Wednesday, September 21, 2011

CSA Week 15

today’s harvest

1 bunch collards

1 head lettuce

1 bunch carrots

1/4 pound arugula

1 pound rutabaga

1 pound sweet peppers

2 garlic

1 head savoy cabbage

delicata winter squash

Meadow Muses from Assistant Manager Shannon Gilpatrick….

Hello friends! At this point I’ve had a chance to meet and chat it up with almost everyone involved with the farm, but I’m sure you all still have questions about how exactly I ended up in the meadow and what I’m doing out there. Today I’ll put your minds at ease. I met Laura last year through some friends of hers that I had been working for at their farm in Kennebunk. I started as a working member of Black Kettle farm in June of 2010 and later took on a bit of hourly work. While out in the blazing sun that over the months transitioned into bitter cold, Laura and I talked at length about her travels, and to say the least I was inspired. I decided I was going to go on a four or so month trip through Central America and have a journey of my own. So in January away I went to Nicaragua, where I lived with a family and volunteered on a small organic farm for a month. During that time I took Spanish classes and really kicked it with the locals. I continued to travel through Nicaragua for another month and a half and at one point on the island in the middle of Lake Nicaragua, I ran into the farmer friend who suggested I go work for Laura! I had a heads up she might be there, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to see her at pizza night. After Nicaragua I traveled in Guatemala and Mexico, ending at Mazunte on the Pacific coast, where I stayed on the beach for my last few weeks. Of course thoughts were pretty in the moment while on my trip, but I couldn’t help thinking once in a while about where I was going to call home when I returned to Maine, all I knew was that my dad had a little camper he said I could use. I was a bit concerned because the last thing I wanted to do was come home and spend all the money I was earning just to park the camper in a campground, when the real goal was to be able to go travel again the following winter. And that’s about the time Laura offered for me to work for her full time and live in the back meadow. Sure there isn’t running water or electricity, but I have a meadow all to myself. In all honesty, just having a room of my own that includes a fridge, stove and toilet is like ten steps up from the majority of places I stayed on my trip. Long story short, 2011 has been a great year! Filled with food, fireflies, farm work and the best experiences of my life.

Lamb Cabbage Rolls

Mix the Seasonings:

1/2 teaspoon ground celery seed

1/2 teaspoon ground dill or fennel seed

1 teaspoon dill weed

1 teaspoon savory (optional)

2 teaspoons dried mint

1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika

1 teaspoon salt

Make the Cabbage Rolls:

8 -12 large outer Savoy cabbage leaves

1 pound ground lamb

1 cup cooked and cooled rice, barley or other grain

1 large onion

1 medium-large carrot (2 cups when grated)

1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil

2 cups tomato sauce

1 to 2 teaspoons sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the onions until quite soft, stirring frequently to prevent them from browning. Set them aside to cool.

Blanch cabbage leaves in the boiling water (use tongs!) until just softened, then put them in the sink to drain. Once the cooked vegetables are cool enough to handle, they can go into a mixing bowl with the meat, rice and seasonings. Mix well.

Shake each leaf dry and lay it out flat. Divide the meat mixture into 8 equal portions, and roll one portion into a rough tube. Put it in the middle of the cabbage leaf, then fold up the bottom (stem end). Fold in the sides, then roll up the leaf to finish. Put the cabbage roll in a large (9" x 13") lasagna pan. Do the same with the remaining cabbage leaves.

Drizzle the tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls, sprinkle them with the sugar, and cover them with foil. Bake for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Roasted Red Peppers with Garlic

Bon Appétit | January 200

6-8 Sweet red peppers

1/4 cup olive oil

6 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise

1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss peppers with 1/4 cup olive oil in bowl. Transfer peppers to large rimmed baking sheet. Roast peppers until partially charred, turning every 10 minutes, about 50 minutes.

Transfer peppers to reserved bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap. Cool 15 minutes. Peel and seed peppers over bowl. Tear each pepper lengthwise into 6 strips. Transfer pepper strips to heavy large skillet. Strain liquid from bowl into skillet. Add garlic, vinegar, and 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to skillet. Simmer over medium heat until liquid becomes syrupy, stirring frequently, about 25 minutes. Cool.

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