April Winter Share

Welcome to

 

We made it! through the winter, through the stores in the root cellar, through all the snow (we can make it through some more, right?).  I like winter a lot, but I’m glad it isn’t forever. It is nice to walk into a store and leave my jacket in the car, and it’s nice to walk on sidewalks again.

Though we look forward to it, this time of year doesn’t get any blue ribbons for presentation, that’s for sure. The melting snow reveals the half-rotted detritus of last fall. Walking out of the new greenhouse yesterday with freshly harvested spinach, and past the field with some of last year’s broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts sure was a contrast of scents.

All that mess and decomposition makes the next season’s bounty possible. The debris in gardens and yards and forests makes space for insects and small critters to winter over, and all the organic matter odoriferously returning to the soil is a feast to some microscopic life form or two. Life and death are always tangled up together; sometimes in our lives, sometimes in our yards.

I am really looking forward to this next season’s produce. I’ll miss the parsnips, carrots and potatoes when they’re gone, but for farm lunches I get really excited about cooking vegetables that cook fast, like bok choi or peppers. Or tomato mayonnaise sandwiches. That’s cooking, right?

I hope that as your spring moves forward (and it is moving forward, even if it snows again) you enjoy these last offerings from the root cellar (and the first from the greenhouse!) Thank you for participating with us in the season’s cycle. Your support of our CSA makes our planning and planting through the years possible.

Please sign up for next season’s produce if you haven’t already and take our Winter Share survey here.

Until June, and for the sweater-shedding crew,

Karin


In your share this month:

Beets – Orange and Purple Carrots – Onions – Parsnips – Red and Yellow Potatoes – Rutabaga –  and Spinach & Greens Mix! 

Note: the spinach has made it through the whole winter in the greenhouse and gets a little freeze-dried in the cold weather. It’s a good idea to give it a little soak in cold water to rehydrate it a bit. Enjoy!

 


Raw rutabaga and purple carrot salad

  • 1 rutabaga
  • 3 purple carrots (any carrots work – these are just pretty in the salad)
  • 1 large apple
  • 1/2 cup walnuts chopped (optional)

 For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard

Shred the rutabaga, carrots and apple in a food processer, spiralizer, or grater (or do small matchsticks). Add the walnuts (optional).

In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients for the dressing and whisk until smooth. Pour over the salad ingredients and toss until coated.

Enjoy chilled or at room temperature!


Potato, Scallion and Kale Cakes

  • 8-12 scallions
  • 1 handful spinach leaves, rolled in a stack and sliced into very thin ribbons
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse or kosher salt (or less)
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups cold leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Clean and trim the scallions, leaving about 2 inches of green stems;  reserve the darker green tops for garnish and salad additions. Cook in boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, wring out well, and chop finely. Place the scallions in a medium-sized bowl, add the spinach, eggs, nutmeg (if using), salt, pepper, bread crumbs and potatoes and stir to combine. The batter will be loose and wet; this is just fine.

Heat the oils in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Use about 2 tablespoons batter (I used a cookie scoop that holds slightly less) per pancake, flattening them as they hit the pan. Cook until golden brown underneath, just a couple minutes, before flipping them and cooking them on the reverse side until golden and crisp as well. Drain on paper towels, but be gentle as they are still fragile. You can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven while cooking off the rest of the batter, adding more oil as needed and letting pan cool between batches if it gets too hot.

Serve scattered with reserved scallion stems, if desired, topped with an egg or alongside a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt. They also make a wonderful meal with a big salad. Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days

March Winter Share

Est. 2012

I went shopping yesterday for this and that and walked out of the store noticing that of the variety of things I bought, everything was a sky-blue ranging from light to vibrant. I also happened to have put on a bright blue shirt that morning. I felt like one of those Bowerbirds that collect the blue bits and pieces of the world to decorate their homes with. Maybe the blue things in my home will impress all my friends?

I think the color du jour was a sign of having let myself get a little more cooped up this winter than usual. But I am looking forward to playing in the snow as it (hopefully) starts to dissipate. Maybe I’ll make a snow man, just to watch it melt this weekend.

