Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We've Moved!

Hello friends of the CFK and followers of the blog,

Please update your bookmarks, because we've moved! I'm still posting regularly to the blog, which is now hanging out at which is on our beautiful new website.

It's been a great three years over here, and I still love this blog layout, but I'm excited to have everything under one roof, so to speak.

If you haven't already done so, be sure to explore the new website to learn about the exciting changes we're undergoing right now. Continue to check the new blog for regular updates.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

LWK Week 6: Plowing through!

I can't believe we're already at week 6 of this adventure! Only two weeks to go. Fortunately, we're offering another three months (6 weeks) of LWK in a special one-time-only March-May share. Sign up now if you haven't already--shares are limited!

Last week I had a fun adventure being the Guest Chef for the Friday Mornings @ SELMA local foods breakfast salon. (read more about it here!) The pictures on today's blog post are highlights of that experience. We made some tasty quiche and warm apple-spice waffles. I was thrilled to have so many Community Farm Kitchen cooks join me in the kitchen to bring off a triumphant morning!

So, on the LWK front, I'm excited about all the tasty local treats we have to offer this time. I just discovered that Calder Dairy offers sour cream and cottage cheese (thank goodness for home delivery meaning I don't have to lug pounds of dairy products all around town.) Once again we're also featuring incredible noodles from Pasta e Pasta--lasagna this time. Read on!

Roast Chicken with Rosemary Orange Butter --ever since I first clapped eyes on the gorgeous whole chickens we've been getting I've wanted to roast them whole rather than pulling them apart. Well, here goes!
Baked Lasagna - Old Pine Farm ground beef, our taste-of-summer frozen tomatoes, and Pasta e Pasta's lasagna--is your mouth watering yet?
Beef Stroganoff- Just a classic, perfect to show off Calder Dairy's sour cream.
Red Wine-Braised Pork Steaks with Peaches, Cinnamon, and Couscous We have these lovely peaches from Locavorious and had to *something* with them, right??

I guess that wraps it up. Stay warm, people. We'll see you Friday.


Photos: 1. Quiche at SELMA 2. Many hands make light work 3. Proud chef at the end of a successful breakfast run--serving over 100!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

February Days are Warmed by Long Winter Kitchen pt 5

Michelle and I are so excited to be back with another fabulous (if we do say so!) selection of dishes. Last week I had an incredible meeting with Kris, the farmer who is raising our meat. We talked about a lot of things (including the future of the Long Winter Kitchen--stay tuned for further developments!). She told me about the challenges of being a female rancher, what her son thought when he went to work at a conventional meat processing plant (imagine a 19-yr-old boy reduced to showing emotion and horror!), and what she's learned from the other farmers she works with to source this incredible meat. There were a few stories I thought you'd find interesting: did you think last week's cuts of lamb were small? Well, it's not your imagination. Kris is raising a heritage breed of lamb that doesn't get as large as modern breeds. But, I hope you'll agree, that these animals who were bred for flavor deliver. Another interesting factor that you haven't seen because we've been taking your chickens apart: the chickens we get in your shares are all different sizes--not standardized. Kris points out that this is because she doesn't cull the smaller birds from her flock as they do in traditional chicken farming. She says "This is the real world--I'm not going to waste a chicken because it's a little smaller than the others!" She's also raising some heritage chickens along with modern breeds, so that accounts for some of the variability too. I'm learning so much from being part of this meat CSA... as with any CSA, you learn to live with uncertainty and variety!

SO, This week's menu:
Corn and Kielbasa Chowder --a small portion of kielbasa lends a punch to this creamy chowder with summer's sweetest corn preserved by Locavorious and our own homemade chicken stock.
Chicken Chili - a white chili--just the thing to warm these snowy days.
Pasta Fagioli - bursting with flavor from our summer harvest of tomatoes and Old Pine Farm's ground beef
Vegetable Rich Pot Roast - We're going to the freezer and throwing the whole summer into the pot for this one! Eat it and read seed catalogs and think of summer.

And, Michelle and I are working hard to get the details nailed down for CFK 2.0. Stay tuned, as I said. We're excited about what's coming next........
Photos: 1. Steamed Lamb with Thyme and garlic 2. The Breakfast Dish 3. Steak with roasted pepper sauce.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Time for Cozy: Long Winter Kitchen Week 4

It's that time again! The cooks are rolling up their sleeves for another cooking adventure. I (Mary) am happy to report that I returned from my trip to the east coast safe and sound (and temporarily phone-less, but my phone is back now, phew!). It was great to dive right back into cooking the day after my return. Not only did we get to work with the terrific meat from Old Pine Farm as usual, your Steak Diane featured the most beautiful mushrooms from my friends at Michigan Mushrooms (their webpage seems to be down right now, but look for them at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market). Chef-extraordinaire Veronica made those delicious dumplings in the Chicken and Dumplings and I'm sure everyone has been warming up with the veggie-rich Bad Bob's Spaghetti Sauce. Yum! You might be interested to learn that Bad Bob is actually Michelle's dad. :-)
This week we're going to be using Michigan-made noodles from Pasta e Pasta, another Farmer's Market friend.
This weeks menu:
Rosemary Pork -- another amazing recipe from Veronica
Lamb Steamed with Thyme -- one of my Christmas books this year was Wild Cooking by Richard Mabey. I read the book and couldn't wait to try out this recipe.
Saucisse et Oeufs aka The Breakfast Dish...if your breakfast doesn't yet include amazing local eggs, meat, homemade Parker House rolls, and broccoli, it's about to!
Momma Janet's Chicken Noodle Soup--The only thing to keep you warm and healthy on these cold winter days. Featuring noodles from Pasta e Pasta. Yum!

