Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
From our friend Anne Geyer at Agriberry:
Agriberry "Sleigh" of favorite Apples to
St Stephens Wed. ( Oh and broccoli too )
Ok Agriberry fans- the weather is looking wonderful for Wednesday's evening market at St. Stephens Church on 6000 Grove Ave.! Your favorite apples-Honey Crisp, plus Granny Smith, Pink Lady and Fuji Apples to mix and match by the peck- For $20 a peck or six pecks for $99! How about having them in the wooden peck basket too? Add a ribbon and you have a super last minute drop off holiday gift!
Pickup from 4pm til sold out... or 7 pm.
Oh and Apple Cider too...think of holiday time mulled cider or freeze in serving size zip bags for winter/spring smoothies...
Yea Locavore fans, Yea Agriberry , and Yea Apples!
p.s. Farmer Chuck Geyer, picked Broccoli before the snow for us too...winter veggies are great!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
This meal, requiring very little last minute preparation, is perfect for allowing the cook to spend time relaxing with friends rather than rushing around the kitchen. The Soup, made up ahead of time, was ready to be served whenever we were ready to eat. I baked the brie in an open baking dish that could go strait to the table. I cooked it for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees along side the foil wrapped baguette and the baking apples. In addition to the food I made I also had on hand plenty of homemade confections I'd received as gifts from friends, neighbors and coworkers. One of the nice things about entertaining at this time of year is that you can put those yummy gifts to good work saving yourself time spent in the kitchen, and giving yourself a chance to sample all of them without eating entire jars of cheese spread, and whole pound cakes all on your own.
For the lentil soup I followed The Barefoot Contessa's recipe which calls for green lentils, carrots, onions, leeks, garlic, cumin, tomato paste, thyme, salt and fresh ground pepper. To this I added a couple of finely chopped, medium potatoes. I also used an extra 1/2 tsp. cumin and thyme, replaced the celery with fennel stalks, and the chicken stock with vegetable broth. It was great with some 'Flur de Sel' and fresh ground pepper added at the table. For the salad I made a simple dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, course salt and fresh ground pepper.
Sadly my usual recipe free technique of 'tossing and tasting' means that I'll probably never be able to exactly replicate the deliciousness of those baked apples. They were just sweet enough with a nice tang from the ginger and the apples themselves. Here's what I can tell you... I used 6 large apples in a mix of Empire, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith. I pealed and sliced them into 1/4 inch slices. I mixed these with a relatively small amount of brown sugar and honey then seasoned with perhaps a tsp. of powdered ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and spread slices of butter (about 1/3 stick) across the top. Cover and bake for about 1. 5 hours... this cook time is based on my very old gas oven.
Fleur de sel is hand raked (harvested) sea salt. Penzey's spices on Cary street used to carry a couple different versions of this and French grey sea salt. This past December I discovered that they no longer carry these salts at the shop or on-line. I also checked Sur la Table and found only flavored salts (ie. black truffle) for more money than I wanted to spend. Finally by accident I discovered a good sized jar of Fleur de sel at Trader Joe's containing twice the amount at perhaps half the price of the Penzey's hand raked Fleur de sel.
For more information on different salt's to use in your cooking or at the table check out this 9 salt taste test review in Slate.
Second, the New India restaurant is now the Lakeside Sports Grill. Apparently, however, this restaurant is still under the same ownership, and you can still get Indian food via carry out! Interesting.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Backyard Farmers came to their rescue, helping them amend their raised beds with compost and planting a cover crop. Shawn and Tim, two of the Backyard Farmers, tested the soil that Jay and Rochelle bought and found that it was dead and that the soil structure was too loose, so they introduced components that would encourage microorganisms and water retention.
Jay was so excited because the Backyard Farmers pulled all of the weeds, re- worked the beds then planted garlic in one bed, buckwheat in another, and rye grass in the third. These cover crops will help break up the hard pan under the amended sections, bring nutrition for later crops to access, and remain a weed deterrent. Jay and Rochelle can also add the biomass to their compost pile when they are ready to clear the beds to plant in the spring.
The Backyard Farmers will come back to the garden in the spring, and walk Jay and Rochelle through what seeds to purchase , when to plant and how to care for the crops. These knowledgeable horticulturists have made themselves available to their clients, and Jay and Rochelle are looking forward to growing their own food, and learning a lot in the process. Check out the BF website to get in touch with these mobile farm gurus.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The cost of a full share for 20 weeks is $500.The cost of a half share for 20 weeks is $300.On farm pick up is $475 for a full share and $275 for a half share.
