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Thursday, February 23, 2017

News from the SVGM

Hi everyone~~~
     Here we are, solidly, supposedly, smack in the middle of winter. But as someone who regular observes the weather with the growing season in mind, I have to say that for all its pleasant mildness, this above-average streak of weeks we're having feels a bit disconcerting, also. Even pulling a few weeds while having my coffee outside this morning somehow didn't feel....quite...right. It just may be another interesting early growing season this year; I'm remembering the severe cold snap we had late last April, that one that had the flower-bud-killing chill that seriously affected the region's fruit crops, and also the cool-weather~~~not "freezing-weather"~~~ crops that were already in the ground. If you go to market tomorrow, be sure to ask the guys for their experienced take on the unseasonable warmth we're having; it will give you even more perspective on what it takes for them to bring you their products. As I've said before, our farmers' ability to joust with Central PA's capricious weather is downright admirable.
     But do enjoy this "sweater weather." As always, we sincerely appreciate your support at this indoor market~~we look forward to seeing you tomorrow!
This week at market:
Stone Meadow Farm:
Artisan cheeses, grass-fed beef & veal, ring bologna, bratwurst, fresh chorizo
Cow-a-Hen Farm:  
Beef, Pork and Poultry: freshly dressed chicken and fresh cut pork this week!
Beaver Run Farms: 
Pork and chicken, sausages, bacon, kielbasa
Grass Roots Farm:
Will return within the next few weeks with the first of the earliest spring greens~

Seasonal Recipe
Coconut Pork Stew with Garam Masala
Adapted from https://cooking.nytimes.com
Recipe by Melissa Clark
Serves 8
     You can adjust the heat of this dish by choosing milder peppers and chiles in both the stew itself and in the garlic coconut oil for serving. Marinating the pork overnight and soaking the yellow split peas overnight are both critical to the success of this recipe, so plan the preparation a bit ahead of time. Serve rice alongside to mellow the flavor even more if desired~~~and enjoy the leftovers!

2-1/2 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp. ground cumin
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt, more to taste
1-1/2 tsp. garam masala
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 cup dried yellow split peas
2-1/2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, minced
1 26-28 oz. can or packaged diced tomatoes
1 cup coconut milk, solids and liquid whisked together
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Garlic-coconut oil, for serving:
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
6 cloves garlic, sliced
3 hot red or green chiles, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out

In a large bowl, combine the pork with the cumin, salt, garam masala, and cayenne; cover and refrigerate overnight.

Cover the split peas with boiling water to cover by 2 inches, and let soak overnight. Drain.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for about 8 minutes, until tender and golden brown. Add cinnamon stick, garlic and jalapeño, saute for 5 minutes until the jalapeño is tender. Add the pork and any juices from the bowl and saute until lightly browned all over, about 7 minutes.

Stir in split peas, tomatoes and coconut milk and season with more salt, to taste. The pork should just be covered by liquid; if not, add a little water until it is. Bring to a simmer over high heat.

Once the mixture is simmering briskly, cover the Dutch oven and place in the oven for 2 to 2-1/2 hours, or until split peas are tender and pork is falling apart and cooked through.

Meanwhile, prepare the garlic coconut oil: In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add mustard seeds. Once they begin popping, add garlic and chiles, and fry until edges of garlic just begin to turn golden brown. Immediately remove pan from heat and reserve. (Do not allow garlic slices to totally brown or they will taste bitter.)

Serve stew warm, drizzled with garlic coconut oil and garnished with chopped cilantro.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

News from the SVGM

     Well, now, this next week is shaping up into a "spring fever" kind of week~~ unseasonably warm, yes, but it does sound absolutely lovely. Of course, we all know how quickly things can change this time of year; enjoy it if we get those 50's and 60's; you never know what March will bring!
     Grass Roots Farm will have the last of their winter veggies~ carrots, parsnips, leeks, & celeriac~ this week, a good indication that the winter growing season is winding down in preparation for the coming greens of earliest spring. Monique said she may possibly have some spinach, too, but couldn't guarantee it. But she does have greens sprouting inside, like dandelion, sorrel, lettuces, kale and bok choi, though it will still be a little while before she can harvest them. We will keep you updated.
     And Bill Callahan has freshly ground beef and other fresh cuts of beef this week, so it may be a great weekend for a burger! Stop by his stand to see what he has available. I know many of you continue to grill throughout the winter, and this weekend's weather gives you even more of reason to plan a meal or two around that fire ~~~ Bill and Steve and Brian all have delicious choices in cuts of poultry and meats. Be sure to roast or grill some of those winter veggies from Monique, too!
     As always, we sincerely appreciate your support at this indoor market~~we look forward to seeing you tomorrow! 

