- Don’t forget to pick your pre-ordered meat shares.
- Summer share balances are due April 1st.
- The next winter share is Thursday April 2nd
- Please remember egg cartons and produce boxes.
Farm News from Jane
What a difference a few weeks make; the last newsletter I was wondering when the spring thaw would arrive and now we’ve already passed the “ice stage” and on to the mud stage. March is national mud month to us who live in the country. But the up side of that is that we can actually see grass and pasture again. Not green as yet but a welcome site none the less. But the best thing that I have enjoyed is the birds singing again especially on a warm sunny morning. A hardy robin has already been spotted and our daughter Pam called to share her excitement of her first white crocus in bloom. It did have the benefit of growing right underneath the dryer vent; still though it almost seems impossible that it could have managed to emerge right through the receding snow bank. The power of nature, when the sun shines for twelve hours a lot can happen even underground! The first of the fuzzy chicks arrived last week. They are Black Austrolorp laying hens which are a heritage Australian breed of chickens known for their hardiness in all conditions and their dependable egg laying. The chicks come to us just one day old and it’s amazing how much they grow in just one week’s time. The sunny skies and the warm temperatures also allowed us to get maple trees tapped and the production of sweet syrup started. It took some time preparing to get to the woods this season as the snow was so deep and heavy that quite a bit of plowing was needed just to get pathways cleared to haul the sap out of the woods. Snow shoes would have been helpful during the drilling and tapping. One person fell into a deep snow bank which was so soft that he had some difficulty negotiating himself out! Carrying full sap buckets through those drifts you’ll realize that the sweet delicious first taste of spring becomes even more precious!!! I don’t think that we will have enough syrup to share this time but hopefully by the next “run” we will have enough to “can up” to share with you.
The second greenhouse was opened on Friday and the onions are in need of another “haircut”. The bok choy, Napa cabbage, lettuces, and kale are all growing quickly and even at their small size very tempting. There are red leafed beets all standing tall in their cells like little soldiers awaiting their “marching” orders. It smells earthy and inviting when you open the greenhouse doors, especially first thing in the morning when the fragrance is so concentrated.
The roots and storage vegetables are winding down and although we will have more dry beans and maple syrup and honey to share the boxes are getting lighter. With the collapse of the high tunnels we were unable to produce fresh greens “inside” this season so the bounty to share for the last few distributions will be less. But spring planting is not too far away and we get to start over again in earnest. Enjoy the first day of spring and the stars tomorrow night in the dark new moon sky. Think green and warm thoughts; perhaps St. Patrick’s Day helped us get in the spirit! Till next time, Jane
Produce: Fingerling potatoes Shallots
Garlic Carrots Chioggia beets
– Remember to take your carrots out of the bag and let them air dry overnight.
– Beet bag should be opened to air so that the moisture does not cause them to spoil.
– These are the last of the shallots and beets for the winter shares.
SECRET CHOCOLATE CAKE (CHOCOLATE BEET CAKE)
2 C. cooked chopped beets, ½ c. applesauce, 1+1/2 c. sugar, ½ c. oil, ½ c. plain yogurt, 3 eggs,
1+1/2 t. vanilla, 1+1/2 c. flour, 1 c. whole wheat flour, ½ c. baking cocoa, 1+1/2 t. baking soda, ½ t. salt, ½ c. chocolate chips (I prefer mini chips), powdered sugar or your favorite glaze or frosting
Prepare beets by cooking, peeling, and chopping them. Combine with applesauce and puree with a hand blender or in a standing blender. Set aside. Sift together dry ingredients and set aside. Beat together the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. For 2 minutes. Add half the dry ingredients and incorporate slowly, alternating with the beet/applesauce mixture until everything is blended. Pour half the batter into greased Bundt pan. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips, then pour the remaining batter on top. Bake @ 3500 for 45-50 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on rack.
From Simply in Season Children’s Cookbook by Mark Beach & Julie Kauffman
FRIED BEETS AND CARROTS
2 tablespoons olive oil; 2 teaspoons cumin seeds; 2 medium beets, quartered, sliced 1/4-inch thick; 2 medium carrots, sliced 1/4-inch thick; tamari sauce; greens
Heat olive oil in skillet. Add cumin; cook about 1 minute. Add beets and carrots; fry until tender. Remove from heat, sprinkle on a little tamari, and serve. Variation: If using young beets save the tops. When the beets and carrots are tender, add chopped greens, cover, and cook until soft. Toss mixture, sprinkle with tamari, and serve. Makes 2-4 servings.
