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If it gives you comfort it’s good. But comfort food does not have to be bad for you! I am trying to create comforting foods to get us through the winter here at Hattie’s Garden. So yesterday I took a fresh look at what I had socked away from all the wonderful sustainable farms in the area and had a great time cooking while keeping an eye out for customers.
Pure magic began to come out of the kitchen. Yes, now is the time to rise against what can become a mediocre diet in winter! Here are just a couple ideas to get you going.
Beet Hummus and Other Creative Vegetables
I took my simple delicious hummus recipe with chicken peas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and roasted a good pound of Chesapeake Organic beets. I’ll just say, it is a wonderful thing. The beets add a nice sweetness and a wonderful color. You can serve this up without saying a word and let the questions begin, along with the oohs and aahs! (I think it best to roast those beets in foil to maintain their moisture.)
As I looked down the list of our available foodstuff this morning, I realized what a wealth of choices we still have! I mean, how many of us have actually tried rutabagas? They are so wonderful with their delicate sweetness and slight peppery finish. Rutabagas have a light flavor that reminds many people of fresh cabbage and turnips. They’re also a good source of healthy beta carotene.
Recipes for potatoes, turnips, parsnips, and carrots can usually be exchanged for rutabaga. Rutabagas can be roasted, sautéed, baked, fried, boiled, mashed, and added to soups and stews. They also can be eaten raw as a snack or grated into salads or coleslaw. A mix of mashed rutabagas, potatoes, onions, and carrots, seasoned with butter and salt, is a hearty, delicious, warming dish.
And Chesapeake Organic rutabagas are smaller and sweet, not large and tasteless like the ones we can buy in the store. They can be peeled, boiled, mashed and eaten as they are, mixed with potatoes, or roasted with other root vegetables or alone.
What about cabbage? For starters, cabbage isn’t just about coleslaw. It really is an unsung hero of the winter garden. Winter cabbage, cooked in various ways, is my comfort food vegetable of the winter.
Cut it in strips, place in a baking dish with broth (vegetable or animal), seasoning, some butter and/or olive oil and place in the oven covered. Do a version on top of the stove if you prefer, but saute a bit before adding your broth. Mix this up by adding root vegetables — onions, carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, etc.
And of course, there’s the ultimate winter comfort food: stuffed cabbage — a hearty meal full of vegetables, whole grains and some kind of protein such as Bohemia Lea ground beef.
Chesapeake Organic cabbage is available in three varieties: green, red and napa, and is still sitting in the field, waiting to be harvested freshly for you every week and just as sweet and delicious as it can be. (That dried out stuff in the store was harvested weeks ago).
As I proceeded down the list, I paused at our meat selections. Hot dogs caught my eye! A really guiltless, chemical free, hot dog — all beef, but from beef grown on real pasture, on a real farm.
Be sure to place them in the freezer and break them off as you need them as they will only keep a week or so once you thaw them … they are the real deal.
And, they are great with a bit of Deep Grass horseradish mustard!
Scrapple! Bohemia Lea scrapple is the very best! And sausage, sausage, sausage! Again, this sausage is epic and Bohemia Lea sausage comes in so many choices it is hard to know where to begin. Mild Italian, Hot Italian, mild little Breakfast links, mild big links, mild loose bulk. And mix a little Bohemia Lea ground pork with some Bohemia Lea ground beef and you will have the base for the best meatloaf, meatballs or whatever you like.
Speaking of meat, how easy is it to roast a whole chicken? Thaw for about two days in the refrigerator, shake a little salt on it, pop it in the oven for an hour plus, depending upon the size, and dinner is served … use that oven heat to roast some vegetables at the same time. Easy, delicious and quick.
Oh don’t forget to add some fresh local free-range eggs from Twin Posts to your scrapple or sausage for a hearty breakfast or any meal.
Salads, Microgreens and More
Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms are essential in many kitchens and winter is no exception.
Just tired of cooking and want to slide this week? Try some comfort foods from Patty’s Gourmet. You won’t be disappointed. I can’t wait to try their Minestrone Soup of the Week.
Because the bulk of the food we provide is produce, once it becomes less available around this time of the year (and that all depends upon the weather), we find it prudent to skip weeks now and then to allow the produce to catch up to the demand. Below is the schedule for the next four Saturdays:
- Saturday, January 21 – Pickup / Delivery Service
- Saturday, January 28 – Pickup / Delivery Service
- Saturday, February 4 — No Service
- Saturday, February 11 — Pickup / Delivery Service
Remember the deadline for ordering is Wednesday at noon. Unfortunately, we won’t normally be able to take late requests, as we must place vendor orders quickly.
You will receive an updated reminder on Tuesday, but please order early to be sure you get everything you would like. Supplies are sometimes limited.
Yours in the garden throughout the winter,