Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - December 30, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
Mesclun mix of Claytonia and Spinach; 2 lbs Colorful Carrots; 2 lbs Purple Top Turnips; 2 lbs Yellow Onions; 1 lb Cipolini Onions; 2 Heads of Garlic; 1 stalk of Green Kale; 2 lbs of Green and Purple Kohlrabi

Localvore Offerings Include:
Elmore Mountain Honey Wheat Bread
Les Aliments Massawippi Tamari
Vermont Soy Artisan Tofu

Pete's Musings
Meg and I made our first journey to Mexico in the 2 weeks before Christmas. We enjoyed some beach time on the Pacific, caught a few monster fish and rode a few waves. We were joined there by our friends Isaac and Melissa, Craftsbury residents who are in the Peace Corps in Panama. After a week on the beach we rode the bus inland to Ixtapa. This is four hours southwest of Mexico City and home base for the Reyes Vargas clan, the amigos who work on our farm every summer. Actually they don't live in Ixtapa but in Huitacotla, a tiny town perched above Ixtapa. The Reyes Vargas have 9 children and we have gotten to know 7 of them over the past 4 years. They are a classy group - hardworking, polite, extremely trustworthy and a pleasure to live and work with. I'd long been curious about the parents who had produced such a great clan and it was a real pleasure to get to know Mami and Papi.

Mami is cheerful, pretty, and seems to handle the challenges of running an extended household of 23 members with ease. She makes tortillas every day, cooking corn grown on their land, wet grinding it into masa, forming the pancake shapes with a press and cooking them on a wood fire. Tortilla consumptions seemed to be 7-8 per person per day so that is alot of work. Papi is little, weighing not more than 120 lbs. He is sprightly and has a deeply lined face caused by years in the sun. He's quiet and clearly the favorite of all the grandchildren. Apparently Mexican men do not typically show alot of affection towards children and he nearly always had one or two in his lap.

They treated us like royalty. Apparently no one in town could remember the last time there had been a gringo in town and Mami and Papi are deeply grateful for how well their children have been treated at Pete's Greens. Delicious food was forced on us nearly hourly which caused all sorts of interesting intestinal issues. It was really great to see them all. Next week I'll write about the family's farm and agriculture. ~ Pete

Spring Share Sign-up
Though we are still reaping the tail end of the harvest from the fields, plans for the Spring growing season are well underway. Meg is gearing up to begin growing the sprouts and shoots that will provide the green portion of our diets in Feb and March.

By April the greenhouses will begin to offer up some tender baby greens again, along with baby beets, turnips, Napa cabbage, scallions etc.

Throughout the winter and early Spring months we'll be going to our freezer regularly for frozen greens, winter squash puree, peppers, frozen zucchini and tomatoes and the like, which along with the wide range of roots and storage crops will help keep our diets diverse.

By May and June we look forward to head lettuces, spinach, cucumbers and an ever lengthening veggie list. The localvore portion will round out the shares each week with breads, cheeses, grains, eggs, flours, yogurt, cooking oils, tofu products, miso, tamari and more.

The number of members we can accommodate will be smaller than the number in the Fall/Winter share so please get your sign-up in soon!

Sign-up for the Spring Localvore Share (Feb 17th - Jun 9th)

Sign-up for the Spring Meat Share (4 Deliveries: Mar 3, Apr 7, May 5, June 2)

Spring Share Site News
Montpelier - As mentioned in previous newsletters, Montpelier Mud will be moving in January. However, lucky for us, the owner of the Mud building is happy to continue hosting the share. This week and next, there will be no changes. But by January 13 the hours will likely change to accommodate owner Bill's schedule and will probably be 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Newport - A site in Newport was made possible this share period by the commitment of Pam Frohn, a Newport member. However, making the trip to Craftsbury each week to retrieve the Newport shares has proven to be more of a time commitment than Pam wants to continue with. She is happy to allow pick-ups to continue at her house if any other Newport members would like to step up to do the Craftsbury weekly run to pick up the shares. Please contact me if you are interested.

Please Consider a Donation to Farm Share
Each share period, donations from our members enable some number of limited income families to join NOFA's Farm Share program and gain access to fresh local produce through a Pete's Greens Good Eats share. Eligible Farm Share recipients pay only 50% of the cost of the share. The other 50% comes from donations - 25% from Pete's Greens member donations and 25% from NOFA. (NOFA's funds are raised from their annual September Share the Harvest Event in which participating restaurants pledge a portion of the day's sales to the program.) The number of Farm Share grants Pete's is able to offer each share period depends entirely on the number of donations we receive from our members. Please consider a donation to the Farm Share program when you sign up for your own share. Your donation will directly fund a portion of a share for someone, and lots of small donations really add to make the difference.

Bulk Orders
We will continue to offer bulk orders to our members every 3-4 weeks. The next bulk order will go out January 20 (not Jan 13th as mentioned in the last newsletter). We must receive your order form by mail by January 9th if you'd like to be part of this next bulk order. The January 20th bulk order is available on line on our bulk order page.

Pete's Pastured Chicken
We will continue to deliver chicken orders to Good Eats members through the Spring months. You can order chickens any week that is not a meat delivery week. Click here to go directly to the chicken page where you can download an order form.

Pastured Chickens and Turkeys
We still have some turkeys left. If you'd like a Gopher Broke pastured turkey for you table over the upcoming holidays, email me and I'll send along the current list of available. Both standard and heritage birds available.

Green Mountain Farm to School Calendars - at Sites this Week!
Green Mountain Farm-to-School (GMFTS) is a nonprofit organization in Newport, VT promoting the health of Vermont's children, farms and communities by providing programs that connect schools and farms through food and education. Several times a year Meg gives farm tours to school children who come and harvest food that they then take back to their schools to prepare and eat. Farm tours are also given to food service directors so they may connect first hand with local growers. The team at GMFTS thought that our CSA members would enjoy knowing more about this program and have sent along some calendars for you all to enjoy. There are enough calendars for a little more than half of our members, so get to sites early to get yours!

