Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - September 21, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:


Mesclun! (greens are back!)

Napa Cabbage; Fennel; Bunched Kale; Mixed Potatoes; Carmen Red Peppers; Jalapeno Peppers; Carrots; Broccoli; Mixed Snap beans plus....

Pie Pumpkin



Localvore Offerings Include:

Champlain Orchards Cortland Apples

Golden Crops Quebec Organic Rolled Oats

Fat Toad Goat's Milk Caramel


Pete's Musings

Fall work is clicking along. Greenhouses will be transplanted with baby chard, head lettuce, parsley, pac choi and more this afternoon. Baby greens are being seeded in greenhouses every couple days for a steady fall supply. Onions are drying very nicely on our sun porch and potatoes are well over 1/2 dug. We are appreciating our new building and using a forklift to move bins of potatoes and other roots. In the past there was alot of double and triple lifting of these crops.

We are very pleased with our frozen good preparation for the winter CSA. A real highlight is the gold watermelon juice from High Mowing Seeds melons that we froze last week. Also we have put up a couple thousand quarts of tomato puree and sauce which will be a treasure this winter. A very good looking crop of sweet potatoes will be coming in later this week. ~ Pete


Storage and Use Tips

Pie Pumpkins -

Many people consider pumpkins to be the essence of fall, reminding them of crisp falling leaves, cool evenings and the approaching holidays. Any pumpkin recipe can be a source of comfort and warmth, but be sure to use the correct type of pumpkin to achieve a richly flavored result. Pie pumpkins are not only smaller than jack-o-lantern type pumpkins but they also have a denser flesh and more sugars that make their edible quality much more like winter squash. Most pumpkins in fact are in the same family of plants as winter squash such as: delicata squash, acorn squash, and dumpling squash and can be used similarly in pies, soups, breads even pancakes! Check out our recipes below for some tips on how to prepare. Pie pumpkins are an excellent source of beta carotene, calcium and potassium. Store all winter squash and pumpkins in a cool, dry, dark place with good ventilation, like a porch or garage, but make sure they do not freeze, around 55F is perfect. They should last over a month for decoration but use within a month for best flavor quality. Once cut, you can wrap the leftovers in plastic and store in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days.


Napa Cabbage - Need something to wrap, wok or roll? Napa cabbage is an Asian vegetable that resembles regular green cabbage, but is longer and oval-shaped. Napa cabbage has slightly more protein and fewer calories than regular cabbage and a unique taste like a mild celery or bok choy. It is delicious raw or cooked, and can be substituted for regular cabbage in most recipes. It is extremely popular in China partly because of its versatility. In Korea it is pickled, salted, and flavored with ginger and chili peppers to make Korea's national dish kim chi. Store in a sealed plastic bag in your refrigerator for 2-3 weeks.


Carmen Red Peppers - The gorgeous long red peppers are just about my favorite thing this time of year. These are sweet reds, not hot, and they are GREAT for making roasted stuffed peppers. See recipe suggestion below.



Good Eats Fall/Winter Share

Sign Up Now to Reserve Your Share!


Are you ready for winter? We will have such a great share this year. Pete is planting the greenhouses with baby greens now and getting succession crops lined up to keep us all in something green in the weeks and months ahead. We have preserved an amazing abundance of summer crops in the last month and we'll be doling out this summer goodness all winter long.


The Fall/Winter Veggie Only Share is designed to give you something fresh and green each week as well as a selection of stored, frozen or processed crops from the summer. We'll have a mix of summer and fall vegetables into November. Hardy greens and some other cold tolerant field crops will be included well into December, and then the later weeks of the share will feature more storage favorites like potatoes, carrots, onions, winter squash and cabbages along with the our winter greens mix and frozen summer goodies. Our newly re-assembled on-farm kitchen has allowed us to process and freeze many items for the winter veggie share like corn, cauliflower, tomatoes, peppers ... and even watermelon (yes watermelon!).

Join the Localvore Share and, in addition to your vegetables, receive eggs, cheeses, staples and other locally produced value added products from Pete's Greens and other great businessees around the area.

And for the kind hearted carnivores out there check out our Fall/Winter Meat Share including Pete's Pastured meats and sustainably produced meats and seafood from the area.


Check our website for more details about Fall/Winter Share details, pricing, pick-up locations and sign up information.


