2014 Solstice Share

Tantre Farm CSA Newsletter
SOLSTICE SHARE
December 20, 2014
Please contact Richard Andres & Deb Lentz at: 2510 Hayes Rd. Chelsea, MI 48118  tantrefarm@hotmail.com   734-475-4323

HAPPY SOLSTICE, EVERYONE!
Thank you for joining our Solstice Share to celebrate the return of the light with good cheer and good health for the New Year.  It is a unique moment for us to mark this first collaboration of the Brinery, Garden Works, Dan’s fantastic breads, and Tantre Farm for this unique Solstice celebration.  Through this cooperative spirit we embrace the euphoria of this moment to provide you with winter sustenance of these nutritionally dense roots and storage vegetables.  This share truly represents the best proportion of nutrition, flavor, texture and health of the winter storage crops.  We hope this food will contribute to a happy, healthy feast for you and your family.

**PLEASE READ THIS!  NEW DISTRIBUTION METHOD FOR THE FIRST TIME!!  We will be distributing the vegetables for this share as a “BUFFET STYLE”, which means ALL vegetables will be in bulk containers, such as boxes or baskets.  It is set up as a self-serve situation with labeled amounts to take, so you can hand pick, what size, shape, or texture of each item you desire, so plan on an extra 15-20 minutes for you to load up.   This means that you need to BRING YOUR OWN BAGS, COOLERS, OR BOXES.  We will have some boxes or bags available, but we would like to encourage you to provide your own.  You will need to check off your name on the Pick up List at the Washtenaw Food Hub from 9 AM until noon and Tantre Farm from 2 to 5 PM, when you arrive. Please ask for help if you need any help loading, and of course please make sure that your final payment goes into the Payment Envelope at each distribution site on Saturday, if you haven’t paid for your share yet.  During this time you will also pick up your bag of micro-greens, sauerkraut, and an aromatic loaf of freshly made Whole Wheat Bread with Kabocha squash, Purple Carrots, and Sunflower Seeds.  Very flavorful!

Also, throughout the late fall and winter, please free to contact us, if you are interested in squash, potatoes, radishes, turnips, rutabaga, spinach, onions, garlic, etc., which you can pick up at the farm or the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.  After the Solstice Distribution on Dec. 20, we will continue to set up at the Ann Arbor Farmers’ Market every Saturday starting again in January, but market starts at 8 AM and ends at 2 PM for these “winter hours”.   If you have “liked” us on Tantre Farm’s Facebook page, you will know when we are coming and what we are bringing, since we try to keep you updated.  The People’s Food Coop and Argus Farm Stop of AA also continue to carry many of our vegetables throughout the winter and early spring.

If you are interested in our Summer CSA shares for 2015, our online registration will start soon, although possibly after the Christmas holiday.  Just check our website, and your emails.  We will be sending all of you an email as well to let you know when registration opens.  Everyone should be able to get a spot, so don’t worry that you won’t get in.  We are still learning the new online system, and it is tricky to have two registrations happening at the same time, so we appreciate your patience as we are still learning. Hope you are enjoying some ease of this new system as we are!

Thanks for buying locally and seasonally.  We wish you a sustainably rich and enlightened transition into light as we enter the end of 2014 and begin anew with 2015!                 –Deb and Richard

WHAT’S PART OF YOUR SHARE

CABBAGE (Kaitlin):  large, late-season cabbage that is excellent for kraut with a very white, rather than green, interior after storage; stores well into December or January.
-How to use:  steamed, stir-fried, chopped into salads or coleslaw.
-How to store:  You will receive this unpeeled and unwashed, so that it will store better, so the leaves may look a little dirty or brown.  It is best to store cabbage with its protective outer leaves until ready to use, so that it will last in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.  When ready to eat, just peel off a few layers until you get to the crispy, clean leaves that will make it ready for eating.

