April 11, 2013
Rolling Acres Farm is gearing up for 2013. We can’t help but wonder what type of year it will be. With the drought of 2012, how will things grow this year? We finally have had several days of good rainy weather. It’s been a bit chilly but we have had nearly an inch and a half of rain. How wonderful can that be especially given that the first round of peas, potatoes and onions have been planted. We were also able to get a cover crop of oats, crimson clover and buckwheat in the ground.
The next couple of weeks will see tomatoes getting planted in our small high tunnel along with other crops in the field as the weather clears. The big project coming up is getting the plastic on our 72 x 30’ moveable high tunnel. We were able to get the structure built last fall but were unable to get the plastic on.
Larry and I are looking forward to learning about how to use our tunnel and how to get the most out of it. We have a little experience with our small tunnel and growing tomatoes but this certainly will be a new adventure.
February 11, 2011
To All of Our Friends,
I am using this post to announce that there are big changes at our farm for 2011. I have accepted a position with the United States Department of Agriculture to serve for one year as an agriculture adviser in Afghanistan. Since I turned sixty a year ago I have wanted to try an experience outside my area of comfort – our farm.
Larry will stay on the farm and take care of raising chickens and turkeys for our customers, plant his own garden, seed down much of the three acres that we usually plant and work on projects that suit his fancy. I will have several R & Rs during the year so will be returning to check on things.
I will be working in Nangarhar Province in the Eastern Region of Afghanistan and living on Forward Operating Base Finley Shields. I will be leaving Iowa on February 23rd for a month of training in the Washington D.C. area. March 27th is the date I will deploy to Afghanistan. I will keep in touch, probably through this blog if you are interested in experiencing a slice of my life as an ag adviser.
Larry and I are passing the CSA on to Dale and Gina Raasch. They sold their vegetables next to me at the Farmer’s Market in Atlantic this past year. From the looks of their produce, they know how to grow great crops. Their contact information is:
Gina Raasch – 515-689-6320
Dale Raasch – 641-745-5638
I have thoroughly enjoyed being your farmer for the past several years. There have been challenges but none that couldn’t be met.
Looking forward to keeping in touch with you from another part of the world.
October 4, 2010
Week of October 4, 2010
This is it; the end of the season! With the cooler weather over the weekend, it sure feels like fall. I want to thank all of you for your participation in the CSA and hope that we have met your expectations.
Last week you received a comment card. I hope you can take the time to fill out the card and bring it to me on Tuesday. It will help me plan for next year.
The year in review has been an interesting year; lots of rain and lots of hot temperatures. Both of these conditions caused uneven germination of the seeds I planted, especially the later lettuce and spinach (what a disaster).
I think one of the most frustrating issues I have had to deal with this summer is digging sweet potatoes. I guess I am lucky that we only dig them for about a month. The vines go everywhere and it is hard to find the base plant. While digging them I try my hardest to miss the tuber but inevitably there is that awful crunch sound when I cut through one. You may notice that they are rather weird looking as well. At least they are good to eat!
You have probably noticed the deteriorating tomatoes. Rather than toss them, we are letting you have the last of the season. Even though there are “defects”, when cut away one still have the wonderful flavor. You are also getting some tomatoes that are under ripe. Tomatoes will continue to ripen once picked off the vine.
We had great help at Rolling Acres Farm this summer. Gwen Varley and Liza Fate became familiar to you during the main part of the summer and then Anna Sander during the last six weeks. I started out going to market then let the girls take over. It has been fun doing the market these last few weeks, seeing and talking with you.
I am off to a big adventure in two weeks. I am going to an international conference called Terra Madre http://www.terramadre.info/pagine/welcome.lasso?n=en in Turin, Italy. I am going with two friends from Iowa. My dear husband Larry will be staying home to care for the farm in my absence. I am a very lucky person to have strong family support to be able to travel like this.
Several of you have told me that you are keeping your baskets. That works fine; those of you who want me to keep one until next year, just let me know. If any of you have a particular bag that you would like back, please give me a description and I will get it back to you. Any extra bags you may have that you are willing to return would be great.
I got them somewhat washed today but the red potatoes are rather dirty. The soil is still wet and even though the sun has been shining for several days, it is not drying out.
This week’s produce:
Green or red peppers
*Garlic pearls are actually the seed head of the garlic plant. What’s fun about these is that you can just pop them in your mouth (if you dare and if you like raw garlic) or just pop them in your recipe. You needn’t peel them – the skin is very thin and is just absorbed in the food.
Buttercup squash is a winter squash belonging to the family Cucurbitaceae. Not to be confused with its cousin the butternut squash, the squat green buttercup takes its name from its shape, which some say resembles an upside-down acorn with an undersized cap.
