Tuesday, March 11, 2014

January 1, 2014

The CSA is closed.  Thank you all for your many years of support.  May all your seeds sprout!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Locavores CSA - Sepetember 30, 2013

Last CSA of the Season - What's in the box?
Just about done

Fresh ground Florianni Polenta Corn and Tohono O'Odham Flour corn, Scarlet Runner Beans, Grover Delaney Watermelons, and a couple of others, Sweet Dumpling Squash,  Mill Creek Onions, Garlic, Russet Potatoes, Golden Beets, Carrots, Apples, Tomatoes, Peppers, Limes and Lemons.

This week's special gift :  Dried Tomatoes and Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce:
Home late?  This is one of those very easy meals.
1 C. Chicken Broth
2 Cups Chopped Cooked Chicken (or shrimp or just the veges).
1 Onion chopped
2 Cups Cheese (Jack, Cheddar or good Mexican Cheese)
Pumpkins and Squash
A handful of olives
A bit of cilantro
Tortillas

Take the ench sauce and mix it with 1 cup of Broth.  Take a spoonful of onions, chicken and cheese and roll it in a tortilla.  Leave both ends open.  I make enough of these to fill a 9x13" pan.  Pour the sauce over the top, sprinkle with the leftover cheese, olives, onions, cilantro and chicken.  Bake 350 degrees about 25 minutes.  Serve with sour cream.

Enchilada sauce can also be used as a short cut to making Chili Verde.  Add the sauce after the meat is cooked and simmer for a few minutes.

Apples
Finally, my box of apples came from Prevedelli in Watsonville!  I kept all the Gravensteins for sauce, but I did give each of you a bag of perfectly paired pie Apples.  The green ones are Mutsu and the Red/golds are Johnagolds.  These are beautiful organic apples.  And yummy too.


The onions I sent out this week, seemed a little soft, so use them up.

Freshly ground corn
Should be used within a week, or put in the freezer and used within a month.  Each of these bags has 2 cups of flour in it.

Polenta
Florianni Corn before being ground into Polenta

Okay, so I don't make polenta like anyone else you know.  Nona says to boil the water and in a slow stream, add the polenta, whisking continually so that it doesn't lump, and stir continually for 25 minutes.   So, here's how I do it:

1 cup chicken broth
3 cups water
1 cup polenta
1/2 cup cream
1 cup Parmesan cheese
3 T. Butter
1 t. sea salt (try Gray...it's yummy)

Put 3 cups of COLD water in a pot and whisk the polenta corn into it. Now, go do something else for 20 minutes.   Are you back?  Okay, turn the pot to medium and while continually stirring, add the chicken broth and salt.  Stir and stir about 20 minutes until it starts to spit at you.  Then stir in the cream, butter and cheese and stir for another minute or so.  You can serve it just like this, sprinkled with herbs and peppers.  Or you can put it in a buttered pan and let it form up.  You can bake it (20 minutes, 350 degrees.

You can grill it.  You can fry it.  You can put it in a salad, top it with sauce, plunk a grilled pork chop on to of it.  You can slice it, make a hole in it and fry and egg in it.  Polenta, a thousand ways to serve it.  A few weeks ago, I had it served to me mixed with honey and ricotta and piped into a fig.  As a child we often ate this soft for breakfast.  We called it mush.  On Thanksgiving we have it topped with cranberries.  Leo likes his grilled with a teriyaki steak on the side.  And when no one's looking I eat it with Ragu, while standing in the kitchen.  There's a hundred recipes for it on net.


I've been bringing in the pumpkins for pies and you will get these in your next box.  The next out of season box will be October 7.   After that, we'll have to see.

Hasn't it been a beautiful season?  Thank you each and every one.

Have a great week.



Monday, September 23, 2013

Locavores CSA - September 23, 2013

What's in the box: Melons - Many watermelons this week the pale ones are Grover Delaney, a few honeydews and some mystery Italian melons,  Sweet Corn, Eggplants, Peppers, Tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, Naked Ned Kelly squash, ornamental edible, onions and celeriac:

This week's special gift - Chicas and lots of special treats
Polenta Corn



Celeriac

The unsung prince of fall vegetables. Pare off its warty exterior and you'll uncover the royal vegetable within.

Virtually unknown in the US; however,  In Europe, however, celeriac is a historic favorite. The vegetable's most classic employment is in the cold French salad celerie remoulade, in which the root is peeled, grated, "cooked" in lemon juice to lose a bit of its rawness, then dressed with a mustardy mayonnaise.

When peeled, celery root's creamy white flesh resembles that of a turnip and tastes like a subtle blend of celery and parsley.  It can be cooked anyway that you cook a potato.

I like it in soup or  roasted with a pat of butter.

