Winter Newsletter
Week 6




This week is New Year's week and all deliveries are on their regularly scheduled times EXCEPT American Greetings, 5th Street Arcade, and Grovewood Tavern.  American Greetings and 5th St Arcade are closed.  Please make arrangements to pick up your bag at another stop. Grovewood Tavern has moved to Friday. 

Also, if you couldn't save your pork roast from the last bag for New Years, please order one online before Tuesday at Midnight. We also have lots of extra sauerkraut available this week for your New Year's traditional Pork Roast and Kraut.  Orders may be placed at



Trevor's Corner

Winter is going by quickly and it's amazing that we'll be signing papers with 2015 dates in just a couple days.  I guess with the every-other-week schedule I've been forgetting to write about things going on around here.

Freedom Ranger Chickens

This week's chickens are "freedom ranger chickens." The Freedom Ranger is a heritage chicken that is noted for it's slower growth, smaller size, and richer meat flavor. For anyone who came on the Farm Tour, these were the chickens served at lunch. In my opinion, they have superior flavor to the standard cornish cross chicken. The packaging will not say Freedom Ranger on it. By USDA rules, we can't specify a breed on the package without having a federally registered procedure for proving the "label claim" to be true and having third-party audits to satisfy that the claim is true. In short, we want to sell you a chicken that costs less than your mortgage payment, so please just write on the package "Freedom Ranger" yourself if you care to keep it separate from other chickens in your freezer.

Broccoli...womp womp

This week we were so excited to get some broccoli that one of our growers has been saving under row-cover for months. We were so thrilled that it survived the heavy freezes in early November, and recovered nicely. When I saw it a few weeks ago it was looking nice and the mild weather the last couple weeks would seem to be gentle on it.

And right before Christmas it looked nice. Then we had a warm weather. I'm only sharing this with you because of the irony of it. Between last Monday and yesterday afternoon, the broccoli developed some form of mold and rot on the heads. It appears that the warm weather last week and over the weekend created excessive moisture under the row cover. With the row cover laying against the heads of the broccoli, the area of contact couldn't breath and was wet. It actually rotted and formed mold on the heads due to it being too warm! How is that saying? Damned if I do, damned if I don't? Just another Fresh Forking day around here.

So in place of broccoli we will add a quart of chopped, frozen tomatoes to this week's bag. These are great too stew with the green beans and garlic or simply stew them in the bottom of your roasting pan with the chicken, some onions, and some carrots. Put the tomatoes through the food mill afterwards and reduce down a little more. Serve this tomato sauce over your chicken.


Pierogi Party


 Each year for Christmas Eve my family does a traditional Polish wigilia and has a meatless dinner with kraut, pierogies, fried fish, and many vegetarian sides.  For the last five years or so my grandmother hasn't felt like making the pierogies anymore, so Allyson and I took over.  For the first couple years, we did OK.  They tasted fine, but the shape was off. But now we've gotten it down a little better.


So this year a couple friends wanted to learn how to make them.  So we had a pierogi party and made about 300 pierogies.  The stuffings:  potato with kraut and onion, potato with smoked cheddar cheese, and sweet potato with pumpkin pie spices.  


Pierogies are really quite simple.  The stuffing is just mashed potatoes with different flavors infused.  The dough is also quite simple (recipe below). The hard part is how long they take to make and the mess they make.  

Here is the process:

1) Make your stuffing and allow it to cool.
2) Make your dough.  Refrigerate for an hour or two to help it set-up. 
3) Roll out your dough.  Stuff the pierogies and pinch them together.
4) Boil the pierogi until it floats.  Remove and let dry on a rack. 
5) Toss pierogies in a bowl with oil, arrange them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and freeze them.  Once frozen, place them in a zipper bag or freezer container. 

To cook:

Thaw or cook from frozen.  Place in a skillet on medium heat with butter.  Saute until golden brown on all sides.  Serve immediately so they stay crunchy.  We serve ours with raw kraut.  


Pierogi Dough Ingredients:  

4 cups flour
3 tablespoons oil (sunflower or olive preferred)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
Appx 1 cup warm water

Mix the flour and salt.  Whisk together the oil and eggs (but not whisked too much that you emulsify the oil into the eggs).  Add that to the dry ingredients and mix well.  Add warm water a couple tablespoons at a time, kneading it in or working it in the mixer.  The dough should form a tacky (but not wet) ball.  This may require a little more oil or water (or less) depending on the flour.  We like to use hard red winter wheat as it tends to make nice thick pierogi shells.  The spelt flour and golden white pastry flour (soft red) are also OK choices, but the dough will be much thinner and harder to work with. 
Deer Season

Starting Thanksgiving Day, I start hunting. My cousins have a cabin in the hills in northern West Virginia and that's my get away for Thanksgiving weekend, then the following Monday starts Ohio gun season. This year was an exceptional year for gun season for me with 2 bucks and 1 doe. Nothing photo worthy but great meat.