The average buttercup squash is about 7 inches (17.5 centimeters) in diameter and weighs approximately 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms), though some individual specimens may grow to be over 5 pounds (2.7 kilograms).
The inedible rind of the buttercup squash is dark green striated with silvery gray lines. In some cultivars, a cap of paler green sits atop the squash at the blossom end. The buttercup’s dense flesh is dark yellow-orange, sometimes approaching a deeper reddish color. It is worth noting that the more intense the color, the more vitamin A the squash contains.
Buttercup Squash with Apples (Cooking for 2)
Make the most of winter squash when you pair it with apples and brown sugar in this dreamy side dish.
Prep Time 10 Minutes
Total Time 50 Minutes
Makes 2 servings
1 small buttercup or other winter squash (1 pound)
1/2 cup chopped tart cooking apple
2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1. Heat oven to 400°F. Cut squash in half; remove seeds and fibers. Place squash halves, cut side up, in ungreased baking dish, 11x7x1 1/2 inches. Mix remaining ingredients; spoon into squash halves.
2. Cover and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until squash is tender.
Makes 2 servings
Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Several people have mentioned that their fries didn’t come out crispy. Please note that cooking times are an estimation. Different ovens cook differently so you may need to increase the time to reach desired doneness. Ovens should also be regularly calibrated to ensure that the temperature inside the oven is the temperature on the dial.
1 – 1 1/2 lb sweet potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (preferably the easy release kind).
Peal the sweet potatoes. Cut into strips that are about 1/2 inch wide on each side.
Place the sweet potatoes into a resealable plastic bag. Add oil, salt, paprika and cinnamon. Seal the bag and shake well to thoroughly coat the fries. Spread the potatoes out onto the baking sheet in a single layer.
Cook for 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes, until slightly browned. Transfer immediately to a paper towel lined plate and serve warm.
Until next year…….
September 24, 2010
Week of September 20, 2010
The countdown is on. After this week’s delivery you will have two more baskets/bags of produce. In some ways the summer seems to have gone rather quickly and in other ways – especially June when we had so much rain – the time seemed to crawl at a snail’s pace.
We had 1.5 inches of rain on Saturday/Sunday. Can you believe how cold it was on those two days? Contrast that with today with 80 degree temperatures and you have an Iowa fall. Last night I made potato soup. Cool weather always ushers in the soup menu. I was thinking about making tomato basil soup but Larry seemed to lean heavily toward potato.
We are picking the tomatoes a little underripe because there seems to be a lot of cracking and some bug infestation. Tomatoes ripen after picked so just put them on your windowsill or counter to complete the ripening.
Some of the green beans have a little dirt, some a few bug nibbles and some have a little bit of rust. I taste them as I am picking and if they taste okay, they go into your basket/bag.
I have lots of basil if anyone is interested in making pesto. Just let me know if you want some extra and we can put it with your order.
As we get into fall I am noticing that some of the produce suffered from the hot spell we had. Some of the eggplant has some hard brown or somewhat burst spots on them. I had some for lunch today and found it to be fine eating. If you get something that isn’t good, please let me know.
This week’s produce:
Green, red or chocolate sweet peppers
Turnips/kale available for those who want them
You will be getting quite a bit of fall and winter squash before the end of the season. Today it will be butternut and acorn.
Cucurbita pepo’s, such as Acorn type, are usually the first to ripen. They are best eaten in the fall. In fact, old timers in Maine referred to acorns as “fall squash,” rather than winter squash. They will taste best if eaten ahead of Christmas.
They’re a good source of iron, riboflavin and vitamins A (more than summer squash) and C.
Classic Baked Acorn Squash
- 1 Acorn squash
- 1 Tbsp Butter
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
- Dash of Salt
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Using a strong chef’s knife, and perhaps a rubber mallet to help, cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don’t burn and the squash doesn’t get dried out.
3. Coat the inside of each half with 1/2 a Tbsp of butter. Add a dash of salt if you are using unsalted butter. Add a Tbsp of brown sugar to the cavity of each half. Dribble on a teaspoon of maple syrup to each half.
4. Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. Do not undercook. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sugar sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.
Serves 2 to 4, depending on how much squash you like to eat.
Acorn Squash Storage
Winter squash will last up to a month in a cool (50 to 55 degrees F.) dark cellar or storage area, but only about two weeks in the refrigerator. Ideally, only cut or cooked acorn squash should be refrigerated. They will suffer chill damage at temperatures below 50 degrees F.
Dry hot air will cause loss of moisture, resulting in a shorter shelf life. Squash with a bit of the stem still intact will help slow down moisture loss.
Plan on using acorn squash within two weeks of purchase, since you never know how long it has already been in storage and under what conditions. If you grow your own or get it from your CSA or farmer’s market, you have more control and thus a longer storage time (two to three months). Once cut, wrap raw pieces in plastic wrap, refrigerate, and use within four days.