Celeriac Soup
First remove the tops of the celeriac, wash and chop them.  Add them to a quart of chicken broth with a couple of bay leaves
Florianni Red Flint Polenta Corn

3 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, green top removed, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly diced
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
½ cup white wine
1 celeriac, peeled, roughly diced
1 potato, peeled, roughly diced
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup 35% cream
pinch fresh nutmeg
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds for garnish
salt and pepper

Read more at http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/celeriac-soup/9827/#TWZRlk2GBIfAqSEA.99

1 T. butter, 2 T. olive oil
1 onion, coarsely diced
3 sprigs fresh thyme 
1/2 cup white wine
2 celeriac, peeled, coarsely diced (let these soak in vinegar water for a few minutes)
1 potato peeled, coarsely diced

4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup heavy cream
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Pinch fresh nutmeg
Chopped cooked bacon as a garnish (or you could use any toasted seeds).

Trying to beat the rain harvesting Cherokee White Flour Corn
Put the butter and olive oil in a pan.   Once the butter has melted, add the onion and thyme and stir until the onions are translucent. Add the wine and reduce the liquid by 2/3. Add the diced celeriac and potato, stir.  Drain the stock, and add the liquid to the pot and bring up to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer Cook until the celeriac is tender, approximately 35 to 40 minutes.

Carefully transfer the mixture into a food processor and puree until smooth. Stir in the cream.  Season the soup with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Sprinkle with bacon, parsley or toasted seeds and serve.

Just about all done for the season
Corn Chicas
These are sweet corn that have been roasted on the BBQ, cut off the cob and then dried.  There's 2 cups in the bag.    So, to use them I put them on to soak overnight and then make my stew the next day.  You need to use twice as much water to soak them as you use corn.  So, 4 cups for the whole bag, 2 cups for 1 cup corn...etc.  Try them in a nice pork or chicken stew!

On the farm 

Cherokee White Flour Corn
We really had to scurry to get all the corn in before it started raining.  Nothing ruins dry corn like rain.   One year we rushed to get it out of the field, and it molded in the wheel barrow!  So we didn't take any chances with our beautiful crop this year.   Leo was looking at my wagon and started laughing...not near big enough to bring in all the corn with.   We got it all in and shucked and now it's hanging in the barn to dry. 

Many thanks to the Dar Jones (the magnificent) for all tomato and corn seeds this year.  Dar assures me that this will be the best flour corn we have ever et.

Will have to be patient and wait for it to finish drying.

For those of you who are on the every other week schedule, this is your last CSA of the season.  We've sure enjoyed your company.  Thanks for having us in your kitchen.

For those of you who are on the every week schedule, you have a few more boxes coming.

I think the polenta corn will be ready next week!  I've already got it off the cob and spending a week in the freezer to thwart any would be bugs that would try to get into the pantry.

Have a great week.  And a lovely winter for those of you who are finished.




3 tablespoons butter
2 leeks, green top removed, roughly chopped
1 onion, roughly diced
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
½ cup white wine
1 celeriac, peeled, roughly diced
1 potato, peeled, roughly diced
6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup 35% cream
pinch fresh nutmeg
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon black sesame seeds for garnish
salt and pepper

Read more at http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/celeriac-soup/9827/#TWZRlk2GBIfAqSEA.99

Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19, 2013 - Last CSA - Mer Folk

What's in the box:
Melons - there were a lot of Ananas Melons this week, a few honeydews and some watermelons, Sweet Corn, Eggplants, Peppers, Tomatoes, tomatillos, garlic, Naked Ned Kelly squash, onions and:

This week's special gift - Corn Flour, and lots of special treats

This is the second time I've tried to write a blog and Blogger has gone crazy.  I can't post any photos, so just bear with me.

Corn Flour vs. Corn Meal
There's a difference.  Corn Flour is for baking, Corn Meal is for boiling.  Corn Flour comes from Floury Corn and Corn Meal comes from Flint Corn.  At the farm we grow both.  We use the Corn Meal for Polenta.  In the sack there is 2 cups of Corn Flour.  I don't have a professional grinder, so the particles are still a bit larger than I could hope for.  To use this corn flour, try adding the liquid to it first and letting it sit for a bit before proceeding to your recipe.

Generally, Corn Flour can take the place of any cup of wheat flour in a recipe.  For example, I regularly make waffles, pancakes, or muffins with corn flour by simply substituting one cup of my corn flour for one cup of any other flour the recipe calls for.  Tonight for dinner we will have corn waffles with chili and sour cream on top.   When I make this recipe, I add the corn flour to the milk and set it aside for about 20 minutes while I organize the rest of dinner.  Once you've had corn waffles, you'll wonder why you haven't tried them before. 

