Monday, June 30, 2014

Week Three: Forest in the Fridge + DIY + uber-local

We had a great time on vacation last week - lots of family and laughs. And the view wasn't too bad, either:
Lake Canandaigua way in the distance
And in farm news, we're back to leafy greens. The fridge, once again, looks like a prehistoric forest. We had lots to pick from this week. I ended up with beets, chard, kale, and fennel (yay!). Aly got collards, green garlic, summer squash (which made her day), and lettuce. I forgot to take a picture, but between the big leaves on the chard and the crazy fronds on the fennel, the fridge is overwhelmingly green.

I found a pasta recipe for the kale, and a salad idea for the fennel (today's lunch!). Still need to figure out what to do with the chard... most likely will to make it less bitter.

Fennel, Apple, and Carrot Salad
Adapted liberally from Martha Stewart

2 medium bulbs fennel, cored, halved, sliced thing
4 carrots, shredded
1 apple, cored and sliced thin
1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 bell pepper, cut into matchsticks

Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Martha recommends a yogurt and white wine vinegar dressing, but I wasn't up for it, so I'll see how it tastes plain. If it's weird, I have some homemade yogurt that I can add on top.

Let's see... I also made some cashew butter last week, because I sometimes can't help myself doing fun-sounding things! It's not too bad, although the texture, obviously, is a little different from commercially processed nut butter. I'd definitely try again with peanuts.
So easy!
It couldn't be easier: just throw a few handfuls of nuts (or seeds like sunflower or pumpkin) into your food processor and whiz away. Mine makes a pretty high-pitched grating noise so I closed the windows in the kitchen. It took about a minute or so in the food processor plus about two teaspoons of vegetable oil. (Inspiration: Macheesmo)

And last but not least, I went uber-local last week and harvested TWO radishes from our garden! They were a little bitter, unfortunately, so I might pickle them next time (I added them to my salad one day). I'm mostly impressed that I was able to grow something at all - I've killed a cactus, after all - so I have high hopes for the rest of our garden!
They are really small. 
Happy holiday weekend!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Recipe: Rhubarb Bars

I'm not overly thrilled with these guys, but Dan appears to be enjoying them. I didn't have enough rhubarb (or other fruit filler) to really cover the crumb base, and what I did end up with didn't turn into yummy bubbly jammy goodness.

But they are being eaten, so I guess that's the success I always look for!

Rhubarb Crisp Bars (adapted from the Smitten Kitchen)
You can supposedly make these in the dish you bake them in - I found that a little awkward so next time I'll probably just suck it up and use a mixing bowl! I'll also toss the rhubarb with the sugar instead of sprinkling it over, and skip my cornstarch substitute (I used a little extra flour). I may also have overcooked them a bit, or at least overdried the rhubarb, so I will definitely try to get some berries next time!

1 cup (80 grams) rolled oats
3/4 cup (95 grams) plus up to 2 tablespoons (15 grams) extra all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (95 grams) light brown sugar
Heaped 1/4 teaspoon table salt (you'll probably need less if you use salted butter)
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon cornstarch (helps firm up the filling - optional)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated sugar, divided
2 cups (250 grams) rhubarb, diced small (from about 4 medium stalks)

Preheat oven to 375* F. Line bottom and sides of 8x8 baking dish with crisscrossed parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. (No need if you plan to serve out of the pan.)

Mix together oats, 3/4c flour, brown sugar, and salt in the bottom of the dish. Add melted butter and stir until clumps form (I found it easiest to do the last bits of mixing with my fingers). Add additional flour if needed. Remove 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture and set aside, then press the remaining crumble evenly into the pan.

Spread half the rhubarb over the crust. If using cornstarch, sprinkle evenly over the rhubarb, then the lemon juice and half the sugar. Spread the rest of the rhubarb over and sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Scatter the reserved crumb mixture over everything and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Cool in the pan and serve dusted with powdered sugar, if desired.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Week One: Slow Start

Hello and welcome back! Hard to believe we’re into another year at the farm already, but I’m excited for all the goodies to make their way into the fridge. Yesterday was the first official day of the CSA season, so I headed over after work to see what was available. I grabbed lettuce and collard greens for Matt & Aly, spinach, rhubarb, bok choy, and scallions. There’s a slow start this year - I had a choice of kale, collards, or chard this week, unlike last year when I think they had all of those available. They say it’s because of the wacky weather patterns (high of only 45 degrees in the middle of May? No, thank you!), and promise there will be more in the coming weeks.
Collards are photo-hogs! You can almost see the lettuce under there.
Rhubarb and scallions are sticking up.
 Dan and I only have a couple of days this week to use up what I brought home, so Matt & Aly will get most of the goodies this week. I do, however, have a master plan for my four stalks of rhubarb that I’m looking forward to making soon. I will be sure to post the recipe.

A half-pound of spinach. I have no idea what happened to the bok choy...
it's in there somewhere.
We've also started a garden project of our own this summer – after lots of manual labor (and help from our parents!) we've cleared out our previously mulched-over garden and planted grass and some veggies. Our radishes are coming up super fast, and the broccoli seems to be pretty happy as well. We transplanted some mature chives and oregano, which are doing very well, and also planted some basil and dill (time will tell on those). And the pumpkins are practically exploding overnight. Rumor has it that it’s not too late to plant a couple more plants (tomatoes, cucumbers), so I’ll see if I can find some soon!

We’ll be off on adventures next week, so if I post it will be delayed and/or not farm-related. Til then!