Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - November 22nd, 2011

Good Eats delivery is TUESDAY THIS WEEK for ALL sites! (Due to Thanksgiving)

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Mesclun and Shoots Mix; Golden Frill or Red Giant Mustard Greens; Mixed Cippolini Onions; Sweet Potatoes; Orange Carrots; Parsnips: Petite Brussels Sprouts (on the stalk) ....

1 Panisse Head Lettuce
1 Bag Frozen Squash Puree

Localvore Offerings Include:

Champlain Orchard Empire Apples
Butternut Mountain Farm Maple Sugar

VT Cranberry Company Cranberries

Veggie/Localvore Bulk Orders

Our Bulk Order Form has been updated with more items that are available. Each week we will update the list with what is currently in stock.

Either download the PDF Order Form here or pleasevisit our home page to download the order form as an Excel spreadsheet. Under the Good Eats CSA updates, on the home page, you will find the link to the Excel spreadsheet order form that you can download.

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have much to be thankful for this year. We are thankful for Vermont and Vermonters, whose help was essential in rebuilding after our January fire. We had a safe year of construction, culminating in a building that is roomy and full of potential. We had a safe and bountiful growing season. Though we had a lot of rain early in the growing season and during Irene, we had a good hot summer in between and crops thrived. Our Fall has been mild, truly a blessing around here. The Vermont Farm Fund, which was seeded with money loaned to us that we are paying back to the fund, is off to a great start and has given funds to many other farms in need in the aftermath of Irene. It is so well funded that it will soon be able to launch an innovation loan program. We are thankful for a full CSA this Fall/Winter (thank you for your continued support!). We are ever so thankful for our passionate employees: Steve, Deb, Tim, Amy, Isaac and Melissa, Annie, Kevin, Chuck, Nicole, Dan, Heather and Noah give their best, day in and day out. And we are thankful for friends, family and the land and the great food that is the reason we do this in the first place.

We hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Pete's Greens Open House - Saturday, December 3rd, 9:30am to 1:00pm

Come on out to the farm for tours and refreshments!

With thankfulness in mind, we would like to invite everyone to come out and see what we have been up to! With the end of a successful growing season, it's a great time to celebrate and thank all that helped us get back on our feet. We have come a long way since the fire and would love to show everyone what we have accomplished with the help we received. Come visit us on Saturday, December 3rd from 9:30am to 1:00pm! There will be ongoing tours throughout the day hosted by Pete Johnson, Amy Skelton, Tim Fishburne and Isaac Jacobs taking you through Pete’s Greens newly constructed facility including the washhouse, coolers, freezer, storage and on-farm kitchen. A tour will leave every half hour starting at 9:30am. Snacks and beverages will be provided, and kids will have a good time running around the cavernous space and eating!

Some of you may have received a different invitation....

Some of you may have received an invitation to an evening event and we realize that might be confusing. We are also holding an invitation only dinner that night for those that helped directly with the rebuild - contractors, funders, family, employees etc. If you have been invited to this dinner, please come, and please RSVP! We are hoping to get a head count for dinner. Thanks!

Around the Farm

Winter rye sprouting in the greens field. This crop will be tilled under in the Spring,

providing organic nutrients in the form of "green manure" for the fields

Noah the newest member of our winter team cleaning up cabbage.

Cold hardy kale varieties- lacinato, green, and red Russian - in the field.

Our winter crop of Swiss chard in the cold house.

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.

Local Author's Reading Benefit - Friday, December 2nd at 6:30pm

Back by popular demand! The Center for an Agricultural Economy and the Galaxy Bookshopare co-sponsoring another Local Authors' Reading on December 2nd at 6:30pm.

This benefit for the Hardwick Area Food Pantry and the CAE's Food Access Fund, brings together local authors and farmers, who will read their individual works in celebration of food and agriculture. This year authors Bethany Dunbar, Ben Hewitt and Julia Shipley will be joined by farmer Pete Johnson of Pete's Greens and a young, up and coming writer, Annie Myers, originally from Brooklyn, NY and now living in Craftsbury. Find out more on The Center's blog or by contacting Elena Gustavson at elena@hardwickagriculture.org or 802-472-5840.

