April 28, 2020

 

What’s in this Week’s Veggie Box? Mulberries, Fennel, Carrots, Chard, Kale, Salad Mix, Asparagus, Bay

 

NO CSA BOX DELIVERY

Tuesday May 19

Saturday May 23

 

SUMMER QUARTER BEGINS

Begins May 26

Payment is due May 19

 

CANCELLED EVENTS:

Hats & High Tea

Mothers Day Garden Tour

 

This Week on the Farm 

Every morning I try to do 30 minutes of stretch and back building exercises routine as I am looking at it as a supplement to my weight control process. This has been going on since last September, and I have been pretty darn regular. Now that the crew is coming at 6:30am to start work, it is harder to be ready to walk out the door at the same time. Well to be honest, and Ali will attest to this Jeff and I have not been ready to go out the door until about 8am or sooo (and the crew has been starting at 7am). I guess it is hard to jump up and zoom out after jumping up and zooming out for the past 40ish years, and Ali and Claire are here to jump for us. (Don’t let them know I said that)! Back to my morning practice. Today, I was not ready to do my routine, I would have rather just slept a bit more, or just got up and drank my morning tea with Jeff and discuss the start of the day. But I realized I am looking at it all wrong, that really I need to keep diligent with this practice from now until forever so my body will be ready for each day of use and abuse needed for the farm work I do. And spring time is, has been, and will continue to be a time of the ultimate marathon of pushing to get everything done before it is too hot to do anything time. At the end of my stretching practice I give thanks for the day, for waking up, for my health, thanks for yesterday and for tomorrow. And each tomorrow I ask for health to all that are sick, and that the coronavirus ends. Then I pray that we all don’t go back to how we lived “normally” that our new norm has changed, that as we each walk forward we take a hard look at our past lives and reduce the going that we thought we had to do, revaluate what we really thought we needed to do and reinvent our lives so that we tread lighter on our earth. This morning my nephew who is a teacher in Sacramento shared an article by edutopia-Why Are Some Kids Thriving During Remote Learning. And as I read the article I felt that this does not only apply to kids, but to all of us: the benefits of self pacing, time to rethink the overextended kid, lowering the stakes, reducing the chatter, getting enough sleep. Anyway, I feel that I would like to make a list of all the changes that have happened to me and then as I move forward be very careful as to what I am going to add back into my life.

            Jeff and I have pretty much been staying at the farm working, or going to the Santa Rosa Ranch and working by ourselves. Jeff said that he feels that he has been focused on the ground work, planting and taking care of the farm, more than ever and it feels good. I know that I have been more motivated to work my garden on Saturdays (which used to include deliveries and working the market) and to plant lots in the greenhouse for later planting and that feels good too. I have a 1000 Shasta daisy plants on the floor of the greenhouse (it was so full that there was no table space) waiting for a ready bed to be planted into. And the plant orders that you all made certainly hit a record! I had to guess what folks might want to plant this year back in February and March, and I had no idea how big the orders were going to be. I’m sorry for those that ordered and I had run out of plants. I think maybe next year I can send out the forms in January, and you can pre-order and I will plant to your orders and we could skip the Farm Visit and Plant Sale altogether. Next year will bring something new and different and will certainly not be the same as this year, but the one aspect that is missing was to share the beauty of the farm with you all during the spring time.

In order for Jeff and I to stay in place, we have had to ask our girls Claire and Ali to step up and work more for us as we stay at home and keep our noses to the land. That has taken a toll on them, they are exhausted having to work all of the Farmers Markets, to make all the deliveries for us, to work more days to keep up with the harvest and the planting, keep up with e-mails and CSA requests to join, special orders, and trying to keep it all straight productive and running smoothly. Something Jeff and I have done for many years, and they are just new puppies to it, uncertain if they want to go into this farm; hook line and sinker and dedicate their lives to work, and the milk cow that this farm demands. They are actually really great, actually more than great, fantastic at what they are doing, how they are managing the responsibilities and rolls they are taking on, but they are certainly looking forward to a short break in May. Stay healthy, and let’s think about Gandhi’s quote and how we can “Be the change you want to see in the world”. ~Have a great week, Annie

