Winter Newsletter
Thanksgiving Week



Thanksgiving is almost here and our farmers are glad to see a break in the weather.  Last week's exceptional cold was not only tough on the crops but also to work in. 


With that being said, our trucks are on the road today getting the last of the ingredients for this week's Thanksgiving packages.  This includes the fresh greens, lettuces, cauliflower, etc, that are all still grown outside.  We do expect that the weather caused significant damage to a few of the crops, particularly the cauliflower that is advertised in Package 1, and we will have to substitute accordingly.  We won't know until tomorrow what that will be based on what we find at the farms today.  


Also, we figured out a way with the website to allow special orders for this week, so you can preorder things like eggs, milk, cream, bacon, etc, and receive it with your Turkey.  More details below on what is available.  Order online at by tonight at Midnight.  


Thanks again for your support this Thanksgiving.  We hope you thoroughly enjoy your Thanksgiving package and turkey and we wish you happy holiday.  




Trevor's Corner

Turkeys - Let's talk cooking techniques

Cooking a turkey is like traveling.  There is no wrong way to get there.  All roads lead somewhere, so some routes just take longer and may be more frustrating.  


What I'm saying is don't be intimidated by cooking a fresh turkey.  It's like a big chicken.  Here are some quick ramblings on cooking a turkey.  For further details, see the Thanksgiving Recipe Guide listed below, starting at page 7.


Brine vs No Brine

Brining seems to be the big trend the last several years.  I like to think of it as a form of insurance on your turkey.  The brine uses salt and/or acid to change the structure of proteins in the turkey. The change makes it easier for them to lock in moisture and prevent you from drying out the bird.


But a brine isn't always necessary.  In fact, with good quality birds, it is almost unnecessary.  In fact, I won't be brining this week simply because I won't have time.  


Roasting the Turkey

If you are worried about drying out your turkey, consider cooking it covered. This probably sounds sacrilegious, but it is a technique that works.  When we were doing the Thanksgiving Beer Dinner earlier this month, I had to cook 4 turkeys at exactly the same time in 4 different ovens at 4 different locations a few miles apart.  Yeah, no stress there when you need to serve them to 100 paying customers later that night! 


So I started by brining my birds in my standard brine (listed in the Thanksgiving Recipe Guide).  My brine is more like a pickle solution as it is high in vinegar.  It has worked well for me so I don't change it.  I brined for 12 hours.  I then let the birds rest, uncovered, in the refrigerator to dry out the skin and help the skin form a protein called pellicle.  


For each turkey, I placed it on a rack in a roasting pan.  In the bottom of the pan I placed carrots, quartered onions, some celery, and about a half inch of apple cider (maybe a quart depending on size of the pan).  Inside the bird, I placed a few sprigs of thyme, rosemary, and sage, as well as some more carrots, onions, and celery.  I removed the neck from the cavity and reserved it for stock.  I poured melted butter over the skin and liberally seasoned with kosher salt and black pepper.  


I then cooked all 4 turkeys (all 22 lb birds) differently and achieved similar results.  

Turkey 1:  I could watch this one more closely.  I started it high at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes until the skin started to brown.  I backed the temperature down to 300 and roasted for another 4 hours until an internal temperature of 155 was achieved in the thickest part of the thigh and breast.  I removed from the oven, covered in foil, and allowed to rest for 30 minutes.


Turkey 2:  I started high at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.  I couldn't watch this one as closely so I then covered it in foil and baked for about 3 hours at 350.  Same temperature readings desired. 


Turkey 3 and 4:  I couldn't watch these at all, so I started them with the roasting pan and turkey completely covered tightly in aluminum foil.  I placed the birds in a 395 degree oven and cooked for 3.5 hours.  I removed and let them rest for an hour before opening again.  I then threw them back in the oven at 325 for 20 minutes, uncovered, to add color to the skin and take them all the way up to 160 degrees.  I removed them and let them rest for 20 minutes before carving.  


Thanksgiving Recipe Guide

We have compiled over the last few years a lengthy document about Thanksgiving with dozens of recipes.  This year's updated version is at the link below. Notable additions include:

- Alternative Turkey Cooking Techniques:  pg 11, including stuffed turkey leg and thigh, smoked and confit turkey leg and wing, and turkey porchetta

- Squash:  pg 26.  Butternut squash and bacon soup

- Veggies:  pg 18.  Roast Brussel Sprouts and Brandy Glazed Carrots

- Pie Crusts:  pg 29.  Parker developed a new buttery whole wheat pie crust that is fantastic.  


Thanksgiving Recipe Guide Click Here


Ordering Extra

There are two ways to get extras this week.  The best way to guarantee availability is to order ahead of time at 

Also, we do sell at the back of the truck and accept cash, check, and credit card.  


