csa share – week 27

csa share week 27

Welcome to the 27th and final week of the Pitchfork & Crow 2014 CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Cabbage – the variety this week is Verza di Verona, a purple tinged semi-savoy type.  We love this cabbage, and only wish the purple coloring wasn’t mostly on the wrapper leaves.
  • Garlic
  • Celeriac – last week’s cold weather hit the celery so we’re including celeriac instead.  We love the celery flavor of these amazing roots and hope you enjoy them too!
  • Carrots
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Leeks
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Butternut Winter Squash – These are from a seed selection grow-out at Adaptive Seeds.  These shapes and sizes aren’t exactly what they’re looking for in their butternut mix but are still tasty as all get out!
  • Winter Luxury Pie Pumpkins
  • Corn Flour or Polenta – We grew Cascade Ruby Gold Flint Corn this year, a locally bred and adapted corn variety that when milled results in both polenta (aka grits) and flour!  It doesn’t get much better than that in my opinion.  Quick video from last year of the process hereAlso, stick it in the freezer if you don’t plan on using it right away.

csa shares

It’s hard to believe we’ve arrived at the 27th week so soon, but here we are.  Many thanks for your continued support.  We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, we couldn’t do this without you!  We appreciate you signing on with us for a whole season of vegetables and hope you’ll consider joining us again.

As promised last week, I wanted to give a brief synopsis of the 2014 CSA survey results.  We appreciate the feedback and we’ll be evaluating it further as we head into the planning season.

I’ll only highlight the major questions and results below to keep it brief.  We’ve received 30 responses to the survey (out of 80 shares), though a single respondent may have included multiple answers to a single question in some cases.  The number in parenthesis equals the number of mentions from separate respondents.

= Why did you join the CSA?

  • Support farmers (18)
  • Looking for fresh, high quality vegetables (11)
  • Eat locally (10)

Other top reasons cited include: eating organic vegetables (8) and eating healthier (4).  Several folks mentioned price, variety, sense of community, and convenience as reasons for joining as well.

We asked this question to gauge member expectations.  Knowing  why you’re joining helps us to meet member goals as well as our own farm goals.  We’re glad to see these goals overlapping in the above responses.

= What would you like to see more of in the CSA?

  • Onions (9)
  • Fruit (8)
  • Tomatoes (5)

Further suggestions include: Sweet Corn (4), Peppers (4), Winter Squash (4), and Garlic (4) in addition to a number of other suggestions with fewer mentions.

We appreciate knowing what folks would like to see more of.  We know what we’d like to improve on, but of course we want you to be happy with the selection available.  Some things we just need to hone our skills on (onions, sweet corn, and tomatoes!) and other things require larger long term investments (most fruits for instance).  Over time we hope to find a balance.

= What would you like to see less of in the CSA?

  • Sunchokes (4)
  • Beets (4)
  • Radishes (4)

Other suggestions include: Potatoes (3) and Fennel (3) in addition to a number of other suggestions with fewer mentions.

As with wanting to know what you’d like to see more of, knowing what you’d like to see less of also helps us with our planning.  The CSA model means that members will share in the bounties and the failures of the season.  For instance we had a particularly good radish and beet year, which was reflected in the shares this season.  In the past these crops didn’t do so well and they didn’t show up as often. 

Items like Sunchokes and Fennel appeal to some members and help us add diversity to shares a few times throughout the season so we’ll continue to grow them.  We’re brainstorming ideas for helping folks opt out of items they won’t use without sacrificing these choices for those who enjoy them.

= The share size was:

  • Overwhelming: 8
  • Good Amount: 20
  • Not Enough: 2

What’s enough?  Of course it’s different for every family.  The results for this question suggest we’re hitting the mark for most folks.  Those who find the share size overwhelming may want to consider splitting a share in the future.  Those who feel it’s not enough may want to stop splitting a share and take on a full share.  Also, we know that several members have CSA shares with multiple farms.

= What has been especially positive for you about this year’s CSA season so far?

  • Supporting farmers/Nice farmers (10)
  • Farm visits (8)
  • Quality of vegetables (6)
  • Variety of vegetables (6)

Other positives listed include: the market-style pick-up (4), a sense of community (3), and convenience (3) in addition to several others with fewer mentions.

It’s nice to see the answers here compared to the reasons given for joining the CSA.  In general the positive aspects of the CSA appear to align with the initial expectations.

= What could have been better for you about this year’s CSA season so far?

  • “Not a thing” (18)
  • longer pick-up window (3)
  • storage/preserving tips (2)
  • pick-up later in week (2)

There were a number of other suggestions provided by single respondents such as having vegan recipes suggested, more produce, quality of produce, and having a better way to share recipes.

Although many folks suggested that no changes were needed, it’s easy for us to focus on the other answers provided.  Some of these things we can address.  For instance we can try to provide more suggestions for storing and preserving vegetables throughout the season and include more vegan-friendly recipes in the blog posts.  We’ll also brainstorm ideas for how to make the pick-up more convenient for folks.  Of course we hope you know that we’re always striving to provide quality produce to members!

= Do you think you got a fair amount of produce for the price you paid for the share?

  • Yes: 30
  • No: 0

Thanks, we’d hope you say that!

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Once again, thanks for joining us this season.  We hope you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving full of local delicious food.  We’ll see the Winter CSA members next week at the winter pick-up location.  For everyone else, have a fantastic winter!  We’ll be in touch when we’re ready to begin accepting members for the 2015 CSA season.

