Monday, November 22, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - November 23, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Adirondack Red Potatoes; Yellow Onions; Orange Carrots; Brussels Sprouts; 1 Bunch Celery; Head of Lettuce; Mescun Greens

Butternut Squash Puree

Localvore Offerings Include:

Butterworks Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
Cellars at Jasper Hill Clothbound Cheddar
Honey Gardens Apiaries Honey
Butterworks Farm Buttermilk

Pete's Musings Happy Thanksgiving!
We are feeling gratitude for a bountiful harvest - root cellars and coolers groaning with the load of stored crops, greenhouse greens a little late but making up for lost time in this sunny November, a crew that is starting to gel and setting the stage for a great future. The roof of our new washhouse (attached to the barn) is coming together. Hopefully it will be completely covered in two days. Then we will be taking a break from that project and focusing on equipment maintenance and tightening up the farm for winter.

I'm going back to Europe in mid December (Iceland and Holland). Both countries have major heated greenhouse industries. We have a lot to learn about how to maximize heated greenhouse space to grow great crops of early tomatoes, peppers and cukes and no one is better at it than the Dutch. Consider that Holland is several degrees of latitude further north than Vermont (less winter daylight) and all winter you can buy huge, bright Dutch grown greenhouse peppers in your local grocery store.

Iceland greenhouses are heated geothermally. The country is awash in natural hot water to the point that they even grow bananas in greenhouses. This should be a really interesting visit and hard duty considering that I'll be soaking in natural hot springs hopefully several times a day. ~ Pete

We will be delivering TOMORROW Tues November 23rd
Delivery should happen at normal times, just a day earlier in the week.

Storage and Use Tips
Butternut Squash Puree - Several weeks ago we put up our year's worth of squash puree. This is a joint effort. High Mowing Seeds grows several super sweet varieties of winter squash in order to collect the seeds for their customers. They do the seed extraction at our farm and we take all the flesh of the squash and steam it to make the puree. This squash puree came from a small butternut variety and it has a very high sugar content. You can use the puree as a side dish, or in soup, or to make pumpkin pie. If using for a side dish, you may want to drain some of the water that separates from the squash when you thaw it. Your puree will then be a bit thicker.

Brussel Sprouts - Your Brussels will be attached to the stalk again this week. Store the whole stalk wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge and then remove the little heads just before you're going to cook them. They will stay fresher this way. Don't leave them too long though because they are better the fresher they are! Brussel sprouts can be cooked a variety of ways, and can be eaten raw as well (they can be shaved fine and tossed into a salad for example). They are really great roasted as it brings out their sweetness. This week I have given a recipe for a fancy brussels slaw.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope all of you have a peaceful holiday with ample time to enjoy family and friends and good food. Everyone at the farm is very much looking forward to few days of down time. We got together for a moment today at lunch and took a photo of the crew - straight in from whatever jobs each was attending to. Pete, Paul, Isaac and Steve had been working on the addition, Pete, Isaac, and Paul up in the trusses and Steve on the ground. Deb was in the washhouse with Caroline and Annie washing potatoes, carrots and rutabagas. Ben and Santiago were out in the field harvesting kale. Tim was taking wholesale calls, Melissa making signage, and I had been writing to you all. It's a rumpled crew on a cold, damp November day but motivated and determined.

The Crew November 22, 2010
Back Row - Pete Johnson, Paul Lisai, Steve Perkins, Deb Rosewolf, Tim Fishburne, Ben Uris, Annie Myers
Front Row - Amy Skelton, Isaac Jacobs, Caroline Glover, and our neighbor's dog Zuda
Inset - Melissa Jacobs

Barn Addition

Our new washhouse addition has made much progress since pouring the walls last week. Our team hopes to get the trusses completed and roof on before sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner!
Photos taken today.

Localvore Lore

This is an especally rich localvore share this week, a bit over value in fact, such that a couple other weeks this share period will be a bit less to make up. But it's Thanksgiving and I wanted you all to have some special ingredients to make a special meal.

To start with we have a double header from the Lazor family at Butterworks Farm. We have freshly ground whole wheat pastry flour from this year's crop and in fact this one delivery represents about 1/3 of the harvest. I feel fortunate to be able to get it to you all. Use this flour for making your pie crusts this week, for making muffins, pancakes, cookies. It has a low gluten content so is not the right flour to use where you need a lot of dough elasticity like in bread making or for pizza dough. But for baking, it's beautiful. This is freshly ground, whole grain flour. As such, it will spoil if left unusued for a long period of time. Particularly in warm temps. If you will use in a month or so, your cupboard should be a fine place to keep it. But if you don't bake a lot, better to keep yours in the fridge or freezer. It will stay fresh for a long time that way.

Buttermilk is actually a low fat product. Traditionally, homemade buttermilk was the slightly sour liquid that remained after butter was churned and separated from milk. At Butterworks Farm, Jack and Annie make their buttermilk from the low fat or non fat milk from their jersey cows. They add lactic acid bacteria which thickens the milk and gives it a flavor reminiscent of yogurt. In baked goods, buttermilk adds its slight tang to the flavor profile, it promotes browning, is great for leavening, and improves texture.

The Cabot Clothbound Cheddar in the share this week is sure to provide your family or guests with a great appetizer while you await your Thanksgiving meal, or perhaps you will be cooking just the right dish to use it in. This is a multi award winning cheese with 5 world titles in cheddar classes, including a blue ribbon at both the 2010 American Cheese Society Awards and the 2010 World Championship Cheese Contest this year alone. The cheese starts out at the Cabot Creamery. Immediately after the wheels are unmolded from their cheddar hoops at Cabot, they are loaded into a truck and delivered to the Cellars at Jasper Hill. For the next 10-14 months they remain at Cellars, lovingly tended. During the aging process a bloomy rind is allowed to develop which flavors the cheese. The cave environment is carefully monitored to age the cheese perfectly. The result is a traditional English type cheddar, with a slightly craggly texture, and flavors that are sweet and nutty.

We have some wonderful raw honey this week from Honey Gardens Apiaries beekeeper Alex Cote who lives in Quebec and coincidentally keeps his bees quite near where our grains are grown. I asked Alex to write a little about himself and his beekeeping...

I'm 34 years old. I started beekeeping in 2000. I've worked in Saskatchewan and in New Zeland for others beekeepers. In 2001 I've buy my first 50 hives. From there I've grown to 1000 hives today. When I first start I was working for other beekeepers on weekdays and in my own beehives on evening and all weekend. I've start from zero. I didn't know beekeepers and beekeeping at that time. My mom and dad offer me a wonderful help from beginning. Even my grand-mother participated. She was painting my honey super that need a fresh-up with her old paint. Some times color was strange looking but sweet for my heart. Both of my brothers worked with me. I brought them into beekeeping. They love bees and can't stop talking of it. Producing food is for me wonderful. Every time I working in my beehives I'm always thinking that somebody will eat that honey and deserve the best quality. Thinking of my honey in a jar on someone's table make me feel so much special. My honey house is located in an region name Eastern Township which is just north of Vermont. Hives are mostly located around Compton. The honey produced in this area is made with a nice variety of flowers. ~ Alex

Raw honey has never been heated and so retains enzymes that heat treated honey has lost It also contains a variety of minerals, antioxidents too making it a much healthier alternative to sugar. Raw honey will begin to crystallize and thicken in your cupboard, but this only makes it better and easier to spread on your toast! If you need honey in a more liquid form you can always gently warm it in warm water. Your raw honey will keep in the cupboard for a very long time. There has been honey retrieved from tombs that are 2000 yrs old that was still edible!


Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes
2 pound(s) potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup(s) buttermilk

1.5 tsp salt

Place the potatoes and 1 teaspoon of the salt in a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to moderate and simmer until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 45 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

Return the potatoes to the pan and set over low heat, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, to let the potatoes dry out a little (too much moisture will dilute their flavor). For the smoothest potatoes, pass them through a food mill. For a slightly coarser puree, mash them with a potato masher or fork or use a hand mixer. Beat the buttermilk into the potatoes with a wooden spoon until thoroughly incorporated. If you prefer even creamier potatoes, add a little of the reserved cooking liquid. Beat in the butter, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and plenty of pepper. Serve at once, or keep the potatoes warm, covered, in a double boiler over hot water for up to 1 hour.

In Advance: You can make the potatoes up to 3 hours ahead. About 20 minutes before serving, warm them in a double boiler, stirring frequently, until hot.

Honey-Roasted Carrots

While your turkey is resting before carving, have these ready to go in the oven and pull them out just before serving. Steaming the carrots tenderizes them before baking. Check these once or twice during baking to be sufe the honey glaze isn't burning the carrots. This one comes from Parade magazine 2007.

2 lbs fresh carrots, peeled

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons honey

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 450°:F.
Cut the carrots into thirds, crosswise on a sharp diagonal.
Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Let carrots steam until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and place in a bowl. Toss with the oil, honey, salt and pepper.
Place the carrots on an oiled baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 25 minutes. Loosen them from the baking sheet with a spatula. Adjust the seasonings and remove to a serving bowl.

Brussels Sprout Slaw with Mustard Dressing and Maple-Glazed Pecans

Here's a fancy Thanksgiving worthy brussels dish that you can make ahead. Bon Appétit November 2009. Serves 8.

Vegetable oil

1 cup large pecan halves

1/4 cup pure maple syrup (grade B is best)

1/2 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt plus additional for seasoning

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup whole grain Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Make the Candied Pecans:
Oil a large sheet of foil. Place pecans on small rimmed baking sheet. Whisk maple syrup, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Add to nuts and toss to coat; spread in single layer. Bake nuts 5 minutes. Stir. Continue to bake nuts until toasted and glaze is bubbling thickly, about 6 minutes. Immediately transfer nuts to prepared foil and separate. Cool completely.

Make the Dressing:
Whisk mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and sugar in small bowl; whisk in oil. Season with coarse salt and pepper.

Cook the Brussels:
Bring large pot of water to boil. Add 1 tablespoon coarse salt. Add brussels sprouts. Cook until crisp-tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water. Cool on paper towels. Using processor fitted with 1/8- to 1/4-inch slicing disk, slice brussels sprouts. Transfer to large bowl.

Toss brussels sprouts with enough dressing to coat. Let marinate 30 to 60 minutes. Mix in some pecans. Place slaw in serving bowl. Top with remaining pecans.

Cranberry Buttermilk Muffins
Here's a recipe from our archives that looked perfect for this week.

4-6 TB butter (or 1/3 C oil)

1/2 cup honey (or sugar)

2 Eggs

1 C Buttermilk

3 C WW Pastry Flour

1 TB baking powder

1/2 tsp salt
1 C Fresh Cranberries, whole or chopped up a bit

zest of 1/2 orange
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400F

In a bowl, beat together butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, until light & foamy. Slowly pour in buttermilk and mix until well combined. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir together by hand until just barely combined. Don not over mix so the muffins will be tender. Fill 12 greased muffin cups evenly. Bake at 400F for 15-20 mins.

Optional glaze: combine 1 c confectioners sugar with a bit of orange juice to make a smooth glaze. Spoon over muffins.

You could add 1 cup of any fruit, even banana or squash puree, or 1/2 cup of nuts or chocolate chips. You could add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, nutmeg, or vanilla or almond extract. 

Buttermilk Pie

Buttermilk pie, a tangy custard pie, is a classic in some parts of the south. A bit like creme brulee in a pie crust. The recipe below is for a basic buttermilk pie, but you can jazz it up to with the addition of fruit.

3 eggs

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups white sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tablespoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (175 degrees C).
Beat eggs until frothy; add butter, sugar and flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in buttermilk, vanilla, lemon juice and nutmeg; pour into pie shell. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until center is firm.

Apple Pie
This is my favorite apple pie recipe. The pie is made with honey rather than sugar. The honey flavor comes through in the pie and gives the pie a rich, decadent flavor. I put this recipe and the pumpkin pie recipe below in last year but thought I'd share again.

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

Pie filling:

7-8 Cortland apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4" thick

2/3 cup honey

3 TB flour

1 TB lemon juice

2 TB melted butter

1 tsp cinnamon

For the crust

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 flakies 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. Press your dough balls into flattened rounds and proceed to rolling it out if you are ready. If you aren't, wrap your flattened rounds in plastic and refrigerate (can be made a couple days ahead).

For the filling
Melt the butter and if your honey is thick and creamy, let it heat along with butter so that it is easier to blend with the apples. No need to heat it lots, just enough to make it pour easier. Pour the honey/butter mix over the apple slices in a large bowl and mix to coat. Add the flour, cinnamon, lemon juice.

 Assemble your pie and bake at 425°F in the middle of your oven for 30 mins. Then turn the temp down to 350°F and bake until lightly browned and bubbling - another 15-25 mins.

Pumpkin Pie

This one comes straight out of the Joy of Cooking. It's my favorite recipe for this classic pie and I have made this pie probably 50 times. It is that good. You really can use anything from heavy cream to milk, and even low fat works fine. Some cream content elevates this pie from real good to dreamy though. Withe the puree in the share this week, it couldn't be any easier.


Prepared pre-baked pie crust

2 to 3 large eggs (2 for more pumpkin flavor, 3 for more soft custardy pie)

2 cups pumpkin puree (or winter squash!)

1 1/2 cups light cream (or mix 3/4 cup heavy cream and 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar (or maple sugar!)

1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp freshly grated or ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground cloves or allspice

1/2 tsp salt


Position rack in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 400°F.
Make pie crust and bake at 400°F for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown (see notes below on pre-baking your crust). Remove the pre-baked crust, paint the inside of the crust with egg yolk (I use my fingers for this) and bake for another 2 minutes to set the egg wash.

Turn oven down to 375.

Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients and whisk together thoroughly until combined.
If the crust has cooled, warm it in the oven until it is hot to the touch.
Pour the pumpkin mixture into the crust and bake until the center of the filling seems set but quivery - like jello - when you nudge the pan. Should take roughly 45 minutes but this varies by oven, depth of the pie plate etc. Could be 55 minutes.
Remove the pie and let cool completely on a wire rack. Leftover pie should be refrigerated!

