Happenings Around the Bend:
This week brought us a nice little bit of press with a “Local Foodie” feature in the October issue of Traverse Magazine. Elizabeth Edwards graced us with a nice little write-up of the farm and our PBJ (Peanut Butter Honey Dried Strawberry) Granola Recipe, for you to try your very ownselves.
We’ll also have a little spot on 7&4 News next Wednesday. Diana Fairbanks came out and shot some video of the gardens and allowed me to speak a bit about being a woman in farming.
Your little farmbrarian is just overwhelmed with the opportunities to shine that this farm has provided us. Granted, I’ll never be as famous as Farmer Tom, but I’ve snagged us our 15 minutes of fame. 😉 You know I love talking about farming, so Diana will have a good deal of editing to do!
We are also still hard at work on our slabwood permanent chicken coop. Tom put on the metal roof this weekend, Keirsun Scott has been out a few times to slabwood the sides. We just have the south side to finish with door, windows, and siding before we can add nesting boxes and roosts and move the ladies in to a snug, warm coop!
Other than that, the garden has provided us with a decent little basket this week. The penultimate week. Yes, next week we will hit our 18th week! I cannot believe how quickly this season flew by! I’ll still send out the weekly email newsletter to let you know what produce and baked goods are available for ala carte purchase throughout the winter, but the garden is telling me that it doesn’t have many more big share baskets left in it.
This week, though, you can still GET BENT with:
- brussel sprouts — I’m amazed to get some this early in the season!
- cabbage, green
- carrots – (oh, wow! We roasted some with an Echo Bend chicken this weekend, and these Sugar Snaxx carrots turn to sweet candy when roasted! YUM!)
- kale, Russian Curly OR Dinosaur/Lancinato OR Chard
- napa cabbage
- onions, Red Cabernet
- peppers, sweet
- peppers, hot, Ladybug red and Numex Joe E. Parker
- baby summer squash, yellow OR zucchini
- tomatoes, heirloom mix
- winter squash: butternut
- Just for snorks, I’ve also included a little ear of miniature popcorn! It’s still a bit early, as most of the ears haven’t dried on the stalks, yet, but there was just enough for each of you to have one. Pop it right on the cob! Just microwave it on high until the popping slows (about 2 seconds between pops or so). Leave it out to watch it pop, or put it in a little paper bag to contain the mess/pops.
Thanks to Miss Diana, also, for sharing some of her favorite recipes that feature Echo Bend produce!
Butternut Squash Soup with Star Anise and Ginger Shrimp
24 large shrimp in shell (about 1 lb), peeled, leaving tail and first segment of shell intact, and deveined
1 tablespoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
2/3 cup chopped shallot
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
3 whole star anise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 3/4 lb butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (5 cups)
4 cups chicken stock or broth
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Garnish: fresh cilantro sprigs
Toss shrimp with ginger in a bowl and marinate, chilled, 30 minutes (do not marinate any longer or enzymes from ginger will begin to cook shrimp).
Make soup while shrimp marinate: Cook shallot, garlic, and anise in butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until shallot is softened, about 5 minutes. Add squash, stock, and water and simmer, uncovered, until squash is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove star anise.
Pur?e soup in 2 batches in a blender (use caution when blending hot liquids) until very smooth, about 1 minute per batch, then transfer to cleaned pan and keep warm, covered.
Sprinkle marinated shrimp with salt. Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then saut? shrimp in 2 batches, stirring, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per batch, transferring to paper towels.
Bring soup to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Divide among 8 shallow soup bowls and mound 3 shrimp in each bowl.
• Soup (without shrimp) can be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered. If making soup ahead, begin marinating shrimp about 40 minutes before serving.
Kale and White Bean Soup
1 lb dried white beans such as Great Northern, cannellini, or navy
2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 qt water
1 (3- by 2-inch) piece Parmigiano-Reggiano rind
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 bay leaf (not California)
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb smoked sausage such as kielbasa (optional), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
8 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb kale (preferably lacinato), stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped
Cover beans with water by 2 inches in a pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, 1 hour. Drain beans in a colander and rinse.
Cook onions in oil in an 8-quart pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add beans, broth, 1 quart water, cheese rind, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and rosemary and simmer, uncovered, until beans are just tender, about 50 minutes.
While soup is simmering, brown sausage (if using) in batches in a heavy skillet over moderate heat, turning, then transfer to paper towels to drain.
Stir carrots into soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in kale, sausage, and remaining quart water and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until kale is tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Season soup with salt and pepper.
•Soup is best if made 1 or 2 days ahead. Cool completely, uncovered, then chill, covered. Thin with water if necessary. •Lacinato is available at farm stands, specialty produce markets, and natural foods stores. Be aware that it has many aliases: Tuscan kale, black cabbage, cavolo nero, dinosaur kale, and flat black cabbage.
Penne with Green Olives and Feta
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large bunch greens (such as spinach, mustard greens, kale, or broccoli rabe; about 1 pound), thick stems removed, spinach left whole, other greens cut into 1-inch strips (about 10 cups packed)
12 ounces penne
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 3 ounces)
Mix parsley, lemon peel and garlic in small bowl; set aside.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add greens and cook just until tender, 1 to 6 minutes, depending on type of greens. Using skimmer or slotted spoon, transfer greens to colander to drain. Return water to boil. Add pasta and cook just until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 3/4 cup pasta cooking liquid. Return pasta to pot; add greens and 3 tablespoons oil and toss. Stir in olives, feta, and enough reserved pasta cooking liquid by 1/4 cupfuls to moisten. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with parsley mixture and serve.