Marmalade!

The Sevilles are in, and that means marmalade season.   

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I wonder though, do any of you use the Sevilles for anything besides marmalade?  I am not a jam/jelly/marmalade maker, and have often thought I would love to learn. Maybe this is the year.  Any tips on what/how you do your’s would greatly be appreciated.  Perhaps you could post something on the Eatwellers’ Slack page? bit.ly/EatwellSlack

Birds of Prey

When I first came to the farm, I remember Nigel was quite excited because we recently had a couple of hawks nesting in our trees.  Over the years, we have watched the variety of birds living or visiting the farm has grown tremendously.  On our walk, Friday morning, flying overhead was this beauty.  Unfortunately, I am not much of a birder, so I am not sure which bird this one is, he or she was quite large, with a beautiful white underside, and broad wingspan.  I wonder, do we have any birders in our community?  If you belong to a bird watching group, perhaps you might consider a trip to the farm?  As we walk the farm, we are seeing a lot more nests way up in the tops of our poplars.  Given the problems we have with ground squirrels and rabbits, I consider the Hawks a positive addition to the farm.

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Herbs

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A few years back Nigel invested in the woven plastic for our main herb bed.  Most herbs are perennials, so they stay put for a few years.His thinking was the cover were work as a sufficient weed barrier. It hasn’t really, many weed seeds blow in on the wind and will sprout right on top of the plastic.  They are determined to live.  

We do have a few of options, one is to rip all the plants out, and pull up the plastic and start over somewhere else.  We could, in that case, treat herbs more like annuals and re-plant every year or so. The other option is to hire someone to come in and do a lot of weeding.  The third option is to put the geese out there and let them eat it all down. Unlike the area where they are currently weeding, this plot is a bit of an experiment because of the woven plastic.  My guess is they will not destroy the plastic. I am hoping they will eat everything down, cleaning it up enough, and open it up for the herbs to come back strong. After all, they have a well-developed root system, so I am hoping that come late spring the herbs will come back  strong.  Perhaps at that time it will be easier to go through and clean out what is left of the weeds. Time will tell.

This Week's Box: January 15th - January 21st

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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):

*Items in Box for 2

*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

Arugula- Wash and dry well. Wrap with a damp paper towel and store in a glass container in the fridge. Lasts up to 5 days.

*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.

*Romanesco- Will last up to one week in a closed container in the fridge, but has better flavor if consumed earlier. Cut florets away from the core and soak in warm soapy water or salt water for 10 minutes to wash away any aphids. Florets can also be lightly boiled in salt water for a couple of minutes for this purpose. Rinse before preparing.

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

Radish- Remove the greens (store separately) so they don't draw out excess moisture from the roots. Place them in an open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top. Lasts up to one week.  

Lettuce- Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps for one 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.

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

*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.

*Pomelos- 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- 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

Chicken Soup With Dill

Mustard-Roasted Broccoli Pate With Leeks & Lemon

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

Shopping list for Chicken Soup With Dill

4 lbs Chicken, bones and skin on

1 Qt Eatwell Chicken Stock

1 to 4 cloves Garlic, smashed

1 tsp Peppercorns

1 Bay Leaf

5 large sprigs fresh Dill, plus chopped dill for garnish

3 large sprigs fresh Parsley

3 large sprigs fresh Thyme

1 to 2 TB Unsalted Butter, Schmaltz or Olive Oil

2 Carrots, thinly sliced

Cooked Egg Noodles or Rice, for serving (optional)

Shopping list for Mustard-Roasted Broccoli Pate With Leeks & Lemon

1 TB Oil, good for high-heat cooking

1 TB plus 2 tsps Grainy Mustard, divided

2 sprigs fresh Thyme, leaves removed - you could replace the fresh thyme and plain salt and use Eatwell Thyme Salt instead

2 TB Parmesan OR Nutritional Yeast

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for the top layer

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.

Mustard-Roasted Broccoli Pate With Leeks & Lemon

Recipe from The First Mess by Laura Wright

Cameron shared this on the Eatwellers Slack group. It is so perfect for this week’s share, hope you enjoy it! 

