Friday, October 30, 2009


For the next three weeks (Oct. 31, Nov. 7, and Nov. 14) we'll be giving out free vegetarian/vegan holiday cookbooks and taking orders for homemade veg roasts for your Thanksgiving dinner. Seitan roasts serve six, and will be available for pickup the weekend before Thanksgiving, Saturday at the Cold Spring market, and Sunday at the Beacon market.

Visit us at the halloween market tomorrow and order yours!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Seeds

Great on salads, great ground up over soup, great for snacking on road trips—there are plenty of reasons not to toss your pumpkin seeds! Here are detailed instructions on how to make them taste just like you'll like 'em. I'm thinking I might season mine with nutritional yeast and lemon pepper.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Hey members, we're giving out bags as part of the first distribution! We've hand-stenciled wintergreens tote bags for you to carry your treasures home. They're very cute (and reminiscent of the Frankie Goes to Hollywood era), so we'd understand if you wanted to put your food in a different bag, and use this one to show off when you're about town.Whether you're carrying your wintergreens bag or another one, you'll need to bring something to put your food in to all other pickups. We won't be giving out plastic bags—the world doesn't need any more plastic. You actually may want to consider bringing more than one reusable bag, since some veggies from the cellar will be dirty (dirt helps them last longer in storage, believe it or not), and you might not want the dirty stuff touching the clean stuff. Or the frozen stuff touching the fresh stuff. Or the peas touching the carrots.

If you don't have a stash of cloth bags, take inspiration from Bags for the People, and make a couple quickies out of whatever fabric scraps you have available. What's cooler than a tote bag made from your old t-shirt?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pawpaw Passion

Pawpaws are North America's largest edible indigenous fruit. Why had I never had one before? The best explanation seems to be that they don't "work" for business: they don't keep long, they don't ship well, they don't ripen off the tree, they don't preserve well. Food that can't be marketed on a large scale doesn't "make sense" to grow in our consumer society.

After years of being fascinated with "strange" fruits that grow in our climate—Siberian kiwis, juneberries, chokecherries, gooseberies, honeyberries, persimmons, pawpaws—I got my hands on some pawpaws for the first time. I think the discovery will be a bonanza, since I got the pawpaws from Lee Reich, the genius of Northeastern fruits, who, it turns out, lives and works in New Paltz.
Pawpaw trees look tropical. The fruit, a berry actually, looks tropical. The smell of a small bag full made me swoon, and think I was near the equator. After a good while of sniffing pleasure, I cut one open and dipped in with a spoon. The creamy fruit tastes like custard, sweet and unusual and very rich. Lest I've downplayed the impact these fruits had: the pawpaws and the maitake mushroom have been the most valuable thing I've had my paws on this year.

The fact that pawpaws don't work well for commercial sellers pleases me. Lee says they are easy to grow and take care of, productive, and the ultimate home orchard fruit, since you're not likely to find them anywhere else. Wish me luck growing pawpaw trees from seed!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

12 Days of Ignorant Bliss

I wasn't interested in canning at all. I discover that I'm really kinda into it, and bam, twelve days later I learn that the canning jars available to me are toxic. Yup, there's BPA in the lids. I'd admired those beautiful German jars with glass lids, but found that they were pricey, and I'd have to get them shipped. (Turns out you can get them from Illinois, which is a tad closer than Germany.)

Though I sometimes like being forced to use a better product (obviously glass lids are better for food), I'm still trying to dig up all my Sigg bottles to trade in by Halloween, since they, too have BPA in the liners. Ug, as if we don't absorb poison enough without this!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sharp Glow

Notice this trend of painted pumpkins rather than carved jack-o-lanterns? My favorite thing to do with pumpkins is eat them, but I do appreciate creative carving as well. I'm not against painting things generally, but painting on a pumpkin for Halloween is a bummer, and I've quietly disliked it as I've seen it rise in popularity. I've never said anything out loud, knowing it's a stupid thing to get hung up on, but got pushed over the edge this week when I ventured into a big box hardware store, and saw pre-painted (truly ugly) pumpkins for sale there.

