ATHENS HILLS WINTER CSA:
Well, it turns out that I spoke too soon. Last week I thought we might be coming out of our frigid spell, but it seems as if we are quickly returning to it by the looks of the forecast for this week. As a result of the cold temperatures of two weeks ago, our poor salad mix lettuces have practically quit growing and we ended up having more casualties than we originally thought. Since winter is such a tough time of year for these plants, we do try and have a few successive plantings going so that all is not a total loss. Unfortunately, this loss means that there will not be salad mix in your shares this week. In fact, the shares are a little slim and we will make it up to everyone with a somewhat larger share later in the season when things are growing at a more consistent rate. It can't hurt that the days are getting noticeably longer either, so cross your fingers and maybe we will get through this cold week with less damage than last time.
I just put some new photos on our blog, so if you are curious about what the farm looks like in the winter, check it out. I hope to post more this week, including some of us harvesting so that you can see how we get all of those lovely veggies to your table from our greenhouses.
I want to extend a big thank you to everyone for returning your boxes (and bags if you pick up at Bexley) so consistently. We really appreciate it! Keep up the good work! I hope you have a wonderful week and that you have time to cozy up in your warm homes with a good book or magazine and some great food!
**PS: If you are not going to use them right away, please store your potatoes in a paper bag in the fridge to extend their shelf life.
(If you have questions about any of these veggies, email me and I will do my best to get back to you right away with storage ideas, serving suggestions, etc.)
Micromix Microgreens (We grow an array of tiny little nutritious greens and this week you get to sample some of your own. Included in the mix are our sunflower, buckwheat, radish, cabbage & kogane (pac choi) micros. They make a delicious salad of their own, but would work great on sandwiches, egg dishes, etc.)
Kale (What a wonderful and nutritious green this is! Sauté with some garlic and you have a simple and tasty filling for a quesadilla. Check out the blog for a wonderful & simple way to prepare these, which was submitted by one of your fellow members.)
Tatsoi (I love this Asian green! In fact some of you may know just how good it is raw, not to mention its tastiness cooked. Enjoy trying your own takes on this great green.)
Potatoes (Yummy, yummy! These are always a fantastic treat, especially on a cold winter's evening like we're expecting this week. These potatoes make a fabulous soup especially when you mix in some sautéed greens--tatsoi is wonderful in soups.**)
Canned Heirloom Tomatoes (Yes, that's right, what you may be missing most from the summer season is right here in your share this week. We toiled in our kitchen on the hottest of summer days to can these up for what we anticipated would be a grand winter treat. I hope you think they're as fabulous as we do!)
A Note from Becky:
I wanted to take a little space here to thank all of you for your patience and understanding as we weathered one of the worst storms we have experienced at the farm since the -30 degree temperatures of the mid-nineties. There is really nothing quite like these times to remind us that control of our lives is an ever-fleeting illusion. Perseverance, patience, commitment, faith, endurance, love – these are the qualities that we strive to maintain daily as we move through the world. Thanks for being a part of our farm community.
We are looking forward to the summer, already planning for the bounty. Look for our newest additions for the summer CSA cycle in the near future, as we strive to bring you more of the goodness of the rural countryside of southeastern Ohio.
Peace to all! Becky
Becky’s Quick Tomato Sauce
Put iron skillet with about 3-4 Tbs. olive oil on stove at medium heat. Chop 1 medium to large onion and begin sauté. Add lots of fresh chopped garlic (to taste) or garlic powder and stir. Add I qt. of tomatoes. Add at least one tsp. salt, then pepper (to taste). Fill palm of hand with dried basil (sweet or lemon works great), crush and add. Fill palm half way with oregano, crush and add. Stir. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Have a taste and adjust spices/herbs. Add a little (1 Tbl) sugar of any kind if necessary. Pour over pasta, meat, etc. Enjoy! ENJOYENJOY!
Recipe: Kale-Gruyere Gateau De Crepes (Serves 6) (For our Full Share & Athens members, this may look familiar. I just thought it was so good that I wanted to share it with our Columbus Half Share folks too.)
For the crepes...
1 ¾ C. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. coarse salt
2 C. whole milk, room temperature, plus
more if needed
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 ½ oz. (5 Tbs.) unsalted butter, melted
plus more for skillet
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together milk and eggs in a medium bowl. Pour milk mixture into flour mixture, whisking to combine. Whisk in butter. Strain mixture into a medium bowl, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 day). Batter should be the consistency of heavy cream; add more milk if needed.
Heat an 8- or 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat, and brush with butter. Ladle or pour 3 tablespoons batter (for small crepes) or 1/3 cup batter (for large crepes) into pan, turning and tilting skillet to coat bottom evenly with batter. Cook until top of crepe appears set, bottom is firm and golden brown in spots, and center is lifted by pockets of air, about 1 minute. Run a spatula around edge of crepe to loosen. Slip spatula under crepe, and gently flip in one swift gesture. (If it doesn't land quite right, that's okay; use the spatula to unfold or rearrange it.) Cook until bottom is firm and golden brown in spots, about 45 seconds. Transfer to a plate, and cover. (The first one will not be your finest.) Repeat with remaining batter, brushing pan lightly with butter as needed (every 2 to 3 crepes). Serve immediately.
For the béchamel...
½ medium onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter, plus more
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 ½ C. whole milk
1 ¼ C. grated Gruyere cheese (4 oz.)
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
For the assembly...
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 Tbs.)
5 oz. kale (1/2 bunch)
pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lemon, for squeezing
12 small crepes
Make the béchamel: Place onion and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, and cook until onion is translucent and softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour, and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk in a slow, steady stream. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup Gruyere, and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat, add nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble: Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add spinach, and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add red-pepper flakes, and season with slat, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. Let cool slightly. Squeeze out any excess liquid, and coarsely chop.
Preheat oven to 450F. Reserve 2 tablespoons of béchamel. Mix remaining béchamel and spinach in a medium bowl. Butter a rimmed baking sheet. Place 1 crepe on center of sheet, and top with 3 tablespoons spinach mixture, spreading evenly. Top with another crepe, then 3 tablespoons spinach mixture. Repeat with remaining crepes and spinach mixture, ending with a crepe. Spread reserved béchamel on top, and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup cheese. Bake until cheese melts and turns golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool slightly, then transfer gateau de crepes to a platter. Cut into wedges, and serve warm.
(Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart Living, February, 2009.)