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

csa share – week 20

csa share week 20

Welcome to the 20th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Spicy Salad Mix – a mix of mizuna, arugula, and tatsoi, this mix could be lightly braised as cooking greens too!
  • Garlic
  • Sunset Italian Mix Sweet Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Lacinato Kale – everyone’s favorite for kale chips!
  • Broccoli
  • Summer Leeks
  • Ozette Fingerling Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Winter Squash – red Potimarron or Stella Blue, some of our favorite of the winter squashes with drier meat than other varieties

pumpkins

This past weekend we went out to Bauman’s Farm in Gervais to cheer on our friend and her 411# pumpkin in the Giant Pumpkin Weigh Off.  Her pumpkin was only a quarter of the weight of the largest of the giant pumpkins, but it wasn’t the smallest either.  Going into the day, I didn’t realize quite how seriously some folks take the growing of giant pumpkins.  Evidently they start them very early in the season, grow them inside greenhouses, and use heaters to keep them warm. After so much effort, it’s no wonder they’re hoping to win the big prize.  A highlight was the witnessing of a world record being set in the giant squash category.  We were told a world record was set in Switzerland a few days before for the giant pumpkin category.  People all over the world are growing giant pumpkins thanks to the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth!

All the focus on pumpkins reminded me that we have a patch of our own for you to visit soon.  You won’t find any giant pumpkins in our patch, though we did have a few nice looking volunteer field pumpkins come out of the pole bean area.  As I’ve mentioned in previous weeks, October 18th is the last CSA member potluck of the season, and your chance to choose a pumpkin out of the field.  Check this week’s member email for further details.

peppers and potatoesWe had our first frost warning last week.  We decided not to take any chances and harvested the last of the peppers.  There were quite a few out there, so we’ll still be sharing them with you from storage.  Though the frost didn’t materialize, Jeff did get the pepper area quickly prepped and sown into cover crop.  Sowing cover crop is perpetually at the top of the “To Do” list at this point in the season.  We also endeavored to make some progress on our potato harvesting.  This time of year we begin to run low on storage totes and cooler space, so it’s a delicate dance of what’s to be harvested and when.  As we’re trying to gt the potatoes out of the ground, we hope to get our garlic and overwintering onions in the ground.  We hear there’s a good rain headed this way by the weekend and we’re looking forward to it!

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:

Risotto with Butternut Squash, Leeks, and Basil

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled butternut squash (from 21/4 pounds squash)
  • 3 cups 1/2-inch-wide slices leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 4 14-ounce cans (or more) vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional (for serving)

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add squash and sauté until beginning to soften and brown around edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer squash to medium bowl.

Reduce heat to medium; add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, leeks, and thyme to same pot and stir until tender but not brown, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir 1 minute. Add 1 cup broth and simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes. Add remaining broth by 1/2 cupfuls, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Return squash to pot. Continue to cook until rice is just tender but still very creamy, stirring gently and often, about 10 minutes longer (about 25 minutes total cooking time). Remove from heat. Stir in basil and 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl and serve with additional Parmesan cheese.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Risotto-with-Butternut-Squash-Leeks-and-Basil-362289

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Broccoli, Red Pepper, 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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Celery Soup

  • 1 chopped head of celery
  • 1 chopped large waxy potato
  • 1 chopped medium onion
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • Salt
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Celery leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Flaky sea salt

Combine 1 chopped head of celery, 1 chopped large waxy potato, 1 chopped medium onion, and 1 stick unsalted butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; season with salt.

Cook, stirring, until onion is tender, 8–10 minutes.

Add 3 cups low sodium chicken broth; simmer until potatoes are tender, 8–10 minutes. Purée in a blender with 1/4 cup fresh dill; strain. Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream. Serve soup topped with celery leaves, olive oil, and flaky sea salt.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Celery-Soup-51246210

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October 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

csa share – week 19

csa share week 19

Welcome to the 19th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Mix
  • Sweet Onions
  • Shishito Peppers – Deborah Madison’s Sauteed Shishito Recipe is just what we’d do with them!
  • Beets
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatillos – one more round of salsa verde anyone?
  • Broccoli
  • Prize Choi
  • Radishes
  • Spaghetti Squash – This is a new one for us and we’re hoping to try out this Spaghetti Squash with Sausage Filling recipe soon!

sunflowers

Farming is humbling and difficult and awe inspiring, and I can’t imagine choosing different work.  Having transitioned from the world of cubicles and spreadsheets, I’ve experienced the stability and comfort an office job affords.  When folks ask me if I miss that life, it gives me pause.  I don’t miss the long hours stuck in front of a computer or the commuting or the constant demand.  I don’t really even miss the paycheck now.  What do I miss then?  Stability.

