Sunday, October 14

New this week:
Breakfast Radishes, Salad Turnips, Arugula, Turnip Greens, Butternut Squash   

Shrimp(!!!), Dealer's Choice Roasts, Bratwurst

Last week for: 
Eggplant, all Peppers, and probably tomatoes

Shrimp, Shrimp, Shrimp! Andre of Faul Riverside Family Farm (where the chicken has been coming from) has been raising shrimp. Pretty wild--as in "unusual"--but exciting to be able to offer local shrimp in a land-locked state! One pound is about 20 shrimp, and they are whole, with the heads on. We have limited the ordering to two pounds per household, but have a second option for anyone who would like more! If you want more than two pounds, there will be an additional charge of $14/lb.

Eggs! While Pink Elephant Farm has been supplying all the eggs, our layers have moved beyond peak production and are slowing down. (Commercial layers live one year, Animal Welfare requires a minimum of 1 1/2 years, and our girls are going on 3 years old!) Andre of Faul Riverside Family Farms has lovely hens and will be transitioning his ladies this month to our same wonderful Organic corn & soy-free feed! We will distribute our eggs as we are able and will supplement with his eggs starting this week. We're excited to be able to enjoy his eggs through the winter until we at Pink Elephant have a new flock of hens in the spring. 

Bacon will be back for the next order! 

"Dealer's Choice" means we will choose from the selection of roasts that are available. Right now, we're selecting from tri tip and top round roasts.    

And remember, the new "Any Available Extra" column in the veggies tells us that if we have extra, send it to you! If we don't have any extra, we'll simply send the maximum ordered. Obviously, we can't always fulfill this request, but please don't let that stop you from asking!

Finally, here is this week's order form

+ Delivery for this order is WEDNESDAY. Expect us sometime between 4-7pm. 

+ Please complete this order by MONDAY night so we can harvest on Tuesday. 

+ Remember, you are ordering for two weeks. 

+ And please remember to set out a couple coolers so everything can stay crisp until you get home.  

+ Fruit and Veg storage tips and refrigerator organization

Pictured above: Bread and butter. We have been experimenting with butter-making at Pink Elephant, and have been using a beautiful butter mold with a cow in it. And we keep hearing from you that you want butter! While we'd love to do this at some point, we still need to refine the final product a bit more, plus explore a set up to produce it in larger quantities. BUT, we have been working on it! Still, with the abundant cream on the milk these days, at least one member has made their own butter, which we loved to see! I'm sure you've heard of the "shaking method" for making butter. But here's a link if you want to try at home with the cream from the milk. :)  
--Farm Update-- 

Corn Harvest Party
Sunday, Oct 21st, 2 pm

The corn is ready! We'd love to invite anyone and everyone out to Pink Elephant Farm for a corn harvest party. We're imagining picking the corn (by hand), preparing it for further drying, and finally sharing a meal (soup with corn bread from last years corn). If you'd like to join us, send us a quick email letting us know. If it's raining, we will reschedule, but it looks like we'll have a nice sunny day! Maybe a bit on the cold side, so dress appropriately with closed-toe shoes. 

As a reminder, Andre from Faul Riverside Farm, our poultry farmer who has been supplying those beautiful whole chickens, is raising a batch of Turkeys for you all for Thanksgiving! We will include whole turkeys for the Thanksgiving order period.
All About Bread

We have thoroughly enjoyed the LouisMill Sourdough bread! They do an overnight fermentation and bake in a wood fired oven--done this way, flour, water, and some salt, is transformed into bread, you know, real bread. I for one find myself hardly able to stop eating it once I start. That's how I know it's good, and nourishing. 

I used to bake bread in Nashville in my own backyard wood-fired oven, and I was quite into baking. One thing I love about bread is that it has a rhythm, or routine, to its use.  

Historically, the village might have one oven. The people of the village would bring their dough to this central oven, which was usually just fired once a week. So, by necessity the peasant villagers would need to make their bread last until the time the oven was fired again. In this way, a natural life cycle of the loaf developed, from fresh loaf right from the oven all the way to crouton. 

[For a beautiful image of this story, please check out Michael Pollan's "Cooked" Series on Netflix! There's an entire episode on the beauty of bread.]

So here are some tips and ideas of how to handle your bread throughout the week. As the freshness declines there is, of course, a sadness, but there are also a number of delicious and nourishing ways we can use the declining loaf.

It's obvious, but the first use is fresh eating. It's what we all think of. That still warm, crackling crust, and almost effervescent aroma. It's at this stage I like to tear the bread rather than cut it. It's this that you eat walking down a lazy street. The addition of some soft butter is one of life's great and simple pleasures. Enjoy it. 

By day two and three the bread is changing. The crust might be a bit lack luster by now, loosing it's crispness and romance. The honeymoon is over, and the real work begins. At this still early stage of the loaf, it doesn't take much to revive it's glory--drizzled with some olive oil before a light toasting under the broiler is all you need. Then it can be topped with any number of things: butter with thinly sliced radishes (a personal favorite), an egg (maybe with some sautéed greens), avocado if you're into being fashionable, or simply let your toast adorn the side of your soup bowl.    

By day four and five, its likely a bit dryer, a bit harder, and maybe even fighting back against the serrated knife. This is when it's ideal to start re-hydrating the bread: think Sourdough French Toast, bread salads, or even bread soups. Here's a great recipe and article about bread soups and a little of their history. Or, instead, of re-hydrating it can be intentionally and further dried into croutons. Croutons can obviously top a green salad, but can also be a more major component of the dish. Check out Josh McFadden's Torn Crouton Salad.   

Come day six and seven, if there is anything left of your loaf at this point, the last and final thing to do with what is by now tooth-chipping, rock solid nub is to make breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbs, stored in the pantry, become a go-to addition to any dish that needs a crunch--pastas, casseroles, or after short trip in the food processor, breading for delicious fried things. 

As a final note, while some people prefer a plastic bag, you can simply store your bread in the paper bag on the counter. It shouldn't mold or anything like that. It's just naturally and slowly drying out, which is exactly what you want it to do. 

If there's a loaf you want to save for later, pop it in the plastic bag and put it in the freezer. Then let it thaw completely before re-crisping the crust in the oven--about 375 for 10-15 minutes (some tricks are to wrap it in foil or brush some water over the crust...I usually don't bother with either).  
Follow us on Instagram for more farm photos!
Your Valley Spirit Farmers! 
Caleb, Kelly, Judah & Rebekah Fiechter on the left. Joseph, Abbie, Ruth and Angus Monroe on the right.
And from Pink Elephant Farm & Kitchen, Jenny Vaughn and Justin Owings.
As a reminder, this is all new to all of us. Please feel free to reach out at any time with any and all questions or concerns. We want this to be a highly positive experience for all of us, and a big part of ensuring this is keeping the communication and feedback lines always open. Let us know what's going on--what you liked, what you cooked, how veggies are storing and holding up for you, etc.. 
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