Good Eats Newsletter - December 3, 2008

This Week's Share Contains
Sugarsnax Carrots; Chioggia and/or Red Beets; All Blue Potatoes; Brussels Sprouts; Sweet Salad Turnips; Yellow Storage Onions; Bright Lights and/or Ruby Red Chard; Mix of Claytonia and Spinach; Ploughgate Creamery Acer Cheese; Champlain Valley Apiaries Raw Honey; Elmore Mountain Multigrain Bread.

Hen of the Wood Members look for your cranberries this week!

Storage and Use Tips
All Blue Potatoes - These potatoes may be misnamed, as we think their appearance is actually purpler in color. No matter the shade, they have excellent flavor and a nice moist texture. These are truly an all-purpose potato, excellent stuffed, baked or boiled, and outstanding in a potato salad.
Chioggia Beets - An Italian variety, chioggias have alternating white and pink rings of color on the inside. The outside is lighter and more pinkish than traditional red beets. With a sweet peppery flavor, they are smooth and mild tasting. To prevent chioggias from bleeding their color, roast them whole then slice crosswise to show off the beautiful rings. Roasted this way, they make a stunning addition to a salad made with the claytonia and spinach greens. Store beets loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.
Chard - Some folks will get the ruby red chard, while others will receive bright lights. The leaves of both varieties look and taste just about identical. The name really refers to the stems. The bright lights have a variety of yellow, orange, red and white stems, while the ruby red have, well, red stems. Chard stems are good eating, as well as the leaves. Strip the greens from the stems before cooking. Add the chopped stems to your pan a few minutes before the softer greens to ensure an evenly cooked dish. Store chard loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. Wash thoroughly before use.

Pete's Musings
Part 3 of the refrigerated truck - green house moving series....

At the end of October we finally moved our moveable greenhouses. We have 4 of them, each 35 by 200 ft. They are built with a simple 4 by 4 in. angle iron skid resting on the ground under the hoops. This acts as a giant ski that the greenhouse slides on. We pulled them with a hydraulic winch mounted on the bucket of our 2 tractors, each tractor pulling down one side of the greenhouse. We built all 4 greenhouses before we tried to move them. We had done a little math, factoring the weight of the greenhouses, the friction of the soil, and the pull of the winches. The math indicated it would work, but not by a large margin.

It ended up working beautifully. The greenhouses slowly and gracefully trundled across the field to cover patches of winter greens. They took about 20 minutes to travel 200 ft; slow enough that the short movie Nancy made of it was a real bore. They left behind the detritus of summer crops, wilted tomato vines, withered peppers, and dead eggplants that will rot under the winter snows. We are just beginning to understand the potential with this for increased greenhouse production, both summer and winter. For now we are very gratified that it worked and worked with ease. Much credit to Steve Perkins our mechanic, greenhouse erector, and all around handyman who built much of these houses and is invaluable for solving tough mechanical and facility issues on the farm. -Pete

Watch the greenhouse move on youtube.

Bulk Order - December 17th Delivery
We are continuing our tradition of offering our available roots and alliums for sale in bulk this year. It's a great way to stock up on winter vegetables that you really enjoy. Our bulk order prices are close to the prices we offer to stores, so it's also a great way to save money. In addition to veggies, we are also offering some extra localvore items we have in limited quantities. Finally, you can order Pete's Greens T-shirts as part of the bulk order. (See below).

To place a bulk order:
  1. Print & fill out our Order Form.
  2. Mail your form and check to the farm to arrive no later than Dec. 13th.
  3. Pick-up your items on Dec. 17th.
We tentatively have another bulk order scheduled for January 28th. Find out more about our bulk orders here.

Pete's Greens T-Shirts
Show your support for Vermont, organic farming with these 100% organic cotton
T-shirts. They feature beautiful veggie drawings made exclusively for Pete's.

The perfect agro-conscious holiday gift, our 100% organic cotton shirts are $10 for short sleeved, $12 for long. The shorts are all natural in color; the long sleeved are all white. If you would like a shirt, you can fill out the T-shirt order form on our Website and mail it to the farm with your check. We will deliver your shirt(s) to your CSA site to pick-up with your next CSA delivery. If you are placing a bulk order, you can order the shirts on the same form as the veggies (see above). We also hope to be selling the shirts at the winter farmer's market in Montpelier.