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Potato & Celery Root Gratin with Leeks

  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 sprig thyme plus 3 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, divided
  • 3 leeks, white and pale-green parts only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, very thinly sliced crosswise (1/8″ thick)
  • 1 pound , peeled, very thinly sliced crosswise (1/8″ thick)
  • 2 cups grated Gruyère
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat cream, garlic, and thyme sprig in a medium saucepan just until bubbles begin to form around edge of pan. Remove from heat; set aside to steep.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; season with salt and cook, stirring often, until tender (do not brown), 10-12 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

Butter a 3-quart gratin dish with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Layer 1/3 of potato slices and 1/3 of celery root slices evenly over bottom of baking dish. Cover with 1/3 of leeks, then 1/3 of Gruyère. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon thyme leaves. Repeat layers twice more. Strain cream mixture into a medium pitcher and pour over vegetables.

Set gratin dish on a large rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Carefully remove foil; continue baking until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling, 25-30 minutes. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Tent with foil and rewarm in a 300° oven until hot, about 20 minutes.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Susan Spungen, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Potato-Celery-Root-Gratin-with-Leeks-368278

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Bourbon Pumpkin Pie

  • Pastry dough
  • 1 (15-ounces) can pure pumpkin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Equipment: a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie plate (6-cup capacity); pie weights or dried beans
  • Accompaniment: lightly sweetened whipped cream (add 1 teaspoon bourbon per 1/2 cup cream if desired)

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 12-inch round and fit into pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under and lightly press against rim of pie plate, then crimp decoratively. Lightly prick bottom all over with a fork. Chill until firm, at least 30 minutes (or freeze 10 minutes).

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.

Line shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake until side is set and edge is golden, about 20 minutes. Carefully remove weights and foil and bake shell until golden all over, 10 to 15 minutes more. Cool completely.

Whisk together remaining ingredients and pour into cooled shell.

Bake until edge of filling is set but center trembles slightly, about 45 minutes (filling will continue to set as it cools). Cool completely.

From Epicurious via Gourmet by Andrea Albin, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Bourbon-Pumpkin-Pie-356090

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Pirozhki

For the dough

  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into bits
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon cold water if necessary

For the filling

  • 3/4 pound russet (baking) potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 cups chopped cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons water if necessary
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • an egg wash made by beating 1 large egg with 1 teaspoon water

Make the dough:
In a food processor blend together the flour, the baking powder, the salt, and the butter until the mixture resembles meal. In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the sour cream, add the sour cream mixture to the flour mixture, and blend the mixture until it just forms a dough, adding the water if the dough seems dry. Divide the dough into fourths, form each fourth into a flattened round, and chill the dough, each round wrapped well in wax paper, for 1 hour or overnight.

Make the filling:
Peel the potatoes, cut them into 3/4-inch pieces, and in a steamer set over boiling water steam them, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they are very tender. Force the potatoes through a ricer or food mill into a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of the butter. In a heavy saucepan cook the onion and the caraway seeds in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the onion is golden, add the cabbage, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 5 minutes. Cook the mixture, covered, over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes more and stir it into the potato mixture with the sour cream, the water if the mixture is too thick, the dill, and salt and pepper to taste. The filling may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.

On a lightly floured surface roll out 1 piece of the dough 1/8 inch thick, keeping the remaining pieces wrapped and chilled, and with a 3-inch cutter cut out rounds. Brush each round with some of the egg wash, put 2 level teaspoons of the filling on one half of each round, and fold the dough over the filling to form a half-moon, pressing the edges together firmly to seal them and crimping them with a fork. Gather the scraps of dough, reroll them, and make more pirozhki with the remaining filling and dough and some of the remaining egg wash in the same manner. The pirozhki may be made up to this point 5 days in advance and kept frozen in plastic freeze bags. The pirozhki need not be thawed before baking.

Arrange the pirozhki on lightly greased baking sheets and brush the tops with the remaining egg wash. Bake the pirozhki in preheated 350°F. oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are golden, and serve them warm or at room temperature.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pirozhki-11648

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November 25, 2014 at 1:08 pm 4 comments

csa share – week 26

csa share week 26

Welcome to the 26th week of the Pitchfork & Crow CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Napa Cabbage*
  • Onions
  • Rutabaga
  • Carrots
  • Beets*
  • Parsley*
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Black Forest or Piacentina Winter Squash
  • Mizuna/Arugula Mix
  • Shishito Pepper Powder

 *The freezing weather seems to have gotten to these crops most.  We suggest using them up sooner than later as they might not store as well as they have in the past.

leeks and cabbage

It would appear that winter has arrived!  This week’s cold snap reminded us once again that it can get quite chilly in these parts.  In fact, this week’s harvest was done in a frozen field.  We hope you’re all keeping warm and safe!  We’re looking forward to a return to more normal seasonal temperatures soon.

pick-up

CSA Member Survey: Thanks to everyone who has filled out the CSA survey.  I’ve been compiling the answers and hope to share them next week.  If you haven’t yet, we’d appreciate you taking a few minutes to let us know what you think.