Corn Flour makes great muffins and tamale pie!

Another Great Recipe for Eggplant

Eggplant stacks
Slice an eggplant and sprinkle both sides with salt and set on a paper towel for at least an hour.  Rinse and pat dry. 

Grease a baking pan with olive oil.  Put the eggplants on the sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar.

Put the eggplants in the oven at 450 and roast for 20-30 minutes until brown.  Don't turn them, but rotate the pan if you feel one edge is getting more brown than the other.

Now, take as many tomato slices as you had eggplant slices, make these at least 1/4 thick.  Put them on a baking pan greased with olive oil.  Sprinkle these with minced garlic, salt and pepper.  Roast these, without turning for 10-15 minutes.

Make as many slices of fresh mozzarella as you have eggplant slices.

Now make your stacks.  On each plate, arrange one slice of eggplant, one slice of cheese and top it with a tomato.  Serve warm.

I like to make these while I'm fussing about making the rest of dinner.

Ananas Melon
Ananas means pineapple in Italian and this netted melon has the aroma of pineapple.  If you were ever going to have melon and prosciutto, now's the time.  These melons are ripe today.  Eat them soon.  

Naked Ned Kelly Squash
Hey don't forget the seeds of these are almost naked, and very delicious too.  Give them a good rinse before roasting them.  These squash seeds can also be used as an oil.  After roasting, whir them in the food processor.  Leo loved these so much, you folks almost didn't get any.  The squash it self has a very nice flavor and a texture closer to potatoes that regular squash.  This squash should keep till Christmas.

Jars, Bags, Boxes and other Miscellany
As this is your last box/bag of the season, as you empty them please set aside jars for me.  Marisa has a box for me at the pool, and Leo has one in his office.  Canning season is far from over and I still hope to get enough jars back to make apple butter, which we will start the season with.

October is a fine  season in America, a wonderful time to begin anything at all.  I think the best remedy for any and all ailments is to take a road trip in October.    The beach, the mountains, the desert, it doesn't matter, they are all grand right now.  After a long season of farming, my feet itch and I can't wait to hit the road and go camping before the rain starts.  I could be cleaning seeds, but heck, that's the whole purpose of winter is to finish the season of procrastination by getting everything tucked in and put away in an orderly fashion.    Right about now, there is no surface in my house or barn that does not have seeds to clean stacked on it.  I'd take a photo, but I don't want to scare you!


Have a lovely season. 

September 9, 2013 - Locavores

Hey, where's the blog?  Sorry, there wasn't one for this week.  But there was a box. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 4, 2014

What's in the Box
NZ Torpedo Onions,  Garlic of Italy,  Peppers - mostly mild, Eggplant, Tomatoes,  grapes,  there were a few cukes,  Spaghetti Squash,  eggs and melons!


This week's special gift is:  Elderberry Jam
And if you have a "box" you also received pickled green beans and fresh green beans and the last of the summer squash.

Now those were some heavy boxes.  Although the zinnias were beautiful this week, the boxes were too full to squeeze any in.

The continuing saga of the Mountain Lion in the Chicken Coop

Some of you have asked, so here's the scoop, I finally found a game warden to inform that I have a lion hunting chickens without a license on my farm.

He told me that he would come out and give me a license to hunt the lion.  Apparently if I lived in Monterey County, they would come out and trap the lion, but in Santa Clara County they just give
Hanna Barbera's Snagglepuss
you a license to shoot it.  Now,  thirty chickens are a lot to lose but not worth shooting a Mountain Lion over.

I mean in my head, it's Snagglepuss, straight from the Yogi Bear show.  A big pink Lion with a collar and cuffs, "Heavens to Murgatroyd!" you can't expect me to shot a lion.  I mean, it's a lion! and they don't look so measly to me.  And remember, Major Minor never did shoot that lion.

So, I think I may just exit Stage Right and forget the whole thing.   In the meantime, the few remaining chickens that are left have been moved to the blue house for safety.

Of course, Leo, the resident Lion reminds me that even the blue house would not stand up to a determined Mountain Lion.  So it's my plan to stay in bed between midnight and six.  I wouldn't want to give the lion indigestion even.


Emeril's Herbed Spaghetti Squash

1 small spaghetti squash, about 2 1/4 pounds
2 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed soft herbs, such as basil, chives, chervil, parsley and sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Using a sharp knife, cut the squash in half lengthwise and place, cut side down, in a baking dish. Add enough water to come 1/2-inch up the sides of the baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until the squash is easily pierced with a paring knife. Turn squash over and cover with foil again and continue to cook another 15 minutes, until the squash is very tender. Remove from the oven, uncover, and allow to cool slightly. Using a spoon, remove the seeds and discard. Using a fork, gently pull the strands of squash away from the peel and place the squash strands into a mixing bowl.

