Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Good Eats Newsletter - January 25th, 2012

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Yellow Onions;  Adirondack Blue Potatoes; Parsnips; Kohlrabi (speckled on outside, peel and eat, insides are delicious!) and .....

1 Bag of Salad Greens
1 Package Coleslaw Mix
1 Package Frozen Green or Red Peppers

Localvore Offerings Include:
Golden Crops Organic Rolled Oats
Lake's Edge La Luna Cheese
Pete's Kitchen Salsa Roja


Coleslaw Mix Feedback
This week we are including our coleslaw mix for the very first time in the share. We are considering this for a product in stores and would like your feedback! I will send a survey out on Friday with the following questions and room for you to give us any other feedback you see fit.
Overall appearance, is it attractive and appetizing?
  1. Flavor, is the mixture of vegetables well balanced?
  2. Is the shred size good, should it be finer or thicker?
  3. Packaging, is the packaging holding up, would it be attractive in a store with a label on it or does is look odd? Suggestions are welcome if you have any ideas.
  4. What kind of dressings do you prefer for this product, a Classic Coleslaw Dressing or something different like Mexican-Lime Coleslaw Dressing, recipes listed below?
Thanks ahead of time for sharing your thoughts with us!
Spring Share
Sign-up Has Begun

Share Runs
February 22nd - June 13th
That is 17 weeks of
Good Eats!

Early Birds get 2011 Pricing - Sign up by
Feb 1st, next Wed!

The Spring Share
begins in just 4 weeks!

Sign-up now to reserve your share of fresh, organic, Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples you love.

NEW - Sign up online! We are now offering an online sign up for the share. Simply fill out the online form and mail your payment.

Go to our Spring Share page
for more details or to download an order form.
Pete's Musings

I had a fun morning making beautiful coleslaw with Heather and Jackson. Lots of different colors from the purple cabbage and multi colored carrots, we hope you enjoy it and please let us know what you think. 

What is the most difficult issue for a diversified organic veggie farm in the northeast? Easy answer.... weeds. The combination of diversity (lots of different crops many of which have different weed control strategies), ample moisture to continuously germinate new batches of weeds, and the extremely rapid growth rate of weeds and crops when it gets hot and humid makes it a real challenge. We have an assortment of tractors that we use for weed control but none have been quite what we want. So this winter we set out to design and create exactly what we want.
We bought an older Antonio Carraro bi-directional tractor. These are Italian made and typically used for narrow orchard applications. Bi-directional means that you can turn the seat and steering wheel around in order to drive in reverse. Now we are building weed control equipment that we'll mount on the 3 point hitch. We'll be driving the tractor in reverse so that we have full visibility off the rear of the tractor (no engine in the way of seeing the work). We'll replace the tires with tall, skinny tires in order to raise the clearance of the tractor so that we can pass over taller plants for later cultivations. So far it is looking great and we think it is going to be an excellent improvement to the farm. We will keep you updated to how it is going.  ~Pete

Changes to Your Delivery?

If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or we can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.