Recipe from Linda Derrickson, Sunporch Café
1 can (15 oz.) garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained; 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste); 2 tbs. water; 1 tbs. olive oil; juice and pulp of 2 lemons, seeds removed; 6 cloves garlic, pressed; 1 tsp. chili powder; 1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper; l/2 tsp. salt; 1/4 tsp. paprika
Combine all ingredients, except paprika, with a food processor. Process for 4 minutes, or until smooth. Scoop into a serving bowl and sprinkle with paprika. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve chilled.
Makes 8-12 servings; Recipe from The Best 50 Garlic Recipes.
CURRIED CARROTS AND RAISINS
½ lb. carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick pieces; 1/2 tbsp. honey; 1 tsp fresh lemon juice; 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard; 3/4 tsp. curry powder; 1/2 tbsp. safflower oil; 1 tsp. unsalted butter; 1 tsp. brown sugar; 1/6 cup raisins
Pour enough water into a saucepan to fill it 1 inch deep. Set a vegetable steamer in the pan and bring the water to a boil. Put the carrots in the steamer, cover the pan, and steam the carrots until they are tender about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, uncover it and set it aside. While the carrots are steaming, combine the honey, lemon juice, mustard and curry powder in a bowl. Put the oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter bubbles, add the carrots and sauté them, stirring often, for two minutes. Sprinkle the brown sugar over the carrots, add the raisins, and cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for two minutes more. Stir in the honey mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly and scraping down the sides of the skillet, until the carrots are well glazed – two or three minutes more. Serve at once. Serves 3
1 lb. carrots, grated (approximately 7 cups); 3/4 cup milk; 1/2 tsp nutmeg; 2 sticks cinnamon; 2/3 cup honey; 6 tbsp butter; 1/2 cup raisins; 1/4 cup coconut; 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
In a heavy saucepan or skillet, combine carrots and milk. Add nutmeg, cinnamon and honey and bring to a boil. Boil over low heat, stirring frequently, until mixture is very thick. Remove cinnamon sticks. Add butter, raisins and coconut and cook for approximately 25 minutes longer. Pour into a buttered, shallow pan, top with almonds and cool. Cut into squares.
1 ½ cup oil; 2 cups sugar; 4 eggs; 2 cups flour, sifted; 3 cups grated carrots; 2 tsp baking soda; 1 cup chopped nuts; 2 tsp cinnamon; 1 tsp salt; ½ tsp allspice
Beat eggs and add sugar; beat well. Add oil, nuts and carrots; blend well. Add baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice to flour; add to above mixture. Beat well. Pour into greased 13 x 9 inch pan and bake for 1 hour at 350⁰ or into a Bundt pan for about an hour.
Frosting: ¾ stick of butter; 8 oz pkg of cream cheese; 1 tsp vanilla; 1 lb confectionary sugar
Beat all ingredients together at room temperature. Beat until fluffy and frost.
RUSSIAN CABBAGE BORSCHT
11/2 c. thinly sliced potato, 1 c. thinly sliced beets, 4 c. water, 1-2 T butter 11/2c chopped onion, 1 scant tsp. caraway seeds, 11/2 t sp. salt (or more to taste), 1 stalk celery, chopped, 1 medium-sizes carrot, sliced, 3-4 cups shredded cabbage, freshly ground pepper, 1 t. dill (plus extra for garnish), 1-2 T cider vinegar, 1-2 T brown sugar or honey, 1 c tomato puree Toppings: sour cream or yogurt and extra dill
Place potatoes, beets, and water in a medium-sized saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat until tender (20-30 minutes). Meanwhile melt the butter in a kettle or Dutch oven. Add onion, caraway seeds, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent. (8-10 minutes).
Add celery, carrots, and cabbage plus 2 cups of the cooking water from the potatoes and beets. Cover and cook over medium heat until the vegetables are tender (another 8-10 minutes). Add the remaining ingredients (including all the potato and beet water), cover, and simmer for at least 15 more minutes. Taste to correct seasonings, and serve hot, topped with sour cream or yogurt and a light dusting of dill.
