Smith Meadows http://smithmeadows.com 200 year old sustainable family farm Thu, 27 Apr 2017 14:55:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 33198414 The Rich & Glamorous Life of the Farmer-Writer http://smithmeadows.com/farm/rich-glamorous-life-farmer-writer/ http://smithmeadows.com/farm/rich-glamorous-life-farmer-writer/#comments Sun, 26 Mar 2017 23:42:37 +0000 http://smithmeadows.com/?p=6425 It’s widely known that farming is a lucrative occupation, typically reserved for jet-setters, celebrities, and the crustiest of the upper-crust. Think about it. Dollar bills are 75% cotton & 25% linen; money doesn’t grow on trees, but it does grow straight out of the ground. Why worry about droughts when you can “make it rain” […]

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It’s widely known that farming is a lucrative occupation, typically reserved for jet-setters, celebrities, and the crustiest of the upper-crust. Think about it. Dollar bills are 75% cotton & 25% linen; money doesn’t grow on trees, but it does grow straight out of the ground. Why worry about droughts when you can “make it rain” whenever you want? Some people think you have to be lucky to be a farmer, but here’s an insider tip: you can quadruple your luck if you raise horses (4 horseshoes) or rabbits (4… well, you know). An added bonus, there are four-leaf clovers all over the pasture for free! No one can argue that farmers have it made.

Why is there a stunt chicken on my head? Don’t ask me, ask wardrobe.

Of course, everyone agrees the only thing more profitable than farming is writing. Overwhelmed by sheer demand, universities have recently limited the number of students allowed to be English majors. After all, with all the public funding for the arts, how could a writer not make millions? Consider your local poets, driving around town in their fancy convertibles, flamboyantly slamming poetry whenever they damn-well please. But try not to be jealous. As the old saying goes, “Don’t Hate the Playwright, Hate the Game.

By now, I know what you’re probably thinking: “Wow! The only thing more glamorous than being a farmer or a writer must be combining the two!” Correct you’d be. And this epiphany might lead you to a logical conclusion: “If only I was lucky enough to have a glimpse into this rich and fabulous world, my boring life would change forever!”

Fret not, hoi polloi. This farmer-writer has your back (noblesse oblige and whatnot). I was reminded of my elite social status recently when I received a gift in the mail (btw, receiving gifts is the sort of thing that happens to farmer-writers all the time!) from the website OnPasture.com, containing an exclusive writers’ jacket:

#legit

As mentioned, this gift came from On Pasture, a website where farmer-writers like myself congregate to share insights into making even more money, and being even more glamorous than we already are. (I know, hard to believe… but remember, this is insider access!). More specifically, we discuss ways to do this while raising animals sustainably ‘on pasture’. If you read between the lines, you can probably infer what I’m actually talking about here: GOLD. You know, like hatching geese that lay golden eggs, flocks of sheep with golden fleeces, grabbing bulls by their golden horns, etc., etc.

Naturally, due to my demanding social schedule, I sometimes forget how websites like this can help the less fortunate. Well, here’s a solid-gold tip for you: THE ON PASTURE WEBSITE IS TOTALLY FREE! That’s right, all you have to do is click the link, and it will whisk you away to lifestyles of the affluent and fabulous. To give you a sense of what you’ll find, here’s a photo-essay of me in my author jacket–looking fabulous, natch–and writing about the topics covered ‘on’ On Pasture.

 

Taking a six inch soil sample. That core looks almost as good as me!

 

 

Writing on a compost pile. Brown gold, Jerry!

 

 

All about sheep. Looking good in my On Pasture author jacket, even from behind!

 

 

Managing my farming-writing money all at once… It requires both hands!

 

 

Writing on a barn. Celebrities like to get high.

 

 

Up close with farm implements. Get the point?

 

 

On a tractor. That mud detailing cost $5,000, but I was all like ‘honey badger don’t care.’

 

 

How about me writing on a hay bale? Far out!

 

 

Here I am writing about pigs. That’s all, just writing about pigs.

 

 

About clean water… The takeaway is pretty clear.

 

 

Me & my entourage.

 

 

Gotta know your global markets. Here, I’m at the farmers’ market.

 

 

And finally, this is me with a goose, a 19th century corn sheller, and a beat-up old hog drinker. Helllllloooo, ladies.