Seeing the sunlight return is my favorite thing about this time of year. Not setting the clocks ahead, I hate that nonsense, but having more daylight and having the sun higher in the sky is a good feeling. And a 40° high late this week? I am sure that will be a welcome feeling for most people.

The transition and back and forth nature of spring in this region can make winter seem 20190308_105451like it’s dragging on and on. On the farm we’re hoping for not too much dragging. It would be nice to see fields drying and thawing out by next month. As soon as the frost is out of the ground, our plan is to build a deer fence on the land across the road. This will be the forth season of planting out there. So far we’ve had potatoes and squash (and cover crop) planted in those fields. Deer tend to leave those things alone, though they’ll go for the squash when they get sweeter. Janaki wants to put carrots over there this year, because of the soil being nice and sandy. If we plant, we’ll be up against the clock for putting up a fence.

It’s hard to picture weeding carrots over there. Not like it’s so very far, but we’ll all need to bike over, or jump in the van with bottles full of water, because there won’t be back and forth to get water in the middle of weeding. And the way the soil is over there, I’m sure on warm days it’ll feel like we are roasting from all sides, like rotisserie chickens. That actually sounds kind of nice right now, but I know that when I’m in the midst of carrot weeding, I’ll be picturing standing in the cool packing shed, putting all the carrots into bags.

Farming seems to always be a mix of being in the moment and looking ahead a few months, or a few rows. It’s life.

For the expectant farm crew,

Karin


In your share this month:

Beets – Carrots – Onions – Parsnips – Yellow potatoes and Purple Fingerlings – Rutabaga


 

Parsnip Cupcakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom or 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 cups grated parsnip (from 1 large peeled parsnip)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together flour, cardamom, baking powder, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, eggs, oil, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and parsnip. Stir in flour mixture.
  2. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Divide batter among cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.
  3. In a large bowl, with a mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar, and remaining teaspoon vanilla until combined. Spread frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

Mashed Potato, Rutabaga and Parsnip Hot-dish

  • 7 cups chicken broth
  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 1 ½ pounds rutabagas, peeled and cubed
  • 1 ¼ pounds parsnips, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 3 onions, thinly sliced
  • salt to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

Directions

  • Combine chicken broth, potatoes, rutabagas, parsnips, cloves, bay leaf, and thyme in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cover partially. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 30 minutes. Drain.

  • Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Add 1/2 cup butter . Use an electric mixer, beat mixture until mashed but still chunky. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer mashed vegetables to a buttered 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish.

  • Melt remaining 1/4 cup butter or margarine in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced onions. Saute until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Saute until onions are tender and golden brown, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spread onions evenly over mashed vegetables. Casserole can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes, or until heated through and top begins to crisp.

Febrrruary Winter Share

Rosemary

***Your farmers are coming to the big city on February 19 from 5-7 in the Zeitgeist Arts atrium to talk about the upcoming season and give away some of our precious rutabagas! You can come and sign up for a CSA share or just chat local organic farming and swap root vegetable recipes.***


If you are reading this, and you’re in Northern Minnesota or Wisconsin right now, congratulations. You’re still here! The stand-out weather events of the past few weeks are a great unifier of sorts. Case in point: I know we’ll all be shoveling this evening, no? At least it’s fluffy.

I’ve always felt that our less than ideal driving conditions actually make us better drivers. The slipping and sliding, not to mention the hills and banks of snow (that I’m sure hide my silvery Civic from all cross traffic) keep us in constant awareness of our actions on the road affecting those around us. We know to slow down early before stoplights, and to give the right of way to anyone trying to make it up a narrow avenue. We shovel people out and get pushed out of intersections by strangers, with no time, or traction, to stop and say thank you. We’re all in it together, and I think we either love complaining about it or relishing in the wintry wonderland of it all. Or a mix of the two.

And we’re unified by our source of staples for the month. At points during these winter months I’m sure many of us are eating lunches and dinners that look very similar. Our cutting boards will all look bright pink at points too.

