oct 14th. If you have been procrastinating, time to dig for an envelope and stamp!

Head to the Fall/Winter Share page for details and to download your sign up form.
Meat Share info and form also available.


Looking to split your share?
The Members Seeking page works really well as a place to connect with someone who is willing to split a share. Quite a few people have made use of this service this Fall and have found people to split a share with. Please send me an email if you'd like to have me post something on this page for you. I just need to know the name of the site at which you'd like to pick up and any special details you might be considering.

New Sites Update

New sites confirmed:
Shelburne - Shelburne Vineyard located at 6308 Shelburne Rd. Pick up times still TBD as we fine tune the new schedule but they are likely to be noon to 5:30pm.
Richmond - On the Rise Bakery. Pick up times still TBD but should be between 11 am and 6 pm.

Site change:
Montpelier - along with National Life, we will also be delivering to Montpelier Mud at 141 River St (just a short distance from current May Day Studio location). Pick up times 11am to 9pm.

New sites under consideration:

Burlington - There's a very good chance we will have a site in the Northwest corner of Burlington for the Fall share. This is still coming together though, and the soonest we could anticipate delivering there is October 28.

Newport - We have a potential plan for delivering shares to Newport. The only detail holding us back is having enough Newport members committed to joining. If you are interested in a Newport pick up or know someone who is, please email me! And stay tuned for developments.

Johnson - We have a similar plan brewing for Johnson as we have for Newport and will need to hear from people who would like to take advantage of a Johnson pick up. The potential pick up location would be the Butternut Mountain Farm Store (aka Marvins Country Store) right next to the Woolen Mill in Johnson. If a Johnson pick up would help you or someone else be able to join, please email me!

Pete's Pastured Chicken
Order your chickens and fill your freezer. 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
As a thank you to all of you who have been a part of the Localvore Share this summer I wanted to send you something special. And who doesn't like apple pie and a good cheddar to go with it?

Champlain Orchards baked us pies this week, a full 9" apple pie especially made for us using the VT grown Aurora Farms flour, Cabot Creamery butter, maple syrup from Shoreham, a mix of apples from Champlain Orchards (Macintosh and Paula Reds), and organic spices.

And of course in keeping with the New England style of pie accompaniment, we are sending along a good cheddar. Not just any old cheddar though, the Cabot Clothbound Cheddar in the share today is a multi award winning cheese, judged best cheddar in many competitions, and even won the American Cheese Society's Best in Show Award in 2006 besting some 940 other cheeses from around the country in that year's competition. And it was a silver medalist at the World Cheese Awards taking home the title of the Best US Cheddar.

The cheese starts out at the Cabot Creamery. Immediately after the wheels are unmolded from their cheddar hoops at Cabot, they are loaded into a truck and delivered to the Cellars at Jasper Hill. Once there, they are bandaged with cloth and painted with lard. The cloth gives the wheels a breathable shield from the elements and the lard acts as a natural sealant, helping protect the cheese from the excessive drying during their 10-14 month stay. During the aging process a bloomy rind is allowed to develop which flavors the cheese. The cave environment is carefully monitored to age the cheese perfectly. The result is a traditional English type cheddar, with a slightly craggly texture, and flavors that are sweet and nutty.

Meat Share North Hollow Farm - T-Bone or Porterhouse Steaks!
From Mike and Julie Bowen's farm in Rochester, VT we have some excellent cuts of grass fed beef. The cows at North Hollow are born on the farm and graze the farm fields in spring, summer and fall, and in winter dine on hay and silage produced on the farm. I stumbled across a great article on line today about cooking 100% grass fed steaks. Lots of great tips here, definitely give it a look before cooking your steaks. Briefly though, don't overcook or allow to dry out! Because of the much lower fat content and resulting quicker cook time - lower the heat by 50°F, cook for 30% less time than grain fed beef recipes. Marinating in oil will add moisture and help seal in juices. Pan is better than grill for same reason of retaining juices. Turn with tongs, not a fork to hold in the juices. Cook to medium rare.