 

As you can see, the life of the farmer-writer is an exclusive journey filled with riches, glamour, and exotic locales. But don’t take my word for it, subscribe for free to On Pasture. Gotta run, I’m meeting Sir Elton John in Spain, I’m traveling tonight on a plane. And for even more stories about stinking rich farmer-writers, check out my books below:

Growing Tomorrow (with 50 recipes),

& Gaining Ground, the New York Times bestseller.

Growing-Tomorrow.3D

Order Gaining Ground on Amazon

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Lamb and Root Stew http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/lamb-root-stew/ http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/lamb-root-stew/#respond Fri, 17 Mar 2017 22:14:32 +0000 http://smithmeadows.com/?p=6378 Finally, it’s starting to feel like spring! March came through like a somewhat confused lion, so it’s only appropriate we celebrate the last chilly evenings with lamb. There are all kinds of things you can do with lamb, vegetables and little time, so consider this recipe a helpful baseline for future experimentation. I started by reading Alice […]

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A bowl of Smith Meadows lamb stew with barley

Finally, it’s starting to feel like spring! March came through like a somewhat confused lion, so it’s only appropriate we celebrate the last chilly evenings with lamb.

grass-fed lamb cubesThere are all kinds of things you can do with lamb, vegetables and little time, so consider this recipe a helpful baseline for future experimentation. I started by reading Alice Waters’ recommendations for stew as well as Julia Child’s notes on lamb in a variation on Boeuf Bourguinon and Civet de Mouton, then peered in the veggie drawer and made do! All the meat and veg used below came from local DC farmers markets. If you’re fortunate enough to have hoarded some of Next Step Produce’s barley this goes very well over that, or other barley, or with amazing crusty bread or over some Smith Meadows fresh noodles. 🙂

Lamb Stew with Root Vegetables (two generous servings)Root vegetables for lamb stew, parsnip, carrot, celeriac, onion, garlic

  • 1 lb Smith Meadows lamb cubes
  • Bacon fat or preferred cooking oil (reserve the fat from our nitrate free bacon! It’s great for cooking with)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 1/2 large celeriac (celery root)
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup broth (chicken, beef, vegetable, or water if you must)
  • 3 crushed cloves of garlic
  • tablespoon of thyme
  • teaspoon of peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pat the lamb cubes dry and season lightly with salt and pepper, hours or the night before if you think of it. While they absorb seasoning and come to room temperature, chop the vegetables into large bite-sized pieces. They need to not cook too quickly and also not be cumbersome in the finished product.
  2. Heat a cast iron pot that has a lid over medium heat with the bacon fat. Sear the lamb cubes in batches so that they’re not crowded. Tongs are best for this. Place them in a large mixing bowl as they finish.Grass-fed lamb cubes
  3. Do the same with the vegetables, just enough to get a little extra flavor into them. Place these in the mixing bowl with the lamb for the moment. This all takes a little while! Add a little more bacon fat if needed but try not to wind up with a puddle at the end- this can be poured off as needed at the risk of losing a bit of flavor. You can also roast the whole shebang in the oven but then you don’t get the benefits of the next step… 
  4. Deglaze the pot with the wine, scrape up any stuck bits of meat and vegetable and let it simmer for a minute to cook down a little. Add the broth and bring back to a simmer.
  5. Carefully scoop all the lamb and vegetables back into the pot. The liquid should not quite cover it all, add a bit more broth or water as needed. Also add the garlic, herbs and spices (experiment with flavors here!) and a bit of salt and pepper.
  6. Bring it all back to a very, very low simmer, place the lid on slightly askew so some steam may escape, and set a timer for two hours. If the stew boils too hard the broth will become cloudy and we don’t want that. 
  7. Give the lamb cubes a bit of a poke- they should be just starting to fall apart. Salt and pepper to taste and that’s it! Serve with your absorbent carb of choice.
Pasture-raised lamb stew simmering

The appropriate level of liquid. Someone out there sells cute farm animal pot lid props! Clever, right? 

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Crock Pot Sirloin Tip Roast http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/crock-pot-sirloin-tip-roast/ http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/crock-pot-sirloin-tip-roast/#respond Tue, 31 Jan 2017 23:22:29 +0000 http://smithmeadows.com/?p=6262 We’re all so busy these days juggling work and family and life! This recipe is incredibly easy to prep and leave while you get on with things and come back to a comforting, hearty dinner. It comes from the kitchen of Andrea Dove, one of our wonderful employees who is a farmer, photographer and mother.   Beef […]

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Smith Meadows grass-fed sirloin tip roast

We’re all so busy these days juggling work and family and life! This recipe is incredibly easy to prep and leave while you get on with things and come back to a comforting, hearty dinner. It comes from the kitchen of Andrea Dove, one of our wonderful employees who is a farmer, photographer and mother.

