potatoes - butternut squash - watermelon radish - leeks - carrots - beets -
beet greens/arugula - brussel sprouts - cabbage - garlic - eggs
Pumpkin Bread Pudding & Raspberry Apple Sauce
It seems pointless to mention from where I write. Like clockwork, every week is met with some variation of rain which leads me to office or other indoor work. I am really turning into a fair-weather-farmer this Fall Harvest season, (though I’d prefer to call it a sunny day opportunist). Regardless, last night’s snowfall quickly turned into rain leaving us all a bit timid to start the day. Even the chickens were skeptical by the white slosh beneath their feet. Roy started the day walking around the house with his camera phone taking the obligatory snow pics to send back home to his family in Jamaica. The next order of business called for coffee drinking and garlic chipping by the woodstove. This proved a solid indoor task, but not long enough- so everyone is now back at the pack shed, putting together co-op orders (think carrots, potatoes, winter squash, and beets) for the next dew days and hopefully drinking hot drinks. Our Jamaican crew heads home early Thursday morning for 80 degree weather, goat curry, and family. With this fresh blanket of slosh and 12 degree lows in our upcoming forecast, I’d say it’s the perfect time to fly south as well… but hot damn, they will be missed.
TIPS - TRICKS - RECIPES
SERVINGS: 12 PANCAKES, CAN SERVE 3 AS A MAIN OR 4 TO 6 AS A SIDE
TIME: 15 MINUTES, ONCE SQUASH IS COOKED
I prefer my own winter squash pancake — a little more squash, less flour and an additional egg to help it set — recipe but the crispy sage brown butter is inspired by a Mimi Thorisson version (link to come once site is back online). Thorisson recommends 5+ tablespoons butter but I found even 2, or even “2-ish” makes a finish that trickles over the side of a stack just enough that you can taste and enjoy it but not drown in richness, definitely adjust to your taste.
1 cup (8 to 8 1/4 ounces) roasted and mashed winter squash
1/3 cup (80 grams) yogurt or sour cream
2 large eggs
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
3/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
A few grinds of black pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (130 grams) all-purpose flour
Butter or olive oil for frying pan
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
A pinch or two of salt
A few fresh sage leaves
In a large bowl, whisk squash, yogurt, eggs, cheese, salt, pepper and baking powder until smooth. Add flour and stir until just combined. Batter will be thick.
Heat a large frying over medium-low to medium heat. Coat the bottom with butter or olive oil, or a combination thereof, and spoon in pancake batter, a heaped soup spoon or scant 1/4 cup at a time. Press the back of the batter mound to flatten the pancake slightly. Cook until golden brown underneath, flip and then cook until the color until golden brown on the second side. If this is happening very fast, lower your heat. If you’re worried pancakes have not cooked in the center, you can finish them for 10 minutes in a 250 degrees oven. You can also keep your pancakes warm there until needed. Repeat with remaining batter.
To finish, wipe out frying pan and place butter, a pinch or two of salt and sage leaves back in it, heating over medium. The sage leaves will crisp and the butter will brown in a minute or two so keep a close watch on it. Pour leaves and butter over pancakes and quickly understand why you’ll never have them another way.
To roast squash: For butternut or kabocha, I halve the squash, scoop out the seeds and roast it face-down on an oiled baking sheet that I’ve sprinkled with coarse salt at 375 for 40 to 50 minutes, until tender. I get about 2 cups mashed squash from one 2-pound (i.e. small-medium) whole squash. If yours is already peeled and in, say, 1-inch chunks, it will likely be tender in just 25 minutes (just updated after rechecking my notes).
1 head green cabbage* 1 tablespoon sea salt
Clean glass jar (I usually use one average head of cabbage per quart-sized mason jar)
For brine: 1 additional tablespoon of sea salt and 4 cups water
Wash the cabbage and remove any wilted outer leaves.
Quarter the cabbage, remove the core, and slice the cabbage into thin strips (I shoot for around ¼" wide). Try to make the strips as uniform as possible, but don't feel like they have to be perfect.
Place the strips in a large bowl, and sprinkle the sea salt over the top.
Allow it to sit for 15 minutes or so, and then start mashing. There isn't a right or wrong way to do this-- just use your hands, a mallet, or whatever blunt object you can find to mash/knead/twist/press/crush the cabbage. The goal is to start the juices flowing. (It helps if you can think of something that makes you mad while you do this--it's better than therapy, really...)
I mash/knead for about 8-10 minutes. Hopefully by the end of this process, you'll have a lovely pool of salty cabbage juice sitting in the bottom of your bowl.
Place a couple handfuls of cabbage into the jar, then thoroughly pack down with a wooden spoon. The goal is to eliminate as many air bubbles as possible.
Repeat the packing and mashing until the jar is full-- just make sure to leave about 2" at the top.
If you there is enough liquid flowing from your cabbage to cover it completely, congrats!
If not, make a 2% brine solution to fill up the rest of the jar. (If you don't completely submerse the cabbage in liquid, it's susceptible to mold and other gunk).
To Make a 2% Brine:
Dissolve 1 tablespoon fine sea salt in 4 cups non-chlorinated water. If you don't use all of the brine for this recipe, it will keep indefinitely in the fridge.
Cover the exposed cabbage with brine, leaving 1" of headspace at the top. If you are having troubles with the cabbage floating to the top, you can weigh it down with a glass weight, OR even wedge a piece of the cabbage core on top to hold it down. Any cabbage that is exposed will need to be thrown away, but you were going to toss the core anyway, so it's no big loss.
Affix a lid to the jar (fingertight only), and set aside in a room-temperature location, out of direct sunlight, for at least one week.
You'll probably want to place a small dish or tray under the jar, as they have the tendency to leak a bit and spill over. Also, removing the lid after a day or so to "burp" the jar and release any pent-up gasses is also a smart idea.
Taste and smell your kraut after one week. If it's tangy enough, move to the refrigerator for storage. If you like a bit more tang, simply allow to ferment for a bit longer.