Thanksgiving Bulk Orders: We’re offering bulk purchases of some items for your holiday meals, or to help stock your pantry as the end of the CSA season arrives next week.  Please note that orders are due by Sunday November 23rd and will be delivered at the final CSA pick-up next week.  We’ve included further details in the weekly email.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

To help you plan your Thanksgiving grocery shopping, we thought we’d provide our projected share list for next week:

  • Pie Pumpkin
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • Garlic
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Sugarloaf Chicory
  • Celery
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Corn Flour

Of course while we’re never exactly sure what’s going in the share until we’re harvesting, we’re feeling confident enough to say that the above items will likely make it in.

carrots

We’re growing a few trials of overwintering vegetables this year including carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage.  The seed rep. visited a week ago to check in on the trials as we head into winter.  Little did we know winter was coming sooner than we expected.  Perhaps this weather is just putting our trials to the test because it will be interesting to see how these varieties come through this chill.  Only time will tell of course.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Root Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs and Parsley Pesto

Pesto

  • 2 cups (packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves (from 2 bunches)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch dice peeled Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 pound)
  • 2 1/2 cups 1/2-inch dice peeled parsnips
  • 2 cups 1/2-inch dice peeled rutabagas
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch dice peeled carrots
  • 1/2 cup 1/2-inch dice red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 4 large eggs

For pesto:
Blend all ingredients in processor until almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

For hash:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Toss potatoes and next 5 ingredients on prepared sheet; spread in single layer. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender, stirring and turning occasionally, about 45 minutes. Stir in garlic; roast 5 minutes longer. Mix in green onions. Fill large skillet halfway with generously salted water; bring to boil. Reduce heat to maintain steady simmer. Crack eggs, 1 at a time, into custard cup, then slide eggs into simmering water. Poach eggs until softly set, about 3 minutes.

Divide hash among 4 plates. Using slotted spoon, top each serving with 1 poached egg. Drizzle with pesto.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Annie Somerville, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Root-Vegetable-Hash-with-Poached-Eggs-and-Parsley-Pesto-108564

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Teriyaki Portobello “Burgers” with Napa Cabbage Slaw

For teriyaki marinade

  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) or medium-dry Sherry
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh gingerroot
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 fresh Portobello mushrooms (about 1/4 pound each), stems trimmed flush with caps and reserved for another use

For slaw

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 2 scallions, chopped fine
  • vegetable oil for brushing mushroom caps
  • 4 sesame-seed hamburger buns, split and toasted lightly

Make teriyaki marinade:
In a small saucepan simmer marinade ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue simmering marinade until reduced to about 1/2 cup and cool to room temperature.

Put mushroom caps and marinade in a large sealable plastic bag, arranging caps in one layer, and seal bag, pressing out excess air. Marinate mushrooms at room temperature, turning bag over several times, 1 hour.

Make slaw:
In a bowl whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, oil, and honey and add cabbage, carrot, and scallions. Toss vegetables well to coat and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat broiler.

Drain mushrooms and arrange, stemmed sides up, on lightly oiled rack of a broiler pan. Broil mushrooms 2 inches from heat and turn over. Brush mushrooms lightly with oil and broil 3 minutes, or until tender. Transfer mushrooms with a slotted spatula to hamburger bun bottoms. Top mushrooms with slaw and bun tops.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Teriyaki-Portobello-Burgers-with-Napa-Cabbage-Slaw-12009

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Italian Parsley and Beet Salad

  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 2 1/4 pounds assorted beets with greens (such as Chioggia, white, golden, and red; 1 1/2 pounds if already trimmed)
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian (flat-leaf) parsley leaves (from 1 bunch), torn if desired
  • Equipment: an adjustable-blade slicer
  • Accompaniment: fresh ricotta or farmer cheese, or grated ricotta salata

Whisk together juices, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Trim beets, leaving 1 inch of stems attached, then peel.

Using stems as a handle, slice beets paper-thin (less than 1/8 inch thick) with slicer (wear protective gloves to avoid staining hands), then cut slices into very thin matchsticks.

Thinly slice onion with slicer.

Toss beets, onion, and parsley with dressing and season with salt. Let stand, tossing occasionally, 30 minutes to soften beets and allow flavors to develop.

Toss again and season with salt and pepper before serving drizzled with additional oil.

From Epicurious via Gourmet by Kay Chun, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Italian-Parsley-and-Beet-Salad-354973

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November 18, 2014 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

csa share – week 25

csa share week 25

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Red Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Shallots
  • Celeriac - Perhaps the least visually appealing of all root vegetables, celeriac makes up for in taste what it lacks in beauty.  Add it to soups, or anything else really, for some tasty celery flavor!
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Arugula
  • Delicata Winter Squash  – A fellow CSA member sent along this Sunset article that includes 25 ways to prepare winter squash, whoa!  Delicata is one that doesn’t need any dressing up in our opinion, but the recipe for Nut-Stuffed Delicata has me intrigued.
  • Tomatoes – mixed cherries and green maters, fried green tomatoes anyone?
  • Dry Beans – once fresh green beans, then fresh shelling beans, now dry beans!  I think it’s officially Minestrone season!

new tractor

Good things come to those who wait, or at least that’s how it worked out with our new tractor!  After putting down a deposit three weeks back we patiently waited for a loader to be mounted and the delivery to be made.  This past Friday it all came together and we officially became the proud owners of a slightly used McCormick F105xl.  That photo above shows the new tractor next to the one it’s replacing, a 1978 White Field Boss.  We were surprised by how similar they are in size once we had them parked next to one another.  The McCormick is a little shorter and the rear tires are a little thinner, but otherwise very close in size.