Carving pumpkins has always had a tragic edge, since you know you're wasting food when you do it. But, you do salvage the seeds (yum) and removed chunks, and end up with something aesthetically pleasing to light up and share with your neighbors. Glowing jack-o-lanterns, even the scary ones, are beautiful.I've never seen an attractive painted pumpkin, and I'm pretty certain those seeds aren't being scraped out and roasted or saved for planting the next year. And I worry that this painting business has come from adults who are unwilling to help kids safely handle knives. I think kids shouldn't be protected from everything under the sun, rather, taught to understand what is dangerous and why, and how to act with sharp things, fragile things, living things, sour things. (At the market, I've seen kids drawn to our pickled veggie samples by the pinks and yellows and oranges and purples, and parents literally drag them away saying, "Ug, pickles" or "Ug, no, c'mon, c'mon, let's go get a donut." as if it would hurt a child to taste something new. On the flip side, adventuresome kids have dragged their grown-ups over and made them buy radishes or mint carrots or dill cukes or kimchi.)
Let's all take our lives in our hands this year and carve pumpkins, shall we? Let's roast and save seeds. Let's bake the pumpkin parts we remove. Let's remind our young ones and ourselves that knives are not weapons, and that there are safe and proper ways of using them.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pufferball Pizza

Ok, maybe it's weird to write about pizza here? But but but, there are plenty of good reasons! My total insane pizza fandom aside, I have three (three!) positive pizzas reports.
  1. I recently experienced my first TWO PIZZA DAY, ever in my little lifetime. As far as I've dived into hedonism, I'd never done this. Articles abound in foodie mags lately about all the artisan pizza places popping up in the city, and it was killing my pizza spirit to not have tried any of them. So, because Una Pizza Napolitana in the East Village had already closed down, I made a pizza pilgrimage to the old 'hood in Brooklyn. The first pie of the day was so-so. They relied too heavily on the enormous slabs of expensive meat and cheese we saw topping other customers' pizzas, and didn't pay attention to the basics: good crust, good sauce, herbs. The salad and wine were nice, and it was cheap, so I won't totally dis, but the bottom line is that the brick oven wasn't enough to make this lackluster pizza worthwhile.

    That's okay, because that brings us to the second pizza of the day, which was a bit more expensive, and fantastic. This one was from Fornino, and really hit the spot. They were a little weirded when we insisted that they not put sauce or cheese on our wild mushroom pizza (just a little black truffle oil, please!), but once they smelled it, I think they saw the logic. Here, the shrooms were fantastic, as was the crispy crust, and the lack of sauce let the mushrooms take center stage.

    This is the best Brooklyn pizza since my beloved JJ's closed. (That's not the real name, but it was along the lines of "Brick Oven Pie" or something that got lost in the fog. I've learned, now, that the owner's name was Terry, but to me, he'll always be JJ.)

  2. Angelina's is a plain looking pizza joint in Cold Spring. But the owner, Ali, isn't afraid of unusual ingredients, and has been making "farmer's market" pizzas each Saturday. He walks across the street to the market, picks up whatever we have on offer, and tops his pizzas with local, seasonal stuff. Not only am I impressed with his concoctions (pear & candied walnut pizza), but he brings a stack of free pies over the market vendors nearly every week. There's always one sans cheese and topped with fresh hot peppers. How could I not be a fan?

  3. This magic happened in my own kitchen. Vivian from Madura Farm gave me a maitake mushroom the size of my head. I was starved, and made a pizza on store bought dough-in-a-bag. Yeah, I can admit it! As I chopped up this mushroom (literally, like a cabbage) I worried I was making something really low class with this amazing fungi, but my hunger urged me on. I turned the oven to 500 degrees, flattened my 99 cent crust over some coarse cornmeal, and topped it with caramelized onion, fresh garlic, one pretty dried out tomato (sliced), olive oil, salt, pepper, and an enormous mound of chopped maitake. This was, I think, the perfect pizza. Better than Fornino, better than JJ's, better than pizzas made in the cob oven I helped build, better than potato pizza from Sullivan Street Bakery, better than truffle oil or pears or candied walnuts. Shockingly, amazingly perfect.

