Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Good Eats Weekly Newsletter - December 21, 2016


Localvore Members 
& Full Veggie Only Share Members

This week your bag contains:

Mesclun Mix, Spinach, Tatsoi, Chard, Rainbow Carrots, Celeriac, Potatoes, Cippolini Onions, Garlic, and Butternut Squash

Half Veggie Members
take a YELLOW BAG containing:

Mesclun Mix, Spinach, Tatsoi, Rainbow Carrots, Potatoes, Onion, Garlic, and Butternut Squash

Localvore / Pantry Offerings

Cellars at Jasper Hill Harbison
Patchwork Bakery Seeded Baguette
McFarline Apiaries Honey

Pete's Musings... from sunny Mexico!

Thanks for joining Good Eats this winter. On the farm, the crew is getting ready for a well deserved week off. It was a bountiful growing season and there are lots of stored crops to wash and pack through the rest of the winter.

This week, the family and I are in Mexico. Today we are visiting some of our summer amigo crew who live on an island in a mountain lake. It's called Janitizio and located 4 hours northwest of Mexico City. It's a tiny island and they don't know we're coming. I'm hoping to sneak up behind Juan Carlos and give him a good scare.

See you next year!

~ Pete

About those plastic bags...

Many of you have asked about re-using the plastic bags that your shares are delivered in each week. Unfortunately, we cannot re-use them. Here are some suggestions for what to do with the plastic bags:

- Re-use them for other shopping! Take them with you to the farmers' market, grocery store, or any other store. Instead of taking a new one, reuse an old one!

- Share clean bags with farmers at the farmers' market or thrift stores - or at other places where they may need reusable bags.

- Use them to take your lunch to work or class.

- Google "reuse plastic shopping bags" for oodles of ideas!

- Recycle them. Check with your local solid waste management district. These bags are 100% virgin polyethylene; a #4 type plastic. Your SWMD may recycle them. Hannaford also recycles this kind of plastic bag. 

- Bring them back to your CSA site. We'll recycle them at the farm. 

- Have another brilliant idea? Let me know!

Meet Joe, our newest crew member!
Around the Farm

Back in the deep freeze... By the time you pick up your shares, winter will REALLY be here as we honor the winter solstice December 21. Now is the time when we really get to hunker down and reflect on why we live in Vermont. With temperatures below zero and wind chills making it feel like -30 here in the NEK, it can be hard to remember why many of us choose to live here. Our days get shorter, the roads get dangerous, and our layers of clothes and wool can make us feel like we're shuffling along in a cloak of extra weight.

During the solstice, we trade places with the sourthern hemisphere and for the next few months, those of us in Vermont will lean away from the sun. But this is the time we get to lean into ourselves - those crisp winter days when we work up a sweat on a nice ski, get to play freely in the snow, travel under trees heavy with white crystals, or watch our dogs burrow into a snowbank - and make the cup of warm cocoa and hot soup at the end of the day well deserved. It's those days when we're next to a fire or under a blanket with a good book and hearty stew that we really come to appreciate the earth's bounty each spring. Winter is a great time to reflect, to write, to breathe deeply, to to challenge yourself to get outside, to plan for re-building broken fences, to try new recipes. 

Around here, we're busy planning what to grow next spring, next summer, and next fall in our greenhouses. We're taking inventory of our equipment and machinery. We're building connections with other farms and food producers so we can come back next spring with an exciting CSA share for our members. We're plotting how to connect with our neighbors to empower our community from the ground up. 

Thank you for being a part of our community, whether you've been a member of Good Eats for the fall or for the whole year. Safe travels and warm wishes for a happy new year from all of us at Pete's Greens. It's been a tough year and I know I'm not alone in saying "So long 2016! Welcome, 2017! We're ready for you." We'll be back with deliveries on January 4 and exciting changes for our Good Eats CSA program.

~ Taylar

Have a warm, safe, and very happy new year from all of us at Pete's Greens!