Recipe for the New Moosewood Cookbook
1/2 pound beets, cooked; 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger; 1/2 tsp grated orange rind or 1/4 tsp ground ginger; 1/3 cup orange juice; Salt and freshly ground pepper; 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice to taste; 1/2 tbsp cornstarch; 1/2 tbsp butter or margarine; 1 tsp sugar; Grated orange rind for garnish
Cut cooked beets in julienne strips; set aside. In small bowl mix orange rind and juice, lemon juice, cornstarch, sugar, ginger, salt, and pepper to taste. Melt butter or margarine in saucepan; add orange juice mixture. Stir over medium heat until mixture boils; reduce heat. Add beets and return to boil again. Remove and serve with sprinkling of grated orange rind for an extra touch. Serves 2
BEET APPLE CHEDDAR TARTS
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed and cut into six 4 1/2-inch rounds, 3/4 cup shredded white cheddar
(3 ounces), 1 small apple, cored and very thinly sliced, 1 small beet, scrubbed, peeled, and very thinly sliced, Coarse salt and ground pepper, 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pastry rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet and prick all over with a fork. Divide half the cheese among pastry rounds. Top each with 2 to 3 apple slices. Tuck 2 to 3 beet slices among apple slices and top with remaining cheese. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with thyme. Bake until pastry is golden brown and slightly puffed, 13 to 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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
BEET HUMMUS RECIPE
1/2 pound beets (about 4 medium sized beets), scrubbed clean, cooked, peeled, and cubed*, 2 Tbsp tahini sesame seed paste, 5 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 small clove garlic, chopped, 1 Tbsp ground cumin, 1 Tbsp lemon zest (zest from approx. 2 lemons), Generous pinch of sea salt or Kosher salt, Fresh ground pepper to taste
*To cook the beets, cut off any tops, scrub the roots clean, put them in a covered dish with about 1/4-inch of water in a 375°F oven, and cook until easily penetrated with a knife or fork. Alternatively, cover with water in a saucepan and simmer until tender, about 1/2 hour. Peel once they have cooled.
Place all ingredients in a food processor (or blender) and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients as desired. Chill and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.
Eat with pita chips, or with sliced cucumber or celery, or on a crostini with goat cheese and shaved mint. Makes 2 cups.
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
BAKED POTATOES HUNGARIAN-STYLE
4 medium potatoes, scrubbed; 1/2 cup unsalted chicken or vegetable stock; 1 onion, finely chopped; 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped; 1 1/2 tsp. paprika; 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1/4 tsp. salt; freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 4000 F. Prick the potatoes and bake them for one hour. Near the end of the baking time, combine the stock, onion and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the onions are tender – about five minutes. When the potatoes are done, cut a lengthwise slice off the top of each one. Hollow out each potato, forming shells about 1/4 inch thick. To prepare the stuffing, stir the scooped-out potato flesh into the onion mixture in the saucepan. Add 1 1/4 teaspoons of the paprika, ¼ cup of the yogurt, the salt and pepper, and stir well. Work the mixture through a food mill or a sieve to achieve a smooth stuffing. Loosely fill the potato shells with the stuffing and reheat them in the oven for 10 minutes. Just before serving the stuffed potatoes, top them with the remaining 1/4 cup of yogurt and sprinkle them with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of paprika. Serves 4
1-1/2 lbs. potatoes; 1 onion; salt and pepper; nutmeg; 5 eggs; butter
Peel potatoes and onion and cut into pieces. Place in blender container with seasonings. Cover and blend on high speed until potatoes are grated and well mixed with the seasonings. Drain well, but do not squeeze dry. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Do not use blender for adding eggs. Melt a small amount of butter in a crepe pan. Cook potato crepes the same as any crepes. Sprinkle with more seasoning and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
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
POTATOES O ‘BRIEN
1 cup finely chopped red and green peppers; 2 green onions, with tops, chopped fine; 2 tablespoons minced parsley; 2 cups raw grated potatoes; 1 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese; salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste; 4-6 tablespoons butter or beef or pork fat
