Monthly Archives: November 2016

Storage Share, Nov. 17/18, 2016

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Take one box labelled “A” and one box labelled “B”.

Things you need to know about your winter share

* Your delivery will consist of two different boxes, labeled “A” and “B”.  Take one “A” box and one “B” box.  The boxes contain different vegetables.
* Please pick up your boxes on the day of delivery, during the normal hours for your site.
* Outpost members, please get your boxes on Friday.  This is the busiest weekend of the year for the Outpost staff, so we cannot ask them to hold boxes past Friday.
* Members at outdoor sites, please carefully put the blankets back on the boxes.  That keeps everyone’s produce in good shape.
* The boxes are heavy!  It’s OK to take home the packed boxes, then return the empty boxes to your pickup site within two weeks.  We’ll swing back and pick them up.

Veggie List and Storage Info (Storage share, Nov. 17/18, 2016)

We hope you enjoy this shipment of veggies!  Strategize to use them well, as some will last longer than others.  It was not a good winter squash year for us, so there are fewer squash than last year.  Fortunately, the sweet potatoes over-performed to compensate.
* These vegetables are the most perishable: broccoli, Romanesco cauliflower, celery.
* These are the next-most perishable: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, leeks and onions.  Keep an eye on your butternut, potatoes and sweet potatoes.  The last two are susceptible to drying out.  
* These will last the longest: Beauty Heart radish, beets, carrots, celeriac, garlic, parsnips.

Box “A”

Beauty Heart winter radishes, 1 to 3
Beets, 3 lb
Broccoli, 1-2 small head(s)
Brussels sprouts, on stalks
Carrots, 6 lb mixed colors
(orange 4 lb, yellow 1 lb, purple 1 lb)
Celeriac, 1 or 2
Celery
Green cabbage
Leeks, 2+ lb
Parsnips, 3 lb
Romanesco cauliflower

Box “B”

Sweet potatoes, 14+ lb
Butternut squash, 1 or 2
Russet potatoes, 5 lb
Superior (white) potatoes, 5 lb
Yellow onions, 5 lb
Garlic, 4

Beauty Heart radishes (round, white with pale green shoulders and bright pink interior) – Refrigerate.  The interior color is lovely.  Slice thinly and add to salads, cook lightly in mixed vegetable medleys or cut into matchsticks and add to pasta salads.  We enjoy grated carrot and Beauty Heart salads all winter.
Beets – Refrigerate in a bag or container.  Beets will store for two months or longer.
Broccoli – Refrigerate in a bag or container.
Brussels sprouts – Pluck from stalks and refrigerate in a bag or container.  Eat soon.
Butternut winter squash –  You will receive one or two Waltham butternuts, depending on size.  Store your butternut in a cool, dry place.  50 F is ideal.  Do not put in a plastic bag.  Inspect your squash frequently and cook promptly if you see any soft spots developing.  You can cook, mash and freeze the squash for future use.  I find that you can refrigerate cut raw squash for up to one week.  This runs counter to the accepted way to store squash, but is useful if you want to cook just half a squash.  Try microwaving your squash for one to two minutes before cutting or peeling.  This softens the squash and makes a large butternut easier to handle.
Cabbage – Refrigerate.  Cut off chunks as needed.
Carrots, orange.  Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  Will keep for several weeks.
Carrots, yellow and purple.  These varieties are pretty AND they taste good. The purple carrots will turn your tongue green. That should get the kids interested.
Celery – It took all year but the celery is finally ready, just in time for Thanksgiving stuffing.  Cover and refrigerate.
Celeriac – Will store for months in your fridge.  Cut off chunks as needed.  Peel before using.  I find it easiest to cut the celeriac into flat slices, then peel.
Garlic.  Can be stored at room temperature.
Leeks.  Refrigerate and eat within three weeks.  Leeks are not a long-storage crop.  You may need to strip off one or two outer leaves to freshen the leeks before you cook them.  Your leeks will probably need washing.  We finished preparing them after dark and didn’t realize how much soil was still on them.
Onions: Refrigerate or store in a cool, dark spot and protect from light.  Exposure to light stimulates sprouting.
Parsnips (These look like large white carrots.) – Refrigerate in a plastic bag.  Parsnips will store for two months but will darken in color.  That is a harmless change.
Potatoes, Russets and Superiors – Can be stored at room temperature or in a cool spot, but must be kept in the dark so they do not turn green.  A cloth or loose plastic bag draped over the paper bag will help avoid moisture loss, but do not close the plastic bag.  Both types will store longer if kept cool.  Around 40 – 50 F is ideal.  The Superiors were grown by our friends/neighbors Peg and Matt Schaeffer.  The Igl family near Antigo grew the russets.
Russets– We got the big ‘baking’ grade from Brad Igl so you have nice bakers for Thanksgiving.  Excellent for mashed potatoes.
Superiors– Matt says these are good all-purpose potatoes, their family’s favorite for oven fries or for potato salad.
Sweet potatoes – These are a mix of the  Covington and Beauregard varieties.  Both types have developed excellent flavor and sweetness.  This was our best-ever sweet potato crop.  Store at room temperature, no lower than 55 F.  Keep them on your kitchen counter where it’s easy to keep an eye on them.  I like to keep ours in a paper bag so they don’t dehydrate.  Cook promptly if they start to soften.  The roots come in a wide ranges of sizes and all are good.