Another farmer mentioned once that farming is like doing magic.  I think that’s true to an extent.  We put tiny seeds in the ground and they grow into amazing amounts of food!  What could be more magical?  Perhaps expecting magic to be more stable is asking too much.  After all, we’re working alongside nature and she has many different ideas about how things are going to unfold in any given season.  As we learn and gain new skills and improve this land, I think we’ll also find more stability in this work and confidence in ourselves as we do it.  In the meantime, I find that although the defeats can feel crushing, the victories are sweeter for it, and we’re finding some semblance of balance between the two.

cilantro

In the fall of 2013 we direct seeded a row of cilantro.  Some of that cilantro went into CSA shares.  Some of it went to seed and re-sprouted in the early winter of this year.  As that 2nd round was flowering, it made an appearance in an early CSA share this season.  Then it went to seed again.  We ignored it all summer.  In August we had an empty bed next to the seed and Jeff came up with the idea to shake the seeds into the empty bed, effectively broadcast seeding the cilantro.  Weeds sprouted.  Jeff cursed and re-tilled the bed.  Finally cilantro sprouted. And we celebrated victory!

winter squash

This week we brought in the last of the winter squash from the field.  A seeding mix-up in the spring (my fault!) has resulted in a plethora of spaghetti squash in the mix.  This is our first time growing spaghetti squash, so what was meant to be a trial run has turned into a glut of sorts.  We’ve got our fingers crossed that this is the next big thing in winter squash circles.  Or at least amongst CSA members.  Now who were those folks that requested this variety in the past?  Let us know your favorite spaghetti squash recipes!

highs and lows

As we work to wrap up another season of farming, I can point to many successes and many failures.  When you’re this close to something, it’s hard not to see it all.  Happening upon the marigolds planted in the far corner of the the farthest field is a win.  Realizing there’s a leak in a pipe you didn’t know existed, not so much.  I can say for certain that I never had such strong connections to a spreadsheet back at the office job.  Not a single one.

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:

Oven-Roasted Flounder with Bok Choy, Cilantro, and Lime

  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped cilantro, plus small sprigs for garnish
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced peeled ginger
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound baby bok choy (2-3 bunches), cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine
  • 4 4-ounce fillets flounder or other delicate white fish (up to 1/2″ thick)

Arrange a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Combine scallion, 1/4 cup cilantro, and next 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Season cilantro-lime sauce with salt and pepper; set aside.

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Working in batches if needed, add bok choy, cut side down, and sear until golden brown, 2-4 minutes per batch. Turn bok choy cut side up and remove pan from heat. Add sake. Season flounder fillets with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer over bok choy. Roast in oven until fish is just cooked through, 8-10 minutes.

Spoon sake sauce from skillet into the bottom of 4 shallow bowls, dividing evenly. Add bok choy to each bowl, dividing evenly; top each bowl with 1 fish fillet. Spoon some cilantro-lime sauce over fish and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve remaining cilantro-lime sauce alongside for drizzling.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Oven-Roasted-Flounder-with-Bok-Choy-Cilantro-and-Lime-51133820

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Lettuce and Beet Salad with Sour Cream Dressing

  • 2 medium beets (about 8 ounces)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 5 cups (packed) mixed torn lettuces (such as romaine, red leaf and butter lettuce)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Wrap beets tightly in foil. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Cool; peel beets. Coarsely shred beets.