Next year we're doing an extended summer season -- from the first week in June through Thanksgiving week. That's 26 weeks. The full share will be $650 and the half share will be $350. Since this is more than last year, and a big amount for some folks to pay as one lump sum, we will offer payment plans.For folks who pay in full by January 15, we're offering a discount -- the full share will be $600, and the half share will be $325.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
If you are short on time you can use a rub and tenderize the meat with a meat tenderizing mallet. In the past I've used left over rubs from when I've made ribs, but they contain sugar which will burn and I wanted my steaks to taste like steaks and not ribs. So... I have been searching for a good steak rub and believe that I have found one. I wanted a little bit of heat and some smokey flavor which the chipotles do both. It's a smoked jalapeno. What's not to like?!Here's the link http://bbq.about.com/od/rubrecipes/r/bl10721c.htm .
I have found that by adjusting the amounts of ingredients you can customize a rub to your tastes, don't be afraid to experiment! I reduced the amount of black pepper in this rub by 1/3 since it also has chipotle's for heat. Once the rub is made sprinkle it on and rub it in on both sides then tenderize with the mallet. Your breaking down the connective tissue of the meat when you use the mallet. Tenderizing it manually instead of chemically. A process that is also achieved with acids like vinegar, found in most marinades.
First step in preparing to cook grass fed beef is to let it sit out and come to room temperature. The reason being that grass-fed beef contains less fat and cooks quicker. If you took it out of the fridge and started cooking the outside would cook faster than the inside resulting in a steak that looks done but is actually rare and not up to temperature inside. Secondly grass fed beef is better cooked in a pan than on the grill. The precious juices, which keep the meat moist, would be lost on a grill. If grilling, sear meat on both sides at high heat. Then reduce heat to low and baste frequently throughout grilling until the desired internal temperature is reached.
Once the meat has come to room temperature it's time to cook! For this meal I'm going to use a pan and the oven to finish the cooking process. Always pre-heat! Putting a hot steak into a cold pan does no one any good. Get the pan HOT and sear both sides of the meat, about 1-2 minutes per side or until nicely browned. Place the meat in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 10-15 additional minutes turning once about halfway through cooking. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat and the cut. Remove the meat about five degrees below your desired temperature. It will continue to cook as it rests. Temperatures are as follows:
Well Done: 170
London broil, as with most cuts of grass-fed beef, is meant to be served medium rare.
Once time is up remove the meat from the oven (checking to ensure that it is cooked to your liking) cover and let it rest for about ten minutes in a warm place. This will allow the meat to reclaim some of the moisture/juices lost during the cooking process and will make your meal that much more delectable. Once the meat has rested plate it up an serve it according to your recipe or tastes. London broil is served thinly sliced and goes quite well with my roasted garlic mashed potatoes. Recipe to follow.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Fresh Parsley
Wrap the head of garlic in foil and roast at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until soft. Cook time depends on the size of the head. Boil potatoes until easily pierced with a fork. Drain well, and add the butter, and milk Mash with a potato masher, or use a mixer with a paddle attachment. Once milk, and butter is combined cut the bottom, or root end of the garlic heads off then squeeze them like tiny tubes of tooth paste into the potato mixture. Make sure not to include the papery skins. Add the parsley, salt, and pepper to your liking, and enjoy!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The holidays for our family has always been a whirlwind, but a good one. Holiday baking may just be one of our favorite parts of that whirlwind. This time of year, our ovens bring forth an almost constant stream of cookies, cakes, breads and other yummies. One thing you can always count on during December is the orange cake.Our family's orange cake tradition has been handed down from my Grandmother, Josephine Veneziano. She'd make this moist, sweet but not too sweet pastry with a hint of citrus each December, and it made her famous in her neighborhood. She never would tell folks where she got the recipe, or how she developed it, as far as I know, and when she passed it on to my mother, she stressed about how we should keep it in the family. So, why am I sharing it with you now?Simple. I'm not.The recipe has been modified by everyone in the family who has been given it, starting with my mom. This version comes from my sister, Jen Thurman. Grandma's and Mom's versions are good, but I like Jen's a little more (sorry Grandma). Her version is a little more moist and has a bit more orange flavor.1 1/2 cups sugar1 1/2 cups margarine3 eggs1 1/2 cups milk1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts2 orange rinds3 cups flourpinch of saltCream the butter and sugar. Dissolve the baking soda and milk. Add the soda/milk mixture, eggs, and all other ingredients to the butter/sugar mix. Mix together, then pour into 2 8" or 9" round pans. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F. Top with an orange juice and sugar glaze while still warm.In keeping with tradition, I've come up with my own version as well. Take the recipe above, and replace the 2 orange rinds with the rinds of 3 - 4 lime (6 - 8 Key limes) and the orange juice with the lime or Key lime juice.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
To date there are three winter markets that I know of plus a couple of great winter co-ops...
The South of the James market has been in discussion for sometime about where they would hold their winter market. The latest news on their website says that vendors will be at Blanchard’s Coffee Co. at 5047 Forest Hill Avenue on Saturdays from 10 am to 12 pm. The market will run December 12, 2009 - April 24, 2010. This info. is different from the 3 other locations I'd heard recently from SoJ vendors, but it's the spot I'm gonna check out next weekend.