Ingredients for sirloin tip roast

 

Beef Sirloin Tip Roast in the Crock Pot (serves family of 3-4)

  • 1 Smith Meadows Beef Sirloin Tip Roast, 2-3 lbs
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Montreal steak seasoning
  • Oregano
  • Italian seasoning
  • Minced onion
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 red onion, diced as desired
  • 2 celery stalks, diced to 1/2 inch
  • Other diced veg like tomatoes, carrots, potatoes…
  1. Place the (defrosted) sirloin tip roast in the crock pot
  2. Lightly drizzle the top of the sirloin tip roast with all the spices and herbs listed above (to your preference. Remember cayenne pepper is spicy!)
  3. Sirloin tip roast arranged in the crock potPlace the diced red onion on top of the roast
  4. Place the celery around the roast, along with any other diced vegetables
  5. Place lid on crock pot and cook on HIGH for 5-7 hours
  6. The results will be a delicious and tender beefy roast that will fall apart on your fork! The broth it creates can be cooked down a bit into a hearty beef gravy for mashed potatoes.

Finished slow-cooker sirloin tip roastGrass-fed and finished beef roast

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Thick-Cut Boneless Pork Chops http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/thick-cut-boneless-pork-chops/ http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/thick-cut-boneless-pork-chops/#comments Fri, 27 Jan 2017 22:51:30 +0000 http://smithmeadows.com/?p=6244 You know our bone-in pork chops are juicy and flavorful, so why not double down! Grab a 2-3 pound pork tenderloin roast from us at market to cut your own super-thick or custom sized boneless chops. Our pork tends to be fairly lean, since the hogs are trotting back and forth on pasture all day, so […]

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Pasture-raised boneless pork chops served with kale and spaghetti squash

You know our bone-in pork chops are juicy and flavorful, so why not double down! Grab a 2-3 pound pork tenderloin roast from us at market to cut your own super-thick or custom sized boneless chops.

Smith Meadows pork tenderloin cut into thick chops

Our pork tends to be fairly lean, since the hogs are trotting back and forth on pasture all day, so we didn’t see a need to trim the roast. Plus we know that pastured pork is much higher in natural omega-3s from eating all that forage, and that nutritional benefit to you comes via the fat. See Nancy’s post on pork lard here.

Interestingly, the original recipe for these chops mentioned using “natural pork” which we usually assume is just greenwashing. In this case it actually referred to the difference with “enhanced” pork, which has been injected with a salt and preservative solution. The enhanced stuff doesn’t brown and has dull flavor. Our pork is definitely not enhanced. No hormones, no antibiotics, no preservatives, no nonsense.

Boneless pastured pork chops seasoned

Chops can be paired with all sorts of things, so we’ll leave that up to you. Here we simply baked a spaghetti squash and topped it with butter and fresh ground pepper, sauteed some purple kale (Gardener’s Gourmet) with garlic and grated cheese on top, and whipped up an apple/red wine/balsamic sauce for the chops. Chops would also go great with a few of our ravioli, butternut squash comes to mind, or maybe bacon sage?

Pan-Seared Thick Cut Pork Chops

Original recipe from Cooks Illustrated

  • 1 2-3 lb Smith Meadows pasture-raised pork tenderloin roast
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons high heat vegetable oil
  1. Place a cast iron skillet big enough to hold as many chops as you’re making in the oven. Turn oven to 500F and let the pan heat completely. Note: if you don’t usually heat your oven this hot your smoke alarm may go off! Prep your sides while you wait, start anything like squash or potatoes.Seared pastured pork chops thick cut
  2. Meanwhile, cut your roast into even sized pieces as thick as you’d like. I actually used a (washable) ruler to get 1.5″ chops. Salt and pepper chops on both sides. Try smoked salt if you have it handy.
  3. Carefully, with thick oven mitts, remove skillet from the oven and place over high heat on the stovetop. Add the oil and heat until just smoking. Boil water for pasta at this point.
  4. Add chops to the pan with tongs so you can place them where you want them without moving them around. Cook on the first side for 2 minutes until nicely browned, then flip. Keep flipping, adjust the heat as needed, two minutes on each side until a thermometer reads 120-125 degrees F and exterior is darker brown and crispy. Do not leave the chops for too long on a side or they will overcook.
  5. At this point the chops are not yet completely cooked- remove them from the skillet and place on a plate under foil for 10-15 minutes. This is called “carryover cooking”- the chops will continue to heat until they are about 140 degrees F. They should be light pink in the centers when done. Fire any quick-cooking sides while the chops rest on the plate- sauteed greens take ~5 min, ravioli boil in 2 min.
  6. Serve and enjoy! Share your platings and pairings with us: #smithmeadowsfood