Vermont Farm Fund Awards $35,000 in Emergency Loans to Farms


This is exciting news. The Vermont Farm Fund has finally awarded its first emergency loans, sending checks to four farms devastated by Hurricane Irene. Kingsbury Market Garden, Westminster Organics, and Jericho Settlers Farm will each receive a 0% loan of $10,000, and the smaller Little Village Farm will receive a $5000 loan. These loans were given quickly, with flexible terms working with the needs of each farm, so that each farm had some money to work with to get back on track.

From Aaron Locker, co-owner of Kingsbury Market Garden:

The first substantial relief money that we received after the flood was from the Vermont Farm Fund. In less than a week after applying for $5,000 we received word that the money would soon be in our bank account. When the fund increased their maximum loans to $10,000 total, we requested and received another $5,000. While I expect to receive relief money from other sources, the Vermont Farm Fund enabled us to get to work quickly rebuilding our existing soil so that we are in the best shape we can be for the 2012 growing season.


Little Village Farm lost all of their crops and needed to purchase soil amendments to cover crop and nourish their flood damaged fields for next year. As a small, new farm they will probably not be a candidate for FEMA or VEDA funding. The loan that the Vermont Farm Fund was able to provide was the perfect size to allow them to move forward.

Jericho Settlers Farm lost storage crops that were integral to their Fall Share and that will have a large impact on their Fall income and ability to meet financial obligations. They had begun building a larger cooler addition on their farm to store crops and were facing a cash shortage with regard to completing construction. The Vermont Farm Fund loan will allow them to finish building and planning for next year.

The beauty of this program is the revolving nature of the fund. When our farm was in trouble we received donations which we have begun to pay back into this fund. These farms will pay their loans back as they get back on track and they may encourage others to give to and support the VFF. As this pool of funds grows, the VFF will be able to continue to offer support to farms in need.


The advisory board is reviewing more applications now and we expect that more loans will be given in the coming weeks.

Many thanks to the members of the Board and to Elena and Monty at the Center for an Agricultural Economy for helping to make this all happen so quickly!


To learn more about the Vermont Farm Fund or to support Vermont Farms now, please visit our Vermont Farm Fund page or the Center for an Agricultural Economy's website.

Donations can be mailed to:

Vermont Farm Fund
Center for an Agricultural Economy
PO Box 451
41 S. Main St.
Hardwick, VT 05843



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


Cortland Apples.... another delicious variety of delicious apples from Champlain Orchards. This all purpose apple was developed by crossing a MacIntoch and the Ben Davis variety. It was bred at the NY State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY in 1898 and named after nearby Cortland County. Cortland apples are crimson red with a little bit of light green background showing. They are sweet and juicy with a hint of tartness. They are good for fresh eating, salads, sauce, pies and baking. The snow-white flesh is also a favorite for fruit plates and garnishes because it does not turn brown very quickly.


Localvores will also receive a 5 lb bag of Golden Crops Rolled Oats from organic grower Michel Gaudreau and Golden Crops Mill, across the border in Quebec. This is the second serving of these oats this share. Michel grows quite a few different grains on his farm and mills grains for organic growers in his area. He has a great operation in a beautiful setting surrounded by his fields. Michel's Golden Crops Mill makes many organic grains available locally that we might not otherwise have local access to and we are grateful for his commitment. These are beautiful, clean organic rolled oats ideal for oatmeal, granola, cookies, streusel toppings etc. Click here for either a solid granola recipe or one for oatmeal.


Are you ready for a real treat? Fat Toad Goat's Milk Caramel or Cajeta as it is traditionally called is as good as it gets. Cajeta is very similar to the ever popular dulce de leche, a dairy based confection that uses cow’s milk. Cajeta, on the other hand has its roots in Mexico and is based on goat’s milk. Fat Toad Farm, a small family farm, is run by Judith Irving, Steve Reid and Calley Hastings. The family has spent several years building a high quality certified Alpine and Saanen goat herd producing fresh goat cheese and goat’s milk caramel (cajeta). "We hand-stir fresh goat milk and organic cane sugar over the stove for about four hours. During this time, the sugars in the milk and the sugar caramelize and produce the most incredible sweet and tasty caramel sauce. Rest assured that a lot of deep thinking and bad singing to the blasting boom box go into this caramel!"