 

Caramelized Pancetta and Fennel Salad

1 bulb fennel, halved and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

5 slices pancetta

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 ounces (about 6 to 7 cups) mixed salad greens

Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, toss together fennel, pancetta, garlic, brown sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place the ingredients on the baking sheet in a single layer. Cook until the pancetta is crisp and the fennel is caramelized, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, place the salad greens, crumbled pancetta, and caramelized fennel. Toss the salad with the Red Wine Vinaigrette and serve immediately. Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis

 

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running gradually blend in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with more salt and pepper, if desired.

Yield: scant 1/2 cup

 

Grecian Bay

Native to the Mediterranean, bay leaves haven’t always been isolated to the kitchen for their culinary uses. This leafy herb, which comes from the laurel tree, was used in ancient Roman and Greek societies to crown the heads of victors after battle as a symbol of their success. Today, bay leaves are more commonly found swimming in pots of rich sauces, rather than. Unlike its herbal cousins, bay leaves are rarely consumed directly, as they're typically added to a sauce or stock during the stewing process and removed before consumption.

 

Saucy Chicken Puttanesca

The famous Neapolitan tomato sauce—packed with olives, garlic, capers, and anchovies—is traditionally paired with long pasta. In our version, chicken legs are gently oven-braised in the puttanesca until it's nearly falling off the bone. It’s a low-maintenance, one-skillet dish that is easy to pull off on a weeknight.

3 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs and drumsticks or whole legs

Kosher salt

2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

4 oil-packed anchovy fillets

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoon double-concentrated tomato paste

1 cup Castelvetrano olives, crushed, pits removed

¾ cup dry white wine

2 tablespoon drained capers

2 fresh bay leaves (optional)

3 2" strips lemon peel, plus lemon wedges for serving

Preheat oven to 350°. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then season all over with salt. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Cook chicken, turning occasionally, until it has rendered some of its fat and skin is golden brown all over, 7–10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. You’ll have a pool of fat left in the pan. Spoon out all but 3 Tbsp. fat from pan. (Use it for roasted potatoes, in cooked bitter greens, or add to stewy beans.) Reduce heat to medium and add garlic and anchovies to skillet. Cook, stirring often, until garlic is softened and anchovies have disintegrated, 2–3 minutes. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes, then stir in tomato paste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato paste begins to split and stick to pan, about 3 minutes. Add olives, wine, capers, bay leaves (if using), and lemon peel and bring to a simmer (still over medium heat). Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the wine has evaporated, 5–7 minutes. Snuggle chicken (skin side up) into sauce in a single layer. Pour in 1 cup water and bring to a simmer. Transfer skillet to oven and bake, uncovered, until sauce is thickened and chicken is cooked through, 20–25 minutes (if using whole legs, it’ll take closer to 30–35 minutes). Taste a spoonful of the sauce—it should be plenty salty between the anchovies and capers, so you most likely won’t need to season with more salt. Transfer chicken to a platter and spoon sauce over. Drizzle with oil and serve with lemon wedges alongside. Recipe by Andy Baraghani

 

Mulberry Skillet Cake & Warm Vanilla Sauce

2 cups flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup yogurt (unsweetened)

1/4 cup butter (melted)

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups mulberries

Cake directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Butter the cast iron skillet and put it in the oven.  In a large mixing bowl, sift the first four ingredients.  In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add the milk, yogurt, butter and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry.  Fold in the mulberries.  Pour the batter in the skillet and bake it for 30 minutes.  Make the vanilla sauce while it bakes.

Vanilla sauce ingredients:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 cups milk

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon vanilla

1-2 tablespoons butter

pinch of salt

Vanilla sauce directions: In a medium saucepan, whisk sugars, salt and cornstarch.  Turn on the heat to medium.  Slowly whisk in the milk.  Keep stirring until the milk just starts to bubble, but not boil.  Take it off the heat and stir in the vanilla and butter.  Spoon it over individual slices of cake, and be sure to keep the extra nearby.