Thursday, July 28, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - July 27, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

New Nicola Potatoes; Bunch of Celery; Bunch of Colorful Carrots; Slicing or Pickling Cucumbers; Easter Egg Radishes; Broccoli; Eggplant; Sweet Pepper plus...

Heirloom or Beefsteak Tomatoes
1 Head of Lettuce

Localvore Offerings Include:

Elmore Mountain Country French Bread

Jasper Hill Moses Sleeper Cheese
Gingerbrook Farm "Honest to Goodness" Cider Vinegar

*Knoll Farm Blueberries

Not all sites will get blueberries this week. The farm does not have enough to supply entire share, so those of you miss out this week will get them next week.

Pete's Musings

Weeds, weeds, weeds. I did not do the best job ever on cultivation early this summer in all the bustle of building our new building and we are paying the price in a few spots. Weeds are so easy to kill when they are tiny, but as soon as you let them get a little size and strength no matter how much tractor cultivating you do there is generally some hand work required. The crew has been great about cleaning up some of the messes but it is hard work and not the best way to do it. We're getting on top of the situation now and our later planted crops are cleaner.

We have a new irrigation traveler. This is a machine that travels 800 ft while spraying water in a 100 ft radius. We finally needed to fire it up early this week and are happy with the labor saving results. In the past we moved alot of pipe and thus did not do alot of irrigating.

We're using our new building! It is far from done but we have sectioned off a space for washing and packing produce and we'll have an operating cooler tomorrow. The crew is very happy with improved work conditions.~ Pete

Storage and Use Tips

Nicola Potatoes -
These are golden skinned, golden fleshed potatoes that are tuly all purpose. They are great for boiling, mashing or roasting and are plenty waxy enought to make excellent potato salad. Nicolas have a very special attribute among potatoes - they are low on the glycemic index compared to all other varieties. This means they don't cause the blood sugar spike that other varieties may cause, an issue that can wreak havoc with people with insulin resistance. They also have a yummy slightly nutty flavor, enjoy!

Eggplant -
Eggplants do not like cold, so please bag them well and put them in your crisper drawer for extra cold protection. Actually, the best thing you could do is eat them right up!

Tomatoes -
Our tomatoes seem to be holding steady right now, so fingers crossed they will continue to yield well and that whatever ails them won't take them down. Store tomatoes on the counter, not in the fridge. The cold of the fridge takes the flavor right out of them. If you slice one up for a sandwich and have half left, then you should store remainder in the fridge. There are a mix of heirlooms and beefsteaks going out this week

Kingdom Farm and Field Days

Saturday August 20
Pete's Greens Annual Farm Party

& Craftsbury Center Bike Tour

I have some updates about our farm party coming up in 3.5 weeks(!). Our annual event is a fun, free event. It's a day that we welcome people to the farm to check out what we do, how we grow, where we process and store vegetables. It's a chance to connect with members and neighbors, customers and friends. We'll be providing salads, drinks, breads and some local dishes, but we welcome potluck dishes as well for the feast. They always got fast!

Here's the schedule as it stands now.
1:00 pm - farm tour

2:30 pm - farm tour

3:30 pm music starts

4:00 - 5:30/6 pm - Picnic and social time!

The Craftsbury Outdoor Center is putting together two different bike tours for Saturday.
A 30 mile ride will pass by 5-6 farms and businesses in the area ending at Pete's Greens. For those seeking a less challenging day, there will be a shorter 15 mile ride as well. Both rides will end at the farm between 4:00 and 5:30, in time for some good food and music. Pete will guide a special farm tour for the bicyclists after all have assembled.

There will be special bike tour pricing for CSA members! Volunteers for the bike tour ride free!

If a bike tour isn't your thing, you can also tour other area farms and businesses on your own. Stay tuned for an email dedicated to all the information pertinent to this event. The Center for an Agricultural Economy will have more complete info as we are wrapping up the details this week.

Sunday August 21

High Mowing Seed Trial Tours, Workshops, NECI Local Foods Showcase

High Mowing Seeds trials garden will be open for self-guided and hour-long guided tours throughout the day and there will be many workshops on seed saving, pest and disease identification, fermenting fresh vegetables, and more. The New England Culinary Institute (NECI) will present an amazing array of locally produced food in Sunday afternoon’s Local Foods Showcase which will get started at 4pm. This is an extraordinary chance for visitors to taste some of the finest Vermont-made food products and culinary delights prepared by NECI students and chef Ryan O’Malley. The annual farmer mixer and bonfire will begin immediately following dinner.

The KFFD event website will be updated soon with a map of open farms/businesses, and a schedule of events for the two days will be posted.

We hope to see you!


Are you someone who would prefer to be involved than to be an onlooker at an event? We need some volunteers for our open farm day, and the Kingdom Farm & Food Fest is looking for volunteers as well. If you'd like to help out in exchange for some food and fun, please email me.

Changes to Your Delivery?

If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let me know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or I can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.

Localvore Lore

This week Andrew and Blair have baked Elmore Mountain Country French loaves. This is made with Milanaise organic winter wheat flour, Milanaise whole wheat flour, Milanaise whole rye flour, sea salt, and Elmore's sourdough yeast. This bread is one of my favorite sanwich loaves.

