Brussels Sprout Colcannon

October 14th, 2014

Brussels Sprout Colcannon

This take on a typical Irish side dish hides Brussels sprouts in comforting mashed potatoes, a great way to convert suspicious nay-sayers. Picky kids will be far more likely to eat their greens if they get to choose creamy mash!

Cut 2 pounds of organic potatoes into chunks and place in a large pot. Cover with at least an inch of cold water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and cook 20 minutes. Meanwhile, shred 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts with a mandoline, starting with the side furthest from the stem. When the potatoes have finished cooking and are fork tender, drain in a colander, and return the pot to the flame. Melt 5 Tbsp. butter in the pot and add the greens and 2 tsp. salt. Cook about 5 minutes, until tender and wilted. Remove the pot from the flame. Add the potatoes and mash with a fork. Add 1 cup organic whole milk yogurt. Serve immediately.

 

Quinoa, Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

October 14th, 2014

Quinoa, Black Bean & Butternut Squash Chili

makes 6 hearty bowls of chili

one 29 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
one 6 oz can tomato paste or fire roasted tomatoes
32 oz vegetable stock
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 butternut squash,  peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
1 cup rinshed quinoa
salt and pepper to taste
avocado, cilantro for garnish  (optional)

 

 

 

Heat the oil in a large heavy soup pot over medium low heat. Add onions, and cook until soft and they start to turn brown (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes or paste, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the beans, stock, and squash, and season with salt and pepper . Cook for about 5 minutes, then add the quinoa. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes – 30 minutes, stirring frequently, until quinoa and potatoes are cooked and the chili has thickened. Add a bit of water if the chili becomes too thick for your liking. Top with avocado and chopped cilantro. We enjoyed this along with a pan of cornbread. Great for a cold evening. It was very filling, and there was enough leftover for lunch the next day!

 

The First Snow

October 14th, 2014

This year continues its trend of cool weather.  On Saturday morning my family and I awoke to a quarter inch of snow on the ground.  I kid you not!  Oh what a sight and so soon, but as an ex ski bum I can’t help but get excited when I see that first dusting of the white stuff.  Having looked at the weather report the night before I brought in a fresh load of wood and built my first fire of the year that evening.  What a glorious smell, wood smoke mixed with leaves and wet air.  Yesterday though as I was returning to my wood pile I was reminded that it is way to small, so starting this week I will be in the woods in earnest to stock up.  While the snow was beautiful it was also another reminder of how close we are to the end of the season.  So much to do, so many things to get out of the field before we call it quits.  There are beets, storage radish, Brussels, spinach, turnips, potatoes, sunchokes, not to mention planting garlic and other overwintered crops like leeks and green scallions.

The other day I was sitting at my desk in the office when a rather large bird flew past the window.  I didn’t give it much thought figuring it was just a crow but when I went back outside I was greeted by a familiar but rare call.  Sitting on the fence that rings our chicken yard was a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker, think Woody Woodpecker.  Over the last couple of years I have seen more signs of them and see them regularly but this was new to have one around the homestead.  I’ve been watching it for days now enjoying a late fall snack of overripe wild grapes.  Between the woodpecker and the Bald Eagle that flew over the garden this place seems to be for the birds.

 

 

Fair Thee Well

October 14th, 2014

Well we’ve come again to that time of year.  Today we packed our final CSA box of the season, the staff gathered to celebrate with cider and snacks as we reminisce another summer come and gone.  Thank you to all for your kind words, advice, encouragement as we have moved through the season, it means so much to me to hear from all of you.  It is you after all that make this farm possible.  As the rain was falling,  my feet where soaking and my hands were freezing I was reminded of how difficult a task this farming gig is.  An yet now I sit warm, weary from the day but content, so deeply fulfilled.  I do not know how long in the life my body will allow me to do this work but I intend to find out.  It is a gift to find happiness in ones work.  For me this work make life seem so much more real.  To actively participate in the growing of food that will nourish not only my body, but my family, my friends, my community, you, that means the world to me.  To know that not only are we growing nutritious food, loaded with all kinds of good stuff, but to be able to do that with any harmful chemicals or fertilizers so important.  Every day I am shown a world abundant with life, full of all the ingredients to sustain life.  Our world is such a beautiful place and so very forgiving, in the past we have taken this planet for granted, one could argue quite easily that we still do.  But I see that attitude changing and that change starts with food.  We can feed all the people of this world, give space to the wild things, celebrate our urban environment, have our cake and eat it to.  But it takes effort and it takes making the right food choices.  I hope to see you back again next season, I promise it will be even better.  See ya!

 

Easiest Apple Strudel

October 14th, 2014

Easiest Apple Strudel

I made this apple strudel recipe on Saturday for brunch and  it was so simple and yummy! It’s a win with children and adults. This recipe makes two but can easily be cut in half if you prefer.  Quick Tips- Thaw your puff pastry in the fridge over night and don’t take it out until  your apple filling mixture is cooling.

Apple filling:
6 med size apples
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar, depending on sweetness of apples, to taste
2-3 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 -1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup apple juice or water

*Dried fruit optional– I added a handful of dried cranberries.

Peel, core and chop apples to bite size pieces, sprinkle lemon juice over apples to prevent browning.
Add all apple filling ingredients to sauce pan , bring to a quick boil so the cornstarch thickens but apples are still firm. Remove from heat and cool

**This happens quick so stay close. Remove filling from pan and pour on to a plate to cool it quicker. Lastly, I used cranberry juice as my liquid and it worked just fine!

For pastry:

2 puff pastry sheets thawed (One package)

1 egg yolk

1 tsp milk

Course sugar for sprinkle on top

 

For strudel, thaw out puff pastry  in the parchment that in comes in. Move to lightly flowered surface and thin and smooth it out a bit with rolling pin.

Place pastry on a rimmed baking sheet, cut slits approximately one inch apart on both of the outer sides. Leave the center column whole to hold all the apple filling. Close up the strudel by pulling every other strip over the filling, like your making a braid.

Mix the egg and milk to make an egg wash,  brush egg wash on top of strudel with pastry brush and sprinkle with course sugar, bake at 400 till golden brown.