Winter 2016 CSA - week 4

Winter 2016 – Week 4

What’s in the box?

*Fingerling potatoes, *Orange Carrots, *Purple Carrots, *Swiss Chard, *Red Russian Kale, *Leeks, *Savoy Cabbage, *Baking Potatoes, Yellow Onions, Sunchokes, Parsnips, Cameo Apples, D’Anjou Pears, Baby Boc Choy, Black Sheep Creamery Cheese
*grown on our farm

 

PLEASE TAKE ONE PACKAGE OF CHEESE.
Cheese is packed separately from your veggies to keep it cold.

We are delighted to have a variety of vegetables from our farm once again this week, plus a smattering of other Northwest goodies.  One of the more unusual selections today is the bag of Jerusalem Artichokes, also known as sunchokes.  Sunchokes, or Helianthus tuberosus, are related to sunflowers, and sport a mildly artichoke-like flavor that helps give them their name.  They are known both to be delicious raw AND to cause stomach rumbling/gas when consumed raw, so I leave it to you to determine how you will eat them.  I have included a recipe for cooked sunchokes below.

I’ve marked all items from our farm with an asterisk (*).  The other produce is certified organic and grown as indicated in the list on the left.  We do have one California item this delivery, to my dismay.  I try to keep the boxes as local as possible, but we just don’t have the temperatures to launch the  next season of veggies the way we’d like to, and it’s a fine dance between giving you a variety of greens and roots, and keeping it close to home.  Thanks for your understanding, and if you’re okay with more beets, rutabaga & potatoes, don’t hesitate to let us know!

As always, if you have any questions about time or location of your delivery, please log into your account at our website or contact us at the farm.

Yours,
Heidi

 

 

Sunchoke and Potato Gratin
Adapted from First Look, Then Cook: http://firstlookthencook.com/2010/02/07/sunchoke-and-potato-gratin/

2 shallots, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil, plus more to grease pan
1 Tbsp butter
10 sunchokes (about golf-ball sized), peeled, sliced thin
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
1/4 cup milk
1 cup Black Sheep Creamery cheese
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Add 1 tsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter to skillet.  Add shallot and sauté over medium heat, careful not to brown heavily.  When shallot is translucent, add garlic cloves; cook until just fragrant.  Remove from heat.

Grease a 9×9 ceramic dish lightly with olive oil. Layer the potatoes evenly in the dish covering the entire bottom.  Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Layer the sunchokes evenly covering the potatoes.  Sprinkle the shallot/garlic mixture on top of the sunchokes – and sprinkle again with salt and pepper.  Pour milk all over the vegetables.  Sprinkle with the cheese.

Cover the dish with tin foil and bake for about 45 minutes.  Take the cover off and bake for an additional 15 minutes.  Make sure the sunchokes are soft – if not cook a little longer.

Ginger/Garlic Savoy Cabbage
from: http://www.food.com/recipe/ginger-garlic-savoy-cabbage-15832

1 head savoy cabbage (about 1 1/2 lbs), cored, shredded across in approx 3/4-inch slices
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
Salt & pepper
1 1/4 Tablespoons ginger, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Heat wok or large skillet medium high heat, wait until oil is hot.  Add cabbage and stir fry until cabbage just starts to wilt (do nor overcook).  Add garlic, salt and pepper cook 1 minute.  Add ginger cook 1 minute.  Drizzle with lime juice and serve.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/220583/glazed-carrots-and-parsnips-with-chives/print/?recipeType=Recipe&servings=8

Simple Parsnip Pancakes
Adapted from recipe by Catherine Boynton: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/239758/simple-parsnip-pancakes/?internalSource=recipe%20hub&referringId=2449&referringContentType=recipe%20hub

1 cup grated scrubbed parsnips
2 eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
Ground black pepper to taste (optional)
2 teaspoons sunflower oil, or more as needed
Combine parsnips, eggs, onion, olive oil, salt, rosemary, and black pepper together in a bowl until batter is combined and lumpy.
Heat sunflower oil in a heavy frying pan over medium heat. Spoon batter into oil and fry until pancakes are brown and crispy on the edges, 6 to 7 minutes per side.