The Byrd House market will continue with their trusty renegade market on Tuesdays from 3:00-6:00. The Market ends an hour earlier than their regular season hours.
The Huguenot-Robious Farmers' Market is moving indoors after the holidays. As of January 14th this Thursday Market will be held inside the Great Big Greenhouse and maintain it's regular hours of 10:00 am to 3:00pm. I have only heard great things about this market from both vendors and shoppers. I believe the market will be taking a break from mid-December until January 14th. However, there may be one more market this coming Thursday. You can e-mail the manager at Doug@greatbiggreenhouse.com. for more information.
The Goochland Farmer's Market will hold an indoor Holiday Market this coming Saturday, December 12th. Not held at the markets usual location the holiday market is to be held inside the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Western Campus, 1851 Dickinson Road, Goochland, VA 23063. I have been to their holiday markets in the past and been very pleased with the selection of food and gift items.
In addition to the holiday market the Goochland Market is working with Lulu's Local Food to offer a winter food Co-op. For a fee of $45 you can join and then select your meat, dairy, bread, and produce etc. from a detailed online product list. There are two Goochland area pickup sites to choose from. Learn more, and register here.
Lulu's Local Food is the brain child of Molly Harris of Edible garden. Lulu's Local Food is a website created to coordinated food co-ops like Fall Line Farms. This amazing food Co-op has 50 of the Richmond Area's best vendors participating. Erin has written about the winter food co-op Fall Line Farms before and her market at St. Stephen's Church is one of the area's pick up sites. This co-op has amazing food, incredible selection and pickup sites from Ashland to Southside and in The Fan. There is a $75 registration fee to pay for people to man each pick up site and for someone to coordinate and manage the website etc. This fee will be reduced to $35 after the holidays. To check out the list of pick-up locations, and learn more click here.
The Seventeenth Street Farmer's Market will hold a Holiday Market on Saturday December 12th from 9:00am -4:00pm. In addition to the Market will be the Grand Illumination at 5:00 and according to their website... "Featured at noon is Richmond's favorite holiday tradition, Tuba Christmas. We will have over 80 tuba players scheduled to play synchronized in four-part harmony along with a singing Santa caroling the crowd. It is a must see holiday event for the entire family!For additional information please call 804-646-0477."
There is also The Rural Routes winter csa and Ault's Family Farm was selling a limited of shares of pork for the winter. If you know of other winter farmer's markets or winter food co-ops please send us an e-mail and I will try and add it to this list.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Lisa Nye portraiture
Heidi Lersch mixed media
Sarah Masters oil sticks
Wes Mears fine furniture
Erin Richardson fiber
Garth Swanson drawings
Lisa Goodwyn oils
Fielding Archer mixed media
Patsy Jewett watercolor
Julien Archer T-shirts
Henry Archer wood carving
Food will be provided by "friends of the farm."
Manakintowne Specialty Growers
2570 federal hill farms road
powhatan, virginia 23139 (in the Barn)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Project Winterfood is a local food event and art exhibition organized by a group of VCU Graphic Design students. The theme of the event is spinach, apples, and sweet potatoes: all seasonal foods available in Virginia during the Winter.Event + Art ExhibitionDecember 2nd, 20097-10 PM1509 West Main StreetContinued Art ExhibitionDecember 4-31st, 2009Gallery 5, 200 W. Marshall St.What is it?Project Winterfood is a local food resource, art exhibition, and benefit event. Project Winterfood was created by a group of VCU Graphic Design students to help share and preserve the culture of food in our Richmond community. The students who organized the event know how easy, practical, and beneficial it is to utilize local food options. With the help of some community partners, we are excited to share this knowledge with the public.Project Winterfood will house a fascinating art exhibition made up of work that celebrates three winter foods: apples, spinach and sweet potatoes. The artwork has been donated by local artists and will be on sale during the exhibition. All proceeds from the artwork will go to benefit The Central Virginia Food Bank and Gallery 5, a non-profit gallery that supports using the arts to promote positive social action.At the event, there will be a gathering of partners involved in the Richmond area food community to answer questions and share information about local food options, resources, and benefits. Visitors will be able learn more about how they can easily enjoy food from local farms as well as restaurants that use locally sourced ingredients. The community partners include such local businesses as the Farm to Family Veggie Bus, Dominion Harvest, Savor Cafe, Ipanema Cafe, Rostov’s Coffee & Tea, Ukrop’s, The Byrd House Market, and more to come which will be listed on the website as the project continues.During the event there will be live fiddle music , sample & tasting booths, and delicious coffee provided by Rostov’s Coffee & Tea. Each visitor will leave with a complimentary take-home brochure designed by Project Winterfood. The brochure will contain information & resources as well as recipes that include the three featured winter foods.After the event, the artwork will be on display in Gallery 5 throughout the month of December. It can be purchased during that time as well.Why is it important?The team at Project Winterfood is passionate about sharing and preserving food culture. It is our mission to share with others in the community how easy, accessible, practical, beneficial, inexpensive, and fun it is to utilize local food options. Project Winterfood is reaching out to everyone— those who already enjoy farm fresh foods and those who have heard the phrase “eating locally” without getting a chance to learn what it’s really all about.The Project Winterfood event will present seasonal winter produce in a unique way that creates a memorable, informative, and fun experience.Who are we?Project Winterfood is combined of a group of VCU Graphic Design students who are interested in promoting positive change through community service learning. They are part of Noah Scalin’s Design Rebels course striving to make a positive difference as Graphic Designers in the Richmond Community.Media Inquiries:Christina Gleixner (540) 204-1365Johnny Utterback (804) 543-5142Cody Whitby (540) 273-8407e: email@example.com
2 onions, chopped
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Spring roll wrappers are used instead of the usual thicker egg roll casing. For the cabbage egg roll the cabbage was mixed with carrots and apparently pickled. Slightly spicy and tangy the cabbage was delicious with the sweeter duck sauce served on the side. Same goes for the salty tofu egg rolls, made simply of wrapped, fried tofu. The chicken egg rolls were my husbands favorite. We went for two of those, and while I also loved the chicken I think that having one of each was perfect.