Maplewind Farm Andouille Sausage - This slightly spicy Cajun flavored sausage is made with Maplewind's pork and chopped garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, thyme and salt. It's a classic in jambalaya and in gumbo recipes, and as such I have included a Gumbo recipe that uses a small whole chicken and this sausage. But it is also a classic in Po' Boy Sausage sandwiches so just grill it and throw it in a bun for a quick tasty lunch. Maplewind Farm in Huntington raises grass fed beef, pastured pork and chicken. They also grow 5 or 6 acres of vegetables that Bruce cultivates with his 2 Percheron draft horses and they operate their own seasonal CSA in Huntington. The pigs are born on the farm and spend their lives grazing and rooting around in rotationally grazed pastures.



Shuttleworth Farm Bacon - It has not been easy to round up enough bacon for the share so I was pretty happy to learn that Kelli had just put a bunch in her freezers. The Shuttleworth pigs are born on the farm and rotationally grazed around the farm, tilling up whatever needs tilling or cleaning up. This will be tasty bacon indeed.

Pete's Pastured Poultry - and of course we have also put one of our own chickens in the share. Our birds spend their days outside with moveable shelters and unlimited pasture. They actually now cohabitate quite happily with the pigs and the cows lately as we have to some degree given up on the in between fencing as long as the perimeter is secure. Everyone looks happy out there. The chickens live out a pretty relaxed life and forgae all day, every day. This means that their meat (and all grass fed meat) is lower in fat and vitamin packed. Enjoy!

Storage and Use Tips

Mustard Greens - Related to kale, cabbage, and collard greens, mustard greens are the peppery leafy greens of the mustard plant. Ruby Streaks Mustard has a delicate texture and mild, sweet yet slightly pungent mustard flavor. The greens are tender enough to liven up salads, and stout enough to stand on their own in steamed or stir-fried dishes or even soups.

Sunshine Squash - The squash in the share is a winter squash very similar to a Red Kuri. Sunshine Squash can be baked, braised, pureed, or steamed to be served as a side dish or used as a base for soups. Store all winter squash in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation, like a porch or garage, but make sure they do not freeze. They should last over a month at least. Once cut, you can wrap the leftovers in plastic and store in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.
Recipes

Quick Coconut Vegetable Curry
I took one look at the share ingredients this week (potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, and squash) and the first thing that came to my mind was a coconut curry. I keep a couple jars of that commercially available red and green curry paste in the fridge and coconut milk in the cupboard and at certain times of the year a coconut curry is a common occurence in the kitchen. Of course you can do without the paste, and the recipe below calls for stuff you probably have on hand. This recipe calls for squash as the main attraction, which will be delicious. I would of course have to fiddle with this, substituting some portion of the squash with whatever I most wanted to use up. If you substitute mustard greens in this recipe, add them to the pot with the squash so they have a longer cooking time. From the GardenofEatin Blog July 2oo9. Serves 6.

1 medium-sized sunshine squash, halved, seeds removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 bunch chard or other cooking green washed, stems removed and chopped into 1-inch pieces, leaves cut into ribbons
2 big handfuls of other color vegetables (peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes, etc washed and cut to size)
2 medium onions, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced (or more!)
1 tsp minced fresh ginger (definitely more!)
2 cans of coconut milk
3 cups of vegetable broth
freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsps curry powder and/or garam masala (or more)
2 tsps sunflower oil or ghee
A pinch of red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp sugar
A very large handful of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped (optional)

Start by prepping the veggies: Peel the squash, cut in half, remove the seeds and then cut the flesh into 1-inch cubes. Wash the greens and remove the stems, chopping them into 1-inch long pieces. Slice the onions and mince the garlic and ginger. Wash and chop the cilantro, if using

Once all the veggies are prepped, put your rice on to cook. Short grain brown or Basmati would be great.

