After a busy, warm week at the farm, our farming family decided we needed to take a moment to relax.
While we are extremely fortunate to live surrounded by beautiful trees, prairies and fields, we wanted to visit something totally different.
We headed to Ilinois Beach State Park in Zion. We gave ourselves plenty of time to play, chat, laugh and (in Gavin's case) wade in the chilly Lake Michigan water.
Like many others, our family is now always together -- working, schooling and living in the same location. We are having more conversations about what we do each day and why.
Nearly 15 years ago this October, Jeff and I felt a deep desire to change our lives to focus on the impact that we could make together. We felt if we changed our focus towards serving others through farming and taking a more active role in working with nature, we could teach our children through our actions rather than our words. We wanted our boys to understand the beauty and complexity of the natural world, lessons that our parents and grandparents taught us, and dare to dream about the positive change they could make to better our community.
Taking a moment for stillness allowed us to reflect and take stock. Fifteen years ago, we realized these goals would take us a while to accomplish. We continue to work together towards these goals, as a farming family, and we're grateful to share our journey with you.
Warmly, The Miller Family (Jeff, Jen, Owen & Gavin)
Reserve your Pastured Local Turkey Reserve a local, pasture-raised, organic-fed heritage turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner from our friends at All Grass Farms.
Farmer Cliff raises Broad Breasted Bronze turkeys which are moved to pasture at 3 weeks of age. They are free-range in and around portable shelters with their shelters being moved daily. They are fed certified organic, non-GMO feed mixture from day one with no antibiotics or growth hormones. They are processed at 17-19 weeks for maximum flavor and they are humanely processed at local, family-owned USDA inspected facility.
Weights range from 12-25 lbs. We will do everything we can to provide you with a turkey in your desired weight range. Turkeys are frozen and packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag. Heart, liver, neck, and gizzard included inside each turkey.
$35 deposit per turkey due at time of order. You will be invoiced with your total at $6.50/lb (less your deposit) due upon pickup.
Turkeys will be available for pickup from the Grayslake farm (560 Harris Road, Grayslake IL) on Saturday, November 14 and Sunday, November 15 from 7am to 7pm.
Apple season continues this week with cortland apples. Cortlands are ruby red (pictured on the left) with a snowy white inside, and they are an excellent baking apple. Cortlands were used often in my mom's homemade pink applesauce, a fall favorite from my childhood. They are not known to store well, so use them within the next few weeks for the best flavor and texture.
Salad turnips are back for one more week! As we mentioned last week, Japanese salad turnips are delicious eaten raw or sautéed in a little butter and sprinkled with salt. Turnips are a good source of Vitamin C, and rich in the minerals potassium and calcium. As with all roots (e.g., celery root), make sure you remove the green tops from your turnips so the turnips remain crispy and fresh. Use the green tops as you would other cooking greens, for example, mixed into a soup or sautéed with garlic.
Celery root, also known as celeriac, is a funny-looking but delicious relative of celery. Use a sharp kitchen knife to trim the outside layer from the bulb before chopping it. Because celery root has a mild celery flavor, we use in place of celery, as a roasted vegetable or shredded and combined with apples to make a delicious slaw. Make sure to trim the top off the bulb and the bulb will store for weeks to months in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. We left the celery root tops, which are also edible! They have a strong celery flavor, thought much more fibrous, and are best used as a flavor enhancer to make vegetable stock or within soups.
Seasonal Recipes in the Farm Kitchen
Homemade Pink Applesauce 4 pounds mixed apples (any variety), quartered and cored 2 pounds red apples (Cortland), quartered and cored 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Combine apples, lemon juice, and 1 1/2 cups water in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until apples are completely soft, about 40 minutes.
Pass apples through a medium-mesh sieve or a food mill fitted with the fine disk to remove skins. Applesauce can be stored in a refrigerator up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Creamy Celery Root Soup 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 large shallot, finely chopped 1/4 cup white wine 1 large celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 6 sprigs thyme 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth 1 cup water 1 cup cream Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Melt butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Add shallot; cook, stirring, until soft but not browned, about 6 minutes. Add wine; simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add celery root, thyme sprigs, broth, and water; bring to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, until celery root is soft, about 20 minutes.
Remove from heat, and discard thyme sprigs. Transfer to a food processor; puree until smooth. Return soup to pan; stir in cream. Place over medium heat until heated through. Season with salt and white pepper.