Our Staff Picks for Thanksgiving:

Whole Wheat Bread:  The girls at Wholesome Valley Farm really put a lot of love into this bread. They grind the wheat berries fresh as they make the dough.  This locks in flavor and nutrients.  The yeast is then fed with local honey and the breads are baked.  Each loaf is about 24 oz and is $5 per loaf.  This is Parker's preferred bread for stuffing/dressing.  

Any Pie:  OK, let's be honest.  Lauren, Kyle, and I keep an emergency pie eating kit in our delivery truck.  Diane at Humble Pie makes some awesome pies and this year we should have a few extra at the back of the truck.  No guarantee yet on what will be available.  It depends on how many she can crank out tonight.  We should also have some extra pies from Chefs Parker and Adam.  They are baking today with 6 Amish girls at Wholesome Valley Farm to make our sweet potato pie. 

Apple Cider:  I find it a very universal cooking ingredient, particularly for a splash of moisture for braising greens, to add moisture and flavor to dressing, and for a little steam while cooking your turkey (which also adds a nice note to the resulting gravy).  $4 

Extra Carrots.  You can never have too many cooked with your turkey, braising in the pan drippings, or steamed and served on the side with a little salt and butter.  $2 per 1# bag.  

Pork Sausages and Bacon.  OK, Thanksgiving is once per year.  Why not kick up your dressing with a little italian sausage or bring a smokey note to a nice roast butternut squash puree or soup with some bacon?  We'll try to have a good selection at the back of the truck but please preorder if possible.  

Turnips:  OK, it's just Parker, Adam, and I that love these.  Turnips are a great root vegetable for a roast vegetable hash (with some brussel sprouts, carrots, and even pumpkin/squash) or to mash with your potatoes or to make a gratin.  See recipes below.  3# bag of turnips from right here in Cleveland (E55th and St Clair ave, an urban farm) for $5.  



Eggs:  $3.50 per dozen or 2 for $6.  From pasture raised (beyond free range) hens fed non-gmo grain diet to supplement pasture.

Grass Grazed Butter:  $8 for 2# roll, salted and unsalted

Grass Grazed Milk:  $3.50 per half gal Gurnsey whole milk, $4.25 or 2 for $8 Snowville (skim, 2%, and whole)

Flours and Oats:  Organic, whole wheat flour, golden white flours (some bran removed) for baking, and rolled oats.  $3 per 2# bag. 


Holiday Exclusives

Pope's Kitchen Cranberry Sauce.  A hand crafted cranberry sauce sold in a 16 oz container.  Only 50 available.  $6.50 per container.  

Sweet Potato Pie with Buttered Crumb Topping and Homemade Caramel and Candied Black Walnuts.  Not sure if we'll have extra available yet or not.  It depends how much filling the potatoes yield.  But if we do, it is a hyper-local pie, including golden white pastry flour in the crust and oats in the crumb topping, grown only 10 miles away from the farm.  Butter, eggs, and milk directly from the farm (Wholesome Valley Farm).  Black walnuts from Homerville and a homemade dolce (caramel drizzle) made from goats milk from only a few miles away.  The sweet potatoes are also from Homerville.  9 inch pie for $18.  


Orders can be placed online by MONDAY at midnight at 


Pie Pumpkin Substitution

This year the pie pumpkins didn't store as well as past years.  We couldn't find a good supply of quality pie pumpkins.  As a result, we decided to substitute to provide you the best possible option.  

About half of the packages have a blue hubbard squsah in it and half have a butternut squash in it.  See below for recipes for both.  The best part is that these squash are more versatile and better keepers than the pie pumpkin.  They are great for vegetable hash, risotto, soup, and pies.  Yes, the flesh of either squash can be substituted for pumpkin puree in any pumpkin pie recipe.  


Hubbard Squash

The hubbard cuts more like a pumpkin.  It has an skin that isn't as smooth as a butternut and a shape not as fleshy.  The seed cavity runs throughout.  

I would cut this one in half across the middle, not from stem to stem as that would be more difficult.  


Scoop out the seeds and cook one of two ways:

1) Roast open side down on a sheet tray until tender.  Scoop out the flesh once it cools. 

2) Cut the hubbard into smaller pieces (but still large enough that it makes peeling the skin easier later).  Place them in a pressure cooker with a couple cups of water and cook for 15 minutes (once it hits pressure).  Let the pot cool and remove the lid.  Peel the skin off easily and strain the flesh.  Squeeze the flesh through a screen or cheesecloth to remove excess moisture.  

