Thursday, January 13, 2011

CSA Week 16

Week 16

Greetings from our family farm! We are rejuvenated after a weekend without a lot of running to the city. It was very beneficial to focus on the farm and family.

Our son and his lady friend were here also for a visit! We won’t see him for 3 years unless the Lord intervenes…from Iowa he will be stationed for the fourth time in Qatar, (a border country to Afghanistan and Iraq where the Air Force does all surveillance work) and then in one year he’ll be transferred to Japan. It was quite fun for us all to cook supper together! We grilled Italian sausage, made cold pack pickles, steamed a medley of squash and onions, and made a family favorite, German heavy noodles. I’ll include that recipe in today’s letter. My family has made this traditional dish for generations. This was the menu Matthew requested.  There were 16 family members seated around our lively farm table for supper. Matthew bought a lot of fireworks and put on quite a show with his “little” brother’s help. Adam took pictures and they’ll be included on the farm’s newsletter this week. Time has surely flown by, it doesn’t seem too long ago that Matthew and his sisters worked the gardens and helped to preserve the bounty with me.

German Heavy Noodles
1 cup unbleached white flour (white flour is okay also)
1 egg
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup butter, melted
1 large onion, cut in rings
  5 or so hours (I usually just make this part of my lunch preparation if I plan on having it for supper.) before needed: Measure flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Break an egg in a separate dish and whip. Pour into the flour. Mix the eggs slightly into the flour mixture. Add enough water to make a wet dough, but not runny! This may take a little practice. Add flour if you get too much water in it.
Put a plate over the top of your bowl and let mixture rest, approximately 5 hours.
  When you begin meal preparations, fill large pot half full of water and bring to a boil.  Slice onions and sauté in melted butter until translucent.  When the water boils, slide dough from dish onto a wet cutting board. Let the dough slide towards the edge of the cutting board while you hold it over the boiling water. Using a large knife, cut the noodles into the boiling water. (Size? Cut the dough into strips about the size of a steak French fry.) Wet the knife with boiling water after each cut to enable the next noodle to slide off the knife. When all the noodles are cut into the water, give a gentle stir to separate. Let them boil just a couple of minutes. Drain. Gently mix the noodles into the generous amount of melted butter and onions. Serve immediately.

   So, life is returning to “normal” here on the farm. We’ve been planting up a storm…literally a few times, Praise God! Brussels Sprouts, Chinese cabbage, lots of lettuce, green onions, green beans, radish, beets, cucumbers and much more have been put in and there are still hundreds of plants awaiting their transplant. Though the shares are sparse now (we’re so sorry) they should grow fuller and fuller with each passing week.
   Guess what!??!!! I finished cutting back the 350’ row of Swiss Chard this week. It was a LONG hot job and the sense of accomplishment is large. Faith Anne was my right hand gal and she learned vital lessons with sticking to a hard task…at least I pray she did! We are delighted to be serving back in the farm kitchen baking granola and cinnamon rolls for the shares again this week.  I pray you’ll find these additions enjoyable.
   Several folks have asked for my cinnamon roll recipe. Unless you have a wheat mill and know how to bake bread, the dough is difficult. I don’t follow a given recipe; we’ve just developed it over the years. I give my daughter Hannah Grace the most credit for perfecting the recipe. She used to make them and sell them at the Dayton Farmer’s Market in 2002-03 before kitchens had to be “certified”.  So try the following idea for good “homemade” fresh cinnamon rolls.
Cinnamon Rolls
Frozen Bread dough (available at the grocery store in the frozen food section)
A mixture of cinnamon sugar similar to what you would put on toast
Butter, room temperature
Nuts, chopped (use any that you have on hand, our favorite is pecan, but we don’t always have these on hand)
A recipe of Cinnamon Roll Glaze

         Roll your bread dough out into a rectangle. Using a “spatula” knife, spread butter over the entire surface. Sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar. Sprinkle nuts liberally over the cinnamon sugar. Start rolling the dough on the longest side near you like a jelly roll. Pinch the dough together when you complete the roll. Close the ends also with a bit of pinching and forming with your hands.
      Slide a length of dental floss under one end of the roll. Cross your hands, letting the floss cut the roll. Place each roll into a greased pan. Flatten slightly. Leave room for the dough to rise, so don’t place them too close together. Let rise at room temperature until they’ve doubled in size. Bake at 350 degrees until golden and set, about 25-30 minutes for a large pan. Let cool.

Cinnamon Roll Glaze
1 cup melted butter
1 heavy tablespoon vanilla
3 ½ cups powdered sugar
   With a hand mixer, whisk butter and vanilla together, add sugar until desired consistency (not thick, but runny). Thin with milk if needed. Pour over cooled cinnamon rolls. Let set until glaze hardens before packaging.
   We still plan to have our kitchen certified, but lack inspection. We have to do a few finishing touches to our kitchen that are cost prohibitive at this point in time. We hope that next spring we’ll be selling our freshly made breads, jams, freshly ground nut butters, fresh applesauce, and more at the markets! We now feel we can GIVE you these items as part of your share, but are not able to SELL them. Understand? That’s okay; we don’t understand all the red tape either. J
   We pray you and your families are enjoying the last days of summer. There are signs of fall all around us…purple flowers like Iron Weed are the first sign, then the Black Walnut’s leaves are turning yellow and falling. It won’t be long until cooler days are here!
   One sign of late summer for us on the mountain is the ripening of peppers. Since they are a warm weather plant that takes a lot of time to mature, we begin harvesting them in August. They are in your shares for the first time this week. There are many ways to use them. My family likes them raw best. I like to make a vegetable plate for each end of the table that contains tomatoes (not this year yet :O) cucumbers, peppers, and green onions. Some people like to serve a dip with this. I also use them chopped small in our soft tacos/taco salads, in chicken fajitas, in stir fries, and I personally like stuffed peppers. These are just a few ideas to get your mind spurred. For me the hardest part of making a meal is coming up with what I want to cook! I used to have 3 teenage daughters at home to help with this…what a blessing that was!
   Well, today has been be a busy day. Faith Anne and I made 155 cinnamon rolls for the large shares, packaged the lentils and small sprout mixture, washed the potatoes for table sales, bunched onions and leeks, and packaged the granola. I think she and I will sleep good tonight!
   May God bless each of you as you seek to live for Him each day. If you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, honor Him with each word that proceeds from your lips. If you don’t know Him as your personal Savior, turn to Him for salvation before it’s too late. Time is running out.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Romans 10:9-10 (KJV)

Abundant Blessings,
Your Farmer’s Wife

Val Colvin