Winter CSA 2017-18: November

 

November, Winter Newsletter #1

Dear Winter CSA Members,

Happy Thanksgiving! We can certainly give thanks for the bounty of food in the November CSA box AND thanks for eating local with us! 😊

The November box includes the following items: apples (Macoun, Cortland), pears (Bosc), winter squash (Sunshine, Acorn, Jester), potatoes (white, all-blue), sweet potatoes, onions (yellow, cippolini), garlic, leeks, carrots (rainbow), Brussels sprouts, kale (Tuscan), bok choi, broccoli, fennel, and cabbage (Deadon).

This box is packed with an awesome haul of produce! The Sunshine winter squash is one of my favorites. Bright orange, super sweet, and on the dry side; it’s fabulous for baking your favorite pumpkin pie or just serving up with butter and brown sugar as a side. Our all-blue potatoes are a variety called Adirondack Blue; these are nice roasted and make great chips…and they really are blue! We have storage fennel, picked fresh for this box with the fronds. The fronds can be added to a hearty winter salad or stuffed into fish, the bulb is wonderful roasted with your broccoli and/or squash and a drizzle of balsamic. The cabbage variety this month is Deadon. A nice soft variety that makes cabbage rolls easy, and is also mild and crunchy enough for a salad. Cippolini onions are the flat coin-shaped onions, on the sweeter side, great mixed in with a big pan of roast veggies.

Remember, correct storage is the key to using your winter CSA share to its fullest potential. Please refer to your quick storage guide that was passed out with the first box. If you cannot find this page, it has also been posted on the Still Life Farm Blog, accessible through StillLifeFarm.com. If you have ANY questions about how to store your veggies, email us!

This month has been crazy busy (as it always is-why am I always surprised?!?!). There is a ton of work to do for our farm in October and November. We try to leave all the storage crops in the ground for as long as possible, so they can size up, but then it’s a mad dash to pick everything before temperatures get too low (like the nightly teens that we are now experiencing…too cold for produce). Busy, busy, busy!

Curt and I did sneak away up to Acadia, ME to pick up the bulk balsam that we use to make wreaths and holiday decorations. The making of these fresh balsam decorations has been a Stillman family tradition for the last 30 years. As I type this newsletter, I can hear the snap of the clippers and the whirring of the wreath machine, the house smells like balsam, and a little trail of needles is left in Curt’s wake, wherever he goes.

Recipe Ideas:
If you are looking for recipe ideas, check out the Recipe Exchange and past newsletters on the Blog, these can both be accessed at StillLifeFarm.com. I will post a few extra recipes on the blog.

Fennel Risotto

6 cups chicken broth
6 Tbsp butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
Kosher salt
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, more for serving
2 Tbsp fennel fronds, more for serving
In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer; keep warm. In an enameled medium cast-iron casserole, melt 4 tablespoons of butter over moderate high heat. Add the onion and fennel, season with salt and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to coat the rice with butter. Add 1 cup of the warm broth and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time and stirring constantly until it is nearly absorbed between additions. The risotto is done when the rice is al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 20 minutes total. Stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter, the 1 ½ cups of cheese, and the 2 Tbsp of fennel fronds. Garnish with more fennel fronds and serve immediately with reserved grated Parmigiano.

Carrot Hummus

2.5 lbs. carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
Fine sea salt
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp tahini
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup water
Sweet paprika and chopped parsley for garnish
Toasted blue corn chips for serving

Preheat oven to 350oF. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with coconut oil and 1 tsp of salt. Roast for about 45 minutes, stirring once, until tender and starting to brown. In a food processor, combine the warm roasted carrots with the tahini, garlic, lemon juice, EVOO, and water. Process until smooth. Season with salt. Garnish and serve with chips.

A few important tidbits you should know for the season:

It is crucial for you to be at your monthly pick-up or find a sub to pick up for you if you cannot make it. If you need to change your pick-up location, please email us and we will be happy to bring your box to a different location.

Boxes. We reuse our boxes. Please return your empty box when you pick up your next share. Do not rip the boxes. If you cannot figure out how to break down your box, please leave it assembled, we will do it for you. Please be careful! Otherwise you will be subject to “Halley’s Box Tutorial Session” (No, this is not a joke). 😉

We are so excited to be able to provide our farm’s local produce right to your table. We strive to provide a top quality box of vegetables and fruit to keep your winter interesting and tasty. If there is anything you need to make this season the best that it can be, get in touch with us and we will make it happen! Happy Thanksgiving!

