January Farm News

Important Announcements & Reminders
  • We will be making winter produce, meat, dairy and egg deliveries today and Thursday.
  • Delivery site dates and times are the same as last month. Can't remember when you pick up? Scroll down to the bottom for more info.
  • Remaining winter deliveries are February 10th/11th and March 9th/10th.
  • Registration for spring, summer and fall is underway. Please help us spread the word. Our members know us best, and we'd appreciate your help to spread the word about our farm. Please share your passion for local, responsibly-raised food. Thank you!
January Frozen Produce Share
  • Tart Cherries
  • Roasted Tomatoes
  • Rainbow Carrots
  • Blueberries

Baby, it's cold outside! Here in the farm kitchen we're doing our best to stay toasty warm by cooking up some satisfying winter eats that conjure up memories of warmer days. This month we're digging into our stockpile of frozen tart cherries to create sweet treats and savory sauces. 

Cherry Crumbcake
for the topping:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for dish
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dish
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
for the cake:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 pound thawed frozen tart cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch square baking dish, and dust with flour, tapping out excess. Make the topping by stirring together butter, flour, sugars, salt, and cinnamon.

Make the cakes: Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. With a mixer, cream butter and granulated sugar in another bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Working in alternating batches, add flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until just combined. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with an offset spatula. Dot top with cherries, and sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake until golden and a tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool before cutting.

Warm Tart Cherries with Vanilla Ice Cream
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 lb thawed frozen tart cherries, pitted 
vanilla ice cream

Rub together sugar and lemon juice in a 12-inch heavy skillet with your fingertips until mixture resembles wet sand. Heat over moderately high heat, swirling skillet slowly, until sugar is melted and pale golden, 5 to 6 minutes. Add butter and swirl skillet until incorporated, about 30 seconds (mixture will bubble up). Add cherries, swirling skillet to coat, and bring to a boil (cherries will exude liquid; caramel will harden). Cook cherries, swirling skillet, until caramel is dissolved, 5 to 8 minutes. Pour through a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl, then return liquid to skillet and boil until reduced to about 3/4 cup, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, then add cherries. Return to stove and boil 30 seconds. Spoon warm cherries into shallow bowls and top with scoops of ice cream.
Gourmet, July 2005

Savory Tart Cherry Sauce
Spoon this delicious sauce over pork chops, ham steaks, pork steaks, etc. 
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup minced shallot or onion
a 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 pound thawed frozen tart cherries
1 tablespoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon cold water
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
In a heavy saucepan boil the vinegar with the sugar over moderate heat until the mixture is reduced to a glaze. Add the wine, the shallot, and the cinnamon stick and boil the mixture until it is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Add the broth and the cherries and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes. Stir the cornstarch mixture, add enough of it to the sauce, stirring, to thicken the sauce to the desired consistency, and simmer the sauce for 2 minutes. Discard the cinnamon stick, stir in the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste, and keep the sauce warm, covered. Spoon over cooked pork chops, ham steaks, etc.

During the dark days of January we take solace in the energizing sights and smells of the kitchen. Our rainbow carrot mix is a blend of yellow, orange and purple carrots. 

Honey-Baked Carrots with Orange & Thyme
1 lb chopped frozen carrots
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2-3 fresh thyme sprigs
olive oil
sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a small baking dish combine carrots and orange juice. Add the thyme sprigs and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and toss well to coat.
Cover the pan with aluminum foil. Bake until the carrots are tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the foil. Increase the heat to 450 F. Drizzle the carrots with honey and toss gently. Return to oven, uncovered, and roast until the carrots begin to caramelize, about 10 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to make sure they don't burn.

January Dairy Share:
  • Garlic Basil Butter from Nordic Creamery
  • Vanilla Yogurt from Sugar River Dairy
  • Heritage White Cheddar from Red Barn Family Farm
  • Alpine-Style Cheese from Saxon Creamery
Over the years Nordic Creamery's garlic-basil butter has become a real CSA-member favorite. It's our top pick, along with a a little toasted bread, for an afternoon snack or an accompaniment to a warming bowl of soup. But why stop at bread? How about dropping a little spoonful on top of a hot steak and watch it melt? Or rubbing it into the skin of a chicken before roasting, dotting it on baked spaghetti squash, or drizzling it on grilled or baked fish? Are you hungry yet?

January Meat Share:

  • Fresh Ham Steaks
  • Beef Roast
  • Beef Stir Fry or Stew Meat
  • Pork Chops & Pork Steaks
  • Ground Beef
  • Bacon
  • Pork Bratwurst
Your meat share will include 5 items from the list above. As usual, we have partnered with our neighbors, Jen and Bryce Riemer, to bring you this month's delicious assortment. Jen and Bryce are currently enjoying a well-deserved and much-needed vacation, so Matt and I have been doing animal chores for them this week. In frigid weather like this it's a challenge to keep everyone fed and watered. Tractors refuse to start, water lines freeze and hogs and steers seem to require twice the amount of feed they normally do. In addition to adequate shelter, the way farm animals keep warm is by eating almost non-stop!

One of the most important jobs a farmer does during the summer is to prepare food for the animals to eat during the winter when the pasture grass stops growing. In the photo above, the kids are enjoying a summer evening playing on top of some hay bales, while Bryce is probably taking no small bit of satisfaction in knowing how much winter feed those bales represent.
In this photo when of the finishing steers stands in front of the winter bale feeder. Our job is to keep these guys content until Jen and Bryce return from vacation. Is he a satisfied customer? It's a little hard to tell, but it sure seems like it. Have a great week and stay warm! -Peg

Pickup Site Details
Wednesday Sites
Deerfield, 3:30-6:30 p.m. 
Glenview, 3:30-7:00 p.m.
Evanston, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Lake Forest, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Northfield, 2:00-7:00 p.m. 
Allstate, 2:30-5:30 p.m.
Buffalo Grove, 3:30-7:00 p.m.
Barrington, 4:00-7:00 p.m.

Thursday Sites
Vernon Hills, 2:00-7:00 p.m.
Glen Ellyn, 3:30-7:00 p.m.
Hinsdale, 4:00-7:00 p.m. 
Oak Park, 4:30-7:00 p.m.
Thursday at the Farm, 3:30-7:00 p.m.

Previous Post Next Post

  • Margaret Sheaffer