3 cups Broccoli florets (You can also use Romanesco)

1 Leek, white and light green parts only, rough chopped

1 TB Oil, good for high-heat cooking

1 TB plus 2 tsps Grainy Mustard, divided

2 sprigs fresh Thyme, leaves removed - you could replace the fresh thyme and plain salt and use Eatwell Thyme Salt instead

Sea Salt and Ground Black Pepper, to taste

1 TB Lemon Zest (and there is that zest!)

1 1/2 TB Lemon Juice

2 TB Parmesan OR Nutritional Yeast

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for the top layer

Flaky Sea Salt (such as Maldon) to finish

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Toss the broccoli florets and leeks with the high-heat oil, 1 TB of mustard, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper.  Once everything is coated, spread the mixture out on the baking sheet.  Roast the vegetables until lightly browned and tender, about 15 minutes.  Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor.  Pulse the mixture until the broccoli is finely chopped.  Scoop up a spoonful to garnish the tops of your pate.  To the food processor, add the remaining mustard, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper and parmesan/nutritional yeast.  Pulse until everything is combined.  With the motor running, drizzle the olive oil in through the feed tube. Continue to run the motor until you have a smooth, lightly chunky paste.  Remove the bowl from the food processor and check the mixture for seasoning and adjust.  Scrape the pate mixture into your serving vessel and scatter the reserved fine chopped broccoli bits over the top.  Pour a solid layer of more extra virgin olive oil on top.  Cover and place in the fridge for 2 hours, or until the pate and oil layer are firm (but still spreadable).  The pate can rest int eh refrigerator for up to 4 days if you are making it ahead.  Sprinkle a bit of flaky sea salt on top of the pate before you serve it with sliced bread, crackers, olives, pickles, vegetables, etc.

Chicken Soup With Dill

Recipe from Dinner In An Instant by Melissa Clark

I did not have dill in the house, so I skipped it.  I did however, have some herbs leftover from Thanksgiving!  Can you believe they were still good, stored in the special plastic herb bags in my fridge! I added the bag of Stir Fry mix because I like more greens in my soup, if you want a simpler broth style soup, leave them out.  I am doing the instructions for a regular pot or slow cooker, but if you would like the directions for the Instant Pot send me a text and I will shoot it off to you! 530-554-3971.

4 lbs Chicken, bones and skin on

1 Qt Eatwell Chicken Stock

1 to 4 cloves Garlic, smashed

1 tsp Peppercorns

1 Bay Leaf

5 large sprigs fresh Dill, plus chopped dill for garnish

3 large sprigs fresh Parsley

3 large sprigs fresh Thyme

Fine Sea Salt, as needed

1 to 2 TB Unsalted Butter, Schmaltz or Olive Oil

2 Leeks (white and light green parts only) thinly sliced

2 Carrots, thinly sliced

1 bunch Bok Choy, stalks separated from greens, both cut into appropriate soup size

1 bag of Stir Fry Mix, greens rough chopped

Cooked Egg Noodles or Rice, for serving (optional)

Sauté the leeks and carrots in the fat. Put the chicken into a large pot or slow cooker, cover with stock and water.  Add the garlic and sautéed leeks and carrots, plus raw bok choy.  Put the peppercorns, bay leaf, and the dill, parsley, and thyme into a bit of muslin and tie it to secure the herbs inside the bag, add to the pot.  Season with salt  Cover, and cook on high for 4 to 6 hours in a slow cooker, or on a low simmer on the stove top.  When your soup is finished, adjust the seasoning with more salt or pepper.  To serve, put a portion of cooked noodles or rice into a bowl and ladle the hot soup over it.

Farm Vocabulary Lesson #1

Working on our seed order, Cameron and I came across the words determinate and indeterminate.  The basic definitions are - indeterminate seeds continue to produce fruit throughout the season, whereas determinate seeds grow to a certain size and produce all of their fruit in one go.  

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We grow indeterminate type tomatoes, needing to produce fruit throughout our very long tomato season.  The description of the physical attributes of these plants is long and gangly, needing to be staked.  Several years ago, Nigel made the decision to no longer stake our tomatoes because it requires so much labor during a time when labor is in high demand, lavender harvest, potato harvest, etc. I believe he compensated for loss by over-planting, to ensure we have plenty of fruit to choose from.  