Love your food,

Halley and Curtis Stillman

 

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Storage Tips for Winter Produce

Storage Tips: How to get the most out of your Still Life Farm Winter CSA:
We offer monthly CSA deliveries during the winter because many of the items you receive in your winter box have come out of our long-term storage facility. These items can just as successfully be stored at your house for the month!
In order to fully utilize your share, it is very important to take time to properly prep and store the veggies and fruits that you receive. Most of vegetables that we are providing have been picked in the summer and fall and stored carefully up to this point. Removing them from storage speeds their respiration processes. This means winter storage produce must be handled carefully to get the most life out of it. Produce does not last forever. Farmers who store produce throughout the winter expect to throw out at least 1/3 of their crop. I cannot impress this enough; your produce will not last forever. Check all your vegetables from time to time. If anything looks like it might be going south, plan a meal around it asap!
We store produce under three separate conditions:
1.) Refrigeration (high humidity, low temp of around 35-40oF)
Most things hold up well in the refrigerator wrapped in a plastic bag or stored in an airtight container.
Greens (kale, bok choi, spinach, arugula, beet and carrot tops, etc.)
Root vegetables with the tops removed (carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, radishes, celeriac, kohlrabi)
Fruit (apples and pears)
Brussel and kale sprouts removed from the stalk
Leeks

2.) Cool, dry, and dark (low humidity, low temp of around 35-40oF, hallway/closet/porch, paper bag/box)
Irish potatoes
Sweet potatoes
Garlic
Onions, shallots

3.) Warm, dry, and dark (low humidity, warm temp around 50oF, dark area)
Sweet potatoes
All types of winter squash

If you have any questions about how to store anything that you receive, please get in touch with us!
If you have any problems identifying any veggies that you receive, please get in touch with us!
StillLifeFarm@aol.com
(413) 477-8268

Baked Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin

Baked Brussel Sprout Au Gratin

1 quart Brussel sprouts
2 Tbsp butter
½ cup green onion, chopped
1 Tbsp flour
½ slice bacon
1 ½ tsp garlic, chopped
1 ½ tsp parsley, chopped
1 cup water reserved from cooking
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
½ cheddar cheese, grated
2 ½ tsp bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 325o. Wash and X bottom of brussels sprouts. Cover with boiling water, simmer until tender. Drain, reserving 1 cup hot liquid. Melt butter in skillet, add onion and sauté 3 minutes. Stir in flour and cook until flour is dissolved – 3 minutes. Add bacon, garlic, and parsley, cook 3 more minutes. Pour in reserved water, add salt and pepper. Bring to boil stirring constantly until thickened to consistency of heavy cream. Remove bacon from sauce. Place sprouts base down into a buttered casserole. Por sauce over. Top with grated cheese then breadcrumbs. Bake 30 minutes or until top is browned.

Winter CSA 2017-18: October

October, Winter Newsletter #1

Dear Winter CSA Members,

Welcome to the Still Life Farm Winter CSA! Thank you for your membership. We’re excited to bring our local produce to your table this winter!

Our Winter CSA share is designed around vegetables that New Englanders would typically have access to throughout the winter. You will not see tomatoes, peppers, or cucumbers. All of our produce consists of hardy vegetables and fruit that have been grown and stored on our farm. If we can count you among our Winter CSA members, we consider you a true locavore…it’s not easy sourcing locally year-round, but Winter CSA members are committed! We work hard to ensure as much produce variety as possible to break up the monotony of winter. Eating with us will keep your food local, seasonal, and fun!

In the first newsletter, I focus on what to expect in your winter share, as well as how to get the most out of your produce. In order to fully utilize your share, it is very important to take time to properly prep and store the veggies that you receive. In addition to the newsletter, you will receive a page that gives storage tips to maximize the lifespan of the produce in your winter share. Please refer to this page!

The vegetables that you will receive in your October share are as follows: winter squash (Spaghetti, Delicata), apples (Mutsu, Macoun), pears (Bosc), carrots (rainbow varieties), onions (yellow, red), garlic, leeks, potatoes (Eva white, Red Norland), sweet potatoes (Beauregard), kale (Tuscan), Napa cabbage (Scarlett!!!), Brussel sprouts, turnips (Hakurei), and fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, or parsley). Please refer to your storage sheet to see how to best store all of your produce. Remember, winter storage produce must be handled carefully to get the most life out of it. I cannot impress this enough; your produce will not last forever, eat it. Eat your greens first (kale, turnip and carrot tops, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, herbs). Spaghetti squash does not have a long shelf life, we recommend eating it early into the share. Very excited to be handing out purple Napa (Chinese) cabbage! Try it in kimchee, spring rolls, or in stir fry with your wonderful Hakurei turnips (not your “grandma’s turnip”, sweet and mild, even try them raw). If you have any questions about how to store any produce, please feel free to e-mail, we love to hear from our members!

