More CSA Home Delivery Options

East Bay Home Delivery: Berkeley to Oakland

East Bay Home Delivery: Berkeley to Oakland

For a couple of years now, we have offered the home delivery option for our San Francisco members.  We work with a delivery company called RickShaw.  It is an additional fee, but we are only charging enough to cover what RickShaw is charging us.  This is a convenient service that brings your CSA share right to your door, or maybe to your work, and a surprising number of our SF members have signed up.  

Peninsula Home Delivery: Daly City to Sunnyvale

Peninsula Home Delivery: Daly City to Sunnyvale

A few months ago, RickShaw expanded their delivery zones to include parts of the East Bay and Peninsula.  We haven't really talked about it much, but since we are focusing on upping the CSA membership this week, I figure now is an excellent time tomake sure everyone is updated.  We have included the maps, so you can see the coverage area.  I don't know what the policy is for companies like FB or Google, etc if employees can get deliveries at work?  But it is a densely worker populated region, and maybe a good way to spread the word, and have people get CSA Shares? Unfortunately, the home delivery option is the only way we can get CSA Shares down the Peninsula, it is too far for our trucks to deliver to drop sites.

National CSA Sign-Up Day February 24, 2017

What the heck is CSA Sign-Up Day?  I asked myself the same question.  As it turns out in 2015, Small Farm Central released a report on CSA Memberships for 2014.  What they found was more people signed up for a CSA membership on Friday, February 28 than any other day that year.  For 2015, they created the first National CSA Sign-up Day, and this year it falls on Friday, February 24th.  Since the 24th is this Friday, I thought it would be a good time to talk about the CSA and to ask all of you for some extra support.  You can help the farm by writing Yelp reviews, posting on FB, sharing photos on your Instagram, or even a quick Tweet, letting all your friends, family and co-workers know how much you love your Farm.  

Last year, when I asked for your help it was amazing how quickly we saw the numbers go up, so I know for a fact what you do works.  Shortly after that big push we went through the treatment rounds with Nigel again, making it impossible to stay on top of things and keep the momentum going.  But we did learn a few things.  Many of the new sign ups loved the produce, but found it too hard to get through it all before items went bad.  The obvious solution is to offer two sizes of CSA shares.  We have considered many times in the past, but we always had great concerns that we might open a Pandora's Box that we couldn't get out of.  There are many issues to address: it makes our operation less stream-lined, it creates more opportunities for mistakes, confusion for the members when picking up shares, etc, and our packaging company doesn't offer asmall box as a standard option.  By chance, we recently found an alternate company (more expensive of course!) that does have a size that will work.  So we ordered a couple hundred and have been running an experiment with about 10 people over the last few weeks. The feedback has been really great.  Folks are happy with the assortment and the amount.  The smaller share is perfect for 1 to 2 people to get through in a week.  One of the members told us she walks to pick up her box and the new size is much easier to carry on her walk home.  I also heard from people who have multiple roommates that our full size share takes up too much space in their shared space refrigerator, so that was a problem.

When we looked at the subscription numbers, we discovered nearly 70% of you get a CSA share every other week. We could make a significant difference to the farm's income just by converting many of you every week folks to a weekly smaller share.  You always have the ability to put a share on hold when you need to, so you needn't worry about missing a box if you are out of town.

If all goes well, we will be introducing our new "Box for 2" this week.  Connie and Liz are working very hard to get the new share size set up with the software by the end of the week - just in time for CSA Sign-Up Day.  I am hoping we will also be able to set it up as an extra, so if you have a party or event, or people coming to stay and you need some extra produce, you can order the smaller share size as an add-on item.  

With the Event Season just around the corner it is a great time to commit to the CSA.  Strawberry Days, and Tomato Sauce Parties will be here before you know it.  So keep those memberships going!  Thanks for all your support!

 

This Week's Box: February 20th - 25th

CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. This week's Recipes

  3. Shopping List

  4. Link to Digital Copy of Newsletter

1. IN THE BOX (IN ORDER OF WHAT TO EAT FIRST):

Mandarins - They will keep a day or two at room temperature and up to a week in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Pea Shoots - Pea shoots are the leaves and tendrils of pea plants. Place them inside a brown paper bag, or wrap them with paper towel, and place in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. They should last 2 to 3 days.

Romanesco - Will last up to one week in a closed container in the fridge, but has better flavor if consumed earlier.