Front: Becca, Melissa, Amy
Middle: Taylar, Steve, Alison, Erick, Isaac, Melissa, Juanchy
Back: Dave, Richard, Tim, Niles

Storage and Use Tips 
Our mesclun mix is back this week with a refreshing mix of lettuce, claytonia, and spinach. Claytonia is called "miner's lettuce," so named for its use by gold miners in 1849 California. It grows in cold conditions, so it's perfect for that little pop of freshness in a Vermont winter!
We have another tasty Asian green for you this week - tatsoi. I had great feedback from members last time we put this in. Tatsoi grows very well in our greenhouse. Tatsoi has a pleasant and sweet aroma flavor like a mild mustard flavor, similar to bok choi. Tatsoi is generally eaten raw, but may be added to soups at the end of the cooking period. I used mine a few weeks ago with my eggs in the morning - I found the greens excellent for sauteeing! Refrigerate unwashed tatsoi in a plastic container or loosely wrapped plastic bag. It's best when eaten in the next few days.
Both shares are receiving bunched spinach this week. Bunched spinach, you might think? Yes! According to Pete, this is an old Vermonter tradition - spinach used to be sold bunched, with roots and all (we cut ours off). We had to harvest all the spinach from our greenhouse before the deep freeze, which is why you might feel like you're on greens overload! But we're excited to share so much fresh stuff with you this far into the year. Store this spinach the way you would bagged spinach - in plastic, in your crisper drawer and use before it starts to get soggy.
Both shares are receiving a mixed potato variety, including a few of the purple Peter Wilcoxes, Adirondack Reds, Red Golds, and Golds. The Adirondack Reds are red inside and out while the other three have a white, gold, or yellow flesh. You could try mashing them all together but this is a very nice mix for roasting. You could even try roasting (or mashing) with celeriac. Store in a cool, dark location, away from onions.
Large shares (pictured to the right) are receiving celeriacAlso called celery root, celeriac is a vegetable that cleans up well - Tim even called it "sexy". Once you peel away its gnarled outer layer, you find a creamy interior with a clean taste that has wide appeal. Store unwashed celeriac in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, where it will keep for several weeks.  Here's how to cut this veggie: I like to take a thin slice off the top so that I can lay it flat.  Then I cut the whole thing into 1" wide strips and trim the edges off.  It's tough to peel because it's so uneven so this method works well for me.  Like apples, celeriac will darken if exposed to the air for too long. If you don’t plan to cook it immediately, submerge the celeriac in a bowl of water with lemon juice squeezed in.
The garlic variety this week is called Uzbekistan. It is an heirloom variety. Let it dry out and store on your counter - somewhere fairly warm. And, this week your butternut squash is INSIDE the bag!

Need to Skip a Week?

If you're ever not able to pick up your share, please let us know at least one week in advance. We can either skip your share and give you credit, send it the next week, or donate it to the food pantry. It's up to you!

Sorry, we cannot skip a share or change pick-up sites with less than 48 hours notice.

** There will be no delivery the week of December 26th **

Localvore Lore

Perfect for your holiday platter! You're receiving Harbison cheese from the Cellars at Jasper Hill, honey from Mcfarline Apiaries, and either a baguette or rolls from Patchwork Farm and Bakery.

This wheel of Harbison, made by our friends at Jasper Hill Creamery, recently won "Best American Cheese" for the second year in a row at the World Cheese Awards in Spain in November. Harbison is a soft-ripened cheese made with a bloomy rind wrapped in strips of spruce cambium (the tree's inner bark layer). It's woodsy and sweet, and perfect for a party cheese board. Make sure to cut off the top of the cheese and eat it right out of the rind. Replace the top of the cheese and wrap it back up if you need to store it. Once it's opened, eat within a few days. Even if you're not a fan of "stinky", show off the taste of the NEK to friends and family or give it another try. You might like it!

Mcfarline Apiaries is located in Benson, VT. This raw honey has never been heated or filtered. It is extracted and allowed to settle in the bottling tank where after 1 - 2 days most of the wax, propolis, and pollen float to the surface. Then, they bottle what is on the bottom. If you notice small particles on the top layer of your honey, this is just pollen, propolis, and/or wax, which only add to the therapeutic qualities of raw honey. It is unnoticeable while eating. Honey is extremely versatile. Use it in teas or with hot lemon water, as part of a glaze, when making granola, in baking, drizzle some on your yogurt, slather it on buttered toast... the possibilities are quite endless.