Basic cooking tips to get you started:

There are a variety of delicious squashes that you will get to experiment with this winter; all can be cooked the same basic way. To cook winter squash: Do not fear the squash! 1) Cut the squash in half. This is easier than you think. Take your largest knife and slowly work the blade into the center of the squash and then around the middle. 2) Scoop the seeds out of the squash with a large spoon. Seeds can be separated and roasted if desired. 3) Take a fork and poke holes in the squash. If this step is forgotten it can occasionally cause a very messy situation in your oven, so don’t forget. 4) Lay squash, cut side down, in baking pan. Add a little water to the pan. 5) Bake the squash at 350oF for 20-45 minutes, depending on size, until the squash is soft to the touch. 7) Enjoy!
*If you notice your squash going south, bake it up, scrape it out, and freeze the flesh for baking later in the month.

Roasted root vegetables are a quick and easy way to utilize the veggies in your box. Cube roots, toss with olive oil and your favorite herbs, bake at 350oF for 20-40 minutes until fork tender. Greens should never be wasted in the winter; they are few and far between. A quick sauté with garlic and onion is an easy side dish. Make a sweet treat with apples, pears, sweet potatoes, and winter squash.

Some vegetables might be new to you. If you are stumped by an item in the share, send me a picture via text or email. If you have any questions about what’s in your box, or you need recipe ideas, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

I will have recipe suggestions for you throughout the winter, but I would love to hear from you. If you have a recipe that you would like to share, please e-mail it to me.

The Still Life Farm blog is up and running: StillLifeFarm.com under Blog. One of the most exciting things about the blog is the Recipe Exchange! The recipe exchange can be viewed by everyone. If you would like to add your own recipes, you can do so as long as you have a Google account (easy to acquire). Instructions for contributing to the Recipe Exchange can be found on that page. If you would like me to add your recipes for you, email them to me.

Apple and Leek Quiche Start with a standard butter pie dough. Combine 2/3 cup chopped leeks, 2 cups chopped apple with peeling, ¾ of a pound soft goat cheese, 1 cup heavy cream, 3 beaten eggs, and a dash of allspice or nutmeg, and bake until the custard is set-about 40-45 minutes in a moderately warm oven (3250-3750).

Check out the Blog for Baked Brussel Sprouts Au Gratin, shared by one of our wonderful members!

A few important tidbits you should know for the season:

It is crucial for you to be at your monthly pick-up or find a sub to pick up for you if you cannot make it. If you need to change your pick-up location, please email us and we will be happy to bring your box to a different location.

Boxes. We reuse our boxes. Please return your empty box when you pick up your next share. Do not rip the boxes. If you cannot figure out how to break down your box, please leave it assembled, we will do it for you. Please be careful! Otherwise you will be subject to “Halley’s Box Tutorial Session” (No, this is not a joke). 😉

We are so excited to be able to provide our farm’s local produce right to your table. We strive to provide a top quality box of vegetables and fruit to keep your winter interesting and tasty. If there is anything you need to make this season the best that it can be, get in touch with us and we will make it happen! Thank you so much for your membership!

Love your food,

Halley and Curtis Stillman

Winter CSA 2016-17: February Newsletter

Clockwise: Purple daikon radish, Watermelon radish, Beets, Turnips, Kohlrabi, Winter Sweet winter squash, New puppy Finn “helping” to pack Winter CSA shares

 

Dear Winter CSA Members,

It may not feel like it, but… spring is right around the corner!  J

The February box includes the following items:  apples (Cortland, Gala, Mutsu), winter squash (Butternut, Winter Sweet), potatoes (mix of red skinned, white, all red), sweet potatoes, onion, garlic, carrots, beets, radish (watermelon, purple daikon), turnips, kohlrabi, kalettes, red cabbage, greens (kale, bok choi, or spinach), popcorn, hot peppers, and JAM! 

