Sunday, October 30, 2011

RECIPE: Onion Cheese Bread PLUS How to Caramelize and Freeze Onions

Recipe Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups biscuit mix
1 cup grated American cheese, sharp, divided
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
2 tablespoons melted butter


Cook onion over medium low heat in butter until tender and lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Whisk together the egg and milk; add to biscuit mix and stir until just moistened.

Add onion and half of the cheese.

Spread batter in a greased 8-inch baking dish.

Sprinkle remaining cheese and poppy seeds over the top. Drizzle with a little melted butter. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 400°. Serve hot.


If you have a lot of onions at home right now, here is a great tip from Ann Tilley on what to do with all of them:

“We try hard every week to use up the more perishable parts of the share, like the greens, and as a result sometimes we end up with tons of the root vegetables just hanging out (like beets!). Right now we have seemingly 100s of onions, and they are gigantic onions. You can caramelize and freeze the onions and then add them to omelets and frittatas, mashed or baked potatoes, roasted vegetables, pizza, pasta, many things. Here are the general directions":

1. Peel the onions and slice in half down the pole.
2. Slice crossways into thin slices.
3. Heat enough olive oil in a pan over medium heat to coat the amount of onions you are going to cook.
4. Add the onions, toss them in the oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
5. You can cook them over medium heat in the beginning as they release liquid. Stir them intermittently.
6. As they have given off most of their liquid, you need to reduce the heat to low/very low and stir more frequently.
7. Be patient and wait for them to develop a golden brown or even deeper brown color. You can taste occasionally to see if they have developed the amount of sweetness and caramelization you like.
8. If they are sticking and you are getting a lot of brown bits stuck to the pan you can deglaze with a bit of water, wine or vinegar, but I did not need to do this.
9. When they are done to your liking, portion and freeze for up to 2 months. You can portion in baggies or any other freezer safe container but another good idea is to portion into muffin tins and freeze, then put all your muffin size portions in a big ziploc bag. The quantity will be dramatically less than what you started with.

The overall idea is to cook them slowly over low heat - you are NOT trying to brown them quickly or stir fry them.

RECIPE: Ground Cherry Marmalade

Recipe Taken from "The Farm Journal's Country Cookbook"

3 cups Ground Cherries husked and washed
2 cups Pears cooked, drained, and diced finely
¾ cup Water
½ cup Crushed Pineapple (drained)
¼ cup Lemon Juice
7 cups Sugar
½ bottle Liquid Fruit Pectin

Combine ground cherries, pears, and water: cook slowly for approx. 25 minutes.
Add the pineapple, lemon juice, and sugar-bring quickly to a full rolling boil. Add pectin: boil rapidly for 3 min.

Remove from heat and alternately skim and stir marmalade for 3 minutes.

Pour into hot sterilized jars: seal. Makes 7 one half pint jars.

RECIPE: Ground Cherry and Vanilla Compote

2-3 cups ground cherries
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

In a saucepan, mix together the ground cherries, the sugar and the lemon juice. Split the vanilla bean lengthwise and with the tip of a knife, remove all of its seeds. Add the seeds and the bean to the pan. If you use vanilla extract, add it only after the compote has finished cooking. Stirring frequently, bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for about 25 minutes or until the cooking juices are slightly syrupy. Remove the vanilla bean and pour the compote into sterilized jars. Serve with toast, cookies or vanilla cake.


Since many people are going to be getting a LOT of eggs for the next couple of weeks you should keep in mind that older eggs are easier to peel when hardboiled than fresh eggs are, so people should cook up their fresh eggs but whatever sits in their fridge for awhile they may wish to hardboil for salads, deviled eggs, etc.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

RECIPE: Rustic Onion Tart Recipe

1 Pâte Brisée (tart dough) for one 10-inch tart or 1 packaged, flat pie crust (Trader Joe's has one in their frozen section)
3 medium sized red onions
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup (not packed) roughly grated Gruyère Swiss cheese

If you are making a crust from scratch, prepare the dough and let it chill in the refrigerator while you are cooking the onions.

Peel and slice the onions. Heat olive oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed sauté pan on medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the onions and sprinkle a little salt over them. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, until the onions have softened and are translucent.

Reduce the heat to medium low and cook for an additional 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are well browned. Add balsamic vinegar and cook for 10 minutes more, until onions are completely caramelized. Remove from heat.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes before rolling it out.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to a 10-inch diameter. Remove the crust dough to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Place all but a couple tablespoons of the cheese in the center of the dough. Spread to within 1 1/2 inches from the edges. Add the caramelized onions, layering them on top of the cheese.

Fold the edges of the crust dough over so that a small circle of onion is still showing in the centre of the tart. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the tart.

