The Tangletown herd following Dave out to the field.
So fun to see the bustle of the farm today. Miracle worker Deb somehow managed to make pickles, run the freezing of 1000 lbs of zukes, freeze 400 lbs of broccoli, and make us an awesome pizza lunch. We had 20 people at lunch today including Annie's parents visiting from FL. We had informal visits from both our best restaurant and best store accounts and CSA shares got prepped and bagged. Now people are slowly filtering away as the truck gets packed for tomorrow's 2 a.m. departure to Burlington.
Whew, all the big fall plantings are in. It was a big push and nice to have it behind us. We seeded carrots last week into 90 degree perfectly moist soil and one variety came up in 4 days. Carrots generally take 10 days to germinate so it was the fastest I'd ever seen. Beets, turnips, carrots are all in, loads of cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower is transplanted, it's looking good out there.
Last night we got hail within a mile on yet another side of the farm. That makes damaging hail on 3 sides of the farm within a couple miles in the past 6 weeks. First 10 years I farmed we got hail once, now it seems to be a nearly weekly occurance somewhere in the neighborhood. Scary. Two weeks ago I was in Quebec and 4000 acres of vegetables had been destroyed by lemon size hail just south of Montreal.
Speaking of Quebec we bought a really nice root harvester up there. It pulls root crops, cuts the top off, and gently deposits them in a bin. After years of dragging around on our knees all fall pulling roots we're excited. ~ Pete
Storage and Use Tips
Arugula - Also known as Rocket or Roquette, this is a very popular and versatile green, that can be eaten raw, but also stands up well in the sauté pan. It has a peppery mustardy flavor and is great on sandwiches to give them pep, and into salads to take it up a notch. It also does well with a quick wilt added to pastas, frittatas or calzones, or as a stand-in for lettuce on an Italian-inspired sub. It blends particularly well with goat cheese and balsamic and olive oil. It is delicious simply sautéed in a pan with olive oil with a sprinkle of coarse salt & pepper.
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 you can skip your share delivery and you will retain a credit on your account toward the purchase of your next share.
The Butterworks Farm Black Turtle Beans are the result of prevailing over the elements here in Vermont where dry beans can be extremely hard to grow in our wet summers. Wet you say? Yes, it's been delightful so far this year but beans have a long way to go yet. Dried beans need to sit in the field into fall, allowing pods to dry and beans to harden off for storage. Weather at the end of the growing season is critical to our having local beans. Lots of rain and beans can mildew in the field. When Butterworks has a good crop I tend to stock up so we will have them for all of you throughout the year. I am thankful that each year Jack Lazor plants his beans again in hopes of a good harvest. It's not an easy crop to grow and harvest correctly, and we are lucky he dedicates time, acreage and equipment to this task benefitingus all.
Black turtle bean have a dense, meaty texture and are very high in protein. They are an excellent choice for soups and chilis, or to add to salads, or rice or to use in my favorite dish huevos rancheros. It is common to keep the boiled water of these beans and consume it as a soup with other ingredients for seasoning (known as sopa negra, black soup), as a broth (caldo de frijol, bean broth) or to season or color other dishes.
Some tricks to cooking with them: Number one, some sort of pre-soak is required to cook beans and will significantly reduce cooking time. Cover with 2 inches of water and soak overnight or for 6-8 hours. Drain and cover with fresh water and simmer until beans are soft, about an hour. In warm conditions, refrigerate black beans while they soak to prevent fermentation. A quick-soak method involves covering beans with water, bring to a boil for 2 minutes and then remove from heat and let sit for 2 hours. Drain, cover with fresh water and simmer until soft, an hour or two depending on the softness you are seeking. The beans may prematurely break up with a quick-soak method. Use the overnight method for dishes where it is essential the beans stay whole, such as salads and relishes. Do not add salt or acidic ingredients such as lemon, vinegar, wine, and tomatoes until the beans are finished or nearly done cooking. Adding earlier can cause the beans to toughen. If additional water is needed during the cooking process, use boiling water rather than cold water.
The Pearled Barley comes to us from Michel Gaudreau of Golden Crops in Quebec. Michel is an organic grower dedicated to the production of organic food grade grains. Pearled barley is barley that has been de-hulled, with some or all of the bran (hard outside seed coat) removed. It makes a great substitute in recipes calling for brown rice and is wonderful cooked, cooled and used in cold salads, and adds a nice texture to soups and stews. It also cooks down into a really nice risotto, without all of the attention and stirring required with Arborio rice. Barley packs a nice nutritious punch into a small package. One cup of cooked pearled barley provides 12% of the US Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of iron and 6 grams of dietary fiber fiber, all for only 193 calories. Keeping barley sealed in a cool dark place, it will last at least 6 months to a year. One cup of dry barley makes about 3 to 3 1/2 cups cooked. If you give these guys a soak for 6+ hours in cold water before use, you can reduce your cooking time by at least half. Without soaking, you'll want to let them simmer in water for a good hour. You can also cook barley like pasta: use a lot of water (4-5 cups of water to 1 cup barley), then drain what's left over.
