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


1 Small Radiccio and 1 Small Lettuce Head
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


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.


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.

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