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Klesick’s Special Thanksgiving Holiday Box Week

171944_10151314383936145_1134135620_oEvery Thanksgiving holiday season, we offer an additional special Holiday Box ($36) full of traditional organic Thanksgiving meal items for your celebration. Not only can you schedule a Holiday Box to be delivered the week of Thanksgiving, but also the week before and the week after (available Nov.18-Dec. 6). You can have this box delivered along with your regular order or in place of your regular order (please specify your preference when placing your order). 

The box menu is as follows (*denotes local):

Holiday Box Menu
Granny Smith Apples, 2 lbs.*
Green Beans, 1 lb.
Cranberries, 8 oz.*
Garnet Yams, 2 lbs.
Satsumas, 2 lbs.
Carrots, 2 lbs.
Breadcubes for Stuffing, 1 lb.*
Yellow Potatoes, 3 lbs.*
Celery, 1 bunch
Yellow Onions, 1 lb.*
Acorn Squash, 1 ea.*

**Please note: . Coffee and bread orders received after this time will be scheduled for your following delivery.Coffee and bread orders for the week of Thanksgiving need to be received by noon on Thursday, November 21st

Remembering Neighbors in Need

If your celebration includes helping the less fortunate who live in our community, we would like to partner with you by giving you the oppor-tunity to purchase a discounted Holiday Donation Box for only $26, to be given to local food banks the week of Thanksgiving. Last year 127 Holiday Boxes were donated and this year we’d love to have a greater impact. The volunteers at the food banks have expressed again and again how wonderful and satisfying it is to be able to supply people with fresh produce. Please call or e-mail us to set up this donation.

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Potatoe, potato.

yukongoldpotatoRSo you have purchased a box of yummy potatoes like we did and you are looking for ways to preserve and serve the harvest here are a couple of things you can do:
 
~ You can use the potato peels for mulch/fertilizer.
 
~ My chickens like to munch on them as well.
 
~ Make potato pancakes and store them in the freezer for a handy meal, or side dish.
 
~ You can also make crispy potato peels.
 
Potato pancakes
Peel 4 potatoes, you can then shred them in a food processor or by hand. Slice 4 green onions and put in a bowl with the shredded potatoes. Sprinkle in some salt (or no-salt seasoning I like the big container from Costco) and pepper. Add 2 T. flour, and one egg (beaten) into the bowl. Mix well. Preheat a skillet to 350, spray the skillet with olive oil add mounds of mix and then flatten with a spatula. Cook till both sides are nice and brown, let cool quickly and add to a freezer bag and pop in the freezer. You will have a quick tasty meal just waiting for you.
 
Crispy Potato Peels
Put the peelings in a bowl; season with seasoned salt, pepper, and a little Ranch dressing; and toss. Bake, on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes or until they are crispy.
 
By KFF customer Rachel Hendrix

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Yes on I-522

yeson522Last week, I got a call from the Everett Herald who wanted interview me for an article about I-522. This is so important to the health of future generations that, as much as I prefer not to engage in the rhetoric, I accepted. Jerry Cornfield, from the Herald, is a very good writer and accurately captured my comments in the Sunday Herald article. Ironically enough, the “No” position farmer was Andy Werkhoven, a fellow farmer and friend—we just see this issue differently.

Why does this issue have to be so divisive? This issue is simple:  if it was created in a laboratory and has had foreign DNA implanted into it, label it. The real reason comes down to profits and lots of it. Large chemical companies and manufacturers of processed foods know that “full disclosure” will have an immediate impact on their bottom lines. For them, the status quo is to be preserved at all costs. Hence, the full out blitz to confuse and place doubt in the minds of the voters. They also have their hands full trying to get enough people to the polls this year since it is a non-Presidential election cycle.

Please join me in voting “Yes” on I -522 to label genetically engineered food (I use the term “food” loosely). A “Yes” vote will have a positive impact on so many important areas:
1.    It will impact the health of our citizens, by giving consumers the information to make informed choices to avoid these types of food.
2.    It will create a competitive environment for farmers to be able to grow non-GE seeds to meet the demand for food that is GE-free.
3.    The loss of potential market share by large food processors will alter the planting of GE crops in favor of non-GE crops, (this is huge!). Sadly, profits drive most of these companies.
4.    It will be a positive change for the environment with many ecological benefits.
5.    It will also “brake” the stranglehold that Monsanto and other multinational food and chemical giants have over the USDA and Congress.

Wow, these are some lofty expectations for one ballot measure in one state. But if we can pass I-522 here in Washington State, it will force the other Washington to deal with this issue nationally. The Congress and the President of our nation should be proactive and lead in this debate, but since they are choosing not to deal with it, it is happening state by state and community by community. 

A YES vote on I-522 will begin to tilt our national food policies in the direction of safer, non-adulterated food. And that will be good for everyone.