Pre-baking your crust

The only thing a little tricky about making pumpkin pie is that you are supposed to pre-bake the crust first and paint it with egg yolk to help keep it from getting soggy. Follow the directions in the apple pie recipe above for making the crust, and roll it out and shape your crust in your pie plate. If you just stick the pie plate in the oven now to pre-bake, your crust will shrink and slip down the sides of the pie plate. You have to somehow hold it in place while it pre-bakes for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400F.
Press a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side down, into/on top of the crust you have shaped in your pie plate. You need the aluminum foil to be depressed into your pie plate enough so that you can fit a slightly smaller pie plate nested in/on top of your prepared crust. The weight of the smaller pie plate will hold your crust in place while it's baking. (Alternatively, you can use uncooked rice or beans poured into the aluminum foil to hold the pie crust in place.) Bake for 20 minutes to set the crust. Then remove from oven, remove the pie plate weight(s) and aluminum foil. Prick the crust with a fork if it has puffed up. Then return to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes more until golden brown all over.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - November 17, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Winter Squash; Pac Choi; Brussel Sprouts; Carrots; Napa Cabbage; Mixed Red & Yellow Onions; Garlic; Mescun Greens; Frozen Sweet Peppers

Localvore Offerings Include:

Elmore Mountain Pain Au Levain
Amir Hebib's Mushrooms (oyster or shiitake)
Quebec Organic Pearled Barley
Vermont Cranberry Company Cranberries

***Hardwick, True Colors, National Life, Red Hen, On the Rise, Sweet Clover and DEW members will get eggs this week!

Pete's Musings

What a nice November we are having. It's welcome after a very wet and cold October. New washhouse construction is going great, should be a roof on it by this time next week. We have 2 new crew members, Annie and Caroline, who worked on a farm in PA this summer and have moved here to join our team. I'm being an office worker spending lots of time researching potential new greenhouse projects, preparing to do our seed order, and helping with the deep organization of the farm. It really feels like we are collectively taking a deep breath, trying to fully appreciate what this farm and business is, and what it might become. It feels really good to analyze our facilities, systems, assumptions, markets, and plan, from the ground up to see if we are headed where we want to go. We'll keep you posted. ~ Pete

Thanks for picking up carefully!

We had a much better pick up with fewer errors across the board last week. Thanks everyone for taking the time to read the pick up instructions before selecting your food. ~ Amy

Storage and Use Tips
Frozen Items - In summer we freeze vegetables that we know we will all pine for when they are gone. With winter almost here we will begin to dole out frozen items, beginning with the sweet peppers below. You will receive a frozen item most weeks now through the rest of the share period so look for them in the cooler when you pick up.

Frozen Peppers - At the height of the season this summer, we stowed away the most gorgeous crop of sweet peppers for Good Eats. We will be giving them out periodically through the share. Leave peppers in the freezer til you are ready to use them. Then take out the peppers you will use for the dish you are making, and cut them as required for your recipe while they are still frozen, or just starting to thaw. As they thaw they will soften and become harder to chop neatly. These peppers can be used in any recipe that calls for cooking peppers. Chop them and toss them onto a pizza, or into a pasta dish, in a casserole, or alongside onions when grilling your meats. You will find many uses for them once you get used to pulling them from the freezer.

Mesclun Mix - Your salad greens this week are a mix of claytonia and baby mizuna. The mix will become more diverse again in the coming weeks.

Brussel Sprouts - You will be receiving the sprouts still attached to the stalk. Store the whole stalk wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge and then remove the little heads just before you're going to cook them. They will stay fresher this way. Don't leave them too long though because they are better the fresher they are! Brussel sprouts can be cooked a variety of ways, and can be eaten raw as well (they can be shaved fine and tossed into a salad for example). They are really great roasted as it brings out their sweetness. A recipe for Roasted Brussels is below. If you don't know how you feel about brussel sprouts, if you have never cooked them, DO ROAST THEM. You'll be glad you did.

Pac Choi - A member of the brassicas family along with cabbage and kale, pac choi originated in China, where it has been grown for over 1500 years. It was introduced into the US during the late 19th century by Chinese immigrants. Pac Choi has a mild flavor. The leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes. We grow both purple and green varieties. Your bag may have one or the other, or both. Pac Choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. It's also great in stir-fries. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

The New Addition to the Washhouse
November 10 - Concrete Day!
The truck arrived to pour the forms that Isaac and Paul had built. While Pete directed the flow, Steve and Isaac tamped and Paul reinforced as needed. Exciting to have a foundation to begin framing on! More photos soon.

Please notify me by Wednesday about changes to your delivery

If you have any changes to your Good Eats delivery, I need to know them by Wednesday a week prior. I'll be creating the farm's weekly delivery report on Thursday mornings now because packing for Good Eats actually does begin on Thursday. Each Thursday, we begin washing the hundreds of pounds of root crops that go out the following week. We also pack frozen items on Thursday, counting out the number for each site according to the weekly report and labeling the coolers for the following week. Meat orders are also packed on Thursdays. Monday our crew picks any field or greenhouse crops (mesclun, head lettuces, kale, leeks etc), and these are then washed, banded or bagged. By Tuesday, we are packing up all the crops that have been picked, washed, and prepped and preparing the truck for another wee hours of the morning departure on Wednesday.

If you need to stop your share for a week, switch to a different site, or donate your share to the food shelf I need to know one week before on Wednesday. Thanks! ~Amy

Next week we deliver TUESDAY November 23rd - not Wednesday!
Just repeating this message again for any who have missed it. We will deliver next Tuesday of Thanksgiving week to give you all a jump on cooking.

Thanksgiving Sneak Peek
Every year we try to provide you with the details of the Thanksgiving week's share so you can plan your meal making.

The vegetable portion of the share should contain:
2-3 lbs Potatoes, 2 lbs carrots, 1 bunch of celery, 1 lb yellow onions, 2 stalks of brussel sprouts, 1 head of lettuce, bag of mesclun greens, 1 quart of frozen butternut squash puree

Localvore items:
Butterworks Pastry Flour, Butterworks Buttermilk, Honey, Cellars at Jasper Hill Clothbound Cheddar

Thawing Your Thanksgiving Turkey

I have had a few members ask how long it will take to thaw their turkey and what the best way would be. There are lots of ways to thaw your bird, some safer than others. The health department approved methods would be a slow defrost in the fridge (allow 5 hrs per lb). Or defrosting in cold water (much shorter, but you need to change the water frequently). A handy defrosting time chart and some associated tips (including cooking a frozen whole turkey) can be found at

Thanksgiving Turkey Orders
Lots of turkeys going out this week for people who ordered them. If you still haven't got a bird for Thanksgiving, you have through tomorrow (Wednesday) to place an order for delivery next week 11/23. Turkeys will be packed on Thursday.

We have 3 size ranges available:
15-18 lbs (not too many left at this size)
18-21 lbs
21-24 lbs

Turkeys are priced at $3.75/lb and turkeys will be delivered to pick up sites (frozen)

We also have pork, beef and chicken available.