Place in the oven on the middle rack. Bake for 10 minutes at 450°F. Reduce the heat to 350°F and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

RECIPE: Leek and Delicata Squash Soup

2½ lb. Delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
2½ Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 large leeks, white and tender green parts, chopped
½ tsp. dried thyme
2½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Sour cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the squash, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 40 minutes. Let cool slightly and gently scrape or cut the flesh away from the skin. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Add the leeks and thyme and stir occasionally until soft and brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the stock and the squash and simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Using a blender (note, an immersion hand blender probably cannot handle the leeks), purée the soup directly in the pot until smooth. (Alternately, purée the soup in batches in a standard blender or food processor.)

Season with the salt and pepper. Ladle hot soup into individual bowls, then top with sour cream.

RECIPE: Roasted Beets With Chiles, Ginger, Yogurt and Indian Spices

Time: 1 hour

1 3/4 pounds beets; a mix of red, yellow and chiogga is nice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 fat garlic clove, finely chopped
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon lime juice, more to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Pomegranate seeds for garnish, optional.

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel the beets and cut into 1-inch chunks. Toss with the oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing occasionally, then sprinkle with mustard seeds, coriander and cumin and roast until the beets are tender, about 15 minutes more.

2. While the beets roast, prepare the dressing: using the side of a knife or mortar and pestle, mash the garlic with a pinch of salt until it forms a paste. Place yogurt in a bowl; whisk in garlic paste, jalapeño, ginger, 1/4 teaspoon salt and lime juice. Whisk in the cilantro.

3. Scrape the warm beets into a large bowl. Stir in the dressing and pomegranate seeds, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

Yield: 2 to 3 servings.


Hurray! Twenty weeks of vegetables!

Our work at the farm continues: spreading compost, seeding cover crops, prepping ground for the garlic planting, harvesting for CSA distributions.  The farm is beautiful right now with the fall colors all around, the rye sprouts turning the fields green, the slowed pace of the work.  Tracy and I are happy and relieved that three of our crew will be coming back for the 2012 season (Kasey, Tonya, and Dakota.)  What a blessing to know we have such an excellent crew lined up for another season!
Despite a relative abundance, we're now feeling the pinch from the brutal rainy weather of the summer's end.  Cabbages, carrots, daikon,  spinach, rutabegas,  all small and slow to grow in wet ground.  Thankfully, we ought to have plenty of food to get us to the middle of November, just not the overabundance we had last year.  Such is the reality of the real growing season in New England!
Now that our farmer's market in Norfolk is finished for the season, our family celebrated by taking a hike up the mountain overlooking the farm.  With no trail to follow, we bushwacked our way up the ridgeline, Baxter on my shoulders, Bea, Tracy, and Sedge leading the way.  Forty minutes into the hike and we were at the top, with a beautiful view of the farm and surrounding mountains. (Pictured).  
We are so blessed to live amongst such beauty, and thankful for the time, finally, to "recreate."
Here's approximate harvest #20:
"new" radishes
baby chard/spinach mix
winter squash
Kale/ Collards
turnip greens
Your farmer,

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Hi Folks,
This week was fun; harvesting, spreading rye seed for cover crops, chisel plowing.  And what great news that Dakota, Kasey and Tonya will all be coming  back for 2012!  And Dakota's friend, Mira, has signed on too.  So we have four experienced apprentices coming to work with us, and Tracy, Beatrice, Baxter and I are so happy to have them all back! (+ Mira).  So, based on our equipment and labor,  we've decided to increase the Chubby Bunny CSA to 300 full shares from 270.  We're confident that even given the extremes in weather, we should be able to produce enough for everyone...Also the increase should help our family pay down our farm equipment debt and start realizing a year to year savings for our retirement.  Retirement for a farmer?  Yes, this is the potential for a CSA farm.  There is no 401K.  There are no savings. We are living year to year, season by season. We are hoping to turn this corner soon when we can stop investing so much and start realizing financial security. According to our friends the Denisons of Denison Farm CSA (farmers of 30 years) say we are just about on track since we've been in business 11 years. Some members might be shocked at our financial realities but we actually feel pretty lucky to be solvent considering the economic climate for many farmers right now. And we have CSA to that for that. So onward we go planning for the next season, as the old joke goes, "What's the farmer's biggest asset? Next Year!"
Here's the harvest:
carrots, potatoes, beets, cabbage, onions, garlic, kale, fennel, radishes. winter squash

RECIPE: Pickled Beets with Red Wine (Easy Canning Recipe)

... in case you feel inundated with beets. This is pretty easy and a decent intro to canning:

Makes 7-8 pints

6 pounds beets , with their rootlets and 2 inches of their tops, well scrubbed
1 teaspoon whole cloves
2 4-inch sticks cinnamon, broken into pieces
1-inch piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced
3 cups sugar
2 cups red wine
3 cups red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon pickling salt


(Have ready 7-8 pint-size mason jars with 2-piece lids, a large canning kettle full of barely bubbling water and a medium saucepan of hot water. Immerse the jars in the kettle and immerse the lids in the saucepan until you are ready to use them.)

