Cure Organic Farm CSA Newsletter

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Greetings CSA Members,

This is a reminder that today, Wednesday November 14th is is a Winter Share CSA pick-up. Your share will be available from 3pm-6pm at the farm. We are moving CSA distribution into the Farm Store as it is just to cold and dark with the time change. If you ordered a turkey, it has arrived. Please remember to pick your turkey up this evening. With the winter like temperatures this past weekend the carrots and parsnips have grown more sweet and the greens more tender. We are still harvesting everything from the fields outside but hope to have tender salad greens for you from the hoop houses next week. Exciting this week: in your share is Farmer John's wheat flour. We hope this helps to make great pie crust, biscuits, and breads for your Thanksgiving table.

We look forward to seeing you tonight,

Farmer Anne

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Exciting This Week!     
Blue Slate TurkeyThe Turkeys are Here! If you ordered a heritage turkey from us, it has arrived! The turkeys are $5.00/lb. Please bring cash or a check with you tonight to pay for your bird. One thing we strongly suggest you do with your heritage turkey is: Brine! This will ensure that it stays juicy. See Chef Marilyn's brining tips along with thawing and cooking info. below.
 

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Talking Turkey with Chef Marilyn If you've never worked with a heritage turkey before, chef and CSA member Marilyn Kakudo has put together everything you need to know to be successful on Thanksgiving.

Whether this is your first or umpteenth holiday turkey, we are lucky to be able to buy a locally raised pastured heritage bird. How do we create a delicious and memorable Thanksgiving centerpiece starting with the frozen bird we’ll take home today? I think the cook always has a bit of nervous anticipation about how the turkey will turn out--will it be done on time, taste good and NOT be dry? (Continued below)

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In Your Share This Week:
  • apples
  • brussels sprouts
  • braising mix
  • carrots
  • parsley
  • parsnips
  • potatoes
  • winter squash
  • Coming Next Week: winter squash
Around the Farm

Last week as the farm's mechanical guru, Mark Jackson, was taking down the interns' yomes for the season, he heard a puzzling noise in the chicken yard behind the yomes. It sounded like a "cheep, cheep, cheep." Following the sounds, Mark found one of our Barred Rock hens underneath a tree, and much to his surprise, 4 baby chicks were there with her! She had actually hatched out 4 eggs.

Chick Surprise!

In all our years on the farm, this has only happened one other time. What's more amazing is that she successfully did this in the cold weather. While all her fellow hens were tucked away in the chicken house, warm and toasty under their heat lamp each night, she dutifully stayed outside and kept her eggs warm and toasty. Bravo mama!

 

Coming Up at the Farm:

Smith & TruslowOrganic Holiday Spices If you're looking for a great local source for your holiday spices, we wanted to mention our friends at Smith & Truslow. They were kind enough to donate spices for our pickling classes this season. We were impressed by their blends and love that they're one of a very few suppliers of organic spices. We love their apple pie spice and are excited to try their pumpkin pie spices this season. Check them out online.

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                                 Important Dates

  • Last Boulder Farmer's Market 11/17
  • Winter Holiday Market, 12/1 and 12/2 at Boulder County Fairgrounds
  • Farm Store open through Dec. 16th

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Dyed Wool

Laura's been having lots of fun dyeing wool this season. Check out the rainbow in the farm store.

Words to Live By:

"We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie."
                   ― David Mamet, Boston Marriage

 

RECIPES

Pumpkin Pie Part 2 (from Marilyn Kakudo and Libby's)

Last week we told you how to roast and prepare your pumpkin to turn it into pie filling. Here's a traditional recipe for pumpkin pie, along with some tips from Marilyn who says "It's a good idea to cook the pumpkin puree over the stove to remove excess liquid and kind of caramelize it for flavor. I always blind bake the crust first. I do not like a soggy crust."

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
15 oz. pumpkin puree
1 can (12 fl. oz.) Evaporated Milk (can use milk or cream instead)
1 9-inch deep-dish pie shell
Whipped cream (optional)

MIX sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before serving.


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Roasted Parsnips with Fresh Thyme (from The New York Times)

15 parsnips, peeled and cut on a slant in slices 1 inch thick
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh thyme leaves


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Put parsnips in a bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Spread parsnips on a large, heavy baking sheet or in a shallow baking pan. Put in oven and roast about 40 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.

Put parsnips in a warm serving dish. Toss with thyme, adjust seasonings and serve.


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Carrots and Lentils in Olive Oil (from The New York Times)

1 cup brown, green or black lentils, rinsed

3 cups water

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, halved lengthwise, then sliced thin across the grain

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced thin (about 4 cups sliced)

1 tablespoon tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup water

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt to taste

1/2 cup chopped fresh mint

1. Combine the lentils with 3 cups water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Set a strainer over a bowl, and drain.

