Ginko leaves in fall

Ginko. We love it because its the last remnant of an ancient plant line that has all but died out, but also because of the color and shape of the leaves in the fall.

Well, we’ve had a frost, though not a hard hard one (I still have a few late season paprika peppers hanging on that I blanketed with some agribon). The popcorn was finally harvested. The few winter squash I grew for us (we have a terrible squash bug issue here, so I don’t grow them for market anymore) are tucked away in the garage pantry. The sheep have been let into part of the garden to finish up the green tomatoes. Read the rest of this entry »

Overgrown kohlrabiAre you familiar with kohlrabi? It’s related to cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, which are technically all the same genus/species! It’s most closely related to broccoli in terms of flavor, essentially broccoli with a modified stem that turns into an above ground alien looking bulb. You peel and eat the bulb (though the whole plant is edible), which tastes like a crisp broccoli stem when raw, and mild broccoli when cooked.

A lot of people like kohlrabi raw, just sliced and used in a crudité (ie raw veggie) tray with dip or humus. I know one farmer who eats them like an apple! We personally love them shredded and cooked like hash browns with a bit of parmesan cheese thrown in at the end.

I plant them every spring, mostly because it’s really fun to introduce people to them at farmers market, and you rarely see them in the grocery store. Normally, you harvest them when they are about the size of a baseball/softball.

This year, I had a few that were still small when I was doing my main harvest, and so I didn’t harvest them…and then I ignored them for 3 months. They are now decidedly NOT small, resembling a small football. Kohlrabi can get woody, especially at the base, when allowed to grow large.

But as we move into fall in earnest, I’m craving all things soup and stew, including a broccoli cheese soup we love this time of year. My spring broccoli has long gone to seed, and my fall crop is still tiny and may not make it to harvest before it gets too cold. BUT I still had kohlrabi in the garden. What if I treated it like a potato, peeling and chopping it, and then cooking it until soft and pureeing it? Would that work instead of broccoli in this soup?

Turns out it worked like a charm.

If you DON’T happen to have a giant kohlrabi on hand, feel free to make this with broccoli like a normal human. Grin.

diced kohlrabi for soupKohlrabi (or Broccoli) Cheese Soup

  • 1 1/2 lbs peeled, diced kohlrabi (or chopped broccoli), woody parts removed.
  • 3/4 cup diced onion (or leek)
  • 1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil or ghee
  • 1 cup diced potato
  • 4 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper (or to taste)
  • 3/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 4 oz grated cheese of choice (the original recipe called for blue or Gorgonzola – I used a pepper jack we had on hand)
  • Half & half or good olive oil for drizzling (optional)

Sauté onions in oil of choice with a good pinch of salt in a large saucepan over medium heat until softened and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add potato, kohlrabi or broccoli, stock, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Bring to a boil, cover, and then turn the heat down to low. Let simmer until the potato and kohlrabi are very soft, about 30 minutes.

Kohlrabi and potato soupStick blend using an immersion blender (or alternately, transfer to a blender in small batches) and blend until smooth. Over low heat, add shredded cheese to soup in small handfuls, stirring between each addition, until cheese is melted and incorporated. Taste for salt.

Serve immediately, with a drizzle of cream or a good olive oil and a grind of fresh pepper.

Bring on fall!

Looking for gifts for the holidays? Here’s where I’ll be. (This information can also be found, in more detail, on the “where to find me” page tab above). Miles Away Farm Holiday Show schedule

© Miles Away Farm 2018, where we’re amazed at how fast our brain and stomach switches from salads to soups as the weather gets cooler, and are surprised at how fast our October calendar is filling up!

 

IMG_20180915_093135923watermarkI didn’t grow as many bell peppers this year as I have in the past. They don’t sell well for me at farmers market, no matter how I have them priced. A fact that utterly baffles me because I love them and they are super nutritious. We eat them fresh in humus and stuffed this time of year, and freeze extras for later and enjoy them all winter.

Did you know that: Read the rest of this entry »

Big harvest heirloom tomatoesAugust. Ugh. I’ve learned to just say no to anything additional in August. Because its hot, and everything I’ve worked since March for is ripe and needs to be harvested. Onions. Potatoes. Seemingly endless cucumbers. Peppers galore. And of course, tomatoes. Lots and lots of heirloom tomatoes. Read the rest of this entry »

Whole30-Timeline-COLOR-SmallerUp until my early 30s, I weighed a ridiculous 105 lbs and could eat pretty much anything I wanted and not gain weight. I was on the low end of normal for the standard body mass index chart. Yeah. It wasn’t fair. But it was kind of awesome.

