Don’t forget your farmers during the Winter! They have worked hard to grow , harvest, preserve and store veggies/fruit and meat for you to enjoy in the winter. Many of the farmers are using greenhouses and growing greens,lettuce and oriental veggies like Bok Choy for you to enjoy. To get the most out of your local market check to see if they use the Harvest to Market Website. Go to New Hampshire and scroll down till you find your local market, if the market uses the Harvest to Market site it will be highlighted in RED. At that point you can explore the on line market, order ahead of time and pay . Leaving you more time to enjoy talking to your neighbors and local farmers when you are at the market!
Weare Winter Farmers Market: The winter location is the old Town Hall and Community Center.The winter season begins October 25th and runs through May 18th, 2014. Join us for the Weare winter Farmers’ Market at the town hall from 4 to 6:00 pm every Friday!
REMEMBER: No Farmers,No Local Food-Support your local winter farmers Market!
We had a lovely snow last weekend and now we have freezing rain. But we still have snow cover and this ensures a White Christmas! Food seems to be the main theme this year…….what are we having for Christmas Eve,Christmas day,New Years eve and New years day?
We share all of those meals with our Neighbors and everybody supplies a part of the meal! Christmas eve we will having cheese fondue and I will supply pickles, pickled pumpkin and make bread . Christmas Day we are having Roast Beast(Beef) and we are cooking the beast , making gravy and popovers. On New years eve we are planning to make Vietnamese Spring rolls
and everyone will bring an ingredient.The recipe we still use is from the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine and is around 20 years old (and I couldn’t find a link to it online so I wrote it down in the bottom of this blog!). On New years day we are having a large roasted Salmon and we will bring a starch(most likely potatoes) and probably a salad.
As you can tell no desserts have been mentioned ,since all of us have been making cookies and we have a neighbor who has designated herself the dessert maker. This division of labor is awesome and means I don’t have to clean my house and only have to worry about cooking ! I love my neighbors!!!!!!! Have a happy holiday one and all!
Boston Globe Spring Roll Recipe –Modified by Webster Ridge Farm-
The spring roll recipe is flexible and really delicious,but I feel you need to have bean sprouts (steamed) & mushrooms (sauteed) to really make them tasty!
We let everyone roll their own spring rolls and If you have never made spring rolls go to the link in the above article for a step by step help.
rice papers (we use the wrappers with the rose on the container) take out enough so each person can have 3 to 4 spring rolls
Shrimp (clean & cook in shell in pan and remove shells and cut in half)
Beef/ Chicken (cut in strips and marinate in a little soy sauce,grated ginger,finely chopped garlic,lime or lemon juice and a dribble of oil-marinate for 1/2 -2hrs) cook quickly in a wok or hot pan with just a little oil
1/2cucumber or 2 Pickling cucumbers (peeled and Julienne take out seeds if they are too big)
1 or 2 carrots(peeled and shredded)
1-2 cups thinly sliced & steamed Napa Cabbage(you can use chopped baby kale or chopped watercress fresh,no cooking needed)
1/4 cup cilantro (roughly chopped)
1/4 cup basil leaves (roughly chopped)
1/4 cup mint (leaf roughly chopped)
2-5 green onions(thinly sliced on bias)
1 med onion (sliced fairly thin, quickly sauteed or steamed)
a large handful of Snow peas (1 or 2 snow peas per spring roll, steamed,but still crisp)
5-7 brown or white mushrooms(chopped thinly & quickly sauteed )
a large handful fresh bean sprouts(steamed)
Sauce (all of these ingredients are added according to taste)
Lime juice (juice from 1 or 2 limes)
Ginger (peel then grate or finely chopped )
Garlic (1 or 2 cloves finely chopped )
Mix all together (refrigerate any remaining sauce and use as part of an oriental dressing (add a little vegetable oil to make the dressing) to put on a salad made with leftover spring roll ingredients)
Remember the winter markets are still going on and you can order on line at Harvest to Market and pick-up at the Friday Weare, Saturday Contoocook markets or at the farm.
I will be getting wild blueberries from Warner River Organics and plan to make more Blueberry lemon Marmalade with lavender. I hope to make a big batch of Tomato chutney with the tomatoes in the freezer this week and some more citrus based marmalade’s.
I have a variety of gift baskets ranging in size from 2 jars to 9 jars in a basket or holiday box wrapped and ready to go . They range in price from $15-68. Give a local gift that tastes great and show people that you support local agriculture!
We are not going to be home for Thanksgiving this year and are going to Brandon’s relatives in Massachusetts. Because of the distance we are travelling we are bringing items for the relish tray ,plus applesauce. I plan to bring one of the jars of Fiery Cranberry chili Relish to spice up the meal ! I am bringing rolls that I have made in advance and will take them from the freezer so they can rise in the car while on route and be able to go in the oven when we arrive.
On top of the canning and holiday cooking I have friends who celebrate Hanukkah and I have less than a week to get some packages off….I can’t find my Christmas cards much less where I hid all the Hanukkah and Christmas gifts…………..Help!!!!!!!!!
Since we won’t be home for Thanksgiving we are only getting 2 turkeys from our farming friend Arthur Mountain. We just recently used the last of the three turkeys we purchased last year. This year we will only cook 1/2 a bird on the Saturday after Thanksgiving with our neighbors! But it will still be delicious and having big holiday meals with our neighbors are so much fun,plus my mother in law will be here as well !
Remember to be thankful not just for the food but for family,friends,spouses and partners…don’t take them for granted and let them know how you feel!