Purple kale and thick-cut pork chop with apple dressing

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Comfort Food Recipe- Bacon and Pasta! http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/comfort-food-recipe-bacon-and-pasta/ http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/comfort-food-recipe-bacon-and-pasta/#respond Sat, 21 Jan 2017 00:50:33 +0000 http://smithmeadows.com/?p=6218 Need something warm and comforting for dinner? When in doubt, BACON. This bears some similarity to our sausage and pasta recipe– frankly we eat a lot of meat+pasta+veg. I mean, what else is there? Next week will be a roast, promise! This recipe originated here, and then changed a bit. Add a small salad if you […]

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Smith Meadows fresh pasta with bacon

Onion gogglesNeed something warm and comforting for dinner? When in doubt, BACON. This bears some similarity to our sausage and pasta recipe– frankly we eat a lot of meat+pasta+veg. I mean, what else is there? Next week will be a roast, promise!

This recipe originated here, and then changed a bit. Add a small salad if you need more to your meal!

ps. Onion goggles are definitely worth it, especially if you’re trying to photograph your progress :)Smith Meadows Nitrate Free Bacon

Bacon Pasta with Winter Veg (2 moderate servings)

  • 4 pieces of Smith Meadows Nitrate-Free Bacon
  • 1 medium onion sliced in medium strips
  • 1 cup poultry stock/broth
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
  • 2-3 parsnips, julienned (ish)
  • 5 medium collard leaves, rolled and chopped into strips
  • 1/2 package of Smith Meadows Noodles- I used Winter Wheat and Oat this time but whichever you like!
  1. Rough julienne parsnipsCook the bacon in a cast iron skillet until crispy, place on paper towel to absorb extra grease and then crumble.
  2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from pan. Heat over moderate flame and add the onions. Cook until slightly browned and starting to soften.
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  4. Add in parsnips, broth, vinegar, brown sugar and pepper flakes (I chopped a dried pepper from my garden, it turned out a little on the hot side). Stir until the sugar is dissolved and parsnips have softened up a bit.Sliced Collard Greens
  5. Add in half the bacon and all of the collards, toss to wilt and combine, let simmer to reduce the broth to  a sauce.
  6. While the veg is simmering a bit, toss the pasta in the boiling water for two minutes, then drain.
  7. Add pasta to veg pan and toss everything together- you should have just enough liquid between extra water on the pasta and bacon flavored broth to give everything a little sauce without being soupy. Portion into dishes or serve in a nice big pasta bowl! Smith Meadows fresh noodles with bacon and winter veg

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Master Recipe- Sausage and Pasta http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/master-recipe-sausage-and-pasta/ http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/master-recipe-sausage-and-pasta/#respond Fri, 13 Jan 2017 17:50:46 +0000 http://smithmeadows.com/?p=6198 Have you ever found yourself staring into the fridge wondering what to do with all that Smith Meadows sausage and fresh pasta? This week it was pork sage sausage and spelt and oat pasta...

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Smith Meadows sausage pan sauce with our fresh noodles and a winter vegetable salad

Have you ever found yourself staring into the fridge wondering what to do with all that Smith Meadows sausage and fresh pasta? One of my favourite things is making a simple pan sauce from the sausage and tossing it with whichever variety of noodles Nancy made that week. This week it was pork sage sausage (our newest addition!) and spelt and oat pasta (which we have every week).

Fresh spelt and oat noodlesYou can make any number of variations to this recipe, including tossing in some greens with the pasta as it boils or other veg (carrots, brussels sprouts, greens, peppers…) with the onions and sausage. Using a broth to deglaze the pan will give you a nice simple sauce flavor to complement the herb sausages (add some fresh herbs of your own!) or you can try using a beer with our kielbasa or bratwurst. Cooking will emphasize the flavours of the beer so go for something malty rather than hoppy.