We’ll keep the old White around for projects that might be easier to accomplish with two tractors, such as pulling a manure spreader that was filled using the bucket on the new tractor.  Gosh we’re feeling good about heading into the next season with a new tractor.  Not only will we worry less about breakdowns and unexpected costly repairs, we’re also making plans to widen the wheelbase on our Farmall Cub cultivating tractor to match the McCormick width.  That will be a revolutionary change, allowing us to pull a transplanter!  That will be both a time saving and back saving improvement in our operation.

geese and cat

This week we’re finally experiencing some cold weather, including our first hard freeze if you can believe it.  We’ve been preparing for this for a month and now it’s arrived.  With just two weeks left in this season we’re hoping to finish up without any winter weather calamities.

As we head towards the end of the season we’ve prepared the annual CSA survey.  We know you’re busy folks, but we really appreciate hearing about your experience here at the end of the season.  It let’s us know what did or didn’t work for you, which helps us to improve things in the future.  Click here to head over to the online form.  We’ll also have some paper copies at the pick-up.

 

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Potato and Celery Root Mash

  • 2 1/2 pounds mixed russet, Yukon Gold, and white-skinned potatoes, peeled, cut into 2″ cubes
  • 1 1-pound celery root (celeriac), peeled, cut into 3/4″ cubes
  • 1 6″ piece of horseradish, peeled, coarsely grated
  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt

Place potatoes, celery root, and horseradish in a large pot. Add water to cover by 1″. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-high, and simmer until vegetables are tender, 25-30 minutes.

Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Return vegetables to pot; add sour cream, Dijon mustard, and butter. Using a potato masher, coarsely mash vegetables. Add reserved cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls if mash is too stiff. Season to taste with salt.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Victoria Granof, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Potato-and-Celery-Root-Mash-368964

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Fried Green Tomatoes

  • 4 large, firm green tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or pimentón (a Spanish smoked paprika, available at latienda.com)
  • 2 eggs
  • Vegetable oil

1. Sprinkle the tomato slices with the salt and pepper; set aside.

2. Combine the cornmeal and paprika in a shallow bowl. In another bowl, beat the eggs.

3. Cover the bottom of a heavy skillet with 1/2 inch of oil, then place it over medium-high heat.

4. Coat the tomato slices in the egg, then dredge them in the cornmeal mixture.

5. Fry as many tomatoes as fit comfortably in the pan until nicely browned, about 2 minutes a side.

6. Transfer them to a paper towel-lined platter. Repeat until all the tomatoes are cooked.

From Epicurious via Cookie by Victoria Granoff, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fried-Green-Tomatoes-242647

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Red Cabbage Salad with Warm Pancetta-Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 6 cups thinly sliced red cabbage (from about 1/2 medium head)
  • 1 3-ounce package thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Place currants in small bowl. Heat vinegar in saucepan over medium heat until hot (do not boil). Pour vinegar over currants; let soak until currants soften, 15 to 20 minutes.

Place cabbage in large bowl; set aside. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium- high heat. Add pancetta; sauté until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Add shallot to pancetta and drippings in skillet; sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in currant- vinegar mixture and olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour pancetta mixture over cabbage and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Add almonds and parsley; toss to blend.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Maria Helm Sinskey, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Red-Cabbage-Salad-with-Warm-Pancetta-Balsamic-Dressing-364089

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November 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm Leave a comment

csa share – week 24

csa share week 24

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Leeks
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Dark Red Norland Potatoes – red on the outside, white on the inside, excellent for boiling or roasting
  • Carrots
  • Red Ursa Kale
  • Misato Rose Radishes (aka watermelon radishes)
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Brussels Sprouts!
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Popcorn – This popcorn is from our friends over at Lonesome Whistle Farm in Junction City.  They’re good at growing things like grains, beans, and popcorn!  We like to put it on the stove or wood stove, but you can pop it in the microwave if you prefer.

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salamander

We spent a good deal of Saturday and Sunday digging potatoes.  We’ve been good at procrastinating this year with this task and we still have a number of beds yet to dig.  I’ve decided not to worry about our tardiness too much, but instead to focus on getting it done.  With a podcast in one ear and a good set of raingear, the work isn’t so bad, even in the misty rain and mud.  Potatoes are always a rewarding crop, no matter the yield.  Plus you never know what you’ll dig up, be it colorful rocks or slumbering salamanders.

The field directly across from the potatoes is in a nice rye/clover cover crop for the winter.  It wasn’t cropped with vegetables this year, and will likely be part of the spring planting rotation.  It’s only November, and we’re barely feeling the seasonal slowdown, but it’s hard not to look at that field without thinking forward to spring.  Oh the possibilities!

quince

Last week a neighbor shared a box of quince with us.  Neither of us had experience with this fall fruit but I endeavored to not waste them, and to re-supply the shelf space reserved for jam and jelly.  What a fruit!  It looks a bit like a large pear but with a unique taste and it turns red if cooked into a juice, whoa!

We have a long list of perennials we’d like to add to the farm.  Blueberries, rhubarb, asparagus, hops, and table grapes to name a few.  And then there are the orchard expansion/transition thoughts of planting known varieties of apples and pears and plums and adding a few other fruits like another cherry or two.  And now we know about the fall fruit possibilities of the quince!  I think we’ll continue to work on figuring out this vegetable growing business for the time being, but I feel like those other projects aren’t so far off.

