Thursday, July 7, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - July 6, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Bag of Mesclun Greens; Peas; Baby Pearl Onions; Zucchini; Garlic Scapes; Kale; Zucchini; Green Tomatoes; Red Beets plus...

Frozen Squash Puree

Localvore Offerings Include:

Gleason Grains Snake River Sifted Wheat Flour

Pa Pa Doodles Farm Eggs

Butterworks Yogurt

Meat Share Members Only
This week is your first meat share pick-up week!
Meat shares are packed in purple bags and located in coolers marked Meat Members Only.

Please check your name off the Meat Share names list when picking up your share.
Please take 1 bag per share (do not take two bags if you are splitting your share!).

Storage and Use Tips

Green Tomatoes - We will be giving out some green tomatoes in the weeks ahead. There is a bit of a sad story behind this. Our tomatoes have caught a tomato disease that will in time take down most of our crop this year. The affliction is a seed borne bacterial infection. The tomato fruits themselves are fine to eat, but sadly won't be able to completely ripen on the vine. As they ripen and become more tender during ripening, they are very susceptible to the bacteria and one little blemish will spoil the fruit. We are learning more about the disease and its progression each day and are working with plant pathologists to try to extend the harvest as long as possible.

As for the tomatoes in the share, they may ripen on your counter. But you may be best to enjoy them as green tomatoes. I have provided my favorite fried green tomato recipe below and a fabulous relish recipe that I was given this weekend.

Kale - We grow many varieties of kale at the far and this week you will receive either green kale Redbor. Kale is packed with health-promoting compounds, and it has been found to have the greatest antioxidant capacity of all fruits and vegetables. It’s an excellent source of vitamins K, A and C, as well as manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber, calcium, iron and potassium. You can't do much better for yourself than to take in regular servings of this veggie. Keep kale loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. Strip the leaves from the stems and wash them well before chopping and cooking.

Parsley - Parsley packs a serious nutrition punch in a small package. Just 2 TB packs a wallop of vitas K, C, and A. I have been making tabouli a lot lately using fresh parsley from the farm. It's quick to make, super tasty, very healthy, and makes a great side dish or quick snack. If you have a hankering for tabouli I posted my go to recipe in the newsletter a while back.

Sugar Snap Peas - These are the peas you can eat whole, pod and all. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Puree - In the Fall we put up our year's worth of squash puree. The annual making of our squash puree is a joint effort. High Mowing Seeds grows several super sweet varieties of winter squash in order to collect the seeds for their customers. They do the seed extraction at our farm and we take all the flesh of the squash and steam it to make the puree. This squash puree came from a small butternut variety and it has a very high sugar content. You can use the puree as a side dish, or in soup, or to make pumpkin pie. I've included a risotto recipe and bread recipe below. If using for a side dish, you may want to drain some of the water that separates from the squash when you thaw it. Your puree will then be a bit thicker.

Weekly Harvest with Annie

Last week, a friend of mine from New York joined the crew here for the Thursday/Friday harvest. Since I thought she should see my part in the process from beginning to end, I told her to come first for the walk-through on Wednesday evening, when I make a list of what we have available in the field for wholesale orders and for the farmers market. My friend returned the next day for the bunching harvest, when we harvest according to the list of produce that we'll bring to market and produce that's been ordered wholesale. She came again early on Friday for the greens harvest and packing of the truck for the farmers market and wholesale delivery on Saturday. 

When we left the farm on Friday night, she said the harvest had reminded her of the Christmas season packing system at the cheese shop in New York where she used to work. For the Christmas packing, she would take inventory of all the wheels and blocks and logs of cheese in the shop, and then she would be given a list of all the weights of the pieces of cheese ordered for shipping. She and the staff would cut, according to that list, all day for several days leading up to Christmas. It was an exhausting time, she said, but it was always impressive how much product they managed to get out the door.

The next day, this same friend joined us again for our farm party on Saturday night. Only then did she admit that she couldn't believe we went through that "Christmas rush" twice a week, all summer. And by the time the farm employees stopped playing kickball at the party, only because it had gotten too dark to see the ball, she started to have this look of fascination on her face. She said, partly as a statement, partly wondering how it worked, "Annie, you all never stop moving!" Which is about the impression I had hoped she would get.

