Welcome to the 3rd week of the Pitchfork & Crow Winter CSA! Here’s what’s in the share:
- Baby Kale Mix
- LaRatte Fingerling Potatoes
- Watermelon Radishes
- Red and Orange Beets
- Spaghetti Squash
- Carnival Acorn Squash
- Yellow Onions
- Sugarloaf Chicory – We like chicory best in salads with creamy or citrusy dressing to balance the bitter. I’ve heard if you tear the leaves before washing, you’ll wash out some of the bitter. I haven’t tried it myself, but it’s worth a shot if you’re not ready to fully embrace the world of bitter greens.
- Savoy Cabbage – sweetened by our winter weather, we ate one of these recently that was like candy.
- Dried Apples – Dried by Jeff!
Hi folks, Jeff here. Usually Carri writes the newsletter, but today (Monday, January 2) is Carri’s birthday, so I am trying to give her a break by writing a few thoughts. After all, she is doing 99% of the CSA harvest since I have the broken leg still. So, I think I will write about how wonderful Carri is and how much of the farm work she does on your farm.
It may be obvious that Carri is the driving force behind Pitchfork and Crow. She started developing her passion for local food when she signed us up for a CSA share through Oakhill Organics back in 2007. We enjoyed being in a CSA and eventually Katie and Casey from Oakhill Organics encouraged us to start our own farm. It has been a challenging journey, and I have wanted to quit almost every year, but Carri has been the stable bedrock of Pitchfork and Crow. My natural reaction to stress is to run away, while her natural strategy is to try improve the situation through problem solving. I am very thankful for her rooted-ness, and especially glad that she has kept me on track through the start-up phase, since things get better every year.
Now that we seem to be an established farm, it is only through Carri’s dedication that the business survives. I love working outside with plants and I love when people get nutritious food from the farm, but Carri’s work in actual business management is what makes the farm a success. Almost every day, starting with her morning coffee, Carri is looking at spreadsheets, analyzing the farm income, and budgeting for the business. She also answers the majority of business emails and does all the taxes and accounting. Plus, she writes and publishes the newsletter, emails it to all the members and builds/maintains the website. When we have pigs, she keeps a daily spreadsheet of how much feed they eat, how much weight they should be gaining, and how much money we have spent. It is easy to see that she is the Crow of Pitchfork and Crow. I like to say that Crows are smart, so obviously, Carri is the Crow.
Not only is Carri the business mastermind of the farm, but she does the most important farm tasks as well. In the beginning of the year, we make a detailed planting plan. After that, I rarely pay attention to the plan. Carri simply tells me how many flats she plans to start for the week. I am the one who mixes the propagation mix and fills the flats, but she is the one who actually starts the seeds and gets them going in the greenhouse. After the transplants are ready for the field, she is the one who rides on the transplanter and actually plants them into the ground. So, without Carri, we would not have many veggies, would we?
So, on Carri’s birthday, we should all be glad that she is a part of our lives. I am especially grateful of her help and patience with me during my recovery from the broken leg. This winter she has done an amazing job keeping the snow off the greenhouses, bringing in firewood, hauling food up to my lair, loading and unloading the truck, feeding the chickens, and keeping all of us supplied with vegetables she propagated, transplanted, and harvested. She really is an amazing person.
Happy Birthday Carri!
Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you in two weeks!
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:
Up above Jeff mentioned the CSA we joined back in 2007. That’s how we learned about this style of cabbage and noodles. It helped us learn to eat whole cabbages and enjoy them, and thus be better CSA members. Over the years we’ve continued to make versions of this recipe, though these days we generally add some bacon or ground meat. – Carri
Haluski – Cabbage and Noodles
- 1 (16 ounce) package medium-wide egg noodles
- 1 cup butter, divided
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2 small heads cabbage, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon water, or as needed (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Stir in egg noodles and return to a boil. Cook noodles uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender but still slightly firm, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
- Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat; cook and stir onions until translucent, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Cook and stir remaining butter and cabbage into onions until cabbage is softened but not browned, 5 to 8 more minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Place cooked noodles and cabbage mixture in a large roasting pan and stir gently to combine. Sprinkle with more salt and black pepper if desired.
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown on top, 30 to 40 minutes.
Vinegar-Marinated Chicken with Buttered Greens and Radishes
- 2 pounds skin-on bone-in chicken thighs
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 radishes, quartered, halved if small
- 1 bunch mustard greens or kale, leaves torn
- 4 tablespoons tarragon leaves, divided
Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a large baking dish. Pour 1/4 cup vinegar over chicken and let sit 15–20 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and pat skin dry. Reserve baking dish (no need to wipe it out).
Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Working in batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is golden brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes; turn and cook until other side is just browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to reserved baking dish; reserve skillet. Bake chicken until cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part registers 165°F, 10–12 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat butter in same skillet over medium-high. Add radishes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until radishes are browned and tender, about 5 minutes. Add mustard greens and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mustard greens are just wilted, about 2 minutes (they should still have some spring in their step). Add 2 tablespoons tarragon and remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar; toss to combine.
Serve greens and radishes with chicken topped with remaining 2 tablespoons tarragon.
From Epicurious via Bon Appétit by Alison Roman, http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/vinegar-marinated-chicken-with-buttered-greens-and-radishes-56389531
Spaghetti Squash Fritters
1. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds; discard. Place squash halves, cut sides up, in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave at HIGH 20 minutes or until tender. Let stand 10 minutes. Scrape inside of squash with a fork to remove spaghettilike strands to measure 4 cups.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach to pan; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Place squash and spinach on a clean dish towel; squeeze until barely moist. Coarsely chop squash mixture, and place in a large bowl. Add panko and next 4 ingredients (through baking powder), and toss well to combine. Place egg whites in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until soft peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into squash mixture.
3. Fill a 1/4-cup dry measuring cup with squash mixture. Invert onto work surface; gently pat into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture, forming 10 patties total. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add 5 patties to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove patties from pan; keep warm. Repeat the procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and squash patties.
4. Combine mayonnaise and remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with fritters.
From Myrecipes.com via Cooking Light by Adam Hickman, http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/squash-fritters-sriracha-mayonnaise