In a food processor, chop the peppers, onions, and parsley together and set aside. Then grate the potatoes. Mix the vegetables, potatoes, seasonings, and cheese, and turn the mixture into a skillet of hot butter or fat (a cast-iron or nonstick skillet is best). Press the mixture flat with a spatula to form a large pancake. When the pancake is crisp and brown underneath (about 5 minutes), slide it onto a plate, then invert the plate over the skillet to brown the pancake on the other side. Serves 2
BEET, MUSHROOM AND POTATO CASSEROLE
2 tbsp oil; 1 medium onion, chopped; 3 tbsp flour; 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock; 1 1/2 pounds cooked beets, peeled and chopped; 5 tbsp light cream; 2 tbsp creamed horseradish; 1 tsp hot mustard; 1 tbsp wine vinegar; 1 tsp caraway seeds; 2 tbsp butter; 1 shallot, chopped; 8 ounces mushrooms, trimmed and sliced; 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
For the potato border: 2 pounds potatoes, peeled; 2/3 cup milk; 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill; salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 9-inch round baking dish. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook until soft, without coloring. Stir in the flour, remove from the heat and gradually add the stock, stirring until well blended. Return to the heat, stir and simmer to thicken, and then add the beets, cream, creamed horseradish, mustard, vinegar and caraway seeds. To make the potato border, bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water and cook for 20 minutes. Drain well and mash with the milk. Add the dill, if using, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the potatoes into the prepared dish and make a well in the center. Spoon the beet mixture into the well and set aside. Melt the butter in a large nonstick frying pan and cook the shallot until soft, without browning. Add the mushrooms and cook over moderate heat until their juices begin to run. Increase the heat and boil off the moisture. When quite dry, season with salt and pepper and stir in most of the chopped parsley. Spread the mushrooms over the beet mixture, cover and bake for about 30 minutes. Serve at once, garnished with the reserved parsley. If you are planning ahead, this entire dish can be made in advance and heated when needed. Allow 50 minutes baking time from room temperature. Serves 4
IRISH POTATO PUFF
2 tbsps. yellow corn meal; 4 c. diced peeled potatoes; 6 eggs, separated; 1 c. butter (2 sticks); 1 tsp. salt; 1/4 tsp. white pepper; 2 c. cooked buttered carrot sticks
Coat an 8-cup ring mold well with 2 tbsps. butter; sprinkle with corn meal, then tap out excess. Cook potatoes in lightly salted boiling water 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, then shake pan over low heat to dry; mash (you should have about 3 c.). Beat egg whites until firm. In another smaller bowl beat egg yolks until thick. Cream 1 c. butter in large bowl and beat in egg yolks, then potatoes, salt and pepper. Fold in egg whites. Spoon into mold; cover tightly with foil. Set mold on rack or trivet in kettle or steamer; pour in boiling water to half the depth of mold; cover tightly. Steam 45 minutes. Cool puff in mold 5 minutes. Remove foil. Loosen around edge of tube with a knife; turn out onto serving plate. Fill center with hot buttered carrot sticks. Makes 8 servings. Recipe from America’s Best Vegetable Recipes.
SPAGHETTI WITH GARLIC-BASIL CREAM SAUCE
6 oz. dried spaghetti; 1/4 cup butter; 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed; 1 cup light cream; 1 tbs. plus 1 tsp. minced fresh basil; 1/2 tsp. dried thyme; l/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper; freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cook spaghetti in a medium pot according to package instructions. Melt butter in a small deep skillet. Add garlic and sauté for 3 minutes over low heat. Pour in cream and add 1 tbs. basil, thyme and pepper. Stir thoroughly. Simmer over medium-low heat, covered but vented, for 7 to 9 minutes, or until thickened. Stir occasionally. If sauce becomes too thick, add more cream to thin. Pour sauce over spaghetti and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese. Serves 2; Recipe from The Best 50 Garlic Recipes
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
CARROT ALMOND CAKE
1 1/2 cups steamed, pureed carrots; 6 eggs, separated; 2 cups honey or sugar; 2 tablespoons ground almonds or 2 tablespoons flour; 1 teaspoon grated orange zest (orange part of the rind); 1 teaspoon sea salt; 1 tablespoon ground cardamom; cream cheese frosting (optional)
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 9-inch cake pan (round or square). Combine pureed carrots with egg yolks and honey. Mix in ground almonds, orange zest, salt, and cardamom. Beat egg whites in clean, separate bowl until stiff and fold into carrot mixture. Spread in pan. Bake until springy, about 45 minutes. Cool. Frost with cream cheese frosting, if desired. Makes 8-10 Servings. Recipe from Oak Ridge Farm