As always, I’m thankful that you all seek out our winter (and summer) CSA and with that support we are able to keep growing in sustainability and resilience for our shifting climate.

We are all unified in that too, though it doesn’t always create the rush of feeling of sliding to, or maybe past, a stop sign. Sometimes it is like a lullaby of climate change – of more and more sunny beach days in the summer where the Lake is actually warm. Or of fewer mosquitoes on camping trips. Sometimes the way we are affecting the environment does pack a punch. Like with washed out bridges from “hundred year” floods that have happened back to back, or record highs year after year, or a photo of stacks upon stacks of bison skulls bleached in the prairie sun. Our grasping reach has been off balance for a long time, and we’re sliding.

Day by day, with our choice to eat locally what we can, and live simply in the ways we can, we’re unified in trying to make the out-of-control slide slower, to ease the burden our convenience culture has put on the environment.

I hope we can go forth in the world and treat each other with with the same awareness too. We are all a part of the climate just as much as the Lake or the rutabagas or the honey bees. On the surface it’s often impossible to see who might be sliding uncontrollably down hill, or unable to dig their way out of a drift as the winds of life blow, or who might need a kind push to get going, even if they don’t stop to say thank you.

The roads, our dinner plates and our humanity unify us, and I for one should practice going out with a sense of collaboration and not of playing bumper cars with anyone or anything.

For the boot stomping and carrot bagging farm crew,
Karin

 


In your share this month:

Red and Chioggia beets – Red cabbage – Carrots – Yellow and red onions – Parsnips – Red and yellow Potatoes – Rutabaga – Delicata squash


Spicy squash salad with lentils and goat cheese -From the Smitten Kitchen

Serves 6 as an appetizer, 3 as a main

3/4 cup black or green lentils
6 cups peeled, seeded and cubed squash (1-inch cubes)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika*
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup soft crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves (optional)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus additional to taste
Roasted squash seeds (about 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss squash cubes with 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, paprika and salt. Arrange in a single layer on baking sheet and roast 20 minutes. Flip pieces and roast for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until tender. Cool.

Meanwhile, soak lentils for 10 minutes in a small bowl, then drain. Cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water, then drain and cool.

Combine lentils, squash, any oil you can scrape from the baking sheet (I didn’t get enough for this to be worth it) with arugula, if using, half of goat cheese, mint, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper and extra vinegar, if desired (we felt it needed it). Divide among plates and pass with remaining goat cheese to sprinkle.

*More or less spicy to taste


  • 1/2 lb delicata, peeled and cubed

  • 3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 1 large beet, peeled and cubed

  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed

  • 1 parsnip, peeled and cubed

  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature

  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg

  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

     

    Place squash, potato, beet, rutabaga and parsnip into a large pot and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and return to pot.

    Mash vegetable mixture and butter together with a potato masher or fork until orange-ish with streaks of red from the beets; season with nutmeg, salt, and black pepper.

January Winter Share

dapper

*A couple of notes:

  • We have been running low on our egg cartons for a while, and even if you don’t get eggs from us, we’d take whatever 1 dozen cardboard cartons you  have. Thanks!
  • Also, I would recommend using your squash earlier rather than later as it has been a touchy year for storage. It freezes well after roasting or steaming if you want to extend its shelf life.

 

Even as what was slush is now solid ice on all the sidewalks, I am trying to freeze the memory of how everything looked the past couple of weeks with snow magically stuck to every branch along my drive to the farm and my walks around. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such a winter-wonderland look last for so long.

A couple of weeks ago my life was full of hustle and bustle and friends and family. I got to share some Food Farm carrots with my mom’s side of the family and some pickled green beans with my dad’s side. Everyone approved. I love the time of year where people make a point to gather together and linger for a bit, but I’m glad it’s just once a year. Now I am enjoying working my way through a book I got over the holidays, and tucking back in my ornaments. My wintery tea towels get to hang out a little longer.