Storage & Use Tips

Cippolini Onions - Pronounced chip-oh-LEE-nee. These are the short, disk-shaped yellow onions in your bag. Originating in Italy, cippolinis are very sweet and delicious. Try roasting some whole. Peel them, toss with a liberal amount olive oil, a few sprigs of thyme, salt and pepper, and roast in a 375F oven for around 30 minutes, or so. Serve as a side dish. Store in a cool dark place.

Sweet Potatoes - Holy sweet potato heaven... sweet potatoes have to be by far one of the sweetest vegetables (or roots) I have ever eaten. They are often found in dessert recipes and are among favorite Thanksgiving side dishes. Take note: our sweet potatoes are coming to you "dirt on" and we had to cut some bad spots off so they don't look as pretty as they should. But they will taste fantastic! This is a finicky crop to grow in these here northern climates, but we keep trying. Our crop is large and beautiful, our best yet, though still blemished. Please use them sooner than later because they won't keep well.

Parsnips - I am excited to be eating parsnips again. I love the changing vegetable seasons and will celebrate parsnips while we have them. Parsnips are related to carrots. And though parsnips are usually eaten cooked, they can also be eaten raw like carrots. They have a sweet nutty flavor and lend themselves well to cooking with honey, maple syrup and butter. They are a very flexible starch. Try them sauteed, baked, roasted and mashed, as well as in soups and stews. Like many roots they are really, really good roasted. Store parsnips as you would carrots, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Brussels Sprouts - Mini cabbages on a stick! These are actually a wild ancestor of the cabbage we know today. Named after the Belgium city of Brussels, they actually originated in Rome and were then brought to Belgium and cultivated among the cool areas of Northern Europe, where they grow best. Our Brussels sprouts this year are very petite although still very tasty I assure you. They may have some black specs on the outer leaves but these cook out when heated so don't bother peeling them too far back. Store loosely covered in plastic in your fridge either on the stick or you can cut them off. Long term storage is best on the stick.

Frozen Squash Puree - Your frozen item this week is 2lb (almost 1qt) of frozen squash puree. This is by far the easiest way to store squash, frozen in a bag. Our puree is a mix of squashes from our farm and left over squashes from High Mowing Seed's seed crops of winter squash. Use in soups, pies, breads, as a side dish or whatever you feel like.

Localvore Lore

Empire apples straight out of Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, VT will be included in this weeks localvore share (yes, we did say apples last week, but well, things change sometimes around here). Empire was developed at Cornell University in New York in the 1940s. Its parents are the classic old North American varieties Red Delicious and McIntosh that have been long grown in the Northeast. The shiny red Empire apple has a sweet-tart taste that is ideal for fresh eating and salads but also great for sauce, baking, pies and freezing. It is an ideal lunch-box apple because it does not bruise easily. It is recommended they are stored in the fridge to maintain their much loved crisp texture and sweetness.

Something a little special for Thanksgiving... You will receive a pound of pure Maple Sugarfrom Butternut Mountain Farm in Johnson, VT. We are fortunate to be able to provide it as Butternut is one of only two operations in the US to make maple sugar. Maple sugar is produced simply by boiling all of the water out of the syrup and mixing it into a granulated state. It is nice to have on hand to sprinkle onto winter squash, or onto baked apples or oatmeal or any where else a touch of maple sweetness would be welcome. Some cooking tips from Emma Marvin:

Maple sugar is highly versatile. I use it when making chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookies in place of the brown sugar and some of the white. I use it on salmon sprinkling maple sugar, ground sea salt and pepper over the top just prior to cooking. It makes a great maple salad dressing! Mix approximately equal parts of olive oil, maple sugar and vinegar (cider or rice wine works well). I’m sure there are infinitely more ways to use maple sugar, but these are just a few of my favorites. We'd love to hear about any recipes you find yourselves using our maple sugar in!

