Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Week 17 CSA

Hello all,
We love hearing all of your wonderful food and farm stories. Thanks for sharing- nice stories with good food, family, and friends!

Some business
• Please return your boxes! Thank you for all the returned egg cartons and tomato pints
• We are taking deposits for pork and lamb packages. If you aren’t sure now, there will be another chance in December.
• Don’t forget the CSA day on Saturday September 25 from 4-6:30pm. Please include the number of people you expect in your party in your RSVP. We look forward to a glorious fall afternoon at the farm.

Sometimes while farming we try things that we really don’t know if they will work or not. On Monday we tried combining our younger pigs with the big ones. The younger pigs have spent the last 6 weeks or so in a corral with a small run on it. We were moving them by herding them to the pig area in the woods. Unfortunately, they had become very comfortable with their space and were reluctant to leave their home. Eventually we had to shut them out of their corral and shove them far enough away that they began to explore instead of trying to return. Of course there was one stubborn one that I had to pick up and carry about 20 feet through briar infested woods to get her moving.
Once they were on the road through the woods the little group of seven moved along pretty well. As soon as the big pigs noticed the little ones walking toward them through the woods they leapt to their feet and ran to their fence snorting, “barking” and sniffing. The little pigs, surprisingly enough were not particularly intimidated. I say surprising because the labels “little” and “big” pigs are no exaggeration here. As I mentioned the little ones are still pick-up-able, about 90 lbs, albeit not very comfortably. The big pigs however, are approaching 300 pounds. The top of their back easily come up to mid-thigh on me. The little pigs can literally run between the legs of the big ones.
Once the little ones were in the fence with the big ones the curiosity of the large pigs turned into bullying. If the seven little ones stayed together over in one corner, they would be mostly left alone. But should they try to venture out the big ones would sneak up on them and start chasing trying to get a good bite out of the little ones ears. This culminated in all of the little pigs breaking out of the fence and having a little pig party in the woods. We thought we’d try it out- some pig herds can be mixed ages, but our big pigs don’t enjoy sharing. Now the little ones have their own paddock next to the big pigs. We hope they can sort out their differences across the fence and one day live in harmony. For now they enjoy being neighbors.

Week 17 box

Cilantro- roasted peppers (poblanos) and cilantro with rice makes a great Mexican rice

Peppers- lots of peppers this week- The peppers aren’t ripening anymore with the cool nights, so we are picking big ones and letting little ones grow before frost!
Sweet bell peppers- roast these peppers for bistro-style sandwiches, dips, steaks

Poblano peppers
- sweet and rich flavor, medium spicy, best flavor roasted
This person has an amazing collection of poblano recipes that I love: http://poblanorecipes.blogspot.com/#111335279721479951

Corno di Torro
- sweet Italian heirloom pepper, great for frying or roasting

Feel free to freeze them! How about halving and freezing them ? (takes up less room in your freezer) or better yet, chop roughly and freeze.
Make your own roasted peppers: Roasting peppers is simple. You may roast chopped peppers or char and blacken the entire chile or pepper with intense heat or direct flame. That means you can roast a poblano, chile, pepper, jalepeno or anything else with a gas grill, charcoal grill, gas stove range, electric or gas broiler.
Chop roughly into pieces , place on a baking sheet, and roast at 350 F for about 20-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. The longer they cook, the more the peppers will caramelize. Make sure to use a “freezer” bag, not storage bag if freezing the peppers.
Here’s a quick way to knock out a batch of whole roasted peppers. Place the peppers or chiles with stems under a very hot grill or put the peppers or chiles on a baking sheet under a preheated broiler until the skin blisters slightly and is black in spots, about 5 minutes on each of two sides. Place in a large bowl with a towel over it until cool enough to handle; this steams the skin off. Peel most of the skin off. Don’t rinse the flavor away! Use a paper towel if needed! The pepper can then be used for days in many dishes. Or freeze for later.

Rustic Ciabatta Pizza

This late summer rustic pizza owes its style to the rich flavors of late summer, the days the vegetables have spent soaking up the sun- their personality blends so well with ciabatta bread and olive oil.
3-4 small ciabatta loaves or 1 large loaf
Shredded mozzarella or feta
Olive oil
Sea salt
***the ratio of the vegetables depends on everyone’s personal tastes***
Cut eggplant into thin rounds or coins and spread very thinly across a baking pan. Brush lightly with olive oil. Chop peppers roughly into pieces and spread across a baking pan. Place both pans into a 350 F oven for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, slice the tomato and sprinkle with sea salt. Chop the basil. Slice ciabatta in half and brush with olive oil. Layer eggplant, pepper, tomato, basil on ciabatta halves. Top with cheese and basil and bake for 12 minutes.

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