This seems to be a time of year for reflection and trying to put one’s best foot forward. I guess the fact that I’m saying that makes me a week late to the resolution party. But if 20181207_161125you’re on your way into the new year with aspirations and expectations, I hope they’ve been going well. Trying to make a change by adding or subtracting things from your routine is hard. It can be overwhelming, the fact that personal change is hard enough while also knowing that societal changes are all the harder because it takes large groups of people working hard for a single goal.

As members of our Food Farm CSA, in my mind you are all actively part of making this one change happen in your kitchens, and thus, in our larger (global) food system. The fact that you have signed up for a share, and get it every week or month during a given season might seem small, but for every parsnip you eat and batch of soup you make it is one more step that adds to a healthier world. Not just because of the food being good for you, but because of the direct impact of supporting a farm in your area.

With ever increasing ways available to buy and consume food, I am thankful that you’ve chosen a way that supports the Food Farm, and has for over 2 decades. I feel like a broken record in saying it, but I know there are easier ways to eat than with food from a CSA. So thank you for starting another year with us, and taking time to scrub your potatoes and break into a cabbage or two.

For the crew,

Karin


In your share this month:

Green Cabbage – Orange and Purple Carrots – Yellow Onions – Parsnips – Russet and French Fingerling Potatoes – Kabocha and Delicata Squash


Carrot Salad With Harissa Feta and Mint

3/4 pound carrots, peeled, trimmed and coarsely grated20190104_104141
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 crushed clove of garlic
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds or about half as much, ground (I used seeds but ground them first)
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or about half as much, ground (I used the seed but ground them first, again)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon harissa (for a solid kick of heat; adjust yours to taste, and to the heat level of your harissa)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
100 grams feta, crumbled or chopped into bits
In a small sauté pan, cook the garlic, caraway, cumin, paprika, harissa and sugar in the oil until fragrant, about one to two minutes. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Pour over the carrots and mix. Add the herbs and mix. Leave to infuse for an hour and add the feta before eating.


Cabbage and Lime Salad with Roasted Peanuts

1/2 small red cabbage, trimmed, cored, and shredded (about 6 cups)
1/2 small green cabbage, trimmed, cored, and shredded (about 6 cups)
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 bunch fresh baby spinach, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch wide ribbons (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from about 2 small limes)
1 tablespoon Dijon or other salty prepared mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, toss the shredded red and green cabbage with the salt. Transfer the cabbage to a colander and let it drain for two hours. (I was in a rush and did this in one. It was still nicely wilted, but of course could have been even softer.)

If you’re worried about the cabbage being too salty when you’re done with the salting process, taste a piece of cabbage and if it concerns you, rinse and drain the cabbage well. This is not a suggestion in the original recipe, but something I suspect might bother some people.

Put the salted, drained cabbage back into your (rinsed and dried) large bowl and add the spinach. In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice, mustard and cumin together. Add the peanut oil in a thin stream, whisking constantly until the ingredients are thoroughly emulsified. Toss the salad with the dressing and add the roasted peanuts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This salad is best served immediately, but it does keep surprisingly well in the fridge for a day or two.

December Winter Share

Copy of farm to table

 

Now that the growing season is done, I am catching up on some movies that came out this year. Last week I watched Won’t You Be My Neighbor, a documentary about Fred Rogers and his show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. It had some sweet clips of Mr. Rogers interacting with kids in various settings and interviews with co-workers and family members. Realizing now as an adult how unique the show was in its relaxed use of time and resources made it even more special to me.

Toward the beginning of the documentary a question was posed, and then sort of left open and not explicitly answered: for all the positivity of the show, and Fred Rogers’ effort to normalize healthy and mature ways of dealing with feelings, did it work? Was his show successful in accomplishing what he set out to do? Is our society actually better for it or not?

At the beginning of each farm season I always have an idea of stretching myself to do more preserving, more foraging. To make better use of the food that I am surrounded by in my day to day work. Some years I keep up with things better than others. Some summers I realize, to my chagrin, that I am not really eating as many greens as I think of myself as eating. Other years I’m happy to have berries in the freezer and canned tomatoes on the shelf, and I try not to be hard on myself thinking I should have done one more batch.