Visit the Meat Page to order your turkey and meats or email me for an order form.

Sally's Blog

If any of you still have a celeriac hanging around in your veggie drawer, Sally has included a family heirloom recipe for marinated celeriac. Looks delicious. Visit Sally's blog.

Localvore Lore
This week's bread comes from Andrew and Blair at Elmore Mountain Bakery. It's a traditional Pain Au Levain made with Vermont unbleached wheat flour from Aurora Farm, Milanaise Winter Blend, Milanaise Rye, Milanaise Whole Wheat, sea salt and sourdough.

The oyster and shiitake mushrooms in the share today were grown by Amir Hebib. Amir grows his mushrooms in a mushroom house behind his home in Colchester. He has 20 years experience growing mushrooms, having been a farm mushroom manager for a large Bosnian agricultural producer before immigrating to VT. He grows shiitakes (the more traditional shaped mushroom of the two) and oysters (the clusters of more trumpet shaped ones) and sells them to restaurants and markets in our area as well as at the Burlington Farmers Market. The oyster mushrooms are more delicate in flavor and texture than the shiitakes. You can eat the whole mushroom stems and all. The shiitakes have a deeper flavor, and are more hearty, enough so that they can be used in place of ground beef in some recipes. Many people discard the stems of shiitakes because they are tougher and take longer to cook. But these are so fresh that they are tender enough to add to most dishes though you may want to allow longer cooking time for the stems.

The organic pearled barley was grown in Quebec and milled at Golden Crops owned by Michel Gaudreau. Pearled barley has been de-hulled, with some or all of the bran removed. It makes a great substitute in recipes calling for brown rice, is wonderful cooked, cooled and used in cold salads, and adds a nice texture to soups and stews. It also cooks down into a really nice risotto, without all of the attention and stirring required with Arborio rice. One cup of dry barley makes about 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked. If you soak the grains for 6+ hours in cold water before use, you can reduce your cooking time by at least half. Without soaking, you'll want to let them simmer in water for a good hour. You can also cook barley like pasta, using lots of water (4-5 cups of water to 1 cup barley), then drain what's left over.

Freshly harvested cranberries were delivered yesterday by Cranberry Bob, owner of the Vermont Cranberry Company. There's a blogpost that tells a bit about Bob and his crans including a video clip here at the FarmPlate blog. Fresh cranberries will stay fresh for several weeks in the fridge so you can save them for use in a Thanksgiving dish if you desire. They also freeze very well so if you don't have plans to use them right away, save them for later. Cranberry sauce is incredibly easy to make from scratch - I have provided a recipe below. You could make it this week and it will keep just fine til next week's holiday meal.


Roasted Brussel Sprouts

From the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, a basic, very scrumptious way to cook brussels. I like to cook mine until some are starting to get really browned on the outside. 

1.5 lbs brussel sprouts

3 TB good olive oil

3/4 tsp kosher salt

.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt ( I like these salty like French fries), and serve immediately.

Thai Winter Squash Soup

I have put this recipe in once or twice before. It is a fantastic recipe. I have made three batches of this soup this Fall already because it's so darn good and it's easy. While you are roasting your brussels, you can roast your squash for this soup. Or save this recipe for the frozen squash puree you will be getting. In traditional Thai fashion, this recipe combines sweet, sour and salty flavors and has a kick too. The lime and coconut both come through beautifully.

Vegetable oil

1 onion
3 cloves garlic

2 thumb sized pieces of ginger

3-4 cups of mashed winter squash or pumpkin puree

1 qt chicken or vegetable stock

3 TB Fish sauce
2.5 TB brown sugar (or maple syrup, or maple sugar)

2 TB Lime juice
1 can coconut milk

1/8 tsp crushed red pepper

Puree the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor. (Note - I never do this. I just hand chop. You end up getting chunks of spicy fresh ginger on your spoon but it's really good this way).

Put a small amount of oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and stir for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Then add the pumpkin puree, stock, fish sauce, brown sugar or maple syrup, lime juice, and crushed red pepper and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Before serving, add the coconut milk. Taste the soup. You may want to add a fresh splash of lime just before serving.

Mushroom Barley Risotto

I adapted this recipe from a 1997 Bon Appetit recipe but it's really just a very basic risotto recipe using barley instead of arborio rice. You could try a different risotto recipe and use the pearled barley. When using barley I usually kick up the flavor components - more onion, more garlic, more whatever, because the barley has a stronger flavor than arborio rice.

There's a mushroom, barley, and greens stew at epicurious which would be great too...

4 to 4.5 cups chicken stock

1/4 to 1/2 cup white wine

2 teaspoons butter

1.5 cups finely chopped onion

1 cup pearled barley

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 pound assorted fresh mushrooms (oyster or shiitake would be great), sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Optional but recommended:

1/3 cup grated parmesan or to your liking

sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes

Bring chicken stock to boil in heavy medium saucepan. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Melt 2 teaspoons butter in large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add barley, thyme, bay leaf and 2 cups warm chicken stock; bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until most of stock is absorbed, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add remaining stock 1/2 cup at a time, allowing stock to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until barley is tender, about 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in another large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms; sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook until mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Mix in parsley and barley mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon risotto into bowls and serve immediately.

Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms, Red Peppers & Pac Choi

This is similar to the risotto but I thought I'd share it because it brings together many items in this week's share. This one is adapted from a 1995 Eating Well recipe.

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil, divided

1 1/2 cups chopped onion, (1 large or 2 medium)

1 3/4 cups pearled barley

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves

4 cups chicken broth, or vegetable broth

up to 12 oz ounces assorted mushrooms, (cremini, shiitake and/or button), wiped clean, trimmed and sliced (4 cups)
1 1/2 cups diced red bell pepper, (1 large or 2 medium)

1/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 cups pac choi, thinly sliced, stems and leaves separated

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add barley, garlic and thyme and cook, stirring, for 30 to 60 seconds. Pour in broth and bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer over low heat until the barley is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms and bell pepper, season with salt and pepper and sauté until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add pac choi leaves, stems first, followed by leaves, and stir just until they have wilted, 2-3 minutes.

Add the sautéed vegetables to the cooked barley and stir gently to mix. Season with vinegar, salt and pepper.

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.

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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - November 10, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Sweet Potatoes; Orange Carrots; 1 Bunch of Celery; Fennel with Fronds; Sweet Salad Turnips; Mixed Potatoes; Yellow Onions; Head of Lettuce

Bag of Mesclun Greens

Localvore Offerings Include:

Red Hen Potato Bread

Bonnieview Feta Cheese
Champlain Orchards Empire Apples
Pa Pa Doodles Eggs ***

***We are short eggs this week. We will stretch them as far as we can but not all sites will get eggs. If your site does not get eggs this week, you will get them next week. Thanks!

Pete's Musings

Hi Folks,
We had a tough pickup week last week. Lots of pickup errors caused Amy to spend hours trying to sort out what went wrong. Please, Please, Please carefully read the pickup instructions. And please be sure to communicate to your pickup partners so that both of you don't pickup a share. As those of you who have been following Sally Pollack's Free Press blog on our share know, we are providing this great organic local food at the same cost as conventional produce bought at the grocery store. Obviously our margins are pretty slim and we need to keep delivery and pickups as efficient as possible.