Cooked acorn squash can be sealed and refrigerated up to four days.
Before freezing, acorn squash must be cooked. Cook squash and remove the pulp from the skin. You can leave it in chunks or mash it. Place in airtight containers and freeze ten to twelve months at 0 degrees F.
The most commonly grown being the Butternuts C. moschata stores the longest, but also tastes pretty good right off the vine. The oranger the color, the riper, drier, and sweeter the squash. Butternut is a common squash used in making soup because it tends not to be stringy.
To Store Winter Squash:
Place whole winter squash on top of thick pads of newspapers in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location, preferably between 45 and 50 degrees F. Check on a regular basis for rot and use within three to six months depending on variety of squash.
Refrigerate tightly wrapped cut pieces of winter squash, such as banana, and use within 5 days.
Once a squash is cooked (by steaming or baking), the flesh of the squash can be stored frozen until needed.
|Garlicky Baked Butternut Squash|
Submitted By: Anita Bukowski
Photo By: InTheDesert
“The mild garlic flavor in this dish makes for a deliciously different treatment for butternut squash. –Anita Bukowski”
|2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
|1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled
and cut into 1-inch cubes
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
|1.||In a large bowl, combine the parsley, oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Add squash and toss to coat.|
|2.||Transfer to an ungreased shallow 2-qt. baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees F for 50-55 minutes or until squash is just tender.|
|ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2010 Allrecipes.com||Printed from Allrecipes.com 9/20/2010|
1/3 to 1/2 pound raw unpeeled squash = 1 serving
1 pound peeled squash = 1 cup cooked, mashed
2-1/2 pounds whole squash = 2-3/4 to 3 cups pureed
1 pound trimmed squash = 2 cups cooked pieces
1 pound squash = 2 to 3 servings
12 ounces frozen squash = 1-1/2 cups
1 medium-size (15 to 20 pounds) pumpkin = 5 to 7 quarts of cooked pumpkin.
As I finish this newsletter, the wind is blowing and the thermometer says 90 degrees! Yikes! Tomorrow rain is forecast with highs in the 70s. Do you think we can keep up with these changes?
Until Next Week…..
September 16, 2010
Week of September 13, 2010
It has been a busy week at Rolling Acres Farm. Last Thursday our children Caia and Briana arrived with their ten month old babies, Caleb and Lyla. Kevin, our son-in-law was able to come as well. I just took Caia and Caleb to the airport this afternoon and will be taking Bri, Kevin and Lyla tomorrow for an early flight out of Omaha. Thank goodness that we live only an hour away from a good airport!
Before I forget, I must apologize for not remembering to put radishes in your baskets/bags last week. When we got home from market, we found them in the refrigerator. You will be getting them this week for sure.
As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, the garden is winding down. I have gotten some spaghetti squash from my friend Cliff in Adair. I went over last Sunday to pick it up. Cliff told me to let you know that he thinks the best way to eat spaghetti squash is to bake it, refrigerate it for twenty four hours, scoop out the pulp, add some vegetables like cherry tomatoes, green peppers, radishes and green onions and top it off with your favorite salad dressing. That’s right, prepare and eat it like a pasta salad. I haven’t tried it yet but intend to do so in the near future.
This week’s produce:
Yukon Gold Potatoes
From now until the season ends on October 4th, you will be receiving several kinds of winter squash. As we put them in your bags/baskets, I will include recipes. Many of you probably already have some favorite recipes. If you would like to share them, please feel free to email them to me.
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash Recipe
Spaghetti squash is a good alternative to pasta, potatoes, or rice. The cooked squash flesh shreds into threads like thin spaghetti or vermicelli, hence its name. On average, spaghetti squash measures about 12 inches in length and about 6 inches in diameter. The squash should be an even light yellow color and firm with no bruises. Store whole at room temperature up to 3 weeks. Spaghetti squash is available year-round with peak season in fall.
Spaghetti squash has a very mild flavor, thus it is usually served with a sauce of some sort. It may also be enjoyed simply with salt and a bit of butter. Cooking the squash is very simple.
You will need:
• 1 spaghetti squash.
• Large sharp knife.
• Baking pan.
• Kitchen fork.
Prick the spaghetti squash all over with a skewer so it will not burst while baking.
• Place whole squash in a shallow baking pan.
• Bake in preheated 375 F oven for 1 hour.
• When cool enough to handle, cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise with a serrated knife.
• Scoop the seeds and fibrous strings from the center of the cooked spaghetti squash.
• Gently scrape the tines of a kitchen fork around the edge of the spaghetti squash to shred the pulp into strands.
• Cooked spaghetti squash is usually served with a sauce or gravy because the flesh is very bland in flavor.
