2015_summerweek14

Summer 2015 – October, Week 14

What’s in the Box:

Corn! Carrots, Potatoes, Celery, Celery root (celeriac), Leeks, Sweet Onions, Purple beans, Italian zucchini, Thyme

Our preparation for Winter continues!  Mike has begun cover cropping the fields, we have tucked the last of the Winter squash into storage (expect some in your shares soon!), and we are making the most of the daylight as the darkness creeps into our work time.  We still have a few high Summer vegetables this week, but the rain and cold will finish them off in a hurry.

We are excited to finally send you some corn!  Initially dubbed “Christmas Corn” by Mike (as we jokingly hoped it would be mature by December), we are pleased to have it before Hallowe’en.  Enjoy it right away-it’s sweetest when fresh picked.

This is most likely the last of the fresh beans for this season (fresh beans being green, purple, yellow, and Roma).  Rain generally diminishes their crispness and makes them harder to keep.  Please eat your purple beans quickly this week!

I have added a few veggies to the website for add-on purchase; specifically, carrots, beets, and kraut cabbage.  Additional quantities for eating, juicing, or preserving can be ordered with any of your share deliveries.  Please remember to order 72 hours in advance of the delivery day!

We anticipate having our full Winter shares available for sign up on the web site by the end of this week.  This season we have elected to shorten the Winter/Spring season, to highlight more of our own produce and minimize outside purchasing if at all possible.  Deliveries will be twice monthly through the end of March.  We will include local ‘extras’ as we have in seasons past, such as cheeses, coffee, kraut, in addition to our dry beans and farm honey.  I’ll send out a notice when the share goes live!

I’m making a LOT of soup lately, to help combat the dampness creeping into my bones.  Here are a couple recipes for you to try out.

Enjoy,
Heidi

 

 

Carrot, Celery, and Leek Soup with Cornbread Dumplings
Adapted from recipe found at: OChef.com, From 300 Sensational Soups, by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds

For Soup:
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
3 leeks, stem thinly sliced and rinsed to remove any soil
6 carrots (about 12 oz, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
3 sprigs thyme
Pinch each freshly ground black pepper and cayenne pepper
2 vegetable bouillion cubes (no salt added)
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley

For Cornbread Dumplings:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup stone-ground cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp each baking soda and salt
pinch of garlic powder
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk (I use plain Greek yogurt and water instead, since I rarely have buttermilk)
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 cup corn kernels

In a large pot, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Add carrots, celery, salt, garlic, black pepper and cayenne; sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add stock, cream, thyme (as whole sprigs-just remove stems from soup before serving) and parsley; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, while you assemble the dumplings.

Prepare the dumplings: In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In another bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk and butter. Pour over dry ingredients, along with corn. Using a large spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the wet just until mixed. (Don’t overmix, or the dumplings will be heavy and tough.) Drop dumpling batter by tablespoonfuls into simmering soup. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are tender and dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Double Celery and Potato Soup
Adapted from Bon Appétit, February 2003

2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium-sized potatoes (about 12 ounces), scrubbed and cut into 1- inch cubes
1 medium celeriac, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
8 cups low-salt chicken broth
5 celery stalks with leaves, stalks thinly sliced, leaves reserved
1/3 cup whipping cream

Melt butter with oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and onion and sauté until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in potatoes, celery roots, thyme, and bay leaf. Add broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Add celery stalks and simmer until all vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly.

Using handheld blender, puree soup in pot. Stir cream into soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls. Garnish with reserved celery leaves and serve.

 

2015_april_week2

Winter 2015 – April, Week 2

What’s in the box?

Leeks*, Potatoes*, Bunch Beets*, Cameo Apples
D’Anjou Pears, Cauliflower, Curly Parsley*
Swiss Chard, Radishes, Mesclun Salad
Johnson Berry Farms Jam
*from our farm

 

Dear Members,

The weather is glorious here today, the greenhouses are full, and we are busily preparing for your delivery. Despite the favorable weather we find ourselves a bit behind this spring. I have found that tasks expand to fill the time available to complete them, and this season is no different.

The potatoes included in this week’s delivery are stored from our harvest last Autumn. Since we don’t treat them with anything, they tend to sprout eyes; an excellent reminder that we’re eating living food! The sprouts are easily removed when scrubbing your potatoes.

