Posted on

February homegrown dinner

IMG_20130329_115452_026

Made dinner last weekend, looked at the plate, and realized that everything was home-grown. Even at the end of February.  Skillet pork chops, oven-steamed balsamic beets, mashed celeriac and carrots, sauerkraut.  For the beets, I used one very large Cylindra beet that yielded dinner for two with plenty of leftovers for a cold beet salad.  Seems to me that the Cylindra beets take a bit longer to soften up, and are even good with just a bit of crunch left to them.  Great flavor.  If crazy big long beets aren’t your thing, the Detroit Dark Red round beets will do just as well.

Nothing fancy, not more than two or three ingredients per dish.  But so good.  And it’s taken me longer to write this than to actually do all the cooking.

Do the beets first, then the chops so you can just turn down the heat in the oven when the beets finish.

Oven-steamed Balsamic Beets:  Heat oven to 450F.  Peel and chop beets.  Place beets into some kind of baking dish that can be covered.  Add salt, pepper, a few tablespoons of olive oil,  and a lot of balsamic vinegar.  Add enough vinegar to get to the point where you think to yourself, “Man, I think that’s too much vinegar.”  Cover the beets and bake until tender, about 45 minutes.  Stir them around a couple of times during baking.

Mashed Celeriac and Carrots:  Peel and chop 1 medium celeriac and 3 large carrots, so that you have about equal amounts of each.  Bring a pot of slated water to a boil, add chopped roots, cook until tender.  Pour out the water and then mash roots with a couple tablespoons of butter (or a few, but several might be overdoing it), and enough milk (or cream, or half and half) to get the consostency you want.

Perfect Pork Chops: Heat oven to 350F. Liberally salt and pepper both sides of a couple of chops. Really, don’t be shy with the salt. In a hot skillet, sear one side of the chops for 1 minute. Flip them over, and sear the other side for another minute. Put about a teaspoon of coconut oil on top of each and finish them in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove from oven, move to plate or platter, and let them rest for 5 minutes.

Posted on

These carrots are gooooood

IMG_20131031_115233_050

There’s something crazy happening with our carrots.

These familiar Red-cored Chantenay carrots are the same variety that we’ve grown for 4 years, and they are well-loved by many regular customers.  One customer’s children will now only eat “farm carrots” – they are by far the coolest kids I’ve never met.  Sometimes I think that people come to Monday pickup these days just to get carrots, and that it has nothing to do with wanting to say hi to their favorite farmer.  It’s OK, I get it – these carrots are really good.

And they’re getting better.  Especially in the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed the carrots have developed a more intense flavor.  More fruity, reminiscent of a sweet red pepper.  According to the FEDCO seed catalog, Red-cored Chantenay carrots get better in storage, but I’ve never really appreciated it before.  Perhaps we just were never able to store them for quite so long.  Whatever the case may be, there is something to be said for the joy of discovering the amazing flavor of fall-harvested heirloom carrots in February.  This small pleasure, and a million others like it, are what’s missing from industrial supermarket food culture.

As good as these carrots are, they won’t last forever where we are storing them.  However, they will keep for many weeks in a plastic bag in your refrigerator, or in a similar cold dark place.  Just keep the humidity high.  Order 10 lbs or more for  $1.25 / lb – this price won’t show in the shopping cart, but we’ll take care of it at pickup.

If you have a good carrot recipe that you want to share, send it over – I want to start a recipe section on the website.

Thanks!!