Using whole food well takes work. Wherever you’re getting it from. Using whole, local food from a CSA that you have to pick up at a certain place and time (and you get a bunch of food at once, onion skins and all) definitely takes work. It’s not bad work, but the fact that I know, and you know, that there are easier ways to eat makes the work if it stand out.

I think eating local means swimming upstream a bit. Maybe it feels that way in your own household if you have to work to use the Winter Share before next month’s, or you’re trying to convince a person to just try the beets, for Pete’s sake. Certainly it feels upstream in our culture; where more and more having exactly what you want when you want it (or in two days with free shipping) is the norm, and even subtly celebrated.

When I was younger and had just started farming, and even now too, I would sometimes get so frustrated and overwhelmed feeling about how broken our food culture is here in the U.S. How simple, well grown vegetables sitting at farmer’s market is never quite as exciting as the booth with the coffee and pastries. Or how there is just no way to be competitive in prices when anyone can buy a dozen eggs for 99¢. On the flip side, as much excitement as local food has generated in the last 5, 10, 30 years it is not as much excitement as the opening of a new brewery or chain fast-food restaurant.

At the end of they day though, I know it isn’t up to me to single-handedly change the way our food systems work. I can’t. It is not up to you either exactly, though I’m glad you’ve chosen to stick with our CSA in our little corner of the map. The Food Farm can’t change it all, though maybe it can do bits and pieces of change. Change would be nice, and it feels necessary in the way we use food and its impact on our environment.

I think participating in a CSA and choosing to get a part of your daily calories from a local source is a good thing to do. And I’m glad I work at the farm and that Janaki and Dave are always trying to tend to things better and make the soil more fruitful, while also giving it what it needs to be sustaining for the years to come. I don’t know that it will change the whole world though. And, I don’t even think that is the only reason to be a part of it anyway. There are probably as many reasons for joining our farm as there are CSA members.

Who would say not to do the right thing, just because the right thing might not fix everything, or anything? Mr. Rogers wouldn’t say that. Or at least, he didn’t seem to live that. And maybe there is no “measurable” impact of his show on our culture. I don’t know. But I bet if one started digging, one would find a lot of meaningful stories and more than a few tears if you asked people who grew up watching his show what he meant to them, what he still means to them if they think about it.

I can’t say that our vegetables season in, season out, have the same emotional impact as Mr. Rogers has had on some people. They have a different kind of impact, and I think it matters, and I’m glad that you all think so too, regardless of if we’re changing the world or just our meal plans.

For the farm crew,

Karin


In your share this month:

Chioggia Beets – Red Cabbage – Carrots – Yellow Onions – Russets and Purple Fingerling potatoes – Sunshine and Delicata squash


Roasted Chioggia Beets with Feta

  • 1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Coarsely cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 8 small beets (about 2 1/2 pounds), washed and trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small bits
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, thinly sliced (see Note)
  • Handful of spicy baby greens, such as mizuna, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of the raspberry vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the honey, the shallot, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Whisk in the grapeseed oil until emulsified.

Arrange the beets so they fit snugly in a single layer in a deep baking dish. Add enough water to barely cover the beets, then add the remaining 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey and the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the beets are tender when pierced with a knife. Let cool slightly.

Drain and peel the beets and slice them 1/4 inch thick. Add them to the honey dressing and let cool for up to 4 hours.

To serve, arrange half of the beet slices on 8 small plates and cover with the feta. Top with the remaining beet slices and drizzle each serving with about 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Garnish with the greens and serve.


Carrot Cake Pancakes

Pancakes

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely grated carrots
  • 3 tablespoons butter, for griddle

Cream cheese topping

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Dash of ground cinnamon

Place a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat to 200°F. This will keep the pancakes warmed as they’re fried in batches.

To make the pancakes: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and, if using, nuts and raisins. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, brown sugar, buttermilk and vanilla. Stir in carrots. Stir carrot mixture into dry ingredients, stirring until just Incorporated. Let rest for five minutes while you make the cream cheese topping.