    Within an hour, I was on ebay looking at maitake inoculation plugs. How many ten minute meals cause a person to want to convert their basement into a forest of fungus?
Oh magic maitake, I think I love you. As much as I love pizza.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Deep Brown

I'm still working on black walnuts. With each windstorm, more fall from the trees, and after each storm ends, I go collecting. I always manage to stain my hands, because either I've forgotten my gloves, or they rip, or I can't be bothered to wear them. (It's a scandalous idea to think I can let my hands get farmer dirty, since I make my living by working in an office filled with people with very clean, very manicured hands. I've been hiding my hands the same way I did when I had inky hands in college: I was a printmaker by day, and a waitress by night.)Collecting walnuts in Beacon has turned into performance art, since people are so unused to seeing food harvested in an urban setting. While I was collecting nuts under a primo tree on Fishkill Ave. (and staining my hands), multiple cars pulled over to ask me what I was doing. I felt I should have a big sign explaining. "Walnut harvest in progress." Maybe I'll hang some "Pick Your Own Nuts (FREE)" signs on trees around town.

While collecting and peeling nuts, I've had plenty of time to meditate on all the potential uses for the husks: fountain pen ink, wood stain, fabric dye, temporary tattoo ink, goth lip gloss. Apparently, black walnut husk is a standard coloring agent in both hair dye and wood stain.With all this in mind, I'm going to focus on the nuts for now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bluebird Crocks

If you ferment veggies, or make miso, or keep a nuka bed, you know the value of good stoneware crocks. There are usually two sources: antique or junk stores, and hand-me-downs. I've scored one big one at a junk store, but most I've found have been out of my price range. My mom has several that she got from her mother, who lived in a farming community in North Dakota. I've made it clear to my mom that I've got my eye on her crocks, but for the time being they're being used as planters. With all old crocks, you need to be sure they hold liquid, that they don't contain lead, and that they aren't cracked or otherwise damaged. I ferment plenty of things in glass jars and plastic buckets (food grade, of course), but we all know that aesthetics are important in food prep and presentation. Working with beautiful, solid tools of the trade make work more pleasurable. Plus, the less plastic touching the food, the better!

Maybe I'm late to the game, but I was thrilled to learn that traditional stoneware crocks are available new. A company called Burley Clay makes them, and has been since 1933. Most crocks have a symbol stamped on the side, with a number indicating how many gallons they hold. (My oldie has an acorn with a six in it.) The new crocks have a bluebird, because, the story goes, this clay-rich area in Ohio is also cold. All the farmers and potters who settled there couldn't work the land in winter (or dig up clay), but each spring, the appearance of the bluebird let them know the land was unfrozen, and malleable. Thus, all pottery made in this area is known as bluebird pottery.

Not only are bluebird crocks available in a range of sizes, with no worry about lead or leaks, they're also cheap compared to those found in antique stores. If you live in the NYC area, bluebird crocks are available at The Brooklyn Kitchen.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Danger! Health Food!

I'd been hearing about kale chips a lot, but hadn't had them. I love kale, and potato chips, well, I have to talk myself out of salt 'n' vinegar potato chips every time I go into a grocery or gas station. To feed my yen, I thought I'd give these "healthy chips" a whirl.

Are they delicious? Yes. Do they make a satisfying crunch? Yes. Are they bad news for me? Yes.

They're so good that, if you're anything like me, and will keep eating potato chips way past the "small snack," past the "feeling a little bit sick," and just keep on eating, the same will happen with kale chips. There may be added nutrients in there (especially if you've made them in the dehydrator), but it's too much oil and too much salt and too much crunchy finger food and just too much for the good ol' fashioned chip addict.