CARROTS (Orange and Purple):  You will receive these as bunches of topless, frost-sweetened carrots with Bolero (orange, tender, excellent long-term, storage carrots with medium-long, thick, blunt roots) and Purple Majesty (deep purple roots; excellent grated raw or cooked; taste very similar to their orange cousins and should be embraced for their nutritional powerhouse benefits such as extra antioxidants, which help prevent blood clotting and heart diseases; anti-inflammatory as well as anti-bacterial properties).
-How to use:  Can be used raw as carrot sticks, grated in salads or juiced; steamed or sautéed, in stews, soups, casseroles, stir-fries
-How to store:  Refrigerate dry and unwashed roots in plastic bag for up to 2 weeks; stores best in near freezing conditions around 32 degrees and 95% humidity; greens may last up to a week refrigerated in plastic bag

GARLIC: You will receive Russian Red Garlic; believed to help in fighting infections, cancer prevention, and bolstering the immune system).
-How to use:  Excellent in all cooking; make garlic butter with 1/2 cup of softened butter mashed with four minced cloves of garlic
-How to store: store for several months in a cool, dark, dry, well-ventilated place; if cloves begin to get soft or moldy, break off bad part, chop, and pack into small jar filled with olive oil, then refrigerate (great gift idea!).

MICRO-GREENS: You will receive ¼ pound bag of pea shoots (which are extremely high in vitamins A & C and calcium) from Garden Works Organic Farm.  They are a certified organic 4.5 acre truck garden and greenhouse farm in Ann Arbor operating year-round with several types of heirloom vegetables, and wheatgrass, sunflower shoots and other microgreens available throughout the year.  If you would like to find a way to continue to receive these delicious, tender greens, contact gardenworksannarbor@yahoo.com and ask for Rob MacKercher.
-How to use:  use as a salad, blended with chopped radishes, turnips, and cabbage, excellent garnish as a soup, sooo yummy and tender!
-How to store: store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

ONIONS:  You will receive Copra (medium-sized, dark yellow-skinned storage onions).
-How to use: good in French onion soup, great for salads, soups, sandwiches, slices, grilled.
-How to store:  can last for 10 to 12 months if kept in a cold, dark place, but remove any ones starting to go soft from the others.

PIE PUMPKIN (Baby Bear): bright orange skin with dry, sweet flesh
-How to use: Excellent for pies (For other ideas see winter squash)
-How to store: store whole pumpkins at room temperature up to a month or for 2 to 3 months in moderately cool conditions (45-60 degrees with 60-75% humidity).
-How to freeze: Bake pumpkin until fork tender at 350 degrees, purée and put cooked pulp in freezer bags.

POTATOES:  You will receive the following varieties of potatoes including Butte (russet baker that is highest in vitamin C and protein; great baked, mashed or fried), Adirondack Blue (round to oblong, slightly flattened tubers have glistening blue skin enclosing deep blue flesh; moist, flavorful flesh is superb for mashing or salads; very high in antioxidants!), Mountain Rose (rosy-skinned inside and out, these versatile, all-purpose spuds are deliciously moist, but not waxy textured. Extra nutritious, and high in antioxidants. Excellent baked, mashed or fried), German Butterball (a round to oblong tuber with lightly netted golden skin that wraps around deep yellow flesh. Slightly dry flesh, this is good for everything – frying, baking, mashing, soups).
-How to store:  keep unwashed in cool, dark place in paper bag; ideal temperature is 40-50 degrees with high humidity (80-90%).  A basement or very cool closet will work.  If too warm or stored with onions or apples, they will shrivel and sprout; light turns them green; don’t refrigerate, since the starches turn to sugars.

RADISHES:  You will receive 2 kinds of storage radishes:  Daikon Radish (looks like an overgrown white carrot, but with a slightly mild radish taste; crunchy and sweet texture; good macrobiotic root that is good for the gut) and Watermelon Radish  (an heirloom Chinese variety; large, 2-4”, round radishes with unique dark magenta flesh and light green/white skin along with a sweet, mildly spicy, delicious taste).
-How to use:  soups, stews, steamed, roasted, eaten raw in salads, pickled, excellent julienned and tossed with favorite dressing.
-How to store: Store dry and unwashed in plastic bag in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks; can last for 2-4 months if stored in cold, moist conditions like beets.

SOLSTICE ROOT SALAD:  The Brinery has assembled a specially made salad of freshly shredded, tender purple/orange carrots, daikon radishes, watermelon radishes, rutabagas, Chioggia beets, cabbage, raisins, sunflower seeds and Brinery-pickled garlic scapes,  and lightly dressed with a small amount of apple cider vinegar, turnip/beet pickled brine, sea salt, and olive oil.  This is a salad laden with nutrition and probiotics!
-How to use: use as a delicious, crunchy salad, paired with your favorite holiday food; spread it on a sandwich, toss it as a garnish on your soup.
-How to store: best used fresh, but should store in refrigerator for up to 4 days.