Winter 2016 - Week 3

Winter 2016 – Week 3

What’s in the Box:

*Austrian Crescent potatoes
*Carrots-purple
*Red Russian Kale
*Leeks
*Red Cabbage
*Beets
*Parsley
*Dry Beans
Yellow & Red Cipollini Onions (WA)
Ruby Crescent Potatoes (OR)
Enterprise Apples (WA)
Red D’Anjou Pears (WA)
Shiitake Mushrooms (OR)

*grown on our farm

Dear Members,

I know that you all must get tired of me talking about the weather, but let me just say this: WOOOOOOOWWWWW!!

Natty insisted on going out in shorts and a t-shirt yesterday, and then going to the river, which lasted until her feet got cold (about 5 minutes).  Even still, we’re grateful for the Vitamin D. I hope you’re getting a little sunshine on this lovely day.

We have included my favorite dry beans today-a cranberry type bean that is the creamiest most delicious bean ever.  I have included a simple recipe below, but feel free to substitute them in any recipe that calls for dried beans.  My only advice is not to overcook them if you prefer a firm bean-they will become soft and break down if overcooked.
I’ve marked all items from our farm with an asterisk (*).  The other produce is certified organic, Washington or Oregon grown as indicated in the list on the left.

As always, if you have any questions about time or location of your delivery, please log into your account at our website or contact us at the farm.

Yours,
Heidi

Pack and Go Lunch: Tangled Red Cabbage Salad
Adapted from:  http://www.theclevercarrot.com/2016/01/pack-and-go-lunch-tangled-red-cabbage-salad/
Author: Emilie Raffa (recipe adapted from Heike on Instagram)

For the Dressing
1 tbsp all-natural creamy peanut butter
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar or white vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
the juice of ½ lime
1 tsp honey, plus more to taste
2 tbsp coconut milk
1 tbsp hot water
dash of hot sauce

For the Salad
1 small red cabbage, sliced paper thin
2 cups shredded kale
2 scallions, white & light green part only, thinly sliced
1-2 clementines, peeled and sliced into wheels
¼ cups pomegranate seeds
1 serving cooked black rice soba noodles (optional)
1 tsp white sesame seeds (optional)

Add all of the dressing ingredients to a small bowl. Whisk until well blended.

To prepare the salad, add the cabbage, kale and scallions to a large bowl. Pour a little bit of the dressing over the top and toss well. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, if using soba noodles, cook them according to the package directions. When finished, rinse under cold water. Drain well and add to the salad.

To finish, add the clementine wheels, pomegranate seeds and sesame seeds (if using). Add additional dressing and toss well to combine. Taste, and add more lime juice as needed.

Serve at room temperature.
Shiitake Angel Hair Pasta
Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/11706/shiitake-angel-hair-pasta/print/?recipeType=Recipe&servings=4 Recipe By:Ann

6 ounces angel hair pasta
6 ounces fresh sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth, preferably low sodium
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Sauté onion in olive oil and butter over medium heat until soft and translucent.  Add garlic and sauté until just fragrant, then add mushrooms and brown lightly. Add chicken stock and wine, and cook until mixture is reduced to 1/2 volume. Blend in cream, and reduce to desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.  Drain pasta, and toss with sauce until coated. Serve on small warmed plates, topped with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Simple Beans
To be used as a side with cotija cheese, or served with chips, on tortillas with cheese and toppings, or as desired. If cooking for soup, just cut the cumin and cilantro.

1 1/2 cups dry beans
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp garlic powder (fresh, high quality — otherwise use more)
1 heaping tsp dried cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp salt

Sort dry beans. Rinse thoroughly and pour into a medium pot. Add water to at least two inches above the level of the beans. Soak overnight OR bring to a boil for approximately 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Let stand one hour.
Once beans have been soaked, or boiled and soaked, pour out water and refill with new, again two inches over the level of the beans. Bring to a boil and add seasonings, but not salt. Simmer until liquid is reduced and beans are soft and creamy, one hour or longer. Add salt and additional seasonings as desired.