Determinate tomatoes are what they grow at the farm next door, for Campbell’s tomato soup.  These plants are described as short and bushy. Now that I have learned this aspect of tomatoes, I can clearly see the difference. And yes, the fruit comes in all at one time. When the soup tomatoes fields are ready, their harvesters come in and the clear out the field in about 24 hours.  It is pretty incredible.

 

Laying A Green Carpet, Article from December 1998 by Frances

Going through the file box of old newsletters, I found this little gem Frances wrote, I think in 1998.  It is hard to imagine our farm without our beautiful orchard, but in this article Frances is telling us about the first steps taken creating it!

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“During October and early November Nigel ad Martin worked on our new 10 acre orchard at the Sievers ranch.  They loosened the soil to 24” depth where the tree rows will be then made berms for the trees.  Planting trees on high berms, 2’6” keeps the tree roots out of wet soil and away from root rotting disease.  It also helps the soil around the roots warm up faster in the spring.  

Next, in the spaces between the berms they hired a seeding machine called a Brillion Seeder.  This works well for small seeds such as clovers and alfalfa.  The mix they used was New Zealand White Clover, Trefoil, perennial Rye grass, Fescue, Alfalfa, Assylum and Triticale.  The seeder is 14’ wide, one pass between berms was enough.  Now we have had some rains our ‘Green Carpet’ is emerging and looking very good.” — Frances

This Week's Box: January 8th - January 14th

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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):

*Items in Box for 2

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

Arugula- Wash and dry well. Wrap with a damp paper towel and store in a glass container in the fridge. Lasts up to 5 days.

*Fennel- If used within a couple days, fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few days, place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water. 

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

*Radish- Remove the greens (store separately) so they don't draw out excess moisture from the roots. Place them in an open container in the fridge with a wet towel placed on top. Lasts up to one week.  

*Lettuce- Keep damp in an airtight container in the fridge. Keeps for one week.

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. 

Cauliflower or Broccoli- Will last a while in a closed container in the fridge but some say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it's brought home. 

*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.

*Pomelos- 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- 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.  

*Butternut Squash- Store in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place. Many growers say winter squash gets sweeter if they're stored for a week or so before eaten. Will last several weeks.

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Leeks with Greens

Poulet a la Normande

Speedy Spinach Curry

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

Shopping list for Leeks with Greens

1 TB Unsalted Butter

Shopping list for Poulet a la Normande

 3 to 4 lb Chicken, cut into 8 bone-in pieces

3 TB Olive Oil, duck fat or chicken fat

1/2 cup Calvado or Cognac

1 1/4 cups hard Cider, preferably a yeasty French one

15 Pearl Onions, peeled (frozen is fine)

2 TB Cornstarch

5 TB Creme Fraiche

Shopping list for Speedy Spinach Curry

 

1 oz Cashews

1 Onion

2 tsp Rogan Josh Curry paste

1/4 lb Paneer Cheese

1 TB Red Wine Vinegar

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.

Leeks with Greens

Recipe from River Cottage Every Day by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

About 1 lb Leeks, white part only

1 TB Unsalted Butter

1 head Green Cabbage

1 bunch lettuce

Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

Slice the leeks finely and give them a good rincse to get rid of any grit.  Heat the butter in a large frying pan or Wie saucepan and add the leeks with a pinch of salt.  Let them cook gently for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, until wilted and tender.  Meanwhile, trim and coarsely shred the cabbage and chard.  Cook lightly - in either a steamer or large saucepan of salted water- 3 to 4 minutes, until wilted and tender but not too soft.  Remove from the heat immediately, drain well and let the excess moisture steam off for a minute or so.  Then add to the pan of buttery leeks, along with some more seasoning, and stir over a low heat for about a minute until thoroughly combined.  Serve right away.

Poulet a la Normande

Recipe by Francis Lam from NYT 

As we were just in neighboring Brittany, where Cider rules, I thought this was a perfect recipe for this week.  

