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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Dear CSA Members,

This is the last week of the 2011 CSA season.  Thank you all for participating in our community supported agriculture program this year.  It has been great getting to know you all at the pick-ups, sharing new varieties of produce, exchanging recipes and cooking tips.  I hope you’ve enjoyed the produce you’ve received this season and will consider joining us again next year.

We will continue attending the Chestertown Farmers’ Market on Saturday mornings with what we have remaining in our fields.  Stop by and visit if you are feeling fresh-veggie withdrawal.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Expected Harvest

arugula
bok choy
cabbage
carrots
celeriac
collards
fennel
garlic
kale
leeks
lettuce mix
parsnips
potatoes – banana fingerling
radish, daikon
radish, French breakfast
radish, watermelon
rutabaga
scallions
sweet potatoes
turnips, hakurei
turnips, purple top white globe

Bonus:
cilantro
dill
parsley
rosemary
sage
lemon grass

While pumpkin pie is traditional Thanksgiving fare, we didn’t have a great pumpkin harvest this year.  However, we do have sweet potatoes, so why not try sweet potato pie?  If you don’t already have a favorite sweet potato pie recipe, here is a good one to try.

Sweet Potato Buttermilk Pie
from Smitten Kitchen

Adapted only slightly from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook

Whipped egg whites give this pie a frothy texture, buttermilk gives it a tangy flavor and together you end up with a sweet potato pie that’s less leaden and more cheesecake-like than the tradition.

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 2 medium potatoes), peeled and chopped into a 1/2-inch dice
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (optional)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpoe flour
3/4 cup full- or lowfat buttermilk (or, you can make your own)
1 All-Butter, Really Flaky Pie Crust (a half recipe will yield a single crust), prebaked (instructions below)
Whipped cream, for serving

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Pour 1 1/2 inches of water into a 3-quart stock part with a strainer basket suspended over it and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, cover and steam until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Place the steamed sweet potatoes in a large bowl and let cool to room temperature. Mash them into a smooth puree with a fork or potato masher (though I suspect that a potato ricer would also do a great job). You should have 1 1/4 cups puree; discard any excess (by topping with a pat of butter, sprinkling with salt and making yourself a most-excellent snack). Add the butter, lemon juice if using, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula after each addition.

In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly with a whisk, about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and beat until they’re a creamy lemon-yellow color, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the egg mixture to the sweet potato mixture and stir until the eggs are thoroughly incorporated and the filling is a consistent bright orange color. Add the flour a little at a time, stirring after each addition until thoroughly incorporated. Add the buttermilk and again stir until smooth and even.

With a cleaned whisk (or electric hand mixer), whisk the egg whites to soft peaks in a clean, dry bowl. With a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the sweet potato-buttermilk mixture until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture into the prebaked crust and bake on the middle rack of the oven until the center is firm and set, 35 to 40 minutes.

Remove the pie from the oven and cool completely on a rack. Serve at room temperature (or cold from the fridge; you can cover it with plastic wrap before chilling) with a dollop of whipped cream.

To pre-bake your pie crust, choose a method: “Proper” method – Lay a sheet of aluminum foil over the dough and carefully scatter pie weights, dried beans or pennies over it. Bake on the middle rick of your oven at 325°F for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the pie weights and the foil, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, and bake for 10 minutes more.

Deb’s “Cheater” method – Freeze your rolled-out pie shell for 20 to 30 minutes until solid. Press a piece of buttered foil, buttered side down, very frozen shell and blind bake it at 325°F for 20 minutes, then carefully pull back the foil, press any part of the crust that has bubbled up gently back with the back of a spoon, prick the bottom of the crust with a fork, and bake for 10 minutes more.

by Zoë Abram

I love Thanksgiving primarily because of the rituals. I love the debates about which pies to make and which to skip this year. (Which are you choosing?) I love the invariably underestimated cooking time for the main dish. I love how food takes on even more of an importance and a central presence … each Thanksgiving I wonder how we can better treat our time together with this much thought and care throughout the year.

On the farm too, Thanksgiving harvest is a special moment. The cold weather keeps us moving, digging parsnips and cutting bok choy.  It’s a good time for CSA — Thanksgiving is one of the times of year that tradition still matches eating seasonally in this region very well. We have many of the root vegetables and hearty greens that usually grace Thanksgiving tables, and it feels so lucky to be able to share that abundance among our members. The long harvest days provide moments to reflect on the season we’ve had, all the produce that came from it and all the work that went in. As this season ends we look forward to hearing your thoughts — what was it like for you this year??

We feel winter coming as we adjust our start time due to frost, or pull back row cover that protects more delicate crops. Already the fields look different — the tomato trellises are gone, black plastic is ripped from the beds that had it, and many fields are mowed or in cover. This year we have 2 fields in daikon, also called “tillage radish” when it is planted as a cover crop. The daikon penetrates the soil deeply, helping to keep it aerated throughout the winter, and holding on to some of the nutrients for spring crops.