I’m also including a recipe for a Warm Winter Vegetable Salad below, because it’s really easy and will go with the noodles! Plus it’s Whole 30 compatible.

Smith Meadows sausages sauteing with onionsSausage and pan sauce over fresh noodles (2 moderate servings)

  • 2 tbl butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Smith Meadows sausages
  • 10 ounces broth (veg, chicken, or turkey) or beer, like a lager
  • 1/2 package fresh Smith Meadows noodles
  1. In a large heavy skillet, preferably cast iron, melt the butter and sauté the onions over medium heat until translucent
  2. Add the sausage to the pan and brown on each side for a few minutes (add some heartier veg here if you choose)
  3. Pour your liquid of choice over the sausage and onions, scraping the bottom of the pan a bit. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until liquid is reduced, about 25 minutes, until it’s more sauce-like and a bit thickened. (add greens here if cooking with sausage)
  4. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  5. When your sausage liquid is reduced to a reasonable amount to coat the pasta with, drop the noodles (and greens, if you like them more wilted) into the boiling water, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain noodles in a colander and place in serving dish(es).
  6. Place sausages on the noodles and pour the pan sauce and onions over everything. Toss to coat and serve with a salad if you didn’t add vegetables while cooking!

Potatoes, carrots and brussels sprouts

Warm Winter Vegetable Salad (2 servings)

Thanks to Martha Stewart for the original recipe! This dressing mellows with a little age, and it makes enough to last for several days. Having tried cooking the veg by boiling and steaming I’d recommend steaming, which retains more nutrients and uses less water.

Vegetables:
  • 1 pint Brussels sprouts
  • 2 cups of chopped carrots
  • 1 med red potato or sweet potato to equal about 1 cup chopped
  • Substitute and add any veg you like! Cauliflower? Broccoli? Squash?
  • 2 scallions, chopped
Dressing (1.5 cups):
  • 1 Smith Meadows egg
  • 2 tbl dijon mustard
  • 3 tbl cider vinegar
  • 1 tbl celery seed (I used coriander, ground with a mortar and pestle)
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the egg, mustard, vinegar and celery/coriander in a mixing bowl. While whisking constantly (the whisk attachment on my immersion blender is great for this) slowly add the oil until the dressing is thick. Salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Boil enough water to cover vegetables or to work with your preferred steaming method.
  3. Clean and chop your vegetables and add them in order of cooking time- potatoes first, then carrots, Brussels sprouts at the last minute so they stay crunchy!
  4. Drain and place the vegetables in your serving dish(es) and pour as much dressing as you like over it. Save any extra in the fridge for up to a week. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve!

That’s it! Both of these recipes are very versatile, easy to adjust for size and flavor. Check out what we’ll have at market this weekend here! What are your favorite sausage and pasta combinations?

Smith Meadows sausage and pasta with pan sauce and Winter Vegetable Salad

 

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Beef Bone Broth Recipe http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/beef-bone-broth-recipe/ http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/beef-bone-broth-recipe/#respond Tue, 25 Oct 2016 17:25:48 +0000 http://smithmeadows.com/?p=6096 Now that we’re entering the chilly season, many market customers have been asking if we’ll sell broth again this year. We previously sold a broth made from our beef and turkey bones- it may yet reappear! In the meantime, here’s my basic beef bone broth recipe: 1 pack Smith Meadows grass-fed/grass-finished soup bones (2 lbs or so, […]

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Beef soup bones with clove studded onions

Now that we’re entering the chilly season, many market customers have been asking if we’ll sell broth again this year. We previously sold a broth made from our beef and turkey bones- it may yet reappear! In the meantime, here’s my basic beef bone broth recipe:

  • 1 pack Smith Meadows grass-fed/grass-finished soup bones (2 lbs or so, defrosted)
  • 1 onion
  • Smattering of whole cloves
  • Splash of dry white wine or vinegar

Note: If you don’t have a slow cooker, a pot on the stove will do and 4 hours will get you a nice broth. The longer steep time leaches more minerals from the bones and tends to result in a more gelatinous broth.

Smith Meadows beef soup bones

A sample of our beef soup bones- each pack is different, often some knuckles and collagen rich pieces with a little meat on them.

