Monday, November 22, 2010

playing catch up

Hi y'all!

We finally found our camera and the battery charger, so I took some snap shots yesterday afternoon/evening to update the blog. As you'll see, the chicks are well on their way to being full blown adolescents. The roosters finally have their crowing figured out. For some time all we got out of them was a "cock-a-..." and no "doodle doo" of any kind. It was amusing for a while - and just as our amusement was about to wear off, they figured it out. At the moment we have three roosters: Ted, Bocephus, and Uncle Jesse (of the Dukes of Hazard variety, not Full House). We're still reluctant to have to get rid of any of them, as they're growing on us, but we're also practical. We've decided that Uncle Jesse is the best suited rooster for the coop. He's the least "chicken-y" guy of the three, he's extremely protective, but he also lets us hold him, although I don't think he cares for it very much. The hens show no sign of laying eggs any time soon, but they're really not ready to lay yet anyway. They're almost 4 months old and they really shouldn't be ready until the beginning of 2011 (but we're hoping we have a couple early layers by the solstice). The guy above the right is Ted.

The fella in the frying pan above, humorously the one we will keep, is Uncle Jesse.

The white rooster above is Bocephus. He's kind of the biggest "chicken" of the three, so I had a hard time getting a picture of his face. Maybe I'll have better luck next time. 

(Above) My dad and Ben built the low tunnel in the middle and the hoop house to the right (Ben built the one on the left all by himself while I was in D.C.).

Below is tat soi. It's an Asian green that tastes kind of like spinach and bok choy crossed (although I think it leans more toward spinach).

Below is a head of oak leaf lettuce. It's one of my favorites. I love that that color of green actually occurs in nature! :)

red Russian kale (below)

Then, in order, we have broccoli, a field of broccoli, red cabbage and collards, and finally, savoy cabbage.

That's it for now. Now that we've finally organized our lives a bit more, maybe we'll be posting more regularly and updating the farm pics. So much changes daily - but it's hard to tell when those changes are picture worthy.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving! Thank YOU for caring to keep up with us and take care!

Patricia & Ben

Monday, November 15, 2010

North Carolina in November: Seasonal Recipes

Roasted Beets and Mango Salad
We have plenty of beets and salad greens in our garden outside today. Many of you going to market and in CSAs are receiving these items weekly lately. Here's a recipe to add some variety to what you usually do with beets or salads. When the recipe calls for "gourmet salad greens", realize you can make those with mixtures of things you have in your own gardens or in your shares. For instance, I would include fresh parsley, chopped kale, steam and chopped beet greens, tat soi, and, of course, lettuce in the mix.

2 large beets, trimmed
1/4 cup orange juice, divided
2 tablespoons lime juice, divided
1/4 teaspoon black peppter, divided
1 tablespoon honey mustard
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 cups gourmet salad greens
1 cup diced peeled ripe mango (about 2 mangoes)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Place beets in a baking dish, and bake at 425 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until tender. Cool beets. Combine 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Peel beets; but each into 8 wedges. Toss beets with orange juice mixture.
3. Combine 2 tablespoons orange juice, 1 tablesppon lime juice, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, honey mustard, oil and salt. Combine salad greens and diced mango. Drizzle with mustard mixture, and toss well to coat. Divide salad evenly among 4 plates, and top with beet wedges. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups salad and 4 beet wedges).

From: Cooking Light: Annual Recipes 2000, page 46.

We like to eat our daikon radishes so many ways. Most folks familiar with the radish either stir fry it (chopped - greens too!) or grate the root and eat it as a salad of some kind (Ben likes to mix his with grated carrot). However, the first way I was ever exposed to this crazy huge and flavorful radish is as a German dish. My mom and I like to eat our daikon radishes sliced and salted on top of buttered European style, hard rye bread. It's phenomenal! Ben and I get our favorite bread for this snack from the La Farm Bakery stand at the Western Wake Farmer's Market (but they have other locations). Here are a few other ideas for what you can do with your daikon (and other) radishes:

Daikon Radish Remoulade

1 lb.
3 tbsp.
4 tbsp.
1 tsp.
1/4 cup
daikon radish, peeled
Dijon-style mustard
olive oil
wine vinegar
minced fresh parsley leaves

Cut the daikon into 2-inch-long fine julienne strips or grate it coarse. Rinse a large bowl with hot water, dry it, and in it whisk the mustard with 3 tablespoons hot water. Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking until the dressing is emulsified, and whisk in the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Add the daikon strips and the parsley and toss the mixture well. Serves 6.
Gourmet, April 1991

Daikon Radish Miso Soup

1 Qt. water 
8 Tbsp. miso paste
1/2 cup chopped Daikon radish
tofu, chopped into small cubes
2 strands of chopped green onions

1. Add Daikon radish to slow boiling water, let cook for another 10 minutes or until soft.  You can cut the Daikon anyway you like but if you slice it relatively thin (1/4 inch) and then cut in half so that they are half-moon shaped, it will cook faster.
2. Add miso paste.  The best way is to take a small amount of the soup in a small bowl and mix the miso paste in there until it is evenly distributed, then pour the soup (with miso) back into the soup pot.
3. Remove the soup from heat immediately after adding the miso paste.
4. Add the tofu and green onions and serve!

Makes around 6 servings.

Cannellini Beans and Greens on Garlic Toast
3 cups water
12 cups torn kale (about 1 bunch)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup diced seeded plum tomato (or canned diced tomatoes)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (16 ounce) can cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
4 (1 1/2 ounce) slices country or peasant bread, toasted
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1. Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a large Dutch oven; add kale. Cook 6 minutes or until tender; drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. 
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and oregano; saute' 1 minute. Stir in kale, reserved liquid, and beans; cook 3 minutes. 
3. Rub garlic halves on 1 side of each toast slice. Place toast slices, garlic sides up, on 4 plates; sprinkle each slice with 2 tablespoons cheese. Top each with 1 cup bean mixture and 1 tablespoon cheese. Yield: 4 servings. 
Source: Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2000, page 104. 
Well, I hope these recipes give you a few ideas. Remember to check out the recipe links to the right side of the screen. There are a bunch of other winter and spring recipes that work for the produce you're getting around these parts fresh right now. I'll try to post more recipes and some pictures soon. 
Thanks for stopping by!