Weekly recipe roundup (Thanksgiving edition)


Hi friends!

These days, it can require quite a lot of awareness and intention to eat fresh foods that were grown near us. But not so when it comes to holidays! Somehow seasonal foods still play a giant role for almost all of us as we gather with family and friends. Corn on the cob and big watermelon slices are at the center of our Fourth of July celebrations, for example – and those foods really do grow in July in much of the United States.

Thanksgiving is the most delicious example of this, of course. Here are loads of ideas for your table this Thursday (and in the days after). Wherever you are and whomever you’re sitting with, we wish you all full bellies and warm hearts.


Arugula Fig Salad with Blue Cheese and Warm Bacon Vinaigrette at White on Rice Couple

Arugula also plays a supporting role in many of the other recipes linked here!



Broccoli Apple Soup at Food52

Spicy Roasted Broccoli with Almonds at My New Roots :: Try this with other flavors too, if you don’t like spicy foods – lemon juice, lemon zest, and lots of garlic, for example.

Broccoli Crunch at 101 Cookbooks



Raw Kale, Cabbage, and Carrot Chopped Salad with Maple Sesame Vinaigrette at Gourmande in the Kitchen :: We made this last week and it really is delicious. It’s quite substantial but not heavy, and so would balance nicely with the typically rich dishes on the Thanksgiving table. Our only suggestion is to maybe double the vinaigrette recipe and add it to taste.

Braised Cabbage with Apples and Caraway Seeds at Orangette :: Hands down one of our favorite Thanksgiving sides. Works with red or green cabbage.

Roasted Cabbage with Bacon at The Kitchn



Carrot Souffle at Simply Recipes

Crisp, Chewy Parmesan-Roasted Carrots by Francis Lam at Gilt Taste



Herbed Cream Collards at VegNews :: Vegan!

Beer Braised Collard Greens at Budget Bytes

Sauteed Red Russian Kale with Apples and Butter at Frog Bottom Farm :: Easy peasy and deeeelicious!

Barley and Kale Salad with Golden Beets and Feta at Bon Appétit



Honey-Glazed Leeks at

Leeks with Cream and Tarragon at Orangette


Lettuce (and other light salad-y things)

7 Salads to Lighten Up Your Thanksgiving Feast at Food52 :: Includes salads with lettuce, kale, arugula, celery, Brussels sprouts, and fennel.

5 Favorite Fall Salads at Food Network

Sauteed Dates with Ricotta and Lettuce at Sweet Amandine :: I’ve wanted to try this for close to a year!



Southern Living’s Brown Butter Mashed Potatoes at My Recipes

Crash Hot Potatoes at The Pioneer Woman :: These are crazy good.

Simple Fondant Potatoes at The New York Times


Sweet Potatoes

Brown Butter-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Arugula and Bacon at Food52

Sweet Potato Rolls at The Washington Post :: We’ve made these the last 4 or 5 Thanksgivings. Delicious.

Herbed Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits with Honey Butter at A Sweet Spoonful

Sweet Potato Pie at The Washington Post



Mashed Turnips and Apples at Getting Stitched on the Farm

Turnip Puff at Kitchen Parade

Honey-Thyme Roasted Turnips, Carrots, and Mushrooms at Foodie Tots


Winter Squash

Remember, most winter squash – butternut, kabocha, hubbard — can be used interchangeably in these recipes.

Butternut Squash and Caramelized Onion Galette at Smitten Kitchen

Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan at Oh She Glows :: Vegan!

Butternut Squash Soup with Pear, Cider, and Vanilla Bean at Seattlest :: I made this soup the first year I ever hosted Thanksgiving. Really fantastic.

Butternut Squash Soup with Maple Candied Bacon at Suburban Sous

Slow Cooker Winter Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk at Frog Bottom Farm

From Scratch Pumpkin Pie at Grist :: Use any winter squash for this!



Five Thanksgiving Menus from the Food52 Community at Food52

Real Food Thanksgiving Recipes at Cheeseslave

Veganizing Thanksgiving at Food52 :: Everything looks delicious. Don’t miss the recipe for Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout, and Bread Stuffing with Apples!

