10/08/15 — Farm
Hot Pepper Scones by Miranda Tucker
The recipe is based on the Jalapeno Scones in Leanne Brown's Good and Cheap cookbook (a great resource by the way!), but I made a few small changes (mostly adding way more peppers and subbing in some cornmeal - I think it adds nice texture and flavor.).
- 1/2 c butter (1 stick) - leave in freezer for at least 30 minutes
- 1.5 c whole wheat flour
- 1 c cornmeal
- 1 T baking powder
- 1 t salt
- 4 oz. sharp cheddar, diced (monterey jack, asadero, manchego, and colby work as well - I think nearly any cheese would.)
- 3-6 peppers, diced (any type works here - whatever's in the CSA, fresh or roasted! I remove the seeds but leave the membranes for a bit of heat, but prepare according to your preferred level of spicy.)
- 1/2 cup half and half (milk would work just as well)
- 3 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and 1 t salt.
- Use a cheese grater to grate the butter into the dry ingredients, then mix. (I use my hands.) You want to still have roughly pea-size clumps of butter in the mix. (Don't stress though; this recipe is pretty forgiving. I haven't had a bad batch yet!)
- Mix in the diced peppers and cheese.
- I get a little fancy with the eggs. If you want to keep it simple, just beat two eggs for the batter and save one egg for the eggwash at the end; skip to #5. What I do: Separate out two of the egg yolks, reserving the whites for the eggwash at the end. Beat the two egg yolks together with the third egg.
- Mix your eggs for the dough and 1/2 cup half and half into the batter with your hands. Don't worry if it's a little shaggy; that's fine.
- Dust a clean counter top or cutting board with flour. Plop your dough onto that and use your hands to press it into a circle about 1.5 inches thick. Cut your dough into 6 pieces like a small pizza.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put your scones on the baking sheet.
- Beat the egg (or egg whites) you reserved for your eggwash thoroughly. Brush onto scones. (A pastry brush would probably help here. I've just been using my hands!) Sprinkle scones with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake scones at 400 F for 25 minutes.
This recipe is really easy, and it goes great with nearly anything. In a pinch, one of these isn't a bad on-the-go breakfast even by itself. The pile of greens on the side are collards that I cooked to go with the scones. The greens themselves were good, and dipping the scones in the "juice" from the greens was DELICIOUS. I'm probably going to make the same thing again next week with the braising mix that's coming in next week's CSA.
Thanks for everything y'all do - I love the CSA!
10/06/15 — Farm
By Megan Winfrey
I'm mixing it up this week, ya'll. Instead of a recipe, I'm going to share my maiden voyage into plant dyeing. Natural dyeing has really fascinated me lately, mostly in part to the rad lady behind Folk Fibers, (www.folkfibers.com) who I started following on Instagram earlier this year. [editor's note: Maura from Folk Fibers used to manage our greenhouse here at JBG! She also used the originial backyard garden as an indigo plot in 2012.] She dyes the natural fabrics for her gorgeous quilts using plant, seed, and insect matter, and she yields the most vibrant array of colors you can imagine. Now, me? I smear beets over my lips every time I eat them and one time, I haphazardly threw my baby's white onesie into the beet water hoping it would turn an earthy magenta. Well, every ounce of color washed out immediately and then I knew, I had to do a little research and try again.
After googling around, I found out that a pre-bath in a vinegar/water mixture was necessary to set the dye, and to only use twice as much water as plant matter.
Well, my family has to eat, so I didn't have much plant matter left over to work with after planning the week's meals. I used probably 2 cups worth for each dye bath. Next time, I will save plant scraps for a few weeks and make a much more potent dye.
- The first dye consisted of a bunch of papalo and the stems of a bunch of chard.
- The second dye was the fresh skins of 2 purple eggplants. The third dye was a bunch of beets and their greens. The first step was to gather the pieces I wanted to dye (some onesies and cotton rags) and put them into a large pot with a 4 to 1 ratio of water to distilled vinegar. Then, I prepared the plant matter. For each dye, I chopped all of the plant and vegetable matter into small chunks, added twice as much water as plant matter.
- At this point, I have 4 pots going. One for fixing the pieces I wanted to dye and three different dye pots - perfect for a 4 burner stove.
- I brought each pot to a boil, then lowered to a simmer for one hour.
- Once everything had simmered for an hour, I strained the dyes back into their pots, squeezed the excess liquid out of the onesies and rags, and divided them evenly among the dyes. I let everything sit overnight, hoping to achieve a deeper color
I hope y'all enjoy your own adventures in vegetable dyeing, and I'd love to hear how it turns out!
10/05/15 — Scott
Eggplant , Black
Pepper, Sweet Medley
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Kale, Curly
Pepper, Sweet Medley
Eggplant , Black
Turnip, White Japanese
Eggplant , Black
Greens, Kale, Curly
10/02/15 — Farm
From the Farmer's Perspective: Light at the End of the TunnelJust like that, October is here! September was a wild month on the farm and time definitely flew. Fall is one of our two peak season for vegetable growing in central Texas, and because of this, we've just completed what might be the busiest month we'll have all year making sure our fields are full for this bountiful season. I know I say it all the time, but I'm always so amazed and grateful for our hard-working teams here at the farm who are working tirelessly to feed our Texas community. I am finally feeling like the mad rush of Fall planting is slowing down just a little bit, and so we are turning our attention to some new projects.