 

holidaybox_2015

Holiday Box – December 2015

What’s in the Box:

Green & Purple kohlrabi,
Delicata squash, Carnival squash, Mystery Winter squash
Baking potatoes, Austrian Crescent Potatoes
Leeks, Purple Carrots, Orange Carrots
Beets, Red Russian Kale
Parsley, Honey Crisp Apples
Farm honey

Tomorrow (Tuesday) is the second and final holiday box.  For our Summer members, this is the final box that you will receive as part of your 2015 Summer share.  If you haven’t signed up for our Winter season yet, please consider joining us for January through March! http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/store/

If you have any questions about time or location of your delivery, please log into your account at our website or contact us at the farm.

This delivery’s boxes include a variety of produce from our farm, as well as Washington gorwn organic honey crisp apples and honey from hives that spent the Summer in our fields.  Please note that the honey tends to crystallize quickly, particularly in cooler temperatures.  Crystallization doesn’t affect the quality of the honey or its flavor, and it can be used as-is or decrystallized in a warm water bath.  I do not recommend microwaving the plastic containers. Also note that it is not recommended to give infants under one year of age any honey, raw or processed.  More information and general honey facts are at: http://www.honey.com/faq/

If you’d like more honey, we have some available for purchase on the website too! Please note that you must have an active subscription to purchase honey and other add-on items. http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/store/ (scroll down for Add-ons)

Enjoy!
Heidi
Kohlrabi, Apple, and Carrot Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Recipe adapted slightly from The Table: http://www.thetableblog.com/2013/06/kohlrabi-apple-and-carrot-salad/#.Vm9wcb-yqpM

2 Kohlrabi
1 Apple, preferably a tart green one
2 Carrots
1 1/2 Tbsp Honey
1  1/2 Tbsp Grainy Mustard
5 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar

Peel the kohlrabi, then slice and cut into matchsticks. Wash the carrots and cut them into matchsticks as well, or as close to matchsticks as possible. (Mine were short and chubby so this was a challenge.) Next, slice the apple and also cut it into matchsticks. You can peel the apple if you wish, but I didn’t.

In a small jar, add all the dressing ingredients (honey through vinegar). Screw the lid on and shake till well mixed. If you don’t have a jar, you can use a bowl and a whisk, but I highly recommend saving a jar or two for making homemade dressing. So easy! Taste the dressing and add more honey or mustard to taste. Then toss all together and enjoy!
Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons
Adapted from: Bon Appétit December 1996
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/winter-squash-soup-with-gruyere-croutons-2997
The drier squashes will work well in this recipe; use the Delicata sparingly if you choose to include it, as it is very sweet.

Soup:

1/2 stick butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
Approximately 40 oz low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
8 cups 1-inch pieces (carefully!) peeled Winter squash (about 3 pounds total)
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh sage
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

Croutons:

2 Tablespoons butter
24 baguette bread slices, 1/4-inch-thick
1 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh sage

For soup:

Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, all squash and herbs; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in blender. Return soup to same pot. Stir in cream and sugar; bring to simmer. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Chill. Rewarm over medium heat before serving.)

For croutons:

Preheat broiler. Butter 1 side of each bread slice. Arrange bread, buttered side up, on baking sheet. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Turn over. Sprinkle cheese, then thyme and sage over. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 minute. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each with croutons and serve.

 

summer2015_week2

Summer 2015 – August, Week 2

What’s in the Box:

new potatoes, garlic, green kohlrabi, sweet onions, scarlet turnips, red Russian Kale, Italian parsley, purple radishes, blueberries, Lilies

Two notes on the lilies:
1. If your cat likes to chew on your flowers, please keep them up and out of range-lilies are toxic to cats. I have kitties and mine aren’t interested in the lilies, but best to mention it!
2. As soon as your lilies open, pull the anthers to keep them from dropping pollen.

Dear Members,

Today’s boxes, with exception of potatoes and blueberries, are decidedly Spring-like. A little disconcerting for the first week of August, but Summer vegetables are on the way—the zucchini are flowering and growing quickly, the cherry and grape tomatoes are beautiful and turning orange, the pepper plants have little bell peppers already! Our beans are setting velvety purple flowers, and will soon have gorgeous baby beans. We look forward to the abundance of the season soon.

Today’s boxes also include certified organic blueberries from Sidhu Farms in Puyallup. We are excited to partner with other organic growers to include fruit when we can, and especially excited about blueberries! We hope to include organic nectarines and peaches with your upcoming deliveries.

