November 26, 2007

Week 12

Since we’re family, let me share a couple of personal experiences from the last few days.
Last Saturday, our son Erik competed in a Strong Man event which we attended in Las Vegas. You know where they flip 800 lb. tires and see how far they can carry 350 lbs in each hand. (they call that the “farmers walk” so he better be good at that one) They see how fast they can carry 820 lbs 80 feet and pick up 380 lb concrete balls. A national event with 60 competitors where he took 8th. You can meet Erik on the website.
On Sunday, my grandpa passed away at 96. He lived my whole life 3 miles east. A favorite destination to ride my horse to or spend the night with cousins. I believe there are 92 of us kids, grandkids, great grandkids, great-great grand kids and spouses mostly living within a few miles of Kingsburg. He set a tremendous example of hard work and character.
Now back to the Organic stuff and specifically the chicken we’ve started offering as an add-on. I always want to be direct, frank and honest so, here’s the challenge we have. The Pitman’s package the chickens in a case with either so many chickens or trays of parts (breasts, drumsticks, etc) per case. They are packaged with the specs that you see on the web and that means there’s a defined range of weight in a package. Abundant Harvest pays by the weight of the case. You, our beloved subscribers however are charged by the average weight of the individual packages or bird. What that means in plain English is that one time you might get one that’s a bit bigger than average (good deal) and the next, one that’s smaller (bad deal). If you buy 10 over time, you’ll be cool, but any given week any subscriber will vary. If you can live with that, I can tell you the exact same product at that other unnamed purveyor of of Organic products that rhymes with role roods would cost 40% more. If you can’t live with it, I understand.
As we grow, and increase volume, I’m sure we can narrow the spec. For now, on average, this is a great deal for Organic free range chicken.
We’ve discontinued the whole chicken temporarily in favor of parts, but if enough want ‘em back, let us know.
It will be after Thanksgiving when you read this, but a genuine attitude of deep gratitude has never been more necessary or more called for than by us right now in this place where we find ourselves. An attitude of gratitude sets the stage for hope and true joy that will lift and encourage.
Eat healthy! Vernon

“You are what you eat”
Victor Lindlahr, Nutritionist

The beautiful leaves of the kale plant provide more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around. One cup of kale contains just 36.4 calories, but provides 192.4% of the daily value for vitamin A, 88.8% of the daily value for vitamin C, and 27% of the day’s needs for manganese.
Kale should be wrapped in a damp paper towel, placed in a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator crisper. It should not be washed before storing since this may cause it to become limp. Kale can be kept in the refrigerator for several days, but the longer it is stored, the more bitter its flavor becomes. Kale needs thorough cooking as it will be unpleasantly chewy if only barely cooked. Here are a few hints for ways to prepare your kale.
Sauté with fresh garlic and sprinkle with lemon juice and olive oil before serving.
Braise chopped kale with apples. Before serving, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and chopped walnuts.
Combine chopped kale, pine nuts and feta cheese with whole grain pasta drizzled with olive oil.
Steamed kale is a wonderful topping for homemade pizza.

Don’t forget to log on and give us your opinion of what you got in your box this week.

Leeks have a more delicate and sweeter flavor than onions, and they add a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present.
Fresh leeks should be stored unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator, where they will keep fresh for between one and two weeks. Wrapping them loosely in a plastic bag will help them to retain moisture.
Leeks may be frozen after being blanched for two to three minutes, although they will lose some of their desirable taste and texture qualities. Leeks will keep in the freezer for about three months.
Add finely chopped leeks to salads. Put them in broth and stews for extra flavoring, or add sliced leeks to your favorite omelet or frittata recipe.

Not only are boiling onions great cooked whole in stews and pot roasts, try them whole on the skewer when you are cooking kabobs. Alternate them with mushrooms and a meat of your choice.

Here is what you will find in this week’s box.
-Baby Beets*
-Nantese Carrots
-French Breakfast Radishes
-Red Russian Kale*
-Italian Sweet Peppers
-Red Leaf Lettuce
-Red Butter Head Lettuce*
-Junior Bunch Turnips*
T & D Willey, Madera
-Russet Potatoes
-Boiling Onions
Family Farm, Madera
-Butternut Squash
Dynasty Farms, Salinas
-Satsuma Mandarin Oranges
John France, Porterville
-Crimson Royal Seedless Grapes
The Peterson Family, Kingsburg
*Denotes Abundant Box Only
Contents may vary due to availability on date of delivery.

This Week's Recipe
1 Butternut squash halved lengthwise and seeded
2 Tsp brown sugar or maple syrup
2 Tsp butter
Salt and pepper
Preheat Oven to 400º
Place Butternut squash halves on a large baking sheet flesh side up, Place 1 Tsp of butter in the middle of each half. Sprinkle with brown sugar or drizzle with maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 min., until fork tender.

1 Butternut Squash seeded
Salt and pepper
1 ½ cups chopped onion
3/4 lb smoked sausage or kielbasa cut into ¼ inch pieces
2 cups corn kernels
1 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 Tbsp olive oil
8-10 cups chicken stock
1 cup wild rice
1 ½ cups half and half
Preheat oven to 400º
Season the squash with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender. Remove from oven and cool completely. In a blender or food processor, puree the squash with 2 cups of the chicken stock. Puree until smooth and set aside.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, bring 4 cups of the stock and ½ cup of the chopped onions to a simmer. Stir in the rice and cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, about an hour, stirring occasionally with fork. Remove the rice from the pan and cool. In a large saucepan, add the
remaining oil, heat up and add sausage and brown. Add remaining onion and the corn. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté. Add the remaining chicken stock and squash puree. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Skim off any fat that may rise to the surface. Stir in the rice and continue to cook for 10 min. Remove from the heat, stir in the half and half and season if needed. Stir in parsley and serve.

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