Stir Fry Mix - These baby mixed greens can be stored by lining a storage container with paper towels, place the mixed greens on top, and cover with another layer of paper towels and lock the lid. Make sure there is plenty of space and the greens are not jam-packed in there. Will last up to one week.

Carrots (Terra Firma Farm) - These come from Los Pablos at Terra Firma Farm in Winters. We grow amazing tasting carrots here on our farm but the germination is sporadic because our soil is a little too heavy. I covet the field next to us as it has a nice sandy area. Forgive me. Store in the crisper wrapped to prevent drying out. Should last at least 7 days.

Red or Green Cabbage - Wrap cabbage in plastic wrap and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. An alternative to plastic would be placing it in a tightly-locking container that limits air flow. Properly stored, cabbage should last about a week.

Green Garlic - It is such a delight to have this back in our harvest shares. My favorite way to enjoy is to stir fry the chopped garlic in a skillet with some olive oil. Then stir in eggs for a delicious green garlic scrambled eggs. Store in the crisper. Will last at least a week.

Broccoli or Cauliflower - Place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge. Lasts 1-2 weeks.

Spring Onions - Spring onions are onions harvested at the immature stage, when they have just begun to form their bulb and are still green on top. Their flavor is a little milder since they haven't yet fully developed. Spring onions should be kept in a closed container, to prevent drying out, in the refrigerator and should last a couple of weeks.

Pomelo - Pomelos are the largest citrus fruit. Pomelos can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks or refrigerated for up to several weeks. Keep away from direct sunlight and heat.

Apples (Hidden Star Orchard) - Apples last much longer if they are placed loosely in the bin of your refrigerator. Wrapping them in brown paper from grocery sacks will also help to keep in the moisture of the apple. Keep apples slightly apart from each other. Lasts up to 2 months.

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Maria Batali's Pasta Dough

Roasted Carrot and Ricotta Ravioli

3. SHOPPING LIST FOR ALL RECIPES (ASSUMES YOU HAVE BASIC SALT AND PEPPER):

Shopping list for: Maria Batali's Pasta Dough

2 cups All Purpose Flour

2 cups 00 Flour (or just use 4 cups All Purpose)

4 large eggs

Shopping list for: Roasted Carrot and Ricotta Ravioli

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 tablespoon heavy cream

5 ounces drained ricotta (line a strainer with a towel and drain ricotta for 30 mins)

¾ cup freshly grated parmesan

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 large egg yolk

1 batch pasta dough (store bought is fine)

Shopping list for all recipes:

2 cups All Purpose Flour

2 cups 00 Flour (or just use 4 cups All Purpose)

4 large eggs; plus 1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 tablespoon heavy cream

5 ounces drained ricotta (line a strainer with a towel and drain ricotta for 30 mins)

¾ cup freshly grated parmesan

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

4. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NEWSLETTERS PAGE AT WWW.EATWELL.COM. CLICK ON THE DATE OF THE NEWSLETTER TO DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY OF THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER IN COLOR.

Roasted Carrot and Ricotta Ravioli

This recipe comes from the delightful Domenica Marchetti, and while it’s based on roasted carrots, it works with any vegetable you can puree such as squash, sweet potato, turnip, celery root, or even peas.

3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (3/4 pound)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon minced shallot

1 tablespoon heavy cream

5 ounces drained ricotta (line a strainer with a towel and drain ricotta for 30 mins)

¾ cup freshly grated parmesan

Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 large egg yolk

1 batch pasta dough (store bought is fine)

    1.    Preheat the oven to 400. 

    2.    In a baking dish, toss the carrots with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Let cool slightly.

    3.    In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes.

    4.    In a food processor, combine the carrots, shallot and cream and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a bowl. Stir in the ricotta, parmesan and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the egg yolk.

    5.    Split pasta dough in half and roll into two rectangles, about 8” by 16”

    6.    On one half of each rectangle, place 1 Tbsp of filling approximately 2” apart along the line, leaving at least 1” to the edge.

    7.    “Paint” a line of water in a square around each filling drop with a brush or your finger.

    8.    Fold the top half of the rectangle over the filling, and press down around the filling to remove air pockets and seal the edges where the water is.

    9.    Cut the ravioli out using a sharp knife or pasta cutter if you have one.

    10.    Place on a lined sheet tray until you are ready to poach.

To cook: Boil a large amount of water in the biggest pot you have. When the water is at a rolling boil, drop the ravioli in one at a time and cook until the float (3 - 4 mins).

