In The Box 10: Madison Delivery
For this last box of the year, we tried to pull out all the stops and give you some of the most special tastes the post-frost season has to offer. Some things are absolutely transformed by a few dips into the low 30s – such as carrots, leeks, turnips, beets and kale whose starches turn to sugar when frozen. (Brussels Sprouts are another such vegetable, but ours just didn’t ball up in time.) Consider this final fall harvest our fond farewell to you! We can’t thank you enough for your kind support of our little farm.
We certainly hope this won’t be goodbye for good, however. Do join us again next year for Community Supported Agriculture. We’ll begin taking Memberships in January and delivering again the first week in June, a few weeks earlier than we did this year (now that we’ve got more floating rowcover and figured out better methods for extending our season).
In the meantime, there are lots of other ways for you to connect with the farm. As we finish up with vegetables, we begin the more bittersweet harvest of rounding up our young hogs and sheep. We are now taking orders for our Berkshire Garden Pork and Pastured Lamb to be available in late November.
The cold months on the farm also mean Wool Season for us. See the Wool Supply “page”:http://220.127.116.11/~circlemf//maidmarion-cottage-industries/wool-supply-prices-may-2007/ for lots of holiday gift ideas for your crafty loved ones and check back soon for the full schedule of WoolCraft and Fiber Art Classes we hold out here November thru March.
BOX RETURN: Do you have a whole stack of Circle M boxes sitting in your garage making you feel guilty? Don’t feel bad! We’re going to have a Broccoli for Boxes Day in a few weeks. We planted tons of broccoli for the final boxes, but they are still pottering along under the row cover and not headed up enough to cut yet. But they will soon! When the florets are ready, we’ll schedule a box return day so you can meet us and give us armloads of boxes in exchange for armloads of broccoli.
And now, here’s what’s in your last box:
Circle M Salad Mix
Napa Cabbage (full size shares) or Purple Bok Choy (shortie shares) – We gathered from the mid-season survey that you are cabbage fans. Which is good news for us, since we are too! The full shares got ginormous Napas this week – so sweet and crunchy you’ll want to eat it raw. One great method is the way our Amish friends do – simply spread a leaf and rib with peanut butter and munch your way around it! Shortie shares got Purple Bok Choy since they were sized appropriately. Use this Asian style open-hearted cabbage in stir fry and soups.
Chives – Use to season your potatoes simply, or snip into the Potato Leek Soup to provide some color.
Salad Turnips – These are just exceptionally delicious, if I do say so myself!
Kale – I really fundamentally object to putting kale in the box so many weeks in a row – but it just keeps getting better and better the colder the weather gets! I’ve been cooking kale, but now I’m eating these sweeter leaves as salad. We had a fantastic one this week that I’ve written out below. The trick is to “massage” the ripped kale in the dressing at least 15 minutes before you want to eat it – I just recently learned this from the “Choosing Raw website”:http://www.choosingraw.com/choosing-raw-video-debut-episode-1-of-the-kathy-and-gena-show-easy-vegan-summer-recipes/. The lemon or vinegar massaged into the leaves starts to break them down and so they are a bit wilted when you eat them. If you really can’t stand raw kale, consider freezing it before you cook. Another thing I learned this week is that a rinse and freeze before cooking makes cooked kale much softer.
Celery – We got ours in the ground a bit late, so the stalks are pretty small. But the flavor – yum! Use to make your soup something special.
Leeks – Harvesting these for several hours this week made me positively ravenous. Who can deny the powerful savory aroma of these onion relatives? They’ll elevate anything you make into something quite rich. One of my favorite food writers, David Lebovitz, has some great leek lore and a great Potato Leek Soup recipe on his blog. He also provides a great picture tutorial on how to cut and clean leeks. Check it out “here”:http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2009/03/how-to-prepare-leeks-1/.
Baby Beets – These didn’t get quick as big as we would have liked for the fall harvest – but yum! Use these sweet beauties in baby beet recipes – full size boxes can include the greens in their kale recipes, or add to stock. Shortie Shares, we didn’t have room for greens!
