Local Food and Farm Products 
Volume 8 Number 52  December 27, 2016

Field Notes from the Archives, Dec. 23, 2014: Sun Earth Energy, Sutter Creek

The winter Solstice is upon us. The shortest daylight hours of the year.

Our tomato patch is, amazingly, still putting on tomatoes. These tomatoes aren't the beautiful looking ones of summer, but with a little cutting off the cracks, I'm still making tomato sauce. Cooking them down with herbs, like basil and oregano that I gathered and dried earlier this year.

Recently my gardening attention has been directed to the Boggs' market garden.. Out Clinton road. I took over the management of their garden, due to its location in the so called, "Banana belt".. This is a unique micro climate in the hills, on a ridge, with a southern exposure.. It rarely freezes, even at 2,000 ft elevation. So it just made sense to plant here. The Boggs are great to work with. Over the years they have built a terraced garden space, with deer fence and lots of good composted soil, and irrigation. Many varieties of greens and lettuces are thriving through the winter here. Even if it does freeze and snow, they will be fine and established for spring.

Now the days will be getting longer and the crops will begin to grow faster.

We are also so thankful for this great Rain!

Happy Holidays

James and Mary

Editor's Note: James is now starting a demonstration garden at Vino Noceto in Shenandoah Valley. We look forward to hearing great news from him about this new development in the near future!


Volunteer of the Month: Gwen Woolheater

Many thanks from MLH to our intrepid box-delivery person, customer member Gwen Woolheater! For some time now, Gwen has been steadfastly fitting delivery of some of our produce boxes into her Tuesday errands, bringing subscriptions to the Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort employees, and to the General Store in Volcano, for customer pickup there. WE SO APPRECIATE YOUR HELP, GWEN!

If you would like to volunteer your time and talents to MLH's endeavors, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Cheri Woods at 296-3539.


This-n-That Corner:

Our family had our holiday festivities Friday. When your son works graveyard and odd days you learn to compromise. So we had a great time with the family. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday. MLH will stay open all winter this year! Some important meetings coming up so make sure to set your calendars. Until later, Cheri.


Food for Thought:

Joyce is taking a holiday from summarizing the news for us, but she sent the great photo of her latest mushroom harvest. Thanks, Joyce!


Cooking with Dried Boletes (aka Porcini):


As a rule, 3 ounces of dried boletes will equal 1 pound of rehydrated mushrooms. Much variation is found in chefs' opinions as to how long to soak them. On the average they are soaked for about 15 minutes in warm water to cover. Heat hastens the rehydration process. The length of time depends upon the thickness of the slices. Squeeze dry, but be sure to save the liquid in the bowl to preserve the rich flavor for use in your dish.

Dried boletes have a deep, rich taste that dominates soups and sauces for polentas and pastas. When you cook with dried B. edulis your kitchen will be redolent with its powerful fragrance. The essence of the mushroom persists in the cooking pot even after the pot has been washed and dried.

Cut mushrooms into desired sizes after soaking. In general, the larger the pieces, the more flavor. Some chefs prefer to saute them quickly in olive oil and butter before adding them to the dish they are preparing. Add the remaining soaking liquid to your food preparation by carefully pouring off the concentrated essence from the top, discarding any residual matter such as sand or soil at the bottom of the vessel.


Savory Mushroom and Gruyère Strata



2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for the baking dish

1 pound assorted fresh wild or cultivated mushrooms (chanterelles, hen of the woods, crimini, button etc), thinly sliced

1 cup chopped onion or leeks

1 oz dried bolete mushrooms, reconstituted, drained & coarsely chopped, liquid reserved

1 Tbsp fresh thyme or sage

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/4 cup dry sherry (optional)

2 cups milk

4 large eggs

salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 slices white bread, crusts trimmed

3/4 cup grated Gruyère cheese

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese



Lightly oil a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion or leeks and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced fresh mushrooms and reconstituted dried mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for another 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, allow to cool slightly and place in a large bowl.

