December Farm News

Reminders & Announcements: 
  • Spring vegetable shares are almost sold out. If you'd like to join for spring, we recommend that you register soon.
  • The first pickup of the winter share is tomorrow, December 11th from 2 to 7 pm at the farm in Grayslake. We will be distributing eggs, dairy and meat.

This Month's Dairy Share:

  • Cultured Butter with Sea Salt from Nordic Creamery
  • Lowfat Plain Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy
  • 'Peace of Pasture', a gouda-style cheese from Pastureland Cooperative
  • 'Capriko', a cheese made from a blend of goat and cow milk from Nordic Creamery

This Month's Meat Share:

  • Whole Chicken
  • T-Bone Steaks
  • Ground Beef
  • Fresh Ham Steak*
  • Breakfast Sausage or Pork Chops
*Fresh ham steaks are cut from the center of the ham and are uncured and unsmoked. You’ll find two great recipes in this week's meat share, one for pork scallopini and one for ham steak with a mustard-cider glaze.

Farm Photo Journal
December 2014

Winter settled in rather early this year, and a mid-November snowfall created some beautiful, postcard-perfect scenes around the farm. Much to our disappointment, that first snow lasted less than a week. In the absence of snow, we are left with scenes painted mostly in shades of gray and brown.

Fortunately, our animals provide us with a much-needed dash of color. We appreciate the energy and vitality they contribute to our lives as we go about our daily chores.

We can't think of anything more lively and energetic than a bunch of young pigs playfully rooting around in a bed of fresh, warm straw. They're such fun to watch!

Adequate feed and plenty of dry straw bedding is the key to keeping animals warm through the winter. A Santa hat doesn't hurt either, and it really helps our sheep get into the holiday spirit.

The sheep aren't the only ones wearing costumes these days. Jen Riemer of Riemer Family Farm, Peg Sheaffer of Sandhill Family Farms, and Katy Dickson of Christiansen Farm are all CSA farmers, and all three of us have roles in Monroe Theater Guild's production of A Christmas Carol. If you've ever wondered what farmers do during the log winter months, now you know!

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Recipes from the Farm Kitchen

Greek Yogurt-Marinated Chicken

1 cup plain lowfat yogurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ tablespoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
freshly cracked pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 chicken, 3½ to 4 lbs, cut up

To make the marinade, combine the yogurt, olive oil, garlic, oregano, lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley in a bowl. Add the chicken pieces and marinade to a gallon sized zip top bag. Remove as much air as possible, close the bag tightly, and massage the bag to mix the contents and make sure the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate the bag for at least 1 hour. Place the chicken pieces in a large casserole dish and bake at 375 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Winter Frittata
adapted from a recipe by Molly Katzen
1 lb Swiss chard. chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
3 medium potatoes, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
8 large eggs
6 oz gouda cheese
fresh ground black pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the onions, potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and the dried rosemary. Sauté for 5 minutes, then cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the potato slices are tender.

Stir in the garlic followed by the chard, then cover again and cook for about 3 minutes more, or until the chard leaves are wilted but still bright green. Remove the pan from the heat.

Break the eggs into a large bowl, add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste, and beat well with a whisk. Add the cheese and the sautéed vegetables, and mix.

Preheat oven to 350°. Meanwhile, heat a 10-inch cast-iron or oven-proof frying pan with straight sides over medium heat. When hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, wait a few seconds, then swirl around to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour in the egg mixture and let cook undisturbed for 4 minutes to let the bottom set.

Transfer the frying pan to the preheated oven and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the eggs are set in the center. Remove the pan from the oven. Run a rubber spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the sides, then slide onto a large serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve hot.

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  • Margaret Sheaffer