Good Eats Newsletter - December 14th, 2011

Good Eats Newsletter - December 14th, 2011

This Week's Vegetable Share Contains:
Kale; Upland Cress; Napa Cabbage; Red Onions; Fingerling Potatoes; Parsnips; Rutabaga; Butternut Squash and .....
Mesclun/Shoots Salad Mix
1 bag Frozen "OrangeGlo" Watermelon Juice
 
Localvore Offerings Include:
Pete's Kitchen Pizza Dough
Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery Chevre
Amir Habib's Mushrooms
Pa Pa Doodles Eggs
Veggie/Localvore Bulk Orders

Our Bulk Order Form is up to date. Order by the end of this week for next week's delivery.

Either download the PDF Order Form here or pleasevisit our home page to download the order form as an Excel spreadsheet.  Under the Good Eats CSA updates, on the home page, you will find the link to the Excel spreadsheet order form that you can download.


Around the Farm

As they make snow at The Craftsbury Outdoor Center in order to have a ski race this weekend we revel in the beautiful, crisp December days. We have just enough snow to make it pretty and not enough to affect farming. Steve is spreading load after load of dark, rich compost on the fields, this is a great time to do it as the ground is frozen so the heavy tractor and spreader cause no compaction. Greens production is going great. Greenhouses continue to produce and we have a quandary we've never dealt with before. We will find out whether or not we can keep chard past Christmas in an unheated greenhouse. Usually we've had a few zero degree nights by now and chard is a limp version of its former self but this year it still looks great. Baby Iris came to work today with mom Melissa. Usually she sleeps through her two hour work sessions and I tease Melissa that it's no different than bringing a loaf of bread to work but today she was awake and smiling. Very cute. Melissa and I are deep in crop planning and seed ordering for next season. Next up, diving deep into equipment repair and fabrication after Christmas. ~Pete

Good Eats Newsletter - December 14th, 2011
Steve Spreading Compost
Good Eats Newsletter - December 14th, 2011
Good Eats Newsletter - December 14th, 2011
Left - Melissa, Isaac and baby Iris, Right - Nicole washing sunflower shoots
Good Eats Newsletter - December 14th, 2011
Good Eats Newsletter - December 14th, 2011
Left - Annie pulling potatoes in the packing cooler. Right - Our fall chard crop covered in the unheated high tunnel.

Heather Jerrett - New Good Eats CSA Manager

Hey Everyone! I am really excited to be here at Pete's Greens working as the CSA Manager. It has been really fun writing the newsletter and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have been. Let me know what you like, would like to see or would like more information about. At this point in time all emails concerning the share should be sent to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . I will be online all day Wednesday and Thursday to make sure that your shares are arriving as expected and will be available to take care of any unexpected issues. Feel free to be in touch with me throughout the week concerning your share, changes and bulk orders. Live and Eat Well  ~ Heather


Delivery Issues

If there is a shortage at your pick up site and you go home without one of the items you should have received, please email us!  We want to know, and we want to fix it for you.  Please don't just write it on the check off sheets.  Those sheets may not make it back to us and we may miss your note.


Changes to Your Delivery?

If you will be away some upcoming week, and need to make changes to your share delivery, let us know at least 1 week before the change. You can have your share donated to the Food Pantry, or we can stop your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.


Storage & Use Tips

Upland Cress is similar in appearance to its better-known cousin, watercress. Upland cress has a deeper pungency with a unique twist between arugula and horseradish, pledging its allegiance to the mustard family. Below the Mason Dixon line, upland cress is known as "creasy greens" and when stewed with ham hocks, is as loved a dish as black-eyed peas or cornbread. Traditionally gathered by foragers in the Appalachian Mountains who started looking out for the hearty winter leaves while there was still snow on the ground, the leaves were believed to have medicinal benefits and used in many folk recipes to help heal wounds. Those claims are not far-fetched as the cress is indeed rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, and calcium.

With their deep purple outer skin and reddish flesh Red Onions, hands down, win the beauty contest when it comes to onions. Not only are they gorgeous they are tasty and mild, sometimes being sweet which makes them perfect for salads, sandwiches and light cooking. If raw onions are too pungent for you to eat, soak in water to dilute the sulfer contained in the outer coating of the rings. This also works good when chopping onions if they tend to make you cry. Red onions pair very well with fish or as a topping on pizza! They can be very tasty cooked but will not retain their red color when sauteed. They tend to cook very quickly, usually a quick flash in the pan does it, or try roasting with root vegetables.They do not store as long as yellow storage onions but should keep well in a cool dark place at room temperature or wrapped in the fridge for 1-2 weeks. 