We’re feeling very lucky lately, to be growing food for you good people and taking care of this piece of land while doing it.  Many thanks for supporting our endeavor as we learn and grow and dream.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Someone in the CSA mentioned Cauliflower Mac & Cheese this past week, which was an excellent suggestion!  We made a variation of the recipe below that cut out the topping and actual macaroni noodles because we didn’t have them and subbed sour cream for Gruyère cheese.  How can you go wrong with creamy cheese sauce?

Skillet Mac and Cheese

  • 2 cups 1-inch-wide cauliflower florets
  • 1 1/4 cups Light-and-Crisp Whole-Wheat Bread Crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 cups cold low-fat (1%) milk
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Gruyère cheese (1 ounce)
  • 2 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 cups) wholegrain elbow macaroni, cooked for 3 minutes less than the package directions (about 3 cups cooked)
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place the cauliflower into a steamer basket fitted over the pot, cover, and steam until just tender, about 5 minutes. Finely chop the steamed cauliflower.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, and oil.

In a large saucepan, whisk together the milk and flour until the flour is dissolved. Whisking constantly, bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cheddar, Gruyère, mustard powder, paprika, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Whisk until the cheeses are melted and the mixture is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chopped cauliflower and macaroni and stir until well coated.

Spray an ovenproof 10-inch high-sided skillet with cooking spray. Pour the mixture into the prepared skillet. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture, place on a baking sheet, and bake until the top is browned and the cheese is bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes.

From Epicurious via Epicurious by Ellie Krieger, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Skillet-Mac-and-Cheese-51182830

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Mashed Potatoes with Carrots and Leeks

  • 1 leek (white and pale green parts only), coarsely chopped
  • 2 lb potatoes, preferably Yukon Gold or russet (baking) potatoes
  • 2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Wash chopped leek well in a bowl of cold water, then lift out and drain well.

Peel potatoes and cut into 2-inch pieces. Cover with cold water in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until potatoes are tender, about 18 minutes. Drain and return to saucepan.

While potatoes are simmering, cook carrots in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart saucepan of boiling salted water until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes, then drain. Cook leek in butter in a 10-inch skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender, about 6 minutes. Add milk, salt, and pepper and simmer, stirring, 2 minutes.

Add leek mixture to potatoes and coarsely mash with a potato masher, then stir in carrots.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mashed-Potatoes-with-Carrots-and-Leeks-109125

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Radishes with Burrata

  • 8 ounces burrata torn into pieces (or use bocconcini)
  • 2 thinly sliced watermelon radishes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • chopped chives and finely grated lemon zest (for topping)

Tear 8 ounces burrata into pieces (or use bocconcini) and place on a platter.

Toss 2 thinly sliced watermelon radishes with 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.

Arrange radish mixture over burrata and drizzle with any remaining dressing.

Top with chopped chives and finely grated lemon zest.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Radishes-with-Burrata-51234820

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November 4, 2014 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

csa share – week 23

csa share week 23

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Cipollini Onions – small Italian onions great for caramelizing
  • Shishito Peppers – everyone’s favorite “sometimes hot but mostly not” peppers for blistering in hot oil and tossing with salt!
  • Carrots
  • Bok Choy
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Sunchokes – These are roots of a sunflower variety.  We enjoy them shredded and sauteed but they’re good roasted and in soups too.  Please note that they contain high levels of the carbohydrate inulin, which is difficult for some folks to digest.
  • Butterhead Lettuce
  • Bartlett Pears – I’m thinking this or this
  • Pie Pumpkin – my favorite basic pumpkin pie filling recipe below!

The share has shifted decidedly fallish over the past couple of weeks, just in time for Halloween.  We’ve been enjoying the return of the winter squash and various root staples in our own meals.  You can’t beat a good medley of roasted roots!

cauliflower

You wouldn’t know it from the past few shares, but our luck with cauliflower has been dismal this year.  Somehow we managed to fail the first couple of successions, causing us to question if spring and summer cauliflower are even worth trying for.  The succession we’re into now has at least reminded us how great it can be when it succeeds, so we’ll keep at it for the time being.  We hope you’re getting your fix of it, given how long you’ve had to wait to get some from us.

sunchokes

It’s also good to see the return of the sunchokes.  These are the roots of a specific type of sunflower that we discovered when we were CSA members, pre-farming.  The size of the roots is such a surprise given the tall, thin sunflower stalks. We love the nutty flavor and delicate texture of this root crop.  Plus they grow like weeds if they get some sun and water.  We know some folks have trouble digesting the inulin in sunchokes, so please eat them in moderation if you’re new to them. 

pie

And finally, it’s officially pumpkin pie season and we couldn’t be happier.  We’ll take any excuse for pie around here, but testing out the new variety of pie pumpkin this past week was a good one.  We had heard good things about Winter Luxury, and they seem to hold up in our taste test.  A fine grain for baking into pumpkin puree, and a nice sweet and mild pumpkin taste.  The lacy netting on the pumpkin skin is a fun decorative touch of this variety.  That recipe above has been my go-to for a basic pie filling after baking a pumpkin for the puree.  We hope you enjoy this week’s pie pumpkins in your favorite pumpkin concoction!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Sunchoke Soup with Pumpkin Seeds

  • 8 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 2 pounds Jerusalem artichokes (also called sunchokes)*
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 7 cups (or more) vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • Ground white pepper
  • Shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • Pumpkin seed oil (optional)
  • Sautéed chanterelle mushrooms (optional garnish)

Mix 8 cups water and vinegar in large bowl. Working with 1 Jerusalem artichoke at a time, peel and place in vinegar water to prevent discoloration. Set aside.