• It may be served alone as a side dish with the addition of salt, pepper, and butter.
|Spaghetti Squash I|
Submitted By: James
Photo By: WANDA
“The strands of a baked spaghetti squash are tossed with feta cheese, sautéed vegetables, olives, and basil.”
|1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
|1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons sliced black olives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
|1.||Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.|
|2.||Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.|
|3.||Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion in oil until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.|
|4.||Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the sautéed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm.|
|ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2010 Allrecipes.com||Printed from Allrecipes.com 9/13/2010|
Thank you for remembering your bags and baskets!
Until next week……. Denise
September 9, 2010
Week of September 6, 2010
I got so caught up in the weekend that I just about missed getting this newsletter out to you. It is nice to have a three day weekend – especially when there are weddings and birthdays on two of the three days. Today has been devoted to getting the things done that were neglected the first two days of this weekend.
As I write this the wind is blowing and it seems to be getting cooler. With the cooler weather there is a noticeable slow down in the garden produce; fewer tomatoes, cucumbers and summer squash. The produce that is growing is getting some of those black bugs – we call them picnic bugs – eating the skin. Soon there will be the fall fare – winter squash, sweet potatoes, lettuce etc. I am looking forward to the sweet potatoes; they are one of my favorite vegetables.
This week’s produce:
Raspberries – those who didn’t get them last week
Eggplant – not everyone will receive this week
Green or red or yellow sweet peppers
There are assorted colors of peppers this week. Some of you will be getting green, some red, some chocolate and some banana. They are all sweet peppers. We bring the hot peppers – Serrano and Jalapeno – for you to take if you wish.
The eggplant is maturing in small numbers some of you have received them already, eventually everyone will get eggplant – it may be the classic kind or the long narrow kind or the small purple striped kind.
Storing potatoes – we have been giving you a lot of potatoes lately. I hope that you are able to use them or at least store them. The way the upcoming weather looks, it may be time to think about soup. Here are a couple of storage tips:
- Before storing the potatoes, put them in a paper bag with holes in it. Avoid using plastic bags, as they tend to increases condensation and thus, lead to development of mold.
- Potatoes should always be stored at a place which is cool, dark and has lots of ventilation. One of the best options is to store the potatoes in a root cellar.
- Avoid storing the potatoes in a pantry, as it may lead to their sprouting and dehydration.
- Potatoes should not be in the refrigerator, especially below a temperature of 7 deg C. This is because below this temperature they develop a sweet taste and get darkened when they are cooked.
- The ideal temperature at which potatoes should be stored is somewhere around 7- 10 deg C.
- Never ever store potatoes along with onions. When the two of them are put together, they produce certain gases that spoil both of them.
- Mature potatoes should not be stored for more than 2 months, while the new ones should be consumed within 1 week.
- Sweet potatoes should be stored for a maximum period of one week only, since they are very delicate.
- Never ever keep the potatoes in direct sunlight. In fact, keep them away from prolonged exposure to light. If exposed to light for too long, they become green, develop a bitter taste and might become toxic.
- Keep on checking the stored potatoes every few days. The moment you see a soft, shriveled or sprouted potato, remove it from the storage area.
|Fresh Tomato Pie|
Submitted By: Britt Terry
Photo By: FLOWERBUFF
“This savory layered pie is a great luncheon or supper treat. Pile slices of onion and tomato into a pre-baked pie crust. Spread with a mixture of mayonnaise, and Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, and then bake in the oven until golden brown. Serve with sour cream and fresh herbs.”
|1 (9 inch) pie shell
7 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 yellow onion
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
|1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons fresh basil
2 teaspoons fresh oregano
|1.||Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).|
|2.||Bake the pastry shell for 8 to 10 minutes or until browned.|
|3.||Slice onion and place in the bottom of pastry shell. Slice tomatoes and arrange over onions. Add black pepper to taste.|
|4.||In a medium bowl, combine mozzarella, parmesan and mayonnaise. Spread this mixture evenly over tomatoes.|
|5.||Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Once cooked, garnish with fresh herbs.|
|ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2010 Allrecipes.com||Printed from Allrecipes.com 9/6/2010|
Please remember to bring back your bags/baskets and the cardboard or wooden boxes that the raspberries and tomatoes have been coming in.
Hope you all have a great week. A short one at that!
Until next week……..
August 31, 2010
Week of August 30, 2010
It is hard to believe that we have reached the end of August. As we enter the downhill side of the summer produce, I am reminded of the challenge we have had all summer. I tried to balance out the positive with the negative and I think that has happened for the most part. Farming is an interesting occupation and one must remember that Mother Nature is always in control.