Storage & Use Tips

Adirondack Blue Potatoes have a glistening purple skin with a solid blue interior. The moist, flavorful flesh is superb for roasting, frying, mashing or boil for salads. They are loaded with minerals, potassium and yes like most blue foods antioxidants too. These spuds are great for kids who love their fun color!
Pete's Kitchen Coleslaw Mix - Cabbage is king! Well at least in these cold winter months where there is little food that is fresh and green to eat. If you did not already know green cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C, a very good source of fiber, manganese, and folate and also a fairly good source of molybdenum, vitamin B6, potassium, thiamin (vitamin B1), and calcium. Another interesting fact that my surprise you is cabbage's anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids. Ordinarily, we simply do not think about this cruciferous vegetable as a source of omega-3s. For that matter, we do not think about cabbage as source of any type of fat. And we are right in this overall type of thinking. Cabbage is not a fatty food. But among the little bit of fat it contains, there is a surprising am ount of one particular omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA.  For maximum nutritional benefits it is recommended to eat your cabbage raw or steamed. For this week we have included some pre-shredded Coleslaw Mix to boost vitamin uptake and add a delicious easy to make side to the weekly mix. The mix includes:  green cabbage, savoy cabbage,  red cabbage and  mixed colored carrots. Not only does it make a delicious slaw it is very pretty, sure to liven up winter meals.  All you need to do is add dressing! See recipes below for variations of coleslaw dressings.
The name Kohlrabi derived from the German word for cabbage "kohl" and turnip "rabi".  It is the same species as cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Although each has been selected to appear and taste very different, they have all been derived from the same wild cabbage cultivar. The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to that of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter. The young stem in particular can be as crisp and juicy as an apple. Kohlrabi is eaten raw as well as cooked. The skin should always be peeled removing the tough external skin before using. You will notice our kohlrabi has black spots on its skin from insect damage in the field. This does not affect the inner quality and eating quality is not compromised.
Kohlrabi is popular in India and in particular Kashmir where it is called Monj. A Kashmiri household may have this on their dinner or lunch plates three to four times a week. The stem part of the plant is eaten along with the leaves. There is a spicy version which they call dum monj and a non-spicy version is called monj-haakh. See recipe below. For an easy snack simply melt some butter in a pan, add some sliced onions and chopped Kohlrabi and brown.  Add some fresh herbs, put on a lid and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
This week's frozen item is Frozen Green or Red Peppers. Who says eating locally means missing out!  Our frozen veggies are grown on our farm, come in from the field and go straight into the freezer. Our peppers are washed, chopped, bagged and frozen within hours of harvest.  To use vegetables let the package thaw in the fridge till soft, or submerge bag in warm water till usable. Remove from plastic bag before heating. Frozen peppers tend to not have the same rigidity as fresh peppers but retain all the flavors and yummy summer goodness.

Localvore Lore

This week's La Luna Cheese comes from Blue Ledge Farm in Salisbury, Vermont. The husband-and-wife team Greg Bernhardt and Hannah Sessions, with help from daughter Livia and son Hayden, operate an organic farm and pasture their goats in fields of fresh grasses which receive no pesticides, herbicides or commercial fertilizer. La Luna is an aged Gouda type goat’s milk cheese.  Of those who wrinkle their noses and say, “Oh, I hate goat cheese”, this one is sure to make converts.  La Luna has smooth, semi firm ivory paste and tastes milky and herbal with the scent of fresh grass. A favorite with kids and foodies alike. 

Localvores will also receive a 5 lb bag of Golden Crops Organic Rolled Oats from organic grower Michel Gaudreau of Golden Crops Mill, across the border in Quebec. Michel grows quite a few different grains on his farm and mills grains for organic growers in his area. He has a great operation in a beautiful setting surrounded by his fields. Michel's Golden Crops Mill makes many organic grains available locally that we might not otherwise have local access to and we are grateful for his commitment. These are beautiful, clean organic rolled oats ideal for oatmeal, granola, cookies, streusel toppings etc. See below for a solid granola recipe or one for oatmeal.

Pete's Kitchen Salsa Roja is made right on the farm in our on-farm kitchen from our own organic vegetables. Ingredients include: Pete's tomato puree, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, dried chili peppers, salt and pepper, sugar and citric acid.


Dum Monj
This is a spicy Indian dish that is commonly served in places like Kashmir where kohlrabi is a well-known vegetalbe used in everyday cooking. To make the less spicy version monj-haakh simply exclude the green chili peppers listed below.
1-2 medium size kohlrabi, peeled and sliced into 1/2" cubes
1 c Moong dal (mung bean sprouts) - substitute or add fresh sunflower or pea shoots adding right at the end so they are not too wilted
1 small onion, minced
1 Tbs grated coconut 
4 green chili peppers, minced (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds 
1/2" ginger root piece, grated
Salt to taste 
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 
2 Tbs cooking oil 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds 
1/4 tsp leek or garlic, minced
Wash and soak sprouts for 10 minutes and strain water. In a frying pan sprouts and kohlrabi pieces and cook till they become soft. While that is cooking, grind the onion, coconut, chilies, cumin seeds, and ginger root with a little water forming a thick paste. When sprouts and kohlrabi are lightly cooked, add ground paste, turmeric, and salt and cook for five more minutes. Heat oil in a fry pan, add mustard seeds and let them pop. Add the mustard seeds and garlic or leek at the end. Stir in and remove from heat. Serve with rice and Pappad (crisp Indian bread).

Classic Coleslaw Dressing
A classic dressing for the coleslaw mix we included in the share this week.