While the pasta is cooking, melt a few tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan, and let get a tiny bit of color.

When the ravioli are done, remove them using a strainer or slotted spoon and place them directly in the hot butter. Let the ravioli get a little crispy and then turn over (the pasta will ‘let go’ of the pan when it’s ready to turn over - have patience or your pasta will burst). Toss in a handful of chopped herbs (parsley, sage, thyme, rosemary) and turn out onto plates or shared platter. Top with some leftover cheese (if you have any).

Mario Batali’s Pasta Dough

Want to try your hand at your own pasta dough? Bravo! Here’s Mario Batali’s classic. People have been making this for ages. If your first batch doesn’t work out, try again! It’s fun, and a great way to relax into making your meal from start to finish. If you want a smaller batch, just use 2 cups flour and 2 eggs. The ratio is 1 egg for every 1 cup of flour, so you can scale up or down as needed.

2 cups All Purpose Flour

2 cups 00 Flour (or just use 4 cups All Purpose)

4 large eggs

    1.    Mound the flour in the center of your cutting board, and make a well in the middle.

    2.    Crack the eggs into the well, and using a fork beat the eggs a little and then begin incorporating the eggs into the flour, starting with the inner rim. 

    3.    Once you have half the flour incorporated, the dough will start to come together. You can begin kneading it using the palm of your hand primarily. Continue to knead for about 10 minutes, adding small (I mean really small) amounts of flour as needed. 

    4.    Pasta dough is slightly tacky when done. 

    5.    Make a disc of your dough, and wrap in plastic. Let rest on the counter for 30 minutes before using. Refrigerate for up to a week if you decide to make it ahead. 

 

Executive Orders And The Farm

You might wonder what an Executive Order has to do with our farm, but there is a very direct connection.  A few times a year we host farmers or food industry folks from other countries who are interested in how we farm and the unique practices we have in place here at Eatwell.  We have had visitors from South Korea, Japan, Switzerland, Brazil, Canada, France.  Last year, Connie and I hosted a group of food innovators from Switzerland for a lunch in the farmhouse and a quick tour of the farm.  The lively discussion we had around the table was exciting and memorable.  For me, it was a wonderful experience and one I will never forget.  Recently a group of farmers from Germany reached out asking if they could come for a visit early in the summer.   Since my Mom is from Germany, I was really excited to host this group.  I was hoping they would take us up on the offer of lunch, giving us the best opportunity to really show off what we do here at the farm.  Their visit was set and scheduled.  Sadly we heard back from them last week letting us know that they have reconsidered visiting the US.  The reason was the Executive Order banning certain people from certain countries entering into the US. I am not sure specifically why they made this decision, whether they might have people in the group who are originally from one of the banned countries, or perhaps they are taking a stand against the ban on moral grounds.  No matter the reason, it is very disappointing.  There are unexpected consequences for all actions in life, sometimes good, sometimes bad.  No matter your personal belief about the ban, right or wrong, there are consequences and in this case a lost opportunity.  As much as Nigel and I love to share what and how we do things, we also always learn from others.  Germany in particular is a great country to learn from as their farms are not typically the size/scale of the American farms. This is one of the reasons we typically import Nigel's new "farm toys" from Germany, because our farm is more in-line with the size and production of German farms.  The opportunityfor information exchange has been lost, and this doesn't make me feel safer, it makes me feel isolated.

Ok, no more rain please

Last year was the El Niño year. The farm is thoroughly soaked and the nursery just texted me wanting me to take delivery of the first spring planting. There is nothing we can do in the fields until the ground dries out enough to start cultivating. So if you have been praying for rain, thank you, time to turn down the volume. 

There is no normal California weather, so the old California farmers around here tell me. Just lots of variation. Our Lake Berryessa is ready to safely go over the spillway. There are other kinds of reservoirs and ours is optimal with three years supply in it. Most reservoirs are primarily flood control with only enough catchment and storage for one or two years only. 

We do have a well and it’s aquifer is filled with regulated releases from our dam for salmon flows. So in many ways we are sitting pretty. We have had no restrictions during the drought. 

That brown water, full of erodible soil you see in the Bay is not something to be happy about. What we need is for California to soak up and rehydrate itself that is called permaculture. 

