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Farm House Kitchen

Freezing Excess Veggies

Walking the farm it is quite obvious that we are quickly approaching Summer. Zucchini, tomatoes, eggplants, peppers will all be ready soon, zucchini is already coming in. As we have collards and chard in this week’s box I strongly encourage you to wash, chop and sauté, then stick it into a ziplock and freeze it for later in the summer. 

If you put it in the freezer flat, do not over fill the bag, it is actually pretty easy to break it into bits, and this way you can make up a soup and add a little bit of greens. Of course you can also put it into small bags and portion it out. Either way, come August, most of us would be happy to have some prepared greens int he freezer. You could even goes so far as to include parsley and garlic and a little bit of diced carrot and make an almost complete soup or stew base.  So often I find delicious recipes for tomatoes that call for some kind of green to go with it, but of course they are out of season for us here at that time.  

Parsley added to Pesto keeps it a much brighter green. For 1 cup of Basil add 1/4 cup of Parsley. Pesto can be frozen in ice cube trays and then popped into freezer bags for easy storage.  It is important to remember that when we choose to eat seasonally part of what we do is “put things up” as my Grandma used to say.  In our modern world, we have many easy options. Pesto takes mere minutes with a food processor (of course if you are a purest you will only make it in a mortar and pestle), dehydrators, freezers, canners, some people even invest in freeze driers.  I stick more to the basics, I use a giant pot and boiling water for canning, I air and oven dry herbs, and freeze lots of things. The past few weeks I have really taken advantage of the frozen greens we pre-cooked when loads of stuff came back from the market. It saved me loads of time when cooking for 25 people over the lavender weekend. Not preparing an entire meal, but rather prepping food gives you a lot of flexibility once you are at your destination.  Take advantage of what is in your box and bri

Lizzie’s Fennel Frond Ice Tea

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Over the weekend, one of my favorite treats was Lizzie’s Fennel Frond Iced Tea. Might seem crazy with all the food we had, but when I cook a lot I eat a little, but I get so thirsty.  This is so refreshing, and most certainly good for digestion.  Take about 1/3 of your fronds and put into a good sized iced tea container, about 1/2 gallon size, or 1/2 gallon mason jar.  Boil water and pour enough to cover the fronds.  Make sure you are using a container that can handle the  heat, if not wait a couple of minutes for it to cool just slightly, and pour in slowly bit by bit.  If you want it sweetened add 1 TB Honey while it is hot.  Allow to cool, remove fronds then fill with ice. 

Raclette For Dinner

Ellie gave me an early birthday present, a Raclette maker. If you are not familiar with this, it is an electric grill top that sits on the table.  It also has little trays that go underneath the heating elements. The grill top is where you cook vegetables and meats, we cooked slices of bacon the other night, but you can do sausage or chicken, really whatever you like.  The little trays are where you melt your Raclette cheese, we used Gruyere since we didn’t have any Raclette available.  This is typically enjoyed on boiled potatoes.  Now I realize you all aren’t going to rush out to buy a Raclette machine, but you can do much the same thing in the oven, it just isn’t as much fun:). So for this week you could roast up wedges of cabbage, that you toss in a bit of good olive oil and maybe some finely minced spring garlic.  You could include halved or quartered turnips on the tray, also tossed with a bit of olive oil.  Don’t forget to add a little salt and pepper, the Eatwell Farm Rosemary Salt is great for roasted veg.  Gently boil your well washed potatoes.  When they are cooked to tender drain very well, then put them onto a roasting pan, cover with a good melting cheese and put under the broiler for a quick minute or two, just until the cheese is melted.  Make a fresh green salad for the side, and a little meat if you want, or skip it for a meatless meal. It won’t be as fun as having your family sitting around the table with your Raclette centerpiece, but it will be simple and delicious!

 

A Different Way Of Looking at the Farm

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When Nigel and I would walk the farm, we saw everything from very different perspectives. He saw crops and yields, I saw dishes and dinner. I was reminded of this as I was walking back to the house and passed a field of leeks and fennel.  My first reaction was Oh, I love roasting fennel and leeks together, yum! I am sure Nigel’s would have been, looks like we are getting to the end with these crops. Fennel is beginning to bloom, leeks are looking a little weak. I wonder if I will ever become a farmer first, cook/lover of food second? I doubt it.

Citrus Salad

This is another suggestion from one of our Slack members.  JB’s version used Pomelo, actually this is hubby’s recipe, but JB posted!  It was also made with arugula but I would suggest spinach since that is what is in the box this week.  

Salad:

Grapefruit sections, cut into bite size pieces

Slivered Fennel

Spinach, well washed

A bit of Orange for some sweetness (maybe use some Mandarins?)

Dressing:

Olive Oil

Red Wine Vinegar

Salt and Pepper

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