This Week’s Bounty: Valentine’s Day Stirrings

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The day before yesterday marked the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. Nature is waking up from its sleep – even here in Vermont. The warm weather is not really typical – but what I am referring to are the small signs and changes – I walked out of my house the other morning, and heard the birds singing again – moss is starting to grow, buds on trees are swelling, the hens are laying eggs. This midpoint is so fascinating because it happens regardless how long Winter continues on. It is so easy to see Winter as this unchanging time of snow, ice and cold, but beneath and around all that are small little miracles of life awakening.

Maybe this is the origins of Valentine’s Day!! More than just the birds and buds are stirring!

Enjoy,

~Greg

Sweet treats for your sweetheart are 10% off:

Fresh From the Farms

A delivery of Beef from Tilldale Farm will bring fresh Steaks, Short Ribs, Soup Bones, Kebobs, Liver, Stew and Ground Beef.

Ben at Snug Valley Farm has delicious pastured Pork cuts arriving this week: Boneless Loin Chops, Rib Chops, Country Style Ribs, Shoulder Roasts, Cutlets, St. Louis Style Ribs and Tenderloin

Jericho Settlers Farm is making good use of greenhouse space and able to provide us with succulent Bok Choy as well as Braising Greens.

Pete’s Greens has preserved the taste of summer by freezing some of their vegetables so that we can enjoy their flavor through the winter!

We’ve increased our selection of Frozen Vegetables until the fresh greens of early spring return:

Champlain Orchards has a couple of new varieties fresh out of storage this week – Empire and Macoun as well as MacIntosh and Cortland.

 

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This Week’s Bounty: Hearty Foods for Healthy Families

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Warming, brothy, and savory meals warm the heart and soul now in deep winter.  Stews, soups, roasts and and roots with their fat and depth really create heat that we need at this time of year to ward off the frigid temperatures as well as the colds and flus that run rampant in the tight quarters of school and home. There is just something about slow cooking that develop and caramelize flavors so that even the most finicky eaters dig in with relish.

Make sure to keep your larder stocked with foods to roast, soup fixings, and slow cooking favorites. Tempeh, Miso, and sausages can add incredible flavor to already delicious broths, and turn a simple soup into a feast – we call them one bowl meals at our house.

Snuggle up to the fire or table and tuck in!

~Greg

Misty Knoll Farms’ Whole Chickens are on Special this week for 10% off

From Foote Brook Farm we have a bag of Mixed Fingerling Potatoes!  This is a 2 pound medley of banana fingerlings, purple fingerlings and red thumb fingerlings, the perfect accompaniment to add some color to a roasted chicken feast!

Delicious Fresh Pasta and Ravioli from David and Michelle at Valicenti Organico:

Red’s Best will have cleaned and headed Smelts So perfect for pan frying. They call them French Fries of the Sea. Their fishermen will also be catching Fresh White Fish and Sea Scallops.

If you have not had a chance to try Jacob of Artisan Meats of Vermont Sausages – you are really missing out on a great meal!  All the pork in these is sourced from our Pork producer Snug Valley Farm, so you know it is clean and only the best.  Plus the flavor of the pasture raised pork comes shining through along with Jacobs spice recipes.

If your family is primarily vegetarian, then Rhapsody has some wonderful protein and flavor boosters to make your meals savory and filling at this cold time of year.

 

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This Week’s Bounty: Deep Winter Abundance

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Here we are in deep winter … and the cupboard is bursting with abundance. Looking back 5 years ago when we were just getting started, our partner farmers were having trouble keeping us stocked with any vegetables. We had carrots, parsnips, and some cabbage in our vegetable section, plus hamburger and apples! Now look at the selection – and all thanks to both you – our families – for creating a consistent demand and our partner farmers for committing to fill it all year long. Your appreciation and partnership is such a gift. Thank you!

~Greg

When buying nuts and nut butters, organic is very important and freshness makes a big difference. Don’t invite nuts you don’t know into your family’s diet! By nature, nuts and seeds will concentrate any toxins, so only the best from an organic source like Tierra Farms will do. They have to be handled very carefully in order to maintain freshness and flavor. You can really taste the difference.