Sorry for the sermon. We have enjoyed a week of relative relaxation as all the storage crops are in and for the first time in a few week we really don't care how much it rains or how cold it gets. Feels great. Now we are diving into a deep, farm-wide organization. Thanks to Melissa for heading this up and to Paul for taking on cleaning and organizing our barn, truly a herculean task. Steve and Isaac are making steady progress on a barn addition that will give us a lot more washhouse space for washing and packing vegetables. It will also have new offices right next to the washhouse (not a building away) and an an employee lunch room. ~ Pete

Amy's Note
It's true. My Wednesday evening and Thursday morning were spent problem solving. I had a number of people email who didn't find a veggie bag and when I called site hosts to research, we discovered the members just didn't look through all the totes - the bags were there. A couple veggie bags were taken home by folks who were sharing who hadn't worked out who was picking up that week (they were returned to sites). We had several people take meat shares home who were not meat share members. Two were returned but one I was unable to track one of them down (Adams Court). And there were an assortment of shortages that result when members take more than what they should (maybe taking localvore items when they have a vaggie share, probably mostly accidental). A half filled veggie bag was left behind by a member for a share partner. That bag was picked up by a different member who thought it was a full bag and who was disappointed upon arrival home. And so on...

The pick up system usually works quite well, and our first couple weeks went pretty smoothly. So I'll just reiterate here:

*Check the check off list for your share type, and check your name off the list. If you or your share partner are not listed (only one of you will be listed) on the pick up list, do not take a share, email me!

*Read the pick up instructions on the clipboard and select your items based on your share type.

*Look through all totes and boxes and coolers for your items before going home empty handed.

*If you do come home without everything you are supposed to receive, let me know! I want to make sure you receive all your food.

Thanks everyone! ~ Amy

Storage and Use Tips

Fennel - Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with the flavor of anise. It is delicious and slightly sweet served raw but is just as often served cooked on its own or in other dishes. Though most often associated with Italian cooking, it has an uncanny ability to blend with other flavors adding a light and fresh note. It is delightful in many dishes, and in soups and stews and sauces and is particularly great with tomato sauce dishes. Fennel is composed of a white or pale green bulb from which closely superimposed stalks are arranged. The stalks are topped with feathery green leaves near which flowers grow and produce fennel seeds. The bulb, stalk, leaves and seeds are all edible. To prepare, trim off the fronds and stalks and reserve them for garnish or seasoning. Cut off the hard bottom and slice vertically or into quarters. Or cut the bulb in half lengthwise, cut out the core, and cut into strips. Add it raw to salads or try some thinly sliced fennel on your sandwich. Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves. Or braise, roast or saute it. It is done when tender enough to pierce easily with a skewer.

Sweet Salad Turnips - Tender, fresh dug Sweet Salad Turnips can be eaten raw or cooked. Raw they have a texture similar to a radish, but are not so sharp. Or slice, dice, or quarter them and saute with butter or oil. Cook until just tender and still a little crisp. Just a little salt or maybe a little bit of vinegar is all they need. Cooked with butter and given a slight drizzle of honey and even picky little eaters may gobble them up. Don't forget the greens! Turnip greens are tender and flavorful. Chop and saute with the turnips for a side dish, or cook up with other greens, or by themselves. They make a great addition to pasta sauces too.

Thanksgiving Week Delivery will be TUESDAY November 23rd
Just repeating this message again for any who have missed it. We will deliver on Tuesday of Thanksgiving week to give you all a jump on cooking and in case you want to take your food with you as you travel to visit family or friends.

Meal Planning w/ Share Members David & Renee
David and Renee Wahler have been share members since 2008. About a year ago David told Pete that he and Renee eat largely food from their Good Eats share, supplemented by just a few items they pick up elsewhere and that planning their meals out in advance really helped. As soon as the newsletter comes on Tuesday, they work on the week's meal plan. They keep it simple, cooking basic meals with the share ingredients, supplementing with vegetables that are holdovers from earlier weeks and localvore staples they have in their pantry, and shopping for a few ingredients they might not have on hand.

I have included the Wahler's meal plan once a share the last couple share periods and these segments have been very well received by other members. I hope you find this helpful for planning meals this week, and perhaps for thinking about how you approach meal planning in the weeks to come. If you have feedback, or would like to particpate and share a meal plan of your own some week, please email me!

From David:
Preparing a large dish that will then serve for the basis of 3 or 4 meals at the beginning of the week really helps to pull the shares together for the whole week. A basic meal plan really helps; we shift it around during the week but we have a base to work with that keeps us on track for completing our shares before the next CSA pick up.

If we were vegetarians, instead of the chicken, we would possibly make a big pot of vegetable chile w/ sweet potatoes, dry beans, onions and celery. This would be a good backdrop for those 3 or 4 meals and then we'd supplement with all kinds of salad variations - this week's share is a good one to do this with. Or--we might make a vegetable loaf, using vegetables and grains with spices and a couple of eggs.

Our own pantry includes:
(*) blueberries from our garden and Maple syrup from family sugar bush.
 Items underlined are from previous shares, including rolled oats, mixed grains, & pizza dough.
Items in italics are dried cranberries and butter, purchased at the Co-op. We also purchase olive oil, coffee and milk from the Co-op.
Sunflower oil & vinegar in our pantry are both from previous shares.

All food items in bold are from this weeks shares:


** Roast chicken in slow cooker (start in morning)

Breakfast: Mixed Grain cereal w/ *blueberries

Lunch: Left overs of celeriac/turnip gratin & raw carrot and beet
Dinner: Chicken and sweet potatoes -- green salad

Breakfast: Omelet w/ feta -- sliced apple -- toast
Lunch: Grated carrot and turnip salad w/ dried cranberries
Dinner: Boiled potatoes and carrots w/ butter & parsley; chopped lettuce, celery & raw beet salad

(de-bone chicken, make chicken broth with bones, celery tops, onion and a couple of carrots & garlic -- make about a quart).

Breakfast: Mixed Grain cereal w/ *blueberries

Lunch: Chicken sandwich -- small green salad w/ oil and vinegar, with feta

Dinner: Pizza w/caramelized onion, mozzarella, sage , bacon -- chopped lettuce, apple, carrot & celery salad

Breakfast: Pancakes w/ *maple syrup

Lunch: Left over Pizza and raw carrot and turnip slices

Dinner: Chicken -- baked sweet potatoes -- sauté carrots, onion & parsley


Breakfast: Oatmeal with apple
Lunch: Soup with chicken broth and vegetables -- bread & warm feta

Dinner: Braised Fennel and Potatoes (see recipe 10/26/10 newsletter) -- chopped salad of remaining vegetables.

(bake bread or cornbread muffins)

Breakfast: French toast w/ *maple syrup & yogurt

Lunch: Soup with chicken broth and vegetables -- bread & warm feta
Dinner: Braised Fennel and Potatoes leftovers -- raw vegetables.

