Friday, December 5, 2014

Birch Point Fall-Winter CSA Week 6

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  Brenin was out in Portland visiting old and new friends, and Jess and I hosted all our parents plus a handful of friends here at the farm for dinner-- check out some menu/recipe suggestions at the end of this blog inspired by our Tday dinner (it was delicious and almost entirely raised/grown by the people at the table!).
Note: we were packing shares as dusk turned to darkness this evening.  While we're careful to sort and select the nicest produce for your shares, it can be difficult in the dark, as you might imagine, to be as thorough as we'd like ;)   IF you find squash with soft spots, or a green potato, for example, please let us know-- it's possible we missed some!  Suggestion: if you ever are faced with squash with soft spots, the best thing is to cook it and freeze the cooked squash ASAP-- it'll keep for months in your freezer.

In this week's share:

Celeriac-- the alien-looking root veggie that's the most versatile winter food ever.  Use them any way  you'd use a potato- boiled, mashed, fried, roasted, pureed, etc.  Or go the traditional route and use in soups and stews-- chunked into bite sized pieces or pureed for creamy soup.  Save the skins (you have to peel these b/c it's nearly impossible to get all the grit out of the root hairs) and use in soup stock. I often find great recipes and info on other CSA farms' blogs and newsletters, and recently came across this celeriac page from Radical Roots farm in VT- enjoy!
Potatoes: either red (Red Maria), white (Katahdin) or red French fingerling. Oh potatoes, we'd be hard pressed to find a food as versatile and universally appreciated (perhaps celeriac ... one day!!!).
Leeks: hope you enjoy these lovely alliums as much as we do! Besides using leeks any way you'd use onions, also try them in this frittata recipe OR baked (sliced lengthwise) in a casserole dish with plenty of cream and/or plain yogurt, goat cheese, and bread crumbs. YUM.
Winter Squash: Kabocha or Buttercup (both dark green with sweet, flaky flesh-- even better than pumpkins for "pumpkin" pie, but so, so delicious baked whole/halved, or sliced into wedges, brushed with olive oil or melted butter, and roasted in a single layer on a cookie sheet).
Cabbage: harvested frozen solid out of the field, most of these cabbages are best for cooking rather than fresh eating. Chances are good they'd be fine fresh, but since we've had some REALLY cold nights without the protection of deep snow, it's possible the cell walls sustained enough frost damage to change the texture of the leaves-- which doesn't matter for cooking but can make fresh eating less satisfying. In honor of Jess's Polish heritage, and his dad's constant quest for good Polish food, here's a recipe for golumpki, or traditional stuffed cabbage rolls. Note: you can stuff cabbage with anything you like/anything you've got-- feel free to stray from the traditional suggestions!
Onions- sweet little roasting onions-- peel and roast whole or halved, OR slice and use exactly like large onions.
Sunchokes/Jerusalem Artichokes: a most versatile and tasty root veggie!  Check out this Brooklyn foodie's blog entry about sunchokes if you missed it the first time around.
Kale OR braising mix-- hoophouse-grown, the braising mix is a blend of kales, swiss chard, and parsley and can totally be eaten as salad if you're into non-lettuce salads. The big kale is from the field and as sweet as it ever can be!

Our Thanksgiving Feast (can be replicated any time this fall/winter!)

Roasted Winter Squash-- slice into 1" wedges, skins still on but seeds/inner pulp removed, brush generously with olive oil, arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake @ 365 for 20 min OR til tender and caramelized/browned around the edges. YUM.
Celeriac Remoulade-- a variation of Farmer John's involving matchsticked celeriac, chopped cornichons and capers, dijon mustard and mayo, lemon juice, salt and pepper. So tangy!
Turkey- raised, slaughtered, cooked, and served by our friend Andy (he called her Annabelle)
Chicory-Pomegranate seed salad: Finely chopped Sugarloaf chicory from our friends and neighbors Nic and Sara of Loma Farm, English walnuts from our friend Todd Springer of Gray's Fruit Farm on Old Mission, sliced Spygold apples from our friend Gene of Garthe Orchard in Northport, and gorgeous pomegranate seeds from our 24-hour pal, Fred Meijer. Toss with a lemon-olive oil-tarragon dressing.
Mashed potatoes with garlic- need I say more?
B&B (Beets & Brussels)- beets chopped and roasted, B-sprouts sliced in half or left whole and roasted. Tossed together with a light vinaigrette, served warm.
Tomato Tart from Kate Fiebing: (something like this recipe) her own garden's sungold cherry tomatoes, roasted and frozen back in August, brought out to share in the cold and grey of November! A savory pastry-crusted delight.
Panade with kale, tomatoes, and gruyere from Barbara Piskor- a savory "bread pudding" in a shallow baking pan. Yum!  Try panade with any combo of veggies you happen to have on hand.
Cornbread we made here, sourdough from Nic, and fruit-nut nearly-journey-bread from Nic.
Pumpkin, Pecan, Apple, and Chocolate pies from Barb Ferrarese and Kate Fiebing- drowned in Shetler's whipped cream of course.

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