It feels like a good long time since I was in the greenhouses with Deb this Spring, learning to recognize seeds and haul row cover and lay down irrigation. Rather than keep track of a room of seedlings, we are keeping track of fields of crops! And my friend was right. We don't stop moving (ideally). And we are finally getting food out and onto people's plates. So far, it's a pretty awesome progression to be a part of. ~ Annie

August 11 - Outstanding in the Field Dinner

I gave you all the wrong date for the Outstanding in the Field event last week. The dinner at the farm will take place Thursday August 11th. Outstanding in the Field connects a passionate chef with a farm and then provides all the infrastructure to make a picture perfect meal happen in very rural or remote places. This year, the sole Vermont event will be held at Pete's Greens and Chef Eric Warnstedt of Hen of the Wood restaurant will prepare what will surely be an amazing meal. A place at the table includes a five course meal with wine pairings, all gratuities, producer discussions, and a tour of the farm with Pete.

Tickets are available. Visit the Outstanding in the Field website for event details or to order tickets.

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.

If you are splitting your share with someone.....

If you split your share with someone weekly and you actually physically split your share at pick-up, please take care to label the half share you leave behind and place it somewhere away from other shares. We haven't had any problems this share period but would hate to have someone go home with a partial share unwittingly.

Localvore Lore

This week we have a great new flour grown by Ben and Theresa Gleason in Bridport. Snake Mountain sifted flour is produced by taking finely milled whole wheat flour and sifting a portion of the bran out. In the end, only around 8% of the total weight of the wheat is sifted off (as opposed to about 30% for white flour) The end result is a lighter wheat flour that can be used in many places you can use an all purpose flour with a tastier and healthier result. The flour is still wonderful for breads. I have been using it in muffins and pancakes and baked goodies. For cookies and sweeter confections I have been using a mix of this flour and Tom Kenyons VT white.

Another round of eggs this week from the girls at Pa Pa Doodles Farm. You can expect eggs every other week for the course of the share (at least that's the plan as long as the hens cooperate!).

We have Butterworks Yogurt this week too. At Butterworks Farm, Jack and Annie Lazor milk a small herd of Jerseys, all of whom are born on the farm and are fed entirely organic feeds grown on the farm. Milk from Jersey cows is rich, with a high protein count and fat content and yogurt made from this milk is richer than others. The non fat yogurt produced by Butterworks is the only non fat yogurt on the market that does not contain milk thickeners like whey protein or dry milk. Their whole milk yogurt is made from just that, whole jersey milk straight from the cows, so the yogurt comes with cream on top and a butterfat content of 5%, the highest on the market. There will be a mix of yogurts at the sites this week - non fat plain and vanilla, whole milk plain and whole milk maple. The non fat vanilla is flavored with pure vanilla extract, and sweetened with pure maple syrup. The maple whole milk yogurt is simply whole milk plain that they sweeten with maple syrup. It's so darn good it can substitute for a bowl of ice cream.

 Tim made a great potato salad for our farm party this weekend using this yogurt. He used maple!

This is a lighter Localvore/Pete's Pantry week in order to balance some shares ahead are over value.

Meat Share

Pete's Pastured Chicken - We lost nearly all of our meat in the fire. However, our tractor trailer freezer was so full at the end of the harvest season that we had to store the last of our harvested meats at a commercial freezer, thus a small amount of our meat was spared. These are our own chickens, pasture raised.

Pete's Pastured Pork (Ham Steak and Bacon) - We raise our pigs at the farm on our own pasture. Pigs actually graze a lot if given the room to roam, and ours had 20 acres to call their own. We will have quite an assortment of pork cuts for you during the course of the share and we are starting this share off with a couple of crowd pleasers - a ham steak and some bacon. Yum!

Greenfield Highland Beef Ground Beef - Grass-fed and grass-finished, Janet and Ray's Highland cattle produce a more nutritious beef. Less fat and fewer calories, yet richer in vitamin E, Omega 3's, beta-carotene and more. Janet and Ray raise a purebred herd of Highland Cattle. They show their cows and place among the best in the country. Highland beef are bred for their ability to thrive on grass and meats. You'll taste the difference. The burger is delicious.

Maplewind Farm Summer Sausage - Once again we have a great product from Maplewind Farm in Huntington. Up on top of a ridge with the Long Trail running by, Beth and Bruce raise beef, poultry, pigs, and poultry while also growing vegetables for their CSA down on the valley floor. Their pigs are all born on the farm and pastured throughout their lives. The Summer Sausage in the share today is great on crackers or with a cheese plate or in a sandwich. It is completely cured and can actually be kept on the kitchen counter until it is opened (after which it does need to be refrigerated). But it needs no cooking. Just slice up and enjoy. It is mild flavored summer sausage and also makes great sandwich meat!