My Favorite Valentine

Just before Nigel and I started dating, he came up to me at the farmers market and said "I have a little Valentine's present for you".  I've never been a fan of this particular holiday, way too many have been nothing but disappointment.  So feeling very uncomfortable and nervous about this English Farmer, I followed him to his stand.  But what he gave me was such a surprise, and definitely not your ordinary Valentine, a big, gorgeous Romanesco!  Nigel knew I loved to cook and he thought I would really enjoy this edible piece of fractal art!  I did, and I was relieved, and overjoyed.  This morning when I brought Nigel his ginger tea, there on the bed waiting for me was - no, not a Romanesco - a beautiful card and my favorite Recchiuti Chocolates.  We have sneaky helper elves working for us at the market these days, since Nigel can't get down there to buy things himself, he has them magically sent back to the farm to surprise me!  We have come a long way since that first Valentine Romanesco, and you know I will be cooking some tonight!

This Week's Box: February 13th - 18th

CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. This week's Recipes

  3. Shopping List

  4. Link to Digital Copy of Newsletter

1. IN THE BOX (IN ORDER OF WHAT TO EAT FIRST):

Pea Shoots - Pea shoots are the leaves and tendrils of pea plants. Place them inside a brown paper bag, or wrap them with paper towel, and place in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. They should last 2 to 3 days.

Spinach - Store in the bag, unwashed, in the crisper. Take out what you plan on using and wash as you go. Will last 3-5 days.

Navel Oranges - These juicy, freshly picked oranges can be left out on the counter for a few days, but last up to two weeks if refrigerated.

Romanesco - Will last up to one week in a closed container in the fridge, but has better flavor if consumed earlier.

Stir Fry Mix - These baby mixed greens can be stored by lining a storage container with paper towels, place the mixed greens on top, and cover with another layer of paper towels and lock the lid. Make sure there is plenty of space and the greens are not jam-packed in there. Will last up to one week.

Bok Choy - This crunchy and tasty bok choy is amazing sautéed and adds a little something special to a soup or stir-fry. Store in a plastic bag in fridge up to one week. Don’t forget to use the ribs!

Broccoli - Place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge. Lasts 1-2 weeks.

Cabbage - Wrap cabbage in plastic wrap and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. An alternative to plastic would be placing it in a tightly-locking container that limits air flow. Properly stored, cabbage should last about a week.

Spring Onions - Spring onions are onions harvested at the immature stage, when they have just begun to form their bulb and are still green on top. Their flavor is a little milder since they haven't yet fully developed. Spring onions should be kept in a closed container, to prevent drying out, in the refrigerator and should last a couple of weeks.

Pomelo - Pomelos are the largest citrus fruit. Pomelos can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks or refrigerated for up to several weeks. Keep away from direct sunlight and heat.

Lemons - This versatile fruit adds a great touch to winter greens and salads. It will store longer, several weeks, if wrapped and placed in crisper of the fridge, but if you are going to use it within a few days it can be stored on the counter.

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Ribollita, from Serious Eats

Madhur Jeffrey's Cabbage Poriyal

Indian Style Fragrant Rice (Rice Pilau)

3. SHOPPING LIST FOR ALL RECIPES (ASSUMES YOU HAVE BASIC SALT AND PEPPER):

Shopping list for: Ribollita, from Serious Eats

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 leek, white and light green parts only, diced 

4 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash

1 turnip, peeled and diced

3 large celery stalks, diced 

1 bunch kale (stalks removed, and roughly chopped)

1 bouquet garni (herb bundle made from a few sprigs each of mixed herbs, such as parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf)

2 cups cooked beans, such as cannellini, navy, or cranberry, plus 1 cup bean-cooking liquid or water

½ loaf fresh or stale rustic crusty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving (optional)

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling on top

Shopping list for: Madhur Jeffrey's Cabbage Poriyal

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

½ tsp fennel seed

1 teaspoon mustard seeds (if you have them)

1 tbsp finely chopped garlic

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Shopping list for: Indian Style Fragrant Rice (Rice Pilau)

2 cups basmati or jasmine rice

1 tbsp butter

4 cardamom pods

8 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

3 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water

Shopping list for all recipes:

3 tablespoons olive oil; plus Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling on top

3 cloves garlic; plus 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic

1 leek, white and light green parts only, diced 

4 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash

1 turnip, peeled and diced

3 large celery stalks, diced 

1 bunch kale (stalks removed, and roughly chopped)

1 bouquet garni (herb bundle made from a few sprigs each of mixed herbs, such as parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf)

2 cups cooked beans, such as cannellini, navy, or cranberry, plus 1 cup bean-cooking liquid or water

½ loaf fresh or stale rustic crusty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving (optional)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

½ tsp fennel seed

1 teaspoon mustard seeds (if you have them)

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

2 cups basmati or jasmine rice

1 tbsp butter

4 cardamom pods

8 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

3 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water

4. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NEWSLETTERS PAGE AT WWW.EATWELL.COM. CLICK ON THE DATE OF THE NEWSLETTER TO DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY OF THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER IN COLOR.

