Monday, September 20, 2010

Week 18 Sept 21st and 24th

When I think of leeks, I think of fall. One can have spring leeks but to me leeks are best with fall kale and potatoes, when the air is cooler and you need a little soup to warm you up. Leeks are much like onions, but a little sweeter. Many recipes call for just the white of the leek, but we use much of the green too. The white is the part that was underground when growing. The problem with burying them too deep in the ground though is that you then get loads of dirt in the layers of leaves. So I opt for less soil in your kitchen and more in my fields.

I transplant these guys in late April, at the same time I am transplanting onions. They are as small as little blades of grass when I plant them. Now some are 2 inches in diameter and 3 feet tall!

WOW what a bounty this year! I have been scrambling to keep up with harvest and now with fall right on my heels, I have "first frost" nagging me too. Many things will do okay in a light frost but it is good to start harvesting now because it takes a long time to pull food out of the field and get it ready for storage. Storage. I am in need of storage. crates, bags, SPACE--I am out of all of it! I am not panicking yet, but soon you may see veggies piled high in any container imaginable. That being said, please excuse the "tightness" of the barn when you come for pick up. At least it is edible clutter : ) I promise to have the potato sacks out of the way when you come...well most of them..I hope
I harvested all of the storage potatoes this weekend--1600#!!! Sweet. I did have a few brave helpers Saturday am. We certainly got our knees dirty. I borrowed a "digger" from my friend Mitch. It helps to loosen the soil and maybe throws 50% of the potatoes up out of the soil but the other 50%...well you gotta work pretty hard for them. I wanted to take a few photos to show you the process but my hands were dirty too. Besides I figure the best way for you to really know is to get your hands dirty yourself--maybe next year?
So I am a little weary. Good weary though. I do sleep well at night. And the weather has been gorgeous!!!! For the most part I am happy with the season but I am a little bewildered as to why my fall spinach and lettuce did not germinate so well. I think it had something to do with the 90 degree dry spell we had in August, but still I am ready for some fresh fall greens and well, there ain't none. bummer. But we do have tomatoes :)
Sign Up for Apple Cider!!!
Fresh, unpasturized from Willow Pond Farm
Soooooo good!
Freezes great too..stock up
This Week's Loot: tomatoes, potatoes, chard, pac choi, carrots, broccoli, leeks, sorrel
Next Week's Loot: tomatoes, potatoes, kale, spinach?, carrots, beets...
Leek and Swiss Chart Tart1 sheet frozen puff pastry (half of 17.3-ounce package), thawed (I used a basic tartdough instead)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 large leeks coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 bunch Swiss chard, ribs removed, leaves chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 1/4 cups whipping cream (I used whole milk)
3 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Roll out pastry on floured work surface to 12-inch square. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Fold under; crimp edges. Cover; chill.
Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks and thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover; cook until leeks are very tender but not brown, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add chard; saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; cool.
Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Whisk cream and next 5 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in cooled leek mixture. Pour filling into crust.
Bake tart 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F and bake until filling is puffed and just set in center, about 15 minutes longer (this took my oven about 10 minutes longer). Transfer to rack; cool 10 minutes.

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