Beef Stew

This was made with canned and frozen ingredients that I had on hand. It had a chunkier consistency than the beef over potatoes and veggies did.

Beef Stew

This included beets along with the beef.

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Ingredients
  

  • Enough water to cover the bottom of the crockpot
  • 1 qt. canned beef 1-2 lb. of cooked beef (stew meat) would also work.
  • 1 qt. canned beans, drained
  • 1 qt. canned beets, drained
  • 2 cups celery 2 cups combined of celery, onion, and/or garlic would also work.
  • 1 qt. pumpkin or squash puree

Instructions
 

  • Put enough water in to cover the bottom of the crockpot. Mix beef, beans, beets and celery in crockpot. Add squash puree until it is spread throughout.
  • Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Let sit with lid off for 5-10 minutes to cool. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

Frozen veggies and beef, thawed, could be used instead of canned ones.
The squash puree sweetens the dish.

Chicken and Edamame

This is a simple meal, using ingredients I had on hand.

Chicken and Edamame

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole chicken, thawed
  • 1 qt. edamame, thawed
  • Water to cover bottom of the crockpot

Instructions
 

  • Put thawed chicken breast side down in crockpot. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the crockpot. Sprinkle edamame still in the pods over the chicken.
  • Cover the crockpot. Cook on low for 8-9 hours.
  • Remove chicken from crockpot. It may want to fall apart, so be careful and don't get burned. Cut chicken up into serving pieces.
  • Serve edamame alongside.

Notes

We added a carrot raisin salad (raisins and shredded carrots mixed with mayonnaise) and lettuce salad to complete this meal.

Beef Steaks over Potatoes and Veggies

This crockpot meal cooks a long time. The meat on the top sheds its fat and flavor through the whole dish. At the end you cut up the meat and stir all of it together resulting in a thick stew.

Beef Steaks over Potatoes and Veggies

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Ingredients
  

  • 8 medium potatoes, halved and sliced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, sliced and quartered Any squash, pumpkin, or sweet potato would work.
  • Enough water to cover the bottom of the crockpot
  • 2 cups stalks celery, chopped A total of 2 cups of celery, onion, and/or garlic would work.
  • 1 quart frozen Swiss chard, thawed 1.5 lb. of a cooked green would work.
  • 2 beef steaks, thawed Any pork or beef steak would work.

Instructions
 

  • Thaw meat; prep veggies.
  • Layer 1/2 potatoes, 1/2 the squash, 1/2 the potatoes, 1/2 the squash in the crockpot. Add enough water to just cover the bottom of the crockpot.
  • Cover the squash with the celery. Cover the celery with the Swiss chard.
  • Put the steaks on the top of the chard. The crockpot will be full. Make sure the lid is down all the way on the crockpot.
  • Cook for 8-9 hours on low. Turn off, take off lid and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  • Cut up the steaks, add back to the crockpot. Stir the stew until the meat and other ingredients are spread throughout.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

This was made with a 5-6 quart crockpot for 9 people. For a smaller crockpot and smaller crowd, use less of each ingredient.

Duck over Apples

This is a recipe that I have used at Thanksgiving for several years. Duck is a meat that I will purchase as we haven’t raised or processed any ducks yet.

Duck over Apples

This makes a sweet duck with nice leftover broth for cooking rice or rice pilaf in.

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 duck, whole, thawed
  • 4-6 apples, cored; similar height
  • Water to cover bottom of crockpot

Instructions
 

  • Thaw duck; remove giblets and any sauce packs.
  • Core apples. Place in lightly greased crockpot. You want enough that the duck can rest on top of them. Add just enough water to cover bottom of crockpot.
  • Place duck breast side down on top of apples. Cover crockpot. Set to low heat for 7-9 hours.
  • Remove duck from crockpot, and allow to cool some. Remove meat from carcass and eat. Put broth over rice OR save to cook with rice later.

Crockpot meals

Recently I was given a freshly painted kitchen with a new vinyl floor. The trade off was that for about 1 week I wouldn’t have the use of my stove. So we used the crockpot for some meals. Here are the recipes that we used:

For sides we had lettuce salads and carrot raisin salad. All in all it worked well. And I am thankful for the refreshed kitchen and the use of my stove.