Indian Style Fragrant Rice (Rice Pilau)

by Amie

Don’t have cardamom? No worries. You can sub in a wide range of spices, the point is that your rice should not be plain. Indian cuisine is a riot of flavor and scent, and there’s no reason your rice cannot be either! Other spices you can use in this are: cumin, coriander, curry leaf, mustard seed, and fenugreek. The idea is to play around and get to the spice mix you like the best! 

2 cups basmati or jasmine rice

1 onion, diced

1 tbsp butter

4 cardamom pods

8 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

3 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water

To make sure you get lovely fluffy rice, wash it in several changes of cold water, then leave to soak for about 30 minutes in fresh cold water. If you don't have time for this, place in a sieve and wash under the cold tap for a minute or so.

Cook the onion in the butter for around 5 minutes until softened. Add the spices, saffron and bay leaves and cook for a couple more minutes. The spices will give a wonderful fragrant flavor to the rice. Add the rice and stir until the grains are coated in the butter before stirring in the stock or water and salt. 

Bring to a simmer and then cover with lid. Cook for 10 minutes before turning off the heat. Don't remove the lid; just leave the rice to continue cooking in the pan for about 5 minutes until you're ready to serve.

The rice should have absorbed all the water and will just need fluffing up with a fork. 

Serve alongside your curry, poriyal, and don’t forget the chutney! And while it’s traditionally naan/roti OR rice, I’m not looking and neither is anyone else so do what pleases YOU. 

Madhur Jaffrey’s Cabbage Poriyal

This works with any substantial veg, and is a great way to use your stir fry mix for a delightfully spiced side or on top of rice for a vegetarian main.

 

1 1/2 pounds green cabbage (half a large head)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

½ teaspoon coriander seeds

½ tsp fennel seed

1 teaspoon mustard seeds (if you have them)

1 tbsp finely chopped garlic

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 teaspoon sesame seeds

1 onion, sliced

1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Remove coarse outer leaves of the cabbage. If you have a cabbage half, cut it in half again lengthwise, and then core the sections. Cut each section lengthwise into very fine, long shreds. A bread knife or chef's knife is ideal for this. (You can also use a food processor.)

Put the oil in a wide, preferably nonstick or cast-iron pan, and set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the cumin, coriander, mustard, fennel, and sesame seeds. As soon as the sesame seeds begin to pop, put in the onion, garam masala, ginger, and garlic. Stir and fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onion has browned a bit.

Put in the cabbage. Stir and fry for about 4-5 minutes or until the cabbage has browned somewhat but hasn’t given up all of it’s life - you want a little crunch and texture!

Add the lemon juice.  Stir to mix. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Ribollita

from Serious Eats

Feel free to add or sub in from the box: spinach for kale, romanesco, sliced bok choy, shredded cabbage (not too fine), or even broccoli florets. A squeeze of lemon on top always goes a long way too. 

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, smashed

1 onion, diced

1 leek, white and light green parts only, diced 

4 large carrots, peeled and diced

2 1/2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash

1 turnip, peeled and diced

3 large celery stalks, diced 

Water

1 bunch kale (stalks removed, and roughly chopped)

1 bouquet garni (herb bundle made from a few sprigs each of mixed herbs, such as parsley, oregano, thyme, rosemary, and bay leaf)

2 cups cooked beans, such as cannellini, navy, or cranberry, plus 1 cup bean-cooking liquid or water

½ loaf fresh or stale rustic crusty bread, cut into 1-inch cubes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, for serving (optional)

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling on top

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat with garlic. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant and very lightly golden. Add onion, leek, carrots, squash, turnip, and celery and cook, stirring, until slightly softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. 

Add enough water to slightly cover vegetables (about 6 cups; 1.5L) along with kale and bouquet garni and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower heat to maintain simmer and cook until vegetables are very tender, about 25 minutes.