This vendor will be at South of the James next week for what is supposed to be the last Saturday of the season. A renegade market is being planned, but the details are not yet determined.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Two cover crops that I have used successfully are Austrian Winter Peas and Winter Rye.
The winter rye --not annual or perennial you want it to grow in the winter not die-- is best when planted in September but I have had success with later plantings(as long as it is warm enough to germinate). It is used mainly to improve clay soils. Broadcast the seed, water, and let it grow. How much seed you use is up to you. I guess about a pound would seed @200 sq.feet. Sometimes, if you have planted early it may need a hair cut if you want a neater look. Let the cuttings lie. This rye will die in the heat of late spring(June) so you can plant in it and let it act as a mulch or turn it under into your bed. The root system is extensive and deep so I chose, after trying all ways, to pull it out after it dies and add to my compost pile. It is not hard to pull after it dies.
Austrian Winter Peas are my cover crop of choice. You should use an inoculant when planting these. The inoculant introduces beneficial bacteria to ensure the formation of high-nitrogen nodules on the roots. You can broadcast or plant in rows in your beds. Cover with a thin layer of soil to deter the birds from eating your seeds. They continue to grow and add biomass in the winter(slowing as it freezes). When the pea tips form pinch them and add to your winter salads. That's an added benefit to using this cover crop. They are yummy. Like other legumes,winter peas add nitrogen to the soil so they help rejuvenate your beds. In spring or whenever you are ready to use the bed, either turn them under as green manure or pull and add to your compost pile. They are easy to pull. Just a note: I plant winter peas OVER my garlic bed so I have two things growing in one bed.(The peas also keep the weeds down.) The peas are gone before you dig the garlic BUT if not, as you dig the garlic you can turn under the pea biomass. If you plant other winter root crops you may try the peas over them as well.
Sources for these cover crops:Peaceful Valley Farms @ http://www.groworganic.com/ has the Austrian winter peas and inoculant. Seeds of Change also carry the peas. The seed is less per pound at Peaceful Valley but shipping is higher than Seeds of Change. Johnny's Selected Seeds @ http://www.johnnyseeds.com/ carries the Winter Rye. I have used Abruzzi Rye which is carried by Southern Exposure Seed Exchange . Locally Southern States and Ashland Seed carry the inoculant. You want to ask for Garden inoculant or one for legumes.
You can click here to watch a short YouTube video of local sustainable agriculture professor Cindy Conner talking about cover crops in promotion of her DVD.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
It's that week when we feast til we burst! OK, almost burst. As we prepare to grace family and friends by sharing great food and warm company, remember the RENEGADE Market is open this week --Tuesday from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm-- to make available the freshest produce, meats and baked yummies available for your holiday convenience. Join us!
Brussels Sprouts - Cabbage (New Jersey Wakefield & Flat Dutch varieties) - Cauliflower - Broccoli - Spinach - Kale (Red Russian, Siberian and Tuscan) - Swiss Chard - Radishes - Beets - Broccoli Raab - Locally grown apples (Granny Smith, Red or Yellow Delicious, Jonagold, & Fuji varieties) - Eggs, Chevre Cheese, Chicken, Honey - Get free-range Turkey for the Holidays - Applesauce - Apples with Cherries and Raisins -
Cranberry-Apple Relish - Homemade Egg Noodles - and MORE!"