From Executive Director Katherine Sims:
Since 2005, GMFTS has grown from a single-school garden program to a nonprofit organization serving multiple schools in northern Vermont. In 2009, GMFTS planted gardens at 10 new schools, tripling our impact and reaching over 2,000 students across Northern Vermont. Beyond teaching students how to grow food in gardens, we are providing fresh local food for cafeterias, teaching in classrooms about healthy food choices, and building strong communities. With your support in 2010, GMFTS seeks to expand to 5 additional schools in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. We hope you enjoy the images, delicious recipes and information about local farms found in the calendar, which highlight our work from the 2008-2009 academic year. For more information about our work or to get involved, visit our website.



Localvore Lore

Andrew and Blair have baked their Vermont Honey Oat Bread for us this week. It is made with Milanaise Winter Wheat, Milanaise Whole Wheat, Quebec Oats, Vermont Honey from Butternut Mountain Farm, sea salt, spring water and yeast. The big news from Elmore Mountain Bread this week is that they have finally finished their new oven and further, they have launched their new website! I had asked Blair several weeks ago if she could send us some photos and a write up about their new oven but the new website and blog tell the story well. Nice to connect further with your food supply!

We also have Vermont Soy's Artisan Tofu today. Vermont Soy makes their tofu from non GMO and organic soybeans grown in Vermont. They have been working in conjunction with High Mowing Seeds on seed trials to better equip their farmers with varieties that can be grown more and more successfully here in our climate. The work that these companies, the farmers, and the UVM extension service is doing is so important for VT agriculture.

I told you all my Canadian border crossing tale recently... The other stop on this periodic trip is always a visit to Suzanne and Gilbert, owners of Les Aliments Massawippi, and makers of some very fine miso and miso-damari (aka tamari). Tamari literally means liquid pressed from soybeans, and for centuries it meant the thick brown liquid that pooled in casks of fermenting soybean miso. This tamari was a rare delicacy reserved for special occasions. The tamari in the share today was made by this slow natural process. It is an unpredictable process in terms of flavor and yield. When I call Gilbert to place a tamari order I can only tell him how much I wish I could buy. Then he presses the miso to see how much tamari it will yield for us!

Eventually producers learned to brew tamari-like liquid soy sauce that had similar characteristics as the original by-product of miso. Most high end tamari is brewed from whole soybeans, sea salt, water, and koji (Aspergillus hacho) rather than pressed from naturally fermented miso. The newer method is a fast way to turn out a fairly consistent product that is similar to but not nearly the quality of the real thing. Commercial soy sauces (even some labeled as shoyu or tamari) are another step down and are usually made from soybeans that have been defatted with hexane, a petroleum derivative. Other common shortcuts are artificial fermentation methods including genetically engineered enzymes. Most soy sauce is actually caramel colored water with lots of salt, hydrochloric acid treated soy isolate, and sugar added.

This tamari is pretty special and rare. It is a live food and has never been pasteurized. This is a Soy Oats Barley Tamari. Please transfer to a small glass jar and for best quality and store in your fridge. It will last a very long time.

Recipes


Vegetable Casserole with Tofu Topping
Although this recipe calls for cabbage, I would substitute shredded kohlrabi in a heart beat. It will be a bit denser perhaps but just as tasty. It also calls for 1 lb of kale and there won't be that much in the share today but you can substitute another green or just use what you have. Gourmet May 2004. Makes 6 to 8 side-dish servings.

For vegetables
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 lb cabbage, cored and cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices (4 cups)
1 lb kale, stems and center ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped (12 cups)
1/2 lb carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons tamari
1/2 teaspoon salt

For topping
1 1/2 cups fine fresh or dried bread crumbs, preferably whole wheat
7 oz firm tofu
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon paprika
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt

Sauté vegetables:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat oil in a deep 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and add cabbage, kale, carrots, water, soy sauce, and salt. (Skillet will be full, but volume will reduce as vegetables steam.) Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish.

Make topping:
Pulse all topping ingredients together in a food processor until combined well. Alternatively, mash ingredients together in a large bowl with a potato masher. Sprinkle tofu mixture over vegetables in baking dish and bake, uncovered, until topping is golden brown and vegetables are heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Turnip-and-Kohlrabi Slaw with Ginger-Vinaigrette Dressing
Kohlrabi and turnip slaw is not an uncommon dish. The question becomes what flavor slaw? What to dress it with? The dressing below is from Food & Wine June 2009. You could throw shredded carrots in this slaw for added color, and then serve it on a bed of greens.

For the slaw:
Ingredients:
3 medium purple turnips (with our without greens
)
1 head kohlrabi

Using a knife or vegetable peeler, remove the tough outer skin of the kohlrabi and turnips. Quarter the vegetables, so that they can fit in the feed tube of a food processor. Using the shredding blade of a food processor, shred the turnips and kohlrabi.
If using a food processor is not an option, shredded the vegetables using either a knife or vegetable peeler.

In a large bowl, toss the shredded kohlrabi, turnips and Ginger Vinaigrette (recipe below). Chill for 10 minutes. Serve.

Ginger Vinaigrette

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup sunflower or other vegetable oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

In a small bowl, mix the rice vinegar with the sugar and grated ginger until the sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the vegetable oil and season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper.

Stir-Fried Tofu with Vegetables
This recipe from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian is a keeper. With onions, garlic, tamari, tofu. carrots, kohlrabi and kale in the share this week, it's pretty much an ideal week for a great stir fry. Makes 4 servings.

=
1 1/2 to 2 pounds firm to extra-firm tofu, prepared by either method below or simply blotted dry

3 tablespoons sunflower oil

1-2 large onions, halved and sliced
2-3 cups of sliced vegetables
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger

1/4 cup Shaoxing wine, sherry, sake, white wine, or water

1/3 cup vegetable stock or water

2 tablespoons tamari

1/2 cup roughly chopped scallion

1. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch or slightly larger cubes. Put two tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet or wok, preferably nonstick, over high heat. When hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften, a couple of minutes. Add the vegetables in order of their cook time and cook until they are crisp tender and a little charred at the edges. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside for a moment.

2. Add the remaining oil, then the garlic and ginger, and cook, stirring, for about 10 seconds. Add the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, a couple of minutes. Add the wine and stock and cook, stirring, until about half of it evaporates; return the pepper-onion mix to the pan and cook, stirring, for a minute or so to reheat.

