December 3, 2019

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Lettuce, Carrots, Kale, Bok Choy, Apples, Fennel and Delicata Winter Squash

What’s in your FRUIT BAG? Pomegranates, Meyer Lemons, Almonds and Satsuma Mandarins

 

Holiday Evergreen Wreath Class

 At Good Humus

Saturday December 7 from 10-4 pm

$75, includes a farm fresh lunch and a garden tour

Join me in our Holiday wreath class, learn the techniques to create your own gorgeous evergreen or dried flower wreath in this afternoon workshop. The fee includes a large assortment of homegrown evergreen branches, herbs, dried flowers and other embellishments from our farm. You may also bring your own elements to personalize your wreath.

It will be a fun way to start the Holiday Season.

 

HOLIDAY GIFTS AND TIME TO FILL THE PANTRY

This is the last week to place your holiday special orders! We are also offering a Market Basket with fruits and veggies as a fun new gift idea. You can email your order this week by Wednesday or Thursday. We will pack them and deliver to your drop sites on December 10 and 14.

CSA box as a Holiday Gift

1 week of CSA Box of Combined Fruit and Veggie  $35

Market Basket of Fruits, Veggies, a  Jam & Bread $60

6 Weeks CSA Box of Veggies and Bread  $100

This is a chance to give a CSA box to a friend or relative that lives in the area for the holiday gift exchange, so they too can experience fresh, healthy veggies weekly.

 

This week on the Farm

Winter slammed into us right after the delivery of the Thanksgiving Box.  We rushed around and got covers put over all the exposed equipment and supplies, over the bread oven and the cider press, over the leak in the roof of the barn, and made sure all the lumber and straw bales would stay dry.  As the first misty moments dropped in on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, we were putting the finishing touches on the groundwork, rototilling weeds, ridging up long straight rows that would hold our potatoes come February,  chiseling deep into the last dry earth of the year and placing deep in the earth daffodils and iris for the spring exuberance.  I mentally divorced myself from the ever-present critical jobs that I had not done, and we fed the animals, made sure everything important was tied down and turned off, slammed the car doors, and headed to Southwestern Oregon.

               In the semi-rural Rogue Valley just north of Ashland, just a few miles from the site of Camp Baker, the first European settlement in the Valley, we opened the car doors to a greeting from my brother Marty and his wife Peggy and their granddaughters Riley and Reina.  Over the next hour or so, a few more cars pulled in and the Thanksgiving holiday became real.  But I took the first opportunity that presented itself to walk the length of Marty and Peggy’s pasture land and spend a little time thinking about the lives we each live, the opportunities that come our way and the choices we make, and where it brings us.  Marty and Peggy have come to this spot, a ten or twelve acre piece of old pear ground on the northwest bank of Gore Creek in something of the same way that Annie and I have come to a quiet 20 acres of what was old almond orchard on a bench above Hungry Hollow.  Similarities, similarities in lives shared with the earth and in constant search for a more understanding sense of caring for, and taking care of, a home on the earth.  One of Marty and Peggy’s guiding passions has been for the health of the relationship between the living, evolving forest and the human species.  Annie and I have felt the same pull around the ancient oak bench that we inhabit.  From this historic and essentially timeless perspective, I realize that the structures and systems that we create on the earth will pass, and that each of us will pass as well.  And in listening to their search for clues to their future, I thought I saw for a moment that while Gore Creek and Hungry Hollow would be and could be beautiful places to ‘paint life’s last picture’ as Rudyard Kipling said, each of our lives is still bringing us tubes and brushes and canvas.

               Following is the first stanza of that poem by Rudyard Kipling.  With the exception of a single word that I have edited and italicized to reflect the way it was handed down in our family, it is the way he wrote it.  So until that moment….let’s paint.   Jeff

When Life's last picture is painted and the tubes are twisted and dried,
When the oldest colours have faded, and the youngest critic has died,
We shall rest, and faith, we shall need it - lie down for an aeon or two,
Till the Master of All Good Workmen Shall put us to work anew.

 

Smoked Salmon Salad with Pear Dressing

2 cups shredded Kale

2 cups shredded Romaine Lettuce

2 cups shredded Savoy or Red Cabbage

1 cup shredded watercress or arugula

6-8 ounces smoked salmon, skinned and flaked

2 Bartlett or any ripe pears cored and cut in 8 wedges

4 green onions chopped

¼ cup pecans or walnuts

1/3 cup Pear dressing

Toss greens and divide between 4 dinner plates, top with smoked salmon and pear wedges, then sprinkle with green onions, cheese and nuts. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately

 

Pear Dressing

1 ripe red pear, cored, skinned and chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons sweet rice vinegar