If you are having trouble identifying any of the veggies in your box, please reference the blog.  I have posted some pictures of root veggies that I hope will be helpful.  As always, if you are stumped in identifying something, or need recipe ideas, do not hesitate to contact us…text, email, phone…all methods will work.

Remember, correct storage is the key to using your Winter CSA share to its full potential.  Please let us know if have storage questions or problems with your veggies.

February is the final month of the Still Life Farm Winter CSA.  I would say, given the fact that this was an overly-difficult growing season (drought, loss of all stone fruit and numerous other crops, etc.), that Winter CSA 2016-17 was a resounding success!  I have to be completely honest, there were times over this past growing season that I doubted that farming was the correct career choice for me…a few moments found me wracking my brain, asking myself why I thought it was a good idea to marry a farmer.  Then I remembered that I married my husband because he is AWESOME!  And, I decided to go all in with farming because I’m crazy, and I love being challenged every day, and because GOOD FOOD IS WORTH IT.  This was a rough year, but we made it through, because that is what farmers do, because nothing is more important than good food and those you share it with.

That being said, we should definitely celebrate the highlights of this year.  Did you all notice that we had garlic in every single box?!!! This year’s crop of garlic was kick @$$ and a huge victory for me and Curt! Storage fennel…how cool was that!? Brussel sprouts that stored through the January share box.  Very successful harvests of sweet potatoes and winter squash. Our delicious Still Life Farm carrots! Kalettes! And most importantly, quality greens in every month’s box throughout the entirety of the Winter CSA.  A rocky, tumultuous year may have led to one of the most successful Still Life Farm Winter CSA seasons to date, AND made us appreciate the good points all the more!

So, a gigantic THANK YOU to all of our wonderful CSA members.  You make it possible for me and Curt to “keep crazy and farm on”. You make it possible to support local business and economy. You make it possible to protect our environment and be good stewards of the land. You make it possible to have access to good food! So, thank you, our wonderful CSA members.  Which brings me to my next point…JAM!

You will be receiving jam in the February box.  This is our way of thanking you for being part of the CSA this year.  Every summer I freeze pounds and pounds of fruit, so that in the winter (when I actually have spare time), I can turn the fruit into jam.  I shamelessly recruit friends and family to help me crank out multiple batches.  Hopefully you all enjoy the jam and it sweetens the last few weeks of winter for you.  Thank you for being part of the Still Life Farm Winter CSA!

Warm weather will be here before you know it and it will be time to think about Stillman’s Summer CSA…and tomatoes and peaches!  To sign up for Summer CSA visit “www.stillmansfarm.com”.

Recipe Ideas:

If you visit our website, StillLifeFarm.com, and go to the “Blog” page, you will find links to both our blog and our recipe exchange. There are lots of wonderful recipes posted, and you have the ability to contribute your own favorites.  Check out “The CSA Box” on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thecsabox) where fellow CSA member, Pam, posts her favorite dishes made with ingredients from the box.  Another creative favorite is “Nothing Beets Fresh” (http://www.nothingbeetsfresh.com/), a blog contributed by CSA member, Ellen.  Lots of good ideas, love your food!

Braised Red Cabbage

½ red onion, sliced

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 small head red cabbage (about 2 lbs)

1 large tart apple, diced ½-inch

3 tbsp red wine vinegar

½ cup dark brown sugar

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, gently cook the onions in vegetable oil until translucent, 5 mins.  Add the cabbage, apple, vinegar, and brown sugar, and cook over medium heat until the cabbage is wilted, about 10 mins.  Cover, lower heat, and cook gently until the cabbage is very tender, about 45 mins, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper.

Kohlrabi Slaw

3 Tbsp oil

2 Tbsp vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Coarse salt (like kosher or sea)

Pepper

Shred 1-2 kohlrabi and 4 carrots (play around with your mandolin slicer; you can get some great textures).  Mix together dressing and fold into shredded veggies. *Feel free to add other cool veggies, like purple daikon and/or watermelon radish.

Please return all of your empty boxes, either at Winter CSA pick-up or at any Still Life Farm/Stillman’s Farm farmers markets or CSA pick-ups. We can also reuse the jam jars.

Be on the lookout for an email about early registration for next season’s Still Life Farm Winter CSA….we usually offer an early registration discount!

Love your food,

Halley Terry Stillman

Winter CSA 2016-17: January Newsletter

January, Winter Newsletter #4

Dear Winter CSA Members,

Happy New Year!

