Thursday, November 19, 2009

Grand Finale Pt 2

Well! What a week of Kitchen work it's been! Last week the kitchen crew worked extra long and hard to prepare that unbelievable bounty and I think some CFK members were a little overwhelmed with the over 10 items they received. Never fear, this week won't be quite as huge, but just as delicious.
Even though I wasn't at the farm, last week's cooking marathon yielded its own adventures. From having just a little too much of every dish, to the overwhelming deliciousness of Hobbit Soup (I credit the Rutabagas), to dying immersion blenders, there was something to figure out every day. Not to mention trying to squeeze everything into the fridge at the end of the day--that was a puzzle! Check out Peter and Jason demonstrating how *stuffed* the fridge was for distribution! This week we have some more delicious items, mostly featuring squash, and also some end-of-season items such as hot sauce and kim chee.
When you visit the kitchen, I want to make sure you remember to check out the "wall of fame" opposite the door: I've posted pictures of almost everyone who cooked with us this summer. It's a gorgeous gallery. I hope the pics give an idea of how much fun we have cooking for you. More than one member commented that it gives you an idea of HOW everything gets made (HUGE bowls! Lots of chopping!). So, check it out. I personally can't stop looking at it, even though I know everyone! I'm so grateful to this smart and talented crew for giving so much energy and hard work behind the scenes at the CFK. Most of them are gone by the time members arrive, but you should know who they are!
SO, this week's menu:
White House Butternut Squash Soup --a recipe straight from the Obama administration, courtesy of this NYTimes article
Rutaloaf - a rutabaga-based dinner loaf from The Community Farm of Ann Arbor Cookbook (2001). As recipe author Karen says, "Everyone loves Rutaloaf! Even my teenager!"
Brussels Sprouts with Honey Mustard Sauce - Sauce recommendation from my friend Aaron. I'm actually going to give you your sprouts fresh for you to cook your favorite way, but we'll give you a little tub of sauce to go with.
Pumpkin Bread from Simply in Season Need I say more??
Kim Chee - after a week of fermentation, this Korean sauerkraut will rock your socks
Stuffed Carnival Squash - Like acorn squash but more colorful! This yummy fruit-and-seed based stuffing also comes from Simply in Season
Squash Malagushim - a tasty squash curry from Laurel's Kitchen
Cauliflower Risotto with Saffron and Dill from Farmer John's Cookbook p. 265
Parsley Cubes
Hot Sauce
another winter squash
dried chili peppers

So much yumminess! I'd better get to work!
See you Friday for the end of the season (*sniff!*)
Photos: 1. Becky, Peter, and Jason get tough on some leeks. 2. Sauerkraut! 3. Peter and Jason show off a FULL refrigerator! 4. Becky hard at work and Jason tasting some Hobbit Soup 5. Anna and Amanda chopping kale 6. Jason looks like a butcher after chopping beets. 7. Amanda and a "crone" rutabaga

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Grand Finale!

There is so much to say about the Grand close of the season... how hard we worked last week on the farm on cold days and warm days and days that started frozen and turned warm... we brought in such a bounty from Mother Earth! We harvested roots like rutabagas and turnips and leeks, greens like napa cabbage, kale, and parsley, and brassicas like Brussels sprouts and cabbage and cauliflower. It was hard work but it felt so good to be harvesting these amazing vegetables for all the members. Saturday, the day of Grand Finale itself was amazing. For a start, the weather was perfect: warm and sunny. Exactly the sort of day when you WANT to be outside. Aaron and I headed out to the farm fairly early to do the last of the harvest and set up for distribution. After lunch, CFK cooks Jason, Jake, Anna, Amanda, and Becky all joined us at the farm for the Big Pick Up. I sent them scurrying around the barnyard picking up dozens of roots, boxes of greens, and hundreds of winter squash. Finally, we loaded it all into our cars. I didn't think Jason would make it up the hill with his trunk full of winter squash, but somehow he managed. We returned to the kitchen to try to squeeze everything into the fridge and pantry. The energy of the day was amazing--you could only feel good about bringing in such a lot of food for the winter.
At that point the work had only just begun. It's Wednesday and it's already been a busy week of cooking (and juggling things to make room in the fridge for everything!). I'm really excited about the menu we're working on. I think you'll really enjoy it. Here we go....
Cauliflower - 1 head
Rutabaga - 4 lbs
Carrots and beets - 1 lb total
Turnip - 2 lbs
Garlic - 8 heads
Daikon - 3
Cabbage - 1 head
Tatsoi - 1 bunch
Mizuna - 1 bunch
Arugula - 1 bunch
Parsley - 2 plants
Brussels sprouts - 2 stalks
Kale - 3 plants
Big napa - 2
Small napa - 2
Blue hubbard - 1
Mixed squash - 1
Carnival squash - 3
Small Leeks - 2
Butternut squash - 3
Mixed squash - 1
Acorn squash - 3
Big leeks - 6

and the Menu (sorry, no page numbers right now)
Week 1:
Beet and Carrot Burgers from Farmer John's Cookbook: A favorite from the beginning of the season returns!
Leeks and Asian Greens with Pasta from Greens, Glorious Greens this recipe was recommended by a CFK member, and it looks perfect!
Creamies from The Community Farm of Ann Arbor Cookbook 2001 Everyone always asks "What are Creamies?", well it's an incredibly tasty casserole of squash and cabbage and kale, spiced up with tahini and soy sauce. We made it today and I think you'll like it!
Sauerkraut that's been fermenting for a few weeks--it's finally ready to go, all salty and flavorful!
Groundnut Stew from Simply in Season Peanut-based tastiness.
Hobbit Stew - learned this root-y recipe from my fellow cook Kurt at Pendle Hill. Contains no hobbits, but all of a hobbit's favorite root veggies!
White Bean Kale Soup from Greens, Glorious Greens Another perennial end-of-year favorite, this soup is sweet with squash and spicy with curry. Yum!
Nitya's Dahl with Napa Can't go wrong with this Indian beans-and-greens combo, I think.
Leeks with Pears and Mashed Potatoes from The Boxing Clever Cookbook The veggie combos in this cookbook are always so unexpected but somehow they always work. We made this one today and I'm really pleased with it. One taster plans to make it for dinner tonight!
The Grand Finale Green Salad with the usual Asian greens
Parsley Cubes - wait and see!
One Acorn Squash

There's more to come next week, but I think this post is long and overwhelming enough, right?
I'll post again with more pics and the rest of the menu in a few day's time.
See you Friday!
Photos: 1. Farm workers enjoy lunch on a cold harvest day. 2. Harvest crew with Kale and Brussels sprouts 3. Megan with the parsley 4. Aaron with arugula 5. Jason and a wheelbarrow of squash 6. Jake can carry three boxes of napa! 7. Anna de-stalks the Brussels sprouts 8. A car-trunk full of squash! 9. The pick up crew has a laugh.

More photos in next post!