Heat a skillet. Add the butter, spaghetti squash, herbs, salt and pepper and toss thoroughly but gently to heat and combine. Serve immediately or cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
chicas coming to your home soon

Melon Salsa
  • 2 cups diced melon 
  • 1 diced cuke
  • 1 finely chopped red torpedo onion
  • 1 chopped yellow chili
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt  
This was a Sunset recipe and we ate it all.  burp.
Coming next...corn! 
Have a great week.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Locavores CSA August 27, 2013

What's in the Box
NZ Torpedo Onions,  Garlic of Italy,  Peppers - mostly mild, Eggplant, Tomatoes, green beans, grapes,  Stripetti Spaghetti Squash,  and both watermelons and Italian Cantaloupe.
Spaghetti Squash playing hide and go seek

This week's special gift: dried tomatoes and Elderberry Jam.    Elderberry jam is very very good on saltines.  The salt and the seeds go together really well.  There were also eggs this week.



Today's Grapes are Thompson Seedless and Flame and it's a bumper crop this year. 

Melons are here, this week there were several watermelons and lots of Italian Cantaloupe.  If you have a PALE Green watermelon with NO stripes and you are able, please save the seed for me.  This is best done by spitting them on a piece of wax paper, parchment paper or a paper plate.  Thanks.  This is a rare watermelon called Grover Delaney.  When the seeds are dry, put them in an envelope and put them in your box.

Squash is coming
2 Ways to Cook Squash
Microwave :  Poke the squash all over with a fork.  Microwave on Full Power 5 to 10 minutes depending on size of squash.    Fork should easily pierce the peel and flesh if done.  If it doesn't continue to cook and try in 1 minute intervals.    Let it sit until cool enough to handle.  Cut in half lengthwise and scoop out he seeds,  and proceed with recipe.

Roast or Bake
Preheat oven to 350, Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds.  Oil or butter a baking dish.  Place the squash cut side down and bake until tender when pierced with a fork.  20 - 45 minutes depending on size.  With some squash I put a dab of butter in the middle and put my convection oven on roast and cook them cut side up!


Spaghetti Squash with Pepper Cream
1 Spaghetti Squash cooked and removed from shell.  String it out with a fork and put in a butter casserole dish. (2 Qt).

Take out a medium size frying pan and melt 3 T of butter in it and a splash of olive oil.  Add  several chopped and seeded peppers (hot, mild, bells, etc).  (I used 3 mild and 2 hot).  Add 1 chopped garlic and 1 chopped torpedo onion and cook for about 4 minutes until translucent but not brown.  Add 3 T. of flour to this mixture and stir until the flour is cooked and the fat is absorbed by the flour.  (About 3 minutes).  Now slowly add 3 C of half and half to the flour.  Add 1 and 1/2 C. Shredded Jack Cheese.
Cook for about 4 minutes or until the cheese is melted.  Mix the sauce into the squash.  Sprinkle with a little more cheese.  Bake  375 for 30 minutes.  Salt and Pepper to taste.

When I'm out of peppers, we have this with pepper jack.  Try adding nutmeg to the cheese sauce.  This is also good with Cheddar and other cheeses.

King George
George and the Mountain Lion
I have often waxed poetic about George the Rooster, a king amongst roosters.  This day is dedicated to George, I hope he went were all Great Roosters go to roost.  For the last several nights the hen house has been hit by a marauder.  Each night several hens and young roosters have gone missing.  After the first night we locked up the pen and couldn't figure out what in the heck was picking off our chickens.

We have recently seen coyotes, but coyotes don't normally jump a 5 foot fence and climb into a chicken house.  Leo also dispatched 3 possums in the barn.  They normally pick of the very young, but these are not wee chicks anymore.

Young Lion
George always puts up a fight for his hens and Saturday night there was one helluva commotion in the hen house.  Beth heard it and went out with a pen light.  There crouching vertically on the wall was a juvenile MOUNTAIN LION!  This is a photo my brother snapped with his cell phone awhile back, just above us at Henry Coe.   Cat attacks have occurred before in our area, so careful out there on the trails.

Alas for George and his flock, only 3 chickens survived, so there will be no more eggs this season.
One of these is a new hen from this year, and one is older than I am (well in chicken years).  Thankfully we still have the traveling chicken road show, four hens and George's son, Charles Stewart (Chuck Stew) to carry on George's excellent genetics.  May he be as competent a rooster as George was. 

Apparently, the Mountain Lion busted in through the wire near the roof to develop his own access to our hens.  We'll move the last 3 hens in with the Traveling Chicken Road Show.
Hopefully they will be safe in here. 

So long George, you were the best rooster I have ever met.