Provider Farm

From our fields, for your family


December 15, 2014

Another balmy December week, we will again be set up in the unheated shareroom (same building as last pick up).

This the last share pick up of 2014.  I know, crazy right?  Then, we won't be seeing you all until the new year(1/9 is the next pick up).

This Week's Share

We are adding the great kohlrabi to the share this week.  These big green balls are wonderfully sweet and crispy, kind of large, and very versatile.  Chop them into salads and slaws or sticks for snacks.  They have become my new favorite vegetable for cooking, great in sautes, soups and stews.

In the winter, the share doesn't change a heck of a lot and sometimes you may find your self sitting there staring at your mounds of roots and wondering what the heck you should cook.  I always find perusing cookbooks inspring for managing winter root burnout and am always surprised by all the wonderful things you can create in the winter kitchen while still eating locally.  To hopefully inspire you all, for the rest of the season, I will make a 7 day dinner plan to help everyone with menu planning.  I will try to keep the recipes simple.  We eat a little meat raised by us or our friends so they may include meat but its usually optional.  If anyone has any to add, please submit them through this link:  Add recipe and inspire us!  I am always looking for new recipes, cookbooks and cooking blogs!

Also, all the dishes are hyperlinks so the recipe for them can be seen by clicking on the highlighted dish.

Monday -  We'll start the week with Max's awesome French onion soup (see featured recipe below).  The onion crop is amazing this year so you're getting a lot and this flavorful soup will use them up.  We eat a lot of soups in the winter since winter crops lend themselves to them.  Plus, one pot meals like soups are easy to clean up and the leftovers are our lunch the next day.  Serve with a salad of Red Russain kale, just strip it from the stalks, and toss with a little balsamic and olive oil.  Top with pumkin seeds.

Tuesday - Sushi rolls A light easy to make and fun to eat dinner.

Wednesday - This west african peanut soup is hearty and filling.  Serve with a crusty bread (ask me about sourdough baking, I've been perfecting my skills this winter and it's not that hard!) Serve with a crunchy Cabbage and carrot slaw.

Thursday -  Winter wouldn't be winter without the classic Potato Leek Soup.  Make some cheesy crusty bread by broiling slices of bread with cheese on top.  Serve with a warm kale salad.

Friday -  Its taco friday!  No recipe necesary, just whip up some beens, black or pinto (presoaking the night before really speeds up cooking time if you don't have a pessure cooker, but if you forget, beans out of can work great too).  Warm up some soft corn tortillas and top with chopped meat radishes, onions, cabbage, kohlrabi, cheese, sour cream and your favorite salsa.  A fried egg on top is great, and also makes a great Saturday morning brunch with all the leftovers.

Saturday -  This Tuscan bean soup is the perfect CSA recipe.  Just replace summer crops (the zucchini and summer squash) with winter crops like meat radishes, winer squash, turnips and kohlrabi.  It is so good.  Got any of that crusty bread left?  Saturdays are a great day to bake up a loaf.  This soup doesn't really need a side dish, but some steamed beets on the side would go really well with it.

Sunday -  This one is a little fancy, but my friend told me about this recipe for a  Cabbage and onion torta.  Yummy, and it makes a lot for lunches for the week.  Roast up some sweet potatoes with it (the little sweet potatoes make great little "snack packs", so throw some extras in for the week too).

Recipe of the Week: 

French Onion Soup

  • 5 onions
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • pinch of thyme
  • 2tbs. dry sherry or white wine
  • 3 1/2 c. beef stock
  • salt to taste black pepper
  • slices of good toasted bread
  • grated gruyere cheese

Put soup pot over medium-low flame and add oil and butter until melted. Add chopped onions and a pinch of thyme, and stir occasionally. When they begin to brown after about 15 minutes, turn the heat down and cook, stirring often for 40 minutes. This is the hard part! Don't let them burn during this slow cooking process. The onions will turn a rich brown.
Add sherry or wine and turn up heat to high and stirring continuously, cook off sherry or wine. Add stock and bring to boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste but don't skimp on the salt. It'll bring out the flavor of the soup.
Pour soup into oven proof bowls, float bread slices on top and sprinkle cheese. Put in broiler until cheese is melted and voila!

The Joy of Cooking

101 Things to Do with Kohlrabi

Max is strutting his rutabaga stuff.
Max is strutting his rutabaga stuff.

Dear Friends,

Despite several sunny days and the warm weather, the incessant holiday and music calendar page are a good reminder that it is in fact still winter. In many ways, winter hasn’t even really begun and we are still riding the last waves of autumn. We do our best to take advantage of the mild weather when it’s here, whether we’re outdoors working, or just walking through the woods, we try and soak up every bit of sunlight we can at this time of year.

The root crops have taken center stage in our lives and minds these days. It seems like every meal we eat is composed primarily of our starchy friends. A stew with rutabagas and potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, carrot and beet juice and kohlrabi stir fry. Every where I turn all I see are roots. It is far to early in the season to be tired of roots but we are starting to get creative whenever possible. Kerry and I joke about the book we’re gonna write one day “101 things to do with your friend, the storage Kohlrabi”

As you might expect, the farm is a drastically different place in the winter. In the summer we employ anywhere from 3 to 6 people, while in the winter it’s just Kerry and myself. It’s quieter, and well, colder. In the summer we spend countless hours monitoring the conditions of our crops in the field. Assessing their health and well being. Anticipating yields and harvest dates. In the winter there isn’t anything in the field and instead I monitor temperatures and humidity levels. I find myself spending far more time in front of the computer than I am used to. The slower pace, and general quiet of the winter affords us the perfect opportunity to start dreaming of next season. After the new year we will start turning these dreams into plans, but for now dreams is all they are.

The holiday season is absolutely one of my favorite times of year, I’ll admit I’m a real sucker for all the lights and the Charlie Brown Christmas special, but more importantly it provides the perfect opportunity for us to take step back and appreciate all that we have.

As always thank you all for being a part of our farm, we could not do this with out you.

Happy Holidays!

Max and Kerry

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