CSA Extended Week 4

This is the second to last week of CSA: one more week to go!
Due to the holiday next week, we will not be delivering shares next Thursday.  ALL shares will be delivered on Tuesday, Nov 22 to your usual pickup site.  If you cannot pick up on Tuesday, contact me in advance to make alternate arrangements.

In Your Share:

Leeks
Potatoes
Yacon
Brussels Sprouts or Cabbage
Kale
Rutabaga

It seems so far away until it happens, but we’re almost to the very end of the CSA.  This week’s share is one of the smallest of the year, “the calm before the storm” as we load next week’s share for Thanksgiving and beyond.  I don’t think we’ll have anything new this week or next, but we do still have lots of good fresh veggies for you.  This time of year growth usually slows to a crawl, but with the warm temps this year we’re looking at more of an ambling walk.  The potatoes and yacon have been sitting in our cooler waiting to go to their new homes, but everything else is still coming fresh from the field.

The leeks and Brussels sprouts are particularly nice right now, they’re only just coming into their own and continuing to size up nicely.  We don’t have a lot of leeks out there, but this year’s crop has been our nicest yet and I’m hoping to grow more in the future.  I’ve been particularly loving leeks sauteed or braised with Brussels sprouts or mushrooms.  And they’re always a great addition to soups, roasts, eggs, and more.  I use the full leek, since ours never seem to be too tough.  Or sometimes I cut off the floppier green parts to use for stock.  It’s hard to go wrong with leeks.

Last week I went to Massachusetts to visit family and enjoy the New England fall.  It was the first time I’ve left the CSA in someone else’s hands since we started it in 2011.  This wouldn’t have been possible before this year when we finally hired employees.  It’s been a big adjustment for me to be always working with and supervising someone else, but it’s the way the farm needs to go if we’re going to be sustainable and resilient in the years to come.  And the rewards come from sharing the load, sharing this place and our work and knowledge, and having the opportunity to occasionally take a little extra time off.  We were fortunate this year to have a dedicated crew helping with harvest, field work, and markets.  They harvested and cleaned lots of your favorite veggies and packed many of your shares.  They brought new energy and fresh eyes to the farm and we can’t thank them enough!

Next Tuesday, November 22, will be your final CSA share of 2016.  We’ll be cleaning out the field and the cooler, and we’ll try to load you up for Thanksgiving and beyond.  If you’re thinking ahead to the holiday and trying to plan dishes or shopping, here’s what I expect will be in the share (no promises): Kale, Chard and/or komatsuna, potatoes (3#?), Carrots (2#?), Yacon, shallots and/or onions, cabbage, beets, fennel, and a pumpkin.  We’ll try to have some kind of herb and maybe there will be one or two more items.  I don’t think we’ll have enough lettuce or salad greens to include them in the CSA.  But remember, you can come to the farm stand from 10 to 4 and stock up or add on to your share.  We’ll have deals on large bags of number 2 carrots for juicing and more.


Chicken, Leek, and Mushroom Casserole

 

From Martha Stewart Living.  She says: “A hearty multigrain bread works best in this casserole. It will maintain its texture, unlike a softer white-bread loaf, which may become gummy.”

1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 2 large)

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, coarsely chopped and rinsed well

1 celery stalk, cut into 1/2-inch dice

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, halved if large

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons dry sherry

2 1/4 cups chicken stock

3/4 cup whole milk

1 dried bay leaf

8 slices dense multigrain bread, crusts removed, slices cut into triangles

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook until golden brown on 1 side, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip, reduce heat to medium, and cook until cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Transfer chicken to a plate, and return pan, with drippings, to medium heat.

 

Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in pan. Add leek, celery, mushrooms, and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are golden brown and tender, 8 to 10 minutes. (Reduce heat if vegetables brown too quickly.) Stir in flour, and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add sherry, stock, milk, and bay leaf, and cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf.

 

Arrange bread on bottom of a 2-quart oval baking dish, overlapping slices slightly. Spoon half of the vegetables and sauce over bread. Slice chicken crosswise, 1/2 inch thick, and arrange on bread. Top with any accumulated juices from chicken. Spread remaining vegetables and sauce over chicken, sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan, and bake until golden brown and bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

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