Butternut Squash

This squash is sometimes difficult to cut because of the shape.  Here are some suggestions as demonstrated in the photos. 


First, cut the squash between the neck and the bulb.  Next, trim the stem end and butt end to create flat surfaces.  This makes them safer to cut through.

With the squash placed on the flat end, cut down through the middle of the bulb to expose the seed cavity.  Scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  For the neck, stand on end and cut carefully down through the middle, rocking the knife to keep it moving. 


You now have two portions of neck and two portions of bulb, which will cook at different speeds due to the thickness.  Roast skin up on a sheet tray at 350 degrees or covered on a sheet tray with a little water to create steam.  Another option is to wrap in foil like a baked potato.  Cook until very soft.  Allow the squash to cool and scoop out the flesh. 

Alternatively, you can peel the squash with a vegetable peeler and then cube the flesh to be roasted in a vegetable hash or used in risotto.  


What's In The Packages?
Package 3 - Base Package (package 1 and 2 includes this package as well) 
3# sweet candy onions
4# sweet potatoes (some have mixed white sweet potatoes in them)
4# yukon gold potatoes
1# shallots
1/4 # garlic
1 dozen eggs
1 head leaf lettuce
1 hubbard squash, butternut squash, or pie pumpkin
1/2 peck apples (yellow apples are goldrush, red are winesap)
2# carrots

Package 2
- Includes package 3 as well
In addition to contents above, add:
1 apple pie
1 package whole wheat dinner rolls
1 loaf bread for stuffing
1 bunch beeets

Package 1 - includes contents of package 2 and 3 above
1 sweet potato pie
4 assorted winter squash
2 # bag cornmeal
2# bag golden white pastry flour (soft red winter wheat)
1/2 gal apple cider
1# braising greens (probably spinach)
1 quart (approx 2#) frozen sweet corn
1 serving broccoli (either 2 smaller heads or a 2# bag of florets)
Brussel Sprouts:  free and on me.  The sprouts were originally the substitute for the cauliflower that froze but the sprouts that came in today aren't looking that nice.  The farmers already cut them so they need used.  
Gratin of Root Vegetables (such as turnips)


3-4 TBS butter

4 cups of shredded root vegetable (carrot, rutabaga, turnip)

1 cup diced onion

1 TBS dried thyme


Melt the butter in a large non-stick sauté pan.  Add the onion and the vegetables.  Start with the heat at medium-low.  When all the vegetables are soft begin raising the heat.  Continually turn the vegetables over and over to evaporate the liquid.  Continue until nearly all the liquid has been evaporated.  Set the vegetables aside.


Make the béchamel sauce

3 TBS flour

1 cup milk

2 eggs

Fresh grated nutmeg

Salt and pepper


Whisk the flour and milk together in a sauce pan.  Make sure all the flour has been combined with the milk.  Cook over medium-high heat while whisking.  Cook until the mixture is thick.  Beat the eggs, one at a time, into the mixture.


 Season the béchamel well with salt and pepper and fresh grated nutmeg.


To assemble:  Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.  Combine the vegetables and the béchamel sauce.  Pour into a buttered gratin dish and bake for about 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Make sure the center of the gratin is completely cooked.  This dish can be assembled the day before and refrigerated.  Bring it from the refrigerator an hour before baking.  Increase the baking time an additional 5-10 minutes.


You can also bake this gratin in ramekins.  Butter 6-8 small ramekins.  Cut circles of parchment paper to place in the bottom of each ramekin.  Butter the parchment.  Fill the ramekins with the vegetable mixture.  Bake for about 20 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge of the ramekin and then turn the timbales out on to a plate.  Remove the parchment paper.  Sprinkle the tops with mince parsley.

Winter Hash with a Poached Egg

Poaching eggs is one of those things that seems tricky at first, but try a couple using this method and you'll get a hang of it. And this hearty hash makes a great "breakfast-for-dinner" dish that everybody will love, even those who aren't Kale-converts.



1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces (heat up your squash for a minute or two in your oven or microwave to soften it first before you cut it) 
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
- 1 small onion, sliced into half-moons
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- 2 links sausage, casings removed or thinly sliced, or half package of bulk
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and roughly chopped into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 4 eggs


First, cook your squash: put the butternut pieces in a pot, cover with cold water (1" above squash), bring to a boil and then drop the heat down to a simmer. Cook about 10 min, or until easily pierced with a fork, and then drain. Or you can steam it until it is tender.


In an oven-safe skillet, heat up the oil over medium heat. Add in the onions, cook for 2 minutes, and then the garlic for another minute. Add in the sausage and brown it, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon if the casings are removed, or just tossing it if not. Once browned, add in the butternut squash, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the kale when you have about a minute left to go. 


