Hi folks — We look forward to seeing you for your first share this week, if you are at a bi-weekly drop, or second share if you are at Eastern Market.
I’ve included some of my family’s recipes this week, food that I grew up with, and I hope you enjoy.
If you need any last minute changes, let me know.
- asparagus – Try Viviane Banquet Farre’s Shaved Asparagus and goat cheese bruschetta with chive infused oil! Yum!
- spinach – See my recipe below for salad, and family recipe for soup, also below.
- strawberries – If your berries make it home, try shortcake! Leslie, our workshop coordinator made strawberry kombucha with the tops of hers a few days ago.
- shiitake and Lion’s mane mushrooms – sautee in butter with shallots. Lion’s Mane are basically little sponges for butter, sauce, whatever. they are delicious. These come from our friend Rob Woolfolk, who is a nurse as his day job. He does innoculated mushroom logs, and harvests a few mushrooms for our shares. They are beautiful. Lion’s Mane mushrooms are good for your brain. Here’s some info on them.
- BusFarm chocolate mint – We are excited to share our first crop of the season with you! It arries well with strawberries. If you make a salad or smoothie, throw in a handful. Muddle for your favorite cocktail.
- Tuscan Black kale – I like to sautee this in coconut oil. Just strip the leaves off the stems with your hands. Tuscan kale is my favorite, and perfect for caeser salad and kale chips.
- butter crunch lettuce – so delicious. you can sub this for spinach in the salad below
- red radish – Try this recipe for radishes with butter and salt from Ina Garten – the butter herbed, and versatile. Serve with fresh baguette.
- shallots – so delicious. Here’s a video from Mark Bittman to get you started. Try them with the chicken tenders and mushrooms
- maple syrup -Real Virginia maple syrup from Southernmost Maple in Virginia’s Switzerland, Highland County. Mike Puffenberger and his family are old friends of Mark’s mom and dad, and are one of our Mennonite families who seem to farm so well. Puff, as Mike is called, is well known for his barbecue and maple sausage, which you got last week. Mark’s special dessert for company at our house is the Old Church Creamery yogurt, with fresh fruit (strawberries) and a drizzle of maple syrup. Maple syrup is lovely in coffee, and a splash in a smoothie. You can also try on pancakes, french toast and waffles (with strawberries of course). My niece likes to make stuffed french toast with the banana or pumpkin bread, with goat cheese and sliced strawberries. I also like to make my grandmother’s egg nog, see recipe below.
- Polyface chicken tenders – You learned about the chickenness of the chickens in the movie, Food Inc. right? We are glad to call one of the world’s most famous farmers, Joel Salatin, our farmer. And so can you. Here’s Jamie Oliver’s recipe for chicken nuggets, from that crazy episode of Food Revolution when he shows kids how the OTHER kind are made. This is quick, easy and delicious.
- Fleetwell Farms side meat (great for the kale!) - Sharon + Ken Davidson are some of our favorite farmers, and homestead in King and Queen County, VA. Side meat is a cut of pork taken from the fresh pork side of the flank area. This cut can be sliced, but is more commonly smoked, cured, sliced and then sold as bacon. It will go great with any kind of kale or collards and make a flavorful potlikker. You can try this family recipe from my dad’s side of the family below, or this recipe for Potlikker Noodles with mustard greens (you can sub spinach or kale) from our friend Chef Jason Alley from award winning restaurants Comfort and Pasture here in RVA.
- Polyface ground beef – Best prepared simply, burgers, at least the first time, to allow yourself to truly taste the difference of grass-fed beef. Then you can doll it up.
- Assorted Mt. View cheese – handmade by Christy Huber. Christy is an art teacher turned cheesemaker. Her husband Fred made a deal with her to give her a year off from teaching, to make cheese. She never looked back. She also makes butter, and does the Meow Milk I hope you loved last week!
Farm to Family Spinach Salad with Carmelized Pecans, Strawberries and Cheese – serves 4. Prep: @15 min.
I invented this fancy salad a few seasons ago. You can also make the carmelized nuts as a sweet snack, or use them to top other delicous strawberry treats.
½ cup pecans (halves or whole – try it with walnuts too)
1 tsp cultured butter (unsalted), coconut oil or olive oil
1 TBS raw honey (can use maple syrup)
4 cups Spinach and/or lettuce washed, dried and torn into bite sized pieces
5 or 6 strawberries – washed, hulled, sliced (experiment with using other seasonal fruit like apples or peaches, or dried fruit like cranberries)
½ cup crumbled cheese (feta cheese, goat cheese are nice, but you can also grate cheddar or colby)Keep the cheese out if you prefer.