3. Add the soy sauce and scallion and cook, stirring, until the scallion becomes glossy, about 30 seconds, Serve immediately.

Preparing Tofu
Freezing: Not only the only way to store tofu for long periods, but even in the short term it creates a darker, firmer, chewier, and meatier brick. Freezing makes the water in tofu expand; when thawed, this water is released, resulting in tofu with a dry and spongy texture that's perfect for grilling, stir-fries, or braised dishes.
To freeze, drain the tofu and pay it dry; wrap it in plastic (or put in a container) and freeze for several hours, or until you need it, up to three months. For extra chew, cut the tofu into cubes, dry them well, and freeze them in a freezer bag. Allow enough time to defrost tofu before slicing and cooking.

Squeezing: Here you just press some of the liquid from a brick to give it a drier and firmer texture that makes it denser and easier to handle and cook. Cut the tofu in half through its equator and put the halves on four sheets of paper towels, then cover with another four sheets. Cover with a can of food, a heavy cutting board, or a similar weight so the tofu bulges at the sides slightly but doesn't crack. Wait 20 to 30 minutes, or as time allows (even the few minutes it takes you to prepare other ingredients will help); change the towels if they become saturated. Of course, the longer you squeeze the tofu, the more liquid it will release and the drier it will become. (Drier tofu absorbs more flavors, which is especially important for marinating.)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - December 16, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 3 lbs Red Norland Potatoes; 2 lbs Celeriac; 2 lbs Red Onions; 3 lbs Parsnips; 1 lb Daikon Radish; 1 Bunch of Leeks; 1 Bunch Lacinato Kale; 1 Delicata Squash; 1 Acorn Squash plus 1 lb Frozen Sweet Mixed Peppers

Localvore Offerings Include
5 lbs Aurora Farms Vermont Unbleached White Flour
1 lb Aurora Farms Vermont Bran
1 Dozen Eggs
Elmore Roots Northern Kiwi Red Currant Jam
1 Package Frozen Cranberries

Last Delivery Before Christmas
Dec 16 is the last delivery before Christmas. We will not be delivering next week on December 23rd. The next delivery will be December 30th.

Farm News
Pete and Steve and company worked hard a couple weeks ago to put plastic up on the big greenhouse which has been open for the summer. It's a big job, requiring several people. The greenhouse is huge, 400 feet long covering half an acre. This weekend, the plastic was blown off in a big wind. The greens that should have been sheltered have been exposed and it's been fairly cold, so their fate is uncertain. It was quite a blow, especially so soon after the work of putting it on, but fortunately it was not the only greenhouse with greens.

We just sent a few of our grass fed beef off yesterday and after the first of the year we will have some of that meat available to share members. Stay tuned for more news and a price list...

The holiday cheer is evident on the faces of everyone on the farm this week as we all look forward to the upcoming holiday break and spending time eating and drinking and relaxing with friends and family. Next week is the one week of the year that does not revolve around the Good Eats share going out, so it is the one real mental break for everyone. Best wishes from all of us to all of you for a safe, festive holiday filled with great food, family, friends, and fun!

Spring Share Sign Up Begins
The Spring share page on the website has been updated and sign up for the Spring share has officially begun. The share begins February 17th and runs for 17 weeks ending on June 9th.

We are well stocked with roots and storage crops in our cellars. In addition the freezer is storing summer goodness including squash and pumpkin puree, corn, sweet red peppers, hot peppers, tomatoes, elderberries, shredded zucchini, frozen greens, and pesto. These, along with soil grown shoots & sprouts from our sprout room will fill the bulk of the vegetable portion of the share until late-March/early-April when greenhouse delicacies such as mesclun, baby pac choi, Asian greens, kale and chard begin. In April, more greenhouse items will mature, including bunched beets, salad turnips, Napa cabbage, scallions & mini onions. Late May & early June bring head lettuce, cucumbers, baby fennel, spinach, radishes and more. Earlier in the share period when vegetable offerings are limited, we'll emphasize localvore food, later in the period you'll receive more veggies. The localvore portion of the share will continue to bring a variety of local staples and delicacies from our area.



This share will be smaller than the Fall share, limited to match the amount of food we will have available. Please don't delay too long to sign up!

Though you must send your application complete with payment, the checks will not be cashed until early February. Click here to go to the Spring share page of the website where you can download a sign up form.

New Montpelier Site Search Underway

We have had a few location suggestions for a new Montpelier site and should have some news soon. I'll be visiting a couple places and will report back if they meet the criteria. The last Montpelier Mud pick up will be Jan 6th.

Criteria for a good site are below:
*Central location for members
*Large amount of space for share to be set up (Montpelier is our largest pick up site)
*Good parking for members
*Long hours with either some early AM hours or evening hours to accommodate members work schedules
*Adequate parking space for Pete's Greens truck to back up and unload easily
*No stairs for delivery person and ability to unload via truck ramp a big plus at this site

There is compensation for hosting a share in the form of a free Pete's Greens Localvore Share (or cash remuneration if that is more appropriate). If you have a location that might be suitable, or if you know of one, please contact me right away.

Localvore Lore

For the second time this share, we have Aurora Farm's unbleached white flour. This will be the last time we will be able to include this flour during this share period so enjoy it while it lasts. In addition, this week we have included some of the bran that has been milled from this very same wheat. The wheat kernels are milled and both bran and some of the germ are removed from the wheat. You can add back just as much of this as you want to whatever you are baking and to create as much of a whole wheat content as you would like!

More VT Cranberry Company cranberries today, though they have been frozen to retain freshness. And eggs again too! My hope is that the combo of eggs, flour, and cranberries might inspire some festive holiday baking. Some recipe idea follow below.

The award winning Red Currant & Northern Kiwi jam in the share today comes from Elmore Roots. The jam is made with organic fruit grown at Elmore Roots and organic evaporated cane syrup. It is truly yummy and not over-sweet like so many others. David and the crew at the farm grew the pears that you received the first week of the share and a grown an incredible variety of other fruits on the farm, all organically. The farm sells the fruit and the jams, but is also a great place to buy fruit nursery stock, as all varieties are selected for the cold climate. The farm's motto is "if it will grow in Elmore, it will grown anywhere (in Vermont)".

