I love the quality of winter sunlight cutting through our asparagus patch or beautifying the frost kissed field stubble in the morning. As lovely as it is though, I find myself hurrying indoors to get out of the wind that whips through our valley. Our field work is done, minus tidying up a few odds and ends, and the crews have come inside to the still cold work of washing and packing root vegetables in our 54 degree cool room.
They bring the energy of the farm in with them, and there is lots of hustle and bustle. The music is louder to compete with the rumbling of the barrel washer, and I treasure the bursts of laughter coming up like a ray of sunshine from the warehouse.
At home the energy comes inside too, and, like our warehouse, it can be chaotic at times in the compressed time and space of the winter months. I appreciate the nights where the energy converges around the kitchen and laughter and fantastic smells are all part of dinner preparation.
I find these nights happen more often when I’m less rushed, and that putting together a meal plan, for me, is an essential piece of the puzzle. I don’t have to think about what to cook or worry about having ingredients on hand. At one time, I worried about not making everything I planned and special ingredients going to waste. Now I try to plan around what I already have on hand, or choose recipes that have plenty of complementary ingredients, and if my planning allows even one night out of the week the space for peace and joy.
Cast of Characters
Golden Beets, Red Cabbage, Carrots, Green Kale, Kossak Kohlrabi, Yellow Onions, Parsnips, Potatoes, Watermelon Radishes, Rutabaga, Spinach, Butternut Squash, and Pie Pumpkins
Please note that the kale and spinach are final gleanings from the field, as last kiss of autumn as winter sets in. As gleanings, they will require a bit more clean up, but they'll still taste delicious steamed or in a stir fry.
Golden Beets - These beauties are special – their golden color is beautiful, and they are incredibly sweet. Whether you choose to make the Roasted Golden Beet Carpaccio with Orange Walnut Vinaigrette or the Roasted Golden Beets (on our site) or something else entirely, enjoy stain-free fingers when you peel them! Beets will keep for a long time in your fridge, but make sure they’re in an airtight bag or container.
Red Cabbage - Lends a vibrant color to any dish, and it’s sweeter than green cabbage too. Note that it’s color will bleed into the rest of the dish.
Carrots – Go well with everything, and they make a perfect fresh and crunchy snack to counter a delicious but heavy Thanksgiving feast! If you’d like to make a main dish, check out the recipe link on our site for Carrot Ginger Soup. Store carrots airtight in your crisper, and make sure there’s no fruit in the drawer, as the ethylene fruit gives off can make carrots bitter.
Green Kale – This is our very last picking from the field – the tender growing tips that we save for the last pick are sweet from the frost and perfect for a raw kale salad.
Kossak Kohlrabi- This Giant Kohlrabi is none the less tender, and makes a great addition to a vegetable tray, along with carrots and Watermelon Radishes. I like it sprinkled with a little bit of sea salt. Kohlrabi will store in the crisper for a good while.
Yellow Onions – A great cooking onion, these store best in a dry location. I’ve got mine hanging in a reuseable produce bag in the kitchen.
Parsnips - I’m afraid I may have planned poorly – in my love of parsnips, I’ve included them in our last 3 CSA boxes (including the last week of summer season). If you’re tired of parsnips, you can wrap them well and stick them in the back of the crisper. They’ll easily store all month, and I promise no parsnips in the next box! When you’re ready to tackle parsnips again, check out our pinterest page: http://www.pinterest.com/featherstnfarm/recipes/. I’ve got lots of parsnip recipes pinned.
Potatoes - Mashed Potatoes, Creamy, Rich Potato Gratin, Potato Leek Soup, Hashbrowns, Roasted Root Vegetable, Soup, Soup, Soup – I imagine you’ll find as many uses for potatoes as I can think of, but if you need inspiration, we’ve got lots of recipes on our page and on pintrest. Please make sure to store potatoes in a cool, dark location.
Watermelon Radishes - These are so mild and pretty, they’re a perfect addition to a vegetable tray or a lunch box. You’ll also find a recipe link for a Watermelon Radish Salad on our site. These store well in the crisper.
Rutabaga – As a key component of a couple of family holiday meals, rutabagas are one of my favorite root vegetables. However, I realize they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. I found a couple of intriguing recipes for Mashed Rutabaga with Sour Cream and Dill, Rutabaga Chips, and Rutabaga Fries. Check our website for the link.
Spinach– Want to shake up your taste buds during this holiday season? Try a simple stir fry with sesame and garlic.
Butternut Squash – I always get the best pumpkin pie reviews when I include some butternut squash in the pumpkin puree. I’ve also got links to many nice sounding recipes on our site, including Black Bean and Butternut Squash Burritos. Yum. These squash are a little banged up. They’ll store for 2 weeks or so, but they’re not long term keepers.
Pie Pumpkins– To make puree for pies and baked goods, cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and place them face down on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool, remove the skins, and puree in a blender or food processor. This works for butternuts as well.
Photo Courtesy of Angela at Spinach Tiger
White Bean Cassoulet from Vegan Planet
Roasted Golden Beet Carpaccio with Orange Walnut Vinaigrette from Spinach Tiger or
Roasted Golden Beets from Tiny Urban Kitchen
Red cabbage salad with walnuts, raisins, feta and warm mustard dressing from The Perfect Pantry
Carrot Ginger Soup from Simply Recipes
Raw Kale Salad with Root Vegetables from Vegetarian Times
Kohlrabi Curry from Cooks Hideout or take your pick from these recipes at Simply Recipes
Spiced Parsnip Soup from Allrecipes
Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes from Kitchme
Watermelon Radish and Watercress Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing from Mango & Tomato (Check out the picture on this site - watermelon radishes from New Morning Farm, where Jack fell in love with vegetable farming.)
Rutabaga Oven Fries from Allrecipes
Spinach with Sesame and Garlic from Simply Recipes
Butternut Squash Burritos from Oh She Glows
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Pie from Simply Recipes
Looking for other recipe ideas? Check out our:
Pinterest Board - this has lots of great photos to inspire you!
Recipe Page - includes lots of favorite recipes from past seasons
Produce Page - check out individual vegetables to learn more about them and to get more great recipe ideas!
If the ingredient list won't display, try this link until I can come up with a more elegant solution.
Week 2 Box Survey
CSA Box Writings
Thanks for the Props!
They keeps us warm in this cold weather!