The weather is unlike any season in my farming history. Drier and hotter than ever, it makes growing a challenge and thoughtful water use a must. With no substantial precipitation in sight the field edges and landscapes feel like so much kindling ready to be lit. We don’t have any fires burning around us at this time, thankfully.

Our hearts go out to growers and processors in Washington who have suffered fire damage or are actively working to protect their farms and buildings, and our gratitude to those who are out fighting fires. More information about wildfires currently burning in Washington, acreage, and level of containment can be found here: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/state/49/

On a different note, I have to admit that I have a love for the Splendid Table, a radio program hosted by Lynne Rossetto Kasper. http://www.splendidtable.org/bio/lynne-rossetto-kasper I appreciate (and identify with) how excited she gets about her food, and I pick up lots of great little notes that make me more thoughtful in the kitchen. This week she was talking a bit about garlic. She indicated that you should never deeply brown garlic, just cook it until it’s fragrant and cooked through, to avoid bitterness. A great tip for this week’s recipes!

Yours,
Heidi

Sautéed Radishes and Greens

1 bunch radishes with greens
4 teaspoons butter, divided
Pinch of sea salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Wash radishes and greens well. Quarter radishes and roughly chop radish greens. Set greens aside.
Heat 2 tsp butter in a skillet and sauté radishes with salt until lightly browned in places. Remove from skillet.

Heat remaining butter in skillet and add in garlic. Sauté until fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add greens and stir until wilted, about 2 minutes. Toss in parsley, then radishes, and remove from heat. Serve hot.

Garlicky Red Potatoes with Sweet Onion & Parsley

2 lbs new potatoes
1 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash potatoes and cut into bite-sized pieces. Steam until just tender (about 10 minutes).

In a skillet, drizzle olive oil (a scant Tablespoon or so) and add onion. Saute until translucent and soft, then add minced garlic. Sauté over medium heat for about one minute, until garlic is fragrant. Add parsley and cooked potatoes, along with more olive oil if needed to keep potatoes from sticking. Toss well and remove from heat.

Kohlrabi and Turnip Slaw
adapted from: http://www.marthastewart.com/1049900/kohlrabi-and-turnip-slaw

1 pound kohlrabi (about 2 small heads)
8 ounces turnips
Half of a sweet onion, very thinly sliced
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon peanut oil
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Cut kohlrabi in half and carefully peel it. Wash turnips and trim roots.
Shred both kohlrabi and turnips with a grater or a food processor with a shredding blade.
In a separate bowl, whisk together lime juice, peanut oil, honey, and sesame oil. Add onion, kohlrabi and turnip to bowl; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 15 minutes before serving.

Curried Kale

1 bunch kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil, or enough to moisten the bottom of the pan
1 sweet onion, chopped
½ tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
½ cup water

Sauté onion with olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until onion is translucent and browned in places. Add kale and water, then cover, allowing to simmer approximately 8 minutes.

Remove lid and sprinkle kale with curry powder and tamari, then cover and cook a bit longer, until leaves are just tender. Remove lid completely and increase heat to medium high. Cook about 2 minutes more, stirring frequently, to reduce water.

2015_april_week1

Winter 2015 – April, Week 1

At a Glance:

*Italian Parsley, *Red Russian Kale, Fennel, *Beets
Cauliflower, *Leeks, Crimini Mushrooms, Turnips
*Yellow Potatoes, Onions, Braeburn Apples,
Black Sheep Creamery Fresh sheep’s cheese
*from our farm

 

 

Greetings Dear Friends,

We often hear from customers, “my (husband, wife, kids) claimed to hate (broccoli, beets, cauliflower) until they tried yours, but now they love them.” People form opinions based on experience. Unfortunately the experience of eating vegetables grown for shelf life rather than flavor is quite common. This can lead one to believe that they do not like something only because they have never tried it as it was intended. This may be understandable when it comes to the “general population”, but for me? Well, evidently I love collards. For years I considered them bitter and tough and largely useless, considering the performance and quality of kale and chard, but I get the CSA too. Every week there is a box delivered to my back door, and last week I sautéed the collard greens in bacon fat. It was marvelous. My seven year old daughter enjoyed them every bit as much as I, so much so that Heidi and I planned a kind of ‘Southern’ menu around collards and Teggia beans for Sunday Dinner.