Patchwork Farm and Bakery is lcoated in East Hardwick. Charlie Emers bakes his breads out of a wood fired oven located at his home using mostly Vermont-grown wheat. These seeded baguettes are coated in five different types of seeds. This is a new CSA item so your feedback is always welcome! 


Sauteed Chard with Onions
Here's a basic chard/ braised greens recipe. To kick this up a notch, add mushrooms or some chopped celery.

1 bunch green Swiss chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
Handful of Garlic Chives, finely chopped

Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders. Cut cylinders crosswise to make 1-inch-wide strips.

Heat oil and butter in a large heavy pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard stems and ribs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until stems are just tender, about 10 minutes. Add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.

Spicy Celeriac and Carrot Soup

1 tsp olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped Poblano chilies (canned)
1 celeriac, peeled and diced (try subbing in potato for celeriac if no celeriac available)
1 pound carrots, peeled and diced
2 vegetable stock cubes made up with 7.5 cups boiling water
Fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion until softened. Add the garlic and red chilli and cook for a further minute. Combine the vegetables and add to the saucepan, allowing them to cook for a few minutes before adding the vegetable stock and half of the fresh coriander.

Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 25 minutes.

Blend the soup in a processor until smooth. Return the soup to the saucepan, season to taste and warm through before serving, sprinkled with coriander.

Jamie Oliver's Smashed Celeriac

1 celeriac , peeled
olive oil
1 handful fresh thyme , leaves picked
2 cloves garlic , finely chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3-4 tablespoons water or organic stock

Slice about 1cm/½ inch off the bottom of your celeriac and roll it on to that flat edge, so it's nice and safe to slice. Slice and dice it all up into 1cm/½ inch-ish cubes. Don't get your ruler out – they don't have to be perfect. Put a casserole-type pot on a high heat, add 3 good lugs of olive oil, then add the celeriac, thyme and garlic, with a little seasoning. Stir around to coat and fry quite fast, giving a little colour, for 5 minutes.

Turn the heat down to a simmer, add the water or stock, place a lid on top and cook for around 25 minutes, until tender. Season carefully to taste and stir around with a spoon to smash up the celeriac. Some people like to keep it in cubes, some like to mash it, but I think it looks and tastes much better if you smash it, which is somewhere in the middle. You can serve this with just about any meat you can think of.

Sauteed Tatsoi
Here's a quick, tasty way to enjoy your tatsoi.

1 head tatsoi
Olive oil

Slice the stems into 3/4-inch lengths and stir-fry them with some finely chopped garlic and a generous pinch of salt in olive oil for a minute or two, then add a couple tablespoons of water and steam them, covered, for a couple of minutes to soften them further. At that point add the whole leaves, stirring and turning them with tongs for about a minute, then add about ¼ cup water and another generous pinch of salt and steam, covered, until wilted and tender, about 3 to 4 minutes more.

You could give it an Asian flavor with ginger, soy sauce, and a touch of toasted sesame oil, but it’s just as delicious in a simple Italian-style treatment with garlic and olive oil.

Farmers Market Greens
This is a basic salad with a wonderful vinaigrette.

1 tablespoon Champagne vinegar
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb mixed baby greens such as kale, mizuna, tatsoi, mustard, arugula, and spinach (16 cups)
Whisk together vinegar, shallot, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Add greens and toss until coated well.

Greens can be washed and dried 1 day ahead and chilled in a sealed plastic bag lined with paper towels. Vinaigrette can be made 6 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before using.

Winter Greens and Potato Frittata

Big pile of winter greens (6 large Swiss chard leaves, bunch of spinach, bunch of kale, etc.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 medium boiling potato or handful of smaller potatoes, peeled and diced finely
6 large eggs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper
1 teaspoon unsalted butter

Wash the greens and pat very dry. Cut off and discard the stems, then gather the leaves into a tight bundle and finely chop them.

Heat the oil in a 9- or 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until the onion turns golden, about 10 minutes. Mix in the potato and cover the pan. Cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the potato is tender and the onions are brown, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the cover and pile on the greens. Cover again and cook, tossing occasionally, until the leaves are wilted, about 5 minutes. Scrape this mixture onto a plate and let cool. Wipe the pan clean.

Beat the eggs thoroughly in a large bowl. Beat in the cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in the cooled vegetable mixture.

Melt the butter in the skillet over low heat and swirl it around to coat the sides of the pan. Pour in the egg mixture. After about 5 minutes, when the edges begin to set, help the liquid egg pour over the sides of the frittata by occasionally loosening the edges with a rubber spatula and tilting the pan. It should take about 15 minutes for the frittata to become almost completely set.

Preheat the broiler. When the frittata is about 80 percent cooked, slide it under the broiler for a minute or so, until the top is set. (If the handle of your pan isn't ovenproof, wrap a few layers of foil around it before placing it under the broiler.) Let the frittata cool 10 minutes before cutting it into wedges.

Potato Pancakes [Latkes]
This classic latke recipe is a keeper.

1 pound potatoes, peeled
1 small onion (4 ounces), peeled
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Peanut oil, for frying

In a food processor or on a box grater, coarsely shred the potato and onion. For longer strands, lay the potato sideways in the chute of your food processor. Transfer to a colander or wrap in a cheesecloth sling, and squeeze as dry as possible. Let stand for 2 minutes, then squeeze dry again.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, egg, salt and pepper together. Stir in the potato onion mixture until all pieces are evenly coated.

In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil until shimmering. Drop packed teaspoons of the potato mixture into the skillet and flatten them with the back of a spoon. Cook the latkes over moderately high heat until the edges are golden, about 1 1/2 minutes; flip and cook until golden on the bottom, about 1 minute. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining potato mixture, adding more oil to the skillet as needed.

Do ahead: Latkes are a do-ahead-er’s dream. You can also keep latkes warm in the oven for an hour or more, if you’re waiting for stragglers to arrive. Cooked, they keep well in the fridge for a day or two, or in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to two weeks. Reheat them in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven until they’re crisp again. Bonus: If you undercooked them a bit or didn’t get the browning on them you’d hoped for, you can compensate for this in the oven.

Tartiflette - Alpine Melted Cheese, Bacon and Potato Gratin
This comfort-food dish is from the Alpine Haute Savoie region of France. This dish is traditionally made with Reblochon cheese. If you're not a fan of the Harbison, try using it in this dish.

2 lbs potatoes
1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
6-8 oz lardons streaky bacon, diced
1 oz butter
1 glass of wine
4 Tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper 
1 ripe Reblochon or Harbison cheese (or other Alpine style cheese)

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the potatoes whole, in their skins, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the onion and bacon in the butter in a heavy frying pan over a medium heat; they should sweat but not brown. When they are cooked, discard the fat and add the glass of wine and the creme fraiche and mix well.

Drain the potatoes and as soon as they are cool enough to handle peel them (or don’t) — the quicker the better. Slice thinly across.

Choose an ovenproof earthenware dish and rub it well with the cut halves of garlic. Layer half the sliced potatoes across the base, season them with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then scatter over half the onion and bacon mixture.

Cut the cheese in half through the centre, leaving you with a cut edge and a skin/rind edge, then lay one half of the cheese on top of the potato, bacon and onion mixture. Add the remaining bacon and onion mixture followed by the rest of the potatoes and more seasoning.
Place the remaining half of cut cheese skin/rind side up on top of the potatoes.

Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F for another 20-25 minutes. The Reblochon should melt within its skin and the cheese drip down throughout the dish, while the potatoes will become crispy and golden brown.

Tartiflette is a filling dish and all you really need to go with it is a mixed green salad, crusty French bread and a selection of pickles.

Pete, Bee, and the Juan Manuel family. Juan Manuel (striped shirt) and Adon (white shirt) have worked for us before- they're also part of Hector's family.

Three months earlier... here's Hector in the fields! We miss his good humor and helpfulness!
Hector is busy building his house, which involves jackhammering and hauling stones 1/4 mile uphill 300 feet in elevation!


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