2/3 c mayonnaise (sub sour cream if you like)
1/4 c onion, minced
3 Tbs dill pickled, minced
2 Tbs pickle brine
2 Tbs distilled white vinegar
1 Tbs horseradish
1 Tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp celery seeds

Whisk ingredients together until well blended.

Mexican-Lime Coleslaw Dressing
A fun way to spice up your coleslaw mix, serve with chicken or fish.

1/3 c lime juice
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (to taste)
1/2 c olive oil

Whisk lime juice, ground cumin, garlic and hot pepper sauce together and then slowly whisk in olive oil.

Blue Potato Gratin with La Luna Cheese
This week's la luna cheese is perfect for this recipe, giving it a nice herbal flavor and creamy texture as it melts into the milk and potatoes. The potatoes will melt in your mouth.

3 lb potatoes, sliced in 1/4" slices
6 Tbs butter, melted
2 c whole milk
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 Tbs slat
2 tsp thyme
1 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 c La Luna cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 400F. Mix seasonings together in a small bowl. Coat the bottom of 9 x 13 baking pan with a portion of the butter. Lay a flat layer of potatoes on the bottom of the pan,  using a brush, brush butter on layer of potatoes and sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme and nutmeg. Lay second layer of potatoes, coat with butter and herbs and sprinkle with 1/3rd of the cheese. Repeat the last two steps until potatoes are used up, leaving the last layer of cheese aside. Heat milk on stove top and then pour over potatoes and apply last layer of cheese. Bake for 45 minutes until potatoes are soft. Let the potatoes cool a bit before serving.

In honor of the oats this week I thought I'd share this recipe. I make this granola practically every week because everyone in my family eats it nearly every morning. One of my kids likes it dry, another with milk, and another with yogurt. I like to mix it with other cereals or fruit. We eat it for dessert on maple syrup sweetened yogurt. It's a solid, simple granola recipe. You can add as much as another three cups of various nuts or dried fruit without having to change the amounts of oil and sweetener. You can swap honey for maple syrup interchangeably and use other mild favored oils. Though the amounts given of sweetener and oil are what my fami ly enjoys, you can reduce the oil to 3/4 cup and the sweetener to 1 cup. 

Mix everything together well. If your honey is solid, put the oil and honey in a small saucepan first and warm on the stove until it becomes liquid enough to mix with the other ingredients. Put all of this in two 9" x 13" pans or a large roasting pan. Put in a preheated 250 degree oven and bake for a total of 70-80 minutes, stirring the granola at 30 mins, 50 mins, 60 mins, and 70 mins taking care to rotate the granola that is on the sides and bottom to somewhere in the middle. It is done when it is golden brown. After it cools completely, store in a tightly sealed container.

10 cups oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup sesame seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sunflower oil
1 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup
Old Fashioned Oatmeal
This is just the basic how to cook recipe. There are endless possibilities of what you might add to your oatmeal including honey, maple sugar or syrup, dried fruits, frozen berries, sliced apples or melons, etc. You can go totally dairy free, omitting butter and replacing all the milk with water, or add just as much of those as you like. 

2 cups dry rolled oats
3.5 to 3.75 cups water/milk (1.5 cups milk/2+ cups water is good)
1/4 tsp salt
1 TB butter (optional)

Place oats, milk, water and salt in a med ium saucepan and stir to combine. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for five to 10 minutes, until all the liquid is absorbed and oats have softened to a porridge. Stir in butter. Divide into bowls and garnish with dried fruit and sweetener of your choice.

Quick Oatmeal
2 cups quick oats
3 cups water/milk (2 cups water, 1 cup milk is a nice mix)
1/4 tsp salt
1 TB butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a medium saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Slowly, stir the oats and let the water return to a rolling boil. Immediately, reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in the cinnamon and butter and continue to cook on low for 1 minute. Then add the milk and cook for another 2 minutes.

Nova Scotia Oatcakes
Amy and her family spent 4 years in Nova Scotia before moving back to VT last year where, because of thier Scottish heritage, Scottish oatcakes are popular. Stop at any coffee shop and in place of the ubiquitous biscotti you will nearly always find oatcakes. These lightly sweet, creamy cookies are great to take along as a healthy snack. With some experimentation you could substitute honey for the sugar.... With this recipe I'd substitute 3/4 cup honey for the sugar, I'd reduce the water to approximately 1/2 cup, and I'd increase the baking soda to 1.5 tsp.
3 cups quick rolled oats

3 cups flour

1 cup brown sugar (packed)

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 cup shortening

2/3 – 3/4 cup cold water
In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening. Add enough water to form a rather stiff, pastry-like dough. Roll 3/8 ” thick and cut into circles. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes on a greased baking sheet.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Good Eats Newsletter - January 18th, 2012

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:

Bunched Leeks; Green Cabbage; Banana Fingerling Potatoes;
Mixed Beets; Orange Carrots and .....

