Acorn Squash - Big Patch Farm's Amish Community Growers, Platteville, WI and Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WO
Russet Potatoes - Igl Farms, Antigo, WI
Shallots - Harmony Valley Farm, Viroqua, WI
Good evening and Happy New Year!
We hope you and your family are staying warm and healthy to the start of 2022. Our family enjoyed a quiet, relaxing holiday season that recharged us for the winter harvest for you this week.
Before we harvest, we always walk the fields previewing the crops to troubleshoot issues, consider harvest timing, and anticipate yields. The wintertime is a little different. In the winter, we check everything -- the hoophouses, cold storage spaces, and frozen storage. We keep an eye on how crops are stored and if temperatures or moisture levels need adjusting. Winter growing and storage is about consistent supervision, planning for weather, and finding just the right moment to harvest. This is not unlike other seasons, rather everything happens at a slower, more methodical pace...especially with more clothes on!
So far, our winter greens are looking and tasting delicious. The deep green color that comes from winter sunlight is developing and the flavor is extremely sweet (more on this below). This week, members are receiving our winter kale, as the spinach and salad mix will benefit from a bit more time to grow. We plan to harvest these greens in two weeks for your next winter share.
Our winter break allowed us to spend some extra time in the kitchen, as our boys enjoy family cooking competitions. Perhaps they've watched a few too many cooking shows or caught wind of my competitive streak? I'm just thrilled we're in the kitchen, experimenting together! Our recent competition of "what you can make with leftovers?" was particularly fun, as Owen realized that you can put an egg on just about anything, including his mashed potato waffle.
As you enjoy several of the "lasts" of the storage season -- winter squash, rutabaga, shallots -- we look forward to sharing more "firsts" -- frozen veggies, frozen fruit, fresh spinach -- with you this winter. Enjoy this week's shares!
Warmly, Jeff, Jen, and the Prairie Wind Farm Team
Notes from the Farm Kitchen
This share's winter kale is quite a bit different than our field-grown kales. Like the last share's salad mix, we call this a "winter" kale because it's grown in our hoophouse so it's been through several chilly nights already. This cycle of freezing and thawing brings an amazing sweetness to the leaves. You may also notice the leaves are quite tender, which is a result of being grown undercover, so the cooking time is nearly half of the normal cooking time. We ate kale last night with plenty of fresh garlic, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and salt.
Rutabagas are creamy and starchy with pale yellow flesh. Rutabagas are rich in vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium, and antioxidant compounds. They work well for mashing, roasting, and braising. We like to use in place of potatoes or combine with potatoes for a mashed rutabaga and potato dish. Rutabagas also store extremely well when wrapped in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
Seasonal Recipes in the Farm Kitchen
Carrot, Ginger and Apple Muffins 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 cup all purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 tablespoon cinnamon 2 eggs 1 tablespoon finely minced ginger ½ cup grapeseed oil ½ cup maple syrup + 1 1/2 tablespoon 1 cup Greek yogurt 1 cup shredded carrots 1 cup diced apple 2 handfuls pepitas
Pre-heat oven to 350F, and set rack to the center of the over. Whisk together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In another bowl, combine oil, eggs, vanilla, ginger, and greek yogurt and mix until smooth, then add in the diced apples and shredded carrots. Be sure to squeeze out excess water from carrots if needed. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix with a spoon or spatula until just combined. Be sure to not over mix the batter. Then, divide batter evenly amongst 12 cupcake liners. Sprinkle with pepitas to decorate. Leave in tray for a few minutes, and then transfer to a cooling rack (adapted from Food52.com)
Parmesan-Roasted Rutabaga & Potatoes 3 pounds rutabaga and potatoes, quartered 1 T chopped garlic 1/3 cup olive oil salt and freshly ground pepper 4 ounces grated Parmesan
Place a rack in upper third of oven; preheat to 400°F. Toss potatoes, garlic and oil in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Place potatoes and rutabagas on a rimmed baking sheet; reserve bowl. Roast until golden brown and cooked through, 30–35 minutes. Transfer to bowl; toss with Parmesan. Return potatoes and rutabagas to rack and roast until Parmesan is brown and crisp, 10–12 minutes.