The January box includes the following items:  apples (Macintosh, Cortland), winter squash (Butternut and Acorn), potatoes (white and red skinned), sweet potatoes (white Bonita), onions, garlic, carrots, turnips (Purple-top), radish (purple daikon), rutabaga, Chinese/Napa cabbage, bok choi, kale (Dazzling Blue), kale sprouts (hybrid between kale and brussel sprouts), brussel sprouts (green), popcorn, and hot peppers (Thai hot). 

Remember, correct storage is the key to using your Winter CSA share to its full potential.  Please let us know if you have storage questions or issues with your veggies.  If you are having trouble identifying the veggies in your box, send us a picture and we’ll tell you what they are.  If you have ANY questions, email us!

The January box looks beautiful!  The mild weather this year has made this winter farming business a bit easier than last year.  The proof is in the pudding…we have a lot of veggies in the box this month that we have not been able to make happen in the past.  The bok choi came right out of the green house and looks amazing.  This week we picked 18 bushels of greens out of the greenhouse…cool! The kale in the box is a new type of Tuscan kale called Dazzling Blue. Check out the veins, they are a spectacular purple.  Another fabulous winter green in your box is Chinese/Napa cabbage (this year’s cabbages are a bit smaller than last year’s due to the drought…I did not have a problem with our baby-sized cabbages from last year, but apparently some members did…lol).  This type of cabbage holds very well, wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge, you can simply tear of leaves when you need them, and store the rest for later. Try Chinese cabbage as a wrapper for spring rolls or in slaw/stir-fry.  We were able to do a bulk harvest of brussel sprouts this year and did not loose any to the cold (as we have in past years)! We have popped them off the stalks and they are being stored in the refrigeration bay of our storage facility, they seem to be holding up very nicely.  Kale sprouts, or kalettes, are the purple stalks in your share.  These are a fairly “new” variety of vegetable, a hybrid between kale and brussel sprouts that was just introduced about five years ago.  Pop the individual kale “flowerets” off the stalk. A quick blanch followed by a sauté over high heat keep the centers tender while crisping the outside kale-like frills.  Bonita is the light-colored sweet potato in your box. They are white on the inside (not orange) and are slightly less sweet (but equally as delicious). Rutabagas, also known as Swedes, are the large cream-colored turnips in your box.  These are the slightly sweeter cousins of turnips and can be roasted, mashed, or make a lovely soup. We are also passing out dried Thai hot peppers.  Use these to make your own pepper flakes or throw whole into soup or chili.

Recipe Ideas:

Checked out the awesome recipe exchange on the Still Life Farm blog (https://stilllifefarm.wordpress.com).  There are lots of wonderful recipes posted, and you have the ability to contribute your own favorites.  Check out “The CSA Box” on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thecsabox) where fellow CSA member, Pam, posts her favorite dishes made with ingredients from the box.  Another creative favorite is “Nothing Beets Fresh” (http://www.nothingbeetsfresh.com/), a blog contributed by CSA member, Ellen.  Lots of good ideas, love your food!

With this box, I definitely envision hearty winter stir-fry.  Choose your favorite protein; slice your veggies (garlic, onions, Chinese cabbage, bok choi, carrots, purple daikon, apple, kale sprouts, etc.).

Try this simple dressing: Juice of 2 limes, 1 Tbsp honey, 1 Tbsp, soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil.

Rutabaga Soup

1 cup roughly chopped rutabaga (or turnips)

1 cup roughly chopped carrots

1 cup roughly chopped sweet potatoes

1 cup roughly chopped apple (preferably tart)

1 cup roughly chopped onion

2-4 Tablespoons butter

1 ½ – 2 cups chicken stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Pinch (or more) cayenne

1/4 – 1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 – 1/2 cup heavy cream

Place the five cups of vegetables in a heavy pot and ‘sweat’ with the butter.  Add chicken stock, salt, pepper, and cayenne.  Cook at a simmer for 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add up to ½ cup maple syrup (try ¼ cup at first and add more if you like).  Stir together for one minute.  Remove from heat and puree with hand blender (at this point you can sieve the puree for a velvet finish, but this is not necessary).  Add cream to taste (1/4 cup +).  This is a wonderfully rich soup.

Curt and I wish you all a very Happy New Year and look forward to sharing 2017 with you!

Love your food,

Halley Terry Stillman

Winter CSA 2016-17, December Newsletter

December, Winter Newsletter #3

img_20161115_100543img_20161130_152648

Dear Winter CSA Members,

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!  Hoping that this season brings lots of love and cheer into your lives.