Tuesday and Wednesday
Meals seem to take care of themselves with a variety of leftovers -- like adding some remaining vegetables to the soup. We may have Bacon, eggs & toast for breakfast on Tuesday; Cereal on Wednesday; and a variety of leftovers for lunch and dinner. All of this stimulates creative meals. All of the products are really fresh and good, we can’t go too wrong in putting things together. I cook pretty much freestyle, I will often check combinations of various foods & recipes on google and also in a variety of cook books. I like Judith Jones recipes, Fannie Farmer and Nourishing Traditions, as well as the many wonderful recipes and suggestions in the Newsletter.

Thanksgiving Turkeys (OK. I'll give you til tomorrow.)
I am extending the order deadline one more day. If I have your order by tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday), I can still get a turkey to you next week. But by tomorrow late afternoon, I'll be generating the packing reports for packing to begin on Thursday. Once the report is generated I will not be able to add any more turkey orders for 11/17 delivery. The next delivery date after 11/17 is 11/23, two days before Thanksgiving.

We have 4 size ranges available:
13-15 lbs; 15-18 lbs; 18-21 lbs; 21-24 lbs

Turkeys are priced at $3.75/lb and turkeys will be delivered to pick up sites (frozen)

We also have pork, beef and chicken available.

Visit the Meat Page to order your turkey and meats or email me for an order form.

Sally's Blog

This week Sally compared what she received in her Good Eats bag with prices at Healthy Living in Burlington. She estimated quantities and unscientifically determined that the cost of last week's share would have been 15% more at the store versus direct from the farm via her Good Eats share. Visit Sally's blog.

Localvore Lore

Randy George and the team at Red Hen Baking in Middlesex are working on this week's bread. Right about now it is coming out of the mixer. At around 3:00 this afternoon they will begin shaping the loaves. And around midnight the bread will be baked. It will cool and be bagged for Tim who will pick up around 5:30 tomorrow am.

We’re making a local potato bread this week. We make potato bread regularly that features Foote Brook Farm’s Yukon Gold potatoes, but this week’s share is a special version. We’ve made a special starter from Ben Gleason’s sifted whole wheat flour (called “Snake Mt. Sifted”) and the remainder of the bread uses the white flour from Aurora Farms. So this is a slightly darker, entirely local version of the potato bread that you might be familiar with. Potato bread is one of my favorites. It makes a great sandwich, excels as toast, and although it doesn’t come immediately to mind, one of our bakers turned me on to what great French toast it makes. ~ Randy

Once each share period I send out Bonnieview Farm's Ewe's Feta cheese. Neil and Kristen make this superior feta from the ewes they milk each day. I have become dependant on this cheese, and always have a container in my fridge. I use it to add depth to salads. I crumble it into various pasta dishes. I use it on various toasted sandwiches and it's great alone with a bit of sliced apple on the side.

Champlain Orchards has sent Empire Apples this week. One of my favorite apples for their versatility, empires are a great eating apple, they are crisp and tart for salads and resist browning when sliced (great for kids lunches), and they are a good baking apple as well. The also are excellent keepers. Next spring when some varieties of apples are getting soft, the empires will still be nice and crisp. Keep apples in your crisper drawer and they will last a long time.

We ran short on Deb's eggs this week! All summer long we have been able to supply Pa Pa Doodles Farm eggs 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. I created that schedule with people who are sharing shares in mind, so one party wouldn't always get the eggs. We will do our egg math this week and figure out the best way to proceed. We may go to an eggs every third week schedule, or perhaps supplement eggs from another farm. Tomorrow, most sites will receive eggs but some will not. If your site does not get eggs tomorrow you will get them the following week.


There are several recipes that feature fennel this week. I know that some members struggle with the vegetables that are less familiar and I thought giving several options for using it might help with the creativity and direction.

Potato Fennel Soup
Potatoes and fennel are two great things that go great together and there are many recipes that feature the two including dozens of soup variations you could find on line. This one is basic, it's from Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. You could make this soup as is, or you could enrich it by substituting all or a part of the water with chicken stock or a nice vegetable stock. Some recipes call for dairy, adding either some half and half or skim milk, depending on the preference of the eater. You could substitute some leeks for all or part of the onions, or add in some shallots.

1 TB butter or oil
4 cups thinly sliced onions
2 tsp salt
4 medium potatoes, not necessarily peeled and sliced into thin pieces 1 to 2 inches long
1 cup freshly minced fennel bulb
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
4 cups water (or stock)
white pepper to taste

Optional toppings:
sour cream, thinned (by beating with a whisk in a litle bowl)
the feathery tops of the fennel, well minced

Melt the butter or heat the oil in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add the onions and 1 tsp salt. Cook over med-low heat, stirring occasionally for about 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are very, very soft and lightly browned.

Add the potatoes, another 1/2 tsp salt, the minced fennel bulb, the caraway seeds. Saute over medium heat for another 5 minutes, then add water (or stock). Bring to a boil then partially cover, and simmer til the potatoes are tender (10 to 15 minutes).

Taste to adjust salt; add white pepper. Serve hot, topped with a decorative swirl of thinned sour cream and/or minced feathery fennel tops.

Sweet Potato Pancakes
A very simple recipe to throw together this week. You can grate the sweet potatoes and onion with a food processor fitted with a grating attachment. You can also make the batter ahead and store it in a tightly covered container in the fridge for several days before using. This is another one from the Moosewood.

4 cups coarsley grated sweet potatoes
1/2 cup grated onion
3 to 4 TB lemon juice
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
4 beaten eggs (yolks optional)
1/3 cup flour
optoinal: 1/4 cup parsley
oil for frying

Toppings: sour cream or yogurt or applesauce

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet until it is very hot (it should make water droplets dance). Use a non slotted spoon to form thin pancakes, patting the batter down. Fry on both sides until brown, adding small amounts of additional oil, if/as needed. Serve hot, with toppings.

Gemelli with Roasted Fennel and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

The other natural marriage for fennel is tomatoes. Fennel adds a lighter dimension, yet blends really well with tomato dishes. You can taste its special flavor, but it doesn't take the front seat. You can use gemelli, a small shaped tube pasta or substitute fusilli, cavatappi, penne, what have you. Cook the pasta while the fennel bakes to save time. From Cooking Light. Yields 4 servings.

2 large fennel bulbs
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

3/4 pound uncooked gemelli (short tube-shaped pasta) or substitute

3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
basil (recipe calls for 3 TB fresh - you could use a bit of pesto or omit)

2 teaspoons
grated fresh lemon rind

Preheat oven to 425F.

Trim tough outer leaves from fennel. Cut fennel bulbs in half crosswise; discard cores. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Place fennel pieces in a large roasting pan. Add 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss to coat (add a bit more oil if necessary to coat). Bake at 425 for 20 minutes. Stir fennel; bake an additional 10 minutes or until tender.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pan. Add reserved pasta cooking water, fennel, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, feta, and remaining ingredients; toss well.

Roasted Potatoes with Southwestern Spices
This recipe is from Jack Bishop's A Year in the Vegetarian Kitchen. Scrambled eggs and a simple salad and these potatoes would make a lovely easy meal.

