This week on the Farm
It seems fitting that this week is a bit toasty, I mean in the 80s. After last week, I was all in for fall and soups and stews, but I have to admit, the warmth is nice. It is a great hiccup between a fabulous summer and the arrival of winter. We have two more Summer CSAs after this (the last meat CSA is next week, 10/5), so it seems fitting that we get all the temps as fall works its way into winter.
This time of year is like one long goodbye, but the good kind of goodbye. What is that kid’s book, Goodbye Moon, where the narrator goes through all the parts of the house in an effort to put the kiddo on the road to snoozetown. Good night door, good night mouse in the corner, good night moon. You know the one I am talking about. Well, it is like that on the farm right now, but referring to vegetables.
Good night basil.
Good night eggplant.
Good night melons.
Good night parsley.
Good night fresh herbs.
Good night green beans.
And, you know what, I am not sad about it. Reflective, yes. Will I miss these flavors and tastes, definitely. But am I excited for those flavors I haven’t had all summer (winter squash, Siberian kale, parsnips). It is like when you were hearing that story as a youth. You knew that the moon would be there tomorrow. The door would still be there when you woke up in the morning. I know that next season the flavors of summer will come back. Basil will return to my life with its spicy, licorice, classic flavor. Eggplant will continue to challenge me as I combat my innate ability to overcook it. Green beans will return with their crisp breath of fresh air flavor. Do you remember peas in June? They are now only 9 months away from exploding in sweetness in your mouth.
This saying goodbye to some flavors is one of my favorite parts of seasonal eating. I mean if we got snap peas every day, who would care that they came into season and were fresh and crisp and ready? If you could have garden fresh tomatoes daily, year round, they definitely wouldn’t be the treat they are right now.
The counter to the goodbye is the hello. I still can describe to you the dish I had with the seasons first strawberries and green peas. (It was in California in April while visiting my folks, so could be considered cheating, but that is okay, the veg and berries were farm fresh there!) So sweet, such a blast of crunch and flavor and that tart sweet joy that is strawberry paired with the crunchy, watery, sweet of the snap pea. I actually stopped, mid chew and closed my eyes, shutting out the whole rest of the potluck I was at. This was my first of the season moment. You can’t get that moment eating from the grocery store. It is only possible if you eat seasonally from farmers markets and CSAs (or your garden, of course).
Yes, I am an optimist :). But that optimism and the joy I find in the first of the season moment of all produce is why I am already excited to welcome winter (hello root vegetables and hearty greens) and am 100% okay with saying goodby to summer produce. Although, I have to admit, I am grateful that it is a goodbye in stages and it doesn’t all go at once.
Spirits are still high out here! Especially during those early morning harvest sessions with the sunrise in the background. And this time of year the pigs are loving life. When we clear beds to make room for winter greens, they get all the pulled plants!
Winter CSA Check-In
Thanks to all of you who purchased your Winter CSA over the past week. We still have spaces, but they are continuing to fill. If you are thinking about it now is the time.
Imagine the first of the season parsnip purée with a marinated and pan seared steak on top drizzled with the marinade that has been reduced.
Or our Huckleberry gold potatoes roasted to perfection along with some carrots and celeriac paired with a whole roasted chicken.
Perhaps you are more inclined to do a bacon and shallot tart with Gruyère served with a massaged kale salad.
Winter is coming. Don’t forget to enjoy those first of the season flavors too!
An example of a Winter CSA Monthly Share
1 crate of mixed vegetables including leeks, Siberian kale, Asian greens, cabbage, winter squash, potatoes, onions, and carrots paired with a whole chicken, meat broth, ground beef and another beef cut of some sort to make 10lbs.
This winter squash is pinky orange and banana shaped with a blue-green tip. They range in size but can be quite big. Did you ever read the BFG? Think about those big snozzcumbers he eats, but these aren’t “icky-poo.” Instead the are AMAZING! The smooth orange flesh is perfect baked, fried and makes great pies.
To Store: store in a cool, dry, dark place at around 50 degrees, but make sure they do not freeze. Under the best conditions, they should keep for 3-4 months, but we really recommend you enjoy this sooner! Once cut, you can wrap them in plastic and store them in the fridge for 5 to 7 days.
To Use: to bake, slice in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and place facedown on a cookie sheet. Add 1/2 inch of water to pan. Bake at 400F for 45 minutes to an hour until shells are soft and starting to collapse. Remove from shells and fill with butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, seasonings or fillings. Or peel, cut them up, and use them in curries, soups, and stews.
To Freeze: Simply cook squash and mash or purée it. Then pour or scoop into ice cube trays, muffin tins, or just into ziplock bags by the set amount to freeze.
Vegetable CSA Harvest List
We think our foundation vegetables this week will include bulk carrots and the North Georgia Candy Roaster squash. We will let you know on Wednesday how many other items you will get to select.
We have been keeping an eye on the hoops and 2-acre garden and have a pretty good idea of what is out there and ready to be harvested, but this is a Sunday estimation of what we will be harvesting on Tuesday. Also, because we have a market style CSA, this isn’t a guarantee of 1 of all these things for everyone. Instead, this will be the variety of what will hopefully (fingers crossed) have for you to choose from this week.)
Other Vegetable Options will probably include:
Keep an eye on our Instagram stories for a tour of what the options are on Wednesday around 11 am.
Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman’s New York Times Recipe
This recipe sure does include all the things: buckwheat and corn flour; carrots and brassicas; eggs and hot peppers. Enjoy!
5 cups finely shredded cabbage (about 1¼ pounds, or half of a small cabbage)
2 cups finely chopped purple kale or curly kale
7 to 8 ounces carrots, peeled and grated (about 1½ cups)
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground or crushed
3 tablespoons oat bran
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
2 tablespoons buckwheat flour
3 eggs, beaten
About ¼ cup canola, grape seed or rice bran oil
- Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment. Place a rack over another sheet pan.
- In a large bowl mix together the cabbage, kale, cilantro, chili, baking powder, salt, cumin, oat bran, flour, cornmeal and buckwheat flour. Taste and adjust salt. Add the eggs and stir together. Let the mixture sit for 10 to 15 minutes, then stir again.
- Begin heating a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Take a ¼ cup measuring cup and fill with 3 tablespoons of the mixture. Reverse onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining latke mix. You should have enough to make about 20 latkes.
- Add the oil to the pan and when it is hot (hold your hand a few inches above – you should feel the heat), slide a spatula under one portion of the latke mixture and transfer it to the pan. Press down with the spatula to flatten. Repeat with more mounds. In my 10-inch pan I can cook four at a time without crowding; my 12-inch pan will accommodate four or five. Cook on one side until golden brown, about three to four minutes. Slide the spatula underneath and flip the latkes over. Cook on the other side until golden brown, another three minutes. Transfer to the rack set over a baking sheet and place in the oven to keep warm.
- Serve hot topped with sour cream, Greek style yogurt or crème fraîche.
Adapted from Andrea Bemis’ Local Dirt
Another great use for that Candy Roaster. Maybe wait for the temps to drop out again.
For the Crust
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups flour (plus more for the work surface)
1/4 tsp salt
3 to 5 tbs ice water
For the Filling and Assembly
1 lb ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, etc.)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 1/22 tsp dried sage
Pinch of nutmeg
hefty pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch of kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped
1 small to medium pumpkin, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes for about 1 1/2 cups
3 cups stock (how about that meat broth from last meat CSA)
2 tbs cream or milk
- Make the crust: Cube the cold butter into ½ inch dice with a sharp knife and place in the freezer to cool back down after handling. Pulse together flour and salt. Add cubed butter and pulse 12-16 times or until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining. With the machine running, gently pour in the water. Pulse until dough begins to form a ball (it may still be crumbly and that’s okay as long as when you pinch it it holds together.) If it seems too dry add a touch more ice water. Do not over mix.
- Form dough into a disk, wrap tightly in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes to 1 hour (you can also leave the dough in the fridge overnight).
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large, deep cast iron pot, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat a bit. Cook until lightly browned and no longer pink. Remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Add the onion, sage, nutmeg salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Add in the kale and pumpkin and cook until beginning to softened, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle in the flour and stir well. Slowly add the stock, 1/2 cup at a time. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the pumpkin softens and the mixture thickens up a bit, about 8-10 minutes. Return the pork to the pot and give it a good stir. Remove the pot from the heat and keep to the side for a few minutes.
- On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Place dough over the pot (being careful not to burn yourself) and fold the overhang inward while pinching to crimp the edge. Alternatively, you can pour the contents of the pot pie into a pie pan and drape the crust over the pie pan. Cut vents in dough. Brush with egg wash. Place dish on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around edge, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.
Adapted from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
As Deborah write, “simple, yet truly fine.” A quick and delicious side dish for this week.
1 1/2 lbs carrots, scrubbed
3 tbs minced shallot
2 tbs butter or olive oil to taste
salt and pepper
12 tbs miced fresh herbs (parsley, oregano, basil) or 2 tsp dried herbs
- Cut carrots into whatever shape you want (rounds, ovals, matchsticks, etc.), but make sure they are the same size so they will cook at the same rate. Steam them, covered until they just yield to the tip of a knife, 5 to 12 minutes depending on size.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter into a skillet, add the shallots and sauté until shallots are softened and slightly colored. When shallots are done, add steamed carrots and dried or fresh herbs. Toss well for a few minutes, season with salt and pepper and serve.
Photo Credit: Natalie Leder
|We can’t wait to see you on Wednesday!|
The Farm Crew