Whisk sour cream, onion, vinegar, sugar and mustard in small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper. Place lettuces in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among 4 plates. Top each with beets, dividing equally.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Lettuce-and-Beet-Salad-with-Sour-Cream-Dressing-846

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Roasted Radishes

  • 2 bunches medium radishes (such as red, pink, and purple; about 20)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Cut off all but 1/2 inch of green radish tops; reserve trimmed tops and rinse them well, checking for grit. Coarsely chop radish tops and set aside. Cut radishes lengthwise in half and place in medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and toss thoroughly to coat. Place radishes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Roast until radishes are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Season to taste with more coarse kosher salt, if desired.

medium-high heat. Add pinch of coarse kosher salt to skillet and cook until butter browns, swirling skillet frequently to keep butter solids from burning, about 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and stir in fresh lemon juice.

Transfer roasted radishes to warmed shallow serving bowl and drizzle brown butter over. Sprinkle with chopped radish tops and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Tasha de Serio, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Radishes-with-Brown-Butter-Lemon-and-Radish-Tops-364609

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September 30, 2014 at 1:17 pm Leave a comment

csa share – week 18

csa share week 18

Welcome to the 18th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Salad Mix
  • Chesnok Red Garlic - a variety from the country of Georgia, great for cooking and baking
  • Bell Peppers
  • Colorful Carrots
  • Basil
  • Eggplant
  • Broccoli
  • Kohlrabi
  • Collards
  • Mixed Tomatoes
  • Melons

glass gem corn

We’ve been celebrating the Autumnal Equinox this weekend with an appreciation of the bounty of the season.  We’re saying goodbye to an amazing summer and hello to all the goodness that fall has in store including long sleeves, hearty food, warm beverages, rain showers, and shorter days.  Of course we’re suckers for all the trappings of the season.  There’s something about leaves turning color and falling and the appearance of pumpkins and decorative gourds that simply makes me happy.

Hopefully you’re planning to join us on Saturday, October 18th for this season’s final CSA member gathering and celebration of the autumn.  We’ll have a potluck,  apple cidering, and our small pumpkin patch will be available for hunting up any pumpkins you can find.  We’ll send out reminders closer to the date.

work in FD

We’ve been soaking up the sun this week before it disappears behind rainclouds for good.  The extended heat wave has us looking forward to a little relief with the return of the rain, but it also finds us working to bring in storage crops while they’re still dry.  The summer green beans are finishing drying down in the propagation greenhouse for winter dry beans for instance.

Our focus has otherwise been on the continued weeding of everything and the sowing of cover crops.  The sunny September has meant lots of weed growth, but this week I finished weeding the last round of carrots, whoa!  Jeff has been focused on irrigating and working ground for seeding the rye grain and crimson clover that will fill most of the uncropped fields over the winter.  The cover crop will help keep our soil from eroding and leaching during the wet winter months.  Seeing cover crop seeds sprouting in previously barren ground is always a heartening sight.  A little like tucking in the field for the season.

seed garlic

Although the season is certainly shifting we’ve still got quite a bit of work to be done in the fields.  Before long we’ll be planting our seed garlic and overwintering onions and wrapping up the final planting for the season.  The harvesting of potatoes and winter squash needs to be finished.  Clearing out t-posts from trellising and finishing up sowing that cover crop seed.  And of course there are still weeds to kill.

That garlic up above is from the storage at Adaptive Seeds.  We’re bringing in some fresh garlic seed and new-to-us varieties this year and were excited to talk garlic with those good folks over the weekend.  If you’re serious about garlic and are thinking of getting some in the ground in your garden, they’ve got some beautiful seed stock for you to buy.

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:

Winter Salad with Lemon-Yogurt Dressing

Dressing:

  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil or canola oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • Fine sea salt

Salad:

  • 8 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce (about 8 large leaves)
  • 1 1/2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled jicama
  • 2 small carrots, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, sliced
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup 1/2-inch cubes peeled kohlrabi or peeled broccoli stems
  • 3/4 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 3/4 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds

Dressing:
Whisk first 5 ingredients in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Salad:
Toss lettuce and next 8 ingredients in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among plates; sprinkle with sunflower seeds.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Winter-Salad-with-Lemon-Yogurt-Dressing-363722

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Ratatouille on the Run

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 large eggplant (unpeeled), diced
  • 2 green bell peppers, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 ounces goat cheese or Muenster cheese or a mixture of the two, diced (optional)

