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Hi all, hope you're staying safe out there. Looks like we'll be getting a bit of storm tonight through tomorrow, all the more reason to make sure you get your share at Sola tonight before we get snowed in at the farm.

We'll be at Sola from 3-6 pm as per usual. As always please:
1. Break down your boxes
2. Sign in
3. If you miss pick up for some unforeseen reason let me know ASAP. We like to keep our cooler tidy and will take left over shares to the Food Bank by Friday morning unless otherwise notified. 

As it continues to be chilly we are still lacking in the greens department, we know how awesome greens are in the winter and apologize for the shortage. However, we hope you'll still be satisfied with what we have for you this week:
2# Potatoes (Huckleberry or Russet)
Chopped, frozen green bell peppers
Pickled Banana Peppers
2# Carrots
1# Watermelon Radishes
Pea Shoots
1# Purple Top Turnips

RECIPES

Once upon a time I almost lived in Louisiana because my fiancé had a steady job in Cajun country. Now, while this was not the ideal place for me to put down roots, it was a wonderful introduction to some of the best food I've ever had. So now, every year when we're feeling down in the doldrums of winter we make a big ole pot of gumbo. I've tried my best to put together an actual recipe though I've been told that each pot of gumbo is as unique as your fingerprint. Here goes nothing...

Ingredients:
2# andouille sausage
3-4 chopped green bell peppers (fresh or frozen)
1 large white onion-diced
1 large red onion-diced
3 large cloves garlic-diced
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2-3 #'s poultry (chicken, duck, or pheasant cut into 1" chunks)
2 cups cooked white rice
Tabasco
Spices: garlic powder, onion powder, black and white pepper, salt , cayenne pepper, paprika
Flour

Directions:
Brown the andouille in a large thick bottomed pot. Remove from the pot and slice into rounds. I personally can't stand the sausage casings so I remove those too. Set aside on a plate. Mix 1/4 cup flour with 1/2 teaspoon of each garlic powder, onion powder, salt ,cayenne pepper,  and paprika. Add a dash of white and black pepper to top it off. In the same pot brown the poultry slightly with the flour/ spice mixture. This is especially important to do if you're using some kind of game bird to dull the gamey flavor and tenderize it. 

Andouille sausages browning away. 

Once the poultry is slightly browned remove it from the pot and set it aside as well. Next is the most important, or might I say tedious part of the whole process: making the roux. The amount of fat this requires surprised me but apparently that's how it works. To make your roux: 

In the same pot over med/high heat add 1 cup of vegetable oil. Make another flour spice mixture using 3/4 cup flour and 1 tsp of the following spices:
garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt, thyme and a dash of black pepper

The color of a good roux, it could even be a bit darker than this. 

Add the flour mixture to the oil slowly while stirring constantly. Now, stir constantly for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture is the color of milk chocolate. *** It's very important to stir it constantly so it doesn't burn. Turn down the heat as necessary to prevent burning and once the mixture browns all the way remove it from heat. If you burn your roux, just start over. A good roux makes a good gumbo. 

I hear it's best to make your roux the day before and put it in the refrigerator, that way all the fat rises to the top and you can scrape some of it off. I think this helps because I didn't pre-make my roux this time and I had a much greasier gumbo. Not necessarily a bad thing but a lot of grease hurts my tummy so I try to cut down on it. 

Next add all your chopped veggies (garlic, onions, peppers) and turn the heat back up to a simmer. 

Cook for 10 minutes until tender. Then add back all of your meat and enough stock to cover everything. Simmer forever. Well not forever but for up to 5 hours. If you have some especially tough poultry meat like an old rooster or ducks then a good long simmer is well worth it. Add stock as needed. I prefer my gumbo a bit soupy so I usually add up to 4 or 5 cups of vegetable stock along the way. 

While your gumbo is simmering away you can occasionally skim some more grease off the top. You can also cook your rice during this time. It's ready when everything is soft and tender. This is just one variation of many kinds of gumbo. It's wonderful with shrimp if you can get your hands on some quality seafood. Ladle gumbo over a big bowl of rice. Top with Tabaso. Any other hot sauce is blasphemous in Cajun country. Best on a chilly afternoon when there's plenty of football to watch and beer to drink. 

NEWS and VIEWS

Pea shoots coming along nicely for this week. All they needed was a bit of sunshine and warmth. It's nice to see something green and lively against a snowy cold back drop.  

SUMMER 2017 VEGETABLE SUBSCRIPTION SIGN UP is upon us.

 

This season we are offering up to 250 shares across 6 Montana communities (Bozeman, Billings, Butte, Big Sky, Helena, and Livingston). It's really the best way to get fresh, local and organically grown veggies onto your table. Sign up soon before we sell out! For now you can sign up here: 

http://www.strikefarms.com/subcriptionpurchase/summer-2017-vegetable-share

But soon we will be transitioning to a new member assembler system. I'll send you that link when we complete it. 

PICK UP THIS WEEK:
REMEMBER to grab your frozen item (green peppers) from the coolers this week.
BOZEMAN - pick up will be at Sola from 3-6 pm
BILLINGS- pick up is on as per usual unless the highway gets really hairy tomorrow. We'll keep you posted and apologize in advance if the road becomes impassable. If need be we'll deliver on a different day.
ENNIS-Your shares will arrive tomorrow afternoon and will be on the porch again. 

Hope you enjoy your veggies! Have a great week, stay warm, and make some gumbo!

Alexis