The past week has brought a subtle change—steadily earlier mornings and later evenings. The dark days on either side of the solstice have a defeating feel. By the time morning chores are finished in the early dawn light and breakfast is enjoyed and cleaned up, it is nearly time to start preparing lunch which is quickly eaten and then closely followed by afternoon chores at 3pm and nightfall. Undertaking a big project seems hopeless, as you can only steal a couple of hours a day at the most to work on it. The addition of an extra 30 minutes in the morning and night make an amazing difference, allowing us to get some good time in furthering projects.
We butchered a steer early in the week and have just begun bean threshing. The freezers are now packed (with more stir-fry beef and stew meat!) and soon the bean jars will be stocked and back on the counter. The blue corn meal has hit a road block as we look for a better grinder. The one currently on loan to us crushes the kernels rather than properly grinding them and we are on the look out for a better solution.
You may have noticed last week that our broiler chicken supply is all eaten up. We have moved on to stew birds. These older hens get rave reviews for flavor, but they require much different treatment than younger broilers. They should always be used in recipes that require slow, moist cooking. Stew birds are the perfect choice for stews, fricassees and soups—sharing the pot with lots of root vegetables and herbs. Coq au Vin is a classic stew bird dish (this one literally uses a rooster) as well as chicken pot pie and chicken and dumplings or noodles. They also make a mean shredded taco and burrito filling. Recipes show cook times as little as 30 minutes and up to several hours. You want to keep cooking until the meat falls off of the bone, but be careful not to overcook. If you discover a favorite stew bird recipe please share it with the group.
Full and By Farm Shares
In the veggie share: kohlrabi, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes, leeks, winter squash, cabbage, celeriac, beets, carrots, potatoes, onions, and garlic. We are jarring up our kimchee and green kraut today. Kimchee is a pungent Korean condiment —garlicky, gingery fermented cabbage and carrots with a spicy kick.
In the meat share: beef, pork and stew birds in the freezer. Beef and chicken broth are back. We’ve put a value of one pound per bag on these tasty and convenient morsels of flavor.
Full and By Farm