Pete’s Greens Good Eats Newsletter February 27, 2008

Due to the weather forecast, we will be delivering shares on Thursday this week. Pick-up times will remain the same. 'Hope you get to stay home and have a snow day.

Important Share Information
Thanks to everyone for making our first pick-up last week go so smoothly. This week please look for the name pick-up list on a clipboard. The pick-up instructions will be behind the name list on the same clipboard. Please cross of your share name before moving on to this week's instructions. If you don't see your name (or your share-mate's), please contact us immediately.

All your veggies will be in a purple plastic bag this week. Even though the bag's not tan, they are still yours!

Please bring back your empty plastic bags and egg cartons when you pick-up. You'll see spots for collecting both. Thank you for helping with our recycling effort!

We are always looking for feedback as we move through the share period. Please send any positive and not-so-positive comments to Nancy. If there are any issues, we would really like to hear about them as soon as they arise!

If you have any questions with your pick-up please email or call 802.586.2882 x2.

Bulk Order, Delivery March 12th
'Can't get enough of our root vegetables? We will be offering a bulk order of available produce and Pete's chicken and lamb for delivery on March 12th. The prices on our bulk orders are very close to wholesale, with a minimum order of $40. All orders and checks must be mailed to the farm to be received by March 7th to ensure a March 12th delivery. Visit our Bulk Order page for more details and an order form.

This Week's Share Contains
Rainbow Roots (#5 mixed carrots, beets, turnips, rutabagas, radishes, and potatoes), 3# mixed yellow potatoes, either a green or Savoy cabbage, celeriac, valentine radishes, 1 bag Gleason Grains whole wheat pastry flour, Maplebrook Farm fresh mozzarella, Elmore Mtn. bread with Blue cheese crumbles and Champlain Valley Apiaries raw honey.

Bread Ingredients: Quebec sifted organic wheat flour, Jasper Hill blue cheese, thyme, water, yeast, sea salt, Quebec sunflower oil

Vegetable Storage and Use Tips
Rainbow Roots - This mixed bag of roots will keep, unwashed in your crisper drawer for a couple of weeks. If you're ambitious, you can pull out any potatoes and treat them like the rest (below).
Potatoes - If these are damp, let them dry on the counter for an hour or so. Then store in a paper bag in a cool dark place. A drawer or cupboard is ideal.
Celeriac - This wonderful, ugly thing is delicious, both raw and cooked. It does have a tendency to turn brown once cut, so if you need to let it sit before dressing or cooking it, drop it in some acidulated water (fancy name for water with lemon juice in it). Try boiling and mashing it with the potatoes, butter and cream (and/or milk). Store celeriac, unwashed, loosely wrapped in plastic in your crisper drawer.
Valentine Radishes - You will be so pleased with the glorious pink color when you cut these open. They are delicious too! Toast up a slice of the blue cheese bread, slather with butter and serve along side the sliced radishes for a real treat. Store these in the crisper drawer, loosely wrapped in a plastic bag.
Cabbage - Put dry, unwashed cabbage in the refrigerator crisper drawer. Even if the outer leaves deteriorate, you can remove them to reveal fresh inner leaves. Cabbage can keep for several weeks. Once cut, wrap it in a sealed plastic bag and continue to refrigerate.

Localvore 'Lore from Heather
It's been a great week of meeting with local producers while acquiring the localvore goodies for the share. Connecting with these folks and learning about their businesses is such a privilege. As is sourcing products for you all! I hope you enjoy all these treats. Let me know if you have ideas for locally produced items. I'm always searching.

Nancy Hoffer of Maplebrook Farm in Bennington has a camp in Glover at Lake Parker. When I called to order mozzarella for next week, she offered to bring it up this past Saturday on her way to camp. With a 3 week shelf life, I knew we had to distribute it right away for best quality. It seemed like fate to put it in this week's share. Nancy has delivered for us in the past, but this was my first opportunity to meet her in person. We talked some about the CSA, humane small-scale dairy farming, and about the expansion project at their Bennington plant. Nancy has strong opinions about raising what she calls "happy cows"!

Up to now, Vermont Milk Company here in Hardwick has been producing the cheese curd and shipping it to them down south. Then they hand shape and wrap the mozzarella, hand dip the ricotta and make the smoked mozzarella in Bennington. When the new plant is finished they will be producing all their cheeses in house from milk to shipping the finished product. They have contracted with local dairy farmers who have pledged not to use rBGH. This will give them better production control, as they make these fresh cheeses to order. You can check out their website

Last Saturday, I met up with Ben Gleason of Gleason Grains of Bridport. He was bringing his son to Williston to play indoor baseball and offered to meet me there for our transaction. Loading 400# of flour from one station wagon to another on a sunny Saturday; localvore just doesn't get any better than this! I told him how much I enjoy baking cake, muffins, quick breads, cookies and pancakes with the pastry flour. He admitted to eating a lot of pancakes in their family, too. When I asked him about white flour, he scoffed at the idea. According to him it would require an equipment investment to make a flour of inferior nutritional quality. I find the pastry flour to be lighter than unbleached white flour, and so I usually measure it as a slightly heaping cup. Everything I've tried so far has baked tender, moist and light. It doesn't have that heavy whole-wheat taste and texture you might expect. Check the recipes below for my family's favorite buttermilk pancakes.