Organic Nut Butters on Special from Tierra Farms:

Organic Cashew Butter $13.90 (normally $14.90)
Organic Almond Butter $19.80 (normally $23.65)
Organic Chocolate Hazelnut Butter $19.80 (normally $22.90)

We have fresh cuts of lamb from Tamarack VT Sheep Farm:

And fresh cuts of beef from Tilldale Organic Farm:

Due to expected stormy seas this weekend, Red’s Best is unable to send out all of their boats and therefore our fish selection is limited to Scallops and Fresh White Fish. Look for more variety when the oceans calm down again.

Try our latest apple variety, Liberty, from Champlain Orchards. This apple is an excellent dessert apple, eaten raw, or it makes a beautiful sauce.

Enjoy fresh greens from our amazing farmers – doing their magic in their greenhouses – while the weather outside is frightful! Spinach from Screamin Ridge and Blackwell Roots, and Shoots and Mesclun from Pete’s Greens

 

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This Week’s Bounty: We’ve got the Chops – Pork, that is!

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Growing up in the 60s and 70s I was never a big fan of Pork Chops. They were often dry and tough no matter how well they were cooked. This was due to a lack of fat in these commercially raised confined animals.

Pasture raised pork from our partner Snug Valley Farm has changed my mind and taste. Ben Notterman of Snug Valley tells us that these pigs, both because the breed he uses and the significant time they spend out on pasture, develop wonderful inter-muscular fat throughout. This is the fat that you really can’t see that is spread through the meat, but is crucial for keeping the meat moist and tender. He suggests a really simple way to cook one of his pork chops:

First he rubs salt over the chop (I tend to add other spices to my salt rub – but this is really your preference) the flavor of these chops are excellent so less spice is better.

He heats a cast iron skillet in the oven to 400 degrees then puts it on the stovetop on medium high heat. He will trim a bit of the fat off the edges of the chop and melt it in the pan then add the chop to cook till the inside is about 145 degrees – should be medium and still pink inside. (Yes this is perfectly safe!) You want to have the chop cook quickly and caramelize on the outside. This keeps the juices in the meat. Remove it from the pan and serve. It will be juicy tender and delicious.

When you cook with excellent ingredients – recipes can be very simple. The flavor of the food itself does all the work! Enjoy.

Greg

A delivery of fresh pork cuts from Snug Valley brings us:

Pork Rib Chops on Special this week for $13.90/lb. (Normally $15.90/lb)

As well as other cuts:

Delightfully creamy and nutritious Cottage Cheese from Butterworks has returned! Try adding it to your Mac and Cheese or pureeing it for a creamy dip or enjoy on its own.

Our usual Ice Cream selection is expanded with a few new flavors from Strafford Creamery:
Ginger, Wintermint, Mocha, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Sweet Cream

Champlain Orchards apple selections are shifting as we start to dig into some specific storage varieties:
Cortland, Gingergold, Keepsake, McIntosh and Northern Spy

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This Week’s Bounty: Specialty Flours on Special, New Polenta Bread from Red Hen

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New this Week:

Rockville Market Farm has Peeled Butternut Squash Halves. Eric Rosendaal and his team have taken some of the hard work out of preparing winter squash. Already peeled and sliced in half, all you need to do is dice and roast it with some garlic and other roots, or boil and blend into a sweet, creamy soup. Or try our Butternut Squash and Apple Soup recipe (pictured above).

Red Hen Baking Company introduces their Polenta Bread which is available for Thursday Pick Up Sites. Creamy and dense this is perfect morning toast or thinly sliced and toasted for sandwiches.

Ren Hen is also changing their baking schedule on Mad River Grain – it will be available as a fresh whole loaf on Wednesdays and Sliced and bagged available Thursdays. They have even lowered the price!

Cozy up by the fire with a glass of wine or a mug of mulled Cider and a cheese plate with:

Try baking with some whole grains this winter from Maine Grains, now on special:

Aquavitea Kombucha is still on special this week. Give it a try!

Red’s Best has fresh caught White Fish, Scallops as well as Whiting: a smaller relative of cod and just as tasty. The Whiting are whole but cleaned.

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