Storage and Use Tips

Mixed Frozen Peppers - At the height of summer we froze bell peppers for the share in order to be able to provide a wide variety of items through the winter. Use these frozen peppers as you would fresh peppers cooked into soups, stews, casseroles etc. They are even great on pizzas and as sautéed peppers and onions alongside meats. Any place you want the flavor and color of peppers. They keep very well for up to 8 months frozen. Do keep them frozen though until you plan to use them. Once they thaw they will be soft and harder to chop.

Daikon Radish - This is the long white vegetable in your bags, resembling a large, albino carrot. The sharp radish taste you experience eating a raw daikon will substantially mellow when added to soups, stews and stir-fries. Daikon is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and folate as well as sulphur, iron, and iodine. Daikon should be stored in the refrigerator wrapped loosely in a plastic bag, where it should keep for at least a week.

Recipes

Savory Winter Squash Casserole
You can make this using any type of winter squash - each will give it a unique flavor. Adapted from “Autumn Squash Pasta” in Recipes from America’s Small Farms. Since my inclination is always to add MORE to a recipe, I would be adding some diced frozen peppers to this dish for added color/flavor, and some chopped kale for vitamin content and because I think kale and winter squash were meant for one another. These I would add to the sauté pan with the onions and garlic etc.

4 lbs. Winter Squash
1 lb. Ziti, Penne, or Rotini Pasta
1/2 C Olive Oil
2 T Unsalted Butter
2 Large Leeks
1/2 Small Onion
2-3 Garlic Cloves
2 t Salt
1 t Fresh Ground Black Pepper
1 C Water (or white wine, if you have it)
1/3-1/2 C Grated Parmesan Cheese
2-3 T Fresh Parsley


Cut the squash in half and scrape out the seeds. (You can set the seeds aside for roasting later if you like.) Place the squash halves upside down on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Add about one inch of water to the baking sheet, and bake at 400F for 45-60 minutes, until soft. Remove squash from baking sheet and let it cool for 5-10 minutes. Note: you can do these three steps earlier in the day, or the day before and store in fridge.

While the squash is cooling, cook the pasta in salted boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes less than the cooking time on the package. Then drain and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, coarsely chop the garlic, leeks and onion. Then remove the squash from the skins with a spoon.

Heat the oil and butter in a large pot over low heat. Add the leeks, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. Saute until the onion is translucent but make sure the garlic does not burn. Add the squash and 1/2 cup of water/wine, stirring until a thick sauce is formed. Add extra water/wine as needed to make it thick but not too thick.

Fold in the cooked pasta, taste. Adjust seasonings as needed. Spoon into a glass baking dish (or two, if you only have a small one). Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese browns. Serve onto plates and top with fresh parsley.

Braised and Glazed Radishes, Turnips or Other Root Vegetable
This recipe, from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, works well for any fibrous vegetable - carrots, parsnips, celeriac, turnips, rutabagas, radishes etc.
 A variation below with miso is particularly good with Daikon radishes. Makes 4 servings.

2 Tablespoons butter or extra virgin olive oil
1 lb radishes, trimmed, or daikon radish, turnips, or rutabaga, peeled and cut into chunks
½ cup or more vegetable stock, white wine or water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional)
Chopped parsley leaves for garnish

1. Combine the butter, radishes and stock in a saucepan, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Cover and adjust the heat so the mixture simmers. Cook until the radishes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes, checking once or twice and adding additional liquid as needed.

2. Uncover and raise the heat to boil off almost all the liquid, so that the vegetable becomes glazed in the combination of butter and pan juices; this will take 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, add a little lemon juice if you like, garnish, and serve.

Braised and Glazed Radishes, Turnips or Other Root Vegetable with Miso Sauce

An adaptation of the recipe above, this one is supposed to be particularly good with Daikon.

In Step 1, add a TB of tamari or soy sauce
In Step 2, as the mixture become glazed, whisk together 2 TB of any miso and an equal amount of stock or water; turn the heat under the radishes to a minimum, add the miso mixture and stit, and heat very gently for a minute or so before serving. (Omit the lemon juice and parsley.)

World's Best Parsnips
With a recipe title like that, how could I not put this one in to celebrate the return of the parsnips to the share? This one is from Andrea Chessman's Serving Up the Harvest. Roasting brings out a sweet, nutty, and aromatic flavor from parsnips. It is critical though to slice the parsnips uniformly so they cook evenly - and 1/4" thickness works best. Serves 4.

2 lbs parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1/4" rounds
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a baking sheet with oil.
Toss together the parsnips, oil, and thyme in a medium bowl. Season with salt & pepper. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and arrange in a single layer.
Roast for about 2o minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the parsnips are well browned and tender. Serve hot.

Chipotle Cranberry Sauce
While scouting around for recipes this week I came across this one. I haven't made it yet but can't wait for a reason. It looks fantastic and reviews were great. Will be good woth pork, roasts, lamb, anything smoked, etc. Some people used it as the cranberry sauce for their turkey dinner (though others said this did not work for them). This relish has a smoky, savory quality, thanks to the chiles and garlic. Submitted by Marlena Spieler to Bon Appétit November 2009.

2 dried chipotle chiles*
1 12-ounce package fresh or frozen cranberries
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon (generous) ground cumin

* Can be found at specialty foods stores, natural foods stores, and Latin markets.
Ingredient tip: Dried chipotle chiles can vary by brand, with some being more supple than others. Look for chiles that give slightly when pressed between your thumb and forefinger. Chiles that are hard may not soften sufficiently when simmered in water.

Place chiles in medium saucepan filled with water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until chiles are tender, adding more water if needed to keep chiles submerged, 1 to 11/2 hours, depending on dryness of chiles. Drain.

Combine softened chipotles, cranberries, sugar, and lemon juice in heavy medium saucepan and stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until cranberries begin to pop, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cinnamon, and cumin. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly and flavors meld, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Cool.