2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a heavy casserole or skillet. Add the onion and coriander seeds. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and carrots and salt to taste. Cook, stirring, for two to three minutes until the carrots begin to soften. Stir in the dissolved tomato paste, sugar and lentils. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water from the lentils (enough to cover the lentils), salt to taste and half the mint. Bring to a simmer, and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until the lentils are tender and much of the liquid has evaporated. Taste and adjust salt. Remove from the heat, sprinkle on the remaining mint and serve, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature with cooked whole grains, like bulgur or quinoa.

 

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Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts (from Food & Wine Magazine)

1/4 cup canola oil
2 1/4 pounds baby brussels sprouts or regular brussels sprouts that are halved lengthwise
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons and softened
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup vacuum-packed roasted chestnuts, coarsely chopped (6 ounces)
1 tablespoon walnut oil

Heat the canola oil in a very large skillet until shimmering. Add the brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper, then cook over high heat without stirring until they are browned, about 2 minutes. Add the unsalted butter and brown sugar and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the brown sugar is melted. Add the maple syrup and cook, stirring occasionally, until the brussels sprouts are just crisp-tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the cider vinegar. Add the chestnuts and walnut oil and cook until hot.


Using a slotted spoon, transfer the brussels sprouts and chestnuts to a bowl. Boil the cooking liquid over high heat until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour the sauce over the brussels sprouts and serve.

 

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Turkey Tips

What makes heritage birds different?

For those of you who already have a tried and true method with the standard broad breasted turkey, you will find your heritage turkey is more flavorful because it is probably older, has lived outdoors and gotten more exercise, and has eaten a much more varied and natural diet. This life results in darker, more flavorful but possibly tougher and drier meat. Here are some things to keep in mind about heritage birds:

  1. Smaller size and more cylindrical shape - you can start and even maintain a hotter oven temperature since the size and shape will lend itself to faster and more even cooking (shouldn’t be undercooked in the center), but you’ll need to check the internal temperature accurately and start checking a little earlier in the roasting process. See the roasting recipe link below.
  2. Leaner meat overall and lower ratio of light meat (breast) to dark meat - the breast meat will be dry if overcooked; you can protect it with foil at the beginning or the end of roasting. A compound butter* between the skin and meat of the breast will add flavor and help avoid this problem (see Marilyn's butter recipe here.)
  3. More flavor - not necessarily gamey, the meat will have a deeper flavor you can enhance with proper seasoning, the addition of aromatics, and the wet or dry brining methods mentioned below.

General Turkey Cooking Guidelines

  1. Safely and completely thaw before cooking - allow a few days to thaw in the refrigerator (or if you don’t have room, in a cooler kept below 40° with some ice as needed), the bigger the bird the more time you'll need.
  2. If you brine, cool the brine before using, and keep the turkey at a safe cold temperature while brining (in the refrigerator, bagged with brine in a cooler with ice, or overnight outside at appropriate cold temperatures)
  3. Don’t truss the legs - you want them to cook faster and hotter than the breast meat
  4. If needed, add some liquid to the roasting pan to keep drippings from burning; basting the breast with this liquid can help prevent its overcooking
  5. Bake the stuffing/dressing outside of the turkey - it’s tricky enough to get the turkey roasted to doneness while still juicy without worrying about getting the stuffing cooked hot enough too
  6. Check the internal temperature with a probe thermometer or an instant read thermometer or both - you’ll want to reach a lowest internal temperature of about 160°-165°F, but remember the temperature will continue to rise while the meat rests for 20-30 minutes at least (longer time and higher temperature for bigger birds)
  7. Even if you think you overcooked the turkey, rest it for the full time (just don’t tent with foil) to minimize the loss of juices when carved

How To Brine & Roast

I’ve successfully used Chez Panisse’s turkey brining recipe many times with a heritage bird. You will find it here. Chez Panisse's roasting instructions are here. Even though they recommend cooking at 400 degrees, I still prefer to lower the oven temperature to 325°F for most of the cooking.

This year, I plan to try a dry brining method based on the Zuni restaurant’s roast chicken (which is my favorite way to roast chicken). LA Times’ food writer Russ Parsons has been perfecting the technique for a few years. A couple of advantages he claims over wet brining is preserving a firmer meat texture and avoiding over-salted drippings which is problematic for gravy making. His most recent rendition of this method is here.

*I’ll also be gilding the lily by sliding some garlic herb butter under the breast skin just before roasting. To a stick of softened butter, add 1 tablespoon each minced garlic, thyme, sage and rosemary and mix until uniformly incorporated. Use as much as you like and freeze any extra.

You’re welcome to email any questions to me at mkakudo@comcast.net. Have a happy and delicious Thanksgiving!

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