  1. Turn oven to 350F and start a kettle of water boiling.
  2. Arrange beef bones in a Pyrex baking dish that will hold them with a little room to spare
  3. Trim (or not) and quarter a large onion and stud it with cloves (see photo). Arrange it around the beef bits in the baking dish.
  4. Pop the whole shebang in the oven for around 30 min, until the edges of things look browned.
  5. Remove from oven and immediately deglaze using the wine or vinegar (ie pour it into/over the bones and shake things a bit).
  6. Scrape everything including the stuck bits in the bottom of the baking dish into your slow cooker (mine is just a 4 qt, 5 qt would be a little better) and cover with the boiled water.
  7. Bring to a boil/steady bubbling on high and then turn your slow cooker to low for about 24 hours.
  8. Turn slow cooker off and let cool a bit so it’s easier to handle. Place a strainer large enough to hold the bones over a pyrex or metal bowl large enough for the liquid and pour contents of slow cooker through. Shake the strainer a bit to get all the liquid out. Discard the remnants.
  9. Cover and let the broth cool, then place in the fridge until any fat has solidified on top, a few hours. Simply crack and pry up the fat, scraping broth off the underside, and reserve it for cooking with (I keep mine frozen)!
  10. Depending on the batch of bones, your broth may be somewhat or very jiggly (see a sample below)! Either scoop or pour into smaller containers or ice cube trays, refrigerate for up to one week or freeze. Enjoy!

For more on Bone Broth, Nancy weighs in here in an earlier blog post on soup making. You can also check out this helpful page from Nourished Kitchen. For a dose of skepticism on the healing powers of broth, try this piece from NPR’s The Salt. Maybe it’s a placebo effect, but I’ve thought bone broth boosts my immune system and promotes strong hair and nails. It’s definitely tasty and comforting on a cold day!

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It’s the Newest Trend: Early Summer Vichyssoise! http://smithmeadows.com/farm/its-the-newest-trend-early-summer-vichyssoise/ http://smithmeadows.com/farm/its-the-newest-trend-early-summer-vichyssoise/#respond Fri, 24 Jun 2016 10:33:01 +0000 http://smithmeadows.com/?p=5988 Socializing in a farming community is a little different than the visual parade of trend setters that populate many of the farmers markets Smith Meadows attends. On Mondays at the farm the array of colorful people and their accessories are replaced by the quieter splendor of what’s in the fields. The banter of weekend shoppers is muted. Farmers and […]

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"Smith Meadows & Smithfield Farm, Hold Please..."

“Smith Meadows & Smithfield Farm, Hold Please…”

Socializing in a farming community is a little different than the visual parade of trend setters that populate many of the farmers markets Smith Meadows attends. On Mondays at the farm the array of colorful people and their accessories are replaced by the quieter splendor of what’s in the fields. The banter of weekend shoppers is muted. Farmers and cooks converse on how to translate this splendor into physical and psychological sustenance for the following weekend.

“Pot pies didn’t sell that well this weekend. I think the season is over. Do you want to add cold minestrone to the list for this week?”

“You’re right. I’ll text Shawna and see what’s available. Zucchini might be in, but there are no tomatoes yet and onions are still small.”

Hi Shawna, I wanted to order ingredients for minestrone. I know it’s a long shot, but let me know what you have and I can tailor the recipe.

After an hour or so of paperwork, I turn to my phone to see what Oak Hart Farm’s owner, Shawna, has sent in reply.

Good Morning Nancy, I have onions but they are the size of golf balls. Zukes and tomatoes are just coming in, but I do have cabbage, broccoli, fennel, kale, collards and salad turnips.

Let me think on those and get back to you later today. Thanks!

Turnips, Collards and Fennel, OH MY!

Turnips, Collards and Fennel, OH MY!

I like collards, turnips and fennel, but getting trend setters to try them is challenging. How do you combine nutritionally dense, low calorie, organic produce into eye candy for the world weary market shopper? I dream of something that everyone in my house would eat. It needs to make the day easier for a busy mom with much more on my to do list than dinner. In this way, the farming community is no different than any other group of adults. My son would not touch collards on their own. I tried boiled turnips once and told him they were white beets. He was three and still remembers it. Fennel tastes too much like licorice for my husband, which never fails to wrinkle his nose. Tough crowd at my house- not unlike farmers market shoppers.