Even though it's a native fruit of Vermont, if you're a localvore and want to find someVermont Grown Cranberries, you do not have many choices. Luckily there is Bob Lesnikoski or "Cranberry Bob" and his wife Betsy who run the Vermont Cranberry Company, who are providing this week's Vermont grown cranberries, freshly packed. As Cranberry Bob points out, size does matter, as does the sorting. They meticulously sort their 30,000 pound harvest and sell only the biggest and best for the local marketplace. The cranberries are meatier and pack more flavor than their southern Cape Cod counterparts. Bob's claim to fame is the "bounce". As he explains a bouncy cranberry is the best cranberry. With that said we hope you enjoy these bouncy berries over Thanksgiving... and what would Thanksgiving be without a yummy cranberry dish? If you do not wish to use your berries for T-day you may store your berries in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks or in the freezer for longer term storage.


Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to show off our love of local foods and enthusiastically experiment with seasonal dishes. I have included some fun recipes below that are pretty straightforward, not too time consuming, and won't scare your out of town family away.

Cranberry Sauce

This is a tried and true, simple cranberry sauce recipe. I make this sauce every year or so and can lots of it so I can pull out a jar whenever needed. It will also freeze great and keeps in the fridge for a long time too. If you want to get a little more fancy add some apple pieces and raisins or spice it up with cloves, allspice and ginger.

3 cups cranberries
1.5 cups water
1 to 1.5 cups sugar

Boil sugar and water together 5 minutes; add cranberries and boil without stirring (5 minutes) until all skins pop open. Remove from heat when popping stops and allow the sauce to cool.

Squash Bread
Without bread in the share this week, it seemed natural to include a homemade version, even if it is a quick bread. Serve a piece of this pumpkin-inspired bread alongside sliced apples and a wedge of brie. If you do not have pastry and all-purpose flour feel free to use all all-purpose or 2 c white and 1 c all-purpose mixed together.

2 1/2 c maple or white sugar
2 sticks butter, melted and cooled
3 large eggs
2 c squash puree
2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 c all purpose flour
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 c coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Whisk sugar and melted butter in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Whisk together flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture. 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.

Baby Brussels Sprouts with Pecans
This is a tasty side or a good base to a whole grain side dish. I would suggest combining with a starch such as rice, pearled barley or another whole grain. You could also add some cranberries by simmering them in the sauce right before you add the sprouts and nuts.

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup pecans or substitute almonds (optional, but flavorful)
Coarse salt
1/2 c cippolini onions, finely chopped
2 c baby Brussels sprouts
2 Tbs sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
3 Tbs maple sugar
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Toast pecans, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer pecans to a plate, and season with salt. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, onions, and 1/4 cup water to pan; simmer until water is evaporated and onions are tender and pale golden, about 10 minutes. Trim Brussels sprouts, then score an X into the bottom of each one. Steam Brussels sprouts by bringing 1/3c water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, add sprouts, cover and steam until just tender enough to pierce with the tip of a sharp knife, 6 to 8 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar, maple sugar, and mustard. Add Brussels sprouts, and onions. Toss to coat, and season with salt and pepper. Coarsely chop pecans and add just before serving, warm or at room temperature.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables and Vermont Cranberries
This recipe was adapted from Boyden Valley Winery's newsletter using vegetables you have in this week or last week's share. Feel free to add any that you have on hand. Increase dressing if needed to coat larger portions.

3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, pressed and finely chopped
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp basil
3-4 l cippolini onions, quartered
2 parsnips, sliced 1/4" thick
4 carrots, sliced 1/4" thick
1 Sweet potato, cubed into 12" cubes
5 Fingerling potatoes, sliced 1/2" thick
1 pound fresh Vermont Cranberry Company Cranberries (optional)
Coarse kosher salt
Coarse black pepper

Whisk vinegar and oil together and stir in garlic, thyme and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss onions and next 7 ingredients in large bowl; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Add dressing, toss to coat. Spread vegetables out on baking sheet. Roast until vegetable are tender and slightly brown around the edges. About 35-40 minutes.