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion, leek, and garlic; sprinkle with salt and sauté until soft and translucent, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Drain artichokes; rinse well and drain again. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Add to onion mixture and sauté 5 minutes. Add 7 cups vegetable broth, increase heat to high, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until artichokes are very tender, about 1 hour. Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender until very smooth. Return to pot. Rewarm soup, adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if needed to thin. Stir in cream and season to taste with salt and white pepper. do ahead Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, cover, and chill. Rewarm before continuing. Divide soup among bowls and garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds; top with a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil and some sautéed mushrooms, if desired.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Sunchoke-Soup-with-Pumpkin-Seeds-350413

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Thai Chicken Salad

For salad

1 bag of broccoli slaw about (2 or 3 cups)
1 cup sliced papaya
1 cup sliced cucumber
2 cups baby bok choy, chopped in small pieces (2 small bok choy)
1 red chili pepper, diced
4 cooked chicken breasts, shredded or cut in small pieces
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/2 cup peanuts or slivered almonds

For dressing

juice from 2 limes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp fish sauce
a pinch of red pepper flakes

  1. Add all salad ingredients to a large bowl and toss.
  2. In a smaller bowl mix all dressing ingredients together. Pour over salad and toss well.

From Jo Cooks, http://www.jocooks.com/healthy-eating/thai-chicken-salad/

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Cauliflower Cake

  • 1 small cauliflower, outer leaves removed, broken into 1 1/4-inch/3-cm florets (1 pound/450 g)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled (6 ounce/170 g)
  • 5 tablespoons/75 ml olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 7 eggs (scant 1 pound/440 g)
  • 1/2 cup/15 g basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup/120 g all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 5 ounces/150 g coarsely grated Parmesan or another mature cheese
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Melted unsalted butter, for brushing
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nigella seeds

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

Place the cauliflower florets in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with water and simmer for 15 minutes, until the florets are quite soft. They should break when pressed with a spoon. Drain and set aside in a colander to dry.

Cut 4 round slices off one end of the onion (each 1/4 inch/5 mm thick) and set aside. Coarsely chop the rest of the onion and place in a small pan with the oil and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring from time to time, until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Transfer the onion to a large bowl, add the eggs and basil, whisk well, and then add the flour, baking powder, turmeric, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon salt, and plenty of pepper. Whisk until smooth before adding the cauliflower and stirring gently, trying not to break up the florets.

Line the base and sides of a 9 1/2-inch/24-cm spring-form cake pan with parchment paper. Brush the sides with melted butter, then mix together the sesame and nigella seeds and toss them around the inside of the pan so that they stick to the sides. Pour the cauliflower mixture into the pan, spreading it evenly, and arrange the reserved onion rings on top. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until golden brown and set; a knife inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven and leave for at least 20 minutes before serving. It needs to be served just warm, rather than hot, or at room temperature.

From Epicurious via Epicurious by Yotam Ottolenghi, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cauliflower-Cake-51254830

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October 28, 2014 at 1:52 pm 1 comment

csa share – week 22

csa share week 22

Welcome to the 22nd week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Pentland Brig Kale - another favorite variety from our friends at Adaptive Seeds
  • Garlic
  • Jimmy Nardello Sweet Peppers – many of these peppers are drying down but we still think they’re tasty.  Chop them up and throw them in your stir fry or soups or dehydrate them for red pepper flakes!
  • Carrots
  • Mountain Rose Potatoes – Red on the inside and outside both!  A good multi-purpose variety great baked, mashed, or fried.
  • Dill - We’re thinking potatoes and dill!
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Daikon Radishes – check out the slaw recipe down below, or perhaps Sake Pickles are more your thing?
  • Fennel
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Carnival Winter SquashEpicurious says: “Breed an acorn squash with a sweet dumpling squash, and you get a carnival squash. While the carnival squash’s exterior resembles both of its relatives’, its yellow flesh is mellow and sweet. Use it wherever acorn squash or butternut squash is called for in a recipe.”

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farm visit

We’ve deemed the final CSA member farm visit a success!  Many thanks to everyone who made it out on Saturday to enjoy an afternoon on the farm in the gorgeous fall weather.  The potluck spread was delicious, the pumpkins were plentiful enough, and the cidering must have been a hit because our fruit cooler is a lot emptier these days.  Jeff says one of his favorite parts of his job is taking kids on tractor rides and I think he got his fill on Saturday with many trips back and forth to the pumpkin patch.

Are you carving your jack-o-lanterns from the farm?  Or setting up fun displays?  We’re big fans of pumpkins and would love to see photos of your creations!  Share them in the P&C CSA member Facebook group.

tractor

It’s been a busy week of running rainy day errands and then preparing for Saturday’s farm event.  The biggest news is that we bought a tractor!  Some time ago I mentioned that we were delving into the world of tractor financing in hopes of upgrading our machinery situation.  We’ve had enough of leaking hydraulic fluid, difficult starting requiring constant jumping off, smoky exhaust, and frequent and expensive break-downs.  After filling out many forms and signing our lives away, we secured a loan from the Farm Service Agency, the same government agency that we have our farm land loan through.  And then the tractor search commenced.  The tractor we had had our eye on sold while we were figuring out financing, so with our new loan in hand we began shopping around in earnest.