To make the cream cheese topping: In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and lump-free. Whisk in powdered sugar, two tablespoons milk, vanilla and cinnamon. If you’d like the mixture thinner, add the remaining tablespoon of milk.

Over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a cast-iron skillet or griddle pan. Spoon 2 tablespoons batter into the hot pan per pancake, flipping once, until pancakes are golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer finished pancakes to a serving dish or tray in the oven, to keep warm while you repeat the process with the remaining batter, adding more butter as needed.

Serve warm with cream cheese topping.

November Winter Share

farm to table (1)

Before writing this month’s newsletter, I reread the newsletter from April of last winter’s CSA. It was full of the very early signs of what turned out to be a rather late spring- and reminds me of where we’re headed, and the season that was between here and there that was full of growth and work and food. A lot happens between the first sighting of a red-winged black bird and the last, ever fluctuating V of geese.

Last Friday, after we had packed this first Winter Share, I stepped out of the root cellar to 20181112_161008the lovely snow, of course, and a V of geese who I perceived to be flying faster than usual, and using a rather more urgent tone to encourage each other to get the heck out of here! As a life long procrastinator, I had to laugh into the sky full of snow and geese and their plight ‘n’ flight.

Not us though. Here we are in the Northland, preparing to settle in for another winter.

I made my love for the month of November known last year in the newsletter, but for those who missed it, or for those new folks to the CSA (welcome!) I’ll recap: I love November.

I love the color palette the world offers us this time of year, before it is muddled and faded by the sun over winter. I love how everything looks with snow on the ground on my drive out to the farm, and how it brings out the lines and contours of the land around me. I love bare trees. Summer is wonderful, I enjoy the comfort of not needing to prepare to step outside. And I love the fall colors and the luminescence it brings to the woods in a finale of shed energy and life. But now the trees can rest after all that time spent gathering stores for winter.

After the big harvest push in September and October, things on the Farm start to feel that same way. A lot of planning, planting and care goes into making this bounty possible. Next week the summer crew will be done, and we’ll have time to rest and plan and do the winter basics. For example, drinking coffee while bagging carrots. Who am I kidding? Janaki, Dave and John do the planning.

Winter can be a difficult and sometimes an isolating time up in the North. I hope getting your share of vegetables each month can become a re-centering ritual of sorts as we go through the season.

If you had been a part of our Summer CSA, you’ll know that this looks and feels (and tastes!) quite different. It is not the same burst of color and variety of flavors as summer. I see the Winter CSA is a sort of reorienting to local, storeable staples. There is no end of ways to prepare these sorts of vegetables, because for hundreds of years these sorts of crops are what got people through winter. The simplicity of ingredients drives innovation. Unless you really do like boiled cabbage for months, then go wild with that and you might have the house to yourself for a while!

I hope you enjoy the refilling of your pantry this month, and have time and enjoyment of the slower cook times, warm kitchen spaces and dinners of whole food.

Thank you for choosing to partake with us in the winter stores.

For the Farm crew,

Karin


20181112_142809

November’s Share
Beets – Green Cabbage – Carrots –  Red and Yellow potatoes – Yellow Onions –
Butternut, Kabocha and Delicata squash


20181016_161030

Red Split Lentils With Cabbage

Serves 4 to 6

1 1/4 cups red split lentils, picked over, washed and drained
5 cups water
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into fine slices
1/2 pound cored and finely shredded cabbage
1 to 2 fresh, hot green chilies, finely sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 medium tomato, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon peeled, finely grated fresh ginger

Put the lentils and water into a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Remove any scum that collects at the top. Add the turmeric and stir to mix. Cover, leaving the lid very slightly ajar, turn heat down to low, and simmer gently for 1 1/4 hours. Stir a few times during the last 30 minutes.

When the lentils cook, heat the oil in a 8 to 9 inch frying pan over medium heat. When hot, put in the cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for 3 to 4 seconds. Now put in the garlic. As soon as the garlic pieces begin to brown, put in the onion, cabbage and green chilies. Stir and fry the cabbage mixture for about 10 minutes or until it begins to brown and turn slightly crisp. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Turn off the heat under the frying pan.