Vegan Holiday Recipes + Tips for Navigating the Holidays as a Vegan at Oh She Glows

Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2012 at The New York Times :: Thanks to CSA member Gabriella for this one! Dozens of amazing-looking recipes, and links to similar feasts in 2011 and 2010 as well. Gabriella especially recommends the squash and spinach lasagna, which she made with a Frog Bottom kabocha.

Clara’s First Thanksgiving at Food52 :: Good ideas for including new eaters in the celebration.

A month of Thanksgiving videos at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef :: Gorgeous videos, joyful encouragement, and loads of recipes for all kinds of eaters – including dinner rolls, cornbread, stuffing, and gravy, in addition to some fantastic-looking vegetable dishes. (Also – have you seen their Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Baking iPad App? VERY cool. And word has it there’s a holiday baking app coming soon.)

Top 10 Side Dishes at Dinner: A Love Story



Turkey Cranberry Monte Cristo at Paula Deen

Leftover Turkey Pho at Healthy Green Kitchen :: In case you wondered what’s happening here at the farm on Friday – this is it. We’ll use leeks in the place of the green onions and our Hakurei turnips in  place of the daikon.

A Radical Rethinking of Thanksgiving Leftovers by Mark Bittman at The New York Times

One Turkey, Four Meals at Simple Bites

Reveal the Appeal of Potato Peels by Sheri Castle at Gilt Taste :: We actually got to meet Sheri last week at a cooking class. She is as fun as she is wise in the kitchen, and we can’t wait to share some more of her inspired cooking ideas with you in coming weeks. In the meantime, head on over to Gilt Taste and use up those potato peels!

Thanksgiving Thrift: The Holiday as a Model for Sustainable Cooking by Tamar Adler at The New York Times :: We get it right on Thanksgiving, Adler says. What about the rest of the year? “As we try to juggle food choices, tight budgets and busy schedules — and the constant question of what to make for dinner — we could do nothing smarter than approach all our meals as we do Thanksgiving: expecting each and every thing we cook to feed us well tomorrow and the day after, envisioning an efficient unraveling of future meals from previous ones, always having something to start with.”


Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. Eat well. Be merry. Give thanks.


Tim Nolan

Thanks for the Italian chestnuts—with their
tough shells—the smooth chocolaty
skin of them—thanks for the boiling water—

itself a miracle and a mystery—
thanks for the seasoned sauce pan
and the old wooden spoon—and all

the neglected instruments in the drawer—
the garlic crusher—the bent paring knife—
the apple slicer that creates six

perfect wedges out of the crisp Haralson—
thanks for the humming radio—thanks
for the program on the radio

about the guy who was a cross-dresser—
but his wife forgave him—and he
ended up almost dying from leukemia—

(and you could tell his wife loved him
entirely—it was in her deliberate voice)—
thanks for the brined turkey—

the size of a big baby—thanks—
for the departed head of the turkey—
the present neck—the giblets

(whatever they are)—wrapped up as
small gifts inside the cavern of the ribs—
thanks—thanks—thanks—for the candles

lit on the table—the dried twigs—
the autumn leaves in the blue Chinese vase—
thanks—for the faces—our faces—in this low light.



Our Weekly Recipe Roundup is a quick weekly list of recipes featuring produce we’re growing right now. We hope it helps! We’d love to know what’s happening in your kitchens this week too.

Weekly recipe roundup

Posted by Lisa on November 16, 2012
autumn, carrots, greens, kale, pork, potatoes, preserving, putting food by, recipes, root veggies, soup, weekly recipe roundup, winter squash / Comments Off on Weekly recipe roundup


carrot harvesters

The weekly recipe roundup certainly fell by the wayside over the last couple weeks, as we sorted out details of our big move. But we’re back! Here’s some tasty inspiration to see you through the weekend. We’ll try to post a special Thanksgiving edition of the roundup early next week, hopefully Monday.