RUTABAGA: purplish skin with yellow flesh; thought to be a cross between a cabbage and a turnip and resembles a large turnip (3 to 5 inches in diameter).
-How to use: Bake, steam, or boil so it cooks up to a creamy texture as nice addition to mashed potatoes, can be substituted or added to pumpkin or squash pies, or baked in a root bake, and often a key ingredient in making pasties.
-How to store: Refrigerate in a plastic bag for up to 1 month; keeps at room temperature for 1 week; long term storage

SAUERKRAUT:   We are pleased to offer a jar of the Brinery’s Sauerkraut.  Ingredients include green crunchy cabbage, the warmth of summer leeks, and a sprinkling of sea salt. The Brinery is a local foods business, specializing in naturally fermented local vegetables and operated by long time Tantré farmer, David Klingenberger.  For more information, please visit www.thebrinery.com.
-How to use: use as a condiment with any dish, especially meat dishes, salads, roasted veggies, or sandwiches.
-How to store: Must be REFRIGERATED up to 3 months or longer depending on how you like the flavor, since it will get stronger with more age. *NOTE: This sauerkraut jar has NOT been canned, so store in refrigerator.

WHITE TURNIPS (Hakurei):  a white salad turnip with round, smooth roots with a sweet, fruity flavor and a crisp, tender texture
-How to use:  Boil, steam, bake, add to soups and stews, mash or scallop just like potatoes, excellent roasted.
-How to store:  Keeps up to 1-2 weeks in the refrigerator in a plastic bag; can last for 4-5 months, if stored like beets, preferring cold and moist conditions.

WINTER SQUASH:  It’s been a great squash year!  You will receive
some of the following varieties:
Acorn (small, green ribbed squash with pale yellow flesh)
Butternut (light, tan-colored skin; small seed cavities with thick, cylindrical necks; bright orange, moist, sweet flesh; longest storage potential of all squash)
Delicata (small, oblong, creamy colored with long green stripes, only slightly ribbed; pale yellow, sweet flesh; edible skin; best eaten within 4 months of harvest)
Jester Acorn (about the size of Carnival squash, but with better eating quality; an oval, ivory-colored squash with green striping between the ribs that is tapered on both ends     with small to average ribs)
Black Forest Kabocha (smaller size kabocha; dark green, flat-round fruits; buttercup size with no button on end; orange flesh is medium-dry & sweet)
Sweet Dumpling (small 4-inch diameter, coloring is like the “Delicata”, but round, flat-topped shape; makes a great bowl for stuffing with rice, breading, or soups)
-How to store:  Keep for several months (depending on the variety) at 45-60 degrees with 60-75% humidity; will also store at room temperature.
-How to freeze: If you notice a squash is getting soft or a spot starts to rot, cook it immediately, and freeze it in freezer bags for future use. (See”Pumpkin” information.)

RECIPES
**Keep in mind a very easy way to find recipe ideas for almost any combination of share box ingredients is to type the items into your preferred “search bar”, and many recipe ideas will pop up.  Have fun searching!  Lots and lots of ideas!

TANTRÉ FARM SLAW (A simple, easy salad!) Serves 4.
2 medium beets, grated
3 large carrots, grated
2 turnips, grated
1 watermelon radish, grated
2-3 scallions or 1 red onion, chopped (optional)
sesame or sunflower seeds, toasted
olive oil or toasted sesame oil
lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
Grate vegetables into a bowl.  Chop scallions, if desired, and add to bowl.  Toast sesame or sunflower seeds.  Add when cooled.  Add olive oil and lemon juice as a salad dressing to suit your taste.  Be careful of too much liquid.  The tartness of the lemon should be prominent.   Serve immediately or marinate for a few hours in the refrigerator.

BRAISED DAIKON (from Winter Harvest Cookbook)
1 Daikon radish, peeled and diced
2 Tbs. light cooking oil
1 tsp. sugar (or honey)
1 1/2 Tbs. soy sauce
Put Daikon in saucepan, cover with water, and boil 5 minutes.  Drain well.  Heat skillet, add oil, and stir-fry Daikon for 2 minutes.  Add sugar and soy sauce; stir fry another minute.  Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until Daikon is tender, but not mushy, about 30 minutes.  Serve hot.  Serves 4.

ROASTED WATERMELON RADISHES (www.myrecipes.com)
1 pound watermelon radishes, trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
Preheat oven to 375°. Cut radishes into wedges. Mix with 2 tbsp. oil and put in a 2-qt. baking dish. Roast radishes, stirring occasionally, until fork tender, about 1 hour. Drizzle with remaining 1 tbsp. oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

TANTRE FARM OVEN-ROASTED HARVEST VEGETABLES (Keep in mind, any combination of the following root vegetables will work.  Roasted veggies are standard at many Tantre Farm meals.)
1 c. Brussels sprouts, cut in halves
1 c. carrots, quartered or chunks
1/2 lb. unpeeled multi-colored potatoes, cut into chunks if large
1 watermelon radish, julienned
3-4 onions, sliced
1 rutabaga, cut into chunks
1 c. white turnips, cut into chunks
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. winter squash, cut into chunks
3-4 Tbs. vegetable or olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. chopped fresh sage or rosemary
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine any combination of vegetables above in large bowl, except parsley.  Drizzle oil over.  Sprinkle with garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper; toss gently to coat.  Bake for 30 minutes in 1 or 2 roasting pans or until vegetables are beginning to slightly brown. Turn the vegetables 2 or 3 times during cooking to prevent burning.  Then increase heat to 425° and add chopped parsley (or may be added as a fresh garnish at the very end), toss vegetables, and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, stirring once, until vegetables are tender and lightly browned. Makes 6-8 servings.

MASHED RUTABAGA AND POTATOES (from www.southernfood.about.com) Serves 6 to 8.
3 pounds rutabaga, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 to 2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces, about 5 or 6 medium
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste
2 teaspoons chopped parsley, optional
Cook rutabaga and potatoes in salted water in separate saucepans. When both are tender, remove from heat. Rutabaga will take about 30 minutes, and potatoes will take about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain; puree or mash rutabaga well, then mash the potatoes. Combine mashed rutabaga and potatoes; add butter, milk, pepper, and nutmeg. Beat well. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

ROASTED WINTER VEGETABLE SOUP (from www.allrecipes.com) Servings: 8
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped
1 pinch kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
cooking spray or oil
1 small butternut or kabocha squash – peeled, seeded, and chunked
3 rutabagas, peeled and cubed
4 parsnips or carrots, thickly sliced
4 potatoes, halved
10 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons white truffle oil (optional)
With a mortar and pestle, grind together rosemary and kosher salt. Pour in olive oil and continue to mash until the oil starts to turn a darker green. Set aside for about an hour. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a shallow roasting pan with cooking spray or brush with oil.  Place the squash, rutabagas, parsnips and potatoes in a large bowl.  Pour the olive oil mixture through a fine-mesh strainer over the vegetables and toss them with oil to coat.  Evenly spread vegetables on the prepared pan and roast 30 minutes until nicely browned and cooked through.  While the vegetables are roasting, simmer stock in a large pot over medium low heat. When the vegetables are done add them to the simmering stock and simmer together for about 10 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to puree the soup in the pot, or puree in batches in a blender or food processor. Add extra broth or water if the soup is too thick. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve in warmed bowls, garnishing each serving by drizzling a quarter teaspoon of balsamic vinegar and a quarter teaspoon of white truffle oil over the soup.

RUSTIC CABBAGE SOUP RECIPE (www.101cookbooks.com) Serves 4.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
a big pinch of salt
1/2 pound potatoes, skin on, cut 1/4-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
5 cups stock
1 1/2 cups white beans, precooked or canned (drained & rinsed well)
1/2 medium cabbage, cored and sliced into 1/4-inch ribbons
more good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Warm the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the salt and potatoes. Cover and cook until they are a bit tender and starting to brown a bit, about 5 minutes – it’s o.k. to uncover to stir a couple times. Stir in the garlic and onion and cook for another minute or two. Add the stock and the beans and bring the pot to a simmer. Stir in the cabbage and cook for a couple more minutes, until the cabbage softens up a bit. Now adjust the seasoning – getting the seasoning right is important or your soup will taste flat and uninteresting. Taste and add more salt if needed, the amount of salt you will need to add will depend on how salty your stock is (varying widely between brands, homemade, etc)…  Serve drizzled with a bit of olive oil and a generous dusting of cheese.

