Thursday, November 13, 2008

Newsletter # 24

Red Springs Family Farm
November 13, 2008, Week #24

This week:
Lettuce Spinach Collard Greens
Parsley Mizuna Radishes
Arugula Butternut & Acorn Squash
Variable herbs – sage, lemon balm, mint
Surprise! Green Peppers

Your produce has been washed by the morning fog. We’re glad it’s not pouring this morning, and have enjoyed slogging through the big wet leaves to see what lies beneath the row covering. The collards were breathtaking. I took some pictures and will put them on the web for you.

Fetching some potatoes at our neighbors cave, I stumbled across these perfectly preserved green peppers. What a treat! There’s also spinach in with your lettuce this week, which we hope you will enjoy. We’ve not found the right place and time to really make spinach thrive here yet, but the results are improving. This is just enough to enjoy, and we’ll be trying to keep it through until Spring for a fresh crop of extra tender dark green leaves.

Thanks for your feedback of the last few weeks. We appreciate knowing what works and doesn’t for you, and it seems like the word is in that chicory is not the winning the popularity contest. That’s very good to know. Maybe next year we’ll try fennel instead?

I’ve got some winning recipes this week….

Something new: New South Falafel (from Passionate Vegetarian by Crescent Dragonwagon)

½ cup cooked brown or white rice (cooked until very soft, preferably short grain)
1 cup cooked fresh greens (spinach or collard will do), well drained and finely chopped
¼ onion, finely diced 1 (15 or 16 oz) can black-eyed peas, well drained
1 Tbsp. cornstarch 2 cloves garlic
Leaves from 3-4 mint stems 1 large egg
½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. minced fresh sage leaves cayenne to taste
2 Tbsp. minced Italian Parsley ½ to ¾ cup crisp breadcrumbs – cornbread works great

1. Place the rice, onion, and half of the black-eyed peas in a medium bowl. Using a potato masher, mash well, but not to a paste; the peas should still have some texture. Stir in the chopped spinach.
2. Place the other half of the black eyed peas in a food processor. Add the cornstarch, garlic, mint, egg, salt, pepper, sage, and cayenne. Process until smooth, pausing several times to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the parsley and breadcrumbs and pulse/chop a few times.
3. Combine this mixture with the mashed black-eyed pea mixture in the bowl. Taste and season to your liking, amping up any of the spices, salt, or pepper. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes, or as long as overnight, so it can firm up.
4. Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the mix from the fridge and shape into flattened discs, 25-30 small ones or 12-16 larger ones. Place them on an oiled baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes. Flip over and bake for 5 more minutes, or until brown.
5. Serve on split biscuits, drizzled with peanut sauce. Eat as soon as assembled and enjoyjoyjoy!

New South Peanut Sauce: Combine all ingredients in a food processor and buzz until smooth.
¼ cup natural style peanut butter ½ cup cold water
1-2 oz. silken tofu juice of 1-2 lemons
2 cloves garlic salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

And something traditional: Collard Greens (from The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American)

BIG bunch of collard greens salt and pepper to taste
2 cups chicken soup stock dash of Tobasco
2 Tbsp. bacon drippings

Wash the greens very well. Shake dry and coarsely chop. Place them in a kettle and pour the chicken broth on top. Bring to a full boil, then lower the heat and keep the pot at a heavy simmer until the greens are tender and to your liking. Add the seasonings and bacon fat. It is traditional to cook collards for a longer period of time.

Here’s a repeat recipe from last year that is so delicious.

Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Sage and Hazelnuts This recipe usually requires at least 2 cups of flour; so don’t panic if you need to add more to make the texture right. 1 1/2 lb butternut squash 1 eggSalt and Pepper 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg1 1/2cups flour or more 8 T butter24 sage leaves 1/2 cup toasted hazelnutsThree-quarters cup grated Parmesan cheese Half, remove the seeds from and bake the squash until very tender at 400 F. Puree the pulp and let sit in a strainer for 30 minutes. Add the egg, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and enough flour to form a dough that holds together. Knead until no longer sticky, adding flour as needed. Roll the dough into two ropes, about 1 inch in diameter. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Slice off half-inches of the dough. Press the pieces with a fork in a curving motion to make depressions. Drop the gnocchi into the water. Cook 8-10 at a time until they float, drain in a slotted spoon, and slip into a buttered dish. Heat the butter in a pan, add sage leaves and hazelnuts until lightly browned. Toss with the gnocchi. Top with Parmesan and serve.

We hope next week to offer you pumpkins, broccoli, and maybe even cornmeal for your Thanksgiving celebration. Thanks for taking part in our harvest.

Peace be with you.
Paul, Coree, and Lulah

“Now we let the microscope and the stock market, not the cosmos and ideals, dictate our actions: we want to save time, money, effort and discomfort; and we sow seeds of disharmony, illness and ultimately death. Can we embrace once more with reverence and awareness, those processes that appear to be outmoded or old-fashioned but which are, in their very nature, the keys to the wisdom and miraculous quality of our natural world?” – G√ľnther Hauk, Toward Saving the Honeybee

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