I want to thank all of the smiling and dedicated volunteers who came out during the month of September to help our greenhouse staff with their astronomical load. If you remember, last year we built out 5 new greenhouses at our Garfield farm in order to meet our growing needs for organic vegetable starts. These greenhouses are now full to bursting - Brandon and Adrienne, alongside our volunteers, have been seeding 7 days a week for the last month and their work has really paid off. Just this week we planted out over 10,000 red cabbage transplants - our transplanting crew has also been working nonstop! We were happy to see so many community members come out for our weekend volunteer days during the month of September, and we hope to offer this opportunity again in the future (we need volunteers for our fall Potluck - more details below!).
As the fields finally fill up and the weather starts to cool down, it's almost time to celebrate the season at our Fall Harvest Hustle and Potluck on October 24th! The entire staff at JBG has been putting a lot of energy towards making this the best event yet. Haven't decided whether or not you'll make it? Let me tell you why this is an event you won't want to miss. First, this is the best opportunity to see where you food is grown and the best season to see it, plus we've got a few great options for doing so! Rogue Running is sponsoring our Harvest Hustle 5k, a scenic and active farm-tour at our beautiful Garfield farm along the Colorado River. We also have a 1-mile Kid's Fun Run which is sure to be a blast. This fall, we're bringing back the community Potluck, which is always a great showcase of our community's incredible cooking skills and definitely not to be missed. This week we confirmed our bands as well - you'll be dining and dancing to the tunes of local talent Carson McHone, the Bottom Dollar String Band, and The Parish Festival!
If you've ever thrown a party before, you know it's always easier to plan with a head count - we hope you'll RSVP by getting your Hoedown ticket today!
We're also seeking volunteers to help make this the best Hoedown yet. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot - we'll say thanks with a free event ticket and awesome volunteer t-shirt!
I have one other project I wanted to tell you about this week - JBG's first ever Farm-to-Gym program! Austin has such an incredible health and fitness community, and through Farm-to-Gym we're excited to partner with studios around town to make your local, organic veggie pickups even easier! JBG is offering some great promotions to our Farm-to-Gym partners that we hope you'll take advantage of - and we're not just biased to gyms either. We think that local, organic food is great for yogis, dancers, karate students, bikers, and Cross-Fitters too. Want to see if your gym is participating, or interested in becoming a partner? Email email@example.com for more information.
As you can see, there's been no shortage of work at JBG this week. As things start to slow down just a little, and we see the light at the end of the tunnel of fall field preparations, I'm looking forward to even more new projects this fall. Our shade structure should be completed soon, so keep your eyes peeled for more nursery stock from JBG this spring - we loved growing figs, grapes, and pomegranates last year, both for our farm and for your gardens as well. What would you like to see us grow next year? Olive trees? Peaches? We'd love it if you would let us know in the comments.
For more of the farmer’s perspective, follow Brenton on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @farmerbrenton.
10/02/15 — Farm
September was a great month at JBG, both on and off the farm. We have a lot to celebrate within our little staff community, and a few other fun favorites to share with you this month.
We have THREE engagements to celebrate this month at the farm, ONE wedding, and TWO new babies!!! A HUGE congratulations to:
- Our very own farmer Montana and his lovely Michelle.
- Jack-of-all-trades Kelby and Kristal - they're tying the knot in November!
- Kate and Alexander - we wish your names were also an alliteration, but we'll forgive you. These two are planning a motorcycle trip across the Americas right now!
- Amy and Dany had the most beautiful wedding in New York this month.
- Fawn and family welcomed baby Flynt into the world in September!!
- Head Grower Temo is also a proud new father, and we couldn't be happier for his family.
- The Trans-Pecos Pipeline could be threatening the pristine Big Bend region of West Texas. We hope you'll add your voice to the conversation about this project.
- The new release from the Wood Brothers has been a favorite at Hergotz this month.
- Check out The Secret Ingredient on iTunes - KUT's newest podcast all about food!
- Learn more about food waste and how you can help - Just Eat It
- We just love Laura Miller's Instagram. No other words needed.
- Farm photographer Scott is currently taking a survivalist course at Earth Native, and an herbalism course with Ginger Webb. Cheers to continued learning!
10/02/15 — Farm
09/29/15 — Farm
Wondering what to do with allllll of that okra that just keeps showing up in your CSA box? We're coming atcha with the best gumbo EVER this week!
This week, I took on a challenge that I've been shying away from for a few years. Gumbo, y'all. I have several friends that hail from Louisiana and they are all fabulous cooks - so I can confidently say that I've had some of the best gumbo out there. Now making it myself, not so confident about that one. But what better way to test yourself than in front of an audience, right? So here it is, my first attempt at gumbo, and I gotta say it was pretty damn good.
I used this recipe from the June 2012 issue of Smithsonian. It was the first link that came up when I googled "BEST GUMBO EVER"
- I modified it to better fit my time and budget. Here's how and why:
- I didn't use crab, too expensive
- I used headless shrimp, Whole Foods didn't have them with the heads on
- I used spicy pork sausage instead of Creole hot sausage, couldn't find it
- I served it over cornbread instead of rice, because I already had cornbread, and because yum
I was most nervous about making the roux because I've never made one before and I've heard time and time again that it is the most important part of a good gumbo and it has to be PERFECT. Turns out, as long as you keep stirring, a roux will appear. Just as I was thinking that it was the perfect color, I began to really smell the flour cooking and took it off the heat. The milk chocolate-y color along with the nutty flour smell were strong indicators that the roux was done. Look out for those and you will be fine.
Now that I've made gumbo, I really don't know what I was so afraid of. When you think about it, it's a simple dish comprised of well-known ingredients. But my, oh my, when everything comes together over a hot stove in a kitchen full of love, it's slap-yo-mama-good. So 'tis the season for comfort food, family, and finding that classic recipe that will become your signature.