Welcome to the 3rd week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA!
Here’s what’s in the share:
- Beets – we decided rough winter beets are better than no beets at all.
- Indigo Winter Carrots – purple on the outside, white in the center!
- Ozette Fingerling Potatoes
- Cabbage – mostly a purple savoy called Colorsa with a other green types thrown in to keep it interesting. Winter cabbage is fabulous sauteed in butter over noodles!
- Delicata Winter Squash
- Dried Apples – We grew them, we dried them, we hope you like them!
- Popcorn – mostly the Dakota Black variety from Lonesome Whistle Farm located outside of Junction City. Microwave it in a paper bag or bowl or pop it on the stove!
Happy New Year friends! Let’s do this thing! As promised we’re bringing you a plethora of winter roots this week. The carrots and beets are stalwarts from the field and the potatoes were safe from last month’s big freeze in the cooler. The cabbage was also salvaged from the field and is a mix of our favorite winter cabbages: the purple savoy called Colorsa and the striking January King. We’ve rounded things out with a handful of alliums, sweet delicata winter squash, and more dried apple chips. The popcorn is a tasty bonus added in from Lonesome Whistle Farm where Jeff and Kasey focus on growing beans and grains!
The past couple of weeks have been a mix of clean up work around the farm and winter break for us. Jeff has been focused on cleaning up apple trees he thinned out of the orchards last winter and I’ve even pitched in a few days on the project helping to clear limbs and pile them for burning.
Thinking we’d be getting back to the pile soon, we left our little 1947 Farmall Cub outside for a couple of nights and ended up spending more time than we’d have liked getting it back into running condition. Turns out the spark plugs don’t appreciate the dew and moisture we’ve had recently. Luckily we now know how to somewhat efficiently adjust the timing, check the points, clean the distributor and spark plugs, change the battery, fix loose wiring, and reassemble it all. Whew!
Over the holidays we also received word that our amazing neighbor, Walt, and his connections had been able to fix the leaking steering hydraulic cylinder on our big White tractor. This has been a problem plaguing us for months and we had thought we’d have to send the whole thing off to Ohio for a fix. What a relief to have avoided that! Unfortunately after the cylinder was re-attached, the tractor didn’t want to turn left. What a crazy-making problem! After much frustration and some consultation with Walt, Jeff rang up the mechanic in Ohio who specializes in these cylinders. It sounds like there’s an adjustment mechanism and Jeff is working with Walt today to work out that last kink. Fingers crossed, we’ll have two fully-working tractors, by the end of the week.
We did find time for a few off-farm adventures over the holidays too. We got in several hikes, including two to the Willamette river, one to out to Silver Falls with friends, and one to the Opal Creek Wilderness with another friend. Of course there was also good eats, good drinks, gifts, and other meet-ups with friends too.
We’re ready to jump into our winter planning sessions and make some decisions for the upcoming season. We’ll hopefully have word on the Summer CSA for you soon. We’ll also be focused on getting up a new greenhouse, pruning orchards, and maybe even starting the first seeds of 2014 very soon.
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks!
Jeff Bramlett and Carri Heisler
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
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
Roasted Root Vegetables
- 1 2 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
- 1 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 bunch beets (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed but not peeled, scrubbed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 medium-size red onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups) (or use shallots!)
- 1 large turnip, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 cup) (carrots instead?)
- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 425°F. Oil 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Combine all ingredients in very large bowl; toss to coat. Divide vegetables between prepared baking sheets; spread evenly. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour 15 minutes. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 350°F oven 15 minutes.)
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Roasted-Root-Vegetables-104833
Apple Raisin Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup (about 6 ounces) dried apples, chopped coarse
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted lightly and cooled
Into a bowl sift the flour, the cinnamon, the baking soda, and a pinch of salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together the egg and the brown sugar until the mixture is thick and pale, add the sour cream and the vanilla, and beat the mixture until it is combined well. Beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, and beat the batter until it just combined. Stir in the apples, the raisins, and the walnuts and divide the batter among 16 paper-lined 1/2 cup muffin tins. Bake the muffins in the middle of a 350°F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean, turn them onto a rack, and let them cool.
From Epicurious, Gourmet, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Apple-Raisin-Muffins-10238