This from Galilee in the pack shed: Parsley stems are gooood!!! “The parsley stems (extras I took home) are so incredibly delicious – sweet, succulent, aromatic, refreshing, even substantive!  They are my favorite snack right now.  To think….most people will throw them away….what a pity.  They reminded me of one of my favorite farm families in the valley where I grew up. They would often overwinter (no one else did this) a long row of parsley along the road to their house.  As we would walk to visit in the spring (no car in those days), I remember grazing and thinking the stems were really the best part…sometime scattering the tops Hansel and Gretel style as I walked.  Thanks!!”

Comments like these are common from our customers and I thought it remarkable to have this experience here too, among people whose lives rotate around produce. And ours do, our lives… they do rotate around the farm.

We are farmers, the real deal, and we are delighted to share our experience with you through the CSA. We have been offering this program since 1993, and have always recognized the value of directly connecting with our customers. Your interest and comments, your encouragement and praise, are the foundation of the CSA program. This connection with you has always been at the center of our conversations about the CSA, and about the farm.

It is important to us that you, our best customers, sign up for this season’s summer share. We will not be doing the same broad advertising we have in the past. We have opted to direct our energy toward strengthening the relationships we have instead of forming new ones with new customers. We are at a challenging stage of our evolution and your early commitment to our farm has never been more important. Your support will help ensure the continued success of Boistfort Valley Farm. Your participation will allow us to continue to do what we love most.

If you can commit now to the summer share please do (http://boistfortvalleyfarm.csaware.com/store/ ), if you already have, thank you, really and truly.

Mike

February_week1_2015

Winter 2015 – February, Week 1

What’s in the box?

Red Russian Kale*, Parsley*, Carrots*, Rutabaga*, Garlic*, Crescent Potatoes*,
Winter Squash Surprise!*, Teggia Dry Beans*, Piñata Apples, Santa Lucia Coffee
*From our farm

 

Greeting Friends,

This week’s CSA contains some one of a kind treats with an unseasonable majority of selections grown right here on our farm!

Recent warm weather has put new growth on both our parsley and kale and we have included a bunch of each in this box. The last planting of carrots, though dwindling, is still representin’, and our potatoes are holding well in storage. You may have noticed that “squash surprise” is listed above. The surprise is that though we checked on the quality of our squash ten days ago, when we went in to pull the squash for this week’s pack we found that a majority had molded!!! A result of the perfect climate: 60degrees and 90% humidity. Everyone gets some squash, but there is no telling what variety you will receive. We used everything we had. The bad news is there is no more winter squash; the good news is there is no more winter squash.

Also included this week are two of my absolute favorites: the Piñata apple, which I believe may be my favorite fresh eating apple, and coffee from a local roaster that has actually developed a relationship with a grower in Gautemala. Read on…

Piñata isa signature apple variety, grown only by select growers and packed by Stemilt in Wenatchee. In the 1970s, researchers in Dresden-Pillnitz, Germany crossed three heirloom apples – Golden Delicious, Cox’s Orange Pippin, and Duchess of Oldenburg – to create what we now know as Piñata. The apple was released commercially throughout Europe in 1986. The Piñata apple thrives in eastern Washington’s arid climate and is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after varieties thanks to its unique tropical flavor and stellar crunch.

Santa Lucia Coffee is proud to offer a direct trade coffee from the Martinez family. Finca Vista Hermosa operates in a sustainable manner, providing social and economic support to their community. Above and below the farm are belts of virgin rain forest; dense jungles filled with an abundance of plants and animals. Coffee is planted under native shade trees, which provides ideal growing conditions and mitigates erosion. Although not certified organic, Finca Vista Hermosa uses environmentally sound practices, composting and recycling all their coffee and water waste from processing and harvesting. They use a natural fertilizer, and no chemical pesticides are used on the farm. The result is a much healthier ecosystem.

ENJOY!!!!

Mike

Vodka Kale Risotto

Vodka Kale Risotto & Acorn Squash

What do you get when two Russians and two Italians walk into a bar? Vodka Kale Risotto. We spun your traditional Risotto by adding vodka and a delicious stinky Italian cheese, Gorgonzola. They’re BFF’s and play well with Russian Kale. In your recent Winter CSA share, we threw in some wonderful kale, garlic and some acorn squash – all of which was used to make this nice little dinner recipe. Don’t forget to serve it with a nice martini, stirred not shaken with 2 olives. (Yes, I said stirred.)