OK here is a good story about this weeks Frozen Watermelon Juice.... this summer we partnered with our buddies over at High Mowing Organic Seeds on a number of projects. One project that we have been working on for a while is to figure out how to preserve some of the organic produce they grow for seed crops. Usually what they do is send it through a big crusher in the field and screen out the seeds, leaving piles of squash, melons and tomatoes in the soil to compost. So, this year we brought their crop of OrangeGlo watermelons to the farm (one of the best flavored watermelons around) crushed them here and scooped the watermelon 'meat' out and passed through our industrial puree machine. Wouldn't you know it, the seeds came out beautifully intact and the remaining product is the delicious treat you will find in the week's share. All delivered to you at a perfect time of year where we all could use a little summer to warm our spirits. I have included some fun recipes below. 


Localvore Lore

Our very first batch of Pete's Kitchen Pizza Dough! Made with Aurora Farm's organic unbleached VT white flour, Gleason Grains' Snake Mountain Sifted whole wheat flour, local Sunflower Oil, Maine sea salt and yeast. Use within four to five hours of thawing (ready to go the night you pick up share or store in freezer for later use). Coat a smooth surface with flour and cornmeal (just flour ok) so that the dough does not stick to the surface. Form dough into ball and flatten with heels of palms. Stretch dough with hands or u se a rolling pin to form shape of cooking sheet (I use a cookie sheet so have to make sure it is a square). Once dough is slightly stretched on surface you can stretch dough in the air with hands by making two fists held together with dough on top. Move each hand up, down and out turning the dough clockwise. Give it some practice and you will be throwing doughs like the professionals. Each dough can be stretched to a 16" round, for thicker crust make smaller. If you like light fluffy crust I put my baking sheet on the top of my oven while preheating and let rise. Otherwise set aside in neutral area till oven is ready at 425F. Cook 10-12minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese bubbles.

Amy sent out fresh Chevre this week from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery. She says she loves it can and finds so many uses for it. She considers it to be a staple because a small amount added to so many dishes turns them into something a little special. The cheese keeps quite a long time in the fridge unopened and it will last several weeks after it's been opened. And if you won't use it right away it will freeze beautifully. It's a little crumbly after being frozen but that can actually be nice when crumbing for salads or into various 
dishes. I think this will be fantastic for this week's pizza recipe! 

It does not get much better than locally grown Oyster and Shiitake Mushrooms! The mushrooms you receive this week are grown by Amir Hebib in Colchester, VT. Amir grows his mushrooms in a mushroom house behind his home. He has 20 years experience growing mushrooms, having been a farm mushroom manager for a large Bosnian agricultural producer before immigrating to VT in 1996. He started growing mushrooms here in 2005. He grows shiitakes and oysters (little clusters of trumpet shaped mushrooms) and sells them to restaurants and markets in our area as well as at the Burlington Farmers Market. You can eat the whole mushroom stems and all. Many people discard the stems of shiitakes because they are tougher and take longer to cook. But the shiitakes you are receiving are so fresh that they are tender enough to add to most dishes though you may want to allow longer cooking time for the stems. Shiitakes have a deep flavor, and are very hearty, enough so that they can be used in place of ground beef in some recipes while oyster mushrooms have a more delicate flavor with a hint of anise and are often used to flavor soups and stir fry dishes.

The girls at Pa Pa Doodles are keeping up throughout the darker days of the year with plenty of Farm Fresh Eggs to keep our share stocked.


Recipes

Butternut Squash and Honey Pie
There is something special about winter squashes, their unique shapes and sweet, nutty and earthy flavors, that invite you to creatively cook and bake with them. I typically use acorn or butternut squash for pies (and save the dense kabocha for soup as a personal preference). You can boil, steam or roast the squash for this recipe and then whip up the custard in a bowl by hand, set in crust and bake, its that easy! Adapted from www.gastronomersguide.com.
 

For the filling:
5 large eggs
1/2 c heavy cream
2lbs raw butternut squash, cubed and then cooked (about half of large squash)
2/3 c honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
 

For the crust:
1-1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c fine yellow cornmeal
2 Tbs granulated sugar (or maple sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
3 to 5 Tbs ice water
 

Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Mix together with a whisk to aerate. Add butter and work with a pastry blender until mixture resembles course meal. In a small bowl, beat together egg yolk and 3 tablespoons ice water. Drizzle liquid mixture into dry ingredients. Mix until dough comes together. If too dry, 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water can be added. Form the dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour before rolling.
 

Preheat oven to 425F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pie dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Carefully lay dough into a 10-inch pie pan. Press dough into the sides. Remove excess dough with a knife. Crimp the edge using your thumb and forefingers. 
 

