I have lots to talk about this week! If you have the time, please read the article about milk below. I know it is long but I think you'll find it necessary.
To get to the goods, just scroll to the bottom. This week's bag has a few themes: fresh pasta and sauce, a melon sorbet to warm up this ridiculous snowy day, and a whole chicken and vegetables.
For an easy sorbet recipe, see our Vitamix Class Document from last year HERE. Just substitute the frozen melon (or any frozen fruit) for the peaches and blueberries.
So here are some of the things on my mind this week:
If you ordered an Easter Ham, look for a separate confirmation email. Hams will be delivered this week with the Winter CSA Shares. If you haven't ordered one yet, please do so by Tuesday at Noon. The easiest way is to go to Shop at http://csalogin.freshforkmarket.com
Last week I met with a new producer - Teresa at Crazy Monkey Baking. I was fascinated to learn about how she came up with her tasty snack. Teresa has a background in dietetics and was a classically trained French pastry chef. When she wanted to start a family, the hours of a commercial baker were too much for her so she started looking for something she could do on the side. When her kids couldn't get enough of her homemade granola, she knew she had stumbled across that other thing.
Today Teresa is in her third year of business outside of Ashland, OH. Her products feature local raw honey, pasture raised eggs, organic oats, and local, organic cornmeal (to name a few of her quality ingredients). She calls her granola a "cookie crunch" due to the flavors. These granolas are sweeter than anything else we have; however, when you look at the nutrition information they aren't loaded in sugar. The intense sweetness of the honey and sugar in the raw give a surprisingly sweet finish.
All bags of granola are 11 oz (even though one looks smaller than the other). Each bag is $6.
Some Milk Changes
Snowville's prices are going up. We received email notification last week of a price change taking effect April 1. That means this week prices will remain the same. Next week, however, prices will change. The new price will be $4.25 per half gallon or $4 each when buying 2 or more.
This price change is due to the increased cost of feed and transportation. On the good side, it is still some of the best quality milk available and still cheaper than certified organic brands, which are often ultra-pasteurized (kills all the good enzymes), not as fresh, and is not from animals raised on healthy grass.
MUST TRY: A new milk is available:
We have a new dairy product available. This week we ordered 100 half-gallons of 100% Guernsey A2A2 milk from a new creamery in Wilmot, OH. The creamery is Paint Valley Creamery. You had their goat gouda last fall. Now they are bottling cows milk.
The good: $3.50 per half gallon, non-homogonized, minimally pasteurized, and from ONLY A2A2 Guernsey Cows (read below for why this is important)
The bad: only available as "true whole milk." Read below.
The details: I'm very excited about this product from a milk-nerd point of view. Guernsey cows are renowned for their quality of milk. Old timers and artisan cheese-houses love them. They don't produce as much milk as modern Holsteins, but the milk they do produce is rich in butterfat and protein.
As mentioned above, this product is a "true whole milk." This means that it is whatever butterfat comes out of the cow. Most whole milks are actually a calculated formula of fat, usually around 3.25%. You are probably scratching your head asking why. Well it is simple. If a dairy is putting a nutritional label on the side of the carton, then every carton has to have the same nutrition. If the milk changes in butterfat from milking to milking and throughout the year, then your label isn't true. So what dairies do is separate the milk first then mix cream and skim milk together to make a 3.25% butterfat milk.
This Guernsey milk product is not separated in any way. In fact, right now it is testing between 4.5 and 4.7% butterfat. It has a very rich flavor with a full mouth feel. And because this milk is from grass grazed cattle, the fats are loaded in good Omega 3 fatty acids, including CLAs. This milk is an excellent choice for toddlers and young children who need the extra fat and nutrition.
As I continue to nerd out about milk, I'm also very excited about the quality of this herd. First, milk proteins. Milk proteins are measured as an indicator of the quality of the milk and what the milk is worth. 2.9 to 3.2% protein is normal. This herd is at 3.7%, which is very high and desirable. Second, somatic cell count is an indicator of sanitation and health of the animal. The somatic cells are anti-bodies that fight off infection in the teets of the cow. If the cell count is high, then there is a chance that the cow is sick or has an infection. The industry commonly accepts 500,000 cells per milliliter as healthy. This herd is always at 100,000 cells or below.
Finally, A2A2 Beta Casein. I'll try to stay high level here because you really need to be a biochemistry major to understand all this. There is a milk protein called beta casein. There are two variations of the protein based on the orientation of the 67th amino acid in a string of 290 such acids. The orientation has everything to do with genetics and nothing to do with diet. Think of it as blood type. Some cows are A1 and some are A2. If you cross an A1 with an A1, you get A1/A1. An A1 with an A2, you get A1-A2 (I know this explanation is a little inaccurate because of non-dominate genes, but stick with me).
Anyhow, a very small percentage of dairy cows are A2-A2. This herd has been tested and the milk we are receiving is only from A2-A2 cattle. Why care? Significant amounts of research, particularly in Australia and New Zealand, has been done demonstrating a correlation between A2 milk and decreased prevalence of Type 1 Diabetes, Hearth Disease, Autism, and general dietary comfort (some folks can be made uncomfortable by milk).
Farming Magazine -
One of our Amish farmers is involved in a magazine called Farming Magazine. It is a fascinating publication about farming and country life. Each issue has information about progressive farming practices and production information important to farmers (and gardeners alike). Each issue also has short stories, recipes, and even poetry. I have found this magazine to be a good read and even a good conversation piece!
This week we will have some copies at the back of the truck for free. Please take one and share if you can. We only have 100 copies so they won't go far. Everyone will get a pamphlet about the magazine though. I do encourage you to subscribe.
Signature Coffee -
A few weeks back Robert and I were able to spend the afternoon doing a custom coffee roasting at Rising Star Coffee in Ohio City. We started by tasting numerous single origin coffees to identify a trend we liked. We then tweaked the proportions of these coffees in blends and the roasts. In the end, we came up with two blends.
The Trevor Blend:
Intensely rich with a long finish. This coffee starts out very fruit forward and acidic with hints of caramel. It finishes with a distinctively tobacco flavor and earthyness. This is a very full bodied coffee. I recommend drinking it black or enjoying in a French Press. This is a blend of Sumatran and Ruwandan beans.
The Robert Blend:
A nice blend of rich, round flavors including the earthyness of South American coffee and the bright notes of Indo-Asian coffees. This is a more medium roast compared to the Trevor Blend. It includes Sumatran, Peruvian, and Brazilian coffees.
Don't forget to signup for Summer 2013. The summer season registration has begun. All existing customers are guaranteed their spot when registering before March 1. Please don't hesitate - registration only takes seconds. You can do this at this link:
Winter Week 12:
1 whole chicken
1 package frozen green beans or frozen corn
1 package Luna Burgers (2 vegan burgers)
1 quart frozen melon mix - cantaloupe, watermelon
1 quart Velvet View Yogurt
1 block cheese - goat gouda or swiss
1 pint Roasted Heirloom Tomato Sauce
1 lb Whole Wheat Linguini