What are you cooking for Thanksgiving?

We are creatures of habit when it comes to Thanksgiving.  Here are our plans so far: brined roast heritage turkey (Beth), Brussels sprouts with garlic-mustard vinaigrette (Steve), roasted sweet potatoes with garlicky yogurt dip (Sophie), glazed butternut squash (Beth), crunchy carrot-Beauty Heart salad with sesame-seed dressing (Steve), pickled onions (Beth & Ari), pickled peppers (Beth & Ari), pickles (Beth & Ari), homemade applesauce (Ari), and apple pie (Sophie).  I’ll probably make stuffing with lots of celery, onions and mushrooms but that might be overkill.  We love celebrating Thanksgiving and the end of harvest season!

Menu Ideas

There are many terrific Thanksgiving menus and recipes online right now.  Many include vegetables that you will receive in this delivery.  Search any of the sites below if you are stumped about what to do with your storage share.  Check out the Thanksgiving collections online soon; they get taken down quickly after Thanksgiving. 
* The New York Times Cooking app keeps getting better and better.  They post appealing recipes and recipe collections every day.  They have gone completely overboard for Thanksgiving this year, and have posted a Thanksgiving menu planner with 14 sub-categories, e.g. “Thanksgiving desserts that are not pies,” and “Thanksgiving appetizers,” and “Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes.”  In my opinion, Melissa Clark is the best NYT food writer.  She’s practical and her dishes are always flavorful.  David Tanis is my second-favorite.  Recipes from Mark Bittman and Martha Rose Shulman are always worth a look.  The app and recipes appear to be free to the public, but I think you need to be a NYT subscriber to save recipes.
* I like the lively Food52.com site, and always read the community comments.
* Smitten Kitchen is our go-to site for dessert recipes but has excellent veggie recipes too.  Plus blogger Deb Perelman is funny.  She has posted her Thanksgiving recipes and says that, this year, she is all about Team Casserole.
* The Kitchn.  I found this site after wandering over from their Apartment therapy home-design site.  Good recipes.  Right now, they are featuring “Twenty Thanksgiving side dishes that travel well.”
* 101cookbooks.  Always has good vegetarian and whole-grain recipes.
* Finally, remember that we have access to the entire catalog of Local Thyme recipes all winter.  Check them out for Thanksgiving ideas.

Do you have favorite menu sites for fall and winter recipes?

If so, please share in a comment!