The December box includes the following items:  apples (Cortland and Macoun), winter squash (Sunshine and Carnival), onions (yellow), garlic, leeks, parsnips, daikon radish (white), beets, potatoes (white and red-skinned), sweet potatoes, green cabbage, brussel sprouts (green and purple),  kale (Tuscan), bok choi, arugula, fennel, and popcorn.

Remember, correct storage is the key to using your Winter CSA share to its full potential.  If you have ANY questions about how to store (or identify) your veggies, email us!

We have included some really fun items in the share this month!  To start, you will be getting not only green brussel sprouts, but PURPLE brussel sprouts…how cool is that!?!  The purple brussels are not as prolific as our beautiful green brussels, however, the ‘wow factor’ is a fun addition to mealtime. Cook these  the same as the green brussels.  You will find a T-shirt bag in your box containing a variety of veggies: beets, parsnips, daikon radish, and fennel. This is the first year we have tried storage fennel and we’re really excited by how it performed! For those of you who are new to fennel, it has a mild anise flavor and is wonderful roasted, shaved fresh into salads, or candied!  Daikon radishes are the long white roots in the T-shirt bag. These radishes have a sweet flavor that finishes with a bit of pepperiness…yum!  Try them fresh, in stir-fry, or as pickles.  Parsnips resemble cream colored carrots with long tails.  These have a nice sweet root flavor and are wonderful roasted. Finally, popcorn!  What better way to spend a holiday night than eating popcorn and watching a great movie with your loved ones.  Remove the kernels from the cob with your thumb (start at the bottom).  Then pop like regular popcorn, in a pot with hot oil, in a brown paper bag (end rolled) in the microwave. Enjoy!

I always think that farm life will be slowing down by this point in the season.  I am always wrong.  We have moved into wreath-making mode and spend most evenings cranking out wreaths, roping, and swags.  We’re also spending a fair amount of time running around to all the extra holiday markets that occur this time in the year. And we have just about finished with the major harvest projects, but there are still one or two left. Yikes! We have yet to decorate the Christmas tree (although it is up).  The most exciting news is the addition of our two kitties, Benny and Jack, to the farm.  They are just wonderful and love to be involved in everything that we are doing!

Recipe Ideas:

*If you have not checked out the awesome new recipe exchange on our blog, take the time to do so! There are lots of wonderful recipes posted, and you have the ability to contribute your own personal favorites.

Fennel Upside-Down Cake

Fennel:

1/2 cup sugar

2 small or 1 large bulbs fennel, halved and sliced into 1/8-inch half moons

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Cake:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon fine salt

1/2 cup milk, room temperature

2 eggs, room temperature

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for greasing pan

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 teaspoon fennel pollen or ground fennel seed

Sauce:

1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam

1 tablespoon lemon juice.

Fennel fronds, for garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch cake pan with 1 teaspoon olive oil.

For the fennel: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, dissolve the sugar in 3/4 cup water, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the fennel, salt and lemon juice, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the liquid is reduced by three-quarters, about 15 minutes. Spread the candied fennel evenly over the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Set aside to cool slightly.

For the cake: Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, olive oil, lemon zest and fennel pollen. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until just combined. Pour the batter evenly over the candied fennel. Place in the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean, 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then invert the cake onto a plate to cool completely.

For the sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the raspberry jam, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons warm water.

Sprinkle the cake with a few picked fennel fronds. Slice into wedges and serve with a spoonful of the sauce.

A few important tidbits you should know for the season:

It is crucial for you to be at your monthly pick-up or find a sub to pick up for you if you cannot make it.  If you need to change your pick-up location, please email us and we will be happy to bring your box to a different location.

Boxes.  We reuse our boxes.  Please return your empty box when you pick up your next share.  Do not rip the boxes.  If you cannot figure out how to break down your box, please leave it assembled, we will do it for you.  Please be careful! Otherwise you will be subject to “Halley’s Box Tutorial Session” (No, this is not a joke).   😉

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Love your food,

Halley Terry Stillman5633

Recipes: Sweet Treats for Thanksgiving

pumpkin-pie

Halley’s Mom’s Fresh Pumpkin Pie

[Original recipes from Recipes for a Small Planet and The Moosewood Cookbook, with Ruth’s alterations]

Pie crust:   2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

½ tsp. salt

½ cup unsalted butter (firm)

about ½ cup water

Makes two 9″ single crusts.