Remove chipotles. Stem and seed. Mince chiles and return to cranberry sauce; stir to distribute. Cover and chill. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Keep chilled.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
This bread will make a delicious holiday treat. Makes 1 loaf. Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet November 1996

8 oz cooked and pureed pumpkin or winter squash (butternut, acorn, etc)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup picked-over fresh or frozen cranberries

Preheat oven to 350° F. and butter a loaf pan, 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 by 2 3/4 inches.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together pumpkin, sugar, water, eggs, and oil. Sift in flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and spices and stir just until batter is smooth. Stir in cranberries and spoon batter into loaf pan, spreading evenly.

Bake bread in middle of oven 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, and cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto rack and cool completely. Bread may be made 4 days ahead and chilled, covered.

Cranberry Coffeecake
Gourmet February 2003

2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (8 oz)
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar 2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup whole milk

Garnish: confectioners sugar

Makes 6 to 8 servings. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Pulse cranberries with 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a food processor until finely chopped (do not purée). Transfer to a sieve and let drain while making batter.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat together butter and remaining 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes with a standing mixer or about 8 minutes with a handheld. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour and mixing until just incorporated.

Spread one third of batter evenly in well-buttered loaf pan, then spoon half of drained cranberries evenly over batter, leaving a 1/2-inch border along sides. Top with another third of batter and remaining cranberries, leaving a 1/2-inch border along sides, then cover with remaining batter. Bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a tester inserted in center comes out without crumbs, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes.

Invert cake onto rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Cooks' note: • Coffeecake can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely, then store in a cake keeper or wrapped in foil at room temperature. If desired, warm in a 350°F oven 15 minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - December 9, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains
Mesclun Greens; 2 lbs Sugar Snax Carrots; 2 lbs Red Onions; 3 lbs Large (Mostly) Gold Beets; 2 Small Lettuce Heads; 1 lb of Young Pac Choi; 1 Large Winter Squash; plus ....

1 Bunch of Yukina Savoy -or- Dandelion Greens
-or- Sweet Salad Turnips

Localvore Offerings Include

On the Rise Frozen Pizza Dough
Maplebrook Smoked Mozzarella
Pete's Kitchen Salt Brine Pickles


Hen of the Wood and National Life folks will get their eggs this week!


STORMY DAY TOMORROW - We Will Deliver Thursday This Week

***We have just decided to deliver THURSDAY this week
instead of Wednesday

The forecast for tomorrow looks messy and to save us all from having to drive around on snowy, icy roads we thought it might be easier for all involved if we delivered Thursday. Please contact anyone who may be involved in the pick up of your weekly share to let them know. Pick up times for Thursday will be just the same as Wednesday would have been.


We Need a New Montpelier Pick Up Site!

We have just learned that we will be losing a great site host as Montpelier Mud makes a move to Middlesex. So once again we are seeking a home in Montpelier and we need to relocate for January.

The criteria for a pick up site are:
*Central location for members
*Large amount of space for share to be set up (Montpelier is our largest pick up site)
*Good parking for members
*Long hours with either some early AM hours or evening hours to accommodate members work schedules
*Adequate parking space for Pete's Greens truck to back up and unload easily
*No stairs for delivery person and ability to unload via truck ramp a big plus at this site

There is compensation for hosting a share in the form of a free Pete's Greens Localvore Share (or cash remuneration if that is more appropriate). If you have a location that might be suitable, or if you know of one, please contact me right away.


December 16 Sneak Peek

Next week (December 16) will be the last delivery before Christmas. We are pretty certain that the share will include:

3 lbs Potatoes, 2 lbs Celeriac, 3 lbs parsnips, 1 lb daikon radish, 1 Bunch leeks, Mesclun Greens, 1 Bunch of Kale, 1 Winter Squash, 1 lb Frozen Sweet Peppers, Eggs, VT Grown White Flour, Vt Cranberries, Vt Grown Wheat Bran, Elmore Roots Jam.

Bulk Orders, "Specials" and Chickens

You may have noticed a small change on the pick up list in the last couple of weeks. If you have a bulk order, a replacement item or special order (a "special" in our terminology), or a chicken order, the word bulk, special, or chicken will appear next to your name on the pick up list. This should help to notify you that indeed we did pack something extra for you and you should look for it at your site. Items should be labeled with your name on them, but hopefully this will make things even clearer.

Order Your Chickens and Turkeys

We will be delivering turkeys for the next couple of weeks while they last. If you'd like a Gopher Broke pastured turkey for you table over the upcoming holidays, email me and I'll send along the current list of available. Both standard and heritage birds available.

We will have Pete's Pastured Chicken for the next couple of months but do anticipate running out after the first of the year. You can order chickens any week that is not a meat delivery week. Click here to go directly to the chicken page where you can download an order form.


Localvore Lore
There's a new pizza dough in the share today! Ben and Rachel, owners of On the Rise Bakery made us a big batch of their dough made with VT sunflower oil, Milanaise unbleached white flour, Ben Gleason's whole wheat flour, local honey and sea salt. I have tried the dough now at least a half dozen times and I love its elasticity and flavor. Ben created a card with baking instructions for the pizza dough. They are business card sized and will be at the pick up sites. Look for them when you pick up! In addition, Ben posted the instructions on line along with some instructional videos that you can watch for technique and inspiration. If you make a great looking or great tasting pizza that you are pleased with, email a photo along to Ben or post it to the On the Rise Facebook page. They will select at least one random submission and award the lucky winner(s) with a $20 gift certificate!

To add to your pizza making fun, you will be receiving Maplebrook Farm's Smoked Mozzarella. This cheese is fantastic and has won many awards, including a second place at the 2009 American Cheese Awards. Maplebrook Farm in Bennington makes this cheese with milk from local VT dairies. It is hand made and then smoked the very same day with dampened cherry wood chips. The cheese freezes very well, so if pizza isn't in the plan for this evening, you can save it for another day (or another week!).

Pickles again from Pete's Kitchen this week, but this time Salt Brine Pickles. These are similar to the dills you have received. I really like these pickles and really look forward to hearing what you all think of them. Please send along feedback after you have tried them!

