Week Twenty-Three October 13th 2014
- We are in need of share boxes again; please bring any accumulation to distribution this week. We hope to have them all back before the season is over.
- There are two more summer share distributions.
- Winter share payments are due.
Farm News from Jane
What a spread we had yesterday at our annual potluck! Some years we would have to “scrape” the bowls to get just a taste of something but not this year! There was oodles and oodles of the most delicious and nutritious foods. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen so many varied vegetable delights. I wish that I had more room on my plate (and in my tummy) to try each one. The salads were so beautiful; there was an especially colorful “Autumn Salad” with a cinnamon pear dressing that was as delicious as it was beautiful. And you would have thought that we had a soup competition going on with all the crock pots full of steaming and savory culinary preparations. And the desserts were incredible also. Thank you to those of you who left us some extra “treats” we enjoyed them for a 10 o’clock snack break after we harvested carrots.
The sound of kids’ voices was such a great sound yesterday as we toured the different fields and crops. Carrots were a big hit again this year. It’s always amazing to see the kids eat the carrots that they pulled with a modicum of grit still intact! We finished the farm tour at the pumpkin patch and this year’s crop was a beautiful bumper one. There didn’t seem to be enough wagon space or arm strength to carry them all out of the field! Thank you to all who came out for the afternoon; it’s always a pleasure to visit and see how much the children have grown. We also had some very young inquiring minds asking some very astute questions, even regarding compost temperatures. Perhaps next year we should offer a “kid’s camp for those young budding agriculturalists! John and his brother were quite impressive with their field knowledge; good job mom and dad!!! We were so fortunate to have a warm and sunny day to eat outside and enjoy all the fall colors for our backdrop.
The rain held off this morning and the harvest proceeded quickly and smoothly. Most of our worker share members have completed their hours and so it was a bit quiet this morning. It’s a good thing our young friend George was there to keep the silence at bay! The summer shares weeks are coming to an end and with this week’s warm temperature predictions we hope that a few of the crucifers that need to “size up” will do so. There are Romanesco, red cabbage and Brussels sprouts as well as rutabaga to come. It sure is a nice feeling to know that we have winter CSA members anxious to share all the bounty that comes in after the traditional summer shares are complete.
We had our first “killing” frost on Sunday morning with a low of 270. The flowers are almost all gone now as well as most of the peppers and eggplant. It was wonderful to have a few more weeks to harvest the last of the summer veggies especially after summer began so late this year. Now we can experience “Indian summer”. And it looks like it will start tomorrow with a predicted high of 810. Mother Nature is sure full of surprises.
Thanks again for all your support and kindnesses; hope you have a few party leftovers to enjoy, Jane
Produce: Bok choy Starbor kale Peppers Red potatoes Cipollini onions
Garlic Carrots Spaghetti squash Ambercup squash
Fruit share: Asian Pears Early Fuji apples
– Carrots for nutritional reasons should not be peeled if at all possible. There is a significant amount of nutrients just underneath the skin.
– Ambercup squash is best baked or micro waved whole. It is sweet, creamy and dense and not as high in moisture as the butternut. It’s my favorite squash to make “pumpkin” recipes with.
– This week’s kale is a “one cut” variety so we harvest the whole head; kale chips anyone or perhaps a “massaged” kale salad.
