Lunch by Chert Hollow Farm

We’re doing the Chert Hollow Farm CSA this year and are having a good time with it. Great eggs, strawberries and greens so far. My favorite feature of theirs* is the ability to customize what you receive each week by way of an online survey. We’re growing tons of herbs already at the house, so no need for Eric and Joanna to drop more on us – they wouldn’t get used. Instead, I double up on things I don’t grow, like cooking greens and radishes.

We also get the chance to buy raw goat milk through the CSA – for an extra fee. I won’t even touch on the raw milk issue, mostly because I tend to tune out issues that attract insane people cure-all types as well as ignorant people the chronically over-reactive. I’ve gone for four quarts so far and last night made cheese** with it. More on the cheese-making process later. For now, a picture of lunch, almost entirely supplied by Chert Hollow Farm.

* Second-favorite feature of the Chert Hollow CSA? Home delivery.

** Note: I have not died or, to my knowledge, been cured of anything.

 

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10 Responses to “Lunch by Chert Hollow Farm”

  1. hungryprofessor Says:

    Totally agree…I love that I can customize the share (and that it seems to be working for them too). The eggs are great, lots of greens and spring alliums…getting my first taste of their strawberries today. I’ve never done a CSA before but I feel like they’re off to a very good start.

  2. Eric Reuter Says:

    Love the phrasing of that second paragraph, pretty much our feelings exactly. The end members of that debate just cancel each other out into a screwed up system that turns many people off.

    That salad looks a lot like many we’ve been eating, too, though often with the addition of our home-cured ham. Too bad the rules on pork are even stricter than milk…

    Thanks for the good review and kind words. Hope we can keep it up. If you can’t make it to the cheese event on Saturday, I’d definitely recommend trying the milk in making Cajeta (Mexican goat’s milk caramel). Rick Bayless has a great recipe that makes a spectacular product, and you can get the satisfaction of making a recipe correctly that says something like “you probably don’t have the goat’s milk to make this properly, but just in case…”

  3. Emily Says:

    Eric,
    That Cajeta sounds amazing! I ate cajeta on almost anything that I could put my hands on when I was in Mexico. Especially crepes and waffles. Now I’m hungry. :)

  4. Scott Says:

    Will see if I can come up with the Bayless recipe. I have one of his books, but don’t remember seeing anything like that. Fingers crossed.

    @hungryprofessor: the eggs have been exquisite, no? I made ravioli last week with shredded pheasant, diced apple and pecans. Lots and lots of pokey things. And damned if not a single raviolo broke – during prep, boil or saucing. I credit sturdy eggs.

  5. Eric Reuter Says:

    Here’s the cajeta recipe from Bayless. It’s in his Mexican Kitchen book, the only one we have, though it might be in others as well. We’ve found that it takes far longer than he claims to really get it dark and rich. We use a simmer mat to disperse the heat, so we don’t have to stir it all the time, and have left it for half a day or more to get really rich. I’ll be posting about this soon on our blog, as it’s such a great way to use milk and it goes so well with fresh strawberries…

  6. Scott Says:

    Eric, I’m not familiar with simmer mats. After a quick look online, I’m wondering if you could get a similar effect by just setting your cajeta saucepan into a cast iron skillet and let that act as a simmer mat?

  7. Eric Reuter Says:

    Here’s the simmer mat we use, from Lehmans. We’re generally not much on kitchen gadgets but gave this a try and have been really happy with it for various uses, including cheese and cajeta making.

    Interesting idea on the cast iron, something worth trying, though I’m not sure it would work for larger things like cheese batches where our pans are large. Also, one of the core points of the Lehman’s mat is that it has bumps that raise the bottom of the pan above the heating element, so the heating is by air rather than direct contact, thus reducing any scorching. Would using a cast iron have the same effect?

  8. Eric Reuter Says:

    Looks like that link doesn’t work for some reason; go to http://www.lehmans.com and search for “simmer mat”.

  9. PJCarz Says:

    You can also google “flame tamer” or “flame diffuser” and get a wider selection. I bought mine from a kitchen catalog years ago when we had an electric range. Now I wonder what I did before I had it. It’s only 7 inches in diameter, but it works just fine even under a big pot of something. It’s cast iron, with an enamel coating on the pot side, nothing on the bottom. Go for it.

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