1.5 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1" chunks
3 TB olive oil
3 med cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 TB cilantro leaves, minced (nice but you can skip)
lime wedges

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 425F. PLace potatoes on a large baking sheet or 13 x 9 pan, and drizzle 1.5 TB of the oil over potatoes and toss well to coat.

Roast the potatoes, turning once until golden brown, about 45 mins.

Meanwhile combine the remaining 1.5 TB oil with chili powder, cumin and salt in a small bowl. Drizzle this mixture over the potatoes , turn and toss to coat, and return to oven. Bake until potatoes have absorbed the seasoned oil and become crisp, about 5 minutes.

Transfer to serving bowl. Stir in cilantro if you have it, add salt and spices ton taste. Serve with lime wedges (or even a drizzle of bottled lime juice).

Fennel, Feta and Kalamata Olive Salad

I have just stumbled across this recipe from chef and author George Kyrtatas. Now I can't wait for fennel. This adaptation of a greek salad will be fantastic on it's own, but could also be placed on a bed of greens.

1/2 pound fennel bulbs (1 bulb)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 TB olive oil

1/4 tsp sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

4 oz feta cheese—crumbled

1/4 cup kalamata olives—pitted and chopped

Clean fennel well and remove outer layers and top stocks. 
(Top portion may be frozen and used for flavoring at a later time.) 

With a mandolin or food processor shredding attachment, slice fennel as thin as possible. Then soak fennel in ice water for 1/2 hour. Then drain. 
In a bowl mix sugar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. 
Toss in the shredded fennel and toss to coat. 
Top with chopped olives and crumbled feta cheese.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Good Eats Newsletter - November 3, 2010

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Orange Carrots; Mixed Beets; Head of Lettuce; Purple Top Turnips; Shallots; Head of Garlic; Winter Squash; 1 Bunch of Kale; Pac Choi; 1 Bunch of Parsley

Localvore Offerings Include:

On the Rise Pizza Dough
Maplebrook Mozzarella
Pa Pa Doodles Eggs
Butterworks Yogurt


Storage and Use Tips
Shallots - A member of the allium family, shallots are sweeter and milder than onions. You can slice them thin and saute them in recipes that benefit from their sweet, mild onion flavor. When minced, they are fantastic in homemade vinaigrettes and pan sauces. Store them in a cool, dark place.

Parsley - Much more than a garnish, parsley has lots to offer. Chopped parsley can be sprinkled on a host of different recipes, including salads, vegetable sautés and grilled fish. Combine chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest, and use it as a rub for chicken, lamb and beef. Add it to soups and tomato sauces. Parsley is one of those vegetables with huge nutritional benefits, even when using just a couple tablespoons of the minced green. The vitamin content is very high (particularly vitas A, C, K, and folic acid). And what's more, the activity of parsley's volatile oils qualifies it as a "chemoprotective" food, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens.

Green Kale - We grow many varieties of kale at Pete's, including Green, Lacinato, Red Russian, Redbor and Winterbor. This is green kale, one of the more common varieties. Keep kale loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer. Strip the leaves from the stems and wash them well before chopping and cooking.

Pac Choi - A member of the brassicas family along with cabbage and kale, pac choi originated in China, where it has been grown for over 1500 years. It was introduced into the US during the late 19th century by Chinese immigrants. Pac Choi has a mild flavor. The leaves taste similar to Swiss chard and the stems (called ribs) are deliciously crispy and can be substituted for celery in recipes. We grow both purple and green varieties. Your bag may have one or the other, or both. Pac Choi is mild enough to be chopped up for a salad, particularly if you give it a quick wilt in a hot pan. It's also great in stir-fries. Store pac choi loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your crisper drawer.

Winter Squash - A mix of winter squash varieties will be going to sites this week.

Thanksgiving Week Delivery will be TUESDAY November 23rd

For those of you who missed this message last week, our delivery Thanksgiving week will be on Tuesday November 23rd, not Wednesday that week. I'll also be giving you all a sneak peak at what is in the share in the newsletter a week before in order to help you plan your shopping.

Delivery Changes & Vacations
Vacationing? Stop your share delivery and receive share credit
If you know you will be traveling, I can stop your share for the week(s) you are gone and you can receive credit for missed weeks. If you let me know on or before Wednesday, one week before the delivery day you will be away, I can easily accommodate this request. Credit can be used toward purchase of your next share.

Donate Your Share
If you would prefer to give your share to a family in need, we have a system in place for that as well. As long as I know by any Friday, I can move your share from your site to our Hardwick pick up site, and from there it will go directly to the Hardwick Food Shelf.

Need to Switch Sites?
If as the share goes along you have need to switch from one site to another, I can accommodate that change. Just send an email by Friday for changes the following week.

All requests must come via email!

Problems with your share?
If ever you receive veggies that aren't up to par, or if for some reason you don't find all the items that are supposed to be in your share when you pick up, do email me. I want to know so I can fix it. We want you to be happy and well fed!

Recycling Good Eats Packaging
Presently the only packaging we are reusing are veggie bags. We can no longer reuse egg cartons or plastic containers or glass jars. We welcome the veggie bags and you can bring those with you to your pick up site and leave them for our delivery person, but please recycle all other items at home. Thanks!

Thanksgiving Turkeys and Meats for Your Freezer
We have raised some pretty fantastic turkeys on the farm this year. We have had just a small flock on the farm and they have lived a deluxe life, grazing our fields all summer. The birds on the farm are pastured and are moved to fresh pasture regularly, their moveable shade/rain house moving along with them. They eat vast amounts of greens which translates to a much higher vitamin content in the meat and makes it much more flavorful as well.

We have 4 size ranges available:
13-15 lbs; 15-18 lbs; 18-21 lbs; 21-24 lbs

Turkeys are priced at $3.75/lb and turkeys will be delivered to pick up sites (frozen) on Nov 10, Nov 17, and Nov 22. If you are considering ordering for Nov 22nd, keep in mind that it's only two days before Thanksgiving and your bird may not thaw in time!

We also have pork, beef and chicken available.

Visit the Meat Page to order your turkey and meats or email me for an order form.

Tuesday Nov. 9th is the deadline for ordering a turkey for delivery Nov.17th
Tuesday Nov. 16th is the deadline for ordering for delivery Nov 23rd, but this is only 2 days before Thanksgiving and will be cutting it pretty close!

Sally's Blog
Last week Sally Pollak compared what she received in her Good Eats bag with the prices at local supermarkets. The same conventionally grown, well traveled, high carbon footprint vegetables in the store cost only $.02 less than the Good Eats share which was grown organically, locally, the proceeds of which will be reinvested in our own community. I am thrilled that Sally is doing this legwork for all of us. This should be an enlightening year. Visit Sally's blog.