Stir salt and whole wheat pastry flour together.  Cut in butter; don’t work too much (leave it lumpy).  Add 1/3 cup of water and move the crust mixture around so the water will soak in.  Gather the dough gently and add more water to gather all the flour.  Divide dough in half.  Roll one half to fit into a deep dish pie plate, leaving a high edge.  Fill with pie filling below.

Pie filling:

3 cups fresh pumpkin puree (*substitute Sunshine squash)

½ cup organic unprocessed honey

¼ cup organic unsulphured molasses

¼ tsp. powdered cloves

3 tsp. cinnamon

1½ tsp. ginger

1 tsp. Kosher salt

4 organic eggs, slightly beaten

2 cups scalded whole organic milk

Mix in order given.  Pour into whole wheat pie shell and bake 10 minutes at 450o, then 40 minutes at 350o, or until set.  Let cool completely.  When ready to serve, top with fresh whipped heavy cream (unsweetened).

Any filling that will not fit into the pie pan should be placed in buttered custard cups and cooked with the pie for the first 30 minutes or so (10 min. at 450o, then about 20 min. at 350o or until set and edges pull away from the cup).  Serve warm with a little heavy cream.

baked-apples_12013

Mom’s Baked Apples

5 large baking apples (e.g. Cortlands)

5 T butter

3-3 ½ T white sugar

1 T molasses 2 ½ t. cinnamon

¾ c. water

Core apples, making hole all the way through.  Peel skin off top half of apples.  Mix together sugar, molasses, and cinnamon, and drop a little of the mixture into each hole.  Put butter on top (1 T per apple).  Bake at 275 degrees for about 1 ½ hours basting regularly.  Apples should be baked in glass baking dish with a little water in the bottom.

sweet-potato-casserole

Sweet Potato Casserole with Topping

3 c hot sweet potatoes mashed, 1/3 c milk, ½ c butter, 1 c white sugar, 2 eggs, 1 Tbsp vanilla.  Mix and pour into casserole. Topping: 1 c light brown sugar, ½ c plain flour, 1/3 c butter (not melted), 1 c chopped nuts.  Mix topping with fork and sprinkle crumbs on top of casserole.  Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.

Winter CSA 2016-17, November Newsletter

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November, Winter Newsletter #2

Dear Winter CSA Members,

Happy Thanksgiving! Let’s give thanks for the bounty of food included in the November box!  This month’s share is packed full with an awesome array of color and variety…lots of tasty items to share with your loved ones over the holiday.

The November box includes the following items:  apples (Mutsu, Cortland), winter squash (Sunshine, Delicata or Carnival), potatoes (red skinned and white), sweet potatoes, onions (yellow), garlic, carrots, turnips (Purple top), beets, broccoli, brussel sprouts, kale (Beira), arugula, and radishes.

Remember, correct storage is the key to using your winter CSA share to its full potential.  Please refer to your quick storage guide that was passed out with the first box. If you have ANY questions about how to store your veggies, email us!

This month the farm has been wicked busy.  It always seems like October and November are the craziest months for us.  Curt and I are running around like mad, working the last markets of the season, bulk harvesting our crops to put into storage, and getting ready for the Christmas season with our hand-made wreaths.  Life is a bit hectic, but wonderful, none the less.  We are blessed and thankful.

We escaped to Maine last weekend under the cover of a “work-related” trip.  Every year we drive up to Acadia National Park and buy fresh balsam to make into wreaths and other holiday decorations.  We drove back home with a truck filled with balsam boughs.  During this time of the year our house is filled with the alluring aroma of balsam and Christmas…the only down-side is the little trail of balsam needles that follows Curt everywhere (and I mean everywhere)…I love my vacuum…lol.

Recipe Ideas:

If you are looking for recipe ideas, check out the recipe exchange on our blog! I will be posting a few more Thanksgiving inspired recipes there if you need ideas.

Notes about the veggies in your box.  Mutsu (yellow) and Cortland (stripped red) apples are both wonderful varieties to cook with…yeah, Thanksgiving pie! Sunshine is the variety of bright orange squash in your box. Very sweet and on the dry side, lends itself wonderfully to baking. You can cook the tops of the beets, carrots, and turnips…don’t forget to utilize those greens; they are increasingly difficult to come by in the winter months. Beira is a new variety of kale we are trialing this year, it resembles collard greens, and is also known as Portuguese cabbage or sea kale.  Try it in my favorite soup recipe listed below. Enjoy the beautiful arugula and red radishes…what a treat this time of year!