CARROTS WITH SPICED PECANS
1 cup pecan halves; 1/4 teaspoon allspice; 4 teaspoons canola oil; 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger; 2 tablespoons sugar; 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced; 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place nuts in single layer on baking sheet and roast 7 minutes. Meanwhile, mix oil, sugar, salt, and spices. Toss partially roasted nuts in spice mix and roast another 7 minutes. Steam carrots over boiling water until crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Toss with spiced nuts and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings. Recipe from MACSAC
CARROT VICHY SOUP
1 large russet potatoes, pared and sliced; 1/4 tsp salt; 1 tbsp butter, melted; 1/2 lb pared, sliced carrots; 1 leek, thinly sliced or 1 medium onion, thinly sliced; 2 3/4 cups half-and-half; 1 ½ cups boiling water; Tabasco pepper sauce to taste; 2 tsp instant chicken bouillon; Minced fresh parsley
Combine potatoes, carrots, leeks or onion, boiling water, bouillon, and salt in large heavy saucepan. Cook, covered until very tender, about 25 minutes. Puree in blender or food processor. Beat in butter or margarine, half-and-half, and Tabasco” to taste. Chill and serve cold or reheat over low heat, beating with wire whisk to blend w011. Top with a bit of minced parsley. Note: You may want to season with more Tabasco’ if soup is to be served cold. Makes 3 to4 servings
CREAMED KALE AND ONIONS
1 1/2 lbs. kale, cleaned; 2 lbs. small white onions, peeled (about 12); 1/4 c. butter; 3 tbsps. Flour; 1 1/2 c. milk; Seasonings
Cook kale in boiling salted water (enough to come halfway up on layer of the vegetable) until tender, about 15 minutes. Cook onions in boiling salted water until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; combine vegetables. Make white sauce of shortening, flour, milk and seasonings you prefer (salt, pepper, etc.). Pour over kale and onions. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings. Note: You can use liquid drained from cooked vegetables for all or part of milk in making the sauce. Recipe from America’s Best Vegetable Recipes.
SESAME KALE SALAD
1# fresh kale, 2T soy sauce, 2T toasted sesame oil, 1T toasted sesame seeds, 1 clove garlic, 2 t honey or other sweetener, 1T apple cider vinegar, dash of black or red ground pepper to taste.
Separate kale leaves from stems. Chop stems and greens. Steam stems a couple of minutes, then add the greens and steam until just tender. Drain; let kale cool enough to handle it. Squeeze out as much water as possible. Place in a serving bowl. Mix the remaining ingredients in another bowl; add to greens. Mix, chill, and serve. Serves 4-6. Adapted from the Extending the Table; A World Community Cookbook, by Joetta Hendrich Schlabach.
1/4 cup vegetable oil; 3 cups thinly sliced bok choy stalks; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper; 2 teaspoons sugar; 2 cups chicken stock; 11/2 tablespoons cornstarch; 1/4 cup cold water; 1/4 cup soy sauce; 2 cups bean sprouts; 2 cups slivered cooked chicken, turkey, or pork; chow mein noodles; cooked rice
Heat oil in a wok or deep skillet. Add celery, salt, pepper, and sugar; stir-fry 1 minute. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, blend cornstarch, water, and soy sauce in a small bowl. Add to skillet and stir until mixture thickens. Stir in bean sprouts and meat. Cook until heate4 through, 2-3 minutes. Serve over hot rice with chow mein noodles. Makes 4 servings. Recipe from James and Kathleen Mulvey
PENNE ALIA ZUCCO (ROMAN PASTA WITH PUMPKIN SAUCE)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; 1/2 teaspoon sea salt; 2 onions, finely chopped; 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg; 4 cups peeled and chopped winter squash or pumpkin flesh; 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage; 1 pound penne pasta or gnocchi; 1 garlic clove; 1/3 cup grated Parmesan; 1/4 teaspoon crushed red chile pepper
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium flame; add onions and cook, stirring often, until very soft and translucent. Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with a knife blade, pulse the squash and garlic together in 2 batches until very fine. Add to onions with chile, salt, nutmeg, and 1 cup water. Cover and simmer until squash is soft and of a sauce like consistency, 10-20 minutes. Stir in sage. Cook pasta in lots of boiling, salted water until just tender. Strain, reserving 1 cup of pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta to hot sauce in pan, stir, and cook over high heat, adding cooking liquid if necessary, until pasta is coated. Stir in Parmesan and serve. Makes 4-6 servings. Recipe from Leah Coplon, The Washington Hotel
CREAM CHEESE PUMPKIN SQUARES
1 cup flour; 1/3 cup brown sugar; 5 tbsp butter; 8 oz cream cheese; 1/3 cup sugar; 1/2 cup pumpkin, 2 eggs; 1 tsp vanilla, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon; 1 tsp allspice
Blend flour, brown sugar and butter into small crumbs. Set aside1/2 cup for topping; place remainder in 8×8 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Cream together cream cheese and sugar, bend in pumpkin and eggs and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and spices. Pour over baked bottom and sprinkle crumbs on top. Bake for another 35 minutes at 350 degrees.