Recipes


Quick Kim Chi Taken from She Knows Food & Recipes

Kimchi is a spicy Korean side-dish, sort of like the hottest cole slaw you’ve ever eaten. Traditional kimchi can take several days to make. However, for a quick at-home version, combine a few cups of chopped napa cabbage, a tablespoon of chopped hot peppers, 3 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar, 4 sliced cloves of garlic, and a healthy pinch of salt. Stir well, chill overnight and then eat right out of the bowl!


Quick Napa Cabbage Rolls Taken from She Knows Food & Recipes

Instead of using green cabbage, try some of the larger outer leaves of napa cabbage. Cut them in half and steam or boil them until they just turn soft and then fill with a mixture of cooked white rice and browned mild sausage or hamburger. Top with tomato sauce and bake until bubbly.


Stuffed Peppers

These beautiful peppers are an opportunity for a delightful dinner. No need for a recipe, just use your imagination. You won't go wrong.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Saute some onions and garlic, and add in some cooked rice, some cooked beans (canned kidney beans come in handy here!), some spices. Once everything is cooked and blended add some cheese (parm perhaps, or gruyere, or feta or goat). Spoon the filling into peppers that are cut in half and place peppers into an oiled baking dish.

Bake for 30 mins or more until peppers are softened and beginning to brown on some edges and filling is hot.


Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie Filling
The most important step when making a pumpkin pie (or other recipe that calls for pumpkin) with fresh, rather than canned, pumpkin is to to use a pie pumpkin. These pumpkins are small and bred to have dense, sweet flesh, unlike Jack-O-Lantern pumpkins with flesh that is stringy and tasteless.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Wash the pumpkin rind and cut the pumpkin in half. Scoop out all of the seeds and strings. Place the pumpkin halves cut-side down in a rimmed baking pan. Add about ½ inch of water to the pan and then place it in the oven. Bake the pumpkin for about 30 minutes and then flip to cut side up, add a dollop of butter, maple syrup or honey if desired and cook for another 15 minutes or so, until it is soft when peirced with a fork or knife.

Remove the pumpkin from the oven and set it aside for about 30 minutes or until it is cool enough to handle. Then, scoop out the flesh out of the rind. Place the flesh into a blender or food processor and puree until it is very smooth.
 If you want extra smooth pumpkin puree, first run the pumpkin flesh through a food mill, then process it in a blender or food processor.


You can refrigerate the pumpkin puree for up to a week or you can freeze it for later use. To freeze, pour the pumpkin into ½ quart plastic freezer bags, leaving ½ inch of headroom at the top of the bag. Seal the bag, being sure to squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. Lay the bag flat on a freezer shelf and freeze. Once the puree is solid you can stack the bags wherever you like in the freezer. Use the frozen puree within one year.


Baked Apples and Goat's Milk Caramel Taken from Fat Toad Recipes

One of the simplest and most gratifying ways to eat our caramel! This is a perfect warming fall dish best served with vanilla ice cream.

4 Apples
4 teaspoons butter
1 jar Fat Toad Farm Caramel
Cinnamon and Nutmeg to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Core 4 apples leaving the peel on. Place in 8X8 baking pan. Put a dollop of butter in core center of each apple. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Pour caramel in the center and drizzle on top. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream!


Apple Crisp

Everyone loves apple crisp! This is a basic recipe you can use for any fruit type.

3 lbs tart apples peeled, cored and sliced


2 tbs lemon juice


1/2 cup light brown sugar (pack it tightly)


1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 cup all-purpose flour


1/3 cup granulated sugar


1/3 cup rolled oats


4 tbs of cold butter (Half stick)


1/2 cup hopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Grab two bowls. In one bowl, add the apples and lemon juice. In the other bowl, combine the brown sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon, mix sugar mixture in with apples and lemon juice. Mix the flour, sugar, and oats. Slice the butter into small pieces. Use two forks to mix the the flour and butter until it looks crumbly. Add the chopped nuts. 



Preheat oven to 375F. Spread apple mixture into a 9x9 baking dish. Top it off with the crumbly oat mixture. Bake for 30 - 45 minutes at 375F, or until the apples are soft and topping is browned slightly. Drizzle Fat Toad Goat's Milk Caramel on top and serve with vanilla ice cream!



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