I hope your Christmas was as wonderful as ours. Our graphic designing daughter was home from Huntington Beach. My brother Mark visited with his family briefly. Christmas Eve here with Carol’s family the Henriksens and Christmas day at my mom’s with my brother Aaron and his family. Lots of other family gatherings and celebrations. Aren’t we of all people on the planet the most favored?
New Years’ Resolutions
I’ve got two. For Christmas, I gave Carol 12 gift certificates in 12 envelopes each labeled with a month of the year. They are promissory notes of a sort for monthly week-ends away. Sorry, you can’t come.
I don’t know about you, but my life is insanely busy. We want to get away but the weeks roll into months and we just don’t. When Carol opened her gift, our son Erik astutely commented “Looks like Dad gave himself a present.” Well, anything we do for our spouse is a gift to ourselves. I’m resolving to make a little bit of away time a priority in my 51st year.
The second, We’re going on an adventure of tasty, healthy, fresh, home grown, home cookin’. It’s an adventure to be sure because none of us have ever been down this path to this extent and certainly not as a group. Like many of you, our family ate organic when it made sense but we remain amazed at how good all this stuff eats. Because it’s tasty and we’re getting it every week, Carol’s searching for, trying and sharing new recipes. We’re feeling better because we’re eating better. I hope you’re diggin’ it as much as we are.
Next week I hope to bore you with the politics of food safety.
Eat Healthy!! Vernon
Those of you who have been with us since the beginning know what a long way the website has come. I hope all of you have taken the time, recently, to check out the changes to your account pages. On those pages you have the ability to set your vacation days, purchase add-ons, and rate the contents of the box you receive each week. You can look at your Subscription Overview and it will show you what weeks you have received deliveries, been on vacation or have placed a vacation stop for upcoming weeks. On the My Subscription Info page you can enter new billing info, if need be, change or order, or cancel your subscription.
As a reminder, you must place your vacation stop, or cancellation a minimum of 10 days prior to the affected delivery. It is always a good idea to check the Overview and make sure the correct vacation weeks are showing. If you discover a problem please let us know immediately.
Several subscribers have been inquiring about the grains Robert Jackson mentioned in a previous newsletter. Soon after the first of the year we will have several grains available as add-ons. They will be packaged in 2 and 5 pound bags. In last week’s newsletter we provided a web site address where you can do some comparison shopping for grain mills. That address is: www.nextag.com and from there you can search “grain mills”
We realize that it is easy for busy schedules to sometimes cause subscribers to be late, or altogether forget about picking up their order at the scheduled delivery time. One of the reasons we can bring you this great stuff at a great price is that the truck and driver don’t sit in one place for a long period of time. That means the truck has to maintain a pretty tight schedule and has to leave at the appointed time in order to be at the next delivery. If you know ahead of time that you are going to be unable to pick up your box please have a friend or family member there to pick it up for you, or contact your host in advance to make arrangements. We have been lenient, but if you do not pick up your order it is left with your host. The hosts do not have a place to store your order in a manner that will maintain its freshness. An attempt will be made to reach you, but as is stated on the website any orders not picked up will be distributed to a charitable organization that provides food to those in need. We appreciate your cooperation.
Known as “swedes” in Europe, this turnip cousin, often used in stews, also works as a tasty side dish. The rutabaga has a flavor that hints of the light freshness of cabbage and turnip. That is probably because they are a cross between a wild cabbage and a turnip. Rutabaga is rich in beta carotene and an excellent source of potassium and vitamin C. Rutabagas will store in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Try mashing one or two rutabagas and mixing them with your next batch of mashed potatoes. They will provide a beautiful golden color and an interesting taste. Rutabagas can be boiled, steamed or roasted, and served with mustard butter. (For a simple mustard butter, combine ¼ cup soft butter with 2-3 tsp Dijon mustard, one minced garlic clove, and some finely chopped parsley). There are lots of uses for rutabaga. There are even recipes available for Rutabaga Cake. You might be surprised your family may find a new favorite vegetable.
Be careful with that knife, rutabagas can be tough.
WHO GREW THIS?
Here is what you will find in this week’s box.
-Satsuma Mandarin Oranges
M & K, Caruthers
-Cara Cara Oranges
John France, Porterville
Ridder & Son, Watsonville
Troy Huckabay, Kingsburg
Family Farm, Madera
John Tobias, Hollister
-Snow White Turnips
T & D Willey, Madera
Denotes Abundant Box Only
Contents may vary due to availability on date of delivery.
CAUTION! The juice from red beets does stain. Protect yourself and surrounding surfaces, and do quick cleanup. You can wear rubber gloves to protect your hands or you may use lemon juice to clean the stain from your fingers.
Roasted Winter Vegetables Preheat Oven to 425º
6-8 cups winter vegetables: potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, beets, winter squash, peeled and cut in 1 inch pieces or slices.
2 Tbls oil
1 Tbls dried or 3 Tbls fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, parsley or oregano
Toss ingredients together (keep onions separate, as they will roast faster; add them to the pan 10 minutes into the baking time). Spread in a single layer on greased baking pan. Roast in pre-heated oven until tender, 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with roasted garlic sauce (optional)
Roasted Garlic Sauce
Slice top off of bulb of garlic exposing tip of each clove. Place on a square of foil and drizzle with 1 Tbls. of olive oil or just season with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly and bake along side other vegetables until tender. Squeeze soft garlic into a small bowl, mash with fork, and stir in ¾ cup plain yogurt.
CABBAGE CHOWDER Serves 6-8
2 cups diagonally sliced carrots
¼ tsp caraway seeds
2 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 -10 ¾ oz cans condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 soup can milk
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 soup can water
1 lb smoked sausage, cut into ½ inch diagonal slices
In a large kettle, combine the carrots, butter and caraway seeds;
cook over low heat until the carrots are just crisp-tender, about 5
minutes. Add soup, milk, water, cabbage and sausage. Bring to a
boil; reduce heat and cook until cabbage is tender, about 15