Johnson Berry Farm, what can I say? JJ and Lisa are top notch folks that have continued the tradition of agriculture while the neighborhood around them has exploded with growth. The Johnson’s home farm is located just outside the transition from East Olympia to Lacey, and I was flabbergasted by the amount of traffic as I dodged and weaved my way through the narrow roads to their house, getting lost only once and not too badly. The original farm house has been converted into a commercial kitchen, and the Johnson’s live next door. Another tradition in agriculture is standing around leaning against the side rails of a pick-up truck and talking. This can go on for quite some time, and if seen from the road will draw others. Such was the case when I picked up the jam included in this week’s delivery. I had a wonderful visit with Lisa and JJ and their friend John, missing my dinner date, but getting to catch up on all the goings on.

Johnson Jams are not a certified organic product. They are made with organic ingredients including the Johnsons’ berries and rhubarb. I called this morning when I noticed this, and talked to JJ about why he has chosen to keep this info off the labeling. In short, he intends to certify the product soon and recommended that I go inside and have some toast and jam. He made a good point. What a pleasure to offer an excellent local jam and spend dollars with producers who put out a quality product with integrity: Johnson Berry Farms. http://johnsonberryfarms.com/

Full disclosure: We tried our best to source a local mesclun but when it came down to the wire we had to include a CA product, for this I apologize. I have no real qualm with CA produce, but it just doesn’t belong in our program. We make every effort to shop within 300 miles but, try as we might, we just couldn’t close the gap entirely this year.

 

Enjoy!

 

Mike

Accordion Potatoes

Caramelized Shallot and Aged Gouda Accordion Potatoes

In your December holiday box this week we included lots of goodies including a few that were used in this recipe. (Yellow chieftain potatoes, Shallots and Italian parsley). Here’s a little something different than your run-of-mill baked spud – we caramelized the shallots and added some smokey flavor profiles to please your palate.

A wise man once said,

I like baked potatoes. I don’t have a microwave oven, and it takes forever to bake a potato in a conventional oven. Sometimes I’ll just throw one in there, even if I don’t want one, because by the time it’s done, who knows?

I suppose this recipe wasn’t what comedian Mitch Hedberg was intending on making when he ranted about the cooking time of everyone’s beloved baked potatoes. Hopefully he would approve.  Enjoy!

– Mirinda

 

Ingredients

3 Yellow Potatoes
3 Large Shallots
3/4 cup Aged Gouda
2 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Sugar
2 Tbsp White Wine
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Butter
Salt to taste
Chopped Italian parsley for garnish
Recipe by: Mirinda @ Boistfort Valley Farm

 

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  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make deep cuts into each potato, around 1/4 inch apart without cutting through the entire spud. Lightly rub each potato with olive oil and salt.
  2. Sprinkle the smoked paprika throughout the inside of your cuts. Arrange potatoes, cut sides down, in a small baking dish.
  3. Cover dish with foil and bake until potatoes are tender or on the verge of being completely done (about 40 minutes – you’ll need to flip these over at the end of this stage0
  4.  While you’re waiting for these darn things to cook, now is the time to start on your shallots. Gently peel and slice these tear-jerkers to around 1/4 thick. You should have around 1 cup worth of shallots when you’re done.
  5.  In a small saute pan, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and begin to heat on a low/medium setting and add your shallots and the teaspoon of butter. The goal is to cook these puppies slow and low so if you think your stove is a little too hot, your best bet is to turn it down to avoid burning your shallots.
  6. Continue to cook on low for around 20 to 30 minutes until they are golden brown and begin sticking to your pan a little. At this stage, add the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar to aid in the caramelization process.
  7. Once your shallots really begin to look golden and delicious, add a tablespoon or two of white wine and deglaze those suckers. Yummmmmmmy. If you’re shallots finish prior to the stage of flipping your potatoes, just remove them from the heat and set aside. We’ll get back to those later.
  8. After your potatoes have been cooking around 40 minutes (or when they are close to being done) remove them from the oven and over. Begin adding your aged gouda between all of those little cuts you made in the potatoes. Reserve around 1/4 cup of cheese for later.
  9. Put your spuds back into the oven for another 15 to 20 minutes until they’re done.
  10. Remove from oven and top with the leftover cheese, caramelized shallots and freshly chopped parsley. Bon Appétit!