Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - September 29, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Mixed Potatoes; Onions; Celery; Napa Cabbage or Savoy Cabbage; Rhubarb; 2 Bulbs of Fennel; 1 Bunch of Mizuna; 1 Bunch of Radishes; 1 Bunch of Cilantro


2 Winter Squash (either Sweet Dumpling and Delicata or just Sweet Dumpling)
Tomatoes (some sites may miss tomatoes this week and get them next week instead)

Localvore Offerings Include:

Red Hen Heirloom Maize Bread

Pete's Greens Dill Pickles

Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs

Butterworks Farm Buttermilk

Champlain Orchards Cortland Apples

Roots Harvest

This time of year is both grueling and incredibly rewarding. Pete and the crew have been straight out in past weeks harvesting first the onions and now the potatoes. Everyone at the farm is working long hours, and those hours are spent moving heavy crates full of freshly harvested storage crops from the fields to various storage environments. The days are long, but the crops are just beautiful this year and the harvests are large. The excitement is pervasive.

Last year Pete designed a potato and onion harvester with the help of a small farm implement company. The old harvester dug the vegetables, sifted the dirt and left the potatoes or onions on the ground. Then our crew would go out and spend the days walking the rows, bending over to collect the harvest. The new harvester is very cool. Pulled by a tractor that slowly travels each row, the new harvester digs the potatoes or onions, conveyors them up to hip level for our crew who are standing on platforms built onto the side of the harvester. Our crew picks the potatoes from the moving conveyor in front of them and sorts them by size into storage crates. No more bending!

Though the days are still just as long, this one piece of equipment is a vast improvement for our crew, and saves much hard labor. Potato harvest is now nearly finished, with carrots, turnips, beets, parsnips, cabbage left to go. ~Amy

Our roots harvester. The first two pictures were taken last year before the people platforms were added on either side. The third photo was taken by Sean Garvey this week as the potatoes were being harvested. Sean has also posted a video of the harvester in action. Check out the video!

Fall Share begins Oct 20, mail your sign-ups!

There are only two more weeks to the Summer share after this one! And that means that you have only two weeks to mail in your
application without interruption to your weekly deliveries.

NEW - Localvore Products Only Share We continue to respond to customer feedback and have decided to add a fourth share type to the Fall/Winter Share. For the first time, we are now offering a Localvore Products Only Share. The requests for this option are coming mainly from customers who wish to split a Veggie Only share with someone, but don't want to split the vegetable portion. We have also heard from folks who have had bountiful garden harvests who would like this option. I have not had time to update the website to describe this share type there, but will update that page and our sign up form as quickly as possible.

Sign up for the Good Eats Fall/Winter Share to ensure your continued weekly deliveries.

Meat Shares available too!

Please visit the Fall/Winter Share page for details and to download a sign up form. If you have questions about the Fall Share, please email Amy.

Sean's Adventures

Sean is three months into his four month internship at the farm. He has become our farm stan
d manager and is doing a fabulous job stocking it with the freshest produce, and keeping the meat freezer and cheese cooler full of a great assortment of local products. It really looks beautiful in there. The farm stand won't be open too much longer, probably just til the first week or weeks of October. If you haven't been out, it is a lovely drive and there's some great shopping to be had.

Along with sharing field stories from the past week, this week Sean has compiled a number of quotes he has gathered during his internship. One of them is actually mine from yesterday after I asked Sean to go out and weigh a representative sample of members of our turkey herd, so I
could judge how large they were and when they needed to be "harvested". Having raised animals all my life, to me this seemed like a normal directive. Funny to read what it is like to be on the receiving end of a request like this if you are new to this farm life stuff. Check out Sean's blog.

Storage and Use Tips

Sweet Dumpling Winter Squash
- More Sweet Dumplings this week for your eating pleasure. Have you ever tasted such sweet squash? Unfortunately though, we notice that these little beauties are quickly developing spots on their skins. These spots turn soft and when they do, the inside of the squash will begin to be affected. Enjoy them while they last and don't leave them on your counter too long!

Delicata Squash - Some of you may find little Zeppelin shaped striped squash called Delicatas at your site. These are also renowned for their sweetness. Try a little taste test of both kinds of squash!

Tomatoes - Despite what the photo above would suggest, the tomato harvest gets smaller each week. Sadly tomato season will not last forever. We will have a mix going out to sites this week. Some sites will receive cherry tomatoes, some will receive heirlooms or beefsteaks or whatever tomatoes are havested. We won't have enough tomatoes for all sites, but will stretch them as far as we can. Sites that don't receive them this week will receive them next week.

Mizuna - Also know as spider mustard, mizuna is a Japanese mustard green with tender leaves and a pleasant, peppery flavor. You could substitute it, chopped, in a salad calling for arugula. It adds a nice zest to a stir-fry or saute. Store mizuna, unwashed, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Thinking about splitting your share?

