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.

2018 Season in Review

The farm is hunkered down under a layer of ice but activity still continues in the root cellar and in the farm office as we continue packing and delivering last year’s bounty and planning for next year. Share signup will begin soon, but here’s a look back at the season that was. First, a few photos:

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This season was the usual whirlwind, and it started off with a bang as we hustled to complete two unfinished projects from 2017. We finished the new greenhouse in mid-May but had to wait until the frost was out of the ground (at the end of May!) to put in the remaining drain tile in. By then we were off to the races. Bracketing ’round the clock irrigating in July and August were two serious rain events (4.5″ in mid-June and 3.5″ in mid-October) that kept us on our toes and up at night. Fortunately, our investments in drain tile and soil health continue to reap dividends and that combined with some good luck meant we had a good harvest on most crops. Potatoes were one of those that did not fare so well, but a poor crop there gave us a little extra time to get a great carrot harvest in before freeze-up. The farm crew held up well through it all, and we were able to muster smiling faces and positive attitudes even at the end of the year.

As always, thanks to all of you who support us with your interest, involvement and your kitchen table. Your support and care for the farm over the years reminds me that I’m a part of something great and long-lasting through life’s changes, and gets me excited to jump into a new year of farming.

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.