ATHENS HILLS WINTER CSA:
What a gorgeous weekend we had here, and I hope you all had a chance to go outside and enjoy it at least for a little while. My husband and I did quite a bit of hiking over the past two days and what I wanted most when we got home each day (besides a cup of hot chocolate) was a warm bowl of soup and some crusty bread. Perhaps this craving was spurred on by two great soup recipes I received via email late last week. I’ve included the first one here in this week’s newsletter, and will highlight the other next week. Combine the soup with the rutabaga recipe here and you could have a lovely, satisfying mid-winter meal on your table in an hour or so.
Last week I began our Green Edge Gardens profiles with Kip and Becky Rondy, the owners of Green Edge. This week I’ve asked our illustrious Farm Manager Dan Kneier to share a little bit about himself with all of you. Please have a look at the back of the newsletter for his brief autobiography. I hope you all enjoy getting to know all of us over the next couple of weeks.
PS: If you have questions, concerns, suggestions, etc. for any of us please feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to get back to you as soon as we can.
1 Quart Jar Heirloom Tomatoes (We spent a couple of hot late summer days in the kitchen canning these up for this winter’s CSA; we hope you enjoy this little taste of the warm months).
6 oz. Micro Mix
8 oz. Mushrooms (pickers' choice of our farm-grown shiitake, oyster or trumpet mushrooms.)
1 bunch of Pac Choi (similar to our delicious Tatsoi, this veggie is related to Bok Choi and is also a member of the cabbage family. Some wonderful complimentary flavors to this great Chinese veggie are lemon juice, peanut oil, sesame oil, soy sauce or tamari, butter, coconut milk, basil, chili powder, cilantro, coriander, rosemary and tarragon. Cook as you would any of our other delicious greens.)
12oz. Spinach (many of you are very familiar with this gem, so I will just suggest that to get the best out of it, blanch it, steam it, or sauté it only briefly if you are going to cook it at all. The bright green color is what you want, so enjoy rediscovering this beauty.)
3lbs. Rutabaga (a wonderful winter root vegetable that is often used interchangeably with turnips. However, these hearty veggies are sweeter and are a great substitute to mashed potatoes. Chop and boil to do so, or you can roast or braise the rutabagas. They are even great julienned small and added to your favorite salad raw. Some flavors that go well with this veggie are honey, raisins, allspice, cumin, dill, garlic, mustard, butter, cream cheese, lemon juice & olive oil.)
Recipe: Boiled Rutabaga with Lemon-Parsley Butter (Serves 4)
2 medium rutabagas, pared and diced
½ tsp. salt
…for the butter
3 Tbs. melted butter
½-1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 ½ tsp. fresh parsley chopped, or ½ tsp. dried
In a four-quart pot, boil water. Drop the rutabaga pieces into the boiling water. Boil uncovered until tender (10-20 minutes). Drain well and sprinkle salt over the rutabagas.
To prepare the butter mixture, combine the lemon juice and parsley with the melted butter and whisk lightly until blended. Adjust lemon juice and parsley to taste and pour over the rutabaga. Toss rutabaga and serve immediately.
(If you so desire, you can also mash the rutabaga adding a little sour cream and nutmeg for a delicious side dish.)
(Recipe courtesy of Joy of Cooking,1997)
To store Rutabagas simply keep in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks if not longer this way.
Recipe: Cream of Mushroom Soup
(Makes about 4 ½ Cups)
2 Tbs. butter
2 C. poultry broth or water
½ C. chopped tender celery
¼ C. sliced onion
2 Tbs. shredded parsley
1 C. white sauce (see recipe below)
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (optional)
3 Tbs. dry white wine (optional)
sour cream or whipped cream
paprika or sprigs of parsley (garnish)
…for white sauce
Melt over low hear 2 Tbs. butter. Add 1 ½ to 2 Tbs. flour and blend into the butter over low heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup milk slowly. Add 1 small onion and ½ small bay leaf. Cook and stir the sauce with a wire whisk or wooden spoon until thickened and smooth. Place in a 350F oven for 20 minutes to cook slowly. When done, strain sauce and season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
…for mushroom soup
In a large skillet, sauté the mushrooms in the butter for a few minutes. In a separate large saucepan or pot, combine the poultry broth or water, celery, onion and parsley. Add the mushrooms to this mixture and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.
Drain the vegetables into a blender, reserving the stock. Blend the vegetables in the blender or put them in a food processor and blend.
Pour the prepared white sauce into another large saucepan or pot, and add the mushroom stock slowly, cook and stir until the soup just reaches a boil over medium heat. Add the blended vegetables and heat almost to boiling, but do NOT boil. Season the soup with salt, paprika, nutmeg & white wine if desired. Serve hot, topped with sour cream or whipped cream, and garnish with paprika or sprigs of parsley. Enjoy!
(Recipe courtesy of Joy of Cooking, 1997.)
Thank you to one of our Athens members for this delicious recommendation. We look forward to receiving more recommendations like this one from all of you!
After several years of “roaming” our beautiful country, I settled in Athens County four and a half years ago. As Farm Manager, I run the day-to-day operations in the fields and greenhouses. I keep tabs on the planting, watering, cultivating, and record-keeping of our delicious produce. And if the farm wasn’t keeping me busy enough, last spring I was married to my beautiful wife Mary, we just bought our first home in the fall, and we are expecting our first child in May. Thanks to our great crew (Claudia, Kate, John, Cale, Penny & Tristan) I’ve been able to get away for remodeling/nest-building projects around our new home over the last month. Mary and I also anxiously await the arrival of our new neighbors, Claudia and Andy, who plan to build a home next door.
Have a wonderful week and don’t forget you can contact us at:
(740) 448-4021 OR
We look forward to hearing from you!