This month has flown by…..I can’t believe that Thanksgiving is about a month away…….where does the time go? We had a heavy frost in the middle of the week and the next day we finally had to turn the heat on!
Brandon braised a pork shoulder yesterday and tonight we had pulled pork for dinner while listening to the world series game 3. The braising liquid was very tasty,but it wasn’t very thick so I added two 8 oz jars of Savory Pear Relish . I cooked it down till it coated the back of a spoon and I added the pulled pork. We had polenta and a fennel & carrot slaw with a yogurt dressing, it was a good combination with the pulled pork.
I am still experimenting with Pomona pectin and did two batches of cider jelly. I am not sure I like how brittle the finished jelly is. But I don’t have any previous experience with Pomona so I can’t really say if the brittleness is normal. I have to say using less sugar is good,but many of the recipes just don’t have the depth of flavor as the cooking time is much less, but as the Rolling Stones sang”you can’t always get what you want”.
I have been canning pears as fast as I can and have already processed 31 pint jars of pickled pears! I still have about 25lbs of pears in my basement fridge and I hope to get them pickled in the next two days. The remainder of the pears will go to more low sugar preserves and maybe some more savory pear relish.
Yes, I am up to my eyeballs in canning jars. Empty jars, full jars needing labels and jars that should be shelved.
This season I have made many recipes containing all varieties of plums ( Red ,purple,Stanley and Prune). I didn’t do much with peaches and pickled as many nectarines as I could find!
Tomatoes have not been as plentiful so I only have 60lbs of tomatoes in my freezer skinned and ready to go(almost all will go to Sweet Tomato Chutney). Last year I had closer to 150lbs of prepped tomatoes in the freezer. The Plum tomatoes were not plentiful,but they were dense and made very thick oven roasted pizza passata!
I didn’t get as much zucchini or cucumbers as last year and I have not found any white pumpkins…….so sad……….. But what cukes and zucchini I found were made into sweet garlic dill pickles and zany zucchini pickles!
Our pear tree is laden down with at least 100-150lbs of pears. The sheep and goats weren’t allowed near the tree this year,so I am getting more of the fruit on the lower branches! I am planning to do as many pint jars of pickled pears as possible. Possibly the softer pears will go into Pear and ginger jam or Pear Honey.
It’s almost summer and it is time to fire up the grill! In honor of the nice weather we are offering 5lbs of Ground beef for $5 a lbs,that’s $1.30 off our regular price! Our burger is not fatty,but has enough fat to give it a great taste and texture. It is loose, not in patties and is vacuum packed, giving you the most flexibility!
We have split chickens, steaks, lamb/ pork chops,pork /beef kabobs and ground lamb for your grilling pleasure! Don’t forget to visit your local farmers market or Coop for veggies to grill and accompany your almost summer feast.
If you don’t want potato salad with dinner,but want some comfort food, make lumpy mashed potatoes with spring greens!
Lumpy Mashed Potatoes with spring greens
I use the handful method of measuring greens,2 handfuls of greens that are then chopped up will give you enough green in your potatoes and add great flavor,texture and nutrition.The amount of potatoes is up to you. Usually it is 1/3-1/2 lb of raw potatoes per person ,I am only cooking for 2, but like leftovers.
2lbs of potatoes boiled with or without skins(remember to clean them), smash them with butter or olive oil and some milk,add salt ,pepper and chop up (pick one) arugula (rocket),baby kale,watercress or spicy greens and add them to the hot potatoes and stir till they wilt. Then serve.
It’s time to order your Chickens! Today at the Contoocook winter farmers market I sold the last whole chicken in our freezer and only have 5 or 6 halved chickens left in the freezer.
To ensure we have enough chicken for all our customers we request that you order in advance . You can go to Harvest to Market and pre-order your chicken and anything else we sell from eggs to Sweet tomato chutney!
We have been very lucky with lambing and the weather this year. So far we have 11 lambs and only 1 bottle baby (her name is Blizzard), but she isn’t an orphan ,her mother is really good, but she has a pushy brother and isn’t getting enough to eat ,so I supplement her with a bottle 4 times a day.
The snow has melted a bit from the last storm and the animals are able to get out of the barn ,which makes the donkey very happy. She gets a little antsy when she is stuck in the barn with all the mothers,babies,goats and chickens as she has to be very careful where she walks. The chicken’s don’t like the snow,so they are jumping from the barn floor to a sheep back and then down to ground where the hay is spread out. Some of the sheep don’t like to be ridden by the chickens, but the minute a chicken starts pecking at hay seeds or grain in their winter coats the sheep stop and become very still. They love to be groomed by the chickens, their eyes close and their heads drop down ,but then the chicken moves on and the grooming is over.
Don’t forget we love to have our egg cartons back (especially the Jumbo size) so we can refill them. If you return any of our canning jars we will give you .50 cents off your next purchase of any of our canned goods!
I don’t know why blowing snow and large snow piles seem to stimulate the ewes to give birth,but we are on a roll and having deliveries every 2-3 days. Luckily we have had no rejections or bottle lambs so far, but we are prepared and I think that our dog Cooper would love to have another bottle baby in the house for him to watch over.
So today’s deliveries were as follows:
Our second oldest ewe Tamale delivered twins this morning. the ram lamb is named Nemo and the ewe lamb is named Blizzard.Our second delivery was by the ewe named Marsh and her big ewe lamb is named Grass.
Don’t forget once the roads are clear, you can come visit(call first, please),we have eggs,full meat freezers and lots of tasty preserved foods!