1 3 to 4 lb Chicken, cut into 8 bone-in pieces

Salt and Black Pepper

3 TB Olive Oil, duck fat or chicken fat

1/2 cup Calvado or Cognac

1 1/4 cups hard Cider, preferably a yeasty French one

15 Pearl Onions, peeled (frozen is fine)

1 1/2 lb Apples

2 TB Cornstarch

5 TB Creme Fraiche

Pat the chicken very dry with paper towels, and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the fat in a large Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium-high until shimmering.  Brown the chicken, in batches, if necessary, skin side down until deep golden, 6 to 8 minutes, then flip, and seas the other side until golden, another 3 minutes.

If flambeing: Make sure there is nothing flammable near or above your stove.  Gently warm the Calvado in a saucepan over medium heat. When the chicken is well browned, protect your hand, and use a long kitchen match to light the liquor on fire, then carefully pour it into the chicken pan. The flame can shoot over 2 feet high, so be careful. Cook until the flame subsides. 

If not flambeing: Once the chicken is browned, turn off the heat, and add the Calvado. When the sizzling subsides, turn the heat on to medium-low, bring the liquid to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.  Add the cider and onions, and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Turn the heat down to a very gentle simmer. 

Quickly peel and core the apples, and cut them into 1 1/2” chunks, and place them on top of the chicken.  Cover the pan, and cook, checking occasionally to ensure the liquid is maintaining a gentle simmer, not boiling until the chicken is just cooked through, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the chicken, onions, and apples to a platter, and cover. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and 3 TB of cold water. Stir this into the braising liquid, and bring to a simmer for 1 minute, until thickened.  Stir in the creme fraiche, and season the sauce with salt to taste, replace the chicken, onions and apples in the sauce and serve with crusty bread and a salad of arugula, with shaved radishes and fennel.

 

Speedy Spinach Curry

Recipe from Jamie  Oliver’s 5 Ingredients, Quick and Easy Food

I picked up this book in England.  It caught my eye because I know making fast, simple dishes sometimes is a lifesaver. 

1 oz Cashews

1 Onion

2 tsp Rogan Josh Curry paste

1/4 lb Paneer Cheese

1/2 lb Spinach

1 TB Red Wine Vinegar

Toast cashews in a frying pan over medium-high heat, shaking occasionally, until the nuts are golden.  Tip the cashews into a mortar and pestle, returning the pan to the heat.  Peel and finely slice the onion and place in the hot pan with 1 TB of olive oil and the curry paste.  Cook and stir for 8 minutes, then add the red wine vinegar.  Let the vinegar cook away for 30 seconds, dice and add the paneer, then the spinach.  Stir until the spinach wilts and all the liquid evaporates, then taste and season to perfection with sea salt and black pepper.  Crush the cashew nuts and sprinkle over the top before serving.  

 

Strawberries and Chickens, Written By Nigel

This time last year, Nigel wrote a story about Strawberries and Chickens. This is something I have been wondering about recently.  Perhaps Nigel and I talked about this, and that’s why it was rolling around in my brain? After last year’s rain, I am reluctant to move the chickens onto an area we would absolutely have to move them out of quickly. But perhaps the solution is to run the gees through? The more I look at the weeds all around the farm, the more I come to realize we need more geese.   — Lorraine

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“The strawberry plants are dormant, taking a break for the winter and getting ready for the spring. This is last years crop which we will harvest again this spring then plant a new crop to replace it on another part of the farm. Last year, we put the chickens on some old strawberry beds to scratch away the leaf debris so that we could remove the woven plastic mulch. As we moved them down the field where they had been the week previously, the strawberry crowns regrew. So I am thinking that I will try that for a very short period on this years crop. It will make the berries easier to pick and increase airflow around the plants reducing the risk of disease. My concern is that it rains heavily we cannot move the house and they damage the plants and future crop. Farming is a gamble, I have no need to go to Vegas, I gamble every day on the farm…” — Nigel 

Harvesting by Hand

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On a farm like ours there is a tremendously us amount of hand work. Nigel did an amazing job finding equipment that was appropriate for a farm like Eatwell, not big, but also too small, and one that grows a tremendous variety of crops on this one farm.  The job of researching has fallen through us.  Cameron has already found a handheld lettuce harvester that Jose is interested in. The problem we have to sort out will be weed control. Realistically, that is a problem we have to deal with regardless. In the meantime, getting veggies to you every week still requires a dedicated crew, hands-on in the field.

This Week's Box: January 1st- January 7th

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):

*Items in Box for 2

*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.