If you dare, here's cheezy, baked, vinegar, and dehydrated.

I'll stick with steamed kale, thank you very much.

Thanks to yumsugar for the photo.

Eating the Rainbow

For dinner last night, I had purple broccoli from Huguenot Street Farm. It was my first dalliance with purple broccoli, and it tasted amazing. I love food that is richly colored enough to turn the steaming water black!

Thanks to Tiny Farm Blog for the photo.


Speaking of lemons being a key ingredient in my food, and not being a locally grown item, I like the thought (put forth by a food blogger that I can no longer locate) that, in the northeast, rhubarb is our lemon. It's true, it's mostly tart, with some underlying sweet, and can be used to give food the edge that we generally depend on lemons to provide. I've pickled a pretty pink vat of rhubarb, and look forward to experimenting with it this winter. Do you have any (vegetarian) recipes to share where rhubarb isn't a main ingredient (as in pie or preserves) but is used for its tang?


We've been a little lax about crediting other sites for their images. I like to share information as much as possible, so feel free to use info and images from this site (many of which are our originals), anytime or anywhere. I do understand intellectual property as a concept. No inventor of something good should die in poverty while, say, a pharmaceutical company gets rich on that that same idea. Most of us are a little more common that that, neither entirely original, or making a mint on a vision. For that reason, we've freewheeled in the image-rich community of the web. If we've used one of your images and haven't credited you properly, please contact us at wintergreenscsa at gmail dot com, and we'll happily correct the error.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pear Honey

First things first: pear honey has no honey in it. It is named for its color and consistency. I'm not going to give you measures, because every recipe varies, and the key is really just to cook the mix down until the consistency is right. You'll need:
  • Peeled and cored ripe pears, run through the food processor to a chunky slush. (I use a pull peeler for pears, and it's very easy. I struggled with a straight handled peeler for years, and found a nice sharp pull peeler to be great for many things: watermelon rind, squashes, anything firm.)
  • Sugar
  • Pineapple juice, or fresh pineapple, crushed, or even frozen concentrated pineapple juice.
  • Lemon
Put the pears in a heavy bottomed pan with an enormous amount of sugar, over medium heat. Most recipes call for pretty much equal parts pears to sugar, but if you want to put in less sugar, I don't blame you. Squeeze lemon into the mix, and add some zest, too, if you like. While we're talking tools, a citrus reamer is by far the most straightforward way to get the most juice out of your citrus. And who doesn't love good old wooden hand tools? Add just enough pineapple to give the mix additional liquid and tang, probably in a 1/6 ration to the pear and sugar amounts. When the mixture starts to bubble, turn it down to a simmer and stir often. The more you've made, the longer it will take to thicken.While we're waiting for our mixture to thicken, let's talk about the blatant use of very non-local ingredients. Here's my take on this: pretty much everyone uses some stuff that's traveled far and wide. I say, pick your battles. Eat as much local food as you can, eat less and less meat, drive less, turn down the heat in your house, collect rainwater, don't be a super consumer. And then any guilt you might feel over using lemons doesn't feel like much. Me, I couldn't really operate without lemons and limes. Should I probably live in a warmer climate, where lemons and pomegranates and figs and nopal and avocados grow? Yes. But I don't. And pineapples are from even further away! Here's a secret: I often buy pineapple juice concentrate to use in my recipes. It tastes pretty great used to sweeten curries. Hopefully those little cans take less fuel to ship from around the world. I'm ok with these guilty pleasures, because they're helping me use up a tree full of ripe pears from right here in the Hudson Valley. (If pressed, I'm sure a version of this recipe would work just fine with no traces of pineapple.)
Wow, this is turning into a confessional. Sorry, but here's another: I had no interest in canning. When you're super into the aliveness of fermentation, canning seems like a bit of a bummer, since everything has to be heated to death. But pear honey (remember to stir, now!) is changing my attitude. After all, freezer space is tight, and canning has turned out to be so extremely easy. There is an appeal to having all those pretty jars lined up in the root cellar. Proper processing calls for boiling the jars in water for 10 minutes, then cooling upside down. Is your pear honey thick yet? If yes, I found that pouring it into the jars when still boiling hot, sealing them tight, and inverting them, is plenty to create a strong vacuum seal. If you're worried, or if the lids don't get super stiff, put them in the bath.