Storage and Use Tips

Radicchio - I had a couple people email this week about radicchio. This is the red and white head that looks a bit like a red cabbage that some of you have received in recent weeks. Though only recently gaining popularity in the US it has long been part of a Mediterranean diet, and is very common in Italy. It is a member of the chicory family, along with escarole and endive, and all are known for their attributes as a digestive aid. The chicories provide a nice contrast to sweet lettuces and sliced fine are a good addition. Pete and Meg eat some radicchio almost daily. Meg likes hers after a meal in a salad of 1/3 radicchio and 2/3 lettuces or mesclun greens. She dresses her simple salad with a garlicky maple balsamic, the sweetness providing a nice contrast to the bitter greens. Radicchio also combines well with smoked mozz and a recipe follows below.

Escarole - Someone else emailed this week asking about the other bitter green that we have sent recently called escarole. Looking like a greenish whitish head of leaf lettuce, escarole is another member of the chicory family and so shares the trait of bitterness with cousin radicchio. I have included a recipe for escarole as well in case you still have a head hanging around and are wondering what to do with it.

Recipes

Pizza Alla Pugliese
I chose this very simple recipe because you could make it with just a couple ingredients from the share. But there's lots of room to improvise here. Tomato sauce is an obvious possibility as are fresh tomatoes or sun drieds. Greens would be great too. Adapted from the Book American Pie by Peter Reinhart.

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sliced onion, sautéed (below)
1/4 tsp salt
6 ounces smoked cheese
fresh ground pepper

While the oven is heating, in a frying pan, heat 2 tsp of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute for 4-5 minutes or until translucent. Season with salt, remove from the hear, and let cool.

Spread all toppings on your pizza. Bake in a hot oven, ideally on a hot pizza stone. Watch your pizza carefully! The hotter the bake temp the quicker your pizza will cook but you will also get a good rise and nice crust.

Maple-Roasted Winter Squash Puree (or Soup)
This very simple recipe makes a to die for puree to go with your meal, and the remainder can be made into soup with the simple addition of a little stock. The small amount of added cream and the bit of maple sweetness turns this squash puree into something akin to dessert. So yummy. Adapted from Cooking with Shelburne Farms: Food and Stories from Vermont by Melissa Pasanen (a share member) and Rick Gencarelli. Serves 4–6. Thanks Melissa!


1 medium butternut squash (about 3 pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, Grade B for strongest flavor
1½ teaspoons coarse kosher salt plus more to taste
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or heavy cream
2–3 cups vegetable or chicken stock, preferably low sodium
1 tablespoon maple syrup whisked into ¼ cup crème fraîche for garnish, as desired


1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the squash lengthwise down the middle. Scoop out the seeds and discard.

2. Place the squash, flesh side up, in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish. Put a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of maple syrup in each cavity. Sprinkle each half with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Cover the pan with foil. Bake for about 1½ hours or until the squash is very soft. Cool just until the squash can be handled.

3. Carefully pour any liquid from the squash cavities into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, or a blender, and then scoop all the flesh into the food processor. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter, remaining tablespoon of maple syrup, remaining teaspoon of salt, and the crème fraîche. Puree until completely smooth.

4. If using the dish as a puree, adjust seasoning to taste and serve. (If it's cooled down too much, pop it in the microwave for a minute or so, or back into the oven, covered, for 5-10 minutes).

5. If making soup, transfer the puree to a medium saucepan, whisk in about 2 cups stock to start, and heat through over medium heat. Thin with additional stock and adjust seasoning to taste. Swirl 1 tablespoon of maple crème fraîche into each bowl of soup and scatter a few maple-glazed squash seeds over the soup of desired.

Indian Spiced Carrot Soup with Ginger
Bon Appétit April 2008. By Molly Stevens.

1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
3 tablespoons peanut oil
1/2 teaspoon curry powder (preferably Madras)
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2 cups chopped onions
1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime peel
5 cups (or more) low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Plain yogurt (for garnish)

Grind coriander and mustard seeds in spice mill to fine powder. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add ground seeds and curry powder; stir 1 minute. Add ginger; stir 1 minute. Add next 3 ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add 5 cups broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly. Working in batches, puree in blender until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick. Stir in lime juice; season with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before serving.
Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with yogurt and serve.

Radicchio with Smoked Mozzarella, Balsamic Vinegar, and Prosciutto
Gourmet Jan 2007

2 medium heads radicchio (1 1/2 pounds total), each cut into 6 wedges and cored
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 ounces smoked mozzarella, sliced and torn into pieces
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.

Arrange radicchio wedges, cut sides up, in a 2 1/2-quart shallow glass or ceramic baking dish (11 by 7 inches), then drizzle with oil and vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast radicchio, turning over once or twice, until wilted and tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
Arrange cheese over radicchio, then arrange prosciutto over cheese and roast until cheese is just melted, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.

White Bean and Escarole Soup with Garlic
In case you have escarole in your fridge just waiting to be used...The garlic, creamy beans and slow simmering mellow the bitterness of the greens. Escarole and beans are a classic Italian dish. You could also try substituting another bitter green (dandelion greens perhaps!) in this recipe. Adapted from a recipe in Bon Appetit, March 1996.

1 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 large carrot, cut into small dice
5 large garlic cloves, peeled, flattened
3 cups (packed) 1-inch pieces escarole (about 1/2 large head)
4 cups (or more) vegetable broth or chicken broth
3 1/4 cups cooked Great Northern beans or two 15-ounce cans cannellini (white kidney beans), rinsed, drained
14 -16 ounces diced tomatoes, drained

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Break off the leaves of the escarole and wash them individually, taking care to remove any soil at the base of the stems. Shake the leaves dry, stack them up, and slice the escarole crosswise into ribbons about 1 1/2-inches wide.

Place a large deep skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. Toss in the garlic, red pepper flakes, bay leaves, and lemon slices; cook and stir for a couple of minutes, tossing to combine. Nestle the escarole into the pan and saute until it begins to wilt and shrink down, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the escarole with a pinch of sugar and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the water and cover the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes until the escarole is tender.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Good Eats Newsletter - December 2, 2009

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains

2 lbs White Egg or Pink Turnips; 2 lbs Mixed Potatoes; Mesclun Greens; 1 Sunshine Squash; 1 Bunch of Red Bore Kale; 1 Large or 2 Medium Napa Cabbage; 1 Bunch of Leeks; plus ....