Put the beets into a large pot and pour enough boiling water over them to cover them. Return the water to a boil and boil the beets 15-35 minutes, depending on their size, until they are just tender

Drain the beets and cover them with cold water. When they are cool, trim them and slip off their skins. If they are large, half or quarter them—or, if you like, slice all the beets into ¼-inch thick rounds.

Tie the cloves, cinnamon and ginger in a spice bag or scrap of cheesecloth. Put this into a nonreactive pot with the sugar, wine, vinegar and salt. Bring the contents to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Simmer the syrup, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

While the syrup simmers, pack the beets into pint mason jars.

Remove the spice bag from the pan and pour the hot syrup over the beets, leaving ½ inch headspace. (Make sure there are no air bubbles in the jars.) Close the jars with two-piece caps (lids just fingertip tight). Process the jars for 30 minutes in a boiling-water bath. (Make sure the water is boiling all the time. If it stops boiling, do not count that time toward the 30 minutes. Make sure the jars are covered by at least 1 inch of boiling water at all times.)

(Remove the jars, setting them several inches apart on a clean dish towel; let them come to room temperature. When the jars are cool, test for a good seal by pressing the center of each lid. If the lid does not flex up and down, it is sealed. Another test is that when the jars are cool and sealed, you should be able to pick up each jar just by its lid.)

Store in a cool, dry place for about 3 weeks before eating. (It’s best to remove the rims before storing as they can trap water.)

RECPE: Kale and Winter Squash Gratin

1 medium winter or butternut squash (about 1.5 pounds), cut in half and seeded
1 tablespoons canola oil
4 ounces kale (stems trimmed and large ribs removed), rinsed and cut into thin slices
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch allspice
Leaves from 4 sprigs of thyme, coarsely chopped
3/4 cups heavy cream (or 1% milk for lighter mixture)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated bread crumbs
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Use butter to lightly grease a large (2 -quart) gratin dish.
2. Peel the squash, then cut it crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.
3. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale, still slightly damp, and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, until it has wilted.
4. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 45 to 60 seconds, until it is fragrant.
5. Place half of the sliced squash in the prepared gratin dish; season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Combine the nutmeg, allspice and thyme in a small bowl.
7. Place the kale over the squash and sprinkle with half of the nutmeg-thyme mixture. Top with the remaining squash and sprinkle with the remaining nutmeg-thyme mixture.
8. Pour the cream over the vegetables; cover the gratin dish tightly with aluminum foil. Bake for about 45 minutes, until tender.
9. While the vegetables are baking, combine the bread crumbs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a small bowl.
10. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Discard the foil from the gratin dish and use a spatula to press down on the mixture. Sprinkle the bread crumb-cheese mixture over the vegetables.
11. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.

RECIPE: Super Easy Garlic Potato Pie

Ingredients: 1 lb of scrubbed boiling potatoes.
6 cloves fresh garlic, sliced finely.
1 cup of milk.
¼ cup of breadcrumbs.
3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese.
3 tablespoons of butter


Preheat your oven to 380°F.
Slice potatoes thinly.
Butter a 9-inch pie plate.
Arrange a layer of potatoes, garlic slices, parmesan and slices of butter.
Repeat using the rest of the ingredients (other than the milk), saving some of the cheese and the butter.

Heat the milk and pour over top of the potatoes.
Top with bread crumbs and remaining cheese and butter.

Bake for 1 hour, until the potatoes are tender and top has turned golden brown. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

RECIPE: Veggie Fajitas With Quinoa


1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
Soft tortillas
1 onion, sliced thin
2 bell peppers, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 hot pepper, minced
1 bunch collards, sliced thin, rinsed
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed, chopped
2 limes
Sea salt to taste
Black pepper to taste


Add quinoa and 2 cups water to small pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover pot. Cook 20 minutes until tender.

In a wide skillet sauté onions and peppers in 1 tbsp olive oil for 5 minutes. Add garlic hot pepper and sauté another 3 minutes. Add collards and cover pot for 3 minutes until greens are wilted.

Turn off heat and add cilantro and squeeze 1 lime into pot add sea salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.

Heat up tortilla in a pan then add a spoonful of quinoa then 2 spoonfuls of veggies add more lime juice if desired and wrap tortilla. Yum!

RECIPE: Easy Potato and Onion Dish


4 potatoes, sliced
1 large sweet onion, sliced
1/4 cup butter, sliced
1 tablespoon dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
2 garlic cloves, minced (or garlic powder)
(optional) shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a 9x13 inch casserole dish, mix the potatoes, onions, butter, garlic, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Bake covered in the preheated oven for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until potatoes are tender. Add the cheese the last 10 minutes of cooking.