Portuguese Kale Soup (my all-time favorite, go-to soup)

1 lb. kale

1 lb. potatoes

1 lb. smoked sausage (linguica or chorizo)

1 cup chopped onions

½ cup chopped carrots

2 tsp chopped garlic

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

2 qts chicken broth or combination of beef and chicken

3 lbs. peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes

1 ½ cups cooked kidney beans

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Strip the leaves from washed kale, and cut diagonally into wide slices.  You should end up with 6-8 cups of lightly packed kale.  Wash, peel, and chop the potatoes, and keep in cold water.  Prick sausage; blanch in boiling water for 5-10 mins to release fat.  Drain; cut into 1/2-inch slices; set aside.  In a large saucepan, sauté onions, carrots, and garlic in oil and butter, cooking until softened, about 5 mins.  Add potatoes and broth, and simmer, partially covered, for 15-20 mins or until the potatoes are cooked.  Mash the potatoes against the side of the pot (or puree with some of the broth and return to the pot).  Stir in tomatoes and kidney beans, and simmer for 10-15 mins.  Add the kale and sausage, cook 5-10 mins longer, and season to taste.

Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

3 pounds carrots with tops (any color, sliced into sticks)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper

1 garlic clove

3 tablespoons macadamia nuts or pine nuts

1/2 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves (sub a mixture of favorite seasonal herbs-parsley, rosemary, etc.)

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°. Trim carrot tops, leaving some stem attached. Measure out 2 cups carrot tops and set aside; reserve any remaining carrot tops for another use.  Toss carrots and vegetable oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing occasionally, until carrots are golden brown and tender, 25–35 minutes. Let cool.  Pulse garlic and nuts in a food processor until a coarse paste forms. Add basil, Parmesan, and reserved carrot tops; process until a coarse puree forms. Add olive oil and pulse until combined; season with salt and pepper. Serve carrots with pesto.

A few important tidbits you should know for the season:

 It is crucial for you to be at your monthly pick-up or find a sub to pick up for you if you cannot make it.  If you need to change your pick-up location, please email us and we will be happy to bring your box to a different location.

Boxes.  We reuse our boxes.  Please return your empty box when you pick up your next share.  Do not rip the boxes.  If you cannot figure out how to break down your box, please leave it assembled, we will do it for you.  Please be careful! Otherwise you will be subject to “Halley’s Box Tutorial Session” (No, this is not a joke).   😉

Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving!

Love your food,

Halley Terry Stillman

Storage Tips: How to get the most out of your Still Life Farm Winter CSA

Storage Tips: How to get the most out of your Still Life Farm Winter CSA

We offer monthly CSA deliveries during the winter because many of the items you receive in your winter box have come out of our long term storage facility.  These can just as successfully be stored at your house for the month!

In order to fully utilize your share, it is very important to take time to properly prep and store the veggies and fruits that you receive. The majority of vegetables that we are providing have been picked in the summer and early fall and stored carefully up to this point. Removing them from storage speeds their respiration processes.  This means winter storage produce must be handled carefully to get the most life out of it.  Produce does not last forever. Farmers who store produce throughout the winter expect to throw out at least 1/3 of their crop.  I cannot impress this enough; your produce will not last forever.  Check all your vegetables from time to time.  If anything looks like it might be going south, plan a meal around it asap!

We store produce under three separate conditions:

1.) Refrigeration (high humidity, low temp of around 35-40oF)

Most things hold up well in the refrigerator wrapped in a plastic bag or stored in an airtight container.

Greens (kale, bok choi, spinach, arugula, beet and carrot tops, etc.)

Root vegetables with the tops removed (carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, radishes, celeriac, kohlrabi)

Fruit (apples and pears)

Brussel sprouts removed from the stalk

Leeks

 

2.) Cool, dry, and dark (low humidity, low temp of around 35-40oF, hallway/closet/porch, paper bag/box)

Irish potatoes

Sweet potatoes

Garlic

Onions, shallots

 

3.) Warm, dry, and dark (low humidity, warm temp around 50oF, dark area)

Sweet potatoes

All types of winter squash

 

If you have any questions about how to store anything that you receive, please get in touch with us!

If you have any problems identifying any veggies that you receive, please get in touch with us!

StillLifeFarm@aol.com