This week at market:
Stone Meadow Farm:
Artisan cheeses, grass-fed beef & veal, ring bologna, bratwurst, fresh chorizo
Cow-a-Hen Farm:  
Beef, Pork and Poultry: freshly ground beef and other fresh cuts of beef this week
Beaver Run Farms: 
Pork and chicken, sausages, bacon, kielbasa
Grass Roots Farm:
Pickled garlic scapes, black currant jellies and jams, green tomato relish, garlic, hopefully spinach, and the last of the winter veggies~ carrots, parsnips, leeks, celeriac~ this week!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

News from the SVGM

Hi everyone~~~

      Welcome to our first big snow day of the winter! It was an awfully beautiful morning, even the sun peeked through the clouded blue sky;  it was likely quite inconveniencing for many of you, but I hope you could take in its beauty at some point today. I have to admit I love the fact that tomorrow's full moon is called the "Snow Moon." How perfect. And if you haven't heard yet, tomorrow night's sky will not only host the full moon, but also a lunar eclipse and the possible view of a comet! It's a mystical, celestial mid-winter's week~~~
     The SVGM returns tomorrow after taking a week off last Friday.  Monique of Grass Roots Farm should have spinach and carrots with her, so try to get there as early as you can because she tends to sell out quickly when fresh greens appear. And a reminder of the vast variety of cuts of meat and poultry, sausages and bacons, and handmade cheese and preserved foods that you'll also find for the deeper appetite that winter brings. Local foods nourish in so many ways, not the least of which includes the conscientious way in which they are brought to you by the SVGM producers. It's an energy you'll never find in the foods on the crowded shelves of a supermarket........

     Enjoy the snow, and we'll see you tomorrow!

Seasonal Recipe
Maple Parsnip Cake
Adapted from http://leitesculinaria.com
Recipe by Darina Allen | 30 Years at Ballymaloe | Kyle Books, 2013
Sometimes you just need something sweet for dessert, or that morning or afternoon cup of coffee~~~this cake is reminiscent of carrot cake, but not as cloyingly sweet as some, and another delicious way to use the available local parsnips in season now.

For the cake
12 tablespoons (6 ounces)  unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
3 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 cups peeled, grated parsnips (2-3 parsnips)
1 cup peeled, cored, and grated apple (any variety, about 1 medium)
1/2 cup pecans or hazelnuts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice

For the frosting 
1 cup mascarpone, chilled
3 to 4 tablespoons maple syrup
Confectioner's sugar for dusting, optional

Make the cake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter 2 8- or 9-inch round cake pans and line their bottoms with parchment paper cut to fit.

Warm the butter, brown sugar and maple syrup in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until completely combined. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then quickly whisk in the eggs.

Sift the flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice together into a large bowl. Gently fold in the butter, sugar, maple syrup and egg mixture until just combined. Add the grated parsnips, apple, pecans or hazelnuts, orange zest and juice, and stir until combined.

Spread the mixture in the pans and bake for about 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans on wire racks for 5 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edges of the cakes, invert the cakes onto the rakes and remove the pans, and let stand until completely cool, at least an hour.

Make the frosting and assemble the cake
Beat the mascarpone with 3 tablespoons of the maple syrup. Taste and add up to 1 more tablespoon syrup if desired.

Place one of the cakes on a cake plate or serving dish. Spread a little less than half of the frosting over the top. Place the second cake, bottom side up, on the frosted cake, and frost the top with the remaining frosting, leaving the sides unfrosted. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired. You can also use all the frosting in between the layers and simply dust the top of the whole cake with the confectioners' sugar.

The cake can also be baked in a 9x13 inch pan; the baking time will be the same. Frost the cake right in the pan when cool.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

News from the SVGM

No market tomorrow, Feb. 3~ PASA conference weekend

Hi everyone~~~

Happy Groundhog Day! And we'll just have to wait and see if the prognostication of our beloved Phil is accurate.......

I want to remind you that Market will be closed tomorrow so that our vendors can attend the annual Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture conference, held each year in State College. The SVGM will be back next Friday. Here's a link to the organization if any of you are interested in seeing what they are all about:  https://www.pasafarming.org

And Monique of Grass Roots Farm expects to have fresh spinach again next week! Green! The days are actually
getting longer~~~

So have a great week, and we'll see you next Friday!