Heat oil in heavy large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Add eggplant, green bell peppers, tomatoes, onion, zucchini and basil. Sauté 5 minutes. Cover and simmer until all vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes. Uncover pot and simmer until juice thickens, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper.(Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread ratatouille in 9-inch-diameter pie dish. Sprinkle with cheese, if desired. Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Ratatouille-on-the-Run-517

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Collard and Pecan Pesto

  • 1/2 small bunch collard greens, center ribs and stems removed
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Cook 1/2 small bunch collard greens, center ribs and stems removed, in a medium pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain. Transfer to a bowl of ice water; let cool. Drain; squeeze dry with paper towels. Blend greens, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup toasted pecans, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoons honey, and 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes in a food processor until a coarse purée forms; season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Collard-and-Pecan-Pesto-51193030

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September 23, 2014 at 12:49 pm Leave a comment

csa share – week 17

csa share week 17

Welcome to the 17th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Summer Leeks
  • Early Red Italian Garlic
  • Poblano Peppers -Generally mild, poblanos can sometimes pack some heat, so be prepared.  We suggest you either stuff them, make salsa, or make soup!
  • Habanero or Jalapeno Peppers – Hot or Hotter!  Be careful working with hot peppers, especially the habaneros.  They’re green and may be milder than a fully ripe habanero, but they are hot and we suggest wearing gloves when seeding them.
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Dill – We love roasted potatoes with dill, but do you have too much dill to use right away?  Putting it in a jar of water will help make it last longer, or drying it will mean you’ll some to use later.
  • Cilantro
  • Tomatillos
  • Napa Cabbage or Broccoli (limited quantity of broccoli)
  • Fennel
  • Brussels Sprouts Tops – It’s time to top the Brussels so we’ll have fat sprouts later this fall.  That means tasty greens now!  Eat them up like kale or collards.
  • Mixed Tomatoes – Our main tomatoes are finished for the season but we were able to eek out mixed pints of slicers and cherries.  Get your green tomato recipes ready because my bet is you’ll be seeing them soon.
  • Melons

winter squash

The main growing season is getting closer and closer to it’s end.  With fewer minutes of daylight each day, the chance of crops fully maturing is lessened.  This week we brought in most of the winter squash from the field.  We planted our winter squash in multiple sessions this year, thinking some would do well transplanted but other varieties would be fine direct sown a little later.  Lesson learned!  Even with all the heat units this summer has given us, we’re still crossing our fingers that the direct sown varieties finish up before the plants are taken out by the dreaded powdery mildew and/or a frost finds us.

On the bright side, I’m excited to have the variety called Stella Blue back in the mix as I hadn’t been able to locate seed for a couple of years.  Also, this is our first year with a variety called Carnival that not only looks fun, it tastes good and stores well too!  Hurrah for winter squash and the changing of the seasons!

peppers

This hot summer has been good for pepper growing!  Hopefully you’re enjoying the diverse varieties as much as we are. We grow 7 types of peppers, all of which we’ve shared with you as of this week, and each year we have to limit ourselves from growing even more.  Peppers are so diverse in shape, size, color, flavor and can be used in so many dishes, but we don’t want to totally overwhelm you with peppers.

This week we have generally mild poblanos and either hot jalapenos or hotter habaneros for you.  I was searching for a description of the heat differences and came upon this quote:

“If heat equals strength and this is the World’s Strongest Man Contest, the habanero chile can lift an 18-wheeler. The serrano can lift a VW van. The jalapeño can lift a Vespa, which is still pretty powerful compared to the pepperoncini lifting a Big Wheel way down at the bottom of the Scoville scale.” – via article on cookthink.com

As I mentioned above, please be careful when working with the hot peppers.  The habaneros in particular pack a punch and we suggest wearing gloves when seeding them.  They may be milder than fully ripe and colored habaneros, but be weary until you know for sure.

preserving

In between the regular work of farming I’ve been continuing to preserve what bits of the summer I can squeeze in.  We started the week with a stack of split tomatoes from weeks past and a couple of bins of #2 sweet peppers and ended the week with jars full of roasted pepper spread and tomato sauce.  The heat of the summer felt endless at times, but recent cool mornings have reminded us that winter is on the way.  With a little time spent now, we’ve got tasty summer reminders on the shelf for winter enjoyment.