Localvore Lore
We have pizza dough from Ben and Rachel, owners of On the Rise Bakery this week. They make this version of their dough especially for Good Eats with VT sunflower oil, Milanaise unbleached white flour, Ben Gleason's whole wheat flour, local honey and sea salt. The pizza dough will come to you frozen. Put it right back into your freezer if you don't plan to use it Wednesday night. When you do use it, thaw it, and don't wait for it to rise. When it is thawed it is ready to stretch and top and bake. As pizza dough sits, thawed, either on the counter or in the fridge, the live yeast in the dough continues to work away and the dough will lose elasticity steadily. If you haven't used it 48 hrs later, the risk is not that the dough will go bad, it's that it will lose elasticity, and become more difficult to work with, it will tear more easily. In this case, you may be better off using your rolling pin to roll out the dough rather than trying to get away with stretching spinning pizza doughs above your head. Ben posted the instructions on line along with some instructional videos that you can watch for technique and inspiration. If you make a great looking or great tasting pizza that you are pleased with, email a photo along to Ben or post it to the On the Rise Facebook page.

To go along with the dough , we have some Maplebrook Farm's Fresh Mozzarella for you. In Bennington, Maplebrook makes their cheese with fresh Vermont milk. This cheese freezes very well, so if pizza isn't in the plan for this evening, you can save it for another day (or another week!).

At Butterworks Farm, Jack and Annie Lazor milk a small herd of Jerseys, all of whom are born on the farm and are fed entirely organic feeds grown on the farm. Milk from Jersey cows is rich, with a high protein count and fat content and yogurt made from this milk is richer than others. The non fat yogurt produced by Butterworks is the only non fat yogurt on the market that does not contain milk thickeners like whey protein or dry milk. Their whole milk yogurt is made from just that, whole jersey milk straight from the cows, so the yogurt comes with cream on top and a butterfat content of 5%, the highest on the market. There will be a mix of yogurts at the sites this week - non fat plain and vanilla, whole milk plain and maple. The non fat vanilla is flavored with pure vanilla extract, and sweetened with pure maple syrup. The maple whole milk yogurt is simply whole milk plain that they sweeten with maple syrup. It's so darn good it can substitute for a bowl of ice cream.

We have eggs again this week too from the girls at Pa Pa Doodles Farm.

Meat Share
For the second time ever, the entire meat share is comprised of our meats! This may not happen again this share as we still raise only a small number of animals and it's hard to gather enough for all meat share members.

For this share you will receive a whole Pete's Pastured chicken, a package of Pete's pastured Ground Beef, our own bacon, and a package of our pork chops. The chicken and pigs are grown right on the farm. The pigs have been rooting around all year on 20 acres of glorious piggie pasture complete with mud bog and moveable shelter. They eat lots and lots of veggie culls from the washhouse. The chickens have become a critical fertility link on the farm. After each greens field has passed its prime, we move chickens onto the field to eat up the greens and fertilize before we plow under. It's a great cycle of food production. The cows are raised in partnership with friend and neighbor Bruce Urie and the beef is beautiful and tasty. This mostly grass fed ground beef is low in fat and very tasty.

Winter squash, Carmelized Onion, Kale and Bacon Pizza
This is my suggestion for pizza this week. I think it will be delicious.

1 winter squash, peeled and seeded, and cut into 1/2 " cubes
1.5 lb onions or maybe more, chopped
6 strips of bacon
1 Bunch of Kale, torn from stems and chopped into thin ribbons
Maplebrook mozz
Butter or oil
salt & pepper
herbs as desired

Preheat oven to 450.

Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove top, and add squash cubes and either boil or steam cubes until they become tender but not mushy. Drain the squash and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a heavy bottom skillet on the stove top, saute the bacon until it begins to crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Then add the chopped onions, turn on low and allow too cook very, very slowly, around 15 minutes until they soften and carmelize. Do not burn. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon.

Now then add the squash to the skillet to pan sear/brown them a bit. You could add a bit of maple syrup and salt to heighten the flavor. Then remove from the skillet.

Next add the kale to skillet with a little water to steam it, and cook for several minutes until soft, then remove.

Now stretch out or roll out your pizza dough, flouring your work surface, your hands and rolling pin well to assist you. Add toppings: carmelized onion, pan seared squash, steamed kale, crispy bacon, and then tear off pieces of the fresh mozz and spread around as desired. Season with salt & pepper and perhaps some herbs (some fresh chopped parsley, or some sage or rosemary would be nice).

Then bake on a cookie sheet or pizza stone for approx 10 minutes till done.

My new pizza system
I have a baking stone but I used to run into problems with underbaked or overbaked crusts or just issues with transferring the pie to the stone (no pizza peel). My new system is to prepare the pizza on a piece of parchment paper dusted with cornmeal. I slide pizza into oven onto hot stone on top of the parchment. Bake for exactly 5 mins. And then remove parchment my sliding it out from under half baked pizza. It works every time.

Kashmiri-Style Kidney Beans with Turnips

This recipe from is a winter staple in Kashmir. It's delicious as is, but for a more hearty meal you could add ground beef. Serve with white or brown basmati rice. Also delicious as a side for roast chicken.

2 turnips, peeled and cubed

1 cup
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seeds

1 cup finely chopped red onion

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup chopped tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri garam masala

Optional but excellent - 1/2 lb ground beef

Place turnips into a saucepan with the water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the turnip is soft, about 5 minutes. Once tender, stir in the kidney beans, and cook 5 minutes more.

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the cumin and fennel, and cook until the spices toast and become fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the onion, and cook until it turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced ginger and garlic, cook and stir for 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes and salt, and continue cooking until the mixture turns pasty.

Finally, stir in the paprika, turmeric, ground ginger, and 2 tablespoons water; cook 2 minutes more.

 Add the tomato mixture to the turnips, and simmer 10 minutes. Season with garam masala before serving.

Roasted Root Vegetables

This is a roasted veggie recipe from Bon Appetite 2001 that received four stars for its simple perfection. I thought it would be the perfect accompanement to a roast chicken for meat share members this week, yet this one could be combined with a simple salad or some sauteed greens as well.

1 2 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)

1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 bunch beets (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed but not peeled, scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 medium-size red onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)

1 large turnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup)

1 head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Oil 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Combine all ingredients in very large bowl; toss to coat. Divide vegetables between prepared baking sheets; spread evenly. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 350°F oven 15 minutes.)

Marinated Beets

By Martha Rose Schulman for the NYT. A little sugar softens the edge of the vinegar here and complements the natural sweetness of the beets. Nice to have in fridge for healthy snack or to add to salads.

1 bunch beets

1/3 cup red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar

Salt to taste

2 garlic cloves, cut in half
2 teaspoons sugar

Place the beets in a saucepan, cover with water, add 1/4 cup of the vinegar and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Remove from the heat, add the garlic to the pot and set aside to cool.

Remove the beets from the pot (do not drain), slip off the skins and cut in wedges.

Combine the remaining vinegar and the sugar. When the sugar has dissolved in the vinegar, stir in 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid from the beets. Toss with the beets and the garlic. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then remove the garlic from the marinade. Remove the beets from the marinade with a slotted spoon to serve.

Beet and Carrot Quick Slaw

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Cracked black pepper

1 pound beets, peeled and shredded, about 3 medium beets

1/2 pound carrots, peeled and shredded, about 3 carrots
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley leaves

In a small non-reactive bowl whisk together Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, celery seed, sugar, salt and olive oil. Season with pepper. Place beets, carrots and parsley in large serving bowl, pour dressing over salad, toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings.