- The next distribution is Thursday March 24th.
- Produce and tree fruit share payments are due April 1st for those of you who have a remaining balance.
- Worker share information will be sent out in the next month for those who may want to work for their summer share.
Farm News from Jane
If we were wondering if spring began last week we can hardly deny its presence with this week’s lovely warm breezes and temperatures. The cows have really been enjoying “lounging” out in a pasture close to the road soaking up the sun. They’d make a great postcard especially if we could get a pair of sunglasses on one of them like the milk commercial on television! Or perhaps a cute tutu, but I digress… I have been really enjoying the birds with their sunrise songs. We’ll have to wait another hour next week after we move the clocks ahead one hour. I hope that I’ll adjust a little quicker than I did in the fall. I seemed to want to go to bed almost right after supper last November when the time changed.
The Bok Choy and Chinese cabbage will be transplanted into the high tunnel tomorrow and the onions received another “haircut” this week. All the plants in the greenhouse are growing well and the green house is filling up quickly. It will be nice to get an earlier start pruning blueberry bushes this spring. Last year the snow coverage lasted until half way through April. The snow combined with the cold temperatures caused me to wait a while longer than usual before I began the pruning process. It was late in the spring schedule before I had them finished. But just like every optimistic gardener I’ve got big plans to get an early start this season!
We continue to gather and boil maple sap this week and it was very pleasant to do it in shirt sleeves rather than my usual “Nanuk from the North” outfit. There wasn’t much snow in the woods even a few weeks ago when we tapped this season. Of course this makes gathering much safer. Carrying buckets full of sap through the melting, slippery snow can set one up for a drenching! One time Daniel caught a foot in a branch under the snow and caused him to somersault with two full buckets of sap. He actually landed on his feet with buckets still in hand but needless to say the buckets were empty! It’s a good thing that he was OK as it was quite a hilarious site! And if you haven’t seen the pictures on our facebook page of the maple syrup evaporator it works as beautifully as it looks; great job Ben!
Well that’s all for today; although we are enjoying this warm spell we would actually appreciate some below freezing temperatures so that the sap will continue to run. Only time will tell… We will have maple syrup canned to share for the next winter share. Until then get those tasty waffle and pancake recipes around! There’s nothing quite like the first taste of sweet spring. Have a great “wearing of the green” next week, Jane
Produce: Spinach Adirondack red or French fingerling potatoes cooking onions
Garlic Carrots Celeriac Red beets Rutabaga
– Remember to keep potatoes someplace cool and dry. Check occasionally for sprouts. Remove them before they grow any tentacles!
– Don’t forget to blend any combination of roots to mellow and or “sweeten the pot”. Our current favorite is celeriac and rutabaga mash.
– “Dust” the garlic to remove any black powdery spots which may cause them to soften.
QUICK BEET SALAD
¼ C sour cream, 1T horseradish, 1T chopped fresh dill, 2t olive plus 1T live oil divided, ¼ t ground pepper, 1/8 t salt, 1# precooked beets cut into ¼ “ slices or wedges, 1t white wine vinegar
Combine sour cream, horse radish, dill, 2 t oil, pepper, and salt in a small bowl. Toss beets with vinegar and the remaining 1T oil. Serve the beets topped with the sauce. Recipe from Eating Well magazine
HOT BEET & CARROT SLAW
2 T butter, 1 large clove garlic, 2 beets; fist sized, 1 medium carrot, ¾ C orange juice, salt and pepper
Sauté garlic in butter for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook 5-8 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
BEET, POTATO AND WALNUT SALAD
1 1/2 pounds medium golden beets, scrubbed; 1 1/2 pounds fingerling or new potatoes, halved lengthwise, 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, Coarse salt and ground pepper, 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (optional), 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh chives, 1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with racks in top and middle. Place beets on a large piece of foil on a baking sheet. Fold foil around beets and crimp ends to form a packet. Cook beets on sheet on middle rack, 30 minutes. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes, cut side down, on sheet. After beets have cooked 30 minutes, place potatoes on top rack. Cook 15 minutes. Flip potatoes and sprinkle with walnuts (if using). Cook until walnuts are toasted, potatoes are golden, and beets are tender when pierced with a knife, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove beets from foil and let cool. Transfer potatoes and walnuts to a large bowl. Rub beets with a paper towel to remove skin and cut each into 4 to 6 wedges, depending on size. Toss beets with potatoes, walnuts, and chives and season to taste with vinegar. Recipe from Martha Stewart
JAPANESE-STYLE SPINACH (Gomae)
21/2 T tahini, 11/2 T rice vinegar, 11/2T soy sauce, 1 T water, 2 t mirin, 1# spinach, trimmed if necessary, 1 t sesame oil. Toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Put a large pot of boil on to boil. Meanwhile, whisk tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, water and mirin in a large bowl. Cook spinach in the boiling water until just turns bright green, 15-30 seconds for baby spinach, 45seconds -1 minute for mature spinach. Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water. Press or squeeze to remove excess water. Add the spinach to the dressing and toss to coat. Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired. Serves 4; recipe from Eating Well magazine
1 (10-oz.) package washed and ready-to-eat fresh spinach; 2 large pears, sliced; 1/2 c diced red bell pepper; 1/2 c chopped walnuts; 3 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled; 1/4 c balsamic vinegar-based salad dressing; 1 tsp orange zest
Combine spinach, pears, bell pepper, walnuts and bacon in a salad bowl. Whisk orange zest into dressing and drizzle over salad. Toss, and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings; Recipe from Farm-Fresh Recipes.
MARY’S FAVORITE SPINACH ENCHILADAS
While this recipe below is for the spring, one can make variations with any kinds of vegetable stuffing one likes.
Start by making a tomato enchilada sauce.
1 Qt tomato puree or canned tomatoes– can use 1 large can of crushed or diced tomato, or 2 small cans, ½ tsp coarse salt/pepper to taste, ¾ tsp dried oregano (or scant ½ tsp fresh), ¼ tsp cumin seeds (or scant ½ tsp pre-ground), heaping ¼ tsp chili pepper, • 1 large garlic clove, roughly diced
Pour the tomato sauce into a heavy-bottomed pot. Put the rest of the ingredients into a mortar or pestle and grind into a paste. If you don’t have a m&p, dice the herbs and mash them onto your cutting board with the flat edge of your knife. Stir the herb paste into the tomatoes; give the mixture a taste and then add anything that you think might either be missing, or might make it taste good. I have used (not always in the same batch!): fresh/dried cilantro, pre-made or store bought mole sauce, pre-made or store bought salsa, adobo sauce (yum!), siracha, cocoa powder, cinnamon. Think about what flavors you like and play around. Bring your enchilada sauce to a simmer. Cover it and turn down the heat and go read a book or watch something on TV. Tell your family you are very, very busy cooking. You want it to gently cook (small bubbles) for about 45mins or so. If you’re tight on time, it will be fine after 30mins. Likewise, if you get caught up in a Dr. Who episode and can’t tear yourself away, you can let it simmer for at least an hour, or even longer. If your sauce is very chunky, your enchiladas will be fine as long as you like chunky sauce. If you want a more traditional enchilada, give the sauce a whirl in a blender or hit it with an immersion blender. It doesn’t need to be perfectly pureed.
While the sauce is cooking, prep your spinach and cheese.
8oz bag organic spinach, 2 cups shredded, mild, white cheese Queso Blanco, mozzarella, or Monterey Jack will work fine
Wash and dry the spinach and pinch off any thick stems. Roughly chop the spinach. Done! Shred your favorite mild melty cheese. Monterey Jack works well, as does mozzarella. My favorite is Queso Fresco or Queso Blanco – very mild, white, Mexican cheeses.
Assembly; 6 corn tortillas -Prep your cooking dish. I use an 8×8 Pyrex baking pan to make 6 enchiladas. Spread a spoonful of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan, much as though you were making lasagna. Taking one tortilla at a time, dip the tortilla into the sauce, getting the whole thing wet and tomato-y. Give up any notions of having clean hands. Holding the sauce dipped tortilla in the palm of one hand, use the other hand to put a handful (~ ½ cup) of chopped spinach onto the tortilla. Follow that with a generous sprinkling of the shredded cheese (scant ¼ cup). Of note – you can also add other ingredients at this point – cooked black beans, cubes of roasted sweet potatoes – just don’t stuff the tortillas too full. My rule of thumb is to be able to hold the tortilla with the fillings in the palm of my hand without stuff falling out willy-nilly. Once you’ve got the filling in place, fold the left and right sides over the middle of the tortilla (folding the tortilla in 3rds) – using the thumb of the hand holding the tortilla to hold the fillings in place. Place the filled tortilla, folded edge down into the pan. The first one might be unruly, but you’ll be able to bully it into place with the rest of the enchiladas. Repeat the process, filling your pan with rolled enchiladas. You want the enchiladas to be snug, not crammed. My 8×8 pan accommodates 5 horizontal and 1 vertically placed enchiladas. You could make a small batch of 4 in a loaf pan, or a huge batch of “lots” in a lasagna pan (just be sure to make more enchilada sauce and prep more spinach and cheese.) Six enchiladas feeds three people (with a salad and/or side dishes) or 2 hungry people. Once the enchiladas are all snuggly and ready to be cooked, pour some (maybe all, if you like them saucy) of the enchilada sauce over the top (reserving a ½ cup if you want to make some Spanish rice as a side dish), sprinkle with the remainder of the shredded cheese (or shred more cheese, if you made them super cheesy on the inside), cover with aluminum foil and pop into a pre-heated oven at 350. After 20 min, take the foil off and cook for an additional 5-10 min. Some people love crusty brown cheese, some people love soft, melty white cheese. Take them out when they look/smell like you want to eat them. Let them rest for 5-10 min and enjoy! If you are one of the happy people who don’t have the deviant gene that makes cilantro taste like soap, sprinkle with some chopped, fresh cilantro and/or serve with some fresh sour cream or plain yogurt. And consider serving with Spanish rice… If you like rice with your enchiladas, once your sauce is done cooking and the enchiladas are filled, start your rice. Use whatever ratio you usually use to cook your rice, but substitute a portion of the cooking water with the enchilada sauce. For example, if you do a 2-1 ratio of water to rice, you would do ½ cup enchilada sauce with 1 ½ cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Continue cooking your rice as you usually would. The rice will be flavored with the enchilada sauce, making it the perfect accompaniment to your enchiladas!!
From Red Fire Farm stand Manager Mary Leal, for Cinco de Mayo, 2015.
POTATO AND PESTO SOUP
3 strips bacon; 1 lb potatoes; 1 lb onions; 2 tbsp olive oil; 2 tbsp butter; 2 ½ cups chicken bouillon; 2 1/2 cups milk; 3/4 cup shell noodles; 2/3 cup heavy cream; 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley; salt and pepper; freshly grated Parmesan cheese; fresh garlic bread
PESTO SAUCE: 1 cup finely chopped fresh parsley; 2 garlic cloves, crushed; 2/3 cup pine nuts, crushed; 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil; 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; white pepper; 2/3 cup olive oil
To make the pesto sauce, put all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process for 2 minutes, or blend by hand using a pestle and mortar. Chop the bacon, potatoes, and onions. Heat the oil in a pan, add the bacon, and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add the butter, potatoes, and onions and cook for 12 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the bouillon and milk to the pan bring to a boil, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the noodles and simmer for another 10-12 minutes. Stir in the cream and then simmer for 5 minutes. Add the parsley, salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce. Transfer the soup to serving bowls and serve with Parmesan cheese and garlic bread. Serves 4
PANAMA’S PINK POTATO SALAD
5 medium sized potatoes, 2 medium sized carrots, 3 medium sized red beets, 1-2 stalk celery or (1-2 cups celeriac), 1 onion, 1 bunch parsley, 1 clove garlic, 3 eggs, 1-2 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1-2 teaspoon mustard, salt and pepper to taste * if substituting celeriac you may cook it with the potatoes or chop and add raw to salad..
Start by boiling the potatoes in a large pot. When they are close to half cooked add the beet and carrot.