More sad news, Liza has left us. We knew that would happen at the end of the summer just as Gwen left a couple of weeks ago. It is hard to have our help leave as we become attached to them as our extended family. Good news – Anna Sander, originally from Carroll, recently from Omaha – will be helping us out until the end of the season. Please give her a warm welcome.
Vegetables like summer squash, cucumbers and green beans are starting to wind down. There are still a few left but they will soon be done. There will be more green beans in a couple of weeks as they begin to bloom and put on beans. Produce coming in the next few weeks will be winter squash – acorn, butternut and Kabocha, an orange wonderfully tasting squash. I will be getting some more grapes from the Armstrong Farm. The radishes and green onions and lettuce should be a welcome treat.
This week we have some melons for you but I must tell you that I am extremely disappointed in the crop. Last week as I was harvesting, I was throwing out as many as I was picking – the bottom side was rotten. Some of the melons are a little green yet. Please let them turn a tan color. It’s kind of a gamble whether or not you get a good tasting one or not. Some taste sweet and some are just blah. I apologize if you get one that is not great. Many of them had sun scald on them like the raspberries. That week or more of hot, humid, intense sun was hard on everything.
You will be getting more Yukon Gold potatoes this week. Some are big, some are small some have green on them. When you see patches of green in your potatoes as you peel them, cut out the green parts entirely and discard them. What is the green? Actually it’s chlorophyll. Not bad for you at all. But the chlorophyll indicates that the potato has been exposed to sunlight. And where the potato has been exposed to light is where a natural toxin in the potato (solanine) becomes concentrated at harmful levels. So, never store your potatoes on the counter. Always keep them in a cool, completely dark place. Solanine is a natural defense mechanism of the potato to ward off fungus and pests. It will also be triggered when a potato is bruised, so if your potato is at all damaged or bruised, discard it.
This week will see the last of the carrots. Even though they have been disappointing, many of our members have been putting them in pot roasts or in other cooked vegetables. I made a great tasting carrot cake last week for Larry’s birthday. These are not the kind of carrots that taste good raw.
This week’s produce:
Yukon Gold potatoes
Melons – Superstar or Ambrosia
4 cups of carrots, sliced.
½ cup of water.
6 tablespoons of butter.
2 tablespoons of sugar.
1 teaspoon of nutmeg.
1 teaspoon of salt.
In a casserole dish, mix the sugar, nutmeg and salt with water.
Add the carrots and dab them with butter.
Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.
Allow to rest for 3-4 minutes.
Carrot and Raisin Muffins
3 medium eggs.
1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour.
1 ½ cups of shredded carrots.
1 cup of powdered sugar.
¾ cup of granulated sugar.
½ cup of raisins.
½ cup of milk, plus 2 tablespoons of milk.
½ cup of melted butter, plus 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
¼ cup of cream cheese, softened.
2 teaspoons of cinnamon.
1 ½ teaspoons of baking powder.
½ teaspoon of baking soda.
½ teaspoon of salt.
½ teaspoon of vanilla.
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
Combine the all-purpose flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Beat together the eggs and the granulated sugar.
Add the shredded carrots, raisins, ½ cup of milk, and ½ cup of melted butter; mix thoroughly.
Add the flour mixture and stir until the dry ingredients have moistened.
Spoon the batter into twelve greased muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Mix together cream cheese and 1 tablespoon of butter.
Stir in the powdered sugar, 2 tablespoons of milk, and vanilla, then drizzle over top of the cooked muffins.
Carrot Cake III
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
- 2 cups white sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9×13 inch pan.
- In a large bowl, beat together eggs, oil, white sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in carrots. Fold in pecans. Pour into prepared pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
- To Make Frosting: In a medium bowl, combine butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in chopped pecans. Frost the cooled cake.
Amount Per Serving Calories: 491 | Total Fat: 26.1g | Cholesterol: 74mg
Mario Batali’s Black Kale with Ricotta
- 1 1/2 pounds cavolo nero (also called lacinato or Tuscan kale) or regular kale
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, thickly sliced
- 1 red finger chile or serrano chile, thinly sliced
- Maldon or other flaky sea salt
- 3/4 cup fresh ricotta
Yields: Serves 6
Trim the kale, removing the tough stems and ribs, and coarsely chop it.
Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil, the garlic, and chile in a large pot. Add the kale, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until it is beginning to wilt. Season with salt, add 3/4 cup water, cover, and cook until the kale is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly.
Meanwhile, put the ricotta in a small bowl and whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. If necessary, whisk in up to 2 tablespoons warm water to loosen the consistency.
Spread the ricotta on a serving plate, spoon the kale over it, and serve
I hope that everyone has a fun Labor Day weekend. We have a niece getting married so we will have fun with family.
Until next week…..