Cover crops are one instance in which the focus of this part of the season turns towards next spring. We’re looking towards spring in many ways: this week we moved the new laying hens in with the older ones. They all seem to be getting along fine. We’re so excited to have eggs to sell next season. Probably most importantly, we’re accepting 2012 members and thinking of ways to expand our membership for next year. We look forward to asking for your advice, help and input in that process. As the season turns we feel so grateful to be a part of this community and send all our wishes for the happiest Thanksgivings!

From Epicurious

yield: Makes 6 servings
active time: 30 minutes
total time: 2 hours 20 minutes

The glaze adds just the right sweet-hot note to this interesting mix of vegetables. Try the roasted veggies with pork chops or chicken.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted, divided
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chiles
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
12 ounces parsnips, peeled, thin ends halved lengthwise, thick ends quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
12 ounces turnips, peeled, cut into 1-inch wedges
12 ounces rutabaga, trimmed, peeled, cut into 3/4-to 1-inch wedges
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse kosher salt

Preparation

Stir 1/2 tablespoon melted butter, honey, lemon juice, garlic, thyme, ground chiles, cumin, cinnamon, and pinch of cayenne pepper in small bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt. Let glaze stand at least 45 minutes to allow flavors to blend.

Do AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread parsnips, turnips, and rutabagas evenly on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter and olive oil over; sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat well. Roast until vegetables are soft and browned in spots, tossing occasionally, about 50 minutes.

Pour glaze over vegetables; toss to coat evenly. Roast until glaze is absorbed and vegetables are browned, tossing occasionally, about 15 minutes longer. Serve warm.

Expected Harvest:
arugula
bok choy
braising greens – a mix of mustard and Asian greens
broccoli
carrots
celeriac
collards
fennel
garlic
kale
leeks
lettuce mix
parsnips
potatoes – Satina
radish, daikon
radish, watermelon
rutabaga
scallions
sweet potatoes
turnips, hakurei
turnips, purple top white globe

Bonus:
cilantro
dill
parsley
rosemary
sage
lemon grass

We’ve started digging our parsnips now that we’ve had some frosty mornings to sweeten up the roots.  If you aren’t familiar with parsnips, keep reading.  I’ve copied some general information and three mouth-watering recipes I found online at MarthaStewart.com.  Follow the link for even more parsnip recipes.

Parsnip Basics

In Season: Parsnips require cold weather to convert their starches into sugar and develop their appealingly sweet flavor, so they are harvested in the late fall, after the frost sets in. They store well and are available throughout the winter and spring.

What to Look For: Parsnips look similar to ivory or pale-yellow carrots, with a bulbous top tapering down to a skinny root. Choose small, firm parsnips that are not limp or shriveled.

How to Store: Keep parsnips loosely wrapped in the produce drawer of the refrigerator, and use within two to three weeks.

Creamy Parsnip Soup   
Everyday Food, November 2005

Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield Serves 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
1 pound prepared sliced leeks (2 cups)
1 pound parsnips, trimmed, peeled, and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
2 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium baking potato (about 1/2 pound), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can (14.5 ounces) reduced sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper
Leek garnish (see below)
Directions
Heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks (reserving 1/2 cup for garnish). Cook, stirring, 5 minutes.

Add parsnips, apples, potato, broth, and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Working in batches, puree soup in a blender until smooth. Return it to pot; stir in cream. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with Leek Garnish.

To make leek garnish, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Add reserved 1/2 cup leeks; cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Glazed Turnips and Parsnips with Maple Syrup   
Everyday Food, November 2008

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield Serves 6

Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, such as safflower
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch lengths (halved if thick)
1 pound turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
1 cup canned reduced-sodium chicken broth or water
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Directions
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add parsnips and turnips; cook, stirring once, until beginning to brown, 2 minutes.

Add broth, pure maple syrup, and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until crisp-tender, 10 minutes. Uncover, and cook over medium-high until parsnips and turnips are tender and liquid is syrupy, 7 to 9 minutes more (there should be only a small amount of liquid remaining).

Remove skillet from heat; add butter, and swirl skillet until melted. Season with salt and pepper.

Apple-Parsnip Mash
Everyday Food, January 2010

Yield Serves 4

Ingredients
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound apples (such as Honeycrisp or Fuji), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions
In a medium saucepan, combine parsnips, apples, and water. Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, until parsnips are completely tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor, add unsalted butter, and process until smooth. Season with coarse salt and ground pepper.

Cook’s Note
Good with roasted pork, turkey, or chicken

Expected Harvest:
bok choy
braising greens – a mix of mustard and Asian greens
broccoli
cabbage, green
carrots
collards
eggplant
fennel
garlic
kale
leeks
parsnips
peppers – mostly green bell and some red
radish, daikon
radish, watermelon
scallions
sweet potatoes
turnips, hakurei
turnips, purple top white globe

Bonus:
cilantro
parsley
rosemary
lemon grass