Newsletter #3 Oct. 27

CHILLY BEAN NEWSLETTER – BLUSTERY DAYS ARE UPON US!

October 27, 2010

Vol.1 Issue 3

Harvesting on a wet, windy and cold day.

Dear Sharemembers,

Winter is here! Markus and I have been working in what feel like epic conditions these past two days. Yesterday we harvested in rain and high winds, and today, cold temps, wind, and sleety rain and a bit of snow. Tonight is the night when so many of the crops that have hung on unusually long will almost assuredly will finally die and return to the soil. So, we have been rushing around in the dark with little flashlights, trying to harvest and cover a few more things. The past month has been so mild, I was lulled into a false sense of security, and the prospect of this “Chilly” CSA didn’t seem daunting. What a difference a day makes! Sunday was warm and pleasant, and then Bam! Here comes old mother/father winter. Anyhow, some of the last tastes of summer (peppers, green tomatoes) are in your boxes, and the cold makes me feel glad that I’ve been working in the greenhouse, that for a while there just seemed gratiuitous to all the abundance still in the fields. Thank you all for your support! A few of the veggies are dirtier than usual this week. It is slow going in the inclement weather, and we are improvising new washing locations and ways to keep our fingers warm enough to keep moving, and washing. Stay warm, and take care!

Sincerely, Seth and Markus

Here is a list of the vegetables in your shares:

Ripbor Green Curly Kale – Make a Green smoothie with some of the kale, or all of it if you feel so inclined! See recipe in newsletter.

Asto Arugula – Spicy, bitter arugula. Some people love it, some people run away from it. Try it in a salad with raspberry vineagar and olive oil dressing, raisins or craisins, and candied walnuts. Gourmet salad. The sweetness of the raisins and the raspberry vineagar balances the sharp flavor of the arugula. Or try arugula on top of homemade pizza!

Nevada Summer Crisp Head Lettuce – It sure isn’t summer out there, but these lettuces are still alive. Many have tip damage from where there tips frosted over, but the rest of them is mild and delicious. Enjoy!

Pac Choi – My favorite way to enjoy pac choi is in a brothy soup with rice noodles. I’ll try to look for a good recipe and post it on our site.

Broccoli Rabe- A delicious vegetable featuring both somewhat bitter flower buds (broccoli) and good greens. Look for the recipe in this newsletter for a simple, delicious way of preparing it!

Scarlet Nantes Carrots- From the same bed as last week’s carrots (actually, we’re hoping to put carrots from that bed in every box), so they’re still sweet like candy, and just a bit bigger.

Mixed Bell Peppers- Looking out from the barn and seeing snow fall right now, I’m thinking these are the last peppers of the season. If you’re not going to use them soon, try roasting and then freezing them. A few years ago, Seminis, one of the largest conventional and organic vegetable seed suppliers in the country, was purchased by Monsanto (winner of the 2005 ‘Angry Mermaid Award’ for companies with the worst impact on climate change, in addition to their many other dubious distinctions). Seminis supplied many of the top-quality commercial organic seed varieties, and up until their purchase of Seminis, Monsanto had not previously had any significant presence in the organic agriculture scene. Now the scourge of sustainable agriculture and mother nature profits every time an organic farmer purchases and sells any of the highly productive varieties in Seminis’ organic seed line. One of the only seed companies in the country to list their sources of seed, Fedco Seeds, a seed packing cooperative in Maine, has dropped all Seminis varieties from their catalogs, and has been seeking alternatives to the many varieties that dropped. Revolution (the green/red bell pepper in your boxes) is one such variety. For more information about Seminis, Monsanto, and Fedco Seeds, visit Fedco’s press release about Monsanto at http://www.fedcoseeds.com/seeds/monsanto.htm

. Nearly all of the winter squash we purchased this season was from Fedco Seeds.

Carmen Peppers- So sweet, so very sweet. The swan song of the Carmens.

Hungarian Hot Wax Peppers (red, orange and yellow)- The little banana pepper-shaped peppers. Somewhat hot, but not nearly as spicy as the jalapenos we grew.

Purple Majesty (Blue) Potatoes- bred to be high in anthocyanins, the purplish-bluish antioxidants found in blueberries and other purple/blue foods. They are dirty this week, as we did not have time to wash them with all of the inclement weather. Enjoy uncovering the little purple jewels as you wash them!