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thanksgiving is here again, quite possibly the most food-oriented holiday in the US. Across the country, people will be sitting down with family and friends for the traditional Thanksgiving feast of turkey, stuffing and all the fixings. Out here at Sweetwater, we spend the day with ourselves, and gather with family later in the week. This has its advantages, but also provides a bit of a challenge. See, we love the traditional feast as much as anyone, but after having it 2 or 3 times over a long weekend, it starts to get to you a little. So, a few years back we started giving our holiday meal a little twist, adapting the meal to various regional and ethnic food styles -- taking a Thanksgiving trip in our kitchen, so to speak. So far, we've done Louisiana (Cajun and Creole), Indian (turkey curry - YUM!), Italian, and Chinese. This year, we're going to Morocco.We'll start the meal off with a couple appetizers. Off the grill will come kebabs, made with sausage, apricots, and a couple vegetables to be named later. Merguez sausage would be most appropriate, and I've found at least one source here in Richmond, but it’s made with lamb, which we don't eat (at least not knowingly). We'll substitute andouille, just a personal choice there. Our other appetizer is a hummus served with flatbread.Next to the table* will come couscous, seasoned with garlic, mint, parsley, basil and lemon juice. With this, we'll be serving zaalouk, a salad of roasted eggplant and tomatoes with a dressing incorporating garlic, pepper, parsley, harissa (a chile paste) and several other ingredients.(Yes, we're eating at the table. I realize it'd be more appropriate for us to gather on pillows and cushions on the floor; I have a toddler. That's not going to work.)Then comes the main course. We do like working turkey into these meals, but it appears that many other countries don't use the bird (or at least I haven't found many recipes or references). Adapting a chicken recipe seems to do the trick, though. This year, we'll do turkey Tangiers-style -- basically, season a turkey breast and thighs with parsley, onions, ginger, black pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg, then grill.(As a side note, the grill is a great place to cook a turkey even if you want to do the traditional Thanksgiving meal -- just put it in a roasting pan, and lower the lid. The downside: your house doesn't smell like cooking turkey. The upside: you've saved all that oven space, so you can make your house smell like baking pies!)With the turkey we'll be serving a potato tagine (slow cooked with tomatoes, onions, ginger, paprika, cumin, garlic and saffron) with lemons and olives.Beverages? Mint tea, which is traditional in Morocco. We'll also be serving cranberry wine from Horton vineyard. The wine has nothing to do with Morocco, but hey, its Thanksgiving, got to work cranberries in somehow!OH...almost forgot dessert! Melons, and honey cakes. The melons are sadly out of season, but you can still find some that are pretty good if you hunt.I won't claim that this is a 100% authentic Moroccan meal -- I doubt we've ever gotten any of our Thanksgiving meals completely "right." Do think, though, that we should be close...and more importantly perhaps, that it'll taste really good!Of course, what really matters about Thanksgiving is reflecting on the blessings of our lives. We tend to lose sight of them, at least I do, but in spite of the challenges (or perhaps because of them), I have much to be thankful for, especially for having Beloved and the Wee Pirate as part of my life.That's what Sweetwater is up to this year, what are y'all doing for the holiday?
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Two years ago I convinced my mother-in-law to make our multi-family Thanksgiving dinner a 100 percent all local Thanksgiving dinner. Okay, so in the end there were perhaps a couple things... (think olive oil and salt) that weren't local, but mostly it was an amazing success. I even went so far as to read what I had hoped was an inspiring passage from Barbara Kingsolver on the beauty and meaning within an all local Thanksgiving. We benefited from having family my in-laws had to visit in New Jersey during peak cranberry season. They brought a bunch back with them. I saved blueberries from spring, found local pecans, roasted and pureed my farmer's market pumpkin for the pies. We had everything including seafood, a heritage breed turkey, wine, my father-in-laws homebrew, and a cornbread stuffing using cornmeal from the Ashland mill. Two years ago it was harder to get stuff this late in the season and we were all impressed by the bounty that lay before us that night. Since then we've relaxed the rules to suit the larger family, but a large part of the meal remains local.
The story of Tim Beatly and his student's is filled with useful information and plenty of "food for thought," and his is just one of four stories from yesterday's broadcast. Listen to the broadcast Here.
Your next opportunity is this Tuesday Night at the Byrd House Market.
Here is Agriberry's current market schedule...
Tuesdays: Byrd House Market 3:30-6:00
Wednesdays: St. Stephen's Market 4:00-7:00
Whole Foods Market 4:00-7:00
Thursdays: 17th st. Farmers Market 9:00-1:00
In addition, the Agriberry CSA is now taking new members. Visit agriberry.com for more information.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
You are Invited to Our Second Annual"Day to Give Thanks for Udders"Saturday, November 21, 2009 Rain or Shine1:00 to 4:00 PMAvery's Branch Farms16923 Genito RdAmelia, VA 23002~ Farm Tours~ Hay Rides~ Meet the Cows, Pigs, and Chickens~ Hot Cider and Fresh Cookies~ Showing of "Food Inc." Movie at 2 PM~ Lunch Offered by our Mennonite friends at Countryside Shoppe Next DoorBring your cooler to pick up your fresh turkey and stock your freezer for the winter!We hope to see you!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
This month on Virginia this Morning, we are highlighting some of the vegetables which ripen more fully after a frost, like roots veggies, kale, persimmons and brussles sprouts. The show airs on Monday, November 16 at 9:00 am. To change things up a bit, we asked our friends and readers for some of their favorite cold weather recipes using these ingredients, and got some real treasures! Enjoy!
