For all of our market customers, this is the first week of the King Market. I know it’s rainy, but we would love to see you come out and visit the market. We will have leeks, mint, maceratese, senposai, oregano, baby kale, salad mix, popcorn, flowering chives, shungyko, komatsuna, arugula, sorrel, cutting celery, mustard greens, and Hakurei salad turnips for sale.
This week everyone received whole wheat flour, storage squash, and rapini in their share. You were able to choose the rest of you share from the following: mustard greens, leeks, bekana, maceratese, purple sprouting broccoli, garlic, oregano, sage, onions, erba stella, popcorn, kale, parsnips, salad mix, and rhubarb.
We enjoyed the rapini on homemade pizzas this week. Here is a recipe for a whole wheat crust that’s quick. After adding tomato sauce to your crust, you can scatter chopped rapini on top with whatever other toppings you enjoy. Finish with grated cheese and cook at 450 to 500F for 10 to 14 minutes (depending on how hot your oven gets).
For those of you who chose a desert squash, you might try this take on a bread pudding. You will need to roast and cook the pumpkin/desert squash before hand, but it’s a great way to use any leftover pumpkin you might have.
In this week’s share, everyone received castelfranco chicory, Asian stir fry mix, garlic, and rapini. You were able to choose the remainder of your share from the following: cress, kale, bekana, leeks, chives, parsnips, polenta, maceratese, braising mix, sorrel, spinach, purple sprouting broccoli, oregano, thyme, and lettuce.
The chicory heads this week are very large, so I would suggest cooking with at least part of the head, though if you love raw chicory salads, you will be well supplied this week! The flavor of chicory is bitter, but cooking helps moderate that. Here’s a simple recipe that combines apples and bacon with braised chicory.
Our Asian stir fry mix is composed of bok choi, komatsuna, golden frill and ruby streaks mustard greens, and ho mi z. Jim likes to always have some cooked white rice on hand, and if you are in need of a quick meal fried rice with this stir fry mix would make for an easy dinner. Check out this recipe for ideas or inspiration.
Though I use the word rapini, what I am actually referring to is miscellini. Rapini are technically the florets of a type of turnip bred for its flowers. But all the brassicas (think cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi…) produce florets in the spring. So this week you will have a choice between kalini (the florets of kale) and brussels sproutini (I know–work with me here). These are wonderful as a side just steamed, sauteed, or grilled with a little salt, olive oil, and lemon juice. Brussels sproutini actually taste like brussels sprouts, so you can fry and brown them in butter as would the regular sprouts. Hope you enjoy this spring treat.
Take care and eat well.
Our does gave birth to four kids last week. Here are a few photos of the young ones.
The spaghetti squash can be roasted, the pulp removed with a fork, and the strands used like pasta. I could see wilting the bok choi with sesame oil and soy sauce, adding some garlic, ginger, and green onion (if you have any from last week left) and tossing with the spaghetti squash. You could add your favorite protein to make it a more substantial meal. If you are adventuresome, here’s also a recipe for Pad Thai using spaghetti squash.
This week Jim adapted a recipe from The Moosewood Cookbook using rapini. It was delicious and comforting food.
1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 X 13 inch baking pan.
2) In a small 4 X 4 baking pan, add pumpkin or sunflower seeds, 1 tsp of oil and salt to taste, mix well and bake for 15 min or until seeds begin to brown nicely.
Since I am allergic to eggs, Jim used flax seed in place of eggs here. If you are vegan or are wanting to substitute the eggs for another reason, try this trick. In a small saucepan, add 1/3 cup flax seeds and 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil while stirring. Turn the burner off and let this sit for 10 min. It should thicken similar to an egg white.
This week in your share everyone will receive parsnips, spinach, and chicory. You were able to choose the remainder of your share from the following list: garlic, leeks, scallions, lettuce, rapini, kale, mustard greens, mizuna, cress, sorrel, polenta, popcorn, nettles, foraged greens, and our braising mix.
If you are struggling with what to do with parsnips, here’s a nice recipe with salmon. Earlier this week, I braised them in duck broth with garlic, olive oil, and thyme for an hour at 350F in the oven, and they were delicious.