In a large bowl, using a whisk, beat together eggs and cream. Add squash purée, honey, salt, and spices; beat to combine. Pour squash custard into pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F to crisp the crust. Lower heat to 350F and bake until custard is set and puffed but not cracked, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. Let cool completely. Serve at room temperature or chilled with whip cream on top. 
 
 

Watermelon Vinaigrette
A summer dressing to drizzle your winter salad greens with. Take note to use light olive oil or a more neutral vegetable oil as a strong flavored oil will not accompany the sweet flavor of the watermelon juice. 

1/2 c watermelon juice
1/4 c red onion, diced small
2 Tbs honey
1/4 c rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar 
3/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped (optional)
1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
 

Combine watermelon juice, red onion, vinegar, olive oil, basil, and parsley in a blender. Pulse on and off about 30 seconds until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over mixed salad greens.

Watermelon Soda
You got it right, watermelon soda. This is a general home made soda recipe that works great with the watermelon juice in your share this week but can be used with many other fruits throughout the seasons. You can be in control of how much sugar is included.
 

Kids Version
watermelon juice
lime or lemon juice
seltzer water
sweetener such as sugar, maple or honey (optional)
 

Adult Version
add 1 oz Creme de Cassis (current flavored liqueur) or Chambord (raspberry flavored liqueur) 
 

Combine as desired and serve over ice. Try watermelon ice cube recipe below. Garnish with a lime or mint.
 
 
 

Watermelon Popsicles or Ice Cubes
These can stand alone for popsicle treats or add to sodas and cocktails and surprise your guests.
 

2 c watermelon juice
6 Tbs sugar (sub maple sugar) or honey
1 Tbs, 2 tsp lemon juice
 

Mix ingredients in blender and blend well. Strain in sieve or use cheese clothe to remove solids. Fill popsicle molds or ice cube trays and freeze overnight.
 
 

Cress, Red Onion, Mushroom and Chevre Pizza

1/4 c red onion, raw sliced thinly
1/2 - 1 bunch cress (based on preference)
1/2 - 3/4 c mushrooms, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Saute mushrooms in butter, once softened add cress for few minutes until wilted. Set aside. 

Assemble crust using the following instructions:  Coat a smooth surface with flour and cornmeal (just flour ok) so that the dough does not stick to the surface. Form dough into ball and flatten with heels of palms. Stretch dough with hands or use a rolling pin to form shape of cooking sheet (I use a cookie sheet so have to make sure it is a square). Once dough is slightly stretched on surface you can stretch dough in the air with hands by making two fists held together with dough on top. Move each hand up, down and out turning the dough clockwise. Give it some practice and you will be throwing doughs like the professionals. Each dough can be stretched to a 16" round, for thicker crust make smaller.

Preheat oven to 425F. Top the stretched dough with olive oil, place cooked cress and mushrooms evenly across pizza, sprinkle red onions and crumble goat cheese on top. Top with dried oregano, salt and pepper.

If you like light fluffy crust I put my baking sheet on the top of my oven while preheating and let rise. Otherwise set aside in neutral area till oven is preheated to 425F. Cook 10-12minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese bubbles.

Cumin Mixed Vegetable Potato Salad
A seasonal version of the all American potato salad. 
 

4 c Russian Banana Fingerling potatoes, raw sliced into 1/4" slices and chopped
1 lg parsnip, raw sliced in 1/4" slices and chopped
1 c Rutabaga, raw sliced into 1/4" slices and chopped
red onions, minced
2 hard boiled eggs
1/2 c mayonnaise or sour cream
1 tbs mustard
1tsp cumin
salt and black pepper to taste
 

In large pot boil potatoes, parsnip and rutabaga until soft. Tip: heat water on stove till just about boiling and then add vegetables rather than adding veggies to cold water. Once soft, drain veggies add to pan and cover with cold water to cool throughout. Drain again and dry in strainer. Chop hard boil eggs and add to vegetables. Mix mayonaise, mustard, cumin, salt and pepper then add to veggies and mix well so that egg yolk mixes well with yolk making a pasty sauce. Cool and let sit overnight for best results (ok to eat right away).
 
 

Shiitake Ginger Vinaigrette
 

2 Tbs ginger, minced
6 Tbs salad dressing oil
4 shiitake mushrooms, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
About 1/4 tsp kosher salt
About 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp light brown sugar
 
Heat the ginger in 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it sizzles steadily and just starts to turn light brown at its edges, about 2 minutes. Add the shiitakes and garlic, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until the mushrooms soften completely, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool about 2 minutes. Transfer mushroom mixture to a jar or sealable container to top salad with. Add remaining 4 tablespoons of oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar. Shake well before serving. Yield: 3/4 cup.