Really special this week is the raw honey from Champlain Valley Apiaries in Middlebury. After talking about trucking it here by a third party for a hefty fee, I decided to make a field trip with my kids. We arrived during their lunch break and they were easy going about it. James gave me some history of the company and told me about their beekeeping practices. He also gave my son a golden honey bear, which was immediately sampled! The honey we have for the share is unheated raw honey. I had a sample there, and this tastes like flowers, with a creamy smooth texture, not at all grainy or hard. I bought a loaf of bread at the Otter Creek Bakery on the way home and already had a couple slices with honey tonight! This is the alfalfa and clover honey from the mid-summer. It naturally crystallizes within a month of collecting it. The early and late season honeys are darker and stronger flavored. Those are fed to the bees over winter and to breed replacement bees.

Champlain Valley Apiaries was started in 1931 and is a 3rd generation business run by William and Charles Mraz. Their plant was built after WWII, and has been updated with food safe stainless steel equipment in the past decade. They place hives in rented fields all along the Champlain Valley clear up to Highgate, paying "rent " in honey. We talked about the devastation of mites and colony collapse in recent years. These well-tended bees have fared relatively well so far. As James put it, beekeepers are like dairy farmers except they "farm" bees. According to him, mites can be controlled and colony collapse is a result of poor practices. He explained that they use organic mite control practices, but cannot be certified Organic because the bees collect nectar and pollen from a wide territory. They feed the bees their own spring dandelion honey to overwinter, never sugar water or corn syrup. The hives stay in the same location, rather than being trucked across the country to follow the pollen. James believes the corn syrup diet and travel disruption are partly to blame for colony collapse. It's just too stressful to "milk" so much out of the bees.

Lastly, Elmore Mountain Bread is baking up a treat for us this week. Andrew stopped by the farm to buy some Jasper Hill Blue Cheese we had extras of and told me about the Fougasse he plans to make with it. He described it as similar to Focaccia, but with blue cheese in the dough, and slashes through it. I ordered extra to make sure one goes home with me, too! You can see lovely photos and read about Andrew and Blaire in the current Edible Green Mountains magazine. Their fine baking skills will shine through in the bread when you take your first bite!


Winter Vegetable and Wheat Berry Stew
This was inspired by a recipe I saw in Mark Bittman's new book, How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. Obviously, I took some liberties with the bacon. But, you can easily use another cooking oil instead of the bacon fat to bring it back to vegetarian. Feel free to substitute any roots you have on hand. You can find wheat berries in the bulk section of most coops.

6 slices bacon
1 large yellow onion, sliced thin
2 medium turnips, or 1 celeriac, or rutabaga, diced
4 medium carrots, diced
5 medium beets
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp dried thyme, crushed
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup white wine or water
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups cooked wheat berries*

In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat. Remove to drain when crisp. Leave about 3 tablespoons of fat left in the pan. Add onion to the pan and cook until softened about 2-3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add the rest of the root vegetables, toss in the oil to coat. Add salt, pepper and spices and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine or water. Decrease heat to medium-low, cover and let cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring once or twice, until vegetables are tender. Add shredded cabbage and cooked wheat berries. Cover and let simmer for another 5-7 minutes, until cabbage just starts to wilt. Remove from heat, sprinkle with crumbled bacon (if using), and serve.

* Rinse 1 cup of dried wheat berries in a colander under cold water. Place in medium pot and cover with about three cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours. Simmer until the wheat berries are puffed and tender, but not yet burst. Drain. Feel free to substitute cooked rice, if you like.

Crisp Asian Slaw
There's something very satisfying about the crunch of raw vegetables in the middle of winter.

1/2 head green or Savoy cabbage, shredded (about 10 cups)
1 large daikon radish, shredded (about 3 cups), you can substitute Black Spanish or Valentine
4 medium carrots, shredded
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
1/2 cup sunflower oil (or substitute a mild flavored oil replacing 1 TB with sesame oil)
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch cayenne pepper
salt and pepper to taste
2 TB toasted sesame seeds

Toss the shredded vegetables in a large bowl. Whisk to combine the lime juice, oil, fish sauce and spices. Pour over vegetables. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and toss to combine.

Buttermilk Pancakes
If you have some blueberries in the freezer, this would be even better! Makes enough for a hungry family of 4. You can easily cut the recipe by half or refrigerate the extra batter.

3 cups WW pastry flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp salt
cinnamon to taste
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 eggs
2 C buttermilk (or substitute 1 cup yogurt & 1 cup milk)
3 Tbsp melted butter

Whisk together the flour, leavening, cinnamon and salt. Measure the buttermilk into another bowl, beat in the maple syrup, eggs and butter. Combine wet into the dry ingredients with a few swift strokes; some lumps are a good thing here. This is a thick batter.

Cook on a medium hot, lightly greased griddle until a few bubbles form; flip and continue cooking on the other side until cooked through. Adjust heat to avoid burning or cooking too slowly, which will make them tough. Now you can banish pancake mix from your pantry!

Iced Maple Localvore Scones
The key to flaky scones is cold butter. Keep the butter in the fridge until you are ready to use it. If you need to walk away from the bowl, pop it into the refrigerator until you return.

2 cups whole wheat flour (pastry is best)
2TB granulated maple sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup cold heavy cream (or more)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup grade B maple syrup (or more)
Maple cream (also known as maple butter)

Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut cold butter into small pieces and mix into flour mixture with a pastry cutter or fingers until dough resembles course crumbs.

In a small bowl, stir together syrup, cream and vanilla. Add to the flour mixture and mix until dough comes together. Add a bit more cream and maple syrup in equal parts if the dough seems too dry.

On floured work surface form dough into a disk and roll out to 1/2” thick. Use scalloped cookie cutter to cut out scones. Continue to re-roll scraps until all dough is used. Alternatively, use a scoop to portion out the dough.

Place scones on greased cookie sheet; bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on size. Remove to cooling rack and let cool completely.

Ice with maple cream.


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