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Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 23 Oct 26th and 29th

THE LAST PICK UP...CLEANING OUT THE FIELDS

This week, you may see some strange looking vegetables in the share. These crops are able to withstand the colder temps and actually get sweeter with frosts, so I have left them for the very end.
Purple Kohlrabi: I blogged about kholrabi earlier in the summer. This is very similar, just purple. It has a sweet "broccoli stem" flavor, that you may want to cook or eat raw.
Fennel: This cool looking vegetable is Mediterranean in origin and has a unique anise, or black licorice flavor. Again, it may be eaten cooked or raw. It aids in digestion and packs in Vitamin A, calcium, potassium and iron.

Brussel Sprouts: I didn't take a photo. I should have , they look like a little pineapple plantation out there in the field. You will sort of get the idea of how they grow when you see them at pick up. I leave them on the stalk because they store better that way. Just before you eat them, "snap" the sprouts off the stem, clean off any yellowed leaves and prepare. They are not your school cafeteria sprouts! Just be careful not to over cook them.

Delecata Squash: Many of you have been waiting for this sweet little winter squash. It is small but flavorful and makes a great soup, sauteed veg, roasted veg or baked and stuffed. The skin is so thin and "delicate" that you can eat it after cooked! Check out the Delecata squash bisque recipe posted on the blog last October.

A big thank you and blessing to the turkeys and cows!

So this is it, the last pick up of a long and extremely productive
season. Thank you all for your support, and love for fresh food. I
had a super time growing this year and loved meeting all of you and your families. Many of you I will see during the winter share pick ups, but if
not, happy winter and I look forward to seeing you again in the spring! Be sure to sign up for the 2011 season soon after the New Year.

The Last Week's Loot: carrots, chinese cabbage, brussel sprouts, kohl rabi, daikon radish, kale, chard, fennel, delecata squash, spaghetti squash/pumpkin, onions, leeks, oregano, thyme, sage (sorry no taters, I need them for winter).
Recipes
Fennel, Carrots and Pecans
2 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 Tbs olive oil
1/2c thinly sliced fennel
1/4c maple syrup
1/4c roasted pecans
2tsp cornstarch
1Tbs chopped parsley
Steam carrots until tender-crisp. Heat oil and saute fennel 2 minutes. Add syrup, pecan and carrots, and simmer briefly. Mix cornstarch and 1 Tbs water and stir into skillet. Stir in parsley and serve.
Brssuel Sprouts in Cider with Apples and Onions
1 lb brussel sprouts, halved
2 apples, 1/2 in cubes
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
1 red or yellow onion, chopped
1.5c cider
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp pepper
2 star anise (could use a little fennel)
1/4c balsamic vinegar
Melt butter and oil in pan on low. When foams turn up to medium and add apples and onions, saute til apples soft and onion clear, bout 4 min. Add sprouts, cook about 3-4 min. Add remaining ingredients cept vinegar. Cover, reduce heat and simmer til sprouts are easily pierced with a fork, bout 10 min. Remove contents with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish. Heat reserved liquid until reduced by half, add vinegar, cook 2 min stirring and scraping pan, pour over sprouts
Baked Kohlrabi
1 fennel bulb
2 c kohlrabi, sliced 1/2 in thick
2 cups stock
1/3 c milk or half and half
3 Tbs butter
2 Tbs flour
1/4 c parm
1/2 tsp paprika
Heat over to 350. Slice fennel 1/2 thick. Bring stock to a boil and add veg and cook til tender 7-10min, Drain, reserving stock. Add enough stock to milk to total 2 cups. Heat 2 Tbs butter stir in flour and cook 2 min. Whisk in stock until smooth. Season with slat and pepper. Butter a casserole dish and place veg in pan. pour sauce over it, sprinkle with parm and bake 1/2 hour

Monday, October 18, 2010

Week 22 Oct 19th and 22nd

WINTER ROOTS
This year I experimented with growing vegetables for the Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative. Crown of Maine is a local coop that buys food from farms and resells it to restaurants, grocery stores and food coops. I have really enjoyed selling to them as I feel they are in tune with us farmers and give really fair prices. Anyway, this year I grew colored carrots and winter radishes for them. These are the only 2 crops that you will get "2nds" as Crown of Maine gets the perfect looking stuff. You have already seen the colored carrots and this week I will introduce the winter radishes!

From left to right: Daikon, Saisai Leaf, Green Meat, Munchener Bier, Nero Tundo

Daikon: An Asian root, crisp and full of hot flavor. Cooking mellows the heat. Used mostly in making kimchi, a pickled root dish.