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS unpasteurized apple cider vinegar (Balsamic vinegar is nice too with the berries – more or less to taste. Europeans like less vinegar than Americans, who have a sharper palate.)
· Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl mix pecans, butter or oil and honey together. Place coated nuts on a toaster oven tray or baking sheet. Bake for 8 minutes.
· Gently toss spinach, berries, nuts, cheese and onions.
· Add oil and vinegar and toss again.
Grandma’s Egg Nog
I’ve had this almost every day, since we go the fresh strawberries. This is an amazing treat, and very nourishing for someone who may not be feeling good. It makes a great on the go breakfast.
My mom’s dad was a dairy farmer, and her mom did chicken, turkey and eggs.. After World War I, my grandfather (he was wounded and gassed at the Somme) went to Agricultural school in Bozeman, Montana on a fund for veterans that turned into the GI bill. They farmed in North Dakota, Montana and my grandfather also traveled working the wheat harvests up in Canada to make extra money. He had a large 8×10 camera that he carted around with him (frivolous! my grandmother would snort) and photographed life as he saw it. My mother has these amazing photographs and is working on scanning them – amazing images of folks living in sod houses, and farming with huge draft horses. Then they came back to civilization, Northern NY along the St. Lawrence River, after Grandma “had enough of nonsense,” traveling across country in Model T Ford, grandma peeling potatoes as they drove. At night they pitched a tent. Right after that, Montana began to blow away in “dust storms.”
If you were sick, Grandma made this. My mother would also make it as a treat. My mother has my grandmother’s recipes – she was the famous cook so I look forward to sharing more. Try it with some fresh strawberries.
In a blender:
1 cup cold milk (low pasteurized, or raw if you can get it)
1 tbs maple syrup (or other sweetener) – to taste
1 raw egg – make sure it is pastured and fresh. crack it into a bowl before you put into blender.
3-4-5 strawberries, washed and hulled
Pigweed Soup (with noodles)
I have been waiting months until we would be giving you spinach and side meat together so I could share this recipe with you. My cousins are very excited that you are getting this. My father used to make this when I was a child, from pigweed, a weed that grew in our garden, and it came from his mother, Estella, who was also a renowned cook. My dad passed away before I was able to write down a lot of family recipes, so much of that tradition was lost. Sit with your parents and grandparents, and write down the recipes and get the stories so you can share! So important.
I believe that pigweed is actually the male version of lamb’s quarters. You can make it with any foraged green, or spinach, or kale. Mothers used to send their kids out to forage for greens, and then make some sort of soup like this with a handful of this or that. Dad would send me out with instructions to pull pigweed. I had a great conversation with Chef Jason Alley, above, about poor folks food from our Grandmothers, North (mine) and his (south) and how similar they are and how important it is to talk about how easy it is to make food out of nothing.
Luckily, this recipe was written and down and preserved by my cousin Pamela, whose mother, Ione (Estelle’s sister) also used to make it, so I am assuming it came from their mother, my great grandmother. Ione’s daughters sat down with her before she died and this was how she would make it. The amounts and ingredients are vague – I think it depends on what you have, and who you have to feed, I think it is hard to mess up, so do your best and let me know if you make it. You can refer to Jason’s recipe above, for help. I have made this and it is wonderful. I think it would taste great with a pan of hot cornbread, with butter and honey.
- Cut and slice potatoes, put aside in cold water
- cut and slice onions, put aside in water with potatoes
- cut pork in small pieces. Put salt pork and onions in water. Let cook until grease rises to the surface. (calls for salt pork, but works great with side meat)
Make Noodles (!!! – make more than you think you need, as everyone will eat them. You can also refer to Jason’s recipe above, as it is very similar)
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- Add 3 eggs
- Add 4 tbs milk
Mix above ingredients. Dough should be wet enough to work with. Add more milk if necessary. Roll out, not too thin. Flour top of dough (quite a bit). Roll up like a jelly roll (should be rolled fairly tight). Rol about 2 turns, then cut in very small slices. Noodles look like small pinwheels. Will also have to cut down the length of the dough to release this portion of the dough from the rest. Continue with the rest of the dough. Put in water wiht salt pork and onions to cook (do not stretch out, leave in circle) Add potatoes/onions. Cook noodles and potatoes about 30 minutes. Add spinach, or pigweed – (I would say a couple handfuls, remember that it cuts down.) Simmer another 5 minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Have to determine how many potatoes you want yourself. Also, used quite a bit of pork. Cut up the whole thing.
The best I could do.