This morning Helen Whybrow dropped off her amazingly sweet fresh picked blueberries from Knoll Farm in Fayston. Melissa commented yesterday "these are possibly the best blueberries I have ever tasted". They are mighty good, sweetened by all the sun we have had the past couple weeks while they have ripened. Helen has 8 varieties of organic berries planted including some heirlooms. Helen and her husband and kids raise berries and veggies and icelandic sheepThis is probably the only week we will be able to get enough from Helen's farm for the CSA but the farm offers pick you own in you have a hankering for more. Next week we hope to have more from another farm.
And lastly, we have a dozen eggs from Pa Pa Doodles Farm (to make huevos rancheros a reality)
Broccoli and Rocket Pasta
A quick and healthy pasta dinner made with arugula (aka rocket), broccoli, chillies & anchovies (or kalamata olives).
3 cloves garlic
2 long red chillies (or crushed red pepper 1/4 to 1/2 tsp)
4 anchovy fillets (or 12 kalamatas)
2 heads broccoli
2 oz extra virgin olive oil
1-2 oz pecorino or parmesan cheese
6-8 oz orecchiette or other short dried pasta
1 cup rocket (arugula, chopped)
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Meanwhile, thinly slice garlic widthwise. Halve chillies lengthwise and remove seeds. Finely chop chillies and anchovies (or olives), and set aside with garlic. Cut stalks from the broccoli, peel, then cut into 1cm pieces. Cut the broccoli heads into small florets.
Add florets to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes or until almost tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and keep water boiling. Place half the florets in a food processor with 2 tbs oil. Season with salt and pepper. Coarsely grate cheese and add half to the food processor, and process to a paste. Transfer to bowl with remaining florets.
Add pasta to boiling water and cook until al dente. Halfway through cooking, add the broccoli stalks. Drain pasta and broccoli stalks, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water and the pan.
Place remaining oil, garlic, chillies and anchovies in reserved pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until garlic is fragrant and anchovies have broken up. Add reserved cooking water, pasta, broccoli mixture, rocket and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, tossing, for 2 minutes or until rocket wilts.
Squeeze lemon over pasta, season and toss well to combine. Divide among bowls, scatter with remaining cheese
Cauliflower & Kale & Eggplant Curry
A quick and simple one pot dish. Serve with rice or barley for a complete meal.
2 onions, diced
1 t cumin
1 T mild curry powder*
1 t tumeric
2 T grated fresh ginger
2 c water
1 head of cauliflower, broken into flowerets
1-2 cups chopped kale
¼ cup coconut milk (or 2 T coconut cream)**
1 T butter
Splash of white wine
Salt & pepper to taste
In a heavy pot over medium heat, saute the onion for a couple of minutes and add the spices and ginger and the eggplant. Stir for several minutes until eggplant softened, then add the water and cauliflower. Stir, cover the pot and cook for about 10 minutes. When the cauliflower is almost cooked, add the remaining ingredients, stir and cook for a few more minutes.
Barley-Black Bean Salad
This is a basic recipe I provide here for backbone. I hope you will use it to build upon! This one is from Eating Well, and on its own it's totally yummy and satisfying. But Annie thoughtfully designed the veggies to pair well with the beans and barley, and you have some great options to make this salad really rock.
1 cup barley, cooked according to package directions
2 cups cooked black beans (or 1 15-oz can)
1/2 cup corn, (thawed if frozen)
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
Options: chopped fresh garlic - 2-3 cloves; chopped tomato, half to 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and chopped; one onion diced fine.
Combine cooked barley, beans, corn, cilantro, lime juice, oil, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
Roasted Tomato and Arugula Salad
This really is a very scrumptious recipe if you are ready to part with fresh tomatoes for the broiler. From Epicurious November 2008.
1 cup olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 lb tomatoes, in sections lengthwise lengthwise and seeded
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 1/2 cups (loosely packed) arugula
Preheat oven to 250°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with foil.
In large bowl, stir together olive oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Dip tomato halves into oil, shake off excess, and arrange on baking sheet, cut sides down. Roast until skins are wrinkled and beginning to brown, about 2 hours. (Tomatoes can be roasted ahead and refrigerated, covered, up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature before using.)
In large bowl, whisk together remaining 1/2 cup olive oil, vinegar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add arugula and tomatoes and toss to coat.
In honor of blueberry season and the fresh and frozen we've been sending, here's one of my favorite ways to use them. This is a tender cake just like the one my Mom used to make (that sadly I lost the recipe to). This one is pretty close.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup milk
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon whitesugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan. 2. Cream butter or margarine and 1/2 cup sugar until fluffy. Add salt and vanilla. Separate eggs and reserve the whites. Add egg yolks to the sugar mixture; beat until creamy. 3. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour and baking powder; add alternately with milk to egg yolk mixture. Coat berries with 1 tablespoon flour and add to batter. 4. In a separate bowl, beat whites until soft peaks form. Add 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. 5. Bake for 50 minutes, or until cake tests done.