January 22, 2019

 

What’s in this Week’s VEGGIE BOX: Turnips, Butternut Squash, Cilantro, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Tangelos and Collards.

What’s in this Week’s FRUIT BOX: Mandarins, Oranges, Meyer Lemons and Grapefruit

 

 

This Week on The Farm

I had heard from a few sources that last week the newsletter was a bit unusual, with no letterhead or recipes. A plain and simple message-Jeff was mostly left to his own devices to get the newsletter out without the backup help of the rest of us. Claire and I were still on our extended holiday break, and Ali was helping get the boxes together and our Office Flowers cut and delivered. Well we are all back in action this week, and today I have recipes that do not necessarily match what you are getting in your box. While on our get away Claire and I thought it would be fun to pick different countries and find a recipe from that country to make for dinner. Mostly we had the time to plan, shop and the opportunity to cook together and try something totally new and different. I have to say it was so much fun!!! The Tom Kha soup has cilantro and Bok Choy that you can use from the box, but the others I’m sorry to say do not have ingredients from the box, but I thought you might enjoy either trying them, or keeping them handy when the ingredients do show up.

            Some of you may remember that many years ago when Claire was still in high school I rented a house at Bodega Bay for the month of January. The family came and went as they had time, but I stayed for what to me was “a month of Sundays”. I think Jeff enjoyed knowing that I was finally getting my month of January hibernation that I continuously complained about not getting, especially during the drought years when we really could work every day of the year. I have to say I LOVED that month!!! So that is what inspired Jeff to want us to rent a house for two weeks after the holidays. Our two week break in December is mostly full of holiday stuff and not really much of a relaxing break. He knew that he would probably not be able to get away much, as he held down the fort with the CSA and store deliveries, but I think found so much pleasure knowing that the rest of us could snatch a bit more time away before the new year starts again. This time we found a house in Guerneville not at the coast, but in the redwoods about 30 minutes before the ocean. The name of the house was “Cozy Cottage” and I have to say it was that, with 40 steps up from the road, we were perched in the midst of the redwood trees from all the windows. It rained most of the time, so we didn’t get out much, which was perfect. What is interesting is that over the years as we traveled to Bodega Bay and Jenner we would drive through this community and not really pay much attention to it, just another small town along the Russian River before our destination. My mom grew up just a few miles away on River Road-the river road to the Russian River, so this entire area was her childhood stomping grounds. I remember visiting Armstrong Grove in the middle of Guerneville, but not really, so Claire and I took a walk one afternoon when it wasn’t raining. They are young old growth California Redwood trees-maybe 1400 years old or so. Amazing to walk those beautiful trees. You know many folks come to the farm and comment on how quiet it is here, no cars noises, or building inhale and exhale noises, no sirens, and it is very quiet here. But in the redwoods there was absolute quiet, I didn’t hear wildlife, the soft paths were carpeted with redwood needles and really all I could hear was my heart beating. This place in the redwoods was a perfect place to rest, restore, rejuvenate and be with myself. A place to not be interrupted in thought, reading or sleeping for that matter. At times it was hard to know that there was another day ahead with nothing to do-the itchy feet were talking. Ali and I took a drive over Colman Valley Road taking photographs for a later inspiration, and it gave me a chance to open up my watercolor paints and play around a bit. I finally had time to write New Years note cards, and I did give me some time to think about the coming season, what changes I would personally like to make for myself, how I want to bicycle to the “back ten” to cut flowers but it also made me anxious to start making plans for the summer flowers. I wanted to scan the new flower catalogues, but I make a point of not bringing them (I almost did), get into the greenhouse and do a deep house cleaning and get the parsley planted. This too will happen. So I think that we all came back ready to work, still a bit of relaxed-ness in our bones, not willing to jump too quickly out of bed to start the day, and linger a bit longer at lunch, well we still are in hibernation January, and the bear won’t come out until spring (February).  Have a great week-and send me your favorite International recipes that you have tried! ~Annie

 

Tom Kha Gai  or Thai Coconut Soup

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

1/2 white onion, sliced

1 1/2 inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, minced

1 stalk lemongrass, upper and outer leaves trimmed off, peeled and halved the long way

2 small hot peppers, sliced

1 can coconut milk (don’t use coconut crème...that's for cocktails)

1 tablespoon chili paste

1 tablespoon red curry paste

2-3 tablespoon fish sauce

2 cups cooked chicken

1 head baby bok choy, sliced

½ pound couple of sliced mushrooms

1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Salt to taste

Minced red bell pepper for garnish (optional)

Put the chicken stock and water in a soup pot, along with the onion, ginger, and stalk of lemongrass and sliced hot peppers. Simmer over medium low heat for about 15 minutes. Add the coconut milk, pastes, fish sauce, chicken, mushrooms and bok choy. Let it simmer for another 15 minutes until the vegetables are just tender. Add the lime juice, cilantro and salt to taste. Remove the lemongrass and serve. Yield: serves 4

 

Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs)

This Frikadeller recipe comes straight from Denmark. Frikadeller is a savory meatball dish with a rich, creamy sauce that is comfort food at it's best!