Is your mouth watering yet? I, for one, can't wait. See you Friday!

Photo explanations: 1. Beef Shortribs from December...too pretty to ignore. 2. MUSHROOMS from Michigan Mushrooms--also far too pretty. 3. Michelle holds up the world's largest steak. 4. Chicken Marsala featuring lesser mushrooms, but still delicious.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

LWK 3: Winter Sets In

While Mary is busy with her traveling adventures to New York and Boston, I decided to take a stab at writing our LWK blog. Whew! That is how I feel having survived the onslaught of our kids and grandson from Florida over the holidays. 5 adults, one- 3 year old and 4 dogs ranging from 100 lbs down to 3 lbs, all in a 1910 farm house with one shower. Great food and cozy surroundings made for a very memorable holiday. Our last cook up feels so long ago and I have cooked a dozens of family meals in between. I must say, as a person who loves to cook, I continue to be amazed at the quality of the food Mary and I are working with at the LWK. Knowing where our food comes from and how it gets processed is so important. If any of you have seen the movie Food Inc, you completely understand.As we begin week 3, our menu is designed to add comfort as temperatures hit single digits and winter sets in. This weeks yummy dishes include:

  • Steak Diane with local mushrooms

  • Grandma’s Chicken & Dumplings

  • Oven Braised Barbeque Pork

  • Ham Hocks and Navy Bean Soup

  • Dad’s Spaghetti Sauce


P.S. Here are some pictures from the Long Winter Kitchen prep days to bring back memories of the summer.
1. Fresh tomatoes ready to be processed
2. Tomato processing team hard at work!
3. Quarts of tomatoes ready to be frozen for the winter

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A cold wind blows: Long Winter Kitchen Week 2

Here we are at the second week of the Long Winter Kitchen. I should clarify that the Long Winter Kitchen is not going to be a weekly thing--it's a twice-monthly pick up. Because of holidays and other commitments we're doing the first two weeks back-to-back, but in the coming months it'll be every other week. I'm quite grateful for this because this month is a little crazy and I wouldn't want to keep on with this relentless pace too much longer. Still, the first week was *very* rewarding! Everyone seems excited about the food--and I'll say it certainly was smelling and tasting delicious when we finished. I'm personally most excited about our new containers (only kidding) which we'll be using next year in the CFK as well.
The first week of cooking was lots of fun. Michelle and I had help from Veronica, Jordan, and Cynthia. It was quite low-key compared with the end of the summer season. We had relatively little prep to do--though we had to thaw the meat and chop a few vegetables. It was truly a joy to work with the high-quality meat from Old Pine Farm and the frozen vegetables from Locavorious. I was also pleased to see that most of our cold-storage vegetables are holding up pretty well. The flow of the day was unfamiliar as well: once everything was in the pots/oven, all we could do was wait for it to be done! Then we took advantage of the cold weather outside to hurry the cooling and put everything into its fancy new containers.
So, with one week under our belts, it's time to announce this week's menu:
Chicken Marsala with fresh mushrooms from Michigan Mushrooms, my Farmer's Market friends!
Shepherd's Pie a classic British dish for cold winter nights
Quiche Lorraine chock full of delicious bacon and tasty veggies
Stir-Fried Beef and Lamb with Vegetables with a citrus-y sauce
Slow Cooked Pork with Root Vegetables featuring my personal favorite, parsnips.
everyone will also be getting eggs.

See you Saturday!
Photos: 1. Veronica adds cranberries to the cranberry-pork-apple dish. 2. Last week's share lookin' fancy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Long Winter Kitchen Week 1

Well well well. After months of planning and organizing, many trips to our freezer warehouse, coordinating orders with farmers, one long day processing tomatoes, and much more, we are finally ready to get cooking in the Long Winter Kitchen.

In other news, (see photo, left), I'm back at the Farmer's Market on Wednesdays with the CFK Bakery--selling delicious Pendle Hill Brown Bread, Mary's Crunchy granola (sweetened and unsweetened) and four kinds of muffins (including vegan ones!). Stop by on Wednesday Dec 9, Dec 16, and Dec 23 and Saturday Dec 19!

But, back to the Long Winter Kitchen. Our meat comes from Old Pine Farm and Locavorious is helping out with frozen local veggies. We also are "root cellaring" some root crops in a cooler facility--Tantre farm onions, Our Family Farm potatoes, Frog Holler carrots, and more. We've also got garlic from the Community Farm and oregano from my own garden. Our goal is to make these meals with as many local ingredients as possible, even in the dead of winter!

So, I don't have any colorful stories about your meat when it was on the hoof...just a lot of tales of enthusiastic women (Rena, Kris, Veronica, Michelle, and myself) meeting and talking and dreaming and emailing endless spreadsheets. After Saturday I hope to have good cooking tales. In the mean time whet your appetite with considering this menu of favorites:

Lamb Curry This recipe comes directly from Zingerman's mail order chef Veronica who is helping us get started with the LWK.

Cranberry Apple Pork Roast Taking advantage of the flavors of the season with fresh local apples and frozen cranberries from Locavorious.

Beef Stew Crammed with slow-cooked beef and as many delicious local veggies as we could find. Yum!

Chicken Divan Michelle's specialty--always popular with her family. I'm looking forward to it!

Chili con carne Michelle says "We'll do this the way my mom used to"...with locally grown hot peppers, tomatoes, and Old Pine Farm ground beef, I'm sure it will be delicious.
Well, I'll be seeing all of our lucky LWK families on Saturday!!

P.S. Also, enjoy that cute photo of Anna and the CFK cauliflower from the end of the season. Soon I'll have LWK photos to share!