Sky-High Apple-Cranberry Pie
This can be made with or without the cranberries, but I think they make a great seasonal addition. It is a classic apple pie recipe that gives a light fluffy top crust perfectly for vanilla ice cream topping. Adapted from Martha Stuart Living.

2 cups flour (ww pastry or unbleached white or a combo)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1.5 sticks cold butter cut into 1/4" slices
Ice water

For The Filling
5 pounds (about 10) apples, cored and sliced lengthwise (see below)
1 1/2 c fresh cranberries
3/4 c granulated or maple sugar
1/3 c all-purpose flour
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk lightly beaten with 2 tablespoons heavy cream, for egg wash
2 Tbs coarse sugar for crust topping (optional but delicious)

Make the crusts: Place flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and give it a quick pulse to mix. Toss in the slices of cold butter. Using the pulse button, pulse 7-8 times for 1 second each time until the flour butter mixture looks like very coarse cornmeal. Run a fork through it and look for butter chunks. The largest chunks should be pea sized or a bit larger (high bush blue berry sized?). Transfer to a mixing bowl. Pour in 1/3 cup of water and fold flour in from outer edges of bowl with a rubber spatula. The goal in mixing water into the dough is to do it with as few strokes as possible so use some strategy. You will need to add more water, depending on how cold your butter is, moisture content of flour etc. You may need as much nearly another 1/3 cup but probably not quite that much. As soon as it starts holding together, use your hands to gather the dry flakes that resist capture and form the dough into two equal sized balls. The dough wants to be just moist enough to come together, and not so dry that your balls want to crack apart again. Separate into two balls with one being slightly larger than the other. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel and core apples. Cut each into 1/2- to 1-inch-thick wedges, and transfer to a bowl. Toss in cranberries, sugar, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Roll out each dough, the small one for the bottom, the large ball for the top. Line bottom crust in 9"pan. Transfer filling to bottom crust, dot with butter. Cover with top crust. Fold edges under; crimp. Cut eight 2 1/2-inch vents into the top dough to let steam escape. Put in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes. Gently brush top crust with egg wash; sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake pie set on a rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes at 425F. Reduce oven temperature to 375F. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, 1 hour 20 minutes more. (Tent with foil if crust is browning too quickly.) Let pie cool completely in plate set on a wire rack.

Note: As you're piling the apples in, you may think you have too many -- keep going. They elevate the top crust and will cook down. You'll need a large disk of dough for the top crust and a small one for the bottom. Make two batches of pate crust: Resist the temptation to double the recipe (it won't work as well).

Cranberry Clafouti
This simple batter is similar to pancake batter. Poured in a pan with fruit, it bakes into a creamy custard. Serves 4 to 6. Adapted from Martha Stewart Living.

1 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature, for dish
1/2 c plus 2 Tbs maple sugar
1/4 c plus 2 Tbs all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
3/4 c whole milk
2 tsp finely grated orange zest
1 1/2 c fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 1-quart baking dish (not metal). Sprinkle 2 tablespoons maple sugar over bottom. Sift remaining 1/2 cup maple sugar, flour, and salt into a large bowl. Gradually whisk in eggs, 3/4 cup cream, the milk, and zest. Scatter cranberries into dish; pour batter over top. Bake until puffed, slightly set, and brown around edges, 32 to 34 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes (it will sink). Whisk remaining 1/4 cup cream until soft peaks form. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!

Sweet Potato Spread
This recipe is great for your leftovers! Use sweet potatoes, squash or pumpkin puree. A tasty spread for, dinner rolls, toast, pancakes, muffins or anything else you would like to smack it on. A great treat for the the big day or the morning after!

2 sticks softened unsalted butter
1 lg sweet potato, cooked and mashed
3 Tbs maple sugar
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice or substitute cardamon, nutmeg, or cinnamon (optional)
1/2 tsp coarse salt

Combine all ingredients. With a mixer, mix on high speed until pale and fluffy. The mix will stay fresh in the fridge for up to to 2 weeks.

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