Frikadeller:

3/4 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

1 large onion - grated

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

4 tablespoons flour

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoons pepper

1/4 teaspoons nutmeg

2-3 cloves of garlic

1/2 teaspoons sage leaves

half & half or milk for consistency (1/4 to 1/2 c.)

butter

Gravy:

3/4 - 2 tablespoons drippings from Frickadeller

Tiny butter if needed

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup heavy cream Milk works too

1 tablespoons beef bouillon

Salt & pepper

Frikadeller:

Combine beef, pork and onion. Add breadcrumbs, flour, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, garlic, and sage leaves (it works best if you mix it with your hands). Slowly add half & half for consistency (you want them to be slightly sticky, you shouldn't be able to form them into a perfect ball). Coat large skillet well with butter. Drop clumps of mixture (a heaping tablespoon-size) onto the skillet. Fry on medium to medium low heat until brown (press the meat down a lightly with a fork so it flattens out a little.. it should look like a fat hamburger.. see picture below), then flip (approx 3-5 minutes per side). Add more butter with each batch. Serve with gravy (see below). **Don't wash the skillet-- you will want the brown bits and drippings for the gravy** For the gravy: Add the flour to the drippings to form a roux (add butter if needed). Slowly add cream (or milk) until mixture reaches gravy consistency. Add beef bouillon, salt & pepper to taste.

 

Danish Brunede Kartofler - Caramelized Browned Potatoes

Danish Brunede are a great side dish to any meal! They are a small potato with a sweet caramelized coating.

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup butter

2 Tbsp. water

Drain potatoes and pat dry.

In a large skillet cook the sugar on medium-low heat until completely melted. DO NOT STIR!

When melted and slightly darkened around the edges, add the butter and stir until it becomes kind of a syrupy mixture. Add the potatoes and a little bit of water (if the mixture starts to stiffen and form lumps turn the heat up and it will melt again). Moving the skillet around, gently cover each potato in the mixture, continuing to cook for about 6-8 minutes.

 

Chicken Cauliflower Curry

Simple Indian Chicken Curry with coconut milk and cauliflower is 30 minute healthy dinner recipe entire family will love. Rave reviews even from picky eaters and lots of leftovers to freeze. In my world, curry is simple, heart healthy and delicious. I remember even my Ukrainian grandma used to make chicken curry. It is simply a combo of coconut milk, curry powder and ginger with any veggies or meat. I served it over brown rice but quinoa would be great too. Lots of leftovers you can freeze. With a perfect balance of lean protein and vegetables, this chicken curry recipe can be made all vegan using extra cauliflower and served over brown rice or quinoa. Mild enough for the little ones. For my youngest son I diluted his portion with Greek yogurt to make it less spicy.

Brown rice or quinoa, for serving

1.5 lbs cauliflower (4 cups), cut into small florets

1.5 lbs boneless & skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ pieces*

1 large onion, thinly sliced halves

3 large garlic cloves, minced

2 inch ginger, minced

2 medium bell peppers, cut into 2 inch strips

1 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin

14 oz can coconut milk, full fat

2 tbsp maple syrup or honey

2 tbsp curry powder

2 tsp turmeric

1 tbsp cornstarch (for GF version) or 2 tbsp whole wheat flour

1 1/4 tsp salt

Ground black pepper, to taste

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

1/3 cup green onions, chopped

Cook brown rice or quinoa.

Preheat large non-stick deep skillet on low – medium heat and add olive oil. Add onion, garlic, ginger, bell peppers and cook until soft, about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add coconut milk, honey, curry powder, turmeric, cornstarch, salt, pepper and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, add cauliflower + chicken and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Serve hot, on a bed of brown rice or quinoa, garnished with cilantro and green onions.

Notes*Substitute chicken for extra cauliflower for a vegan version. Yield: 8 servings (no rice)