“Happiness is…finding two olives in your martini when you’re hungry.” ~Johnny Carson

You may be telling yourself, “But I can’t make risotto! I’ve heard of chef Gordan Ramsay teleporting directly to people’s kitchens across the globe to swear profusely at them for $!*#ing up his beloved dish.” I cannot confirm nor deny that Gordan Ramsay will swear at you for messing up the risotto but making it is quite easy once you get your technique down. What the heck is risotto exactly? Creamy Italian rice. Simple right? It’s first cooked in a fat (butter and olive oil for this recipe) and cooked slowly, stirring constantly over a period of time in order to release the natural starch from the rice, called amylopectin. FOOD SCIENCE! Once the rice becomes al dente (we’ll get to that part later) we add the cheese to create the yummy deliciousness that is a signature feature of risotto. Still confused? Don’t worry, I’ve given a step-by-step process below on how to make the perfect risotto, every time. Hooray! Lets get started…

Recipe by: Mirinda @ Boistfort Valley Farm

 

RISOTTO INGREDIENTS
serves 6-8
2 cups Italian arborio rice
1 1/4 cups Italian Gorgonzola cheese (packed and cubed)
1 cup Russian Vodka
1 1/2 cups Russian Red Kale
8 cups of good quality Vegetable Broth (or chicken)
1 small Onion (finely minced)
2-3 cloves of chopped Garlic
8 Tbsp of Butter (good quality pasture raised)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Tbsp dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste
———
ACORN SQUASH INGREDIENTS
1 large or 2 medium acorn squash
2-3 Tbsp of chili infused Olive Oil
2 Tbsp of dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste

 

The first rule of risotto making is to prepare your Mise en place. Which is the French term for “putting in place”, as in set up. Risotto requires constant attention otherwise you can potentially ruin it. So, get everything and I mean everything ready to go and give yourself a nice 20-30 minutes of one-on-one time with your trusty stove top. Scared yet? No? Okay, now we can start.

Vodka Kale Risotto

Lets get started.

  1.  Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
  2.  Prepare all of the following risotto ingredients. Cube and pack 1 1/2 cups of Gorgonzola cheese. Finely mince your onion and set aside. Smash and chop your garlic cloves and set aside. Chop up your kale and set aside.
  3. For your vegetable broth, place in a separate stock pot and heat to a medium temperature. This is a key step and remember to always keep your broth at the same temperature that you cook your rice. Let this get to temperature while we take care of some other stuff.
  4. Onto the Acorn Squash… Cut your squash in half, lengthwise and clean out the seeds and goop with a metal spoon. After your squash is cleaned, slice it into 1″ pieces and arrange on a baking sheet.

    It looks so pretty doesn't it?

    Does it look pretty? DOES IT?!

  5. Lightly drizzle your squash with the chili infused olive oil. Sprinkle the dried oregano and paprika on your squash and add a a little salt and pepper to taste. Place in the oven for about 20-25 minutes or until fork tender. (This should take about as long as it will take to cook the risotto)
  6. Lets get back to the main dish. In a large saute pan (preferably something with a thick bottom so you don’t burn the rice) heat your butter and olive oil on medium/low heat. Using a really good quality butter will make a huge difference in how your risotto tastes (in my personal opinion) so stick with a good pasture butter like Kerrygold, Organic Valley or some nice homemade butter from your local farm.
  7. Add your rice and minced onions and cook (stirring frequently) until the rice is transparent and very lightly toasted. This should take around 3-4 minutes.

    Here's your butter, oil, onions and rice begging to be cooked.

    Here’s your butter, oil, onions and rice begging to be cooked.

  8. Now we add the vodka and chopped garlic. Gently stir the rice, vodka and garlic until the booze is well absorbed by the rice.

    Let the rice absorb all of the vodka before adding your broth.

    Let the rice absorb all of the vodka before adding your broth.

