Local Food and Farm Products 

Volume 6 Number 45  November 11th, 2014


FIELD NOTES: from Humbug Creek Farm

We're finishing up the apple pressing season this month at Humbug Creek Farm in Glencoe.  Next weekend we will complete the cider season with our 14th pressing.  The previous record was 10 pressings, so you can see this has been a banner year for us here.  We'll finish with over 800 gallons of premium cider including our first experiment with Asian Pear juice. We'll still be picking apples into December and the Persimmons (both Fuyu and Hachiya) are ripening as I write this.
The big new thing here is our commercial greenhouse.  We are growing citrus, mangoes, avocados, chard, spinach, tomatoes, basil, dill, beets, carrots, eggplants, and peppers.  Look for some listings in the coming weeks.  Our hope is to be vegetable independent in winter by next year.
We have had visits for cider pressing from West Point Elementary School,  The Arc of Amador and Calaveras, folks from MLH, and numerous friends and neighbors.  Thanks to all!
Our Fruit and Cider stand out on Highway 26 opened up last weekend to a great local response.  Two middle school kids run the operation very responsibly and with lots of personality.  Stop by if you can on weekends.
Steve and Pat Wilensky


Celebrate Fall, support Mother Lode Harvest, and enjoy a great evening out! The Volcano Union Inn is sponsoring a benefit night for MLH on Monday, November 17. Diners at the Union that evening will be supporting MLH just by eating a scrumptious dinner, as a portion of the proceeds from the evening will go to Mother Lode Harvest!

For more information, call Michelle at 419-2503, or just go ahead and make reservations for dinner at the Union on the 17th (phone 209- 296-7711), and we'll see you there! Bring friends, and you can tell them all about MLH while you dine!


Fish with Sorrel Sauce (Poisson à l'oseille)


2 lbs. of fish filets (any non-oily white fish works with this recipe; sole, cod, lake perch, trout are all good.), skins, if any, removed
2 good-sized shallots, minced
1/2 c. muscadet or other acidic white wine
1 2/3 c. heavy cream or crème fraîche
2 bunches of sorrel leaves of about 20 leaves each, stems and veins removed (by bending stem backward) and chopped
2 T. unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
Approx. 3 new potatoes, depending on size, per person Coarse sea salt and chopped flat-leaved parsley.
Steam or boil the potatoes in their skins and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

In a small enameled or stainless saucepan, melt 1 T. of the butter. Toss in the shallots and cook them over low heat without coloring until soft. Add the sorrel and stir, cooking gently, until the sorrel "melts." Add the wine and cook until reduced by 1/4. Add the cream and cook gently for a few minutes until the sauce naps a spoon. Do not allow to boil. Correct the seasoning and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, melt 2 T. butter, and dip the fish (washed, dried, and cut into portion-sized pieces) into it on both sides. Place them in a single layer in a shallow dish and roast until done (about 15 minutes per inch of thickness). You may turn on the broiler for the last couple of minutes to brown them lightly.

Place a pool of sauce on each plate. Top with the fish and garnish with the potatoes sprinkled with a bit of sea salt and chopped parsley. The rich sauce is as delicious with the potatoes as with the fish.

Fish with sorrel sauce is a staple of French cookery. If you've never cooked with sorrel, now's the time to try. Its gentle acidity and ability to "melt" when cooked make it a perfect complement to fish, veal, and eggs. In this recipe, the sorrel acts with the wine as an acidifier in an emulsion sauce similar to a Béarnaise in technique, but much easier.


Chocolate Pomegranate Seeds


2 large pomegranates
1(12 ounce) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
Wax paper
Refrigerate the pomegranates (not required, but it helps).
Remove all the seeds and place them in a colander.
Gently rinse the seeds, then lay them out on paper towels to let them dry.
Lay out a large sheet of wax paper on a a cookie sheet which will fit inside your refrigerator.
Melting the chocolate the easy way: put the chocolate chips in a glass container (I'd use my big 4-cup Pyrex measuring thingy) and microwave them until they're melted, stirring occasionally; don't overdo it, though- you don't want the chocolate to burn or get tough.
Melting the chocolate another way: in a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips (if you don't have a double boiler a metal or oven-safe glass dish over boiling water works too); stir constantly while melting so you don't scorch the chocolate.
Add the pomegranate seeds to the melted chocolate (making sure the seeds are not wet on the surface, or else the chocolate can seize) and fold gently with rubber spatula until the seeds are thoroughly covered, then spoon out globs of the mixture, whatever size you like, on to the wax paper.
Place the wax papered cookie sheet in the refrigerator and let the chocolate-covered seeds cool overnight (or for as long as you can stand before tasting them).
Keep refrigerated- they should keep for 3-4 days, at least, although I doubt they'll last that long once you taste them.

Vanilla Poached Pears
Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown



1 (750-ml) bottle white wine, Riesling or Viognier
1 cup water
5 ounces vanilla sugar, approximately 3/4 cup
1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
4 firm Bartlett, Anjou or Bosc pears, peeled leaving the stem intact


Place the white wine, water, sugar and vanilla bean and pulp into a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.

Core the pears from the bottom. Decrease the heat to medium low and place the pears into the liquid, cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the pears are tender but not falling apart. Maintain a gentle simmer. Remove the pears to a serving dish, standing them upright, and place in the refrigerator.

Remove the vanilla bean from the saucepan, increase the heat to high and reduce the syrup to approximately 1 cup of liquid, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Do not allow the syrup to turn brown. Place the syrup in a heatproof container and place in the refrigerator until cool, approximately 1 hour.

Remove the pears from the refrigerator, spoon the sauce over the pears and serve.



  Single Box

1/2 lb. Kale/Chard -  Abbondanza or Harmony Hill Farm

1/2 lb. Escarole /Salad mix /Braising mix - Casa de la Pradera

1 lb. Apples – Harmony Hill Farm

1 Pomegranate - Damas

1 lb. Wonder Pears -  Damas

1 Quince – Chapultepec Garden

1 Bunch Parsley – Harmony Hill Farm 

 Family Box

1 Head Lettuce - Abbondanza or Casa de la Pradera
1/4 lb. Arugula/Sorrel - Casa de la Pradera or Butte Mtn Farm

1 lb. Jerusalem Artichokes - Blue Mountain

2oz. Sunflower Greens – Butte Mtn Farm

1/2 lb. Sweet Peppers  - Abbondanza

1 Pomegranate - Damas

1 lb. Wonder Pears - Damas

1 lb. Apples – Humbug Creek Farm


Customers Dick and Josie
Shopping at
Harvest has local food and farm products available to order at
Orders received during that time can be picked up on Tuesdays between 10:30 am and noon, or 4:30 to 6:00 pm, at 1235 Jackson Gate Road in Jackson, behind Teresa's Restaurant. Payment may be made at pickup by cash or check made out to MotherLode Harvest.
New customers will need to register by using the "join" button on the website before they can shop. If you have any questions or problems with using the website, please contact our tech leader, Jo Ann, at, or 304-7654.
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