Localvore Lore
I think that you could almost make a fast-food meal with the localvore items in the share today. Think creamy Acer cheese between two toasted slices of bread smeared with honey. If you are feeling ambitious, you could whip up a salad with the sweet salad turnips and serve it on the side.

Ploughgate creamery made a run of Acer for the share this week especially for us. Back in September, Marisa had stopped by the farm with samples of both the Acer and their Mallow. While the Mallow was incredibly good, we thought that the Acer would be an interesting cheese for our shareholders to try. Ploughgate describes it as a "soft ripened bloomy rind cheese made with organic Holstein milk. It has a mild flavor and velvety smooth texture. It is named for the Maple genus, because it was first offered just as the fall foliage was reaching its peak."

Ploughgate Creamery is the combined vision of Marisa Mauro and Princess MacLean, both of whom have worked on some of Vermont's greatest cheesemaking farms, include Bonnieview, Jasper Hill, Woodcock Farm and Shelburne Farms. In addition to their love of cheesemaking, Marisa and Princess share a vision of animal powered dairy farming.

We feel lucky to be able to offer Marisa and Princess's cheese in our share today, as being still small cheesemakers, their cheese can be otherwise difficult to come by. For the best flavor, let the cheese warm up on your counter for about 30 minutes before serving. We hope you enjoy it!

The honey in the share today is from Champlain Valley Apiaries in Middlebury, Vermont. We prefer to distribute this honey as it is jarred in its raw, or crystallized, state. Extracted and packed without processing, crystallized honey is neither heated nor filtered, thus retaining its original flavor, vitamins and other nutrients.

Finally, Elmore Mountain has baked a special multigrain bread for us using mixed cracked grains from Michel Gaudreau in Quebec. It promises to be a hearty and tasty loaf!

Bread Ingredients: Milanaise Bread Flour, Gleason's Whole Wheat, Quebec cracked grains, Spring Water, sourdough, sea salt.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad
While in Chicago for the Thanksgiving holiday, we checked out Mado, a new restaurant in the city focused on farm-fresh local foods. Their raw shaved Brussels sprouts were a refreshing departure from a traditional preparation and renewed my appreciation for these mini-cabbage heads. Serves 2.

10 oz Brussels sprouts (preferably on the stalk), any discolored leaves discarded and stems left intact
2 TB good quality olive oil
1 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 oz shaved parmesan-style, hard cheese

Slice sprouts into very thin ribbons. If you have an adjustable blade slicer, use it, watching your fingers closely. Toss cut sprouts into a bowl to separate layers. Whisk together oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, then toss with the sprouts. Garnish with the shaved parmesan.

Blue Potato-Orange Carrot Latkes
Serves 6.

1 1/2 pounds all blue potatoes, peeled
1 lb. carrots, scrubbed
1 small onion
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
oil for frying
crumbled chevre

Using the medium holes of your box grater, grate potatoes, carrots and onions into large bowl. Stir in egg, salt, and pepper. In large nonstick frying pan over low heat, heat approximately 1/2 cup of oil until hot but not smoking. Drop 3 (1/4-cup) portions of potato mixture into pan and flatten with spatula to form 3 1/2-inch pancakes. Fry until golden-brown, turning once, about 5 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and keep warm in oven. Add more oil as necessary and cook remaining pancakes in same manner.

Serve pancakes warm with crumbled chevre and a side salad.

Beet Risotto with Swiss Chard and Brie
You could use the Acer here in place of brie. It should leave you a few ounces to enjoy with bread while you cook. Serves 4.

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
2 (2 1/2- to 3-inch-diameter) beets, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
4 large leaves chard, stems and leaves chopped separately
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup arborio rice or medium-grain white rice
5 ounce Brie, rind discarded, cut into small pieces

Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add beets, onion and chard stems. Cover; cook until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, heat broth in a small saucepan. Once the onion is soft, mix the rice into the beets and onion. Saute for a minute. Add wine and simmer briskly, stirring, until wine has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup hot broth and briskly simmer, stirring, until broth has been absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and waiting until each addition has been absorbed before adding the next, until rice is just tender and looks creamy, 15 to 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chard greens and brie a minute or two before removing from heat.


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