What to do? How about Vichyssoise? It’s creamy, it involves butter, it can be eaten cold and it goes well with empanadas or roasted sausage. Now how do I make this with turnips, fennel and collards as the main ingredients. I’m not sure yet, but I place my order with Oak Hart for my co-worker to pick up on her way to our farm.

Julia Childs- "First you take the turnip..."

Julia Childs- “First you take the turnip…”

I have a happy memory of Vichyssoise. One of my best friend’s served it at her bridal shower. It felt sophisticated to eat something we had always made fun of as children for its ridiculous sound. As young adults we thought, “My, how far we’ve come. Let us eat Vichyssoise!” It’s basically cold potato soup that’s full of onions, leeks, and cream. As I search through Mother EarthFood 52 and Running with Tweezers’ various renditions, I settle on something that fits what I have on my kitchen table. I take the high turnip ratio from Mother Earth, refine it with the butter of Food 52, spice it up with the nutmeg & cayenne of Running with Tweezers and add my own panache. I also look at Julia Child’s recipe for Potage aux Cresson for good measure. How does it taste? My business partner’s response sums it up…

“It’s good. It’s very Irish. I like it.”

“Enough heat?”

“Yes! I think it will taste even better cold.”

Facebook PicAfter reading Tim Carman’s insightful article in the Washington Post, as well as the positive comments from our loyal customers, I felt I had to do something new this week. It’s not to please the trend setters or create a new lifestyle choice. It’s because pot pie season was over. It’s because turnips, collards and fennel are in plentiful supply with the veggie farmer I talk to every week. More importantly, it’s because I want something that would work with my busy and picky family.

Building community is more than showing up on a Saturday in your new sandals and sunhat. It’s making something work with what you have around you. I have the good fortune of having amazing farmers, fertile land and intelligent customers. This is why I make Early Summer Vichyssoise. Try it! You’ll love it and check out what else we have this week from our kitchen!

 

 

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Pistachio & Lemon with Kale over Parsley Tarragon Papardelle http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/winter-pasta-recipe-pistachio-lemon-with-kale-over-parsley-tarragon-papardelle/ http://smithmeadows.com/kitchen/winter-pasta-recipe-pistachio-lemon-with-kale-over-parsley-tarragon-papardelle/#respond Wed, 20 Jan 2016 19:26:46 +0000 http://smithmeadows.com/?p=5711 Have the Winter Blues as you contemplate Snowmageddon 2016? Try this Smith Meadows Kitchen Pasta recipe...

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Have the WiPistachio Lemon Pastanter Blues as you contemplate Snowmageddon 2016? Try this Smith Meadows Kitchen Pasta recipe…

  • 1 10 oz box herbed flavored papardelle from Smith Meadows
  • 1 small onion, chopped and quickly sautéed in olive oil until brown
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg, sprinkled on top of the onions
  • Juice and zest of one small lemon
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, roasted on 350 until golden brown and smells divine
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6-10 Tuscan Kale Leaves
  • 2-4 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Smith Meadows broth or reserved pasta water from the pot
  • (optional) 1/2 cup crème fraiche or heavy whipping cream

Bring a large pot of water to boil and add 2 small handfuls of salt. Wash and chop the kale into ribbons the same width as the papardelle. Put the stems aside. Place the sautéed onions, roasted pistachios, lemon juice, lemon zest, 2 TBSPS olive oil, salt and kale stems into a food processor. Chop until you get a chunky consistency that suits your palate.

Once the water comes to a boil, throw the kale in first. Wait 15-30 seconds. Add the papardelle. Cook for two minutes. Drain the pasta. Toss with the pistachio pesto and the cream or more olive oil. If it is too dry, add the broth or reserved pasta water. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper and/or cracked Szechuan pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Serve with a glass of chardonnay and follow up with a winter salad of greens, fennel, grapefruit and olive oil!

Buon Appetito!

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Wall Street Journal’s glowing review of Growing Tomorrow http://smithmeadows.com/farm/wall-street-journals-glowing-review-of-growing-tomorrow/ http://smithmeadows.com/farm/wall-street-journals-glowing-review-of-growing-tomorrow/#comments Sun, 29 Nov 2015 23:44:30 +0000 http://smithmeadows.com/?p=5671 Something to smile about... sustainable farms receiving major press!

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Sustainable agriculture is getting the positive press it richly deserves… we should all be smiling! Review is HERE
haytons

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