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

Autumn Root Vegetable Gratin
Adapted from Food 52
As much as I love stuffing (and that is a whole heck of a lot), I may go so far as to deem this the most festive Thanksgiving recipe that ever existed. It’s something about the abundance of local veggies effortlessly sliced and stacked high and the creamy richness that reminds me of all of my mother’s homecooking. This dish is elegant, decadent and exactly what you need on your Thanksgiving table. Oh and when I mention all that effortless slicing, note that I own a mandoline.†
Serves 8-10
Takes 90 minutes

3 cups whole milk
4 smashed garlic cloves
Pinch or two of ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium to large sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced (1/8-inch)
1 celeriac, peeled and thinly sliced (1/8-inch)
1 pound Superior white potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (1/8-inch)
1 pound parsnip, peeled and thinly sliced (1/8-inch)
Salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 cups of your favorite melty cheese (I always lean towards Gruyere or Fontina), shredded
2 cups finely shredded Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Add milk and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium low heat until it just begins to bubble. Remove from heat and add nutmeg.
  3. Find a casserole or baking dish that is oven-safe and holds at least 12 cups. Rub the bottom and all sides with olive oil.
  4. Now you start stacking. Layer the veggies into the baking dish alternating sweet potato, celeriac, potato, parsnip, etc. in concentric, overlapping circles. You should use about 1/4 of the veggies for each layer. After each layer, season with salt and pepper, a sprinkling of the dried herbs and 1/4 of each cheese. Continue until you use up all the ingredients.
  5. Remove the garlic from the milk and pour evenly over the gratin. Bake for 45-60 minutes until bubbly and golden brown on top. Let the gratin sit and set for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

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Cornbread Stuffing with Leeks, Brussels Sprouts & Celery
Good stuffing takes a while. There is nothing you can do about it. The most time intensive part of this recipe comes after you pour everything together and get it roasting in the oven. I stirred my stuffing every 15 minutes to get an even browning, but if you want to run away from the kitchen for the 90 minutes it takes to roast, I’d tack on an extra 30 minutes and just expect the edges and bottom to be a little more browned than the center. Both methods will taste delicious.
Serves 10-12
Takes 2 hours, 30 minutes

3-4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large yellow onion sliced
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved and sliced
1 head celery, leaves removed and sliced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups halved Brussels sprouts (quartered if large)
1-1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth, divided
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Large pinch red pepper flakes
2 eggs
2 cups whole milk
10 cups dried cornbread cubes* (see note below)

*For the cornbread you can use leftover stuff that you froze from an earlier meal or make it from scratch. You can also use store-bought. Regardless of what you decide to use, make sure you cut it into crouton-size pieces †the day before you plan to make the stuffing and leave them out on a single layer on a couple baking sheets. You want the cornbread to really dry out. It will still break up a bit when you add the liquid, but don’t distress!

  1. In a large cast-iron skillet, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions, leeks and celery to pan along with salt and pepper. Saute over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes more.
  2. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil at this time if the pan appears to be getting dry. Add brussels sprouts and sage to pan. Bring back up to medium and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Add wine to pan and reduce until liquid is gone. It will probably be simmering pretty aggressively. Turn down to medium low if there is too much splatter. Add 2 cups of chicken broth and continue to simmer and reduce. This will help make the veggies more tender and flavorful. You want to keep simmering for 5-10 minutes until the liquid is mostly reduced. Add maple syrup and red pepper flakes and stir to combine. Turn off heat. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. It may be a little salty, but that’s alright. You won’t be adding salt to egg mixture.
  5. In a large bowl, combine remaining chicken broth, eggs and milk. Whisk until smooth.
  6. In the a large, deep baking dish (at least 9×11), combine cornbread cubes and cooked veggies. Evenly pour egg mixture over cornbread vegetable mixture. Stir gently with a spatula to just combine. The cornbread pieces may fall apart. It may look like a big sloppy wet mess. Okay, it definitely will. Don’t stress. Let the oven work it’s magic!
  7. Bake for 90 minutes, stirring with a spatula every 15 minutes for more even baking and moisture.
  8. Serve warm with all the turkey and mashed potatoes you can get your hands on!

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Extension share = an encore box

Last week, we said “thank you and good bye.”  Just kidding.  Now it’s time for an encore.  

This is the first time we have offered an optional Extension share.  We made the change to ease a work crunch that occurs this time of year.  Our carrots, cabbage and other storage crops are all harvested during an intense two weeks in November.  Packing CSA boxes in the midst of that effort has always felt insane and risky.  The days are short and often cold by now.  The weather is mild this fall but we have harvested during snow storms in other years.  We feared that, some year, working on a CSA delivery would cost us a storage crop.

