January Farm News

Reminders & Announcements: 
  • The second pickup of the winter share is tomorrow, January 8th from 2 to 7 pm at the farm in Grayslake. We will be distributing eggs, dairy and meat.The farm address is 560 North Harris Road. Please come to the white farmhouse to pick up your shares. You are welcome to park wherever it's most convenient for you. The farm driveway is icy right now, so please use caution. We will be keeping an eye out for cars coming up the driveway, and we'll try to run your shares out to you so you don't have to get out of your cars. (But don't expect us to be on roller skates!)  If you have any questions, please call 847-548-4030
  • Spring vegetable shares for 2015 are now officially sold out. Summer and fall vegetable shares may be purchased by the individual season or as a 2-season package.

This Month's Dairy Share:

  • Garlic & Basil Butter from Nordic Creamery
  • Lowfat Vanilla Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy
  • Havarti Cheese from Roth Käse
  • Grand Cru, a gruyère-style cheese from Roth Käse

This Month's Meat Share:

  • Beef Stew Meat
  • Assorted Steaks
  • Ground Pork
  • Ground Beef
  • Pork Chops
  • Bratwurst

Farm Photo Journal
January 2015

The combination of cold temperatures and low light causes our laying hens to be a little less productive right now than they are at other times of the year. (Can anyone relate?) A typical chicken lays about 6 eggs a week during peak season. Even during the winter when they lay slightly fewer eggs, that's still quite a feat when you stop to think about it.

Nest boxes, while clean and comfortable, are not heated so it's important that we collect eggs in the middle of the day before they have a chance to freeze.

The procedure for washing eggs doesn't change much during the winter except that we move the egg washing machine into a warmer space. In the photo above, Jeff is loading unwashed eggs onto the little conveyer that takes them into the machine where they are washed and rinsed before they exit via another little ramp at the opposite end of the machine.

Jen gives the clean eggs one last inspection before packaging them for distribution to our members.  

A flock of 300 laying hens means we have a lot of eggs to collect and wash each day, but it's worth the work. It isn't often that a week goes by without an enthusiastic note from one of our members about how wonderful the eggs are, and we couldn't agree more!

Recipes from the Farm Kitchen

Havarti and Jalapeño Cheeseburger Pies

For Filling:
1 pound ground beef
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and diced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin havarti cheese, coarsely shredded

For Pie Batter:
3/4 cup all-purpose baking mix, such as Bisquick
3/4 cup milk
3 large eggs

For Topping:
1/2 cup havarti cheese, coarsely shredded
2-3 green onions, chopped (green part only)

Place rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease standard 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray. Heat medium skillet over medium. Add ground beef, chopped onion, jalapeño, salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up ground beef into small pieces, until beef is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Drain excess fat. Stir havarti cheese into skillet mixture and set aside.

Measure baking mix into medium bowl. In separate bowl, whisk milk and eggs. Add all at once to dry ingredients; stir with fork until blended. The batter will be slightly lumpy. To assemble pies, scoop 1 tablespoon of batter into each prepared muffin cup. Top each scoop with 1/4 cup burger mixture, then spoon 1 additional tablespoon of batter over burger filling.

Bake 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the pies are golden brown. Cool 5 minutes in pan. With butter knife, gently loosen pies from pan and transfer to cooling rack. Cool 5 additional minutes. Top each muffin with pinch of havarti and green onion, until all is used. Serve warm.

Fragrant Beef Curry with Rice
from Bon Appetit, November 2000

2 pounds boneless beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large onions, sliced
6 whole cloves
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 cinnamon sticks
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3 large tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons chutney (Major Grey's or other)
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Hot cooked rice

Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy large pot over high heat. Working in batches, add beef to pot and brown on all sides, about 7 minutes per batch. Using slotted spoon, transfer to plate.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same pot over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until tender and brown, about 7 minutes. Return beef to pot. Add cloves, garlic, cinnamon sticks, bay leaf and dried red pepper to pot; stir 1 minute. Stir in milk, tomatoes, chutney, lemon juice, ginger, curry powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beef is tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours.

Uncover; increase heat to medium. Boil stew until juices are slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve over rice.

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  • Margaret Sheaffer