King Richard Leeks- More delicious leeks. We have included two new recipes for leeks this newsletter.

Sunshine Kabocha Winter Squash- Bright scarlet orange squash, similar to the green buttercup, a hybrid bred by Johnny’s Selected Seeds, and very swet. Enjoy! Try making a pie, or baking the squash, putting the baked squash in a tupperware or yougurt container in the fridge, and add to all your pancakes! Mmm!

Honey Bear Mini-Acorn Squash- Also a variety bred by Johnny’s Selected Seeds, these mini acorn squash are so sweet that field mice even started going after them as they were growing on the vine. A few of them have a few small nibble spots that have healed over, but they are still delicious!

Common Culinary Sage- sage sage sage. Soup, pasta, biscuits. All good.

Lemon Balm- Make a delicious tea with the lemon balm and honey, by bruising the leaves between your fingers and pouring hot water over them. Also good in tea with the mint.

Mixed Spearmint and Peppermint- Equally good as a salad garnish or as a tea (see above).

Purly Chives- baked potato, sour cream, and chives. Heaven.

Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley- Good for a hearty winter soup.

Scallions- These popped up in our onion bed, probably left behind in planting of scallions or Ailsa Craig onions. The ‘bulbing’ of an onion is dependent on day-length, so even if these were onions and got big, they would stay scallion-y with the short days this time of year. We’re trying to make for our onion crop failure by putting in lots of other onion-family produce.

Green Tomatoes (mixed variety)- The ripe tomatoes are long gone, and the plants are crispy, but a few green tomatoes hung on long enough for us to pick them this week. See the recipe for fried green tomatoes with a creamy celeriac dressing.

Celeriac- celery root is amazing! Great storers, delicious celery-flavored root, and leaves that add a celery flavor to soups. Try celeriac in the potato-leek soup we included in the newsletter, or in the fried green tomato and creamy celeriac sauce recipe also in the newsletter.

RECIPES

Green Smoothie

(I have had this smoothie for breakfast a few times this past week. Although it is green (beautifully green) and thus looks a little different, it is sweet and refreshing, and really healthy. Give it a try, I bet you’ll make it again! -Seth)

Ingredients

Blender

3-4 medium-sized leaves of kale, stems removed

2 medium apples, seeds removed

1 banana

1 Tablespoon ground flax (optional)

½ to 1 cup of water

How to Make It

1. Pour a bit of water in the blender, add the banana and apple, blend up.

2. Add the kale piece by piece until well blended

3. Add the flax (optional)

4. Pour into a clear glass so you can see the sparkling green beauty of the smoothie.

5. Drink and enjoy!

Andy’s Potato-Leek Soup (modified from the Potato-Leek soup in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen)

*uses Potatoes, Leeks, Carrots, Dill, and Celeriac

(My good friend Andy visited me last week, and while he was here we cooked a bunch together. One evening, he made this soup, and it was delicious!)

1 hour to prepare – 4-6 servings

3 fist-sized potatoes

3 cups cleaned, chopped leeks

1 celeriac, root and leaves chopped

4-6 small carrots, chopped

4 Tbs. butter

¾ tsp. salt

3½ cups stock or water

snippets of fresh dill

freshly-ground black pepper

  1. Scrub potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks. Place in saucepan w/ leeks, celeriac root and leaves, carrot, and butter. Add salt. Cook the vegetables, stirring over medium heat, until the butter is melted and all the particles are coated (5minutes).
  1. Add the stock or water, bring to a boil, then cover, add half of the chopped dill, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the potatoes are soft (20-30 minutes). Check the moisture level occasionally. You may need to add a little extra stock or water, if it gets too low.
  1. When the potatoes are soft, grind in some black pepper. Taste it to see if it wants more salt. Serve right away.
  1. Serve in bowls, sprinkle remaining chopped on top of each bowl.

(the original Enchanted Broccoli Forest recipe called for pureeing the soup after the potatoes were soft with 3 cups of milk, and only using ½ cup of water until then. Feel free to try both ways! Andy and I like the chunkiness and variation of texture of this soup without pureeing, and it was nice to have a soup that wasn’t so heavy.)