August 23, 2010
Week of August 23, 2010
Great news! The radishes, lettuce, green onions, broccoli and even the beets are germinating, giving us the promise of fall crops. The last bit of rain was gentle and the seeds responded accordingly. It is quite exciting to see the beets poke through the soil. Now the issue will be to keep the deer at bay.
I have been reading through all the comments and appreciate you what have said. Not surprisingly kale remains at the bottom of the “like” list. We still have some out in the garden and will give those of you who wish to take it, the opportunity to do so.
The carrots have been disappointing as many of you have stated. We have been giving you the immature ones when we are thinning rather than throw them in the compost, but I am thinking they should just be compost or turkey feed. This week we will have carrots – it will be your choice if you want to take them or not. I did not have problems like this last year. Two years ago I couldn’t even get carrots to germinate! They do not germinate well in warm soil so getting them in early is a must.
Now that we have the cooler working, the lettuce should be in better shape. The rain was really hard on it and again, perhaps we should have used it in the compost pile rather than give you an inferior product. It is always a guessing game.
This week you will be receiving grapes from the Armstrong Farm. For those of you who don’t know, the Armstrong Farm near Lewis is a research farm. They have been experimenting with grape varieties so we are the recipients of their abundant crop. I have been eating them since I picked them up and they are delicious!
Raspberries – given the short supply, because of phytopheria root rot, we are giving everyone a quart as we pick them. Last week you all received a pint. We are going down the list of members and giving them accordingly. Those of you who didn’t get them last week will get them this week. We are guaranteeing that everyone will get at least one quart. We just don’t know how long the crop will last.
Potatoes – I have had several conversations with potato growers and there seems to be a common thread among us – a poor crop with lots of spoilage. This week you will be getting Yukon Gold, grown by Cliff Moore who farms near Adair. Cliff is as disappointed as I am in the crop, but none the less, has some nice looking potatoes. We were talking the other day and agreed that the potatoes will probably not store well so we suggest using them up and not trying to store them for very long.
I have planted a couple of hills of gourds – just for fun. We will be bringing them in a basket and you can have your pick of some interesting looking shapes and colors.
I am still holding out promise for melons. The plants don’t look well, but the fruit looks like it might be okay; same with the watermelon. I hate to keep referring to last year, but we did have a good crop. I plan to study up on melon growing this winter to see how I can do better.
If there is something that you get in your basket/bag that you do not want, please share it with someone else or give it back to us to pass on. Some of you do this already – we can always work something out.
This week’s produce:
Raspberries – for those who didn’t them get last week
Green/red sweet peppers
Tomatoes – all kinds of shapes and sizes
Potatoes – Yukon Gold from Adair
I have been making lots of pasta salads with all sorts of veggies included. Fareway has the best selection of whole grain pasta – what an assortment! Here are a couple of recipes for Greek Salad. They are similar and of course, you can alter it as you wish!
Greek Salad Recipe
Greek salads are a common addition to any Greek meal. They are also wonderful on their own, keeping to a classic or traditional version as well as recipes that offer delicious variations on the Greek salad theme. Authentic salads consist of chopped tomato, cucumber, and red onion, seasoned with oregano, salt and pepper, topped with olive oil. Extras such as feta cheese, anchovies, and Kalamata olives may or may not be included.
Greek salads are enjoyed around the world. Many cuisines have adopted the dish, and the salad can be found in restaurants as an appetizer, side dish or main course. Common variations include salads with mixed salad greens as a main ingredient, Greek pasta salads, and delicious vinaigrettes consisting of much more than simple drizzled olive oil.
GreekSaladRecipe.net present salad recipes for creating true Greek salads, as well as incredible recipes built on the Greek salad theme. Start a great Greek meal with a classic recipe, or treat family and friends to a salad with roasted vegetables or grilled chicken as an addition.
Greek Vegetable Salad
1 large Cucumber, chopped
2 Roma (plum) Tomatoes, chopped
1 (5 ounces) jar pitted Kalamata Olives
1 (4 ounces) package Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 Red Onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 (10 ounces) package Romaine Lettuce Leaves
1/2 (10 ounces) package Baby Greens
6 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1 teaspoon Dried Basil
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1 teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 cups Red Wine Vinegar
Preparation: Add chopped cucumber, chopped tomato, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, sliced red onion, romaine lettuce, and baby greens to large serving bowl.
In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried basil, Dijon mustard, fresh lemon juice, and red wine vinegar.
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray
Guzaria is Greek tapas: many little dishes that can be snacked on for a fulfilling meal. Old Athens would gather at small bars at the end of a hard day to find community members, discuss the day, and share food and drink at a leisurely pace over the course of the evening. Ouzo and cold beer are the suggested beverages with your Guzaria menu. Guzaria Menu: Greek Salad, Grilled Pita Bread, Greek Meatballs in Wine Sauce, Baked Gigantes Beans, and Grilled Shrimp.