Massaged Kale Salad, Three Ways at Frog Bottom Farm :: If you haven’t tried a raw kale salad before, or if you find kale to be bitter – do try this! This stuff is good. We’ve been waiting to remind you about this recipe until we had our first frosts because the kale is so much sweeter once the weather turns. Did you know kale (and other brassicas) use their sugars as a kind of antifreeze to protect themselves in cold weather? But they only produce that extra sugar when they need it. Isn’t nature awesome?

Fermented Ginger Carrots at 6512 and Growing :: Pickles! They’re not just a summertime thing. I can’t wait to try making these with Arlo.

Spareribs with Coffee-Molasses Marinade at The Splendid Table :: Our freezers are fully restocked as of about 4:30 this afternoon. Come stock up!

Butternut Squash 5-Spice Liqueur at Food52 :: Don’t mind if I do.

Hearty Potato Soup with Kale at Frog Bottom Farm :: A soup for right now.


Our Weekly Recipe Roundup is a quick weekly list of recipes featuring produce we’re growing right now. We hope it helps! We’d love to know what’s happening in your kitchens this week too.

Weekly recipe roundup

Posted by Lisa on October 25, 2012
autumn, collards, eggs, Frog Bottom Farm recommends, greens, kale, recipes, sweet potatoes, winter squash / Comments Off on Weekly recipe roundup


Reed digging sweet potatoes

Oh my word, people. We grew two kinds of butternut squash this year – the smaller ones you’ve been seeing in your CSA shares and at market in recent weeks, and a bigger variety. A MUCH BIGGER VARIETY. We are unsure what to do with this unexpected bounty – cut them into more manageable chunks and wrap them before getting them to you? Just pass them along with a bunch of recipes, bidding you the best of luck? Hmm. We’ll see.

In other (fantastic) news, we’ve started digging sweet potatoes! The first ones will be in CSA shares this week. They’re good now, but their sweetness will intensify if you cure them a few more days at home.  Just leave them in a box, covered with paper or heavy cloth, in the warmest place in your house, for up to a week.  After that, we suggest keeping them in a cool, dark location, ideally not the fridge.  Try wrapping them in some newspaper and putting them in a reasonably well ventilated cabinet or pantry closet.

Enough talk – onto the cooking! Here’s this week’s culinary inspiration:

Cinnamon Spiced Butternut Squash at Beauty That Moves :: My friend Heather’s approach to food seems to echo her approach to life in general – encouraging and nourishing with a focus on simplicity. This butternut squash recipe is perfect for this gorgeous autumn we’re having.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup: A Raw/Cooked Comparison at Choosing Raw :: So intriguing!

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls at Smitten Kitchen :: Because we love you. (Try our butternut or kabocha for these.)

Lacinato Kale and Ricotta Tart at Bona Fide Farm Food :: This looks so good. You could try it with any of our kale varieties. Collards would probably be tasty too.

Apple & Sweet Potato Latkes with Poached Egg and Sweet Mustard Sauce at Tasty Kitchen :: These sound fussier than they really are. We’ve eaten them for breakfast and dinner and they’re very, very good. Arlo even likes them sometimes!


Our Weekly Recipe Roundup is a quick weekly list of recipes featuring produce we’re growing right now. We hope it helps! We’d love to know what’s happening in your kitchens this week too.

Weekly recipe roundup

Posted by Lisa on October 18, 2012
autumn, beets, collards, Frog Bottom Farm recommends, greens, kale, recipes, root veggies, turnips, weekly recipe roundup, winter squash / Comments Off on Weekly recipe roundup

Turnips, harvested by Reed into bunch-sized piles.

Roasted Butternut Squash, Three Ways at Cucina Nicolina :: Mmm! The variation with wild rice and mushrooms looks especially good to me on this rainy autumn evening.

Beets and Kale with Creamy Tofu Dressing at Whole Living :: Our fall beets, so beloved to us that they’re in our logo, completely failed this year. We’re not sure what happened. Still, you should be able to get some at market to complete this delicious salad.

Nariyal wale Shalgam (Turnips in Coconut and Mustard Seed Curry) at The Splendid Table :: I can’t wait to try this! Indian cooking is something I know so little about – I’d love some inspiration and pointers from those of you who know more. Our sweet juicy hakurei turnips would be perfect for this dish.