In a large pot, sautee the onions, garlic, ginger and chili flakes in the oil or ghee for several minutes, cooking until the onions have begun to soften and become translucent. Add the vegetable broth and the coconut milk to the pot then toss in the cubed squash (and potatoes and mustard greens if using) and season it all with curry powder, garam masala, pepper and sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the squash is beginning to feel tender when poked with a fork. Add the other veggies and the chard stems and simmer for another 3-5 minutes or until the green beans feel done to your liking. Then toss in the chard and the cilantro and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

6. Allow to cool slightly and serve over the warm rice.

Sunshine Winter Squash Soup
There are so many great winter squash recipes out there. This one is a pretty simple one with ingredients most of us have around.


1 medium to large red squash, peeled, seeded, large chop

2 medium onions, small dice

2 tablespoons chopped garlic

4 stalks celery, small dice

Pinch of red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme

Pinch of allspice and nutmeg

1 cup of heavy cream

Water

In a 5-8 quart stockpot add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Sauté onion, celery, garlic for 4 minutes. Add squash, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, allspice and thyme. Add cold water to pot up to 2” above the squash. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. When at a boil, turn back down to a simmer for 30 minutes. When squash is tender, puree with hand blender until smooth. Add heavy cream and check if salt and pepper is needed.

Spiced pepitas
2-3 cups plain pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tsp curry
2 tsp nutmeg


In a large sauté pan add 1/4 cup of olive oil and heat on low. Add pumpkin seeds.
Sauté for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Strain through a fine chinois, reserve excess oil. Toss toasted pepitas [the now-cooked pumpkin seeds] with 2 teaspoons of curry, nutmeg, ground ginger, salt and pepper.
Garnish soup with 1 tablespoon of pepitas.

Mixed Greens
I like the long slow cook time for this recipe. The greens will be super tender, and this type of cooking takes the bitterness out opf stronger flavored greens. Sumbitted to Epicurious by Jessica B. Harris December 1996. Makes 6 servings.

1 pound mixed collard, mustard, and turnip greens
2 strips bacon
1.5 cups water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Hot sauce (optional)
Chopped onions (optional)
Vinegar (optional)

Wash the greens and drain well. Cut out the thick ribs. Tear the greens into pieces. Place the bacon strips in a large heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat until it is translucent and the bottom of the pot is coated with the rendered bacon fat. Add the greens and the water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, covered until the greens are tender, about 2 hours. If too liquidy, take cover off at the end of cooking time. Add the seasonings and serve hot.
Traditionally, greens are accompanied by a hot sauce, chopped onions, and vinegar. In some parts of the South, cooks add a pinch of sugar to the greens to take away a bit of their bite.

Gumbo Ya Ya
This is a four star recipe that had lots of reviews to back it up. It uses both chicken and andouille sausage, and the broth that will result from cooking down the chicken carcass. The recipe calls for Creole seasoning and I found a make your own recipe for that here. If it were me, I would cook the chicken one day and take the meat off the bone. Then the next morning cook the carcass to make stock and then proceed with the recipe. Epicurious February 2000. Makes 6 quarts.

2 cups unsalted butter (can use oil)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 medium yellow onions, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
5 quarts chicken stock, heated
2 tablespoons Creole Seasoning
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 whole 4-pound chicken, roasted and deboned, cut into 2-inch pieces


1. First you make a roux. Melt the butter in a 12-quart stockpot. Whisk in the flour and cook until foaming. Cook, stirring often, until dark mahogany, about 1 hour.

2. Add the peppers, onion, and celery. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the chicken stock (make sure it’s hot), and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer. Stir in Creole Seasoning, black pepper, crushed red pepper, chili powder, thyme, chopped garlic, bay leaves, and kosher salt. Cook, skimming fat as necessary, an additional 45 minutes.

3. Add the andouille and chicken and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Taste, and adjust for seasoning.