Andy’s Easy Braised Leeks (Adapted from a recipe at www.suite101.com/

(My friend Andy loves leeks, and especially loves them braised. I went looking for a simple recipe online, and found one that sounds sort of similar to the recipe he described to me)

  • 3 large leeks
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. To prepare the leeks, trim off the dark green stalks and the roots. Next, slice the leeks in half lengthwise. Place the leeks in a large bowl of cold water, cut side down, and allow them to sit there about 10 minutes. Most of the grit will fall to the bottom of the bowl. Rinse the leeks again, and dry with a paper towel.

Set the leeks in a cast-iron pan, brush both sides with olive oil, and place cut-side up. Roast 20 minutes, tossing halfway through to make sure they don’t get too brown. Remove pan from oven and put on medium-high stove. Pour vegetable broth over the leeks. Roast another 10 minutes or until leeks are tender. Remove leeks, season with salt and pepper, and keep warm and covered, while continuing to cook stock until it is reduced to at least 1/3 its original volume. Pour stock reduction over leeks and serve. Mmm!

Maria’s Broccoli Rabe (A recipe I found online at  http://allrecipes.com//

when looking for a broccoli rabe recipe. Is very good, and simple. –Seth)

INGREDIENTS

1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut an X in the bottom of the stems of the broccoli rabe and place in the boiling water. Cook until tender but still firm, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. In a large heavy skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and saute garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the broccoli rabe and saute 10 to 15 minutes, or until desired doneness. Dust with parmesan cheese, if desired.
  3. Serve and enjoy! Simple and Deelicious!

Fried Green Tomatoes with Creamy Celeriac Sauce (from Vegan Soul Kitchen by Bryant Terry, one of my very favorite cookbooks for delicious vegetable delights)

*uses green tomatoes, celeriac, parsley, and scallions

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

4 large firm green tomatoes

Coarse sea salt

½ cup apple cider vineagar

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more as needed

1 cup Multipurpose Coating for Dredging Foods (see below for recipe)

Creamy Celeriac Sauce (see below for recipe)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. With a serrated knife, remove the stem and blossom ends from the tomatoes. Slice each tomato lengthwise from stem to blossom end into 1/4 –inch slices and place on a large serving platter or plate in one layer.

3. Lightly sprinkle with slat and set aside for 10 minutes.

4. Pour the vinegar into a small bowland spread the Multipurpose Coating for Dredging Foods on a large plate.

5. One at a time, dip the tomatoes lsices in to the vinegar, then coiat with the Multipurpose Coating, then dip back into the vinegar, and then coat with the Coating again. Shake off the excess and transfer back to the serving plater. Repeat until all tomatoes are coated.

6. In a wide, heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil until it is hot enough to fry a piece of Multipurpose Coating dropped into it.

7. With a metal spatula, transfer as many tomatoe slices as will fit comfortably in the pan and fry until crisp and golden brown, about 1 minute on each side. Transfer the fried tomatoes to a paper towel-lined plate and allow them to drain about 30 seconds on each side. Transfer the drained tomato slices to the baking sheet and hold in the oven to keep warm.

8. Repeat with the remaining tomato slices, adding oil as necessary.

9. Serve hot with the Creamy Celeriac Sauce.

*Multipurpose Coating for Dredging Foods*

Yield: 2 cups

Ingredients:

½ cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup cornmeal

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne

1. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine all ingredients. Shake well to blend. Store any extra in freezer for later.

Creamy Celeriac Sauce

Yield: about 2 cups

Ingredients:

½ pound silken tofu

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon minced parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

½ teaspoon agave nectar

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Coarse sea salt

Freshly ground white pepper

¼ cup minced scallions

½ cup peeled and coarsely grated celery root (celeriac)

Directions:

  1. In an upright blender, combine the tofu, lemon juice, parsley, garlic, agave nectar, mustard, olive oil, paprika, cayenne, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon white pepper and blend until smooth. If necessary, season with addition salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and stir in the scallions and celery root.

A graphic I put together from various sources to show the rapid and steady growth of the CSA model in the past 2 decades. -Markus

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One response to “Newsletter #3 Oct. 27

  1. Wow, the potato leek soup is famous now! Thanks for letting me visit, and best of luck continuing your work as the weather turns cold. Hope that the double-covered greenhouse setup withstands the temperatures!

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