Fried Green Tomatoes

This is a great recipe I have used many times. It originally came from Southern Living (but I may have adapted in somewhat along the way). Serves 4 - 6.

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup buttermilk (or use the substitute of 1 tsp lemon juice in a 1/2 cup of milk)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/3-inch slices

vegetable oil

Salt to taste

Combine egg and buttermilk; set aside. Combine 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl or pan. Dredge tomato slices in remaining 1/4 cup flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture.

Pour oil to a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inch in a large cast-iron skillet; heat to 375°. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or a rack. Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt.

Green-Tomato Relish

We had a farm get together pot luck this weekend out at the Craftsbury Center. Pete was grill master and people brought an amazing array of dishes made with local food. Taylor made this green tomato relish which was supposed to be a side for the meats. It was so good, I ate it as a dessert (along with the chocolate cream pie and strawberry rhubarb). But great as a meat side, to serve with cheese, etc. Meat share members - this would be great with this weeks ham steak or summer sausage. From Makes 2 cups

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar

2 medium green tomatoes, diced small

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 teaspoon mustard seed

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

In a medium saucepan, bring vinegar, sugar, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer; stir until sugar has dissolved. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a rapid simmer, and cook until tomatoes are just tender and liquid has almost evaporated, about 14 minutes. (To store, refrigerate, up to 2 weeks.)

Squash and Kale Risotto

This dish from the cookbook Moosewood Restaurant Low Fat Favorites is a great way to use kale and squash together for a very healthy meal. And delicious. The original recipe called for 4.5 to 5 cups broth and 2 cups cubed squash. I made changes to accommodate the squash puree, reducing the liquids a bit. Though you won't get chunks of squash, you will get the great flavor throughout the dish.

4 to 4.5 c. vegetable stock or garlic broth

1 cup minced onions

2-3 TB olive oil

1.5 cups arborio rice (or pearled barley!)

1/2 cup dry white wine

1.5 to 2 cups winter squash puree

3 cups stemmed and chopped kale, packed

1/8-1/4 t. nutmeg

1 tsp fresh lemon peel

1/4 c. grated parmesan

salt & black pepper to taste

Bring stock to boil, reduce to simmer. Meanwhile, in heavy saucepan sauté onions in 2 TB of oil for 5 minutes. Using wooden spoon, add rice and stir until well coated with oil. Add wine. When absorbed, ladle in 2 1/2 c. of stock, 1/2 c. at a time, stirring frequently for 2-3 min. each time until rice has absorbed the liquid. Add squash and kale and stir. Continue adding 1/2 c. of broth every few minutes for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until all of stock has been added and rice is tender but firm. Add nutmeg, peel, and salt and pepper to taste. Remove risotto from heat, stir in cheese, and stir immediately

Egg and Oat Scramble Recipe

This recipe comes from share member Shelly Martin: "This Egg and Oat Scramble recipe is delicious and perfect for starting your day off right! Modified from the Men's Health recipe "Spicy Eggs 'N' Oats Scramble," you can substitute or add other veggies as well. Great way to use those delicious Quebec oats and Pa Pa Doodle eggs!"

4 eggs

1/2 cup oats

1/4 teaspoon dried basil (or 1 Tablespoon fresh)

Pinch of ground pepper

1/3 cup chopped tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped spinach (or beet greens!) (about 10 leaves)

1 teaspoon finely chopped onions

1 teaspoon grated Parmesan cheese

Dash of hot pepper sauce or cayenne pepper (Optional)

In a bowl, whisk together eggs until frothy. Add the oats, basil, and pepper. Allow to soak for 3 minutes. Place the mixture to a greased pan over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, spinach, and onion. Cooking and stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the eggs are firm. Remove from heat and add cheese and hot pepper sauce.

Butternut Squash Bread

Here's another delicious way to use your squash puree. This bread freezes beautifully and the recipe makes 2 loaves. So make one for your family, and save one for later. If you can.

3 cups sugar

1 cup butter (or oil)

3 large eggs

2 cups squash puree

3 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar and butter in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and squash puree. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into squash mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.

Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.

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