When the lentils have cooked for 1 1/4 hours, add the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoon salt, the tomato and ginger to the pot. Stir to mix. Cover and cook another 10 minutes. Add the cabbage mixture and any remaining oil in the frying pan. Stir to mix and bring to a simmer.

Simmer uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes or until the cabbage is heated through.


Breakfast Slab Pie

Serves 12 generously

Crust
3 3/4 (470 grams) cups all-purpose flour (feel free to replace up to half with whole-wheat)
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
3 sticks (340 grams) unsalted butter, very cold
3/4 cup very cold water

Filling20180817_154254
1 pound potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch slices
10 ounces spinach (baby, “grown-up,” or frozen)
1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
4 scallions, thinly sliced
11 large eggs + 1 large egg white (you’ll use the yolk in a minute)
1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

To finish
1 large egg yolk (leftover from filling)
1 teaspoon water

Make pie crust: Whisk together flour, and salt in the bottom of a large, wide-ish bowl. Using a pastry blender, two forks, or your fingertips, work the butter into the flour until the biggest pieces of butter are the size of tiny peas. (You’ll want to chop your butter into small bits first, unless you’re using a very strong pastry blender in which case you can throw the sticks in whole, as I do.) Gently stir in the water with a rubber spatula, mixing it until a craggy mass forms. Get your hands in the bowl and knead it just two or three times to form a ball. Divide dough roughly in half (it’s okay if one is slightly larger). Wrap each half in plastic wrap and flatten a bit, like a disc. Chill in fridge for at least an hour or up to two days or slip plastic-wrapped dough into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 1 to 2 months (longer if you trust your freezer more than I do). To defrost, leave in fridge for 1 day. [Still freaked out about making your own pie dough?

Heat oven oven to 375 degrees F. Line bottom of 10x15x1-inch baking sheet or jellyroll pan with parchment paper.

Prepare filling: Place potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking for 7 to 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender but not falling apart. Drain.

Wash spinach but no need to dry it. Place wet spinach in hot skillet and cook until it just wilts. Drain in a colander, pressing or squeezing out as much liquid as possible. You should have about 1 cup of spinach one wilted and squeezed. If spinach leaves were large, you might want to roughly chop the squeezed-out piles of spinach before adding it to the filling.

Assemble pie: On a lightly floured surface, roll one of your dough halves (the larger one, if you have two different sizes) into an 18-by-13-inch rectangle. This can be kind of a pain because it is so large. Do your best to work quickly, keeping the dough as cold as possible and using enough flour that it doesn’t stick to the counter. Transfer to your prepared baking sheet and gently drape some of the overhang in so that the dough fills out the inner edges and corners. Some pastry will still hang over the sides of the pan; trim this to 3/4-inch overhang.

Layer vegetables, including scallions, evenly over bottom pie crust. Sprinkle cheese on top. If using the fillings that I did, beat 11 whole eggs and 1 egg white lightly and pour over vegetables. If you’ve used other fillings, you might find that you need more or fewer eggs to mostly fill (I did not want to fill the crust to the top with eggs, as it would have been more difficult to bake without filling) the bottom crust; if you’re nervous, just beat a few eggs at a time and pour them in until your filling reaches the desired level. Sprinkle with salt and many grinds of black pepper.

Roll the second of your dough halves (the smaller one, if they were different sizes) into a 16-by-11-inch rectangle. Drape over filling and fold the bottom crust’s overhang over the edges sealing them together. Cut only a couple tiny slits in the lid to act as vents — too many or too big, and the filling will want to leak out before the eggs set. Beat remaining egg yolk with 1 teaspoon water and brush over lid.

Bake pie: Until crust is golden and filling is set, about 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool a bit before cutting into squares.