We’re effectively replacing our field work tractor, the 1978 White Field Boss, though we’ll keep that tractor around as a back-up.  Currently we use the White for mowing, discing, tilling, spreading fertilizer, and any heavy lifting that requires either a bucket or forklift forks.  With this new purchase we’re looking to increase the number of ways we use our field work tractor.  In addition to all of the ground work I mentioned we’re hoping to also use it for transplanting and eventually some cultivation tasks too.

Here’s what we wanted in a new tractor:

  • Narrow enough to drive down beds without running over vegetables
  • Short enough to drive through field houses, no cab
  • A creeper gear to drive slowly when pulling a transplanter
  • Well placed exhaust pipe that isn’t too tall or blowing on person riding transplanter
  • 4 wheel drive for more traction
  • Enough horsepower to pull our implements
  • Rear hydraulic fittings for running our disc
  • Commonly available parts for easy replacement
  • Under 1,000 hours
  • Fit within our loan budget
  • A bucket was a plus, but one that is heavy duty and can be removed quickly when needed

After weeks of searching Craigslist and the local tractor dealerships and debating which of these items on our wishlist might have to be scratched, we called up a tractor shop/small dealer in Aurora who had helped a couple of other farm friends locate tractors.  It turned out he had just what we were looking for and we signed the papers on Friday on a McCormick F105xl with 615 hours.  It will be delivered in a few weeks, after they install loader mounts and a loader.  We sure are glad to have that project marked off the To Do list, and we’re excited to get this new machine into action!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Daikon, Carrots, and Broccoli Slaw

  • 8 ounces daikon (Japanese white radish),* peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 1/2 large)
  • 6 ounces peeled baby carrots
  • 6 ounces broccoli stems, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili-garlic sauce*

Fit processor with large-hole grating disk. Working with a few pieces at a time, push daikon, carrots, and broccoli stems through feed tube until all vegetables are grated. Transfer vegetables to medium bowl. Add green onions. Whisk vinegar, ginger, oil, and chili-garlic sauce in small bowl to blend; pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Season with salt and serve.

* Available at most supermarkets and at Asian markets.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Daikon-Carrot-and-Broccoli-Slaw-240679

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Kale Squash Salad

  • 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • A generous pinch black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, small diced, about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 inches fresh ginger, finely minced, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 pound kale, approximately one large bunch, (I prefer curly kale but lacinato kale will also work), washed, and chopped into 2 inch slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1–1 1/2 cups water
  • 14 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a large saucepan, put the squash and just enough water to cover. Cover the pan. Heat to boiling, reduce heat to medium, cook 20–30 minutes until squash is soft but not falling apart. You should be able to easily stick a butter knife through a piece of squash. Drain excess water.

3. Add cream, nutmeg and salt to the squash. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. (Or put everything in a blender. You will need to add a little bit of water to get it to blend well.) Set aside.

4. In a 4 quart saucepan, cook onion, garlic, and ginger in olive oil till soft.

5. Add kale, red pepper, water, crushed tomatoes. Cook till kale is soft and turns a duller green.

6. Add salt and vinegar. Stir and remove from heat.

7. Fill the bottom of an 8×8 inch pan with the kale tomato mixture. Top with the creamed squash, smoothing out the top.

8. Bake 45 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

From Epicurious via Epicurious, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Kale-Squash-Salad-51209860

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Broccoli, Red Pepper, and Cheddar Chowder

  • 1 small head broccoli (1/2 pound)
  • 1 large boiling potato (1/2 pound)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • l large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 6 oz sharp Cheddar, coarsely grated (1 1/2 cups)

Discard tough lower third of broccoli stem. Peel remaining stem and finely chop. Cut remaining broccoli into very small (1-inch) florets. Cook florets in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking, then drain. Reserve 3 cups cooking water for chowder.

Peel potato and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook potato, onion, bell pepper, broccoli stems, and garlic in butter in a 3- to 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add cumin, salt, pepper, and mustard and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add reserved cooking water and simmer (partially covered), stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in cream and cheese and cook, stirring, until cheese is melted, then season with salt and pepper.

Purée about 2 cups of chowder in a blender until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) and return to pot. Add florets and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Broccoli-Red-Pepper-and-Cheddar-Chowder-105893

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October 21, 2014 at 1:25 pm Leave a comment

csa share – week 21

csa share week 21

Welcome to the 21st week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Mix
  • Red Onions
  • Poblano & Jalapeno Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Radishes
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatillos
  • Butternut Winter Squash

CSA Member Potluck! We’re looking forward to this weekend’s final CSA farm visit of the season!  Potluck lunch around 12:30pm with cidering, pumpkin picking, and a farm tour to follow.  The weather looks like some rain on Saturday, but we’ll set up under cover if needed.  Check this week’s CSA member email for the full details.

onions and garlic

Although the weather hasn’t felt like it, the calendar says it’s mid-October and time to get the very last of the planting done for the season.  This weekend we got our overwintering onions and garlic in the ground!  We also planted the last of the salad mix.  It sure is a relief to have made the final planting push and to have that off the To Do list.