SCALLOPED SQUASH AND POTATOES
3 cups buttercup squash, peeled and chunked; 2 cups diced potatoes 1/3 cup chopped onion; 1/2 cup chopped cooked ham; ¼ cup flour; 1 Tbsp chopped parsley; 1 tsp salt; 1/4 tsp pepper; 1/4 tsp nutmeg; 1 1/3 cup whole milk; 2 Tbsp butter
Place half of squash and potatoes in a greased 1 1/2-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle on half the onion and ham. Whisk together flour, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg with milk. Pour half the mixture over vegetables. Dot with half the butter. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350 degrees 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Makes 6 servings
ROASTED POTATOES AND PEPPERS
2 pounds waxy potatoes; 1 pepper; 1 large onion, cut into wedges; olive oil; 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary; salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Wash the potatoes and blanch for 5 minutes in boiling water. Drain. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them and halve lengthwise. Cut pepper lengthwise into 8 strips, discarding the seeds and pith. Oil a shallow ovenproof dish thoroughly with olive oil. Arrange the potatoes and peppers in alternating rows and stud with the onion. Cut the rosemary sprigs into 2-inch lengths and tuck among the vegetables. Season the dish generously with olive oil, salt and pepper and bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender. Serves 4
FRIED PEPPERS WITH EGGS
1 large green pepper; 1 tbsp salad oil; 1/4 tsp salt; pinch of garlic salt; pinch of pepper; 1 egg; pinch of salt; 1 tbsp water
Wash pepper, cut off stem ends and remove seeds. Cut in strips. Add peppers to heated oil in skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring with a fork, until they are heated. Do not let peppers brown. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt, garlic salt and pepper. Lower heat; cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover, increase heat to medium and cook to desired tenderness. For best flavor, do not overcook. Beat eggs, pinch of salt and water together slightly. Pour over peppers in skillet; do not stir mixture until eggs start to set; then, with fork or spatula, move mixture to allow all liquid to set. Do not let eggs overcook. Turn onto warm platter.
SPICY POTATO, SAUSAGE AND GREENS SOUP
1 pound bulk hot Italian sausage; 1/2 cup chopped onion, or more to taste; 4 cups chicken broth; 4 cups thinly sliced potatoes (slice them with skins on); 4 cups water; 2 packed cups tom or chopped fresh greens; 1/3 cup whipping cream; salt and pepper
Heat soup pot over medium flame. Add sausage and onions and cook until meat is no longer pink. Add broth, potatoes, and 4 cups water. Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, 10-15 minutes. Stir in greens; cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in whipping cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve right away, or, for more developed flavor, let cool, then chill and reheat later or the next day. This recipe was inspired by a soup at Olive Garden restaurant. Add some buttered biscuits and it’s a perfect winter meal. Makes 8-12 servings. Recipe from JoAnn Hoffman, Vermont Valley Farm member
PARSLEY POTATO CARROT HASH
2 tablespoons olive oil; 1-2 tablespoons butter; 11/2 pounds potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small cubes; 1 large carrot (about ½#), scrubbed and cut into small cubes; salt and pepper; 1/4-1/3 cup finely chopped leeks or onion; 1/3-1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
Heat olive oil and butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium flame. Add potatoes and carrots, season generously with salt and pepper, and toss well. Cook undisturbed 4-5 minutes to brown on one side, then toss and brown again for 4-5 minutes. Lower heat, stir in leeks or onions, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in parsley. Note: You could add chopped ham, chicken, or hard-cooked eggs to the mixture along with the parsley. Makes 4-6 servings. Recipe from MACSAC
APPLE CHEDDAR SCONES