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 2 min
Serves: 4 servings
- 3 vine ripe tomatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 European seedless cucumber, cut into bite-size chunks
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chunked
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chunked
- 1 cubanelle pepper, seeded and chunked
- 1 cup Kalamata black olives
- Several sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, about 1/2 cup
- 2 (1/4 pound) slices imported Greek feta
- 1/4 cup (a couple of glugs) extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons (3 splashes) red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed in palm of your hand
- Coarse salt and black pepper
- Pita breads
Combine vegetables, olives, and parsley in a large bowl. Rest sliced feta on the top of salad. Combine oil, vinegar, and oregano in a small plastic container with a lid. Shake vigorously to combine oil and vinegar and pour over salad and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and let the salad marinate until ready to serve. Serve salad with pita bread blistered and warmed on a hot griddle or grill pan.
The cicadas are singing, the Monarch butterflies are gathering and the daylight is getting less each day. Fall is approaching.
Until next week……
August 17, 2010
Week of August 16, 2010
On August 10, 2010 at 12:21 p.m. Lucy Skye Harris was born to Trevor and Emily Harris. Molly Jade Harris welcomed her sister and took on her new role as big sister. Lucy was 6 pounds and 14 ounces and is doing very well. Larry and I have had three grandchildren in the past nine months. We are happy that all are well and growing like babies should.
I hope that everyone survived the heat wave in good shape. Let’s hope that is all there is for the summer of 2010. What a pleasure it was to wake up to sixty degree weather the past two mornings.
Thanks to all of you who returned your comment cards. Your input is very helpful as we determine what crops to plant or not to plant. We have tried hard to give you good produce but there have been times when things haven’t been so presentable. The potatoes, onions, lettuce and carrots have presented problems. Some of the onions have spoiled, the potatoes have been subpar in appearance, the lettuce has been wilted and many of you said the carrots are not mature enough. On the other hand, most of you have loved the beans, broccoli and sweet corn. And I know that we gave you too much cabbage.
With the comments in mind, I will work on getting you better produce. I know, of course, that you understand the weather must cooperate and unfortunately it is very rare when we have a “perfect” summer!
I go to several meetings a year where CSA producers share their expertise and skills with each other. You have given me several things to talk to others about. It is always about how to improve. Learning never stops no matter how old one is.
With that said, I have been planting seeds for the fall crops and have been concerned that the heat and now no rain will effect what we will have to offer. We do have irrigation and have yet to put it to use. The forecast is calling for rain tonight and tomorrow and guess what; we can really use it now!
This Week’s Produce:
Sweet Red Peppers
Eggplant (not all will get this week)
You are getting today and have been getting for the last couple of weeks, a sweet red pepper called Carmen. This is the description from Johnny’s Seeds, the company where most of my seed purchases are made:
A beautiful new pepper of the Italian “bulls horn” (corno di toro) type from Johnny’s owners and plant breeders Janika Eckert and Rob Johnston. Carmen has a lovely sweet taste for salads and roasting, especially when partially or fully red-ripe. To be selected as a 2006 All-America Selections winner, Carmen was judged superior by official AAS judges across the U.S. and Canada.
How to Roast Vegetables
// Even veggies haters may find roasting creates a pleasant, slightly-sweet flavor that masks the typical bitterness of many vegetables. This simple cooking method helps preserves the natural nutrients of the veggies. It also gives them an attractive brown color that’s not unlike the beautiful appearance of traditional grilled vegetables.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
- Roasting pan
- Cutting board
- Choose your vegetables. Almost any hard, solid vegetable can be roasted. Good choices include peppers (any color), squash and zucchini, root vegetables (such as onions), Brussels sprouts and asparagus.
- Prepare your vegetables. Wash the vegetables with fresh running water. Lightly scrub off the dirt with a vegetable brush.
- Cut vegetables into pieces. Uniform pieces work best for roasting. Using a cutting board and knife, try to slice your vegetables into chunks that are approximately the same size.
- Preheat oven. Your oven should be preheated to about 400 degrees.
- Dress vegetables. Put your vegetables in a bowl and add a few tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle them with kosher or sea salt. Add a little pepper to taste. Toss to coat the vegetable chunks.
- Prepare roasting pan. Grease the bottom of a shallow roasting pan or line it with parchment paper.
- Arrange the vegetables. Arrange the vegetables in a single layer in the roasting pan.
- Begin roasting the vegetables. Once the oven is preheated, slide the vegetables onto the middle rack. Roast for approximately 10 minutes.
- Stir the vegetables. After 10 minutes have passed, stir the vegetables. Spread them in a single layer again.
- Roast another 10 minutes.
Tips & Warnings
- You can also season your vegetables with other herbs and spices, such as Italian seasoning or rosemary.