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

Fennel- If used within a couple days, fennel can be left out on the counter, upright in a cup or bowl of water (like celery). If wanting to keep longer than a few days, place in the fridge in a closed container with a little water. 

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 the fridge up to one week. Don’t forget to use the ribs!

*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. 

*Cauliflower or Romanesco- Will last a while in a closed container in the fridge but some say cauliflower has the best flavor the day it's brought home. 

*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.

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.

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

*Pomelos- 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.

*Raisins- Store in a cool, dry place out of direct sunlight. Refrigeration is recommended in hot environments. Should last several weeks.

2. THIS WEEK'S RECIPES

Fennel Stew

Risotto with Cabbage, Lemon, and Parsley

Radishes and Nori Butter

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

Shopping list for Fennel Stew

1 generous pinch of saffron

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 small yellow onions,  cut into ¼ in slices

3 small garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 pound cooked corona beans or other white beans

⅓ cup dry white wine

Feta or goat cheese

Chopped oily black olives

Lemon wedges

Shopping list for Risotto with Cabbage, Lemon, and Parsley

 

2 tbsp unsalted butter

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

4 ½ cups chicken or veggie broth OR 2 cups broth and 2 cups water

1 ½ cups arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

¼ tsp grated lemon zest, or more to taste (if you don’t have lemons, try a tiny bit of orange zest)

2 tbsp minced italian parsley

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

 

Shopping list for Radishes and Nori Butter

1 sheet of nori

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temp

 

1/4 tsp lemon zest 

4 tsp toasted sesame seeds

¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper

½ tsp ground toasted cumin

 

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.

Radishes and Nori Butter

Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Near and Far

1 bunch radishes, sliced (if small french breakfast type, leave whole)

1 sheet of nori

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temp

¼ tsp fine-grain sea salt

1/4 tsp lemon zest 

4 tsp toasted sesame seeds

¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper

½ tsp ground toasted cumin

Wash and trim the greens from the radishes , dry well, slice and arrange on a plate.  

To make the compound butter, start by toasting the nori.  If you have a gas burner, you can carefully wave it across the flame until it brightens and crisps up.  Alternately, you can toast it in the oven  at 350 on a baking sheet or on a skillet.  Let cool, then crumble and chop into the smallest flecks you can manage.  Set aside.  

In a bowl, cream the butter using a spoon until light, then add the nori, salt , lemon zest, sesame seeds, cayenne, and cumin.  Stir until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.  Serve with the radishes. 

 

Makes ½ cup Butter

 

Risotto with Cabbage, Lemon, and Parsley

Adapted from Janet Fletcher’s Fresh from the Farmer’s Market

This is one of my favorite cabbage dishes to make in the winter.  It is so warming and creamy and a definite crowd pleasure in my house. I llike to reserve veggie waste each week from cooking (ie..the peeled discards from carrots, onion ends and skins, green tops of leeks, leafy celery tops, turnip tops, etc..) and add it to a bag I keep in the freezer as my “veggie-stock-in-the-making”.  When the bag fills, I dump the frozen bits in a stock pot, cover with water and add bay leaf and some coursely ground peppercorns and simmer 1-2 hours before straining.  I like to use homemade veggie stock in this dish instead of the suggested chicken broth, but of course both are delicious.  Also good, with sauteed fresh mushrooms on top.

 

2 tbsp unsalted butter

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion chopped (or 2 small leeks, chopped)

1 green cabbage, thinly sliced (the thinner the better!)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper

4 ½ cups chicken or veggie broth OR 2 cups broth and 2 cups water

1 ½ cups arborio rice

½ cup dry white wine

¼ tsp grated lemon zest, or more to taste (if you don’t have lemons, try a tiny bit of orange zest)

2 tbsp minced italian parsley

¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat butter and 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan over moderate heat.  Add onion and saute until soft and sweet about 10 mins (if using leeks instead, lower heat and stir, making sure not to burn).  Add cabbage, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.  Cover and cook until cabbage is tender, about 15 mins.  Check occasionally to make sure it is not burning and adjust heat accordingly.

