|GOOD FOOD NEWS
Volume 5 Number 15 April 16, 2013
Clean It, Green It Day, Saturday, April 20:
MLH will be at the Jackson Clean It, Green It Day in honor of Earth Day this Saturday. Volunteers work on various clean-up projects around the city, then convene in Detert Park from 11 am to 1 pm for live music and a barbecue lunch. A number of “green” and healthy-lifestyle vendors have booths in the park to round out the event. It is a great way to pitch in to do something for the community, and especially to teach kids that service can be fun! MLH members who would like to volunteer to help staff the booth are welcome, just call Michelle at 419-2503.
Work Party, Sunday, April 21:
Alice Kaiser of Casa de la Pradera in Fiddletown is leaving her full-time job this month, and is celebrating by flinging herself into her work on the farm. She would like to host a work party at her place from 10 am to 2 pm for anyone interested in pitching in to help her get caught up in the garden. Casa de la Pradera is at 20161 American Flat Road in Fiddletown. Parking for the event is at the old Schoolhouse across the road from the cemetery and the farm; attendees should park at the Schoolhouse and walk the short distance to the farm. For more information, call Alice Kaiser at 209-245-6042, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Open House, Saturday, May 18:
The MLH Spring Quarter Open House will be at Harmony Hill Farm, between Fiddletown and Mt. Aukum. The day will start with a work party for interested members, from 9 am to noon, followed by the Open House from noon to 3 pm, which is open to the public. There will be tours, demonstrations, information on sustainable gardening, and snacks made of local foods. The focus will be on discussions and exchanging ideas about gardening. For more information, contact Emily Beals at email@example.com or at 530-620-4548 .
FIELD NOTES: Field Trip to Outer Aisle Foods, Douglas Flat, by Michelle Grondin, editor
This week I took a field trip to Douglas Flat, in southern Calaveras County, to meet Christine Taylor, owner, with her husband Eric, of Outer Aisle Foods. The Taylors are pioneers of the local food movement in the foothills, and I had long been wanting to meet them. They have been farming organically for 20 years or more, first attending farmers' markets, then developing a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) from the farm. Formerly known as Table Mountain Farm, they are now Outer Aisle Foods, and have grown and expanded into a CSA with 150 members; a retail store where they sell their produce and other regional produce and products; and now a cafe, where I had a delicious lunch made with fresh produce from the farm.
With as much as she has going on, Christine graciously made time to talk with me, with tremendous energy and openness. We talked about some of the challenges of CSA's, and how she and Eric have organized their business, and touched on the possibility of Outer Aisle Foods working with MLH in some capacity. She suggested that my friend and I visit the farm, which is conveniently located around the corner from the store/cafe.
Not wanting to pass up that opportunity, we stopped at the farm, which is a 2-acre, neatly-tended, intensively-planted beauty. The Taylors are masters of season-extension, growing with a combination of row covers and hoop houses, which act like greenhouses. They have already been harvesting baby summer squashes, and have baby tomatoes on some of their plants! My friend and I were awed by their skill as farmers, and by the loveliness of the setting, next to the limestone-covered hillsides.
It was a great field trip, fun and informative, and well worth the drive down to Douglas Flat. The cafe is open for lunch on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11 am to 3:30 pm. For more information about Outer Aisle Foods, go to www.outeraislefoods.com.
This is a versatile recipe with which you can do a lot of substitution. It includes a lot of meat, but to make it vegetarian, use 1/2 pound dry black-eyed peas, soaked overnight and cooked, instead. The specific greens called for can be replaced by whatever greens you have on hand.
Adapted from a recipe by David Kinch for Food and Wine
1/2 pound mustard greens, stemmed
1/2 pound collard greens, stemmed
1/2 pound turnip greens or kale, stemmed
1/2 pound spinach, stemmed
1 cup carrot-top greens
1 bunch watercress
1/4 head iceberg or 1/2 head romaine lettuce
3/4 pound green cabbage
1 medium white onion or 4 medium leeks, chopped
6 garlic cloves or 6 whole green garlic, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound hot andouille sausage, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 pound smoked ham, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons gumbo filé powder (optional)
Hot sauce and cider vinegar, for serving
Coarsely chop all of the greens and add to a very large pot, along with the onion, garlic and scallions. Add 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Cover partially and simmer over moderate heat until the greens are very tender and lose their bright color, about 30 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the greens into a food processor, along with the flour, and coarsely puree.
Return the broth in the pot to a boil and add the pork. Season with salt and pepper and cayenne. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, for 30 minutes. Add the andouille, ham, thyme and greens and simmer, partially covered, for 1 hour. Stir in the filé powder and serve with hot sauce and vinegar.
Here is an easy way to enjoy your sunchokes. The anchovies are a traditional, but optional, addition.
Roasted Sunchokes with Buttery Bagna Cauda
Contributed by Mike Lata for Food and Wine
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds young sunchokes, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large anchovy fillets, minced (optional)
2 large garlic cloves, minced, or 2 whole green garlic, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Lemon wedges, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the sunchokes, cut side down, and cook over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until the sunchokes are golden brown and tender.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the anchovies, garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over low heat until the anchovies are sizzling, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a shallow bowl and keep warm.
Spoon the sunchokes onto a platter. Garnish with the parsley and serve with the warm bagna cauda and lemon wedges.
This would also be great with mustard greens.
Bok Choy with Garlic
Contributed by Marcia Kiesel for Food and Wine
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced, or 2 whole green garlic, chopped
2 pounds bok choy—stems cut into 1-inch lengths, leafy tops left about 4 inches long (or baby bok choy, left whole)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
In a bowl, whisk the stock with the cornstarch. In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook over high heat until fragrant, 20 seconds. Add the bok choy and stir-fry until the leaves start to wilt, 2 minutes. Add the stock and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 30 seconds. Remove the bok choy from the heat, season with salt and pepper and serve.