Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Newsletter w/c 11th March 2013

The weather conditions have meant that I have had to postpone deliveries by a day this week. We had intermitent blizzard conditions up here on Sunday and Monday and the roads were quite low on the council priority list so didn’t get cleared. Please let me know if it affects where you would like deliveries to be dropped off to. I’m sorry for the inconvenience this causes. I don’t like to be pushed out of my schedule either, so will be back to normal next week .
I can’t get a lot of work done outside in this weather, except for log-splitting, so it looks like I’ll have no excuse but to knuckle down and get on with some paperwork for a change. You never know the thought of it may mean that we have a log-store full of freshly split fuel by the end of the day.
Before the weather deteriorated, there were definite signs of approaching Spring. The herbaceous plants had sprouted and were showing their first leaves, the bulbs were sprouting, shrubs and small trees had buds just about to burst into life and I heard some peewits out on the moor in the evenings. It won’t be long until the fields are full of lambs again, so we need a wee bit of warmer weather just to get the grass growing, to give the ewes a nibble to keep their strength up and keep their milk flowing.
If the temperatures stay as low as they are at the moment, some of the veg may be affected. My main concerns are with the potatoes and aubergines in the veg bag this week and also the bananas in the fruit bags. If anything reaches you in sub-standard condition, please do let me know and we’ll compensate you with the next delivery. We want to make sure you receive full value for money. On that subject, we were complimented on our egg prices by a customer lat week. A friend had been into the dreaded Asda supermarket and noted their organic eggs were priced at £2.25 per box. That makes our £1.80 look like a real bargain. Box schemes aren’t as expensive as some people assume.
This is a list of the vegetables included in the standard bags this week. Substitutions may occur.
Potato Solanum tuberosum.. The variety for the most part is Valor. Some of you may get washed potatoes. These have been washed to check for blemishes and disease. Soil acts as a natural preservative, so the washed tatties may not keep quite as long as the dirty ones. They are very easy to prepare when they’re as fresh as this and really only need a wash and a scrub. Potatoes are the only commonly available source of B3 and Iodine. Excellent source of Vitamin C and also Vitamin B6, Potassium and fibre.
Onion  Allium cepa.  Used in stews, pasta dishes, soups.  Source of Vitamins A and C, Iron, Calcium and Potassium .
Carrot Daucus carota Carrots are eaten fresh in salads or cooked in just about any way you like. They are an excellent source of Vitamin A and also contain significant amounts of Vitamins B, C, D, E and K. and Potassium.
Kohl-rabi Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group (1 head) Excellent source of Vitamin C and of potassium. Peel the outer skin off of the swollen bulb then eat either raw or cooked. Here’s a recipe for Sugar-browned kohl-rabi Peel the kohl-rabi and cut into finger-wide strips. Blanch for 5 minutes then refresh in cold water. Return the kohl-rabi to the pan with a small amount of boiling lightly salted water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Drain and allow to cool slightly. Melt 1oz (25g) sugar in a heavy based frying pan without stirring, until it bubbles and is pale brown. Add 1oz (25g) of butter and stir until blended. Stir in the kohl-rabi strips and shake the pan frequently to coat all the strips evenly with caramel.
Aubergine Solanum melongena  Source of Vitamin C,  potassium, iron and fibre. Serve cooked. This is a member of the same family as tomato and pepper and is widely used in vegetable lasagne. We tried a recipe, last week, where we chopped up an aubergine and pan fried it til it was a golden brown colour, then added a chopped up onion til it softened. Then add a couple of tomatoes a crushed clove of garlic a tablespoon of your finely chopped parsley, a pinch of spice, a pinch of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Simmer for 5 minutes transfer to a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese and breadcrumbs and bake in an oven at 190oC375oFGasmark5 for 30 Leek Allium porrum  Excellent source of Vitamin C. Particularly used to give soups a lovely creamy texture. As leeks grow they tend to lock soil into their leaf axils, so be sure to rinse them well after slicing them up. A nice idea for cooking leeks is to sweat finely sliced leeks in butter for 5 minutes, pour in a glass of red wine and simmer until reduced. Season and serve.
Broccoli Brassica oleracea Italica Group (1 head) Excellent source of Vitamin C, folic acid and phytochemicals and good for Vitamn.B6. Also contains Vitamins A, B2, B6 and phosphorus, fibre, calcium and iron. It is best eaten raw or quickly blanched in boiling , lightly salted water. Broccoli is also good in stir-fries as it has a lovely crunch to it if you don’t cook it for too long.
Parsnip Pastinaca sativa (350g). Source of Vitamin C and Folic Acid.  Peel the root thickly and slice the flesh. Boil in lightly salted water for 30 minutes. Alternatively, parboil for 10 minutes then roast for 20 – 30 minutes. Here’s a recipe I found for: Fried Parsnips; Trim the tops and roots off the parsnips then peel and cut in half lengthways. Put the parsnips in a pan of boiling water ( lightly salted)  and cook for 15 minutes. They should still be firm and not quite tender. Drain thoroughly. Lightly beat an egg and dip the parsnips in it before coating them with breadcrumbs seasoned with salt and pepper. Melt 2oz(50g) of butter in a frying pan and shallow fry the parsnips until they are golden and crisp on both sides, turning once.