These jars will last for at least a year, and the pear honey can be used as a straight sweetener, instead of marmalade, or as an ingredient. The pear flavor is delicious. And if you're like me, your canning craze will have begun.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Sickly Green

We won't be at the market tomorrow, Saturday, October 10th, due to illness. Our apologies go out to our regulars, but, it seems like a bad idea to prepare food for others when ill, right?

We'll miss you, but see you next week, bright, shiny, and not sneezing in your supper.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Monday, October 5, 2009

Frozen Grapes

I didn't know about concord grapes for a loooong time. To me, grapes were green or red (no black!), and a world away from Welch's, which, though it claimed to be juice, couldn't possibly have been.

Concord grapes have been, for me, something from the east coast, something I've only experienced in adulthood, and something that I still, each year, can't really believe. Their intensity and sweetness is almost too much for me, making my tongue twist.

That's why concord grape sorbet sounds perfect—a concord grape with it's edge cut by cold. Much the way Welch's only tasted right over crushed ice. I link to the Gourmet version of the recipe because the news of the magazine's demise was just released today. However, on Epicurious, in the comments, there are two perks. 1) Using agave instead of sugar. 2) If you don't have an ice cream maker, and, like me, the one you borrowed reeks of old milk and you return it without ever using it, you can freeze the grape mixture and then run it through a food processor to get a good consistency.

Pickle Popsicle

I bumped into this funny item on the internets this morning. Maybe wintergreens should team up with Zora Dora?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pickle Upper

Meet Eva. She had never had a pickle in her (nearly) eighteen years.* All that changed two weeks ago.

Eva looked sleepy, and I offered her a fermented garlic dill pickle, thinking she could use a vitamin C kick. She explained the lack of pickles in her life thus far, and was tentative with her first few bites. The report was good: it tasted great to her, and unlike anything she'd had before. That pickle started something.

Today, Eva explained that the past couple of weeks have been filled with cravings for things she never had or liked before: olives, dark chocolate, and pickles.** You might call it a tastebud revolution. She wants a version of the wintergreens C.S.A. that is pickles only, every week, all winter long.

Not a terrible idea, Eva. Not bad at all.***

*I had word with her father about this tastebud terrorism.
**Eva's father had a word with her about whether she might be pregnant.
***This would be the easiest C.S.A. on the planet to run, no?

P.S. Meet beekeeper Mike. He thought these particular half sours in this particular jar were too beautiful to eat. I took this picture so that he could look at them forever, and still get to eat them.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sniffing Out Fall

It makes sense to associate autumn with harvest, and a ginormous amount of delicious food (squashes! brussels! fennel!). Fall gives us a feast of other sensory enjoyments too: leaves scuttling past while you wrap your scarf over your nose, getting out your favorite scratchy red sweater, talkative flocks of crows, incredible color changes in trees.

The smells are making themselves known to me in past days:
  • The smell of pine that sticks to you after you've brushed past a tree.
  • The incredible earthiness of black walnuts while you're peeling the fruit off the shells.
  • The inside of pumpkins when you're scraping out the seeds.
  • Hot apple or pear cider.
  • Wood fires.
  • Burying your nose in a glass of whiskey. (I finally tried Tuthilltown from Gardiner, where I learned all their ingredients come from within nine miles of the distillery!)
  • Fresh baked bread.
  • Coming home to a warm crock pot of beans.
  • The soil under a pile of rotting leaves.
  • Printmaking ink.
  • Towel-dried dogs.
  • Thyme.
Go have a snuffle of the season for yourself.