Stir in beans and their cooking liquid (or 1 cup water if using canned beans). Add bread, stir well, and simmer until bread is very soft and breaking down, about 15 minutes. Add water, 1/2 cup at a time, if soup becomes too thick and dry.

Season with salt and pepper. The soup can be served at varying consistencies: more wet and broth-y, like a thick, chunky soup, or cooked down until thickened like a porridge. Top with grated cheese and a healthy bloop of good quality olive oil on top. 

Optional Adventure Bonus: Once reduced to a thick porridge, you can ladle some of it into a small (8-inch) nonstick skillet with 1 tablespoon oil and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until it coalesces into a dense mass; it will eventually take the shape of a pancake. (If your flipping skills are good, you can flip it to serve it browned side up.) Slide it onto a plate. To serve at any consistency, drizzle with fresh olive oil and top with freshly ground black pepper and grated cheese (optional).

Dastardly Geese!

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my saffron harvest.  I was really proud of my little potted plants.  The following week, I was running back into the house after feeding Stella and I noticed the solar lights were on the ground all around the pots they had been in the night before.  Hmmm that was weird, how on earth?  Then the realization hit, not only were the solar lights strewn all about but there was soil and greenery everywhere!  I quickly realized those darn geese had been feasting on my crocus plants and enjoying the bulbs as well!  I was devastated, and heartbroken.  I couldn't believe that in one early morning, they could get through every pot.  Now I have to rethink where I will plant my remaining bulbs.  As much as I love our Police Geese, right now they definitely are not bringing me any joy.

 

Potato seed

Typically, we plant potatoes in early February, but not his year. The soil is saturated and our seed remains safe in storage in Colorado. Sheldon would call me in late January and send a big semi with 22 pallets over the Rockies with potato seed for many of the organic farms in our area.  We are a drop off point for two other farms. 

The seed is grown at high altitude where aphids do not survive. As they are the vector for viruses of potatoes, we can be assured of fresh virus free seed each year. 

 

Cooking From The CSA Box

Bay Leaf Kitchen is doing an after school program at Presidio Knolls.  Every week they get a CSA share and the kids cook right from the box.  Elianna Friedman, founder of Bay Leaf Kitchen, shared with me what the kids are up to.  Chef Alicia and Chef Kira are guiding the group of pre-schoolers, focussing on produce from the Eatwell CSA Share.  Each class includes a lesson on nutrition.  Then the kids go "shopping" from the box, figure out what produce they want to work with and take it from there.  Although these kids are pre-schoolers, this is very much a hands-on, fully immersive class.  The kids also learn about where the food comes from and how it is grown.  I am hoping to make it down for a class in the next month or so to help out with that part of their full food picture.  The class has only met a few weeks now, but already they have made Sweet Potato Pancakes, Citrus Smile Snacks, and Spinach Leek Yogurt Dip.

 

Dirty Spinach

Quite a few years ago we conducted an experiment, trial of a sort. There are two types of spinach, Flat Leaf and Savoy. We planted both types in the field at the same time. One week the flat leaf was harvested for the box and the next the other. We asked for your comments. Overwhelmingly, the Savoy was preferred. Yes it is much harder to wash away the dirt, but the flavor is far superior.  This year’s rains have almost covered the spinach leaves in a thin layer of soil at times. We do rinse the spinach, but do not thoroughly wash it. Washing can damage the leaves which is why spinach in the store is typically flat leaf, as it is so much easier to clean. Your comments and questions are always appreciated. -Nigel 

 

This Week's Box: February 6th - 11th

CONTENTS:

  1. In the box - and how to store it

  2. This week's Recipes

  3. Shopping List

  4. Link to Digital Copy of Newsletter

1. IN THE BOX (IN ORDER OF WHAT TO EAT FIRST):

Spinach - Store in the bag, unwashed, in the crisper. Take out what you plan on using and wash as you go. Will last 3-5 days.

Turnips - If the turnips came with tops (the leaves still on), and you plan on using the tops, cut off the leaves, bag them separately, and refrigerate the roots unwashed in a plastic bag. They should keep anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Eat the leaves within 3 days.

Navel Oranges - These juicy, freshly picked oranges can be left out on the counter for a few days, but last up to two weeks if refrigerated.