1 Bag of Salad Greens
1 Package Frozen Green Beans
1 Package Frozen Cauliflower

Localvore Offerings Include:
Pete's Kitchen Stock - Chicken or Vegetarian
Butterworks Whole Wheat Bread Flour
Pa Pa Doodles Farm Fresh Eggs

Check Your Stock!

Please only take the Vegetarian Stock if you have signed up for a Vegetarian Share. We pack by site based on your sign-up status. The Vegetarian stock is labeled with a Pete's Greens Vegetable Stock sticker and the Chicken stock does not have a label at all. Thanks for your cooperation

Spring Share
Sign-up Has Begun

The Spring Share
begins in just 5 weeks!

Sign-up now to reserve your share of fresh, organic, Vermont grown goodness and the localvore staples you love.

Early Birds get 2011 Pricing - Sign up by
Feb 1st!

Share Runs
February 22nd - June 13th
Thats 17 weeks of
Good Eats!

NEW - Sign up online! We are now offering an online sign up for the share. Simply fill out the online form and mail your payment.

Go to our Spring Share page
for more details or to download an order form.

Changes to Your Delivery?

If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or we can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.

Storage & Use Tips

Leeks were once called the poor person's asparagus, but today are cherished for their culinary qualities right along side asparagus. Leeks tend to collect dirt in between the tops of their long leaves. It is important to wash between leaf folds to remove dirt or soak in a water bath and let dirt sink to bottom. Store wrapped in plastic in the fridge. Although the best quality is within the first few days, they can be stored for an extended amount of time in the fridge. Peel outer leaves if damaged and use tender inner stalks.
Pete's Mixed Beets are a colorful selection of red, candy stripe, yellow and white beets. The colors stay true while cooking but if boiling together the red color will take over. I prefer to halve and roast in the oven on 350F. When beets are soft the skins are easily removed. Cool the beets and then dice or slice how you would while preserving the colors of individual beets. Toss in dressing etc when cool or reheat with a meal. Make sure to keep beets in fridge until you want to use. 
This week's frozen items are Frozen Green Beans and Cauliflower. Who says eating locally means missing out!  Our frozen veggies are grown on our farm, come in from the field and go straight into the freezer. The green beans are washed, blanched, bagged and frozen within hours of harvest. The cauliflower is treated much the same. You may notice your cauliflower is a little 'yellow', do not fear this is the natural color of the 'Cheddar' variety of cauliflower we grow, we also grow white cauliflower and a purple cauliflower.  To use vegetables let the package thaw in the fridge till soft, or submerge bag in warm water till usable. Remove from plastic bag before heating. Since frozen foods are often blanched (or lightly cooked) the cooking time tends to be reduced and all they really need is a warm up.

Localvore Lore

Pete's Kitchen Chicken and Vegetable Stock is made right here in our on-farm kitchen. The chicken stock is made using fresh celeriac, onions and carrots, and chicken bones from our farm and Misty Knoll and seasoned with peppercorns, bay leaves, salt, thyme and garlic. The vegetarian stock is made with fresh carrots, onions, shallots, garlic and celery and seasoned with salt, thyme and peppercorns. Keep frozen until you want to use. Thaw in the refrigerator or if in a pinch put in a warm water bath in a pot.  Once thawed, use within a week.

Butterworks Farm Organic Whole Wheat Bread Flour is made from organic hard red winter wheat grown right here in Vermont. Hard red winter wheat berries are rich in protein and when stone ground retain 12-13% protein. Protein is 80% gluten which is the active ingredient that when added to water makes the flour “stick” together.  Using whole wheat bread flour creates nutritionally dense, hearty loaves of bread. Mix with white flour for muffins, cookies and pastries. Wheat flours retain the germ part of the grain which makes for added nutrients and higher fats. Fats tend to go rancid quickly. With this in mind whole wheat flours have a shorter shelf life than your typical all-purpose white flours that have had some or most of the bran removed. For best storage store in a sealed plastic bag or air tight container for 3-6 months in a cool, dry place. You can also freeze in portioned bags for easy use and an extended period of time. Another common pantry issue are weevil larvae that reside in your cabinets. They can actually eat through thin plastic bags and love the fatty germ inside of whole wheat flours and other pantry items. To avoid this storage pest place a few bay leaves in your flour containers, this will repel these pesky pests. 