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Cool Weather and Hot Soup Week

photo (15)As the weather becomes cooler and the leaves start to change, I can’t help but feel excited about this time of year. I had never experienced a true fall season until I moved to the beautiful northwest eight years ago and, oh my, it is a gift to see nature prepare itself for the cold months that lie ahead. This past summer, we spent our time with family and friends playing outdoors, having al-fresco dinners, grilling and enjoying fresh salads. These past few weeks, however, have brought some crisp weather and a bit cooler evenings, which I have welcomed with the occasional hot soup or stew.

Sometimes there’s nothing more soothing than a good bowl of soup. I find soup to be the best way to get warm after being in the cold and an excellent way to cut down your cooking time if you are in a rush. There are recipes for all palettes, plus soups satisfy the appetite and warm the soul. It’s been so fun to introduce the different soups I grew up with to my soup-loving husband, especially since growing up I did not like soup! Now, I can’t have enough of it! Peruvian Minestrone, Seafood Chowder, Bisques, Chicken and Rice Soup and my go-to soup “My Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup,” to mention a few. 

Growing up, my Dad would make his own version of wonton soup whenever mom would be out of town. It was his turn to be in the kitchen. To this day, he makes this soup every time I come home and I look forward to it. He’s never spent much time in the kitchen, but he has two specialties: Peruvian Garlic Rice and “Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup.” Every time he makes it, after the first sip and with a smile on his face, he will jokingly say, “You won’t even find a soup like this at the restaurant around the corner.” 

I am always amazed at how food can evoke so many different feelings, bring back comforting memories and feed the soul. It doesn’t matter how simple or complicated the recipe is, how many ingredients you use, or how pretty it looks, that special dish you make for your family is doing more than feeding them dinner. When your kids leap over the stairs so they can get the first seat at the table, fight over the last piece of something or even lick the plate, memories are being created that will forever stay in their hearts and minds. 

For me, it is this soup. It’s light and filling at the same time, full of flavor and delicate. I have applied my own twists to it, but I was taught to always give credit where credit is due, so in this circumstance I hope you enjoy “My Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup.” 

What is your special dish?

Sara Balcazar-Greene (aka. Peruvian Chick)
Peruvian Food Ambassador
peruvianchick.com
instagram.com/peruvianchick
facebook.com/theperuvianchick

 

My Dad’s Better Than Wonton Soup.

INGREDIENTS:

12 cups of water and 3 cubes of vegetable bouillon (or you can replace for 6 cups of water + 6 cups of vegetable broth)
3 thumb size-pieces of ginger, peeled
8 tablespoons of soy sauce
4 tablespoons of sesame oil (I use Trader Joe’s Toasted Sesame Oil)
1 lb of fresh white mushrooms, sliced or 1 lb of chicken breast washed and thinly cut into slices
1 bunch of green onions, green part finely chopped
1 pack on Vermicelli rice noodles (Beans thread style)
6 organic eggs (soft boiled)
Garlic-Chili Sauce (optional)

PREPARATION:

Boil the water with the three pieces of ginger and bouillon. If using chicken, add chicken now. Boil for about 7 minutes. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Add the rice noodles and boil for 4 more minutes. Add mushrooms and green onions. Turn off the burner and let it sit for a few minutes.

Separately boil the eggs to a soft boil. Exactly 6 minutes once the water starts boiling. Cool down with cold water and peel. Learn how to peel soft boiled eggs here.

Serve with half a boiled egg and garlic-chili sauce.

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Homemade Pumpkin Puree

photo (11)Make homemade Sugar Pie Pumpkin Puree in 5 easy steps!

1. Depending on the size, select a couple of small-ish pumpkins. Cut the pumpkin in half. With a spoon or a scoop, scrape out the seeds and pulp from the center.

2. Place all the seeds into a bowl (you can roast them later and make pepitas). 

3. Place pumpkin pieces on a baking sheet and roast in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes, or until pumpkin is fork-tender. 

4. Peel off the skin from the pumpkin pieces until you have a big pile of the stuff. If you have a food processor, throw in a few chunks at a time. 

5. Pulse the pumpkin until smooth. If it looks too dry, add in a few tablespoons of water during the pulsing to give it the needed moisture. Dump the pureed goodness into a bowl, and continue pureeing until all the pumpkin is done.

You can either use this immediately in whatever pumpkin recipe you’d like, store it in the freezer for later use.

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Pumpkin Season

SquashSugarPiePumpkin_web-500x500Fall is definitely pumpkin time. Shoot, even McDonalds and Starbucks are advertising PSL on the radio and billboards. (Just in case, you are more like me than not, PSL stands for Pumpkin Spice Latte.) Well, on the farm we grow pumpkins and lots of them—sweet pie pumpkins. This growing season was very good for all the varieties of squash. 

