Archive for December, 2009

Winter Box #5 How’d that Thanksgiving go?

What’s in the box?

collard greens





brussel sprouts 

acorn squash


Collard Greens are super healthy like all the other greens.  They are also the best during the colder times of year.  They may not look like much, but they are seriously delicious.  They are pretty hearty, so give them a little longer to cook than most other greens.  During our trip to Louisiana, we were really impressed to see that most people in the farmers market were carrying HUGE bunches of greens.  This is how many of those greens get cooked:

Put a ham hock or a piece of salt pork into a pot and add some water (enough to about cover).  While it’s cooking, wash the collards and remove the large stems.  Chop em up.  After the ham hock has cooked about 30 min, add the collards.  Cook for about another half hour until the greens are very tender.  While it’s cooking, make some corn bread. The greens will be pretty wet when they are done and the juice from the cooking is so good and full of nutrition, you will really want to be able to sop it up.  Add a little salt at the end of cooking the greens if they need it. If eating the collards doesn’t seem good to you, apparently hanging a leaf over your door will ward off evil spirits and putting a leaf on your forehead will cure a headache.  

If you like your greens a little crunchier or the idea of a ham hock sounds unhealthy, try cooking an onion in olive oil until it’s translucent.  Add the washed, stemmed, and chopped collards to the onions and cook with a little salt, butter, and about a tablespoon of maple syrup until the collards are bright green and wilted.  Done!

Chocolate Beet Cake

this recipe is from the Farmer John Cookbook.  It’s so good that once when I made it a squirrel broke into the house and stole it.

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly coat a 10 cup bunt pan with oil and dust with flour.

put some water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Put 4 oz unsweetened chocolate and 1/4 cup oil in a bowl and set it on the pot (instant double boiler!).  Heat till the chocolate melts and remove from heat and stir til combined.  

Combine 3 eggs and 1 3/4 cup sugar in a bowl and beat till fluffy.  Slowly beat in 3/4 cup oil, the chocolate, 2 cups shredded beets, and 1 Tbs. vanilla.  Sift 1 1/2 cup unbleached four, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 2 tsp. baking soda, and 1/4 tsp salt. Stir the dry into the wet and pour into battered pan.  Bake about 45 min.  Remove the cake from the pan after it’s cooled a little.  Let it cool the rest of the way then sprinkle it with powdered sugar.  Now you can trick your kids into eating beets.

  Beet and Carrot Salad with Ginger Vinaigrette

Puree 1/4 cup onion, 2 Tbs. minced ginger, 1 clove garlic, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 1 Tbs soy sauce, 1 tsp toasted sesame oil, and 1/2 tsp (or more) Sriracha or Tabasco.  Add 1/2 cup of olive oil slowly with the blender motor running until smooth.  Toss 4 cups shredded carrots with 1/2 of the dressing.  In a different bowl toss 4 cups shredded beets with the other half of dressing.  Serve next to each other with a leafy green as a garnish.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

Preheat oven to 400.  Remove sprouts from stalk and give them a rinse.  Spread them in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil.  Combine 1 1/2 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar, 1 Tbs maple syrup, 1 Tbs red wine vinegar, 1 minced garlic clove and 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard.  Pour over the sprouts.  Put a little water in the bottom of the baking dish.  Bake sprouts 30 to 45 min or till tender-firm.  

On the farm

Well, we had a really nice Thanksgiving with family in south Louisiana.  On our trip we ate shrimp and grits, some oysters, po-boys, alligator sausage, beignets.  We chewed on some sugar cane and we forgot our muffelatta in my brother’s fridge (can you mail that up to us, Ken?).  

Muffuletta by Ted Mineo

Muffuletta painting by my friend from highschool, Ted Mineo.


On Thanksgiving we enjoyed an infa-red fried turkey which was really good!  As well as standards like green beans and bacon, mashed potato, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and ham.  It was satsuma season so we ate lots of those little guys (they are a type of mandarin orange) and fresh pecans.  We were not hungry even once during the trip because we kept eating the whole time.  The weather was a nice 78 degrees and we spent all the time outside that we could.  It made me really happy that my family lives in the south… Now if we could just get some family in Mexico, Greece, Spain, India, Thailand…. But we were happy to come back and give our digestion a break.  

Josh and Rama with the head cheese project


It was nice to see some snow when we got back.  Our fingers were very cold as we made bunches of collards this week.  We butchered a pig and have been enjoying organ meats and blood sausage.  The head cheese was a big much, but at least we made it and tasted it (embracing the snout to tail philosophy).  It’s always nice to come home after vacation and settle back into the schedule and enjoy the change of seasons.  When we were on our trip we thought about the life we have here and how very thankful we are for our members that believe in small family farms, cooking, and local foods.  Thank You!  Thank you also to Evan and the neighbors for doing chores whilst we were gone!  It’s not easy to leave a farm for longer than a day.  I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving and that you are ready for the cold snap we are about to have.  We’ve enjoyed a pretty warm fall, but things are really getting chilly really quick!  Be well and keep warm!

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