As I aged (and learned to cook) my weight slowly climbed. By my mid to late 30’s, I’d hit the 120-125  range (really about right for my 5’3″ small boned frame). And by my early 40’s I was between 125 and 130 pretty consistently, with occasional bouts of South Beach dieting or 3 day Detox smoothie resets to reign in the weight gain.

I’ve long had an interest in local food systems and health, and so our diet (I do most of the cooking) has shifted to more and more from-scratch cooking and less and less processed foods over the years, including knowing where our meat comes from. No longer do I look forward to making the Pillsbury pop-n-fresh Cinnamon Rolls on Sunday mornings like I did in my early 20’s. You won’t find boxed mac & cheese in our cupboards or frozen hot pockets in our freezer or fast food wrappers in the car. I literally can’t remember the last time I drank a full sugar soda. So compared to the average American diet, we really were eating pretty “clean” and had been for a very long time.

But this year, my weight hit 135. 135! I’m now officially just a few pounds from officially being overweight. With menopause kicking in full steam, I could no longer ignore the numbers on the scale or the paunch around my middle, despite our generally healthy diet and decent level of activity. And I could definitely not just eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight. My body seemed to hang on to every bread calorie like it might not ever see food again. Read the rest of this entry »

JenHairAug2011

This is my hair in August 2011. Probably the longest it had been in years. There’s probably some off the shelf semi-permanent hair color in there. I can’t remember. The gray is starting to show just a touch.

When I learned to make soap, a whole world of natural DIY products opened up for me. If I can master the chemistry of making soap, what ELSE can I make? Lotion? Toothpaste? Natural Deodorant? Shower Gel? Sugar Scrubs? Lip Balm? The list was almost endless, and I’ve tried a LOT of things. Some of which I continue to make, and sell, and some of which I don’t.

One of the products I no longer make is a true soap shampoo bar. Why you may ask? Isn’t more natural always better? In this case, no. Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_20180704_104550333-1watermark

First harvest from my own Apricot trees EVER!

We were in full on summer here. June strawberries are long gone, cherries are just finishing up, apricots and raspberries are ripe, and the first nectarines and peaches are starting to appear at farmers markets. If you happen to have fruit trees, now is the time you start stuffing fruit into jars and freezer bags in an effort to deal with the deluge of fruit sitting on your kitchen counter right now.

But you can only eat so much jam and make so many smoothies. Yes, pies and buckles and crumbles and crisps are nice, but may not be where your diet is at right now. Alternatives?

Shrubs and Liqueurs! Read the rest of this entry »

IMG_20180627_153036066watermarkBeets, as a vegetable, are a challenge for me. In my quest to overcome my various childhood vegetable phobias, I’ve made it a point to have a go-to recipe for each vegetable, that makes them not just tolerable, but something that I really enjoy. But earthy beets, the poster child for vegetable terroir (which translates loosely to “of the earth”)? Well, I’m still in search of that go-to recipe. I’ve roasted them. I’ve boiled or steamed them. I’ve spiraled and shredded them raw. I’ve turned them into fritters and borscht. I’m most likely to turn them into a beet salad, married with other strong flavors such as onion, garlic, orange, sharp vinegar, a spicy fruity olive oil, feta cheese and nuts.

But my favorite way to eat beets, my go-to recipe, is pickled. Not just normal picked, but with added onion, mustard and warm baking spices. I LOVE them tossed into a dinner salad, including the bright red pickled onions also in the jar. Read the rest of this entry »

Basket of farm fresh eggs

REAL farm fresh eggs.

Recently, a customer asked me, “Do I need to refrigerate your eggs”? This question comes up every once in a while on Facebook or in other places, so I thought I’d write up a more formal answer and my thoughts on this. You may have run across one of the many articles on this subject (just type in US vs European egg refrigeration), which are often slanted to give you the impression that “in the US, we’re doing it all wrong”, and then wondered, but what about local eggs? Read the rest of this entry »

Sprouting Onions

When the inevitable happens and your storage onions sprout

Onions are cheap in the grocery store. And according to the Environmental Working Group’s annual list of the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15, they have very little pesticide residue, even when you don’t buy organic.

So why do I love growing my own onions? It’s hard to say exactly. But they are such a staple. They are used as the base in about a gazillion recipes, either as Mirepoix (2 part onion, 1 part celery, 1 part carrot) or the Holy Trinity in Cajun/Creole cooking (equal parts onions, celery and green bell pepper), or Sofrito in Spanish heritage cooking (onions, garlic, and…well, it depends on the region, but often tomato and peppers). Having a larder of winter storage onions at the end of the harvest season just makes me feel like no matter what the world throws at me, at least I can feed myself well, and inexpensively, if I have onions to start with. Read the rest of this entry »

Jennifer Kleffner

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