Since I know we have several hunters out there who are always looking for new ideas on what to do with their deer, consider saving some of the roasts. I bone out the hind legs and break the muscle groups up, then peel the silver skin and connective tissue from in between the muscles. You'll get some nice roasts, mostly the flat roast (bottom round, inside of leg), knuckle, and rump. They can be prepared similar to beef roasts - low, slow, and with lots of moisture.

I also saved a lot of trim this year and froze it. Later this month when I have more time, I'll make sausage. I'll report back then with what seasonings worked well, if I had to add any pork or beef fat back in, and how to prepare them. I'll photograph those ones better and share the recipes.


What's In The Bag?

Savory Breakfast Muffins

The full recipe is on our blog this week, complete with "how-to" pictures of each step along the way. Leave a comment if you try it out, and let us know what you think!   

To view the blog post, click here:  Savory Breakfast Muffins



Traditional Dutch Stamppot with Sausage

A Dutch Stamppot (or "Mash Pot") is a great cold weather meal: mashed potatoes with other root veggies (and sometimes sauerkraut), often served alongside sausage or braised meat. 





2 #s peeled and cubed potatoes

2 cups peeled and cubed squash (acorn, pumpkin or butternut)

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 

2 carrots, scrubbed and roughly chopped

2 large parsnips, peeled and chopped like carrots

1 large rutabaga, peeled and chopped 

1 large leek, washed and finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cups washed and roughly chopped Kale or other green (cabbage, collards, chard) 

4 tbsps butter 

1 tsb salt and 1/2 tsp pepper

Parsley, 1 bunch washed and chopped

1 # sausage (kielbasa would be best, but green onion brats or italian sausage would also work) 


Place all the chopped veggies (potatoes-onions) in a large stock pot, and add water to barely cover.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 25min depending on the size of your veggies. 


Meanwhile, cook your sausage in a skillet on the stove top until no longer pink inside. Remove from heat, slice and keep warm.

When vegetables are tender, remove from heat. Add in butter, salt and pepper. Mash (should still be rough and lumpy), and stir in parsley. 


Serve the stamppot topped with the sliced sausage and a great beer. 

Chicken Pot Pie with Root Veggies

 With short days and cold temperatures ahead, nothing smells more comforting than a warm and crusty pot pie. Great recipe to make with leftover roasted chicken and all the root veggies in your kitchen these days. 


Use your favorite pastry dough recipe and punch out 8 rounds using a juice glass, and arrange over top of warm filling and bake. Or, make a potato topping: spread left over mashed potatoes on a baking sheet and place in the fridge. Once chilled, use the same technique as above-- stamp out 8 rounds using the glass and set on top of the filling.  





2-3 cups cooked chicken, chopped into small pieces

2 cups chicken stock

1 tbsp butter

1 large onion, finely chopped 

2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into half-coins

2 parsnips, scrubbed and cut like carrots

1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped into a small dice

1/2 bunch kale, center rib removed, washed and cut into ribbons

1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp pepper

4 tbsps unsalted butter

1/3 cup flour

1.5 cups whole milk

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 cup sherry 

3/4 cup frozen green beans, thawed

1/2 bunch parsley, minced


Set oven to 400 and heat up chicken stock in a small saucepan. In another larger pan or dutch oven, add in the 1 tbsp of butter over medium high, and add in onion and cook till almost translucent. Add in root vegetables and saute 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper. Remove veggies to a bowl and mix with chicken pieces. 


In the large pan, heat up the 4 tbsp of butter over medium. Once it's stopped foaming, dust in the flour and whisk, and toast. This is called a roux, and will help your pot pie filling stay thick rather than soupy. Cook for about a minute or so, then add in warmed up stock, the milk and the dried thyme. Simmer until the sauce thickens, for another minute or so. Stir in the sherry, and then add in all the vegetables (including the thawed green beans and parsley) and chicken pieces. 


See note at top about pastry, but here is where you assemble the pies with the dough. Either put filling into small ramekins and top with their own pie round, or spread filling into a larger baking dish and cover with a dough/potato top. 


Slide into oven and bake 30 min for one big pie or 20 for individuals, or until golden brown on top. 




Links to Other Recipes on the Web
7 Ways to Roast a Chicken
Broccoli-Cheddar Stuffed Baked Potatoes 
Carrot Cake Pancakes
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Cooking Dried Beans

1 cup dried beans
cup each of diced onion, carrot and celery
1 bay leaf and of dried thyme

Spread the beans on a tray. Pick out any broken pieces or pieces that look damaged. Shake the tray to look for pieces of bean shell or other impurities. Place the beans in a bowl and cover with water. The water should be 2 or 3 inches above the beans. Soak overnight or for 6 or 8 hours.

Strain the beans and rinse. Place the beans in the cooking pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Boil for a couple of minutes and strain. Rinse the pan and add the rinsed beans and clean water. Bring to the boil again. Skim for a couple of minutes. Reduced the heat to medium and add all the other ingredients. Do not add salt until the beans for cooked.
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