Bring broth water mixture to a simmer in a saucepan and adjust heat to keep it barely simmering.  Uncover pot with cabbage and raise heat to moderately high.  Add rice and cook, stirring until wine is absorbed.  Begin adding hot broth ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently and waiting until each addition has been absorbed before adding more.  Adjust heat so that mixture simmers gently, not vigorously.  It should take 20 to 25 minutes for the rice to become al dente-firm to the tooth without a hard core.  The mix should be neither soupy nor stiff.  You may not need all of the liquid or you may need more, if so, use boiling water. 

When rice is done, add remaining tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp lemon zest, the parsley and the cheese.  Stir vigorously, then taste and adjust seasonings.  You may want more zest, but the taste should be subtle.

 

Serves 4

Fennel Stew

Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Near and Far

2 small or 1 large fennel bulb, cut into thin wedges (reserve the fronds)

1 generous pinch of saffron

Fine grain sea salt

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 small yellow onions,  cut into ¼ in slices

2 medium leeks, washed and trimmed into ¼ in slices

3 small garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 pound cooked corona beans or other white beans

⅓ cup dry white wine

2 cups warm water (or bean broth from cooking)

To serve:  

Feta or goat cheese

Chopped oily black olives

Lemon wedges

A handful of well-washed spinach leaves

Bring a small pot of well- salted water to simmer, cooking the fennel wedges until tender, a couple of minutes.  Place in ice bath to stop cooking, drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile, use a mortar and pestle to grind the saffron with a ¼ tsp sea salt.

In a large, heavy pot over medium heat, combine the olive oil with the saffron salt and heat until fragrant, just a minute or so.  Add the onions and cooking, stirring regularly, 10 minutes or so, until tender and silky-you don’t want browning here. Stir in leeks and garlic, cook for another few mins, until leeks soften.  Stir in beans and wine.  Add water or broth to cover beans and bring to a gentle simmer for a few mins.  Just before serving, stir in fennel wedges and a pinch of the reserved fronds.  Top each bowl with any or all of the remaining suggested serving additions.

Serves 3-4

 

Nigel's Birthday

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Nigel’s birthday is Christmas Eve. I can’t believe we will be celebrating without him. On that day we will sprinkle some of his ashes in a park near his parents’ home. It will be good to have us all together, especially during such an emotional time.  The rest of Nigel’s ashes will stay here on the farm. I plan to distribute some around the farm and buried under an oak tree at a memorial we are planning for next summer, to which you will all be invited. Nigel’s passing came so fast. Even though we had been battling his cancer for 5 1/2 years, he was doing so well just days before I rushed him into hospital. 

I still can’t believe this is my life. When you are in fight mode, it is really hard to stop, and I just wasn’t prepared for this as our ending. Never the less, here I am, a farmer and a woman faced with decades without her soulmate. 

The bright side is, this farm definitely carries Nigel’s spirit.  And the man I fell in love with is infused in every aspect of this farm, and our home, so here is where I will stay. It is a blessing to find your place in this world. I am very grateful to have found mine. Eatwell encompasses every passion I have, food, cooking, community, family, children, teaching children and bringing people together around a sustainable way to produce food. Thank you all for helping me fulfill my passions. 

And thank you, Nigel, for giving me this love. I love you forever.

 

Super Wind

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It’s my last day home before our trip, and we woke up to a power outage. The wind started howling sometime during the night and caused all kind of problems. Cameron and I were planning on doing our final farm walk this morning but took off to Davis in search of coffee and breakfast (an all-electric house means no food or coffee when the power is out!). On our way back to the farm, we did a farm drive to get a quick scan of how everything is looking, and I can tell you the poor plants are NOT happy.  

This wind just sucks the life out of everything. What was a field of incredibly tall, vibrant chard last week was just defeated. The beautiful lettuces that stand up to the frost, definitely not happy.  We could see the sprinklers going and the water was blowing away, but it was better than nothing.  One tractor was out today, and the chicken guys were doing only what needed to be done, beyond that the farm was quiet. Having to work in these conditions is horrible, so I don’t blame the guys for not.

It is a good day for the crew to take off since nothing needs to be harvested today. However, when we need to fill the CSA  boxes, they are out there no matter what the weather brings. So once again, I ask that we all remember the amazing work our crew does all year to bring us this amazing food!

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