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:

Mediterranean Supper Omelet with Fennel, Olives, and Dill

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups thinly sliced fresh fennel bulb, fronds chopped and reserved
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted green brine-cured olives
  • 5 large eggs, beaten to blend with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 4-ounce package crumbled goat cheese Provencal (with thyme, basil, and sweet red pepper)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fennel bulb; sauté until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Cover and cook until softened, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and mash with fork; mix in olives. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet; heat over medium-high heat. Add beaten eggs and cook until eggs are just set in center, tilting skillet and lifting edges of omelet with spatula to let uncooked portion flow underneath, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle half of cheese over half of omelet, then top with fennel mixture. Sprinkle dill over, then remaining cheese. Using spatula, fold uncovered half of omelet over cheese; slide onto plate. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds and serve.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Mediterranean-Supper-Omelet-with-Fennel-Olives-and-Dill-233713

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Layered Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo-Cilantro Sauce

2 pounds large tomatillos, husked, rinsed, halved
1 1/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
10 garlic cloves, peeled
2 cups sliced green onions
2 cups (packed) very coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
1 large serrano chile, sliced (with seeds) (or try this week’s jalapeno or habanero!)
12 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
1 purchased roasted chicken, meat torn into strips (about 4 cups)
1 pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese, cut into strips
1 cup whipping cream

Preheat oven to 450°F. Mix tomatillos, chicken broth, and garlic cloves in large saucepan. Cover and bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently until tomatillos are soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer hot mixture to processor. Add sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, and sliced chile; blend mixture to coarse puree. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

Overlap 6 tortillas in 13x9x2-inch oval or rectangular baking dish. Top tortillas with half of chicken strips and half of mozzarella strips. Pour 2 cups tomatillo sauce evenly over. Top with remaining tortillas, chicken strips, and mozzarella. Pour 1 1/2 cups tomatillo sauce over, then whipping cream. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until bubbling, about 25 minutes. Cool enchiladas 10 minutes. Serve with remaining tomatillo sauce.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Layered-Chicken-Enchiladas-with-Tomatillo-Cilantro-Sauce-232700

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Potato Leek Soup with Cheese

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 large leek (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 4 large potatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dried
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • Additional grated sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leek and garlic; sauté until tender but not brown, about 4 minutes. Add potatoes and carrots; sauté 5 minutes longer. Add chicken broth and dill; simmer uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add milk to soup. Transfer half of soup to blender. Add cream cheese and blend until smooth. Return soup to pot. Add 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese and stir over low heat until melted. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Bring to simmer before serving.) Transfer to large serving bowl. Garnish soup with chopped fresh parsley and additional grated sharp cheddar cheese, if desired.

From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Potato-Leek-Soup-with-Cheese-107255

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September 16, 2014 at 1:41 pm Leave a comment

csa share – week 16

csa share week 16

Welcome to the 16th week of the 2014 Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA!

Here’s what’s in the share:

  • Torpedo Onions
  • Sweet Sunset Italian Mix Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Basil
  • Eggplant
  • Shiraz Beets
  • Brussels Sprouts Tops – It’s time to top the Brussels so we’ll have fat sprouts later this fall.  That means tasty greens now!  Eat them up like kale or collards.
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Scarlet Runner Shelling Beans – Probably the prettiest shelling beans around!  Shell the beans and use the greener pods to flavor a soup or stock.  Alternatively, these could be really great on the grill.
  • Pike Melons – this variety was bred in Monmouth, Oregon in the 1930s! I’m thinking cantaloupe sorbet.  Recipe below.

frogs

This summer has been a whirlwind of work and heat and vegetables.  Somehow we’ve ended up in the second week of September with a To Do list that includes harvesting many of the season-long crops like potatoes, winter squash, and dry beans.  Weren’t we just planting those crops last week?  My how time flies.