Collards on Toast at tend :: Simple and filling. Just our speed. There are also some great thoughts on cities, farms, and gratitude here.

Winter Squash Muffins at From Scratch Club :: Yes, please!


Our Weekly Recipe Roundup is a quick weekly list of recipes featuring produce we’re growing right now. We hope it helps! We’d love to know what’s happening in your kitchens this week too.

Weekly recipe roundup


Butternut Squash and Dumplings at :: Such a neat idea!

Winter Squash-Tofu Bake at Amy Cooks and Brad Does the Dishes :: Try this with our kabocha or butternut squash and some kale. CSA member Amy notes that if you’re not a tofu fan, this would also be good with chicken or some Frog Bottom pork.

Sneaky Collards + Buttermilk Skillet Corn Bread at Frog Bottom Farm :: In case you missed our post earlier this week! Really, really, really good.

Collard Cobbler with Cornmeal Biscuits at The Yellow House :: Try these with collards, kale, or our braising mix.

Black-Eyed Peas and Leeks at 101 Cookbooks :: Beans are soaking for this now. Yum.


Our Weekly Recipe Roundup is a quick weekly list of recipes featuring produce we’re growing right now. We hope it helps! We’d love to know what’s happening in your kitchens this week too.

Sneaky collards + buttermilk skillet corn bread

Posted by Lisa on October 09, 2012
autumn, collards, Frog Bottom Farm recommends, greens, recipes, Vegetables A-Z / Comments Off on Sneaky collards + buttermilk skillet corn bread

Well, fall is most certainly here. Winter squash, collards, kale, braising mix, and arugula have made it into our CSA shares, and sweet potatoes, broccoli, and cabbage aren’t far behind. We’re wearing sweaters to market and feeling extra grateful for the local coffee roasters just a few tents down. All we want to cook is soups and braises and chicken and dumplings. We built our first fire of the season in the wood stove last night. Sometimes we can even convince our nearly 3-year old son to wear shoes.

There’s another thing we look forward to all year: sneaky collards. They’re so-called because they have a wonderful spicy smokiness, but it comes entirely from chiles, smoked paprika, garlic, and a bit of vinegar — there’s no pork at all in this dish. As the first frost draws nearer and nearer, and we dig through the closets to find our lined flannel work shirts and winter hats, it seems like a great time to dig back through the farm blog archives to share the recipe again. Enjoy!


Any time (my dad) gets to eat greens — of any kind — two days in a row, he considers himself extremely lucky, and he is not alone. In 1984, at the annual Collard Festival in Ayden, N.C., a man named C. Mort Horst set a world record by eating seven and a half pounds of collard greens in 30 minutes. (However, it was reported that he kept them down just long enough to claim his prize.) A year later, a woman named Colleen Bunting contributed to an anthology devoted to collards called ”Leaves of Greens: The Collard Poems.” In one the poems, she addresses (a common) prejudice: “Some say collards don’t smell so nice,/ But eat them once, and you’ll eat them twice.”

— from Green Party by Julia Reed, New York Times

Some of you grew up with these broad-leaved beauties, but I’m sure there are others among you who have arrived home with your shares in recent weeks and thought, “Ummm … this is as big as my head.  What on earth is it?”

These are collard greens, and they’re delicious, and they’re good for far more than playing peek-a-boo with your baby — although I highly recommend that as well.

You’ve probably been told to eat your greens and they certainly are nutritional powerhouses.  Collards are probably the best vegetable source of calcium, on par with milk cup for cup.  They’re also very high in Vitamins A and C, iron, potassium, niacin, and protein.

So, short of gnawing on the raw leaves, how do you get all that good stuff in your body?


Traditionally, collard greens are simmered for a looooong time with a ham hock or a hunk of slab bacon or salt pork until they’re silky soft.  They’re quite good like this, although the sour smell of this long cooking is unpleasant to some people.

