Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - February 24, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
2 lbs Carrots; 1 lb Daikon Radish; 2 lbs Rutabagas; 2 lbs Yellow Storage Onions; 2-3 lbsRed Cabbage; plus...

Frozen Winter Squash Puree
Bag of Shoots/Claytonia Mix

Localvore Offerings Include:

Elmore Mountain Pain Au Levain with Sifted Whole Wheat Flour
Champlain Orchards Cranberry Apple Cider
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs
Sour Pickles

NOTE: We are short eggs! National Life, Red Hen, On the Rise and Sweet Clover will not receive eggs this week. These sites will receive eggs next week.

Meg's Musings
Things are clicking along nicely at the farm. We are preparing our hardening off greenhouse for our first batch of onions and shallots that were seeded two weeks ago and will be transplanted outdoors in late April. Our heated greenhouse is seeded with quick growing brassicas that will be ready to harvest in a couple of weeks and will appear in your shoots/mesclun bags. We continue to plant tomatoes in succession and have starting grafting the first batch today. Our hothouse cucumbers and peppers are growing nicely alongside eggplant and basil, all on our heated slab and enclosed in a mini greenhouse. The rest of the slab is covered with quick growing bunching veggies that we will be transplanting into our large greenhouse.

Construction on the equipment shed will start back up in a week. In other construction news, we will be installing heaters into our movable greenhouses and laying pipe in the soil in one of them. The pipes will heat the soil and allow us to grow greens faster and also to grow varieties that are more sensitive to moisture. The heaters in the greenhouses will only be used minimally and not through the winter. We are starting to map out our fields and where we will be planting this year. New equipment and materials are being purchased on a daily basis, as we attempt to get all systems running smoothly. Things are looking good as we move into a new season!~ Meg

Spring Meat Share - First delivery is next week March 3rd
We are continuing to accept members for the meat share. Once a month, the meat share delivers a selection of sustainably farmed, grass fed meats from Pete's and from other nearby farms that we know and love. All animals grown for the share are grown without use of hormones or chemical dewormers etc. All are raised on pasture (except the trout!) and many raised organically. This is meat grown in a way that is actually good for our environment, providing the needed fertility to compliment other crops grown on these farms. Grass fed meats contain a much higher vitamin concentration and much lower fat content than other meats. These meats are good for body and soul.

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

Pete's Pastured Chicken
We continue to sell chickens to Good Eats members delivering orders to sites every week except meat delivery weeks.

Our chickens are raised on pasture. Lots of pasture. Even as chicks in the barn, our little birds get to feast on sprouts and baby greens left from each days vegetable processing. As soon as they are large enough our birds move out onto pasture with moveable shelters and there they remain for the rest of their days, moved regularly to new fields of green. They can't help but ingest loads of healthy, vitamin packed organic forage throughout their lives and this goodness is assimilated in their meat.

We have just changed our chicken order form slightly so that you can now choose different sized birds, from a 4.5 lb to a 7 pounder (we have some big birds out there in the freezer!). The large birds are nice because you can roast one up, have a great meal, save the best meat for sandwiches, and STILL have leftovers for a casserole or soup or stew. Minimum order is 3 birds and birds are priced at $3.75/lb.

Click here to visit our chicken page and download an order form.

Job Openings at Pete's Greens
We are accepting applications for the the positions of wash-house manager and kitchen manager at the farm. These are two key positions for us. Complete job descriptions for these positions may be found on our site on our job postings page.

Applecheek Farm Conservation Effort
The Vermont Land Trust and the Clark Family have now raised all but $12,000 (!) of the $310,000 needed to permanently conserve the 243 acre organic farm in Hyde Park. Only 6 days remain for the fundraising effort to meet its March 1st deadline. Conservation will protect this prime farmland from development and retain it as a community agricultural and educational resource. Tax-deductible gifts or pledges can be mailed by March 1, 2010 to:
Vermont Land Trust
8 Bailey Avenue
Montpelier, VT 05602

Please make checks payable to the Vermont Land Trust and write “Applecheek Farm” in the memo line. For more information, contact: Tracy Zschau, Vermont Land Trust (802) 748-6089; tracy@vlt.org

Storage and Use Tips
Winter Squash Puree - We put up bags and bags of winter squash and pumpkin puree last Fall. What you'll find in the coolers at your site this week may be a mix of both. The bags contain just about a quart of pureed winter squash (mostly a variety of small Butternut) or pumpkin. The puree makes soup making a breeze! Just add a few ingredients and heat and serve. Steve has been making a pasta sauce with his this week, a recipe suggestion is below.