1 Large Radiccio

-or-

1 Small Radiccio and 1 Small Lettuce Head
-or-
1 Small Radiccio and 1 Bunch of Beet Greens


Localvore Offerings Include

Elmore Mountain Quebec Cracked Grain Bread
Pa Pa Doodles or Gopher Broke Farm Eggs
Blue Ledge Crottina Goat Cheese

Quebec grown Mixed Cracked Grains

MEAT SHARE PEOPLE - THIS IS A MEAT WEEK!

Pete's Musings

Getting everything buttoned up here on the farm. It is amazing the quantity of stuff that gets spread around the property and how nice it feels to collect it all and get rid of what you don't need. The tricky part is figuring out how to keep what you do need organized and preferably under cover. We are building an equipment shed that will help with that but we really need another building.

Greenhouse greens are looking great, we are enjoying the claytonia (spade shaped succulent leaf, mild flavor) and chickweed (viney leaf). Both love the cool, dark days of the fall and seem to grow even when all other plant life has ceased. We hope to have greens out of the greenhouse until the first of the year and then we'll move indoors to grow our soil grown shoot mix of sunflower, radish and pea. Brussel sprouts are standing tall outside, unfazed by cold. We have stripped all the leaves to make them faster to harvest so they are a strange looking sight. Next
door to them, the 3 colors of kale plants are nearly 5 ft. tall and doing well.
Piggie FaceTomorrow the piggies meet their maker. They have been alot of fun and have consumed vast quantities of squash, potatoes, and all sorts of other produce the past couple months. They are great looking, very healthy animals that have been raised on ten acres of pasture. It is amazing what pleasant creatures pigs are when they have enough space to not live in their own mud. If you are interested in some of this pork email Amy and she will put you on a list to contact once we know what we have for cuts. ~ Pete


Dan Rather Reports on Hardwick
Several weeks ago Dan Rather Reports was in Hardwick and put together this half hour special about the interconnected businesses in the area. It just aired on November 17th and I thought you all might enjoy checking it out.
Click here to check out the video!

The buzz about Hardwick continues to interest reporters who in turn catch the interest of communities around the country. Today I received an email from someone in Idaho looking at what is happening here as a potential model to change their community. Gradually, incrementally we are effecting change.

Thanks to High Mowing Seeds for posting the video.






December Schedule
We will skip the December 23rd delivery week completely, so December 16th will be the last delivery before Christmas. We will begin again on December 30th.

Bulk Orders
Next week on December 9th the second round of bulk orders will be delivered. We are not accepting any more orders for this delivery. The next bulk order is scheduled for January 13th. I'll have a new bulk order form up by next week.



Order Your Chickens and Turkeys

We will be delivering turkeys for the next couple of weeks while they last. If you'd like a Gopher Broke pastured turkey for you table over the upcoming holidays, email me and I'll send along the current list of available. Both standard and heritage birds available.

We will have Pete's Pastured Chicken for the next couple of months but do anticipate running out after the first of the year. You can order chickens any week that is not a meat delivery week. Click here to go directly to the chicken page where you can download an order form.

Localvore Lore

We have bread again this week from Elmore Mountain Bread. Andrew and Blair are baking a Quebec Cracked Grain Bread made with Milanaise Winter Wheat, Quebec Cracked Grains, Quebec Flax, Ben Gleason's Whole Wheat, Sea Salt and Sourdough. This is their first week
baking in the new oven they have been working on all summer. They promise some photos in upcoming weeks.

Hannah Sessions and Greg Bernhardt have sent us one of their special goat cheeses this week. The Blue Ledge Crottina is their personal favorite among the cheeses they make and this is the first time we have included it in a Good Eats share. A mild white mold-ripened goat milk cheese in the style of Brie, Blue Ledge Crottina is creamy, slightly sweet, with a decadent velvety texture. Greg and Hannah and their kids milk 75 goats a day on average from February to November on their farm in Salisbury, VT.

From Michel Gaudreau in Quebec we have his Mixed Cracked Grain cereal mix. This is a blend of 6 grains, including organic wheat, rye, oats, barley, spelt, and flax seed. The grains have been cracked for quicker cooking. This grains mix can be cooked and used as you would use bulghur wheat or barley, it can be cooked as a breakfast cereal, or added to breads and muffins for some whole grain goodness.


For the second week in a row we have eggs for you again. Between Gopher Broke and Pa Pa Doodles Farms we have an egg schedule mapped out which the hens have been very good about cooperating with. The next egg weeks are scheduled for Dec 16 and Jan 6.

Meat Share
Last meat share I sent a survey and one of the questions I asked of people was whether they wanted more value cuts or more high end or out of the ordinary cuts from our share. Though of course everyone is looking for value, there was a high percentage of folks looking to us to bring them something a little different. So I try to bring a mix of items to the share each month. This share I wanted to put in something that would be the centerpiece for your holiday meal. The share has only 3 items, but the boneless ham or boneless leg of lamb are special treats while still being a great value.

*Most people will receive a ham, but there weren't quite enough to go around, so some meat shares will contain that other holiday classic, the leg of lamb.

North Hollow Farm Ham
Mike and Julie raise beef cattle and pigs on their farm in Rochester, VT. Mike's Dad bought the farm in 1948 and since the 1970s the family have been raising beef cattle. After repeatedly crossing animals with better and better grass finishing traits, in 2003 Mike and Julie stopped growing corn for silage and went to an all grass finishing program. The pigs of course still receive corn in their diet. Currently, 1000 acres are used to graze the animals and make hay for winter feeding. The hams come from North Hollow's happy pigs. The hams are smoked without the use of nitrates or any preservatives. This is a totally natural beautiful boneless ham.

Bonnieview Farm Leg of Lamb
The leg of lamb has long been a holiday tradition in many cultures. These were raised for us by Neil and Kristin Urie at Bonnieview Farm in Craftsbury Common. Because a whole leg of lamb (bone in) really requires turning on a spit to cook through, and because we assumed most of you don't have that ability at home, the legs are butterflied (boneless) for easier cooking.