Your bi-weekly delivery of Pa Pa Doodles Farm Fresh Eggs.


Sesame Green Beans
A quick way to add some flare to your green beans. You can substitute the sesame oil and seeds for minced garlic to make Garlic Green Beans, also a great alternative to those that may be allergic to nuts.
1 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil (optional)
1 Tbs sesame seeds
1 package frozen Pete's Kitchen green beans
1/4 c chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat cooking oil and sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat, when warm add sesame seeds. When seeds start to darken, stir in green beans, stirring until beans are covered with oil. Pour in chicken broth, salt and pepper. Cover and cook until beans are tender but still crisp, about 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid evaporates.
Winter Cabbage and Vegetable Soup
This is a basic vegetarian soup to use up your winter crops. At this time of year cabbage is tender and sweet and adds a great flavor to soups alongside onions and carrots. Feel free to add a few turnips, winter radishes or other vegetables you have at home, although I would hold back on the parsnips unless you want a sweeter flavor. If you would like a heartier version add some ham, corned beef or salt pork to salt up your recipe. Add meats with the leeks, onions and garlic.
2 Tbs cooking oil
4 medium leeks, sliced 1/2" thick
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 medium carrots, sliced 1/4" thick
6-8 Russian Banana Fingerling potatoes sliced 1/4" thick
1/2 green cabbage sliced 1/4" thick
1-2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/2 tsp chervil
1/2 tsp marjoram
4 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
In a pot, add the oil and cook the leeks, onions, and garlic together for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Do not brown. Add the potatoes, celery, chervil, marjoram, and  water. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes and then add the cabbage and simmer until potatoes are tender another 10 minutes or so. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into bowls and top with the finely chopped green tops of the leeks or croutons if you have them. 
Gobi Masala (Indian Curried Cauliflower)
A hearty, warm you up recipe that will be well served with Indian Chapatis (recipe below). If you do not have all the spices below you may default to a pre-mixed curry spice blend without worry. 
1 bag frozen cauliflower
1 c stock - Chicken or vegetable (use water if you have neither)
3 Tbs cooking oil
1 Tbs black mustard seeds
2 medium onions, minced
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
8-9 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1/2 small can tomato puree
1 tsp red chili powder to taste
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala spice blend
Put the cooking oil in a pot that holds at least 4 quarts and place over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the black mustard seeds. Cook, watching carefully, until they change color, about 30 seconds. Immediately add the onion and salt and lower the heat to medium. Cook onions for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add ginger and garlic and cook for another minute or two. Add tomato puree and stir. When mixed, add chili powder, cumin, cinnamon  and turmeric and stir. Add stock and thawed cauliflower (if using fresh cauliflower blanch quickly before adding here) and cook covered loosely until cauliflower is soft but not mushy.  Stir in garam masala at the end and adjust chili and other spices as desired. Serve with Chapatis (see recipe below).
These chewy, unleavened breads are traditionally eaten throughout Northern India. They are usually served as an accompaniment to spicy dishes and would be a great accompaniment to Gobi Masala above. Makes 6 pieces.
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
1 tsp vegetable oil
melted butter for brushing
Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the water and mix to a soft dough. Knead the oil, then turn out on to a lightly floured surface. Knead for 5-6 minutes until smooth. Place in a  lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp dish towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Turn out on to a floured surface. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball. Press the dough into a larger round with the palm of your hand, then roll into a 5-inch round. Stack, layered between plastic wrap, to keep moist. Heat a griddle or heavy bottomed frying pan over a medium heat for a few minutes until hot. Take one chapati, brush off any excess flour, and place on the griddle. Cook for 30-60 seconds, or until the top begins to bubble and white specks appear on the underside. Turn the chapati over using a spatula and cook for a further 30 seconds. Remove from the pan and keep warm, layered between a folded dish towel, while cooking the remaining chapatis. If you like, the chapatis can be brushed lightly with melted butter immediately after cooking. Serve warm.