Last fall, I visited a pumpkin/vegetable trial from our local seed supplier. Trials evaluate plant performance and yield to benefit vegetable gardeners. At the trial, there was this new sugar pie pumpkin that was incredibly delicious and uniform in size. I am always on the lookout for great tasting vegetables and, while our tried and true small sugar pie variety was excellent, this new one caught my attention. The flavor is bar none, off the charts, with dense meaty flavor. The outside is also unique, with a light orange color and a netting overlay. It is also more uniform in size. 

Being the quintessential dreamer that I am, I jumped in whole hog and switched to this Winter Luxury variety. About six weeks ago, I called my seed representative and sent her a picture of the basketball-sized pumpkins growing in my field. (Do you know why farmers often have less hair? Because we do a lot head scratching trying to figure out what is happening with our crops, the weather, etc.) Sorry I digress, but the yield I was getting was definitely a head scratcher. This new variety, grown on my farm, out grew itself and now I have a lot of 8 to 10 pounders that won’t fit into our delivery boxes.

Want to help your farmer this week??? Feel free to order an extra pumpkin (or five ☺) for only $5 each and we will deliver it with your next order: http://www.klesickfamilyfarm.com/cart/index.php?route=product/category&type_view=&path=2&page=8

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Kale – Nutritious and Hip

kale_tostada
Photography by Ashley Rodriguez
I’m not sure when kale became so hip. Perhaps it was when people realized you can toss the leaves in olive oil and salt and turn kale into a crispy, nutritious and satisfying snack or when they realized just how good it is for you or that it’s so much more than the frilly leaves that decorate salad bars. I’m not sure when or how, but I am glad kale is “in” right now.

When shopping for kale, I often bypass anything that isn’t Dinosaur or Lacinato. This variety—a very dark, almost black-green with a tender leaf with gentle ripples that run throughout—is mild in flavor and texture. In the winter, when the produce aisles are nearly bare, kale abounds. It’s then that it becomes an almost daily staple in our house in the form of juice, a warm side dish or fresh salad. When vitamin D is lacking it is nice knowing that we are flooding our bodies with all the good stuff in kale that lowers cholesterol and reduces the likelyhood of 5 different types of cancer. 

After many meals of sautéed kale, kale floating in soup or suspended among pasta noodles, I want something bright and fresh. The recipe I’m sharing today is that solution—Jalapeno & Lime Kale Tostada. After a lazy soak in lime juice and spice, the kale surrenders a bit of its heft while retaining a freshness that is so often lacking in food this time of year. It’s like a kale ceviche, as the acid in the lime tenderizes the leaves and almost cooks them as they sit in the juice for a while. 

To prepare kale for cooking, grab the thick stem with one hand and then gently run your other hand down the stem to the tip of the leaf. Whatever pulls off easily is what you want to eat. Most recipes call for kale to be sliced in ribbons. To do this, lay the now stemmed leaves in a pile and slice 1” strips. 
One of my favorite winter side dishes is kale (or any hearty greens) sautéed in olive oil, garlic and chile flake. Add a good amount of oil to a large sauté pan.

Add a pinch of chile flake and a couple cloves of sliced garlic, then cook until fragrant and just lightly golden. Remove the garlic from the pan then add the kale—a lot of it (it’s amazing how much it cooks down). Sauté until the color brightens and the leaves just start to slump. Serve. Or take it a step further and put the greens in a roasting dish along with some cream and cheese (I am particularly fond of gruyere), top with bread crumbs and bake until the crumbs are toasted and the interior is bubbling. 

Now, I’ve let myself wander off subject. We’re talking about bright and fresh kale. This tostada is vibrant and healthful, especially if you choose to bake the tortillas rather than fry them. Add to this recipe as you please. Grilled or roasted corn kernels would do nicely, as would some grilled chicken or steak. Or you could skip the tostada part and just turn it into a salad. Either way, you are eating kale, so now you are nutritious and hip.

by Ashley Rodriguez
food blogger
www.notwithoutsalt.com

JALAPENO & LIME KALE TOSTADA        
Serves 2 very hungry people or 4 less hungry

Tostadas
4 flour or corn tortillas
2 teaspoons olive oil
 
Brush 4 tortillas with butter or olive oil, sprinkle with salt then bake at 400* for 10 – 12 minutes or until completely crisp.

Kale Marinade
¼ cup fresh lime juice
2 T olive oil
½ jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups kale, washed, thick ribs removed and roughly chopped
 
Mix first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chopped kale and toss to coat. Let sit for 30 minutes.

Black Beans
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 T shallot, finely chopped
Pinch salt
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
 
In a small saucepan saute garlic and shallots in oil over medium heat until just fragrant. Add beans and simmer about 5-7 minutes, until soft and warmed through. Taste and add salt if needed, keeping in mind the kale and Cotija add a brightness and salt as well.

Assemble
1 avocado, roughly cut
1/4 cup crumbled Cotija (available at Mexican markets or many fine grocery stores; if you can’t find it you may substitute Feta or Chevre).
Place baked tortilla on plate, top with warm beans, marinated kale, chunks of avocado and about 1 Tablespoon crumbled Cotija cheese.