Saisai Leaf: This root is very similar to the daikon, but a little plumper. It was bred so that it leaves could be harvested for salads, stir-fries and pickling. I didn't try any leaves this year, maybe next.

Green Meat: Unique miniature daikon. Crisp and "sweet".

Munchener Bier: Germans traditionally serve this mildly pungent radish sliced thin and salted with a dark beer. Try them sauteed and salted too.

Nero Tundo: Black radishes have been traced back to the 16th century conquistadors. Pungent white flesh loses some heat when boiled or stir-fried.

Radishes are exalted for their many nutritional supplements and vitamins.

--Radishes, especially black ones, contain a unique phytochemical called MIBITC that is even stronger than the much-lauded anti-cancer compound sulforaphane, which is found in broccoli.

--radishes are rich in vitamin C, the B vitamins and sulfur.

--The radish root can also be crushed and used as a poultice for burns, bruises and smelling feet.

As for eating, well...your imagination is your limit!

All of these radishes may be cooked, eaten raw, grated or pickled. Most are quite spicy (especially since it was so hot and dry), but flavor mellows or sweetens when cooked. Grating them onto salads or on top of soups adds nice flavor, but not too much spice all at once.

According to several online recipes, winter radishes work very well peeled, chopped into matchstick-sized pieces and cooked in stir fry dishes. They can also be thinly sliced, baked and eaten as "chips" or grated and mixed with sour cream and lemon juice as a salad/side dish.

Gilfeather Turnip This heirloom "turnip" (it's actually a rutabaga) is sweeter than most turnips. It is wonderful grated with carrots or roasted in a pan. It was either developed or discovered by a lanky secretive bachelor, John Gilfeather, in VT who was said to have cut off the tops and the bottoms so that no one else could propagate them. However a few seeds escaped and were eventually commercialized. This year will be the 8th annual Gilfeather Turnip Festival in Mt Snow Vermont!

Inca and Pedro have started to explore the outdoors. They were so cute with the ducks. I think Inca has potential to be a duck herding cat!

This Week's Loot: lettuce/spinach mix, winter radish, leeks, onions, potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbage, chard
Next Week's Loot: greens of some sort, delicata squash, onions, carrots, potatoes

Recipes:

Radish and Root Kimchi --Wild Fermentation, Sandor Katz, an awesome book
Ingredients for 1 qt
2 daikon
2 turnips
3 carrots
a few small red radishes
3 Tbs or more fresh ginger root
3 clove garlic
2 onions/leeks
3 hot peppers or more

Process:
1. Mix a brine about 4 cups water and 3 Tbs salt
2. Slice roots, leave on skins.
3. Place them in the brine and place a plate on them to make sure they are fully emerged overnight
4. Prep ginger, peppers, garlic
5. Drain brine off veg., reserving brine, you want it to taste salty, but not unpleasantly so. If too salty, rinse. If not salty enough sprinkle with a couple tsp and mix
6. Mix spices into veg and stuff into a quart jar. Pack tight, until brine rises, if you need to add reserved brine to cover veg do so. Place something on veg so it stays immersed and cover it with a towel to keep off dust and flies.
7. Place jar in a warm place. After about one week, place jar into fridge to slow fermentation down. You may also taste kimchi daily and place it in the fridge when you think it tastes ready.

CIDER SCALLOPED GILFEATHER TURNIPS
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup apple cider or juice
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
½ cup Jarlsberg cheese, shredded
1 cup milk
½ cup chicken broth
¼ teaspoon black pepper, ground
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
2 lbs. Gilfeather turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Put oven rack in center position. Grease 10 x 2 round baking dish or an 8 x 10 rectangular baking dish; set aside. Place flour in a medium heavy saucepan; gradually add milk, whisking until smooth. Whisk in cider, broth, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, whisking constantly. Cook one minute more, remove from heat and set aside.Combine cheeses. Arrange half of the sliced turnips (slightly overlapping) in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle half of cheeses on half of the turnips. Arrange another layer of turnips on top of cheese. Pour cider mixture over turnips.
Golden Winter Soup
Leeks and potatoes provide the base for this hearty vegetable soup, and butternut squash adds a hint of sweetness. Gruyère toasts add a salty note.