- Your vegetables should be lightly browned on the edges. You may need to add extra roasting time if your vegetables are cut into very large chunks.
- Be careful to avoid bruising the tender flesh of the vegetables when you’re scrubbing them clean.
- Avoiding packing the vegetables too closely in the roasting pan, as this will cause them to steam rather than roast.
How to Preserve Roasted Peppers
This is a method for freezing roasted red peppers in their own juice.
Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need:
- wire mesh strainer
- rigid freezer containers
- After the roasted peppers have cooled, hold each one over a bowl to catch the juice, pull off the skin, then pull out the cores and attached seeds. Drop the skins and cores into the catch bowl with the juice. Cut open each pepper and scrape out any remaining seeds into the catch bowl. Put the cleaned peppers into a second bowl.
- Set the wire strainer over the bowl containing the cleaned peppers, and tip the skins, cores, seeds and juice into the strainer. Press the stuff in the strainer gently with the back of a spoon so that all the juice drains over the cleaned peppers. Discard the stuff in the strainer.
- Divide the cleaned peppers among several rigid freezer containers. Pour the juice from the bowl over the peppers. Cover the containers with tight fitting lids, mark them with the date, and freeze.
August 10, 2010
Week of August 9, 2010
I took time today to look back at the newsletters from 2008 and 2009 just to compare how we are doing this year. Last year on this date we were having our second round of corn. This week you will be getting your third and last round. This third planting is called “Incredible” and I think you will agree with me that it really is incredible.
I am anxiously awaiting your comments. I hope you have filled the comment sheets out – if you haven’t, there is still time. Please bring them with you to pick up your basket/bag tomorrow.
Sad news – Gwen left us today after working here for ten weeks. My, the time has flown! She is taking a short vacation with her two sisters and then will be returning to Grinnell College for her senior year. Larry and I appreciated all the hard work that Gwen did for us throughout the summer.
Liza will be with us for a little while longer – her departure date is to be determined. We will have a new face with us starting next week, Anna Sander. Anna is from Carroll and wants to spend a few weeks helping out with the last of the season.
There are several things that I have now noticed that are weather related. Last week I was checking over the onions and noticed a lot of spoilage. We have always been proud of the onion crops coming from this farm but are pretty disappointed with them this season. I believe the spoiling is due to the wet area they were planted in and all the rain when it was their harvest time. We have been cleaning them and you will still be getting them in your basket/bag. If you are getting too many, try drying them on a low temperature in the oven. You will be glad you did when you get them out this winter to put into soups.
For the most part, I have been feeling pretty good about the garden. The beets have been a disappointment – you have seen me write that before. The potatoes haven’t been the best. This morning when we were digging them, there were some hills that were completely rotten – too much water.
The tomatoes seem to be having problems as well. We noticed that they were dying at the bottom of the plants. I believe this is the blight. We didn’t have it last year and I think because of all the rain this year, the conditions have been just right. There are lots of tomatoes and I think they will ripen fine even with the blight and it definitely won’t affect the taste. We also have some (lots) of tomatoes growing at Harrisdale Homestead, but they will come later. Having a later planting of tomatoes will help stretch out the season longer.
This week’s produce:
Over the next few weeks you will be getting some Heirloom varieties of tomatoes. Many people refer to these as the ugly tomatoes. We always plant some for fun and for flavor. There are many that think these tomatoes taste better than the standard varieties. They are somewhat difficult to grow as they crack easily.You will be getting the regular tomatoes as well, we will just throw in a couple of these from time to time.
Cherokee Purple: The Cherokee Purple tomato is considered by many to be the best tasting tomato.
Black Prince: Princely refinement defines this outstanding, juicy, round tomato with its warm, rich colors and robust, full-bodied flavor. Originally introduced in Russia.
Green Zebra: Exquisite green bi-colored tomato. The tomato flesh is lime-emerald color. A great tomato for brightening up salads.
Yellow Brandywine: Large yellow fruit of exceptional quality, creamy texture, and delicious flavor.
There are a few others that we have. I will be telling you about them later. Meanwhile, enjoy these tomatoes that will surely brighten your day – that is, if you like tomatoes.
Two Tomato, Corn and Bean Salad
1 big brandywine red tomato, diced
1 big brandywine yellow tomato, diced (or any large red and yellow colored heirloom tomato)
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1 can black beans, rinsed and patted dry
1/2 cup red onion, sliced into thin strips
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
For the dressing
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Pinch of salt and pepper
Red wine vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil (2-3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar)
The radishes, onions and green beans that I planted last week are peaking through. Hopefully the lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli will pop through the soil soon. I am concerned about the heat on these tiny plants, but there is little I can do to control that.
Hopefully this heat wave we are having will end soon. Meanwhile, try to stay cool.
Until Next Week…..