Meanwhile, in a small pot, bring the water, vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of salt to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and let the water/vinegar simmer. 


Crack the eggs, one at a time, into a coffee cup. Start swirling the pot with one hand, and with the other slide each of the eggs in, one at a time. Cook until the whites are cooked through, about 2-3 minutes depending on the size of the egg. 


Dish the hash out onto four separate plates, top each with an egg. 

Grilled Hubbard Squash or Pumpkin

This has been one of my favorite side vegetables lately.  It's so easy too.  


Start by slicing your squash or pumpkin as suggested above for the hubbard.  Now cut 3/4 to 1 inch thick slices of flesh off of the squash.  It will be in a ring shape.  Cut that in half to create two crescent moons with no seeds.  


Either get the grill or griddle ready at a medium high heat or preheat the oven to 400.  The grill is preferred as the grill marks are great.  Brush both sides of the pumpkin/squash flesh with sunflower oil and season with sea salt or kosher salt at least.  Another option is to season with some rosemary or thyme or both.  


Place on grill/griddle and cook until it starts to char some, approximately 5 minutes.  Flip and repeat as many times as necessary until flesh is tender and can be pierced with a fork.  Same process applies for the oven.  You may want to then finish in a hot greased skillet to get some good color. 


Re-season and serve.  

Boiled Turnips with Apple

Take approx 2 lbs of turnips, peeled and chopped, and place them in a pot half full with water (the turnips won't be completely submerged).  Add 1 chopped apple, 3 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cover the pot and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes, until the turnips are tender.


Serve the boiled turnips as are or use this mixture as a filling in a roasted butternut squash.  Top with cheese if you like and/or mix with whole grains such as spelt or wheat berries.

Butternut Squash Souffle



2 cups cooked, mashed butternut squash

3 tablespoons butter

1 cup sugar

1/3 cup milk

0.5 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

0.5 teaspoon nutmeg

3 eggs (omit 1 egg if you don't have milk and have to use whipping cream instead of we did)

1 teaspoon


Heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Grease a 1.5 quart casserole dish.  Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat with  a mixer until well combined.  Pour the mixture into the casserole dish and bake for 75 minutes or until it sets.  Serve with whipped cream.

Squash Muffins

These muffins are pumped up with a bunch of fiber-laden veggies, giving this healthy snack a bright color and sweet flavor. 



- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg, or 5-Spice powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 large bananas, mashed
- 1 cup cooked (steamed or boiled) butternut squash, smashed
- 2 carrots, grated


Set your to 375, and grease or line a muffin pan (12 big ones or 24 minis)


Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, maple syrup, and eggs until smooth. In a separate glass bowl, sift together the flower, rolled oats, baking soda, spices and salt. Start to pour the wet ingredients into the dry, slowly and mix together using a wooden spoon or spatula, making sure to scrape up from the bottom. Then add in the mashed bananas, the mashed squash and grated carrots-- fold in until they're just until combined. 


Spoon into each muffin tin, about 2/3rds the way up the cup. 

Bake 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck into the center of an interior muffin comes out clean. Let cool a few minutes before serving.
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Root Vegetables/Storage Crops

Root vegetables are really nature's solution to winter nutrition.  A hundred years ago (or even more recent than that) our society didn't have a global distribution system to ensure year round supply of tomatoes, fruits, and seasonal vegetables from around the world.  Past generations learned to adapt to use what they "put up" in the summer like canned tomatoes and preserves as well as storage crops like potatoes, hard squash, onions, turnips and carrots. 

While some crops are kept in the soil under the snow as long as possible (such as the carrots and turnips), other crops must be harvested when the plant says to.  Potatoes are a good example. 

The potato plant starts to die when the potatoes are ready to die.  The farmer then either sprays a chemical to kill the plants (not our farmers) or mows them down.  The potatoes are then left in the ground for a week or more to "cure."  This is where the skin sets in. 

The potatoes are then dug.  Ideally, the farmer has them planted in a raised bed and he uses a plow to turn them over and expose them.  They then must collect them by hand (in our scenario). 

The potatoes are then set on a wagon in the barn to further cure.  This allows a good skin to set and the potatoes that are damaged to rot and clearly tell you they won't last. 

The potatoes are then washed and dried and placed in bins in a cool, dark room at approximately 50 degrees.  Depending on the nutrient profile of the potato and the variety, some potatoes (like the yukon) store until March or even longer.  

These potatoes in this Thanksgiving package came from Jonas Hershberger in West Salem, OH in northern Wayne County.  Jonas likes growing potatoes and this year he harvested 36,000 lbs of yukon gold potatoes alone! 
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PO Box 609612
Cleveland, OH 44109