2 tablespoons butter
5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sliced leek (about 2 medium)
4 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half
12 ounces baguette, cut into 16 slices
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
3 tablespoons chopped chives
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Preparation
Preheat broiler.
Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add squash, potato, salt, and pepper to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add leek; sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender, stirring occasionally. Place half of potato mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture. Stir in half-and-half. Cover and keep warm.
Arrange bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil bread slices 2 minutes or until golden. Ladle 1 cup soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with about 1 teaspoon chives. Serve 2 bread slices with each serving. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Week 21 Oct 12th and 15th

CARROTS with CHARACTER These ladies are trying out for the Rocketts


These guys are a little stiff, they didn't make the character cut this year...


Sending a thankful prayer out to the piggies this year
Alive in Lewiston!
Check out this worthwhile family event and fundraiser for a local group, Lots 2 Gardens. They help to transform city lots into bountiful garden plots as well as feed the hungry and educate folks how to use fresh food.
This Week's Loot: potatoes, carrots, leeks, sorrel, parsley, winter squash, chinese cabbage,
Next Week's Loot: lettuce mix, onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, winter radish



Recipes:
Cabbage Salad with Apples and Walnuts Adapted from Chez Panisse Fruit, via Cookstr
Serves 6
1 chinese cabbage
1/3 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or heavy cream (we used sour cream)
2 apples
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Tear off and discard the tough outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut it in half and cut out its core. Slice the halves crosswise into a fine chiffonade.
Toast the walnuts in the oven for 8 minutes. While they are still warm, first rub them in a clean dishtowel to remove some of the skins, then chop or coarsely crumble them.
To prepare the dressing, mix the vinegar with the lemon juice, some salt, and a generous amount of pepper.
Whisk in the olive oil and then the creme fraiche or cream. Taste and adjust the acid and salt as desired.
Quarter, peel, and core the apples. Slice the quarters lengthwise fairly thin and cut these slices lengthwise into a julienne. Toss the cabbage, apples, and walnuts (and blue cheese, if you’re using it) with the dressing and an extra pinch of salt. Let the salad sit for 5 minutes, taste again, adjust the seasoning as needed, and serve.
Chinese Cabbage and Chicken stir fry
1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon plus 4 teaspoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/2 head Chinese cabbage (about 1 pound), sliced
3/4 cup drained sliced water chestnuts (from one 8-ounce can)
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon dried red-pepper flakes
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro or scallion tops
1/8 teaspoon salt
Directions
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken with the 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the sherry, and the cayenne. Let marinate for 10 minutes.
In a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until almost done, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the onion, garlic, and coriander. Cook, stirring, until the onions are golden, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons sherry and the vinegar. Cook, stirring, 1 minute longer.
Add the cabbage, water chestnuts, the remaining 4 teaspoons soy sauce, the tomato paste, red-pepper flakes, and water and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes longer. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices, the cilantro, and the salt and cook, stirring, until the chicken is just done, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Week 20 Oct 5th and 8th

PYO PUMPKIN PARTY


What a beautiful day for a pumpkin harvest! Thank you to all who came and for your help. We had so much fun, it felt like we were hanging out with old friends.




We loaded up the wagon with people (a little tight) and then loaded up the wagon with pumpkins (so full we had to use the pick up truck too!).





I admit, I made folks do a little work, but we still had fun and now all of you at pick up this week get to bring home some pumpkins! All of the pumpkins this year have nice edible flesh. Hopefully some are big enough for carving and decorating too.




Cortland apples for sale at pick up this week.
Sign up
in the barn for apple cider for next week.

SLOW FOOD
This year I was asked by Slow Food Maine to grow some heirloom crops for them. They are a movement geared towards Renewing America's Food Traditions, meaning eating more "real" food, unprocessed whole foods. I grew Gilfeather Turnips and Katahdin Potatoes. Every year they have a dinner with these foods prepared by well known local chefs. It sounds like fun--check out the website for more details. (Sunday October 17th from 2-5).

This Week's Loot: pac choi, spinach, carrots, potatoes, pumpkins

Next Week's Loot: chinese cabbage, winter radish, carrots, potatoes...
Recipes
Chilean Squash Casserole
4c cooked squash or pumpkin, mashed or pureed
1Tbs olive oil
1 1/2c chopped onion
1tsp salt
2 small bell peppers
4 cloves garlic, minced
1tsp cumin
1/2tsp dried coriander
1tsp chili powder
2c corn (here is where that frozen corn comes in handy!)
1c grated cheddar
1. heat the olive oil in a pan add onion, saute 5 min, add salt and bell peppers, saute 5 min
2. add garlic, black pepper and cayenne saute few more minutes
3. combine remaining spices corn and squash and spread into a 9x9 baking pan.
4. spread cheese over top, bake 25-30 minutes at 375