Farm News (11/18/14)

Reminders & Announcements:
  • This is the final week of the fall season. We are delivering vegetables, eggs, dairy and meat this week.
  • The first pickup of the winter share is Thursday, December 11th from 2 to 7 pm at the farm in Grayslake. 

The Vegetable Share:

  • Sweet Potatoes (from Harmony Valley Farm in Viroqua, WI)
  • Rutabaga
  • Onions and/or Shallots
  • Carrots
  • Mixed Cooking Greens (kale, spinach, baby chard, etc)
  • German Butterball Potatoes
  • Tomato Puree
  • Beauty Heart Radishes

The Dairy Share:

  • Garlic Basil Butter from Nordic Creamery
  • Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy
  • Smoked Sheep's Milk Mozzarella from Mayfell Family Farm 

The Meat Share:

  • Whole Chicken
  • Pork Steaks or Pork Chops
  • Ground Pork
  • Beef Steaks or Bacon

Farm Photo Journal
It's the final week of the fall share, and mother nature is giving us quite a sendoff. This week's arctic temperatures have left all of us all feeling a little caught off guard. We were prepared for it to get cold but not this cold!

This picture of our sheep was taken on Monday. I had to laugh when I saw the confused expression on their faces. It's almost as if you can hear them muttering to one another-- "Wait a minute, where did all the grass go?" 

I think it's fair to say that the sheep aren't the only ones who've been feeling a little bewildered this week. Preparing CSA boxes isn't supposed to be this challenging in mid-November, after all. In order to keep vegetables (and employees) from freezing, we've come up with some interesting solutions to these challenges. Working inside the walk-in cooler, for example. (You know it's cold when you have to work in the cooler in order to stay warm!) In this photo Kate and Nicole are bagging greens in the comparative warmth of the 32-degree cooler.

Unfortunately, there are some jobs that just can't be done inside the cooler. Washing root crops is one of them. Yesterday Donna (pictured above) volunteered to wash rutabagas and other root crops. Not only does Donna seem to always know how to get the job done, but she never does it without a smile. We're going to miss the friendly faces and the cheerful commotion around the farm this winter, but at the same time, the prospect of a little downtime is definitely something we're looking forward to!

I hope you all have a great winter. See you in the spring!

This Week's Featured Recipes

Baked Sweet Potato Chips
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in center and lower positions. Divide sweet potatoes between 2 rimmed baking sheets. Drizzle with oil, toss, and spread them in a single layer on sheets. Bake, flipping once, until centers are soft and edges are crisp, 22 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Sweet Potato Bundt Cake
1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
2 large eggs
1 cup cooked sweet potato
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup bourbon or apple juice
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
Nonstick cooking spray with flour
3 tablespoons chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together brown sugar, butter, and eggs until very light and fluffy. Add sweet potato and vanilla; beat to combine. Add flour, milk, bourbon, baking powder, pie spice, and salt; mix until just incorporated. Lightly spray a 10 or 12 cup Bundt pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle bottom and up sides of the pan with pecans. Pour in cake batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. 

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  • Margaret Sheaffer