* Alchemy Farmhouse *


‘Orange’ picking…
September 7, 2008, 4:42 pm
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse
first fresh carrot!

first fresh carrot!

This past week has been filled with the harvesting of many lovely orange things–namely carrots and cantaloupes. They are both full of beta carotene, as many orange things are. I hope everyone is enjoying the abundant harvest time and eating well!

super-sweet canteloupe

super-sweet canteloupe

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what a melon!
August 30, 2008, 5:41 pm
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse
mini Crimson Sweet watermelon

mini Crimson Sweet watermelon

Sweet reprieve for having cut down that sugar baby too soon last week! This morning I plucked a mini Crimson Sweet off a dead vine, figuring it wouldn’t mature any further so I might as well try it. I am so glad I did! It was still a little less pink than I’d like, but it gives me high hopes for the larger, more vigorous melons still growing! They ought to be great in a week or two. It made a great addition to this morning’s breakfast, and put us in a sweet mood as we rode the Harley to Kingston Farmer’s market for a nice change. I will keep posting on the watermelon progress as they mature…The market had their watermelons in full effect, so be sure to head to NPZ’s tomorrow for some great buys and community showing. Enjoy the holiday!



Pleasant Purple Surprises!
August 27, 2008, 1:51 pm
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse
scarlet runner beans

scarlet runner beans

Yesterday’s dinner was a garden mac ‘n’ cheese, with lots of garlicky tomatoes, roasted corn & chiles, and broccoli and zukes. When I went into the garden to pick for cooking, i found some wonderful purple surprises. There was a scarlet runner bean pod that had dried on the vine, so I could feel free to pick it. ordinarily you want them dry before opening up the beans. they keep better for winter storage that way. They were so pretty and speckled, as you can see. Some of the Rainbow Inca corn has blushed with purples as well, after I commented last week that it was all still white! I guess it was just taking its time. Everything tasted delicious, and will surely make even better leftovers tonight! Try the recipe if you have a great variety of veggies that need to be thrown into something.

rainbow inca sweet corn shows its colors...

rainbow inca sweet corn shows its colors...

Garden Mac ‘n’ Cheese

1 lb. small pasta such as elbows, shells, etc.

fresh cheddar for shredding

several cloves garlic, minced

1 medium zucchini (6-8 inches)

couple tomatoes, different colors are fun

2-3 roasted chiles, depending on how much heat you prefer

1 head broccoli

2-3 ears corn

EVOO

Cut florets off broc. and shear kernals off corn. Put in pot to steam lightly. Sautee garlic in EVOO and keep an eye so it doesn’t brown and turn bitter. If you have not already roasted the chiles, set the oven to broil, coat them in EVOO and lay them on a tray below the burner, turning frequently till all skin blisters. remove carefully from oven and wrap in wet paper towels and tie in a plastic bag to steam. Remove skins by sliding off after steamed for 10-20 minutes. Test their heat, and chop and set aside for later use. Add steamed broc & corn to garlic, as well as quartered zuke slices & tomato chunks. Sautee several minutes until fully cooked and aromatic. Meanwhile shred the fresh cheddar to your liking and blend with the cooked pasta in a large baking dish. A 9x 13 should work. Mix in the garlic veggies and chiles, and layer thinly sliced tomatoes on top as a garnish. they will brown nicely in the broiler and their juices will seep into the dish. Broil for 5-10 minutes until all is melted and enjoy!



Fabulous Local Food Weekend!
August 25, 2008, 10:05 am
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse
A rainbow of Four Winds Tomato puree...

A rainbow of Four Winds Tomato puree...

This weekend was a celebration of local foods through community events. On Saturday I joined Erin & Sam, the Four Winds Farm interns for some tomato canning. They are located right down the street from us and we are so lucky for that. They have 2200 tomato plants, in a wide array of colorful heirlooms of every shape and size from mini to several pounds a piece! We put in a few hours slicing and pressure cooking and were rewarded with over 2 dozen quarts of puree! It was well worth the work for a few weeks of sun-ripened food in the winter. Four Winds sells their delicious produce on Sundays at the New Paltz Market and Wednesdays at the Woodstock Farm Festival through the end of the season. Stop by and say hey to Jay & Polly, or come to the farm on a Saturday afternoon and do some canning yourself! The public is welcome to come and learn. Supply your own jars and come ready to get messy in the kitchen.