  9. At this point, we begin adding the broth. TWO ladles at a time. Add two ladles of broth  the dried oregano, 1/2 tsp of pepper and STIR your risotto constantly until the broth has been absorbed. If you’re arm gets tired, you can always take a quick.  Once that happens, you can add two more ladles of broth and repeat. Risotto is made by adding broth slowly over a period of time. Adding too much liquid at one time can make your risotto turn out runny. Be patient young padawan.
  10. Open up your oven and check on your squash. Is it done? Good. Now remove it and set aside. Dinner is almost ready!

    Halfway there. Your risotto should start taking on it's creamy character.

    Halfway there. Your risotto should start taking on it’s creamy character.

  11. Now here’s the tricky part. Just because we have 8 cups of broth in that separate pan does not mean you’ll always use up the entire pot of broth. It’s always good to have a little too much broth leftover than not enough broth when you’re learning this dish. Good judgement comes into play at this stage. As you’re stirring (you didn’t forget the part about stirring constantly right?) give your risotto a little taste. Does it need salt? Add a little. How close is it to being al dente? What the heck does al dente mean? This is where we use the smear test. Here’s a great link you can use as a guide.
  12. Using the smear test link above – when your rice starts to look like the piece on the lower left, add your chopped kale. Now you can start adding your broth ONE ladle full at a time. Don’t forget to stir!
  13. Check your rice again. Does it look like the lower middle piece in the photo of the link I provided you? Yes? GOOD! Now you’re al dente. Remove from the heat and add your Gorgonzola cheese. Stirring well until all of the cheese has melted and is incorporated into the dish. The final product should look creamy and firm but not runny.
  14. Serve your risotto with the yummy squash you just pulled out of the oven and dust with a little paprika. Congratulations, you just made risotto! Enjoy!
Winter CSA

Winter 2015 – January, Week 1

What’s in the Box:

Teggia Dry Beans*, Red Russian Kale*, Parsnips*, Carrots*
Fingerling Potato Mix*, Garlic*, Acorn Squash*, Butternut Squash*
Red D’Anjou Pears, Fuji Apples,
Black Sheep Creamery’s: Mopsie’s Best
*From our farm

Dear Friends,

I hope you all enjoyed some time with friends and family over the past two weeks. After harvest the afternoon of December 23rd, we all cleaned up our gear, whether it was a harvest knife, a field truck, or a desk, and took a nice long break. We just got back in this morning.

We returned to heavy rains. The field crew is out putting the final touches on the harvest for our deliveries this week. Bj and I are in the office sort of rearranging piles and playing a little catch up. Rachel and Maia are in the pack shed laying the foundation for this week’s deliveries.

The South Fork of the Chehalis is high and muddy, but staying within its banks. The river that bisects the farm and meanders through this Valley is largely influenced by springs and run off from the Eastern foothills of the Willipa Hills that stretch from here to the coast. If there is no snow in the hills we are relatively safe from flooding. This is not true of those rivers influenced by the Cascades. Whenever there are rains like these I spend a certain amount of time watching the river forecasts generated by NOAA: http://www.nwrfc.noaa.gov/rfc/

It’s not exactly funny cat videos on youtube, but it does give a fairly accurate projection of stream flow and gauge height of rivers and I am truly grateful for the tool. There are several local rivers that are up and over their banks, and many that have not yet peaked, but will do so tomorrow as the water drains from the upper watershed to the lower lying areas like Grand Mound and Porter. It takes almost twelve hours for the peak to reach the Centralia area from Adna near the farm, and another eight before it settle into the lower Chehalis by Ground Mound and Rochester. I can drive to Centralia in about twenty minutes. Fascinating yes?

Having been through a flood, and I could write volumes about that experience, I find myself a bit distracted and anxious whenever we get this much rain. My thoughts and prayers are with anyone that is being or might be affected by these recent rains. I am hopeful that our deliveries are not delayed, but this is not our first rodeo, and we do not anticipate any issues.

So without further ado, welcome to the first of ten January through May deliveries. You will notice the inclusion of some beautiful Eastern Washington fruit, as well as a local sheep’s cheese: Mopsie’s Best. Named after Brad and Meg’s first ewe, this is a hard cheese made with raw milk using an English recipe, and aged 6months. This cheese would pair beautifully with the pears and apples in this week’s delivery, as well as being a nice addition grated over baked or roasted squash and carrots.