We came upon these two frogs in the photos above in the back orchard while we were harvesting apples this past weekend.  Evidently the lush clover/grass mix of the orchard is good frog habitat.  Seeing these little guys (or gals?) around the farm is always a good omen and helps us to take a moment to appreciate this place.

lettuce and strawflower

Work this week has continued as it does: irrigate, plant, weed, harvest.  This week we transplanted a bed of lettuce, the second to last of the season.  Again, with the time and the flying.  We also spent some time during the height of the heat getting some notes down about how crops have done this year.  Our winter planning session is usually well past the growing season’s end and often it’s difficult to remember how well the cucumbers varieties did in December for instance.  We’ve learned some good lessons this year and getting those notes down now will save us time and hopefully improve next season’s plan.

to bend

Sunday evening we took a quick trip over the mountains to Bend.  There was a promising Craigslist find that provided the reason for the trip, but I enjoyed the change in scenery along the way.  Sometimes it’s difficult to walk away from that To Do list I mentioned earlier so we have a limited range these days.  We hadn’t been over the pass in years and I very much appreciated seeing my favorite mountains in the distance, feeling the dry summer air, and enjoying a sunset from the east side.  It’s a different world over there.

While I’m always happy to return to the farm, getting away can certainly provide much needed perspective and restoration.  Hopefully you’re all enjoying the transition to fall and wringing out the last of the summer days before they’re only a memory.

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:

Fettuccine with Ham and Napa Cabbage

  • 1/2 pound fettuccine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped Napa cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 pound cooked ham, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

In a large saucepan of salted boiling water cook the fettuccine until it is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, and drain the pasta well. While the pasta is cooking, in a heavy skillet cook the onion and the cabbage in the oil over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are golden, stir in the ham and the caraway seeds, and cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender. Add the cream and simmer the mixture for 1 minute. In a large bowl toss together the fettuccine, the ham mixture, and salt and pepper to taste and add enough of the reserved cooking water to thin the sauce to the desired consistency.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fettuccine-with-Ham-and-Napa-Cabbage-13300

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Eggplant Rolls Filled with Basil ad Cheese

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, chopped coarse
  • a pinch of sugar

For the eggplant rolls

  • a 1-pound eggplant
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella (about 1/4 pound)
  • 3 1/2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) mild, soft goat cheese such as Montrachet, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh basil leaves for garnish

Make the tomato sauce:
In a heavy skillet cook the onion in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes, stir in the garlic, and cook the mixture, stirring, until the onion is softened. Add the tomatoes, the sugar, and salt to taste and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, for 20 minutes. Force the mixture through the fine disk of a food mill set over a saucepan and cook the sauce over moderately high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is thickened to the desired consistency.

Make the eggplant rolls:
With a hand-held slicing device or large sharp knife cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices. Sprinkle the slices on both sides with salt and let them drain in a colander for 30 minutes. In a bowl stir together the mozzarella, the goat cheese, and the shredded basil. Pat the eggplant dry, arrange one layer of it on the oiled rack of a broiler pan, and brush it with some of the oil. Broil the eggplant under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is golden. Turn the eggplant, brush it with some of the remaining oil, and broil it for 3 to 4 minutes more, or until it is golden. Transfer the eggplant to a large platter to cool and broil the remaining eggplant, brushing it with the remaining oil, in the same manner. Spread a mounded teaspoon of the cheese mixture lengthwise down the middle of each eggplant slice, leaving a 1-inch border at the wide end, and, beginning at the narrow end, roll up the eggplant jelly-roll fashion. Arrange the rolls, seam sides down, in an oiled flameproof shallow baking dish just large enough to hold them in one layer and broil them for 3 minutes, or until the cheese is just melted and bubbling.

Transfer the eggplant rolls with a spatula to serving plates, spoon the tomato sauce over them, and garnish the rolls with the basil leaves. Makes about 12 rolls.

From Epicurious via Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Eggplant-Rolls-Filled-with-Basil-and-Cheese-12755

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Cantaloupe Sorbet

  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups 1-inch pieces peeled seeded cantaloupe (about 1/2 cantaloupe)

Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Bring to boil. Transfer to 11x7x2-inch glass dish and chill until cold, about 2 hours.

Puree cantaloupe in blender until smooth. Add to sugar syrup in dish and stir until well blended. Freeze until almost firm, stirring occasionally, at least 3 hours or overnight.

Transfer cantaloupe mixture to large bowl. Using electric mixer, beat until fluffy. Return to freezer and freeze until firm (do not stir), at least 3 hours or overnight. (Sorbet can be prepared 3 days ahead.) Cover and keep frozen.

From Epicurious.com, via Bon Appetit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Cantaloupe-Sorbet-4119

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September 9, 2014 at 2:50 pm 4 comments

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