Rutabaga - The rutabaga is believed to have originated as a cross between a turnip and a cabbage! Sweeter than a turnip, rutabagas are delicious boiled and mashed with butter (with or without potatoes). Rutabagas should be peeled before use. This year when we harvested the rutabagas some of them came out of the ground with superficial worm track markings. Don't be deterred if your rutabagas have these marks. Just peel or slice off the outer layer (which you need to do anyway) and the inside should be just fine. Keep them loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your fridge and they'll last for several weeks at least.

Daikon Radish - The long white vegetable in your bags is the daikon radish or Chinese radish. Raw daikon is great sliced thinly in soups and stir-fries, or grated in slaws and salads. These radishes will keep well wrapped loosely in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Mixed Colorful Carrots - The mixed carrots are a mix of bolero (the orange ones), yellowstone, white satin, and deep purples.

Shoots/Salad Mix - The salad mix today contains sunflower shoots (the large shoots), pink and white radish shoots (the little shoots), Claytonia greens (the spade shaped mild green), pea shoots (the viney ones), and chickweed (the larger leaf in the bag).

Onions - PLEASE READ! - A percentage of our onions have a layer deep inside that is spoiled. This was caused by the excessively wet summer and the problem is that we usually cannot tell the bad ones from the outside. The rest of the onion is perfectly good. Just remove the spoiled scale and use the rest of the onion as you normally would. We are doing our absolute best to find the flawed ones and we are valuing the onions at half price. Though we hate to send out flawed onions, we also hate the thought of not sending any and wasting these. Thanks for your understanding-this is one of the challenges of farming in a variable climate.
Localvore Lore

Just in from Elmore Mountain Bakery:
Today we are making a Pain Au Levain with Sifted Whole Wheat Flour. This is an old world sourdough bread that is made with Quebec grown whole wheat flour with the coarse bran sifted out. This gives the bread much of the health benefits of the whole wheat, but with a much lighter texture and a delicate sourdough flavor. We were inspired to make this bread which is different from our Country French by a recent article in the excellent Vermont publication, The Art of Eating. It was an examination of several French bakeries who believe that the best bread is made from organic stone ground flour, sourdough, pure sea salt and baked in wood-fired ovens. We hope you enjoy. ~Blair

Champlain Orchards blends their own freshly pressed sweet apple cider with cranberry juice provided by the Vermont Cranberry Company from cranberries grown here in Vermont. This 100% Vermont juice is very nutritious and has a crisp, clean flavor. Enjoy!

Deb Rosewolf is one of our team on the farm. At Deb's home farm she keep the hens who provide most of the eggs for Good Eats. Deb's eggs are totally pampered. The hens go in and out of their heated hen house at will, and they feast on lots and lots of vegetables and goodies that Deb brings them from the farm. Sometimes when we don't have quite the number of eggs we need we supplement with eggs from Gopher Broke Farm. George and Jane Nash have a small flock of about 100 free range happy hens on their farm in Wolcott, VT.

The sour pickles in the share today were made with certified organic cucumbers, cider vinegar, honey, mustard seed, ground mustard, and salt. They are barrel fermented in this brine. These pickles are very sour but we quite like them.


Red Cabbage, Carrot, Daikon, Shoots Salad w/ Miso dressing
I can't seem to get enough of this salad lately and this share is perfect for it. I especially love it because I grate the vegetables in volume, and leave them in containers in the fridge. Then just before dinner I throw a handful of shoots in the bowl with handfuls of grated carrot, cabbage and some daikon, dress the salad and I am done. So easy.

Shoots Mix
Grated Carrots
Grated Red Cabbage
Grated Daikon Radish

Honey Miso Dressing
Honestly, if you have the ingredients on hand, you might as well make a double or triple batch. It's really yummy.

2.5 TB miso
w TB honey
2 tsp dijon
3 TB water
1 TB tamari
1 TB cider vinegar
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced fine
1/2 tsp sunflower or sesame oil
1 clove garlic minced

Mix all ingredients together. Best to let sit 15 minutes to let flavors meld.