We’ll be bringing some extra garlic cloves to the pick-ups if you’d like to stick some in the ground too.  It will overwinter, shoot up next spring, and you can eat it as green garlic in the late spring or harvest it as garlic heads once it begins to dry down next summer.

last transplanting

As we head into the last month and a half of the summer CSA, we hope you’re thinking about stocking up for winter.  Interested in buying locally grown bulk grains, milled flours, dry beans, fruit, or extra winter squash or root vegetables? Several events will be taking place around the valley for just that purpose!  Check out the “Fill-Your-Pantry” details on the Ten Rivers Food Web website for information on bulk buying opportunities in Corvallis, Eugene, and Shedd in the coming weeks.

Speaking of the end of the summer CSA, we have a few spots open in the Winter CSA program for folks who pick-up in Salem if you’re interested in staying on for the next six months of local vegetables.  Details can be found on the Winter CSA page.  We’d like to give preference to current CSA members, so please send us an email at farmers@pitchforkandcrow.com if you’d like to join the Winter CSA and we’ll get you signed up.  Also, for folks who currently pick-up at the farm, we’re working on an alternative and we’ll let you know the plans soon.

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler

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Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Green Poblano Rice (Arroz Verde al Poblano)

  • 1 2/3 cups chicken broth or water
  • 2 fresh poblano chiles, stems and seeds removed, and roughly chopped
  • 12 sprigs cilantro, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt, about 1/2 teaspoon if using salted broth, 1 teaspoon if using unsalted or water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 cup rice, preferably medium grain
  • 1 small white onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

The flavoring: In a 2-quart saucepan, combine the broth and chiles, bring to a boil, then partially cover and simmer gently over medium to medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, until the chiles are very soft. Pour the chile mixture into a food processor, add the cilantro (stems and all), and process to a smooth puree. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl and stir in the salt.

The rice: Wipe the pan clean, add the oil and heat over medium. Add the rice and onion, and cook, stirring regularly, until the rice is chalky looking and the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook a minute longer.

Add the warm (or reheated) chile liquid to the hot rice pan, stir once, scrape down any rice kernels clinging to the side of the pan, cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover and check a grain of rice: It should be nearly cooked through. If the rice is just about ready, turn off the heat, re-cover and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes longer to complete the cooking. If the rice seems far from done, continue cooking for 5 minutes or so, retest, then turn off the heat and let stand a few minutes longer. Fluff with a fork, scoop into a warm serving dish, decorate with cilantro sprigs and it’s ready to serve.

Advance preparation: The rice can be made several days ahead; turn out the fluffed rice onto a baking sheet to cool, transfer to a storage container, then cover and refrigerate. Reheat the rice in a steamer basket set over boiling water.

Variations and improvisations: An obvious variation is to use 3 or 4 long green (Anaheim) chiles, or to mix poblanos and long greens with hotter chiles like jalapeño, manzano or habanero. Grilled corn cut from 1 cob or 1 large grilled zucchini (cubed) are tasty vegetable add-ins. About 1 cup coarsely shredded roast (or barbecued) pork or smoked salmon, mixed in toward the end of cooking, will make green rice a full meal.

From Epicurious via Epicurious by Rick Bayless, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Green-Poblano-Rice-Arroz-Verde-al-Poblano-15367

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Grilled Skirt Steaks with Tomatillos Two Ways

For tomatillo salsa:

  • 4 pasillas de Oaxaca (dried smoked chiles), wiped clean
  • 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed, then quartered
  • 1 cup packed cilantro sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses (not blackstrap)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil

For steaks and tomatillo salad:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 3/4 pounds skirt steak, halved
  • 1/2 pound fresh tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Make salsa:
Slit chiles lengthwise, then stem and seed. Heat a dry heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium heat until hot, then toast chiles, opened flat, turning and pressing with tongs, until more pliable and slightly changed in color, about 1 minute. Cover chiles with hot water in a bowl and soak until softened, about 20 minutes, then drain.

Purée chiles, tomatillos, cilantro, garlic, brown sugar, molasses, cumin, and 1 teaspoon salt in a blender until smooth, about 1 minute.

Heat oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers, then cook salsa (it will spatter), stirring occasionally, until slightly thicker, 5 to 8 minutes.

Grill steaks:
Prepare a grill for direct-heat cooking over hot charcoal (high heat for gas); see Grilling Procedure.

Whisk together 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 tsp pepper, then coat steaks.

Oil grill rack, then grill steaks, covered only if using a gas grill, turning once, until grill marks appear, 4 to 6 minutes total for medium-rare. Let steaks rest on a cutting board, loosely covered with foil, 10 minutes.

Make salad while steaks rest:
Thinly slice tomatillos and toss with cilantro, shallot, lime juice, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and salt and pepper to taste.

Cut steaks into serving pieces and top with salsa and salad.

From Epicurious via Gourmet by Ian Knauer, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grilled-Skirt-Steaks-with-Tomatillos-Two-Ways-350249

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Pickled Radishes

  • 10 red radishes, trimmed, unpeeled, quartered
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cups distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Combine first 3 ingredients in a clean 1 quart glass jar. Add vinegar, salt, and sugar. Cover; shake until sugar and salt begin to dissolve. Refrigerate for at least 3 days, shaking once a day. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 month ahead. (The flavor mellows the longer the mixture pickles.) Keep chilled.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Eric Werner, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Pickled-Radishes-366455

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October 14, 2014 at 1:15 pm Leave a comment

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