RECIPE: Roasted Winter Squash with Gorgonzola Cheese

1 medium winter squash (about 1-1/2 pounds), rinsed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 oz Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Peel the squash if desired. Halve the squash and scoop out and discard the seeds and strings. Cut into 1-inch wedges.

3. Brush a roasting pan lightly with some of the butter.

4. In a medium bowl, toss the squash with the remaining butter and season with the salt. Spread out on the pan and roast for about 30 minutes.

5. Turn the wedges over and continue to roast until tender and browned, about 30 minutes more.

6. Transfer the squash to an ovenproof serving dish, season with pepper to taste and sprinkle with the cheese, while still hot, to melt slightly. Serve.


Finally the sun is shining! We are so happy to see the sun and have a little taste of Indian summer. It really boosts spirits at the farm. We did have a pretty good frost this past week and the crew was busy covering the tender greens. The frosty mornings create a shift in our harvest routine a bit. Throughout the season - especially in the hot summer months, we are racing to harvest the tender greens - salad mix, chard, arugula, spinach, before the sun gets up and heats them up. Now we have to harvest these items the afternoon before distributions so we aren't trying to cut them in the morning with the frost on them. The greens can hold up in a frost as long as you are careful with them and let them warm up a bit. These sunny warm days are a blessing for fall greens. The more sun and heat they get, the longer into the final weeks they'll be in the share.

This week's pics: Fennel harvest. Beets in the field. This picture tells a lot about the farm right now. You can see that we've plowed in all around this patch of beets that we still have to harvest. We're trying to get as much ground as possible in cover crops ahead of the cold weather...

Here's what we'll be harvesting this week: 

potatoes, onions, peppers, beets, carrots, lettuce, kale, garlic, winter squash

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Well, it's only getting wetter at the farm.  Thank goodness the crops are still harvestable, thank goodness our crew's spirits are high, and thank you all for signing on with our farm, rain or shine!
First, about rotting potatoes.  Unfortunately, a  fifth of the potatoes are decaying, and a percentage of those go through the harvest undetected.  Please understand we're trying to catch the bad ones before they get to you but we're not always successful.  The same can be said of the peppers, which are at their peak harvest right now, and don't appreciate sitting on wet ground...
News from the field:
Despite the challenging conditions we're presented with at harvest, we did manage to start spreading compost this week, preparing ground to be cover cropped with rye ahead of the coming winter.  Spreading compost with the manure spreader is a spring and fall activity at the farm, the aim of which is to improve the tilth and fertility of our soils.  Our compost is made by mixing horse manure, cow manure, sawdust, and old hay, and letting it cure over time.  Well made, it's both earthworm food and plant food.  We've included a picture of muck spreading this week. 

Here's an approximation of your share:

winter squash
hot peppers

Dan and Tracy

RECIPE: Avigail’s Grandmother's Dairy-Free Apple Cake

4 cups diced apples, approx 4 apples(macs are best)
1¼ cups sugar
2/3 cups oil
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups unsifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup raisins
1 tablespoon applesauce OR 1 mashed banana
Chopped walnuts if desired – some in batter & some on top

Mix apples & sugar and let stand for 15 minutes. Add oil, then eggs, then dry ingredients. Mix well. Grease bottom & sides of 2 loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Cool before removing from pan.

RECIPE: Sweet Pepper Pasta with Kale

1 (8 ounce) package uncooked farfalle pasta
1 tsp olive oil
sweet peppers, chopped
1 c roughly chopped kale
4 cloves garlic, chopped
fresh basil, chopped
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
salt and ground black pepper to taste
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes; drain.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in sweet peppers, kale and garlic. Season with basil, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender.

In a large bowl, toss cooked pasta with skillet mixture. Sprinkle with feta cheese to serve.

RECIPE: Creamy Potato Leek Soup

4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 leeks, sliced
1/2 cup heavy cream (or 1% milk)
1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces (optional)

In a large saucepan or stockpot, bring potatoes and chicken broth to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of grease and set aside.

Saute the leeks in the frying pan with the reserved bacon grease 8 to 10 minutes.
When the potatoes are tender, stir in the fried leeks, heavy cream and bacon. Stir to blend and remove from heat. Serve hot.

RECIPE: Easy Roasted Winter Veggies

1 Winter squash, peeled, large dice
2 carrots, cleaned, half moon slices
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp fresh parsley, rinsed, chopped

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients except parsley in a bowl and mix to combine. Spread out evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast veggies turning the veggies every 15 minutes until 45 minutes have elapsed and they are golden brown and tender. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot!