I recently stumbled across Camp-fires And Guide-posts: A Book Of Essays And Excursions published in 1921 by Henry Van Dyke. Blessed with a rare 5 minutes of peace, I very much enjoyed reading the title essay which included passages like this one.
"Every place where men rest and repose with warmth to cheer them - the hollow in the woods where pilgrims gather about the blazing sticks, the snug cottage where the kettle simmers on the hearth, the royal castle where an ancient coat-of-arms is carved on the mantelpiece...the hotel...every one of these is nothing more or less than a camp-fire."
We owe so many messages of thanks to the people that support us on a regular basis. No act of kindness goes unappreciated! A special thank you to Joan for her tireless dedication to the farm and for the most delicious homemade chicken pot pie we have ever tasted. Thank you to Sharon for sharing a loaf of her amazing apple walnut bread with us. To Bruce's sister, Sue for the homemade jam. To everyone who has been generous with their time to help us make this tremendous undertaking possible: Thank you for acts of kindness large and small.
Acorn Squash will be at the table next week. These "Honeybear" Acorn Squash are small and delicious.
Now for the cooking. My sister-in-law recently made sauce with some of our tomatoes and shared this recipe from Epicurious. We still have plum or "sauce" tomatoes in the field if anyone is interested!
Yield: Makes 6 to 7 pints
This recipe makes enough sauce for 6 to 7 meals (for 4 people) if you figure on 1 pint of sauce per pound of pasta. We used a food processor to save time. Be sure to use very ripe tomatoes to get the best flavor. If your tomatoes lack sweetness, the sugar will help balance their acidity.
You will need a food mill fitted with fine disk
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
- 10 lb plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, cored, and coarsely chopped (24 cups)
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
Toss salt and sugar with tomatoes in 2 large bowls, then let stand until very juicy, about 15 minutes.
Cook garlic in oil in a wide 8- to 10-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes, then discard garlic. Carefully add tomato mixture (it may splatter) and basil, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil, covered, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring more frequently toward end of cooking, until sauce is thickened and reduced by half, 2 to 3 hours.
Force sauce through food mill into a large bowl, discarding solids. Ladle sauce into 1-pint airtight containers and cool completely, uncovered, then freeze, covered.
Cooks' note: Sauce can be chilled up to 5 days or frozen 6 months.
On Saturday, I made a variation of Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans
and would recommend it to anyone looking for a way to use the fresh chard that is available now. I also thought I'd share this Whole Foods recipe for a green gratin originally shared by our member, Cristin.
Green Gratin with Goat Cheese
4 teaspoons butter
3 leeks (1 1/2 pounds), dark green parts removed, remaining light green parts thinly sliced
2 pounds organic greens (about 3 bunches chard, kale and/or collards), stems removed and leaves coarsely chopped
3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1 (6 ounce) log Chèvre (goat cheese), rind removed
20 Wheat Square Crackers, crumbled
Transfer greens mixture to a bowl and set aside. Add milk to saucepot and heat just to a simmer. Remove from heat, crumble in goat cheese and whisk until melted. Stir in greens mixture until combined, then transfer to a shallow 3-quart baking dish. Bake 10 minutes, then top with cracker crumbs and continue baking until crumbs are toasted and greens are heated through, about 10 minutes longer