Chinese Long Winter Radish – You can have radish on baguette appetizers all winter – trust me, these will keep in your fridge for months!
Onions and Shallots – Oh, shallots! I LOVE them. They are the reddish large bulbs that look a bit like garlic – there are separate cloves inside the papery skin. The Torpedo onions are also exceptional, but did not cure well in the field, so use them up quickly.
Red Pontiac Potatoes – These thin-skinned beauties have a white flesh that is the bomb for mashing. Don’t bother peeling, leave the red flecks in your recipe and enjoy the flavor.
Carrots – I had carrots for dinner last night. And that was it! I was washing up the bunches for the boxes, and I simply could not stop munching them. So sweet, so fresh, so carrot-y! These little French Parmex Baby Ball carrots are just adorable, too! (some Scarlet Nantes straight carrots were mixed in the seed, so some of you have more typical-looking roots) Don’t toss those greens! Can we persuade you to wash them and store them in the fridge for the next time you make stock (along with your celery tops and leek greens)? Homemade stock is something that can take your daily recipes from good to great – trust me! – and visit this “site”:http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/making-stock/detail.aspx for detailed instructions.
Carnival Squash – We understand that some of you haven’t quite mustered the courage to cook up the (mostly) large Hubbard, Jarrahdale and Rouge V’if D’Etamps squash we packed last time. No worries! It will last, and you can practice on these smaller squash first. Use the way you would an acorn squash. Wash, cut in half, roast cut-side down in a 400-degree oven for about one hour, or until you can easily pierce the flesh with a fork. See “Simply Recipes”:http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/classic_baked_acorn_squash/ for some great ideas for sweet, savory and spicy squash dishes.
Sauced Sweet and Sour Carrots
I found this in the Willy Street Reader last February. It’s one of the most interesting recipes I’ve come across in a long time. Adapted from Tassajara Cooking by Edward Espe Brown.
1 tsp oil of your choice
1 tsp tomato sauce
1 tsp sherry
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 finely sliced carrot
2 Tbsp chopped sweet pickle
1 tsp vinegar
3 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 c cold water
Heat the oil in a saucepan and briefly fry the pickles and ginger. Mix cornstarch and water and combine with the rest of the ingredients, except carrots. Add the mixture to the pickles/ginger and cook, stirring until sauce thickens. Add the carrots and heat to boiling. Serve hot.
Winter Squash and Kale Risotto with Pine Nuts
This is an official Fruits & Veggiesâ€”More Matters recipe (source: National Cancer Institute.)
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of Arborio or short-grained rice
2 Tbsp pine nuts
2 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1 1/2 cup winter squash, cooked and diced
2 cups fresh kale, finely chopped
Heat oil in a large, shallow saucepan over medium heat. Add salt, onion and garlic, and sautÃ© 2 minutes. Stir in rice and pine nuts and toast for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add Â½ cup broth; cook on medium-low heat, stirring often, until liquid is nearly absorbed. Add remaining first can of broth, Â½ cup at a time, stirring often until each addition is nearly absorbed before adding the next. Add diced squash, and from the second can, Â½ cup of broth. Stirring often. Add remaining broth, Â½ cup at a time as before. Along with the last Â½ cup of broth, add the kale. Cook mixture until all broth is absorbed and kale is soft and bright green.
Circle M Massaged Kale Salad
8 kale leaves
10 dried cherries
5 dried apricots
2 large salad turnips
1/4 cup walnut pieces
Wash the kale and cut the ribs out. Discard or use for stock. Cut leaves into 2-inch pieces and place in a bowl. Pour Caesar dressing, in an amount just sufficient to coat the leaves – start small, then begin massaging the dressing into the leaves with your fingers and add more if it seems appropriate. Allow salad to sit in fridge for at least 15 minutes, or covered, up to a few days. When ready to serve, cut dried cherries into small pieces and sprinkle over the salad. Then cut apricots into quarters and do the same. Dice salad turnips and sprinkle atop dried fruit. Sprinkle all with walnuts. Season with pepper to taste.
Don’t forget to check out the previous Box post for more recipes using these veggies and don’t forget to check tomorrow’s post of the Video Blog for still more recipes!