Week 37, 2022｜Kristin Kimball｜September 16, 2022
All that’s left of the auction now are a few pieces of unsold metal, a scattering of soda cans, and the empty tent. It was a whirlwind of preparation beforehand, right up to the minute people started arriving, and by the time the calling started, I was mostly spent. But by then I wasn’t needed, because the auctioneer, Paul Miller, had everything under control. His team had set up the concession stand, the business desk, the amplification system and microphones. So I retired to the house where I could just barely hear the tune of the auctioneer’s song, but not the numbers, which was the best combination for my nerves. Most of the attendees were Amish, from our neighborhood or from slightly further afield. That skewed the bidding toward horse machinery and hand powered tools, and away from the mechanized pieces, some of which were ours, some the neighbors’. Saddles and other riding horse gear, the pony carts and the draft horse harnesses went for almost nothing. But other items went high, and there were a lot of them! On the whole, it was a big success. The horses were not part of the auction, but I believe we have already found an absolutely perfect next gig for the team of Belgians, Jake and Abby. I’ll update you on those dealings when they are done. It feels incredibly good to have cleared so much unused equipment from our barnyard, making more room for the tools in daily rotation. And I’m happy for the teamsters and farmers who went home with useful things.
We had an all-team lunch meeting this week, to which Bethany brought the most delicious leek dish I have ever tasted. Most of you know Bethany heads up the vegetable crew, but you probably don’t know what an amazing cook she is. The leeks in the share right now, which are the summer variety – young, fresh, tender and coming straight from the earth – are part of what makes this so incredibly delicious. Here’s her recipe.
- 8 medium leeks
- 5 Tablespoons butter
- 4-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
- A few sprigs thyme
- Sweet cream or sour cream
- Dijon mustard (optional)
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut the leeks in half lengthwise, carefully rinse of sand or dirt while keeping the layers intact. Cut the leek halves into 3-4 sections.
- Arrange the leek sections in a casserole dish cut side facing up. Try to fit as many sections as you can in the bottom of the dish in a single layer. Generously salt the leeks.
- Melt butter in a small pan until it starts to foam. Add the garlic and cook gently for 3-5 minutes. Add thyme to the butter mixture for the last minute or two of cooking. Turn off heat and let it cool for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir some sweet cream or sour cream into the butter, amount depending on how big your dish is. Add some dijon mustard if desired. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the sauce over the leeks evenly and bake for 20 minutes.
- Crank up the heat to 415 degrees, add parmesan if using, and bake another 10 minutes or until the leeks are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling.
Much more news from around the farm! The ‘hot crops’ like tomatoes and peppers are slowing down, while cool season greens are cranking up. The pullets are making the big move to pasture. The young pigs, in the brushy field northwest of the vegetables, are growing like crazy. You’ll notice we’ve shifted to the new breed of broiler chickens now. These Freedom Rangers are slower growing, with less breast and thigh meat than the Cornish Crosses, but some think the taste is superior. Tell us what you think of them please!
A final note: someone is impersonating me on Facebook, using my name and my real photos, but scamming people out of money for nonexistent goats. I couldn’t sell real goats when we had them so maybe I should take a marketing lesson from these crooks? In any case, Facebook is not helping and won’t take the pretend Kristin Kimball account down, so if you get weird messages from me asking you to pay for some adorable goats in cryptocurrency, please resist. That’s the news from Essex Farm for this golden 37th week of 2022. Find us at 518-963-4613, email@example.com, or on the farm, any day but Sunday.
-Kristin & Mark Kimball