Carrot and Daikon Salad
In this recipe from Shizuo’s Tsuji’s Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, carrot and daikon are paired in a light, refreshing dish with a sweet and sour dressing called amazu. Salting and kneading the vegetables causes them to release their liquid. The dressing is then combined with the vegetables and the dish is refrigerated for at least 30 minutes (it’s even more flavorful if left overnight). Traditionally, the salad is served in small plates.

1 large carrot, cut into 2 inch x ½ inch matshsticks
1 lb daikon radish, cut into 1 inch x ½ inch matchsticks
1 tsp salt
¼ c. unseasoned rice vinegar
1.5 TB sugar
½ cup water

In a large bowl combine the carrot and daikon radish matchsticks. Add the salt and toss lightly. After several minutes, mix and lightly knead the vegetables with your hands. Working over a colander set in a bowl, gather up the vegetables in your hands and squeeze out the liquid. Rinse and dry the bowl. Place the vegetables in it.

In a glass bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, and water. Heat in a microwave for 1 minute or until the sugar dissolves. Alternatively, heat the mixture in a small saucepan. Cool to room temperature.

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the vinegar mixture onto the vegetables. Mix with your hand and then squeeze the liquid from the vegetables. Discard the liquid.

Add the remaining dressing to the vegetables. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to two days.

Baked Honeyed Rutabaga Discs
Martine Fiske, one of your fellow shareholders, contributed this recipe as a family favorite last year and we put it in the newsletter then. I thought we should bring it to light again. It's adapted from “The Victory Garden Cookbook” by Marian Morash. Excellent for turnips too..

2 medium rutabagas or large turnips (2 lbs total)
4 TB butter
1/4 c honey

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel rutabagas/turnips. Slice across width of vegetable to make ½ inch disks. Melt butter and brush onto baking sheet. Place disks on sheet and brush with butter. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn and coat with honey, bake another 15 minutes. Turn once more and coat with melted butter and honey. Bake another 15 minutes. You may have to adjust final time for size and thickness of the discs.

Winter Squash Sage Pasta Sauce
One of the farm team, Steve Schimoler, has been toying with this sauce for pasta using the winter squash puree. The amounts in the recipe below are a best guess sort of guideline. He's made this a few times and has not exactly been measuring. But when in doubt - taste!

1 Qt winter squash puree (thawed)
1 small onion, minced
1/4 - 1/2 stick butter
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage (or 1 tsp dried)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 to 1 cup Cream, or Craime Fraiche
(and/or 2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup))

plus additional Parmigiano-Reggiano for serving

Bring a large pot of water to boil to cook your pasta in and cook your pasta according to directions.

Meanwhile, in a second large sauce pot over medium high heat melt the butter, and cook the onions and garlic until they are soft. Then add the sage and stir for about 15 seconds until fragrant. Then add squash, salt and pepper and heat through. Add cream or craime fraiche or the cheese at the very end. Mix the drained cooked pasta with the sauce, stirring gently to coat the pasta with the sauce. Serve topped with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Winter Squash Soups
We have featured a couple recipes for Thai inspired Winter Squash soups that are so easy to make with this squash puree. They plus other recipes are available on Pete's blog. Take a look:

Good Eats Newsletter November 23

Good Eats Newsletter January 6th

Savory-Sweet Rutabaga Pudding
From the website www.angelicorganics.com: Somewhere between a fluffy ricotta dessert and mashed potatoes, this delectable rutabaga pudding has all the qualities needed to become a standard in your culinary repertoire. This dish will surprise you in many ways: in taste, in texture, in ease of preparing, and in the compliments it will bring to your table. It pairs exceptionally well with lamb. Friend of the Farm (adapted from Nika Hazelton’s Way with Vegetables). Serves 6 to 8.

1 large rutabaga (about 2 pounds), peeled, cut into 2-inch dice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
butter for greasing the baking dish
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup raisins, plumped in hot water for 15 minutes and drained (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rutabaga and 1 teaspoon salt, partially cover, and cook until the rutabaga is very soft, 30 to 45 minutes. (You will need to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with butter.
Beat the eggs and egg yolk in a medium bowl. Stir in the cream, bread crumbs, maple syrup, and nutmeg.

Drain the rutabaga, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Mash the rutabaga thoroughly with a potato masher or run it through a food mill. If the mixture seems dry, add a little of the reserved rutabaga water as you mash. Add the egg mixture, raisins, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grindings of pepper; stir to combine.

Transfer the rutabaga pudding to the prepared baking dish. Smooth the top and dot with butter. Bake until lightly golden on top, about 45 minutes. Serve hot.

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