This year, we shortened our regular CSA share from 26 weeks down to 24 weeks.  Adding this week’s extension share allows 25 consecutive weeks for you folks, and frees one week for us to focus on field work.  I think allowing ourselves one streamlined week will ease our lives greatly.

Our fall crops are not great this year but there’s still work to be done and coolers to fill … halfway.  Quality looks excellent but the amounts to harvest are simply smaller than last year.

In two weeks, we will pack Storage shares for those who signed up.  We will update you then on how our fall work proceeded.  We’ll be in touch soon once we open our 2017 registration.  After that, we say goodbye until spring.
Beth

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Lizzy harvests broccoli.  We love the mild weather.  No hats, no gloves, no bulky winter coats!

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Billy, Charlotte and Kristin wash your sweet potatoes, another job that’s uncomfortable during typical November weather.  Our seasoned crew members are tough enough for any conditions but, honestly, no one wants to be cold and soaked.

Veggie list and veggie notes (Extension share, Nov. 3/4, 2016)

Beth’s box logic.  We are sending an array of root crops to roast together.  I am intrigued with Pat’s recipe for Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Miso Vinaigrette.  I’ve never tried that combination, although we often roast root vegetables this time of year.  Here’s how I would roast this week’s roots.  Start with parsnips, carrots (and turnips).  Add potatoes if you have them.  Even when roasted together, the roots retain their individual flavors.  Cut in 1-inch chunks, toss with oil, spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast at 400 F until tender.  Stir once or twice while cooking.  We add thick onion wedges at the beginning, but only a few because they release moisture.  Turnips will flavor the other veggies so roast separately if you wish.  Sweet potatoes cook more quickly so roast separately and combine with the other roasted roots at the end.  Serve with Brussels sprouts steamed and dressed with slivered onions and a mustard-vinaigrette.  Alternatively, make a batch of bean and leek soup with roots or cauliflower.  Cook sliced collards in the soup for a one-pot meal.

I was eavesdropping in the grocery store and overheard this: “Just steam the cauliflower until tender, then puree it in the blender.  Melt the cheese into the cauliflower and your sauce is done.”  I thought to myself “Why have I never done this??”  I wish I’d asked the young woman how she uses the sauce but we can figure that out on our own.

Sweet potatoes, ~ 3 lb
Brussels sprouts, ~ 1 lb
Parsnips, 1.4 lb
Carrots, 2 lb
Leeks, 1 lb
Collard greens, 1 bunch
Turnip(s)
Yellow onion(s)
Garlic

Some sites get cauliflower (white or orange or purple).
Some sites get Romanesco.
Some sites also get a little broccoli.

Sweet potatoes – These are from our second Beauregard harvest.  The roots are bigger than the last Beauregard delivery; they really bulked up during the three weeks between harvests.  As usual, we will distribute a range of sizes.  All are good.

Brussels sprouts – This is terrific Brussels sprouts weather and they are finally plumping up.  This week’s sprouts are noticeably larger than the ones we sent last week.

Parsnips (tapered, cream colored roots) – Those long, white roots are not carrots, they are parsnips. The two vegetables are related.  When cooked, parsnips are sweet and starchy.  For the best flavor, brown them to caramelize the sugars.  Here are a few ideas for parsnip preparation:
– Caramelize the parsnips by roasting them in a vegetable medley.
– Parsnip fries are delicious: cut like French fries, coat very lightly with oil, place on a cookie sheet and roast in a hot oven until brown and cooked through.
– Try substituting grated parsnips in a potato pancake recipe. They brown beautifully and are very tasty.
– Steve loves pan-fried parsnips with onions and garlic.

Turnips (round root, white with purple shoulders) – Add these earthy roots to hearty grain-based stews or include in a pan of oven-roasted roots.  Lauren offers some good ideas in her recipes.
Storage: Cover and refrigerate. Will store well for about one month.