Then add the eggs to the pot for the last 10 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the celery, parsley, onion, and garlic. Drain the potato pot. You should now have tender potatoes, a tender beet, carrot and a hardboiled egg. Peel, dice the beet and carrot. It is a little counter intuitive to us Americans, to boil and then do the chopping. However, that is the custom in Panama. The cooks say it is easier to peel the vegetables after boiling. Separate the hardboiled egg white from the egg yolk. Chop the egg whites. Crumble the egg yolk. Mix the egg whites, celery, parsley, onion, garlic, mayonnaise and mustard in a deep bowl. Then add everything else and mix just enough to coat the vegetables with the mayonnaise. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more mayonnaise or mustard to the desired consistency. Mix well. Sprinkle the crumbled egg yolk on top for a beautiful touch of yellow color!
Serves 4; Recipe from Red Fire Farm; Anna
4 fresh medium beets; 2 sprigs fresh basil, chopped; 1/2 medium onion, chopped; 2 eggs, beaten; Salt and ground black pepper, to taste; 1/4-2/3 c flour; Olive oil; Mozzarella slices; Burger buns
Trim beet tops and root. Shred beets in food processor; transfer to bowl. Add basil, onions, eggs, salt and pepper; mix. Mix in just enough flour to make mixture stick together. Form into 4-inch patties about 1 /2-inch thick. (Don’t make too thick or centers won’t cook well.) Heat 1/4 inch of olive oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Fry patties 2-3 minutes on one side, until crispy. Turn, place mozzarella slice on top and fry 2-3 minutes more, until crispy. Place hot on bun; serve immediately. Makes 6-8 servings
BALSAMIC BRAISED ONIONS
2 pounds small onions, peeled, ends trimmed off; 1 1/3-1 1/2 cup water; 1 teaspoon salt; 1/4 cup extra virgin; olive oil; freshly ground black pepper; 1 cup good-quality balsamic vinegar
Stack the onions tightly in a single layer in a large skillet or saucepan. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over onions. Bring to low simmer and cook, uncovered, until onions are tender, turning them over about halfway through the cooking. This will take about 15 minutes. Raise heat to high and boil, carefully turning the onions occasionally to prevent sticking, until liquid is reduced to a glaze, 15-20 minutes. Add additional salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm or cold. This recipe is adapted from one that carne with a purchase of balsamic vinegar. It’s important to use high quality balsamic vinegar or the flavor will be harsh. Recipe from Jenny Bonde and Rink Davee, Shooting Star Farm
ROASTED CARROTS WITH STRACCIATELLA AND BUCKWHEAT
The little sprinkle of buckwheat delivers a much-needed crunch factor. If you don’t have any, add some chopped toasted almonds or homemade breadcrumbs.
1# small carrots, any color, scrubbed, tops trimmed, halved lengthwise, 1 T olive oil, plus more for drizzling, 2 t buckwheat groats, ½ t nigella seeds (optional), 1 ½ t Champagne vinegar, 1T fresh carrot juice (optional), 8 oz stacciatella di bufala, burrata, or fresh mozzarella, torn into pieces, 1 C (packed) mixed tender herb leaves (such as dill, basil, cilantro, and/or mint) * Nigella seeds, a pungent peppery seed also known as kolonji or black onion seeds, can be found at Indian markets and some supermarkets, or online.
Preheat oven to 4250. Toss carrots with 1 T olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Roast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown and tender, 15-20 minutes. Let cool. Meanwhile, toast buckwheat in a dry small skillet over medium high heat, tossing often, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in nigella seeds, if using.
BEETS AND CARROTS IN A LIME VINAIGRETTE
2 medium beets, peeled and cubed, 2 medium carrots, sliced diagonally, 1 medium cucumber, cubed, 6 Tbs veggie oil, 3 Tbs lime juice, 2 Tbs chopped cilantro or dill, 1 garlic clove, minced, salt to taste
Steam beets and carrots separately until tender. Combine dressing ingredients (I find a jar works well because you can put the lid on and shake it all up.) Put the veggies, including the cucumber in a bowl and toss with dressing. Chill.
Recipe from Red Fire Farm
1+ 1/ 4 lbs. carrots, ¼ c. butter, melted, ¼ c. brandy or pineapple juice, 1 t. sugar, 1 t. salt.
Peel and cut carrots as desired and place in ungreased square pan, 8x8x2inches. Mix remaining ingredients; pour over carrots. Cover and cook in 3750 oven until carrots are tender about 40 minutes. 4 servings.