1 lemon juiced rind grated

2 teaspoons honey

1 green onion chopped

¼ teaspoon ground coriander or cardamom

1/8 teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon ground pepper

In a food processor, combine pear, oil, vinegar, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon lemon rind, the honey, green onion, spices and sea salt. Puree until smooth and season to taste with pepper and lemon juice. Makes about ¾ cup

 

Cauliflower, Dried Mushrooms & Bok Choy

The Vegetables

5 large dried shiitake or Chinese Black mushrooms

2 cups cauliflower florets

2 carrots cut into julienne strips

Salt

1 bok choy leaves cut into ribbons along with

1 bok choy stems cut into thin strips

The aromatics

1 Tablespoon peanut oil

1 tablespoon chopped ginger

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup chopped scallions, including a bit of greens

1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch stirred into water

1/3 cup stock or water for cornstarch

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

1 teaspoon chili oil

¼ cup chopped cilantro

2 scallions, including most of the greens, cut diagonally

Cover the mushrooms with ½ cup warm water and let stand 20 minutes, until softened. Reserve the water, discard the mushroom stems, and slice the caps. Parboil the cauliflower and carrots separately in salted water until barely tender. Drain and rinse in cold water. Assemble the aromatics. Heat the wok, add the peanut oil and swirl it around the pan. When hot, add the garlic, ginger, scallions and mushrooms. Stir fry for 2 minutes, and then add the cauliflower, carrots, and bok choy stems and leaves. Season with a little salt, add the reserved mushroom water, and simmer, covered for 3 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and simmer until the liquid is thickened and the vegetable les are coated nicely. Toss with the soy sauce, sesame and chili oils, and cilantro. Serve garnished with the scallions.

 

Pasta with Fennel

Caramelized fennel is the only vegetable in this pasta, but it’s enormously flavorful. You can also serve the fennel as a vegetable. Cut it into thicker, heftier pieces, but still cook unit golden and caramelized.

2-3 fennel bulbs, including the greens

2 tablespoons butter

1-tablespoon olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

1-garlic clove minced

¾ to 1-pound fettuccine

Parmigiano-Reggiano or Dry Monterey Jack Cheese

Peel or discard, if badly bruised, the tough outer layers of the fennel, then quarter the bulbs, setting aside the greens, and slice thinly. (The core will cook to tenderness) Heat a large pot of water for the pasta.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter with the olive oil in a wide skillet. Add the fennel and sauté over high heat, stirring occasionally until browned in places, 7to 10 minutes. Season with 1-teaspoon salt, and toss with the lemon juice. Then add 1 cup water. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, until the liquid has evaporated. Add another ½ cup water and continue cooking in this fashion until the fennel is very soft and deep gold in color, about 25 minutes in all. Season with pepper. Chop a handful of fennel greens-enough to make about ½ cup- with the garlic and lemon zest and set aside.

Add salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook until the past is al dente. Scoop it out and add it to the pan with the fennel and the chopped greens. Taste for salt and season with pepper. Serve with the cheese, finely grated or thinly shaved over the top.

Variation with Ricotta Cheese: Toss a cup or so of fresh whole milk ricotta with a little grated lemon zest, a few pinches of salt and pepper, and a teaspoon or so of olive oil. Add it to the dish at the very end. A good fresh ricotta will practically melt into the pasta. You can also simply season the ricotta like this, and then spread it over little toasts for an appetizer. From Deborah Madison

 

Delicata Squash The Easy Roasting

1 delicata squash

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper (more or less to taste)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Scrub the outside of the squash with a brush until very clean. Cut ends off to create two flat edges. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.

Cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch slices, keeping the size of the slices consistent. Rub, toss, or spray with olive oil so both sides of each slice are coated with oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer. Place in preheated oven and roast for 20 minutes. Flip each slice over and roast for another 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Enjoy immediately.

Note: Both cooking time and yield will depend on the size of the squash.

 

Winter Apple Gratin

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

4 large apples peeled, cored and cut into eighths

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

3 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons applejack or other brandy

Yogurt Sorbet

Preheat the broiler. Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the apple wedges in a single layer and sprinkle them with the brown sugar. Cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until lightly browned on both sides, about 8 minutes. Cover and cook over low heat until tender, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat until the juices evaporate and the apples are glazed, about 3 minutes. Spread the apples in a single layer in a 10-inch glass pie plate or in individual gratin dishes. In a small, heavy saucepan, whisk the egg yolks with the granulated sugar and applejack. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly until thickened, about 2 minutes; do not boil. Pour the custard over the apples and broil until it is lightly browned on top and set, about 2 minutes. Serve hot, with the Yogurt Sorbet.

Suggested Pairing-For a warm apple dessert, search out a sweet or semisweet white wine, such as a young Sauternes or an Anjou Coteaux de la Loire. Serves 4