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.

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