Sallie sent her mom's recipe:
Happy's Kale and Potato Soup with Red Chili
This is one of my favorite soups and has endless variations- it can be vegan or vegetarian or done with a chicken broth and sliced kaelbosa for the dedicated meat eater.
Here is the recipe in Mom's words: A very satisfying winter soup!
1 bunch of kale
3 tablespoons olive oil
About 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
Course Salt and Fresh Ground pepper to taste
Fill a large bowl with cold water. Submerge the sprouts and then remove from the water. Remove the individual leaves by cutting off the bottom of the sprout. The outer most two or four leaves will fall of or be easily removed. Keep repeating this process, slicing a little off the bottom, removing the loosened leaves until you are left with the yellowish core. Discard the core. Rinse the lose leaves once more and set aside.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
It all started innocently enough, with Erin asking me to contribute something for the blog from time to time. Of course I agreed...then she suggested I introduce myself.Oh dear.Remember when we were kids, and the teacher would start off the year by having you say your name and a little bit about yourself? Am I the only person whose mind immediately went blank at that moment??? I mean, I'll tell you anything (just about), but what would you like to know?Soooooo....what to say....Hi. I'm Jerry Veneziano, and like most people, I play many roles in this life. The most important being Husband to Heather, and Dad to Morgan (aka The Wee Pirate). I'm also a blacksmith, sculptor, student and (the reason I'm here) farmer. Heather and I own and operate Sweetwater Farm, LLC, a small mixed vegetable and herb farm in the megalopolis of Apple Grove (Louisa county). Sweetwater sits on just over 6 acres, with just under 3 either currently in or soon to be under cultivation. We're still getting started at this, and learning as we go. Even though growing isn't new to us (I've been working in family gardens since I was 3; Beloved is professional horticulturist), growing for market does seem to have a few twists of its own. And as exhausting and frustrating as it can be at times, I'm loving it.One of the crops I tend to focus on here at the farm are peppers, sweet and hot. The sweet ones sell better, but the hot ones are just so fun! Yes, we're the ones who provided young Ms. Wright with the Ghost pepper (bhut jolokia): unlike her, I've actually tried it. It's not that bad! My day job coworker, Dave, used a Sweetwater Ghost in a batch of chili; while you definitely can't miss the heat, it wasn't overwhelming or even painful. The key, as in so many things, seems to be moderation. He only used about a third of the pepper. Don't be afraid, it is a friendly Ghost!Anyway, nice to meet you, and I'm looking forward to talking with you some more!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Virginia Food System CouncilCollaborating to Strengthen Virginia’s Food System from Farm To TableVIRGINIA FOOD SYSTEM COUNCIL ESTABLISHEDCollaborating to Strengthen Virginia’s Food System from Farm to TableA robust local food supply that is affordable and accessible to all Virginians is an important issue for community health and security. Collaboration and dedication to improving local food supply will strengthen Virginia’s overall food system as well as foster job creation, accelerate new farm, food, and community initiatives, and further the economic recovery and revitalization of Virginia communities.The need for such collaboration as a statewide council became evident at the 2007 Virginia Food Security Summit convened by the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech as it focused on local and regional food availability and accessibility. Tanya Denckla Cobb of the University of Virginia’s Institute of Environmental Negotiation and Matt Benson and Eric Bendfeldt of Virginia Cooperative Extension worked with a resulting working group of key stakeholders and foundational organizations to coordinate and establish the Virginia Food System Council, which was formally incorporated in 2009. The Council’s purpose is to strengthen Virginia’s food system from farm to table with an emphasis on access to local food, successful linkages between food producers and consumers, and a healthy, viable future for Virginia’s farmers and farmland.“The Council is bringing together a broad range of parties from both private and public sector interested in food related issues that haven’t been at the same table before,” explains Katherine Smith of the Virginia Association of Biological Farming. “The Council will identify where the gaps and needs are and collaborate to bring all segments of the food system together in synergy.”Goals of the Virginia Food System Council include:Expanding and strengthening Virginia’s local food systemEducating and communicating to the public and key stakeholders a sustainable food system's impact on health, economic development, natural resources, and social well-beingIdentifying barriers to and opportunities for improving the local, regional, and state food systemMaking policy recommendations and implementing strategies to improve the availability and accessibility of healthy, nutritious foods for all Virginians.By pursuing these goals, the Virginia Food System Council will be helping to support agriculture and food-based economic development for revitalizing rural Virginia and low-income urban neighborhoods; improve Virginia’s food security through increased local and regional food supply and distribution chains; reduce the high public health cost of obesity; support and encourage the development of new economic networks, small businesses, and industry for processing, storing, and distributing locally-grown Virginia products to Virginians.