If you would like to sign up again but feel it may be too much food for you, consider splitting your share with someone. There are already a couple people in Shelburne and Montpelier looking for share partners for the Fall Share listed on our Members Seeking page. And I have just been corresponding with two others today who wish to share on Grove St and on Ward St in Burlington.

If you would are interested in sharing with someone, send me an email. I might be able to connect you to someone quickly, or I'll post something on the members seeking page for you.

Order Pete's Pastured Meats - Fill Your Freezer

We are finally able to make a wide variety of our pastured meats available to share members. We have a variety of pork and beef cuts available now. Some we have lots of, some not a lot, so for best variety order soon. Presently you can choose from pork chops, hams and ham steaks, ribs, sausage, ground pork, plus an assortment of beef steaks, ribs, roasts, kabob meat, stew meat, and burger. And of course Pete's Pastured Chicken.
Our pigs are raised on 20 acres of pasture on the farm. They graze and forage all day and their diet is supplemented by huge amounts of vegetables from the farm. Our cows are raised in partnership with friend and neighbor Bruce Urie who pastures them on his fields in Summer, and feeds them his own hay supplemented with beets and soybeans in Winter. You can order Pete's Pastured Chicken as part of your bulk meat order too. Our beef and pork is tender and delicious and has far less fat, and far more omega 3s, CLAs, vita E and beta carotene than non grass fed animals. Our animals have received no hormones or medications either. This is really healthy, very tasty meat.

You may place meat orders for delivery on most weeks that are not designated Meat Shares weeks (the first Wednesday of the month). The next meat delivery day will be October 13th and then the next will be Oct 27th (skipping the first day of the new share period Oct 20). For a short time, orders over $150 in beef and pork will receive a discount of 10%.

Visit our Meat Bulk Order Page to Order.

Localvore Lore

Red Hen Bread is back this week and that means tomorrow AM I get to drive around surrounded by the aroma of the freshly baked loaves. Tomorrow's will be hard to resist.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the incredible wheat harvest that Vermont had this year. This week, we are making another bread that is made entirely with Vermont-grown grain, including cornmeal from an heirloom variety of corn called “Wahpsie Valley” grown on Aurora Farm in Charlotte. You can find this cornmeal in stores under the Nitty Gritty Grains label. Like all of our breads, this bread uses a naturally-fermented starter. The one in the maize bread is made from a new flour that Ben Gleason of Gleason Grains is producing called Snake Mt. Sifted Bread Flour. This is a stone-ground whole wheat flour that has a small amount of the bran sifted out of it. When fermented for several hours in the starter it develops a slightly sweet and sour flavor. The rest of the flour is this year’s unbleached white from Nitty Gritty Grains/Aurora. But, of course, the dominant feature of this bread is the maize itself… enjoy! ~ Randy

Pa Pa Doodles eggs again this week. You will get eggs once more, on Oct 13th.

We haven't had Butterworks cultured buttermilk in the share for a long time but with Fall here it feels like baking weather. I though you all might enjoy some farm fresh buttermilk for pancakes and muffins and whatnot. Despite what the name might suggest, buttermilk is actually a low fat product. Traditionally, homemade buttermilk was the slightly sour liquid that remained after butter was churned and separated from milk. At Butterworks Farm, Jack and Annie make their buttermilk from the low fat or non fat milk from their jersey cows. They add lactic acid bacteria which thickens the milk and gives it a flavor reminiscent of yogurt. In baked goods, Buttermilk promotes browning, is great for leavening, and improves texture.

To go along with the baking theme this week, we have Cortland apples from Champlain Orchards. You should have some fun deciding what to make with eggs, apples, buttermilk, rhubarb, and the flours and oats you have in your pantries. I like the concept of an apple, rhubarb crisp with oat crumble topping.... Other ideas below.

And finally, you all will receive the first pickles out of this year's barrels. These are dills from the farm. I hope you enjoy their tasty, salty, sour crunch. Send feedback!

Mizuna Salad with Dried Cranberries and Roasted Winter Squash
One from the recipe archives

3 TB cranapple or apple cider

1.5 TB apple cider vinegar

salt and pepper to taste

1 small shallot, minced

3.5 TB sunflower or extra-virgin olive oil

1 TB butter, divided

1 unpeeled medium delicata squash or 2 sweet dumplings, halved, seeded, cut into 12 wedges
1 bunch mizuna greens, chopped (about 6 cups)

1/4 cup dried cranberries

Whisk cider and vinegar in bowl. Add minced shallot, salt and pepper. Gradually whisk in oil. Rewhisk before using.

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Melt 2 teaspoons butter in heavy large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 of squash wedges. Cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer squash wedges to rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining butter and squash wedges. Sprinkle squash with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss mizuna with half of dressing. Divide among plates; top with squash. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with dried cranberries.

Fennel Baked with Parmesan Cheese
A recipe from: Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book. Jane Grigson's note about this recipe: "My favourite fennel dish, the best one of all by far. The simple additions of butter and parmesan - no other cheese will do - show off the fennel flavour perfectly. The point to watch, when the dish is in the oven, is the browning of the cheese. Do not let it go beyond a rich golden-brown."

2 heads fennel, trimmed, quartered



1 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Cook the fennel in salted water until it is tender. It is important to get this right: the fennel should not still be crisp, on the other hand it should not be floppy either. Drain it well and arrange in a generously buttered gratin dish. Be generous, too, with the pepper mill. Sprinkle on the cheese. Put into the oven at 400 degrees, until the cheese is golden brown and the fennel is bubbling vigorously in buttery juices.

Napa Cabbage Salad

I have twice given the recipe for a napa dressing with flavors similar to this except that the other called for mayo. The dressing below skips the mayo but is very close in flavor resulting in the same "can't get enough" from any who try it. This rendition comes from the weblog Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. The author's comments echo my own "The two essential components, I’ve found, are the napa (or savoy) cabbage and the dressing; pretty much everything else can be adjusted or substituted."

1 whole napa cabbage, washed, trimmed, and sliced thinly
(or 1 savoy)
Several radishes or salad turnips sliced thin or grated (raw beets are nice too)

1 carrot, grated, if desired

1/4-1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, or almonds, or any nut you choose really

1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (optional, but nice)


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup sugar or a bit less honey

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. tamari or soy sauce

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil

1 very small onion, grated on the finest holes of your grater (it should almost liquefy)

1 clove garlic, crushed

Toss the salad ingredients in a bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk to mix well. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Makes about 6 servings.

Warm Potato Salad with Cilantro & Toasted Cumin

Serves 4 to 6

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 pounds potatoes, chopped into roughly
2-inch pieces

1 bunch cilantro, stems trimmed and removed

3 large shallots

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons whole cumin

1/2 lemon

Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Add the diced potatoes and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are tender but not yet mush. Drain and return to the pot.

Chop the cilantro roughly and stir it into the hot potatoes. Slice the shallots thinly and stir them in too. Pour the olive oil oil into a small skillet and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil is quite hot, stir in the 1 1/2 tablespoons of whole cumin seeds. Cook for about 45 seconds, stirring frequently, until the cumin and oil smell toasty and the cumin has darkened slightly. Pour the contents of the skillet over the potatoes (watch out, as some of the seeds may pop as they hit the cooler pan). Stir thoroughly. Juice the 1/2 lemon and stir the juice in as well. Season to taste with black pepper, and any additional salt, if needed. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Classic Buttermilk Pancakes

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

Vegetable oil for brushing griddle

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, egg, and buttermilk until smooth.
Heat a griddle or a large heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot enough to make drops of water scatter over its surface, then brush with oil. Pour about 1/8 cup batter per pancake onto griddle and cook, turning over once, until golden, about 2 minutes per batch.

Warm Apple-Buttermilk Custard Pie

From Cooking Light in 2003. The key to both a flaky piecrust and crisp streusel topping is to keep them as cold as possible before putting them into the oven. Yield: 10 servings

Your favorite pie crust


1/3 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup packed maple sugar or other granulated sugar

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 ½ tsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces

5 cups sliced peeled apple (about 2 pounds)

1/2 cup honey

¼ cup sugar

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 TB flour

¼ tsp salt

3 eggs

1 3/4 cups buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325º.

Ready a pie plate with your favorite pie crust, and place in fridge.

To prepare streusel, combine 1/3 cup flour, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a medium bowl; cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Place streusel in refrigerator.

To prepare the filling, heat a large skillet and coat pan surface with butter or oil. Add sliced apple, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; cook 10 minutes or until the apple is tender, stirring mixture occasionally. Spoon the apple mixture into prepared crust.

Combine remaining ½ cup honey, 2 tablespoons flour, salt, and eggs, stirring with a whisk. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Pour over apple mixture.

Bake at 325º for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300º (do not remove pie from oven); sprinkle streusel over pie. Bake at 300º for 40 minutes or until set. Let stand 1 hour before serving.

Cinnamon-Topped Rhubarb Muffins
A well reviewed recipe from Allrecipes.com. Makes 24 muffins

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk

2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups finely chopped rhubarb

1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Combine egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in rhubarb. Fill greased or paper-lined muffins cups about half full. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over each muffin. Bake at 375 degrees F for 16-18 minutes or until muffins test done.

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