Good Eats Newsletter - June 25, 2008

Important Share Information
Thank you to all for a great first week of the share! We made it through the first pick-up of the share period with only a couple of hiccups. Those of you who informed me of missing share contents last week should look for a bag or box with your name on it this week. You'll want to grab your labeled items along with this week's share when you pick-up.

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!

Pick-Up Reminders
Tim is replacing any missing clipboards at the pick-up sites this week. Look for the member list on the clipboard. The pick-up instructions will be behind the name list on the same clipboard. (Except for Concept2, which is on a bulletin board).

  • Please cross of your share name before moving on to this week's instructions.
  • If you don't see your name (or your sharemate's), please contact us immediately.
  • Please follow the instructions for the type of share we have listed for you. If you think that there has been a mistake, please call or email Nancy right away.
  • Please coordinate with your sharemate to make sure you only pick-up once. #1 above helps with this a lot!

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! You can email or call 586.2882 x2.

Newsletter Archives on Our Blog
As many of you may already know, we archive our previous newsletters at We usually post the newsletter on the blog the same day as the share delivery. Going back to August of 2007, it's a great place to look for past recipes. There are also some interesting local food related articles posted there. You can subscribe to the blog as an RSS feed. If you're using My Yahoo!, for example, you can set it up so that the newsletter feed automatically updates to your homepage.

Open House July 13th
I feel like a broken record here, always promising details of the Open House and never quite delivering. I have been purposely dragging my feet, hoping to arrange for music at the farm. And today, we were finally able to confirm that we'll have Katie Trautz (of Mayfly and Knotty Pine fame), along with Kathleen Turner to play for us at the Open House. We are sure that you will love their music. They will be playing from 11:30 to 1:30. The Open House itself goes from 11am to 3pm, with the last hour reserved for a CSA Member meeting with Pete and crew. I really will be sending out an invitation with all the particulars tomorrow. I promise.

This Week's Share Contains
Parsnips; French Breakfast Radishes; Bunched Beets; Sweet Salad Turnips -or- Beet Greens; Bunch Mizuna -or- Mibuna; Head Napa Cabbage; Parsley; Bunch Scallions; Head Lettuce; Braising Greens; Blueledge Farm Chevre*; Champlain Orchards Sweet Red Cherries*; and Les Fermes Longpres Sunflower Oil*.

*Localvore share only.

Storage and Use Tips
Greens, Greens & Greens - Even though we pine for our greens all winter, when they come in full-force it can sometimes be overwhelming. This is especially true, when you include all the bonus greens that come attached to beets, turnips and radishes. It's a shame to let any go to waste! When you receive your share, don't forget to separate all the greens from any attached roots for storage. Now, take a quick inventory of all of the greens and try to realistically estimate what you'll be able to eat this week. Those that you plan to eat, store unwashed, loosely wrapped in plastic bags in your crisper.

If there are extra greens that you don't think that you'll get to, think about freezing them for the winter, and do it now while they're at their freshest and most nutritious. I don't worry about mixing greens when freezing, as most will go into a winter lasagna, soup, quiche, pasta dish, etc. I just freeze them in portions that are easy to use.

To save your greens: First, roughly chop the greens, removing any tough stems. Give them a good wash by soaking in plenty of cold water in your sink or a large bowl or tub. Lift the greens out of the water, leaving the dirt behind. If there is excessive dirt left in the water, change the water and repeat. Put greens in a large pot of boiling water. Boil just until the leaves wilt and begin to turn dark green. Immediately remove greens from hot water and plunge into an ice-water bath. Remove from the water bath, drain, package in freezer-safe plastic bags or containers, and freeze. If you have a pasta or other wire basket, this is ideal to carry the greens in and out of boiling water and water bath.

Localvore 'Lore from Heather
We had some great responses from the Spring Share survey that I’d like to share with you. These surveys are a great way for me to learn what works and which items not to include again. From the feedback, some things are very clear winners. More eggs, more lowfat dairy options such as yogurt, cheese every week, more fruit and a meat/vegetarian protein option. Grains and flour were also well received, with just a few folks saying they were overwhelmed by volume. Honey and butter were the number one rated products! I am working to incorporate all of these suggestions and more.

We received mixed feedback for miso, buttermilk, seaweed and fermented vegetables. That said, a majority of folks still rated them as 5. Right now my plan is to not include buttermilk again, as it seemed to have some quality issues. Mostly when items were rated fewer than 3, it was due to personal preference and not quality. My goal is to please most of the people all of the time! There will inevitably be something in the share that a couple of members do not typically purchase or enjoy. Quality issues I take responsibility for and work to constantly improve.