2 cups all-purpose flour; 1/4 cup granulated sugar; 1 tbsp baking powder; 1 tsp salt; 1/2 tsp dried thyme; 1/2 tsp cracked pepper; 1/4 cup butter or margarine; chilled, diced; 1 apple; cored, cut into 1/4″ pieces; 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese; 3/4 cup milk; 1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 425-degrees. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. In bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, thyme, and pepper. With pastry blender cut in butter until coarse crumbs form with some pea-sized pieces. Stir in apple, cheese and milk until ingredients are moistened and dough starts to form. On lightly floured surface gently knead dough until it comes together. Shape into 7″-wide disk. Brush with egg. Cut into 8 wedges. Arrange wedges 2″ apart on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until golden. Cool on pan one minute. Remove from pan; cool on rack. Makes 8 servings
APPLE-ROASTED SWEET POTATOES AND WINTER SQUASH
1&1/2-2 pounds winter squash (butternut, buttercup, etc.); 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried; 2 medium sweet potatoes; about 1 1/2 cups apple cider; 2 tbsp olive oil; salt and pepper
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Peel squash, cut them open, and remove seeds. Peel sweet potatoes. Cut squash and sweet potatoes into even-size chunks. Place in a baking dish just large enough to hold all the vegetables in 1 layer. Toss with olive oil and rosemary to lightly coat. Pour in enough apple cider to reach about halfway up the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Bake until vegetables are tender and juice is reduced to a glaze, 40-50 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings. Recipe from MACSAC
SQUASH-STUFFED BAKED APPLES
4 medium tart apple; 1/4 cup plus 1/2 tbsp packed brown sugar, divided; 1/4 cup orange juice; 1/4 cup water; 1 tbsp butter; 1-1/4 cups mashed cooked squash; 1/8 tsp salt; 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, divided
Core apples, leaving bottoms intact. Peel the top third of each apple. Remove apple pulp, leaving a 1/2-in. shell. Chop the removed apple; set aside. Place cored apples in an ungreased 13-in. x 99in. x 2-in. baking dish. Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, orange juice and water; pour over apples. Bake, uncovered, at 3250 for 1 hour or until tender, basting occasionally. In a large saucepan, sauté chopped apple in butter until tender. Add squash; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the salt, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and remaining brown sugar. Spoon into baked apples; sprinkle with remaining nutmeg. 4. Bake 30-35 minutes longer or until heated through, basting occasionally. Drizzle with pan juices before serving. Yield: 4 servings
6 lbs firm, tart apples, peeled and quartered; 1 quart apple cider; 1 1/4 c sugar; 2 tsp cinnamon; 1/4 tsp salt; 1/4 tsp ground cloves; 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Place apples in cider in pot. Bring to boil; cook over medium heat, stirring often, until soft, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Using hand mixer on high speed, puree apples. Return to heat, and stir in sugar, cinnamon, salt, cloves and nutmeg. Boil rapidly, stirring constantly to prevent splattering. Cook until thick enough to spread. Test: Pour a Tbsp of hot mixture onto chilled plate. If no rim of liquid forms, it is ready. Pour into hot, sterile jars. Attach hot, sterile lids and rings. Process 5 minutes in boiling water bath. Makes 3 pints Recipe from Farm-Fresh Recipes.
PEAR AND ALMOND TART
11/2 pounds sweet pears; 6 Tbsps maple syrup; 1 vanilla bean; 1 tsp baking powder; 1 Tbsps maple syrup; 2 Tbsps butter; few drops real almond extract (optional)
FOR THE TART SHELL 1 3/4 cups ground almonds
Set the oven to 350°F. Cut the pears into quarters and remove the peel and cores, then cut the flesh into thin slices. Put them into a heavy-based saucepan with the maple syrup and the vanilla bean and cook gently, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. The pears should be tender and almost transparent, and bathed in a glossy glaze after this time. Allow to cool.
Meanwhile, make the tart shell: mix together, by hand or in a food processor, the ground almonds, baking powder, maple syrup, butter and, if you wish to intensify the almond flavor, a few drops of real almond extract. Press the somewhat sticky dough into an 8-inch metal tart pan, pushing the mixture up the sides but being careful not to make it too thick. Prick the dough all over and bake for 10 minutes, until it is crisp and golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Not more than an hour or so before serving the tart, arrange the pear slices on top of the pastry, removing the vanilla bean (rinse, dry and use again). Pour any glossy liquid from the pan over the pears; if it is watery rather than glossy, boil it up for a few minutes to reduce it before using. Serves 6 Recipe from Vegetarian Four Seasons.