Do ahead: I haven’t frozen this pie, but suspect that it will freeze well already baked. Or, you could make the pie doughs up to one month in advance (storing them in the freezer), four days in advance (to store in the fridge) and roll them out when you’re ready to bake the pie. Baked slab pie will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Squares can be reheated as needed. Vegetables can be prepped (spinach wilted, potato par-boiled) and stored in the fridge for 2 days before using.

Final Summer CSA, Week 18

I went to my cousin’s wedding this past weekend. It was cold (outdoor ceremony) but lovely, and the dinner and dancing warmed everyone up after. This wedding had been on the calendar for a long time. My cousin’s now wife knew where, when, and what she wanted for her wedding and after almost 2 years of planning and waiting it finally happened. I think the family was ready for a party.

My time on Friday and a part of Saturday was spent doing all the things that young women seem to do before weddings. It takes a lot of time, but since it’s rare, it’s fun. Also, if weddings were a sport, I really think I’d get a medal for most improved. Farming has soaked into me and buried in the skin under my fingernails. It took time for that to
happen, and it takes time to soak it out (or cover it up).

My cousin and his wife take the cake on the planning and waiting though. Spending 20 minutes painting one’s nails isn’t really that much of a time commitment.

A couple of weeks ago we picked the outside tomatoes for the last time before a frost. As I img_20181005_112702067loaded a full bucket into the trailer I reminisced to Sam about when these very tomato plants were so little and we gingerly rearranged them in the greenhouse and tiptoed between them. And now they’re done – just like that. I think the same sort of thing when I harvest broccoli or cauliflower. All sorts of time got spent seeding and tending to tiny little plants, and then after some time, I chop their tops off. It’s why we grew them and waited.

Here it is the last Summer Share harvest. And, what’s this? Brussels Sprouts! They are slow growing and slow picking and so worth it as a fun last surprise of sorts in your share. Like getting to the bottom of an ice cream cone to find it’s filled with an inch of chocolate.

Lunches out at the farm are starting to take on a different feel as someone will take additional time to prepare and start to cook the root crops we grow. Gone are the days of a quick tomato mayonnaise sandwich, and here are the days of trying to leave the oven door shut, willing the potatoes beets and carrots to roast faster. If you were in the Winter CSA last year you might remember me going on (and on) about how many hash-browns I was eating. Even they, with shredded potatoes, take a while to cook just right. And don’t even think about rushing them! It just takes the time it takes.

Now we’re at the end of the CSA season, and I hope that the bounty of fresh food has been a good thing for you and your household. Thank you for taking the time to use our vegetables. Every meal you make with this produce is throwing a small wrench in the machine of instant gratification and convenience. I know it takes time, and that sometimes you feel bad because you didn’t use it all or that in cooking something new it didn’t turn out. But I believe it’s worth the time, and worth the effort: meal after meal, season after season.

I don’t like the expression “good things come to those who wait”. That expression only make sense to tell to children. However, I do hope that whatever you have waited for or invested your time in this season that you have found it to be fruitful. If you find yourself still waiting and still trying for something, I hope you continue to have determination and strength.

Thank you for partaking in the season’s bounty with us.

For the farm crew,

Karin


In your share this week:

  • Brussels Sprouts (some smallish, but still good!)20181008_151431
  • Carrots
  • Kale
  • Yellow onions
  • Peppers
  • Russets
  • Rutabaga
  • Spinach (will need to be washed)
  • Kabocha squash
  • Tomatoes
  • Turnips

Kale BLT Salad

  • ½ preserved lemon, chopped
  • ⅓ cup crème fraîche
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 12 ounces slab bacon, sliced ¾ inch thick
  • 8 cups chopped kale
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
Preparation:
  • Process preserved lemon, crème fraîche, mayonnaise, and vinegar in a food processor until smooth; season dressing with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to use.

  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high and cook bacon, turning halfway through, until brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes per side. Transfer to paper towels and let cool slightly. Slice crosswise to yield 12 pieces.

  • Toss kale and dressing in a large bowl until coated; let sit 5 minutes.

  • Add tomatoes and gently toss to coat. Divide salad among plates and top each with 3 pieces of bacon.

  • Do Ahead: Dressing can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.