Carrots - These come from Terra Firma Farm in Winters. We grow amazing tasting carrots here on our farm but the germination is sporadic because our soil is a little too heavy. I covet the field next to us as it has a nice sandy area. Forgive me. Store in the crisper wrapped to prevent drying out. Should last at least 7 days.

Romanesco - Will last up to one week in a closed container in the fridge, but has better flavor if consumed earlier.

Stir Fry Mix - These baby mixed greens can be stored by lining a storage container with paper towels, place the mixed greens on top, and cover with another layer of paper towels and lock the lid. Make sure there is plenty of space and the greens are not jam-packed in there. Will last up to one week.

Broccoli - Place in an open container in the fridge or wrap in a damp towel before placing in the fridge. Lasts 1-2 weeks.

Cabbage - Wrap cabbage in plastic wrap and keep it chilled in the refrigerator. An alternative to plastic would be placing it in a tightly-locking container that limits air flow. Properly stored, cabbage should last about a week.

Leeks - These large alliums are rather mild in flavor and simply melt to perfection when sautéed. Use in soups, stir-fries, or in place of onions in other dishes for a delicious and more subtle flavor. Save the dark green tops for making vegetable stock! Leave in an open container in the crisper wrapped in a damp cloth or in a shallow cup of water on the counter (just so the very bottom of the stem has water).  Will last at least a week.

Daikon (or Celeriac) - Cut the top off the Daikon to help keep moisture in the roots, store the Daikon in a closed container in the fridge and they should last for up to two weeks if not more. A wet paper towel can also be placed in the container to help maintain humidity and keep the roots from wilting.

Pomelo - Pomelos are the largest citrus fruit. Pomelos can be stored at room temperature for a couple of weeks or refrigerated for up to several weeks. Keep away from direct sunlight and heat.

Celeriac (or Daikon) - A delicious form of celery that is pretty new to people's kitchens. Peel, chop and cook with potatoes, mash the lot with more butter and cream than your mother would. Cool and damp is best, so an outdoor, shady vegetable rack is good and the bottom of your fridge even better. Healthy celeriac should keep, unwrapped, for several weeks without any significant loss of quality. Even when cut in half, they will still keep for a week or more, though you may need to shave off a layer to refresh the surface.

Lemons - This versatile fruit adds a great touch to winter greens and salads. It will store longer, several weeks, if wrapped and placed in crisper of the fridge, but if you are going to use it within a few days it can be stored on the counter.

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Eight Vegetable Dumplings

Chicken or Tofu Saag Dumplings

Dumpling Dipping Sauces

Clementine Cake

3. SHOPPING LIST FOR ALL RECIPES (ASSUMES YOU HAVE BASIC SALT AND PEPPER):

Shopping list for: Eight Vegetable Dumplings

¼ cup corn kernels (frozen is fine, but try to find organic please!)

¼ bamboo shoots

¼ cup finely chopped bok choy (white and green parts)

1 stalk finely chopped celery

¼ cup finely chopped mushrooms (shiitake, wood ear, button, whatever)

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tbsp minced garlic

2 scallions, sliced as thin as you can

24 wonton wrappers

Shopping list for: Chicken or Tofu Saag Dumplings

1 lb ground chicken or soft tofu

¼ cup coconut milk

1 tbsp garam masala (or curry powder if that’s what you have on hand)

2 tsp ground fresh ginger

2 tbsp finely sliced scallion

1 pkg round dumpling wrappers

Shopping list for: Dumpling Dipping Sauces

1 cup whole milk yogurt

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup soy sauce

4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tsp ground fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves

2 tsp chile paste (sambal) (optional)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp sesame seeds

Shopping list for: Clementine Cake

3 clementines/mandarins or 2 navel oranges

6 large eggs

1 cup sugar (brown or white, doesn’t matter but brown will give you a better flavor)

1 ¼ cup almond (or pistachio or hazelnut) meal

1 teaspoon baking powder

Shopping list for all recipes:

¼ cup corn kernels (frozen is fine, but try to find organic please!)