RECIPES FROM LAUREN

ROOT VEGETABLE POT PIE
I love pot pie. I absolutely adore it. It’s not an everyday or even an every week kind of meal, but a few times per year, we make pie dough from scratch, stuff it†with all the savory things and just love every bite of flaky, creamy, rich delicious goodness. This pot pie is a little different than normal. It’s totally vegetarian and packed full of everyone’s favorite fall root vegetables. If dining on veggies and butter along is not your thing, you could buy a rotisserie chicken, shred it and add it to the mix. You could dice up some ham or some bacon if you really need some meat in this dish, but I love to let the vegetables sing all on their own.
I prefer the pie dough made from scratch and always, always follow Smitten Kitchen’s directions for the perfect each pie crust. Make the pie dough the day before and stash it in the fridge for a super easy weeknight dinner.

Serves 6-8
Takes 1 hour, 15 minutes (excluding time to make pie crust because hopefully you made it the night before or bought the store-bought stuff)

4 tablespoons butter
1 pound leeks, white and pale green parts only, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
2 cups peeled and diced sweet potatoes
1 cup peeled and diced carrots
1 cup peeled and diced turnips
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth if vegetarians), plus more if needed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 cup milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 batch Smitten Kitchen All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough, preferably made ahead of time & chilled
Flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon water

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a Dutch oven or stock pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add leeks along with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes until fragrant. Add sweet potatoes, carrots and turnips. Cook for 5 minutes until soft.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add flour. Stir well so that it evenly coats all the veggies. Keep cooking and stirring occasionally for a minute or two so that the flour starts to turn a light golden brown.
  4. Add chicken broth (or veggie broth), thyme and sage. Stir well to evenly incorporate the flour. Simmer gently for 5 minutes. Add a quarter cup of milk. Continue to simmer for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture seems too thick, add a little more broth. You want it to be a little thicker than a soup and a little less thick than a regular white sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
  5. On a well-floured surface, roll out half of your chilled pie dough to fit in a deep 10-inch pie pan. (If you don’t have one, roll it a little thinner and fit it into a casserole dish). Add mixture.
  6. Roll out the remaining half of of the chilled pie dough on a well-floured surface. Lay it on the top of the dish and press down the edges to seal. Use a knife to cut little vents on the top crust.
  7. Combine egg and water in a small bowl until smooth. Brush over pie crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes until crust is golden brown. Enjoy!!

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS & PARSNIP HASH
Adapted from a New York Times recipe
Takes 45 minutes
Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons oil
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 teaspoon Kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Generous freshly ground black pepper
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound pork sausage, cooked
1 1/2 tablespoons dried sage

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prep your Brussels sprouts by cutting them in half (quarter especially large ones; leave especially small ones whole). Toss with olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, generous amount of black pepper and red pepper flakes.
  2. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes or until nicely brown and crispy around the edges, turning occasionally for even browning.
  3. Put parsnips in large oven-proof skillet. Cover with water. Simmer over medium heat for 3 minutes. Drain and remove from pan.
  4. Melt butter in same large skillet. Add onion along with 1/2 teaspoon salt and more freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat until soft. Add garlic and cook 3 minutes longer. Add cooked parsnips, pork sausage and sage.
  5. Turn heat to medium-high and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. The idea here is to brown the parsnips but not burn them. Your pan should be so hot that you can leave it for 2 minutes without stirring and when you come back, things will just be nicely browned. If the parsnips or onions burn in 2 minutes, your pan is too hot.
  6. After things are nicely browned, put pan in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes. (This timed nicely for me, as my Brussels sprouts had exactly 10 minutes left). Toss hash with roasted Brussels sprouts. Top with some fried eggs and bam! Vegetable-centric meal in 45 minutes or less.

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LOCAL THYME RECIPES

Comforting Classics

Apple Brussels Sprout Slaw
Warming Stone Soup
Slow Cooker Sweet Potatoes
Beef Barley and Winter Vegetable Stew

Outside the Box Recipes

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts with Miso Vinaigrette
Stuffed Collard Greens with Moroccan Spiced Quinoa
Sweet Potato Breakfast Treat
Parsnip Biscuits with Black Pepper and Honey

Quick and Easy Meal

Roasted Carrots and Parsnips on a Bed of Quinoa

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