Chicory is a bitter green, but this can be lessened by soaking in ice water or by cooking them. Here’s an interesting recipe for chicory salad that you might enjoy.
Everyone will receive spinach, erba stella, onions, and storage squash this week. You chose the remainder of your share from the following list: rapini, salad mix, mache, garlic, leeks, parsnips, radishes, cornmeal, rosemary, thyme, oca, sorrel, chives, kale, foraged greens, nettles, and burdock.
Several of you have lamented that you never get to use our flour because baking bread is too intimidating or time consuming. I have been thinking about this, and you could combine the squash from this week with the flour from last share to make pumpkin pancakes. Since they use baking soda as leaven, they are a quick and easy way to cook with our flour. When I lived in Austin, there was a restaurant called Kirby Lane Cafe, and they had the best gingerbread pancakes, but in the fall for a spell, they would also make pumpkin pancakes. They were delicious. Here’s a recipe.
Erba stella can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. I would recommend sauteeing it and finishing with olive oil, salt, and a squeeze of lemon. But you could also try this approach.
For those of you who got the radishes, they are wonderful raw, but I just had them fried in butter (cut in half prior). I was surprised at how nice they were, firm but not crunchy, sweet but with a little bit of spice remaining.
Take care and eat well.
After a long time away from the farm, it’s good to return. Jim and Julie endured a very cold winter and the signs are still present: so much of our overwintering crops are dead stumps and the fields are muddy, bare after our cover crop was killed by the deep cold in December. But spring is coming and the signs are rife: the grass in our pastures is thickening, the brassicas that did survive are sending up rapini, and our beds of arugula in the greenhouse are tilting with their beautiful and delicious flowers.
It’s still cool and when there is rain, the gray and cold weighs on the soul. But there has been sun most days since I returned, and this carries with it hope. Enough hope.
Our farm and the little part of Oregon that we frequent now feels like our home. It’s been almost four years since we landed in Oregon, three since we started the farm.
Finally, there is that deep ache that one feels on the return flight when one passes over the patchwork of fields and towns that is our Willamette Valley. The expectation that rises when we leave Dayton and drive the last few miles to the farm on Wallace Road. The smile that unfolds as we turn down the gravel road, the house so small, then growing, then upon us as the drive swings between the big leaf maples and the giant fir. And Zola, our little dog, running out to greet us and the flock of chickens swarming at the sound of humans. We’re home.
I wonder how long it takes for a new place to become home. Is it a matter of attachment, of whether you are focused on the future and occupying this new place or on the past and your connections to the old one? What about friends and the forest of memories that reminds that this place is special and yours. And theirs. Is it a matter of brute time, of awakening to the same images and sounds over months and years? Maybe they wear down a part of us until they fit smooth.
I am reminded of a poem by Kay Ryan.
THINGS SHOULDN’T BE SO HARD
A life should leave
ruts where she
went out and back
to get the mail
or move the hose
around the yard;
where she used to
stand before the sink,
a worn-out place;
beneath her hand
the china knobs
rubbed down to
the switch she
used to feel for
in the dark
Her things should
keep her marks.
of a life should show;
it should abrade.
And when life stops,
a certain space—
however small —
should be left scarred
by the grand and
be so hard.
Everyone will receive whole wheat flour, garlic, arugula, and parsnips in their share this Saturday. You will choose the rest of your share from the following list: sorrel, chicory, wild greens mix (cleavers, baby thistle, bittercress, chickweed, lapsara, and dandelion), oca, sunchokes, mustard greens, baby kale, scallions, cress, spinach, nettles, cabbage, leeks, burdock, braising mix, popcorn, and erba stella.
For those of you who are curious about how to use nettles, see this site for useful information.
We have been eating a fresh chicory salad with blood oranges and a dressing made from whole milk yogurt, a pinch of salt, and some fresh arbequina olive oil that one of our friends gave us. It’s simple and quick, but full of flavor.
If you are looking for a creative way to dress up fresh greens, try adding pickled raisins to your salads. The combination of sweet and sour is a nice compliment to arugula, spinach, and erba stella. Here is one recipe. We combine the raisins with the greens, a generous splash of olive oil, and soft cheese like feta or chevre.
Take care and eat well.