¼ bamboo shoots

¼ cup finely chopped bok choy (white and green parts)

1 stalk finely chopped celery

¼ cup finely chopped mushrooms (shiitake, wood ear, button, whatever)

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp ground ginger; plus 4 tsp ground fresh ginger

1 tbsp minced garlic; plus 2 garlic cloves

2 scallions; plus 2 tbsp finely sliced scallion

24 wonton wrappers

1 lb ground chicken or soft tofu

¼ cup coconut milk

1 tbsp garam masala (or curry powder if that’s what you have on hand)

1 pkg round dumpling wrappers

1 cup whole milk yogurt

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup soy sauce

4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

2 tsp chile paste (sambal) (optional)

1 tsp sesame seeds

3 clementines/mandarins or 2 navel oranges

6 large eggs

1 cup sugar (brown or white, doesn’t matter but brown will give you a better flavor)

1 ¼ cup almond (or pistachio or hazelnut) meal

1 teaspoon baking powder

4. CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE NEWSLETTERS PAGE AT WWW.EATWELL.COM. CLICK ON THE DATE OF THE NEWSLETTER TO DOWNLOAD A PDF COPY OF THIS WEEK'S NEWSLETTER IN COLOR.

Clementine Cake

by Nigella Lawson

I know, this doesn’t really fit into this week’s theme, but it’s orange season and this is one of my favorite things to make. It uses whole oranges (doesn’t matter what kind), and you grind them up and add a little almond meal, a healthy number of eggs, and a few other odds and ends and bake it up for an amazingly dense, bright, delicious cake perfect for after dinner when you want something just a little sweet. Also perfect with a book and an unseasonably warm breeze. This one comes to us courtesy of Nigella Lawson, and we both encourage experimentation. Have mandarins? Fine! Only have Cara Cara oranges? Completely cool. Like a little rosewater in there and ground pistachio instead of almond? My, you are a spicy thing, aren’t you?

 

 

 

  • 3 clementines/mandarins or 2 navel oranges

  • 6 large eggs

  • 1 cup sugar (brown or white, doesn’t matter but brown will give you a better flavor)

  • 1 ¼ cup almond (or pistachio or hazelnut) meal

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

 

Put the clementines in a pan with some cold water, bring to the boil and cook for 2 hours. Drain and, when cool, cut each clementine in half and remove the pips. Dump the clementines - skins, pith, fruit and all - and give a quick blitz in a food processor (or by hand, of course).

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Butter and line an 8 inch Springform tin.

Add all the other ingredients to the orange pulp in the food processor (or bowl) and mix.

Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for an hour, when a skewer will come out clean; you'll probably have to cover with foil or greaseproof after about 40 minutes to stop the top burning.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool, on a rack, but in the tin. When the cake's cold, you can take it out of the tin. I think this is better a day after it's made, but I don't complain about eating it at any time.

You can also make this with an equal weight of lemons instead of oranges, in which case I increase the sugar to  2¼ cups and add a glaze made of powdered sugar mixed to a paste with lemon juice and a little water.

Dumpling Dipping Sauces

by Amie

The instructions are the same for all of these. Whack everything into a bowl and stir to combine. 

Lemon Yogurt Dip

1 cup whole milk yogurt

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Salt & Pepper to taste

 

Soy Vinegar Dip

¼ cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp ground fresh ginger

1 finely chopped garlic clove

¼ tsp black pepper

1 tsp chile paste (sambal) (optional)

 

Sesame Soy Dip

¼ cup soy sauce

2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

1 smashed garlic clove

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 tsp ground fresh ginger

Pinch of ground black pepper

1 tsp chile paste (sambal) (optional)

 

Chicken or Tofu Saag Dumplings

by Amie

This dumpling delivers a load of Indian flavors in a teensy package. This one comes with a specific dipping sauce, but you have my support if you prefer a chutney instead.

2 lb Spinach, well washed

1 lb ground chicken or soft tofu

¼ cup coconut milk

1 tbsp garam masala (or curry powder if that’s what you have on hand)

2 tsp ground fresh ginger

2 tbsp finely sliced scallion

1 tsp kosher salt

Whole leaves of cabbage for lining steamer

Steamer, or double boiler with steamer insert

1 pkg round dumpling wrappers

Sauté spinach for about a minute with a little water (no more than ¼ cup). Work in batches if you need to. Remove from pan into a strainer or colander to drain. When cool enough, push down to remove as much liquid as possible.

Chop spinach finely, add remaining ingredients and using your (clean!) hands, mix, mix, mix. 

You can do this up to 2 days ahead, and in fact is better if you can do it at least 1 day ahead to ensure flavors marry. 

When ready, set up your steaming apparatus of choice and let dumplings steam for 10 -12 minutes. Remove and place on platter, garnishing with a little fresh cilantro and chili flake if you have it around. Serve immediately with Lemon Yogurt Dip.

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