Jo Liddell and Bob Machim carved their homestead, Gingerbrook Farm, out of the woods of South Washington, VT 40 years ago. As they cleared for their fields, they found wild apple trees and decided to keep them. The land around their home is dotted with these old wild trees and it is from these trees and others nearby their farm that Bob makes their cider vinegar. This is the real macoy, Honest-to-Goodness cider vinegar as they call it, a health tonic, and almost good enough to drink straight! It starts with unpasteurized apple cider that Bob seeds with a "mother" culture of yeast that ferments the cider. The difference between apple cider gone bad due to the infiltration of natural airborne yeasts and a good artisanal cider vinegar is in controlling the process. The mother culture makes a big difference, as does the fresh cider used for the vinegar, and the aging process. Bob ages this vinegar for two years and poured the beautiful amber liquid from big wooden barrels in a corner of his home. In time, you may find a slippery gelatinous mass forms in your cider vinegar. Fear not! This is just more "mother" forming in your jar. Just remove it from jar and continue to use your vinegar. Andrew Chessman wrote a good article about cider vinegar for the Winter 2009 Edible Green Mountains magazine.

The cheese this week is Moses Sleeper, one of the newer additions to the cheeses developed by Andy and Mateo Kehler at Jasper Hill Farm in Greensboro. Moses is a bloomy rind cheese that looks like a camembert. Soft, oozy and fragrant, it tasty slightly grassy, while retaining the clean taste of fresh milk. The cheese is made on the farm with milk from the Kehler's herd of Ayreshires. It is aged 40-60 days.

The blueberries come to you from Knoll Farm, a small family farm in the Waitsfield, Vermont. Located on a beautiful hillside, they have pick-your-own blueberries in 9 varieties. The berries are certified organic, and the orchard is still expanding and maturing, with more fruit including cherries, currants and kiwis. Knoll Farm also raises purebred Icelandic sheep for breedstock and they sell grass-fed meat, pelts and wool. Berry-picking season is usually through mid to late August, but it is best to call for picking conditions.


'Caponata' (Sicilian Aubergine Stew)

Caponata is a kind of eggplant stew that is flavoured with vinegar and sugar which gives it a sweet and sour flavour. It is usually served cold as part of an antipasti platter but is also nice served as a light lunch with some good crusty bread. Adapted from a recipe on Jamie

1 large aubergine, cubed

1 med onion, thinly sliced

3 sticks of celery (leaves left on), sliced (can be skipped - or could add sliced fennel)

about 20 green olives

1 heaped tbsp of capers

2-3 large tomatoes, chopped

2 tbsp of vinegar

3 tsp sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

Approx 4-5 tbsp olive oil

Using a large frying pan, heat the 3-4 tbsp of olive oil and fry the eggplants over a medium heat till nicely browned. Remove from the pan.

Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan and fry the onions gently till opaque and lightly golden. Add the celery (or fennel) next and fry for about 2 mins. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan (including the eggplants)and season with salt and pepper. Add a few of tablespoons of water to the mixture and cook over a low heat for a total of 15mins. If the mixture begins to dry out, add a little more water (no more than a tbsp at a time).

Remove from the heat and allow to cool down to room temperature before serving.

Pickled Vegetables

This recipe is actually a recipe for pickled carrots but works well and is really tasty for other vegetables. Would be a good recipe for pickling some cucumbers this week.

1 pound carrots cut into 3 1/2- by 1/3-inch sticks (or sub in cucumbers!)

1 1/4 cups water

1 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed

1 1/2 tablespoons dill seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons salt

Blanch vegetables in a 4-quart nonreactive saucepan of boiling salted water 1 minute, then drain in a colander and rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Transfer carrots to a heatproof bowl.
Bring remaining ingredients to a boil in saucepan, then reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Pour pickling liquid over vegetables and cool, uncovered. Chill vegetables, covered, at least 1 day for flavors to develop.

Salt and Vinegar Potato Salad

I just stumbled across this recipe. I have not made it but it gets top rating from all reviewers and is touted to have the same addictive flavors as salt & vinegar chips. I am intrigued and I think I have to make it. 1 large red onion, cut lengthwise into 1/3-inch-wide wedges and layers separated

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

2 teaspoons salt

5 lb medium yellow-fleshed potatoes such as Yukon Gold

2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1 1/4 teaspoons sugar

3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Toss together onion, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Marinate at room temperature, tossing occasionally, until slightly softened and pink, about 45 minutes.

Cover potatoes with salted cold water in a 5- to 6-quart pot, then simmer, uncovered, until just tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

While potatoes cook, whisk together 2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning with sugar, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and remaining 1/2 cup vinegar in a small bowl.

Drain potatoes in a colander, and when cool enough to handle but still warm, peel and cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges. Toss warm potatoes with vinegar mixture in a large bowl. Add onion mixture and oil, tossing to combine. Add more Old Bay seasoning (to taste) if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Asian Cucumber Salad
This is a very tasty salad that best made a bit ahead. Though you can certainly eat it right away it's best after a few hours and still excellent the second day.

2 cucumbers, peeled, cut in half, scoop seeds out, thinly sliced

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

1 TB honey

1 TB soy sauce

1 TB rice vinegar

Mix together the dressing ingredients then toss with the cucumbers. Though you can certainly eat it right away it's best after a few hours and still excellent the second day.

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