Here’s to a Normal Year!

Here are some of the normal things that happened this past year:

Lots of normal living! May you see the normal living going on at your place this 2021. Wishing you strength and health, peace and joy, and more vegetable plants and less masks!

The Passing of a Friend and Fellow Farmer

I met Jim Brownson 10 or 11 years ago when we first started coming to the Eastside Neighborhood Farmers Market at Westcott Community Center. We were on the Westcott St. side of the Community Center in those days. He and his wife, Debbie, and his sister, Donna, had the stall closest to Euclid St. Lots of people came and purchased food from them. Sometimes the Brownsons would bring their children or grandchildren with them. Two children were married at that point. The next 10 years would see all of the children marry and many grandchildren be born. And all of these came by the market at some time or another.

The year before I started at the market Jim had a serious heart attack (perhaps several heart attacks) that left him with greatly reduced heart function. In time he received a pacemaker with built-in defibrillator. He was still one solid, sturdy man. He worked day in and day out, planting, using the tractor, harvesting, weeding, doing whatever the next thing was to do. In the spring it was starting the seedlings and plants. Next it was getting them in the ground. Then weeding and spraying as needed. Finally harvesting. Water for irrigation got pumped from the creek or the fire hydrant depending on the year. Squash, pumpkins, corn were planted every year. He regularly did the Westcott Market and the Cazenovia market. Some years also saw him at Chittenango and Bridgeport markets. Over the winter he cut firewood. One year he put in a high tunnel to extend his season. (He was always after me to cover my high tunnel. He was surprised at how much a difference it had made for him in farm production.) He repaired engines for himself and others. He helped his children with their projects. He was one busy man.

But he has slowed down over the past several years. First his wife, Debbie, slowed down with health issues. The family pitched in, helping her and Jim and caring for her at home. After her passing, Jim figured out how to live without the love of his life. He did it. Then he slowed down with his own health issues. His grandson, Dylan, and sister, Donna came to the market with him. The 3 of them made a good team. And this summer Jim slowed down even more. But just like with Debbie, his family cared for him at home.

I went to see Jim about 2 weeks ago. He said hi and then dozed as some of the girls and I visited. When I said that I was leaving, he opened his eyes, smiled big, and said, Keep the faith! I said, You, too! And we grinned and I gave him a thumbs up.

I miss Jim at the market. I miss his taking care of whatever negotiations needed to be done with market managers. I miss being able to ask his advice or hear his suggestions. I miss listening to his stories of other markets and other years. I miss visiting with him. Jim, be at peace!

Jim and Deb Brownson

https://www.traubfh.com/obituary/James-Brownson Pictures used by permission of the family.

Turkeys for Preorder for Thanksgiving

The turkeys continue to grow. They are in a moveable fence getting fresh grass, supplemented with organic locally grown grains (Gianforte Farm). They pip and squeak to each other and us when we are around.

At night we put them in this moveable cage. It has roosts for them to roost and sleep on. Chicken wire covers most of the outside to protect them from local predators.

We are taking preorders for Thanksgiving. The birds are $5.00/lb. We will process them Saturday, November 21 and they will be ready for pick up that afternoon. They can be refrigerated until Thanksgiving. We anticipate that they will be between 10 and 25 lb. We request $20 deposit. We take cash, check or can send an invoice that you can pay with card.

Because we have not raised turkeys much before, we do request that you have a Thanksgiving Day backup plan, so that if 11/21 comes and the birds are too small to eat or if a predator should get them before we process them, you still have a way to get a turkey for Thanksgiving. (In this event, we would refund your deposit.) With 5-6 weeks to go, I think we have a good chance of success. But please have a back up plan!

Pumpkin Season

Pumpkins are ready! All of them can be decorative. They are also all edible.

These are the small ones ($.50 or $1.00 each)

And these are the pie pumpkins:

Both pie pumpkin varieties have similar flesh. Both can be stored in a 50-60F location after being given a vinegar solution wash. Usually we wash them with water and then wash them with vinegar, let them dry, and then store them in the basement. We have had pumpkins last well into April or May. Spherical ones last a bit longer than the long ones do. When we are ready to use them for a custard or as part of soup, we process them. For those directions, tap here.