Monday, November 9, 2009
The Cannery is open to anyone during harvest season starting in July, August, October, so it’s closed now. Non-Hanover residents pay a slightly higher fee. Here’s the FAQ link.
Rose Jenning's Stew (Mrs. Jennings is one of the ladies who works at the cannery)10 lbs chicken (cook, defat, take off the bone: cook as for broth & use broth in this recipe)10 lbs beef (cooked, cooled & cut up)country ham bone or ham hocks6 lbs onions (cooked in fry pan with 1 lb butter: add chicken meat from broth)2 bunches celery, chopped5 quarts corn (home canned or frozen if possible)5 quarts limas (home frozen)3 lbs carrots, peeled & cut up2 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cut up5 quarts EACH: tomatoes, tomato juice20 lbs potatoes--peel or not, as you like, cut up at home & frozen1 gallon waterThese I don't add, but are in the recipe:44 oz bottle ketchup1 regular bottle Heinz 57 sauceThese I do add:1/3 bottle Worchestershire sauce1/4 lb black pepper3/4 lb salt (I use a lot less)1 lb sugar (I use less)2 tblsp TabascoThyme, Sage as you likeIt's best to do as much prep as you can before going to the cannery: for one thing, it's a lot of stuff and takes a long time to prep, for another, there's no provision for cooking the chicken and beef there. You put everything in a big kettle they have and simmer until ready, then it gets canned & processed. Takes about 6 hours and makes about 40 cans.We make this about every other year.The great thing about canning: it makes a LOT of stuff. By going to the cannery you get help from the home economist there, who makes sure you don't make big mistakes and monitors your product and the canning process so it's safe. These ladies have been doing this for a long time and they know a lot! The other thing about canning is you control fat, salt, and sugar content.Other things we can and the most successful: tomatoes, apple sauce (we like it really thick and spicy). We also canned tomato soup: very tastyGoing to the cannery takes up a whole day, but you've got all these lovely cans to pull out in the winter. Sometimes tomato canning in August is rough, but, then, it's not in your own kitchen!Tomato Soup1/2 bushel tomatoes1 bunch celery1 cup cornstarch1 cup butter or margarine2-3 lbs onions2 tblsp parsley flakes (or 4 fresh)red pepper flakes to taste2 cups sugar (I used one)1/2 cup salt (I did it to taste: probably much less)Also good to add: the end of the basilQuarter tomatoes and cook together with onions, celery, parsley, red pepper flakes. Put this mixture through the juicer. Add cornstarch, sugar, salt & butter, put in a large kettle and bring to a boil. Adjust seasonings. Add basil at this point if using. Put into cans or jars, seal and process.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
A basement should be an ideal spot for winter warmth, and weekly access for feeding. I don't have a basement. So for all but the very coldest of nights (at which time they go in my kitchen against my husbands objections) mine have done just fine in our shed with a blanket wrapped around the base so as to not cover the air holes. I use a light colored plastic bin so that on most sunny winter days I can set the bin outside in the sun to absorb warmth without cooking the little guys before they go back into the shed for the night.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
A few months ago the owner was able to open up her own shop on Lakeside Avenue just across from the site of the Lakeside farmers market. If you haven't checked it out stop in at the upcoming Lakeside holiday shoppers event listed at the bottom of this post. Everyone I know who has attended this Lakeside event in the past couple years has had a really nice time. With samples sure to be handed out, this event may be a great time to try some of the more adventurous creations.
Here are the updates from Chocolate Cravings...
This will be the last regular season market until the holiday markets.
The dates for the market are:
Saturday, November 21 8:30 - 12:30
Saturday, November 28 8:30 - 12:30
Saturday, December 12 8:30 - 12:30
Chocolate Cravings will be at all of the holiday markets and will be taking orders for the holidays for delivery before Christmas.