We heard a wide range of opinions on bread, some loving it every week, others preferring to choose their own fresh bread at the co-op. A few thought we should offer bread even if made with non-locally grown flour. Many folks asked for whole grain bread, while some found the breads too tough. One way we can improve the bread would be to bag it in plastic when it comes in on Tuesday afternoon. This is what we’ll be doing when we have bread from Good Companion. Hopefully this keeps it soft and tender. As for using non-local flour, we are still working with Elmore Mountain and Patchwork bakeries to make a Localvore loaf. We’ll keep you informed.

There will be another survey for your feedback on Localvore and ingredient preferences. In the meantime, please do email us with your thoughts. We will make it right if there is a problem and always value your opinion.

This weeks Localvore items are Sweet Red Cherries from Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, goat Chevre from Blueledge Farm, and Sunflower oil from Quebec. We have partnered with Bill Suhr at Champlain Orchard all along and it’s great to have another new product from him. I’m always impressed with the diversity of the orchard. They have several varieties of cherries for pie and fresh eating. In the future they will be harvesting plums, berries, and a wide variety of vegetable crops. All this on top of the extensive apple orchards. I plan to keep ordering fruit through the summer!

The Blueledge cheese is a perfectly creamy treat, not at all “goaty”. Hannah and Greg farm in Leicester, Vermont, with their two children and about 75 goats. Leicester is down Route 7 near Lake Dunmore. They have been farming this land since 2000 and making cheese for the past 6 years.

Organic sunflower oil from Loic at les Fermes Longpres in Quebec is one of the best you will try. The flavor is very nutty, and Loic was proud of the quality when he was pressing the seed. The oleic content is quite high, making for quality oil on par with olive oil. They produce some 10,000 litres a year, pressing about 35 tons of sunflower seeds!

Cabbage and Beet Slaw
This makes a beautiful presentation, something that can't be said for every slaw out there. Adapted from Serves 4.

4-6 small beets, trimmed
4 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
2 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 shredded salad turnips, optional
2 TB + 1 tsp cider vinegar
3 tsp Dijon mustard
3 tsp grated orange peel
1 tsp honey
6 TB sunflower oil
Chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375°F. Wrap beets in foil. Bake until tender when pierced with knife, about 1 hour. Cool. Peel if necessary. Cut into 2 x 1/4 x 1/4-inch strips. Place in medium bowl.

Toss together cabbage, scallions and turnips (if using), in large bowl. Combine cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, grated orange peel and honey in small bowl. Gradually beat in oil. Pour enough dressing over beets to coat. Pour remaining dressing over cabbage and mix. Season both salads with salt and pepper.

Arrange cabbage around edge of platter. Mound beets in center. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Spring Radish Salad
Serves 2.

radishes from one bunch, thinly sliced
1 parsnip, shredded
1 bunch greens (or lettuce)
salt & pepper
2Tbsp sunflower oil
1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
some “crumbles” of chevre

Cut a bunch of greens, such as the mizuna, into bite sized pieces. Arrange greens on 2 plates, sprinkling with grated parsnips and sliced radishes. Season with salt, pepper, oil, lemon, and sprinkle with the chevre.

Parsnip Puree
This makes a great stand-in for mashed potatoes. It's lighter, sweeter and would go perfectly paired with the Grilled Chicken and Braised Greens below. Serves 4.

2 lbs. parsnips, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
1 TB salt
1/2 cup milk or cream
3 TB butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
salt & pepper to taste
chopped fresh parsley

Place parsnips in a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to boil over high-heat. Partially cover, reduce heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until parsnips are very tender but not yet mushy. While parsnips are cooking, heat milk and butter together until butter melts. Add vanilla and keep warm. Drain parsnips, return to pan, and add heated milk mixture, salt and pepper. Mash until smooth. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary. Remove puree to bowl and garnish with chopped parsley.

Grilled Chicken on Sauted Greens
Heather enjoys grilling as much as possible so that she can avoid too many pans to wash in the kitchen! She also loves sweet and savory combinations, especially with the bitter greens. Enjoy! Serves 4.

4 boneless chicken breasts
2 tbsp sunflower oil
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste

2 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bag braising greens, or other bunch of greens roughly chopped
1 additional bunch of greens (beet is good) or ½ head of Napa, cut into shreds
vinegar or juice of 1 lemon

½ cup cherry halves
minced scallions

Brush chicken with 1 tbsp oil. Whisk together the honey, wine, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper. Grill the chicken, basting with the honey spice mixture, until cooked through. Lightly sauté the greens with the oil and garlic; season with lemon juice or vinegar. Arrange plates with the cooked greens and a piece of chicken garnish with cherries and scallions.


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