simmering goodness at Four Winds

simmering goodness at Four Winds

The other great event yesterday was the August EatLocalFood.org potluck at Phillies Bridge Farm. there were tables set up noting just how ‘local’ the ingredients were, and everyone’s dish was primarily composed of all local ingredients grown by CSAs, home gardeners, and organic farmers. Bravo locavores, for getting the message out loud and clear about local foods in the Hudson Valley–they are delicious and easy to find & cook! Jess, the Phillies Bridge Farmer took the group on a tour to view the working areas of the farm and along the way we got to try their tasty Concorde grapes. They grow 185 shares of organic produce and offer shares of neighboring farms’ foods as well, in an effort to supply their customers with foods they themselves do not grow, and to encourage the CSA model in more conventional operations such as Tantillos. Phillies bridge also serves as an educational farm project, welcoming local schoolchildren to their grounds for exploration in the fields. Their small-scale ‘children’s garden’ allows for a close-up view of large-scale farming to interest and educate small children and children-at-heart alike. A trip to Phillies Bridge is always worth it, and they hold many events like the potluck as well as fundraisers, auctions, and workshops. Past workshop topics include fermentation and starting a school garden. Check out their website for upcoming events! I will also soon be posting some recipes from the potluck…

Jess leading the tour through the lovely brassicas

Jess leading the tour through the lovely brassicas



Corn!
August 22, 2008, 2:57 pm
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse

Stowell's Sweet Corn-first ear!

This week we were lucky enough to pick the first ears of the season. We planted both Stowell’s Sweet Corn & Rainbow Inca Sweet Corn. They were both delicious, although the Inca was just as white as the Stowell’s. I thought it would be a little colored, although most of the intense coloring occurs after it dries. oh well, perhaps it will color as the season progresses. I will post more pictures if it does!



Pepper Sunday
August 22, 2008, 1:43 pm
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse

Although we have started to harvest some excellent chiles from the garden, we have also bought some great varieties from Three Sisters Farm at the New Paltz Farmers Market. they are always super knowledgeable and ready to teach you how to use the produce to its best capacity. Last Sunday we made spicy-rice-and-bean-stuffed peppers with homemade jalapeƱo poppers–fantastic! After such a great pepper dinner, I was inspired to begin picking our own anaheim chiles to roast and freeze for a later date.

stuffed peppers

stuffed peppers

Roasted Anaheims

Roasted Anaheims

If you would like to roast peppers to use later in the year, it’s very easy. Oil them and lay them on a cookie sheet. Set the oven to broil and check them after 1-2 minutes. Depending on their size, they should cook very quickly. Be careful not to let them burn too much. Turn them so they blister evenly on all sides. Remove them from the oven, wrap collectively in wet paper towels and seal in a plastic bag for 20-30 minutes. You may want to wear gloves when you open it up and peel the peppers, depending on how hot your variety is. peppers can then be frozen or used as is fresh for slicing, stuffing, or salsas. Enjoy!



heirloom tomato salad & falafel
August 22, 2008, 1:17 pm
Filed under: Alchemy Farmhouse
heirloom tomato salad

heirloom tomato salad

The past week has been filled with wonderful meals and bountiful harvests each day. One particularly good meal was homemade falafel served over an heirloom tomato salad. If you’re game, here’s how to try it yourself.

Tomato Salad

3-5 lbs. ripe heirloom tomatoes, sliced

olive oil

red wine vinegar

S & P

This is best chilled before serving, but never refrigerate uncut tomatoes! It will ruin their flavor! Store any leftovers in the fridge for an ever more intense vinaigrette flavor the next day.

Falafel

1 lg. can chick peas (Or fresh, if available. They are not hard to grow, but we didn’t plant any this year.)

olive oil

garlic, onion, S & P

chop handful onion, one clove garlic, and mash chick peas with potato masher. Mix, add S & P and form patties. Bake on oiled cookie sheet for approx. 15-20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Alternately, you could fry them in a fan, probably enhancing their flavor but also their fat content. As you wish:)

a taste of the mid-east in Gardiner

a taste of the mid-east in Gardiner