Shuttleworth Farm Bacon

I think I have mentioned before that it is not easy to get enough local pastured bacon for the share so when it's available, I buy it! I hope you enjoy it as much as we at the farm all do. Kelli and Todd and family raise pastured sheep, pigs and poultry on their Westfield, VT farm.

Vermont Yak Beer Bratwurst
Vermont Yak Company was founded in 2008, the idea for the partnership born over a few beers and the quandary of what two of the families ought to do with their idle farmland. Naturally, Yaks came to mind. Vermont Yak Company now has 45 animals and demand for their meat is steadily growing. They are the only working yak meat business in all of New England. Please feel free to contact them at info@vermontyak.com or 802.279.3364 to come visit the breeding herd of yaks at their Mad River Valley farm.

From founder Rob Williams:
Vermont Yak Company's beer brats are made from grass-fed yaks raised in Vermont's Mad River Valley - lean, keen, and grassfed green, with 1/6 the fat of beef and 40% more protein. The yak meat is blended in Windsor's Green Mountain Smokehouse with a small amount of local pork, and flavored with Warren-based brewmaster Sean Lawson's "Finest Liquids" for a superior beer brat taste and texture.







Recipes

Turnip Gratin with Parmesan
This recipe comes from Jack Bishop's A Year in the Vegetarian Kitchen.

2 TB butter
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1.5 lbs medium turnips, scrubbed and sliced 1/4 - 1/8" thick
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan

Position your oven rack in the center of your oven and preheat oven to 375° F.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, add the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 1 minute. (Do not let garlic brown). Add the milk, cream, bay leaf, salt, several grindings of pepper, and the turnips and stir to coat the turnips with the cream mixture. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer reducing the heat as necessary and turning the turnip slices several times until the turnips are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes.

Carefully transfer the turnips and cream mixture to a 1.5 quart shallow gratin dish, distributing them evenly in the dish. Sprinkle the top layer of the turnips with the cheese.

Bake until the cream mixture has thickened and the top of the gratin is well browned, about 40 minutes. Remove the gratin from the oven and cool for about 5 minutes before serving.

Mixed Cracked Grains
The recipe below gives the very basic method of cooking mixed cracked grains. There are many, many ways to play with cooked grains though. For a special breakfast cereal, cook them with part water and part milk and add dried fruit, nuts, cinnamon and maple syrup or sugar as in the Classic Oatmeal Recipe a couple weeks ago. Or cook them with broth as you would a risotto. Cook them plain and use them in a salad, dressed with a special dressing to flavor the whole dish. Or bake the cooked grains with vegetables and or meats and some seasoning in the oven for a hearty meal. The cooked grains can be kept in the fridge for a week, so cook up a pot and see what uses you might find for them during the week. Many mixed grains recipes have rice as part of the blend. You can try adding 1 part uncooked brown rice to 3 or 4 parts mixed cracked grains and cooking them together.

Basic Recipe
1 cup Mixed Cracked Grains
3 cups water
1/2 tsp salt

Boil water, add grains and salt. Cover and simmer until tender, about 35 minutes. Drain if necessary.

Mixed Cracked Grains Pilaf with Maple Winter Squash
This is the dish I am thinking about this week. I don't have all the ingredients to test it but I have faith that it will be yummy. Roasted beets would be a great addition to this dish if you have some in your fridge drawer. And of course I might be tempted to toss in a little freshly grated ginger with the garlic and onions/leeks simply because I can't help myself.

3.25 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
1 stick of butter (or use a combo of butter and olive oil)
1 yellow onion or 1-2 leeks sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mixed cracked grains
1/2 Sunshine squash, cut into 1/2" cubes and roasted

Optional - 1/4 to 1/2 bunch kale or 1/2 head of napa or some Radiccio, chopped
Optional - add 2-3 roasted beets!
Optional - top dress with some crumbled goat cheese and/or feta and/or walnuts and/or dried cranberries or have some cranberry sauce on the side

Peel and cube squash. (Save half the rest of the fresh cubed squash for another dish - they keep well in fridge or toss them into the freezer). Spread in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and a little salt and roast in a 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with up to 1/3 cup maple syrup. Return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes until fork tender.

Remove squash from oven and turn heat down to 375°F.

Heat stock in a saucepan.

Saute grains in 4 Tb butter, using a heavy frying pan on medium low, until golden (about 5 mins.) Pour grain into 2-3 quart Dutch Oven or a covered casserole dish. Sauté chopped onions or leeks and garlic in 2 TB butter on low heat until soft. Pour onion into casserole. Add 1 1/2 cups hot chicken stock warmed in microwave 2 mins. or in saucepan to casserole. Cover and bake 30 mins.

Add another 1 1/2 cups chicken stock plus greens to casserole. Cover and bake 30 mins.

If using greens, now is the time to wilt them before adding to the dish. Place the chopped greens into the saucepan with the the remaining 1/4 cup stock and simmer til greens are wilted. Add to casserole. Taste and adjust seasonings. You may want a bit of tamari or salt and pepper. Once you are satisfied with the flavor, bake the last 15 minutes covered. Stir well and serve, topped with optional feta or goat cheese or walnuts or dried cranberries, if desired.

Kale with Sausage and Garlic-Roasted Potatoes
This particular recipe bringing together the classic combination of kale, sausage and potato is from Andrea Chessman's Serving up the Harvest. Serves 4.

4 medium potatoes (about 1 pound), sliced 1/4" thick
2 garlic cloves
2 TB olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb sausage removed from its casing
(sweet or hot italian are indicated in the recipe but many flavors would do)
2 cups chicken broth
1.25 - 1.5 lbs kale, stems removed and leaves chopped

Preheat the oven to 425F. Brush a large baking sheet with oil.

Combine the potatoes, garlic and 1 TB of the oil in a medium bowl. Season with a generous sprinkling of salt and a few grinds of pepper and toss to coat well. Spread potatoes in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25- 30 minutes, turning the potatoes a few times to brown evenly.

Heat the remaining 1 TB of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Saute the sausage in the oil until no pink shows and the sausage is cooked through, about 8 mins.

Stir in the broth and kale. Bring broth to a boil. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the kale is wilted and tender and still bright green, 8-10 mins.

Mix in the potatoes. Season with salt & pepper and serve at once.