Come by for a selection of barks, etc. If you are looking for something in particular, please call or email me at least a day in advance so I will have it for you.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
October 29 - 31, 2009
Hearty Pasta Fagioli with Smoked Ham, Heirloom Beans & Pumpkin on Grilled Parmesan Crostini
MOUNT VERNON FARM / INDIAN HARVEST / COLLEGE RUN FARM / THE FLOUR GARDEN
Seasonal Mixed Greens with Roasted Seasonal Squash, Farm Fresh picked Apples, Toasted Walnuts & Cinnamon Honey Vinaigrette
MANAKINTOWNE SPECIALTY GROWERS / COLLEGE RUN FARM / THE BLANTON GARDEN / CREEK SIDE FARM / GOLDEN ANGEL’S APIARY
Roasted autumn pumpkin and herb bisque
COLLEGE RUN FARM / EDIBLE GARDEN
Teriyaki Glazed Grilled Bison Short Ribs with Braised Baby Bok Choy
WILD T BISON FARM / CASSELMOUNT FARM
Chili Pepper rubbed Pan Seared French Cut Breast of Chicken with a Spicy Tomatillo Salsa
TUCKAHOE PLANTATION / DODD’S FARM, EDIBLE GARDEN
Spanish Style Braised Pork Roast with Roasted Jalapeno Peppers, Tomato, Onion & Saffron Rice
CCL FARM / DODD’S FARM / THE BLANTON GARDEN,
Pan seared Maryland Style Lump Crab Cake & Sautéed Jumbo Shrimp combo with a Lemon & Herb White Wine Butter Sauce
YELLOW UMBRELLA / EDIBLE GARDEN
Tuscan Style Butternut Squash, Grape Tomato, Eggplant & Faro Stew with Fresh Baked Garlic Bread
THE BLANTON GARDEN / DODD’S FARM / CASSELMOUNT FARM / THE FLOUR GARDEN
Grilled ½ lb Fresh Ground Pork Burger with Sliced Fennel, Roasted Marconi Peppers, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese & Roasted Garlic Aioli
AULT’S FAMILY FARM / THE BLANTON GARDEN / MARCH GARDEN / THE FLOUR GARDEN
Be sure not to miss Chef Ed’s Fresh Home Baked Desserts
OCTOBER LUNCH MENU
Seasonal Mixed Greens with Roasted Butternut Squash, Candied Pecans, Sliced Fresh Ham & a Maple Thyme Vinaigrette
MANAKINTOWNE SPECIALTY GROWERS / THE BLANTON GARDEN / BROOKVIEW FARM / EDIBLE GARDEN
BAKED FRITTATA of the Day with Dressed Greens
SOUP of the Day
SANDWICHES & ENTREES
Pan Seared Pork Bratwurst Burger with Lettuce Guinness Beer Braised Onions & Brie Cheese on a Seeded Soft Roll
AULT’S FAMILY FARM / MANAKINTOWNE SPECIALTY GROWERS / THE FLOUR GARDEN
Open Faced Sliced Bison Pot Roast with Roasted Carrots, Turnips, Potato & Cabernet infused Brown Gravy on Peasant Bread
WILD’T’ BISON FARM / MARCH GARDEN / THE BLANTON GARDEN / THE FLOUR GARDEN / EDIBLE GARDEN
Lemon Rosemary Grilled Chicken with Roasted Apples, White Cheddar Cheese, Spinach & Herb Aioli on Fresh Baked Foccicia
TUCKAHOE PLANTATION / CREEKSIDE FARM / EDIBLE GARDEN / THE FLOUR GARDEN
Southwestern Wrap with Black Beans, Saffron Rice, Roasted Onions, Sautéed Peppers, Lettuce, Monterey Jack Cheese & Chipotle Aioli
THE BLANTON GARDEN / EDIBLE GARDEN / MANAKINTOWNE SPECIALTY GROWERS
Roasted Portobello Mushroom, Thyme infused Sautéed Onions, Swiss Cheese, Spinach & Roasted Shallot Aioli on a Soft Roll
THE FLOUR GARDEN / EDIBLE GARDEN
Chunky Natural Peanut Butter Surprise with Apples, Raisins & Chocolate Chips on Soft White Bread
CREEK SIDE FARM / THE FLOUR GARDEN
Sunday Brunch at Edible Garden
11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Complimentary Selection of Homemade Mini Muffins, Crumb Cake Squares & Biscotti
ENTREES ($12 - $18)
Cinnamon Spiced Brioche French Toast stuffed with Mascarpone Cheese & Virginia Bacon with Maple Butter & Brown Sugar Drizzle
2 Toasted French Baguette Crostini topped with a Fried Egg, Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Hydroponic Tomato, Basil & Reduced Sweetened Balsamic Vinegar
2 Large Fresh Eggs Any Style served with Sage infused Breakfast Sausage & a Sweet Potato & Onion Hash
Grilled 1/3 lb Burger of the Day topped with Bacon, Sautéed Onion, Cheddar Cheese & a Fried Egg on a Fresh Baked Bun & a side of Roasted Potato
Chocolate Chip Silver Dollar Buttermilk Pancakes with a Vanilla Bean English Cream & a side of Sage infused Breakfast Sausage
Quiche of the Day served with Seasonal Mixed Greens tossed with Maple Walnut Vinaigrette & Grilled Multigrain Toast
Chef’s Choice Dessert of the Day with Rostov’s Fresh Brewed Coffee or Tea
INGREDIENTS SOURCED LOCALLY FROM:
AULT’S FAMILY FARM / BROOKVIEW FARM / SHIRE FARM / WILD‘T’ BISON FARM / SHENANDOAH FARMS / MOUNT VERNON FARM / DEB-LYN FARM / FLOUR GARDEN / MANIKINTOWN GROWERS