Apples from Cooks Valley Farm
Braising mix of arugula, mizuna, and mustard
Shiitake mushrooms for PVD, Quincy, JP
Carrots & Parsnips for Revere
We harvested some male ducks, quails and roosters for personal consumption. For the first time in my life I actually cooked duck, arguably my favorite land meat. I was always perplexed (and angry) that I could never find any uncooked duck sold anywhere. Google tells me that duck is difficult to cook and that’s why it’s never sold as uncooked meat.
It was so easy to cook! And it was so delicious. I followed a recipe for making the Chinese BBQ Peking duck, which did require a 2-day marinade. The skin could have been a bit more crispy, but the taste and its moisture were on point. The quails were brined for 6 hours to plump and moisten them up, marinated for 2 hours in oyster sauce, charred on a grill, and then roasted in a covered pan with water in the oven. Then we had all this valuable duck fat left over. So I battered some boiled quail eggs and deep-fried them in the duck fat. Hey, why not? Then made some papaya salad and sticky rice to go with it. Amazing!
The biggest first for me, though, was less that I finally cooked my favorite meal, but that when we blessed the food, I really meant it. And when I ate the meat I didn’t feel bad, only extremely grateful to be so deeply connected to this natural and important human connection to our land and our food.
I started working on these babies in the Winter of 2014 when I cut down young Oak trees, and sawed them into lengths of three feet. In the Spring, I soaked them in water, drilled thousands of holes, and pounded in wooden plugs that contained the Shiitake spawn.
The last step was to seal the holes with wax, and then wait… a year or two. Finally they started popping up this Fall but not enough to give everyone fresh mushrooms at the same time. So these babies are dried – and ready for you to rehydrate them! Store bought mushrooms are produced indoors using plastic bags of sterilized saw dust, grain or straw. Lighting, ventilation, and a humidifier keep conditions right to encourage the fungi’s growth. My shiitakes were produced the old school, natural way, on untreated oak logs and their growth only dependent on the rain and the sun.
Re-hydrating Shiitake mushroom, tips from Viet World Kitchen
Best way: plop in room temperature water for 8-hours, or over night. Express way: cut your shiitake in half and immerse them in hot water until soft and plump. Reconstituted shiitakes can be put in a zip-locked bag in the refrigerator and last for several days.
Stir-fried Red Cabbage, Tofu, and Butternut Squash from the NY Times
Ginger Shiitake and Roasted Butternut by Christopher Clark
Pan-roasted Carrots and Parsnips from the Salted Kitchen
Parsnip & Carrot Latkes by Food.com
Below are a few pictures of what our members have been doing with their spicy microgreens.