Monday, November 29, 2010

December Holiday Share

What a tremendous growing season! A warm summer and Mother Nature has gently lifted us into winter. The ground is starting to be crunchy and those little flakes of white aren't melting in the shade. I was happy for the temps to get a little cooler because I was needing for the root cooler to cool down enough to pack all the veggies in. And I mean pack..when I open the cooler door, onions come toppling out!
I am experimenting this year with "quick hoops." They are a low fabric and plastic cover that I can take down in the spring and is cheaper than another hoophouse. I will be amazed though if they last the winter. West winds are fierce and I have already been chasing plastic. If they do work, however, I am hoping to have some overwintered spinach, carrots, kale and scallions.
Walking around the farm, I am happy to see green. Most folks wouldn't notice, but we take great care to cover the soil in a cover crop for the winter. The roots of the cover crop hold in the nutrients, hold the soil in place and add organic matter for the following year. All but where the pigs were last is covered in cover crops or "green manure". I seeded their spot anyway after they left in October, but mid September is the last date to usually get growth.

So now everything is put to rest. The strawberries are under their blanket of straw as well as carrots, parsnips, garlic and leeks. They will wait out the winter visited by rodents and cold, but will emerge again in the spring.
I like late fall projects: pruning raspberries, putting away equipment, mulching. It is like wrapping gifts, knowing that when I open them in April they will all seem like new.
May you all have a cozy Holiday, filled with cheer and good food! Keena
December Holiday Goodies: carrots, potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, beets, onions, cabbage, winter squash, pumpkins, maple butter and potato rolls
Raw Organic Chocolate Bark
Order this decadent and nutrient-rich, "superfood" chocolate to pick up on Dec. 16th with your farm share. Handmade locally by Holistic Health Coach, Kendall Scott. Made with Maine maple syrup, no sugar and the purest, organic chocolate ingredients right from the cacao bean. Makes a delicious, healthful gift or just treat yourself! One "Holiday Flavor" - coconut, cranberry almond. 1/4 pound = $9 (10-12 pieces)1/2 pound = $16 (about 20-22 pieces)
Email to order by Thursday, December 9th.

Rutabaga FriesOlive Oil
Salt, garlic powder, and paprika
Preheat oven to 425 F. 1) Peel rutabagas with a paring knife and slice in 1/4" rounds. If you like, you can do them in strips - they will cook a little faster, but you have to watch them carefully or they'll burn.2) Smear with oil and a little salt and put them on a nonstick baking sheet.3) Cook about 12 minutes, turning twice. Take out when golden brown and tender. Immediately sprinkle with garlic powder and paprika. I like to add kosher salt at the end as well.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Share

As you butter up the bird this year or stuff your vegetarian squashes, preparing for a special feast, pause a moment to reflect on the food you are about to consume. I am always filled with the wonder of feeling rich whenever I am blessed with such bounty. And to eat a meal that has been almost entirely grown outside my door is...well...I don't even have the words to express. It feels safe, sustainable, heroic. But then I remember all those generations before me that have grown their own food, so simply to live, and eaten the fresh taste of fresh and it brings me back around to feeling thankful. Thankful that this earth can still sustain us. And thankful that those little seeds and baby animals still have the spirit in them to grow and be fruitful. I thank them.
These last few days have been all about Potato Rolls : ) Those light, fluffy, devilishly buttery rolls of greatness. I am not usually a "baker", but it has been fun to change things up abit. Be surrounded by flour and balls of dough. Plus it makes the house cozy warm and smell like sweet pastries. The biggest challenge has been to keep the cats and the husband from eating them. (I did burn a few, by accident I promise, although it did mean we got to eat them :) They have been known to make grown men weep, they are so good.

This photo is for those folks who baulk at fitting a 25# bird in their oven. Mine is tiny and I have fit a 42#er in there! Over the last 3 days I have baked over 480 rolls and the cookie sheets that I had to buy (because the 2 that I owed just weren't going to cut it) wouldn't even fit! But alas I made it work. Anyway, I hope you enjoy them...last year I heard many of them were eaten by moms and kids before they ever got home--sorry dad!
Thank you for sharing in local food production. I hope you have a wonderful holiday.
Blessings on your meal, Keena
This share's loot: apples, potato rolls, cranberries, winter squash, pumpkin, potatoes, carrots, onions, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnip, brussel sprouts, fennel, spinach, lettuce mix, kale, chard
Mashed Rutabagas and Potatoes
3 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 to 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces, about 5 or 6 medium
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
2 teaspoons chopped parsley, optional
Cook rutabaga and potatoes in salted water in separate saucepans. When both are tender, remove from heat. Rutabaga will take about 30 minutes, and potatoes will take about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain; puree or mash rutabaga well, then mash the potatoes. Combine mashed rutabaga and potatoes; add butter, milk, pepper, and nutmeg. Beat well. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Baked Apples and Rutabagas
6 cups shredded rutabaga, about 1 1/2 pounds
1 large apple, peeled, cored, chopped
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons butter
Mix turnip, about 3/4 or the chopped apple, brown sugar, salt and pepper in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle remaining apple over the top of rutabaga; dot with butter. Cover and bake at 350° for 1 1/2 hours, or until rutabaga is tender.

Vegetarian Stuffed Pumpkin1 (5 pounds) pumpkin
2 to 3 cups brown rice, cooked
2 cups crumbled dry whole wheat bread (or part corn bread or other bread)
1 onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 cup chopped celery and leaves
2 apples (tart and unpeeled), chopped
1 cup roasted chestnuts or a handful of cashew nuts, cut in half
Herbs: Sage, savory, marjoram, oregano, and paprika to taste
1 to 2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 to 1/2 cup butter, melted, or safflower oil
Soy sauce or salt to taste

Sweet Potato and Sausage SoupBon Appetit, October 2007
We ended up using spicy chorizo (yee-ouch!) but it played off the sweet potatoes perfectly, saving me from death by cayenne.
Gourmet note: This hearty soup gets rich flavor from linguica, a delicious pork sausage from Portugal seasoned with garlic, paprika, and other spices.
Makes 8 servings
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided1 10- to 11-ounce fully cooked smoked Portuguese linguica sausage or chorizo sausage, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices (Spanish chorizo can be substituted)2 medium onions, chopped2 large garlic cloves, minced2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 large), peeled, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices1 pound white-skinned potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices6 cups low-salt chicken broth1 9-ounce bag fresh spinach
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook until brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain. (I poured off some of the oil in the pot at this point, but the original recipe doesn’t think this is needed.) Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add all potatoes and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Using potato masher, mash some of potatoes in pot. Add browned sausage to soup. Stir in spinach and simmer just until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and serve.