Pour the dry sherry and 1 cup of the reserved mushroom liquid into the same pan used to cook the mushrooms. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat.

Whisk the milk and eggs together in a bowl until thoroughly blended. Stir in the sherry-mushroom liquid and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange 6 slices of bread on the bottom of the oiled baking dish. Top with the mushroom mixture, half of the Gruyère, and half of Parmesan cheese. Top with the remaining bread slices. Pour the egg mixture over the top and press gently to make sure that the bread is entirely saturated. Cover place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Top with the remaining Gruyère and Parmesan cheese and bake uncovered until the top is golden brown, about 40 minutes. Serve hot.

Lemon, Olive Oil, and Almond Biscotti

One Girl Cookies by Dawn Casale and David Crofton



1 cup whole almonds, skins on

2 large eggs

Grated zest of 2 Meyer lemons

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon table salt



1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Put the almonds on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 15 minutes, or until they are well browned and fragrant. Let the nuts cool (leave the oven on). When the almonds are cool enough to handle, put them in a food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times, until ground.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, lemon zest, sugar, olive oil, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the ground almonds, flour, baking powder, and salt. With the mixer running on low speed, gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, stopping two or three times to scrape down the bowl. Mix until the dough is just beginning to come together. Do not overmix.

5. Scoop the dough out onto a parchment paper–lined baking sheet, and shape it into 2 equal logs. The dough should be sticky—you may need to wet your hands slightly with water in order to work with it. Each log should be about as wide as two knuckles on your middle finger and about ½-inch tall. Bake for 14 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and bake for 14 more minutes. Let the logs cool on the baking sheet for 12 to 15 minutes.

6. Reduce the oven temperature to 250°F.

7. Transfer the logs to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, slice the

logs into ½-inch-thick biscotti. Put the biscotti on the parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them ½-inch apart. Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and bake for 7 more minutes, or until the biscotti are slightly crisp on the exposed sides. Transfer them to a wire rack and let them cool completely.


Single Box

1 Meyer lemon Abbondanza

1/4 lb. walnuts Abbondanza

1 oz. dried bolete mushrooms Casa de la Pradera

1 doz. kiwi Abbondanza

1 oz. dried persimmons Casa de la Pradera

1 bunch sage Humbug Creek Farm

1 lb. Satsuma mandarins Produce Express/Twin Peaks

1 bunch golden beets Produce Express/Capay

1 bunch leeks Produce Express/Capay


Family Box

2 Meyer lemons Abbondanza

1 head lettuce Casa de la Pradera

1/4 lb. sorrel Casa de la Pradera

1 bottle olive oil Hidden Mesa Olives

1/4 lb. walnuts Abbondanza

2 doz. kiwi Abbondanza

1 bunch sage Humbug Creek Farm

Customers Dick and Josie


Mother Lode 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. Prepaid orders may also be picked up in Volcano or Plymouth. Payment may be made at pickup by cash or check made out to Mother Lode Harvest, or before pickup by PayPal.

New customers will need to register by using the "join" button on the website before they can shop. A signed customer agreement and membership dues may be mailed to MLH, or brought to the distribution center with your first pickup.

If you have any questions or problems with using the website, please contact our customer coordinator, Michelle, at, or 419-2503.


MLH Calendar of Events

January 23 Monday Producers Annual Planning Meeting Teresa's Banquet Room 6:00-8:00 This is a must-attend opportunity to plan the produce MLH will be offering this coming year.

February 25 Saturday ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 12:00-2:00 This is an opportunity to enjoy the company of fellow members of MLH and brainstorm ways to take MLH to where we need to go this coming year. If you have been or are currently a member of MLH and enjoy the bounty of local, sustainably raised produce and other products, we need your input. Soup and salad on us.

Copyright © 2012 Mother Lode Harvest, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 534 Amador City, CA 95601
Mother Lode Harvest is a non-profit membership association.

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