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Jan. 6, 2016

Posted 1/6/2016 4:25pm by Don Kretschmann.

Jan. 6, 2016

Greetings from the Kretschmanns, Happy New Year! Looks like our string of warm weather days has come to an end as the New Year’s first week unfolded. But it’s actually good news to have the fruit trees harden off so it will be safe to begin pruning. This task will dominate our attentions over the next two and a half months as we race the new buds’ emergence.

Likewise, our subjective world has experienced a sea-change as Don was diagnosed with a muscle tear in the shoulder after the last Dec. box, had a pre-Christmas surgery, and is now in recovery. This schedule gives the longest healing until the seasonal workload ramps up in the late spring. So far, it’s been much easier going than the identical operation on the other shoulder a year ago.   

Enjoy all the cooking greens in this perfect time for soups. Nothing warms one like a hearty broth in frigid weather. Greens are a perfect complement to these liquids—high in vitamin C and minerals. Collards especially stand simmering on the stove without breaking down. We’re hoping to get at least one more picking from the remaining kale in the field. What more could one expect, unless you’re from one of our southern tier of states where these staples continue pretty much all winter long?

We hope you like our first-time-ever canned tomato products. It’s like having a jar of summer sunshine. They are made nearly 100% with our farm grown organic produce—right down to the cilantro, basil, onions, and peppers. Note the tomato sauce jars are actually Mason jars and could be reused for canning as the standard jar lids fit them.

Hoping your household is buttoned tight against the winter, the while supping on hot delights from summer’s garden and non,                                            

Don, Becky, & the Farm Crew

Winter Box Schedule: Next box is in two weeks for standard size only. Both Standard and Light shares get a box in a month.

Veggie ID: You might have a mix of purple and orange carrots. All carrots were purple until they gradually selected for the orange we now know.

FYI-New Season Signup has begun: We’ve updated the website and begun adding subscribers for the 2016 season. Basically all prices will remain the same as ’15. Since you are already receiving veggies in the new year, you are on that active list. If you know you won’t be continuing on into the summer, please let us know so we don’t accidentally send out veggie boxes for you come June.  

Lactofermentation: Sauerkraut. Ingredients are simply salt and cabbage. It’s naturally fermented and in the raw state. Cabbage was a little late this fall, so we didn’t get it fermenting in time for the holidays, but it’s just as delicious now. The following soup can be made just as nicely with collards. We have found you can just cut out the thick rib and slice collards in ribbons. The ribs are OK too, just chop more finely.

Portugese Kale Soup: Soak overnight 1/4 c. chickpeas and simmer until tender. (or use 1 can precooked ) Cut up 1/2 # potatoes into 3/4 " cubes and simmer 1/2 hr in 2 qt. chicken stock with 1/4 tsp pepper, a dash ground cloves, a dash ground alspice, 1 clove minced garlic. While this is cooking, fry 1/4 # hot sausage and cut into 1/3" pieces. (loose sausage can be fried as bitty meatballs) Break or cut kale into bite size pieces (4-5 cups or as desired). You can break it into pieces, leaving the larger ribs. These then can be cut up and cooked a little longer. After the 1/2 hour of simmering the potatoes, add the kale, chick peas, and sausage and simmer for 1 more hour. Add 2 c. (dry) precooked tubular pasta just before serving. Garnish to taste liberally with romano or parmesan cheese.

Rosemary Focaccia with Garlic and Onions: Saute 1 med. coarsely chopped onion and 2-4 cloves finely chopped garlic in 2 tbs olive oil until tender and golden. Set aside. Make recipe of your favorite bread proportioned to use 1 c. liquid. When preparing the liquid ingredients add the sauted onions and garlic and 1 tbs. finely minced rosemary. Add the flour, knead and raise the first time. Punch down and roll into a flat rectangular shape. Oil a large baking sheet and dust with cornmeal. Lift focaccia onto sheet and press dough out to cover. Allow to rise again, and before baking (400 deg) press a number of indentations in the top with your fingers. Brush with 2 tbs. olive oil and sprinkle with another tbs finely minced rosemary and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake approx 20 min until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. Serve hot! Note: Easy bread recipe is Don's basic 1-1-1 in the breadmaker. 1 c. water 1 tbs honey, 1 tsp salt in first. Then 1 c. white and 1 c. whole wheat bread flour with 1 tbs dry yeast in a cavity on top of the flour. Put it on the dough cycle. Turn out when done onto floured surface and knead in a little extra flour if too sticky.

Rosemary Fries: Wash, pat dry, and cut up potatoes into 3/8’ thick slices halved if they are too large. (or if we’re in a hurry we just put them through the Veggie-matic and they come out like conventional French fries) Toss with several tbs. oil until well coated. Turn out on oiled cookie sheet. Bake @350 until they are tender and golden. Salt and sprinkle with a tbs. finely chopped rosemary. The rosemary seems to cut the oil and adds a Mediterranean ambiance. Special Orders: Bloody Mary Mix—made from our own tomatoes with a little horseradish kicker.  $7.00/liter  (It’s also great as a refreshing breakfast tomato juice!) We’ve gotten lots of rave reviews for this tasty treat—mostly consumed without alcohol.