Booya!
Mike

 

Teggia Beans

Teggia Beans drying in September.

Teggia beans on the vine.

Teggia beans on the vine.

December Holiday Box

Winter 2014 – December Holiday Box

What’s in the box?

Red Russian Kale, Italian Parsley, Parsnips, Rutabaga,
Mixed Beets, Rainbow Carrots, Leeks, D’ Anjou Pears,
Shallots, Garlic, Austrian Crescent Potatoes, Yellow Potatoes (Chieften),
Orange Kabocha Squash, Carnival Squash, Dried Statice

 

Welcome Dear Friends,

I am not sure what the word is to describe looking back at the newsletters from previous years to get inspiration and realizing the cyclical nature of farming; telling, revelatory, obvious… I could quite literally cross out the date on many of these and write the current date in with crayon. December’s delivery is historically just before the solstice; a time of renewal, a time of hope. These are the shortest days of the year. Depressing? Maybe, but consider this: the solstice is the turning point. Starting December 21st our days will begin to get longer: hope. Maybe the word I’m looking for is humility.

Suddenly, it seems, I have been farming for a long time. I have been here before, writing this letter in the warm office while the crew slogs through the mud, missing my daily role in the fields AND being thankful that I do not have to be out there, puzzling over what to use to fill the deliveries AND marveling at all that is still available from the farm. I remember this, each year, watching the fields get wetter and colder, watching the storage crops dwindle, witnessing the end of the season AND starting to think about the seed order. I am beginning to look back at the 2014 season AND look ahead to the 2015 season; gauge our successes and failures, assess our situation financial and otherwise AND plan for the coming year with a sense of hope and optimism.

Solstice: from the Latin for sun and ‘to stand still’. So I think we do, stand still that is, this time of year. We stand and look back and look forward, we reflect and plan.

And here is to this season bringing peace and satisfaction.

Enjoy your Solstice,

Mike

PS: there are just too many good recipes to list. I have included two of my favorites for this time of year. Our website has so many more, and they are so easy to search by ingredient. Please take advantage of these and enjoy your holiday meals!

box_111014_nonjank

Winter 2014 – November Holiday Box

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

Red Russian Kale, Thyme, Mixed Beets, Savoy Cabbage, Carrots, Celery, Leeks,
Turnips, Garlic, Yellow Onions, Austrian Crescent Potatoes, Yellow Potatoes,
Delicata Squash, Pie Pumpkins, Honey Crisp Apples, Ornamental Gourds

 

Welcome Dear Friends to our November CSA,

This has long been one of my favorite deliveries, in part because these vegetables just taste better after a frost. I think too, that as a farmer, I have more time and energy to savor food and focus on the part of farming that I love. The air is crisp and cold, the crew is down from 25 or so to 12 or so, I get the time to check in with people, not just about the farm, but about them. We still run hard this time of year but it is a far cry from the juggernaut of the summer and fall season. I have even been frequenting the Farmers’ Market in Ballard and connecting with customers up there.

Today, I am in the office, buttoning up the final details of the coming delivery. The sun is beaming through the window that looks through our small but ancient home orchard and on to the perennial garden. Soon I will up and go out and check on the condition of the leeks, meet with the crew in the pack shed and get a broad overview of how we are coming along; harvesting under harsh conditions and washing and storing with freezing temperatures in mind.

If you glance at the contents of this box you will notice that much of what we deliver this time of year is for storage. You will also notice the foundation of an excellent holiday feast. I apologize in advance for filling your crisper drawer to overflowing, but please note that the squash, onions, potatoes, and garlic will do quite well in the garage or on the table in a basket.

The boxes are gorgeous, if I do say so myself, I just got back in. The pack crew has everything assembled and the boxes are being loaded into our refrigerated trucks; not to cool them, but rather to keep them from freezing. The colors and textures of these large boxes are amazing. It is a rare treat to have greens and roots and alliums and squash and even a bunch of fresh herbs all at once. You will see what I mean when you taste the kale and leeks, they are just a few degrees better than before the frost.

The field crew is still out harvesting leeks, and I am on to assemble the paperwork and everything else that goes into a CSA delivery. Our driver will be here at 0-dark thirty, and in a few hours you will have this produce, literally straight from the field, in your kitchen.

Enjoy!
Mike