They’re quite versatile though.  You can chiffonade them and sauté them with garlic in olive oil.  This takes less than five minutes and the greens taste bright and fresh. These short-cut collard greens resemble traditional collards, but you microwave the greens for about 5 minutes first, which cuts the cooking time significantly, and you add chopped bacon at the end instead of cooking the greens with the pork.  Of course, simmering collards in a pork-based stock gives them great flavor; mushroom stock is a great vegetarian option.  And if you’re open to trying them raw, how about collard wraps? This recipe is a great jumping-off point — you could fill collard wraps with all kinds of things!  If raw collards are too strong for you, you can blanch the greens for a minute or two first to mellow the flavor.  And of course, hoppin’ John and collard greens is a traditional Southern New Year’s Day meal for good luck!


Our very favorite way to eat collards comes from the quite irresistible The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners, via our friend Eunice. Eunice is a tireless cook with an impeccable palate and I am doing all I can do bring her to the farm for a week next year as a chef-in-residence.  Wouldn’t that be wonderful?  A gal can dream.  But right now, what we’ve got are her delicious collards.

Sneaky collards.

They’re so called because they have a wonderful spicy smoky flavor, but they’re cooked without pork. They’ve got no animal products in them at all, actually, so this is a great vegan dish.  Don’t let that deter the meat-lovers among you, though.  This is a fine, fine meal.  In fact, we’re having it for dinner tonight, so I’d better give you the recipe right now so that I can get cookin’!

We love to spoon a heap of sneaky collards over a big wedge of custard corn bread in a soup bowl. It’s fall in a bowl. We’re ready.

Sneaky Collards
adapted from The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook by Matt Lee and Ted Lee

8 cups water
3 dried chiles or 1 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp kosher salt, plus more to taste
3 3/4 pounds collard greens, ribbed, washed, and cut into 1-inch ribbons
1 large onion, trimmed, peeled, and quartered
1 large tomato, cored and quartered, or 1 large can whole tomatoes (1 can diced tomatoes works in a pinch!)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
1 tsp Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton) or Hungarian paprika
3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In a very large stockpot, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add the chiles and 1 Tbsp salt, and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the stock has a nice salty spiciness, about 10 minutes.

Add a few handfuls of greens to the pot. They will float on the surface, so stir them frequently, submerging with the spoon, until they have turned a bright kelly green, 3 to 5 minutes. They will become floppy and more compact, so you can add more handfuls of greens. Continue adding handfuls of greens, stirring and submerging them until all the collards are in the pot (6 to 10 minutes). Turn the heat down to the gentlest simmer and note your time at this point.

While the greens simmer, place the onion and tomato in a small bowl. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over them, add 1 tsp salt, the paprika, and the pepper, and toss to coat. Transfer the vegetables to a medium cast iron skillet (a cookie sheet or casserole dish works too) and add the garlic. Place the skillet under a hot broiler, about 3 inches from the flame or heating element, until the vegetables are nicely charred, 6 to 8 minutes. Set them on the stovetop to cool.

When the garlic is cool enough to touch, peel the cloves and discard the charred skins. Transfer the broiled onion, tomato, and garlic to a blender or food processor and blend at high speed until the mixture is completely smooth, about 3 minutes. You should have close to 1 1/2 cups of purée.

With a ladle, remove most of the stock from the collards pot and discard or save for soup. (Traditionally, you dip corn bread into this pot liquor left over after the greens are done.  It’s delicious for sure, and has lots of the vitamins and minerals that leach out of the greens when you cook them for a long time.)  Add the purée and continue to simmer the greens, for a total of 1 hour from the point at which you noted the time. The greens will be a very dark matte green and completely tender, bathed in pale red gravy.

Cut a generous wedge of buttermilk skillet corn bread and put it in the bottom of a soup bowl.  Ladle the collards on top.  Sometimes we also add an egg over easy.  Dig in!

Buttermilk Skillet Corn Bread
adapted ever so slightly from our trusty Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

You can make this corn bread without the cream if you like, and it’s still delicious.  But the cream, added just before you slide the skillet into the oven, magically transforms into a custardy layer just under the surface.  Vegan folks might like to give this recipe a spin.

3 tbsp butter
1 cup flour
1 cup stone-ground yellow or white cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbsp sugar or honey
2 cups buttermilk (or 2 cups milk plus 2 or so Tbsp lemon juice or vinegar, left to sit for about 10 minutes to curdle)
1 cup cream

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Put the butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet (a cake pan or a deep dish pie pan will work if you don’t have a cast iron skillet) and place in the oven while you get everything else together.  Sift the dry ingredients in one bowl and mix the eggs, sugar, and buttermilk in another. Remove the pan from the oven, brush the butter over the sides, then (carefully — the skillet is still hot!) pour the rest into the wet ingredients.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients, and stir long enough to make a smooth batter.  Pour the batter into the hot pan.  Gently pour the cream over the batter — don’t stir!  Gently slide the skillet back into the oven and bake until lightly browned and springy to the touch, 50-60 minutes.

Leftovers make an excellent breakfast!  We’re particularly partial to eating it with a fried egg and maple syrup on top.  Try it!


Weekly recipe roundup

Posted by Lisa on October 04, 2012
arugula, autumn, cilantro, eggplant, Frog Bottom Farm recommends, garlic, greens, kale, leeks, pork, radishes, recipes, weekly recipe roundup, winter squash / Comments Off on Weekly recipe roundup



11 Quick and Easy Ways to Cook with Kale at Bon Appétit

Roasted Eggplant Salad with Leeks and Cilantro Leaves at The New York Times

Slow Cooker Winter Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk at Southside Kitchen Collective

Arugula Walnut Pesto at For Me, For You

Pork Chops with Kale at Dinner: A Love Story

Roasted Radishes with Balsamic Vinegar from White on Rice Couple


Our Weekly Recipe Roundup is a quick weekly list of recipes featuring produce we’re growing right now. We hope it helps! We’d love to know what’s happening in your kitchens this week too.

In the meantime (photos from late summer and early autumn)

It’s been way too long since we posted here. We hope to get some good stuff up quite soon. In the meantime, have a peek – or a long leisurely look, really! – at late summer and early autumn here at Frog Bottom. Click on any photo to see it bigger, if you like.

A sip to drink

Maternal instinct

Green stuff for the fall


Happy pollinator

Squash pick

Potluck tents

Farm tour

Meeting and feeding the pigs

Layers on pasture

How to hold a chicken

Eat these eggs!

Cabbage and crew

Washing kale

Beets to the truck

Coming soon: Soup! A cookbook giveaway! Our plans for 2012! Thanks for your patience.

(These were nearly) Weekend Links

Eggplant pick

Heather picks okra while some of the new chickens have a look.

Our fields and fridge are full of vegetables – and eggs! – and we’re feeling mighty inspired these days!  Just a taste of what we’ve been reading and cooking:

Did you know this coming Saturday, August 13, is the first annual National Can-It-Forward Day? The folks at Canning Across America, along with Jarden Home Brands (they’re the ones who make Ball jars and other canning products), are encouraging everyone to gather with family and friends at home canning parties to learn the basics of canning.  One of the coolest resources they’re offering is a day-long live stream of several how-to canning demos (mixed berry jam, kosher dills, tomatoes in their own juice, more!) happening at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.  See the live stream schedule and find the link here.

The August 2011 Bon Appétit had a fun article about an LA canning party. The recipes for dilly beans, pickled beets with star anise, tomato jam, and zucchini dill pickles are all on our list to try this summer!

And this recipe for onion jam has been tempting us for weeks.  Just onions, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, and butter!  I could do that today!  We think it would be especially delicious on pizza, topped with just about anything else that’s in season right now.

(We should point out the turn-the-jar-upside-down method of sealing is no longer recommended; we’ll probably just make one jar for the fridge and another for the freezer, but here are two good resources for safe canning guidelines.)

We’ve made this heavenly tomato & cheddar pie twice in as many weeks. It does require a little planning: the biscuit dough for the crust needs to chill for an hour, and the tomatoes need to drain for 30 minutes.  But otherwise it comes together quite easily.  And the crust is quite forgiving.  The second time we made it we didn’t use quite enough flour, and the dough seemed a sticky and hopeless mess as we eased it into the pie pan.  But it baked up beautifully, and didn’t get soggy even after a day in the fridge.   And seriously: tomatoes, mayonnaise, cheese, biscuit crust? Do we need to say more?  Make it! Any of the tomatoes you’ve been getting in your shares or at market will work great.

We haven’t tried it yet, but CSA members Yajaira and Domenick independently told us we also had to make this heirloom tomato pie.

And while we’re on the subject of tomatoes: how delicious does Tyler Florence’s Roasted Tomato Soup look?  Thanks to CSA member Tracy for this one.

We’re longtime fans of Mark Bittman.  We pull his How to Cook Everything down from the kitchen bookshelf at least weekly, often more.  The How to Cook Everything app is pretty great too!  For close to fifteen years he wrote a cooking column for the New York Times called The Minimalist.  We’ll admit to feeling a twinge of disappointment this winter when he decided to write less about cooking and more about food politics.  Certainly the systems of food production and distribution in this country are damaged, and we appreciate compelling writing from folks who can help us think about how we might begin to fix things.  But there are many people writing eloquently about these issues; fewer writers have Bittman’s skill for making home cooking seem simple, fun, and approachable.  So we were really delighted by one recent op-ed: “Make Food Choices Simple: Cook.”  In it, he argues we should cook more and eat out less – because it’s cheaper, because we have more control where the food comes from, and because it tastes better.  He writes:

When I cook, though, everything seems to go right. I shop an average of every two weeks in a supermarket, and make a couple of trips a week to smaller stores. I’m aware that my choices are mostly imperfect, but I rarely conclude that I should make a burger and fries for dinner or provide a pound per person of prison-raised pork served with fruit from 10,000 miles away, followed by a cake full of sugar and artificial ingredients. Yet, for the most part, that describes restaurant food.

Also fantastic?  “101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less,” a Minimalist column from 2007.  Loaded with awesome ideas for no-fuss summer cooking.

Oh! We’ve posted our favorite ratatouille recipe before, but it bears reminding — early August is definitely ratatouille time in Central Virginia!

That does it for this week!  We’ll be back this weekend with more tasty links.  And we hope to post later this week about two delicious vegetables that we know can be intimidating: okra and eggplant.

We’ll wrap things up with some more recent images from the farm. (Click on any to see ’em big!)


Curing onions

Bean blossom

Planting collards and kale


Still no name

Harvesting okra

Nest boxes

Okra blossom


Weekend Links is a (soon-to-be!) regular feature here on the farm blog: a weekly(ish) list of articles, recipes, and other resources that have been inspiring and amusing us of late. A tasty smorgasbord for brain and belly!

It happens every year

Posted by Lisa on July 29, 2011
autumn, broccoli, cabbage, collards, CSA, greenhouse, greens, kale, summer, the crew, the farm / Comments Off on It happens every year

planting collards
On days like this one, when our shirts are soaked through by 9am, it’s a real challenge to remember what it feels like to pull on socks, to see our breath in the morning air while we pick cabbage, to frost-proof the outdoor spigots before going to bed.

But it happens every year, and yesterday we started preparing. It was a long, hot, deeply satisfying afternoon: Ali and the crew filled thirty-two 300-foot rows with 2000 collard plants, 3000 kale plants, and 4000 broccoli plants.  As the sun dipped below the horizon we watered them well, to prepare them for today’s triple digits.  Tomorrow: 3000 cabbage plants.

We’ll do it all again in late August for generation two.

We’ll tend to them all with sweat and care, and we hope all these numbers translate into bountiful autumn CSA shares and market tables, with enough remaining for a possible winter CSA or winter market.

Ali often remarks that getting in a full planting is one of the most exciting things that happens on the farm. You start with long expanses of bare ground, a greenhouse full of seedlings, and a hefty dose of determination. You spend a whole bunch of hours moving back and forth, back and forth, planting, sweating, joking, planting, stopping for water, planting some more.  And then you slowly uncurl and stretch your back and shoulders and there it is in the setting sun: a field full of promise.