INDIAN STYLE TURNIPS OR RADISH
1 bunch turnips or 1 bunch radishes (well washed and chopped)
1 tsp. turmeric
½ tsp. mustard seeds
1-2 Tbs. oil
chili powder to taste
salt to taste
1 tsp. coriander powder
2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
In sauté pan, heat oil on high heat.  Add turmeric, mustard seeds, chili powder, coriander powder, salt.  Stir over med-high heat for 2-3 min.  Add turnips (root) and coat well with oil/spice mixture.  Cook over med-high heat for a couple of minutes.  Add garlic  and continue to cook on med-high heat for a couple of minutes.  Turn heat down to low and cover for 5 min.  Cook until desired consistency for turnips is achieved (some like crunch, some like soft).  Serve as side dish or main meal for one person.

SAVORY-SWEET RUTABAGA PUDDING (from Farmer John’s Cookbook by John Peterson) Serves 6 to 8
1 large rutabaga (about 2 pounds), peeled, diced into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
butter for greasing the baking dish
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup raisins, plumped in hot water for 15 minutes and drained (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rutabaga and 1 teaspoon salt, partially cover, and cook until the rutabaga is very soft, 30 to 45 minutes. (You will need to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.)  Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with butter.  Beat the eggs and egg yolk in a medium bowl. Stir in the cream, bread crumbs, maple syrup, and nutmeg. Drain the rutabaga, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Mash the rutabaga thoroughly with a potato masher or run it through a food mill. If the mixture seems dry, add a little of the reserved rutabaga water as you mash. Add the egg mixture, raisins, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grindings of pepper; stir to combine.   Transfer the rutabaga pudding to the prepared baking dish.  Smooth the top and dot with butter.  Bake until lightly golden on top, about 45 minutes. Serve hot.

THAI PUMPKIN CUSTARD
1 c. coconut cream (not coconut “milk”)
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. refined sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 medium pumpkin, seeded, with lid cut out at top
Blend together coconut cream, eggs, sugar, and salt.  Pour into cleaned out pumpkin shell within 1/2 inch of top rim.  Set pumpkin in 2 inches of water in glass pan or casserole dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 or more minutes.  The custard should be firm and pumpkin is soft and edible, but still firm enough to hold up.  Cool.  Slice and serve.  Bake lid too (which takes less time) and serve on top for presentation.

PUMPKIN SMOOTHIE (yields 2 cups)
1 medium banana, frozen
1 cup soymilk or plain yogurt
1/2 cup fresh pumpkin puree, baked
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon maple syrup or brown sugar
Break the banana into chunks, and place in blender or food processor with remaining ingredients.  Blend until creamy-smooth.  Taste and adjust spices.  Pour into cups.  If you like, let it firm up in the freezer for 1/2-1 hour.

RADISH AND CARROT BHARTA RECIPE (Indian Vegetarian Cooking)
1/2 lb. carrots, julienned
1 lb. radishes, julienned or combination of radish and turnip
2 Tbs. ghee (or vegetable oil)
1/2 inch ginger, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Garam Masala*
1/2 tsp. paprika (or cayenne or gr. chilies to taste)
2 small tomatoes, chopped
Julienne or shred the carrots and radishes.  Steam (or boil in minimum water) until soft.  May be mashed or pureed at this point, but I prefer to just leave them as they are. Heat ghee and saute ginger and onion until soft. Add the vegetables and the rest of the ingredients. Mix well and cook until nearly all the juice is gone. NOTES : This makes up incredibly quickly using a food processor. It also freezes well. If it seems too “radishy” reduce them to 1/2 pound, which is what the original recipe called for.  4 Servings.
*GARAM MASALA RECIPE (Indian Vegetarian Cooking)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric
Measure and mix. Store in airtight container can easily be increased.  NOTES: Much better than commercial garam masala, and only takes a few moments to put together.

CARROT CHIPS (Makes 4 servings)  This is delicious!
Vegetable or olive oil (or spray)
1 pile of carrots-any color, scrubbed clean (any amount will work)
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the carrots into 1/4-inch-thick rounds.  Place the carrot slices on a lightly oiled baking sheet, without edges touching. Drizzle with light amount of oil and toss; then season with salt and pepper. Bake 5 minutes, or until they begin to brown on the edges. Carefully turn the slices over, add more oil if needed, and season again with salt and pepper. Bake another 5 to 10 minutes, until crispy and beginning to brown. Place the chips on a paper towel-lined plate and serve immediately.