We have returned from a fabulous trip to Sicily and are so happy to see the farm running so smoothly! Sicily's history is quite extensive and magical. We saw Greek ruins, Roman ruins, Norman castles, a lot of Baroque architecture and countless medieval towns perched on hilltops with cobblestone streets only a few inches wider than the microcars that zipped through them!
We had the opportunity to see vineyards, olive groves, citrus groves and lush mountain flora.
We indulged in regional dishes and sampled local wines, but by the end of our time, we were longing for some Maysie's Farm food!
A big thanks to Dave, Andy, Meghan, Nate, Erin, Pete, Mario, Milton and Brian for continuing the good work they'd been doing all season and for keeping the Maysie's Farm food coming!
We will surely miss Mario who left on Tuesday to return to Guatemala. We wish him the best and hope to see him back here again soon (maybe with a wife or something?!)
The season is quickly coming to a close and we are energized and working on plans for next year!
We are happy to say that Dave Hubbard, an intern since early April, will be staying on and becoming our farm manager next season!
We are expanding our Board of Directors and are looking for some people interested in serving on the board. We especially need people with expertise in marketing and promotions and fundraising. We are also looking for a volunteer coordinator to assist us with some of the projects we have planned for next year. If you are interested or know of someone who is, please contact Sam at 610-458-8129.
We are busy setting up our schedule of workshops and programs to offer to our members and the community at large.
With the help of volunteers, the spring will see the resurrection of our children's garden and the birth of our medicinal herb garden.
Cooking classes for both adults and children will extend through next year. The children's cooking classes were such fun and next year, we will provide cooking camps for different age groups!
We will also be holding workshops on utilizing the bounty of the farm's herbs, both medicinal and culinary!
If you have suggestions of things you would like to see as part of the programming at Maysie's Farm, please let us know!
If you have not yet ordered your fresh turkey from Ben, you can do so up until next week.
For delivery on Friday November 20th, all orders must be placed by Tuesday November 17th. For delivery on Monday November 23rd, all orders must be placed by Thursday November 19th. Please call Ben directly to place your order. (717) 768-3437.
On Friday December 18th, from 5-9 pm, Ten Thousand Villages and Wendell August Forge are hosting a Community Shopping Night. A percentage of the sales of both places will go to Maysie's Farm. This is a great opportunity to get your Christmas shopping done and to support the work of our nonprofit educational conservation center. Both shops are located in Main Street Exton.
With the weather turning cooler, our thoughts turn to soup. We have a lot of onions, so here is a recipe for onion soup. You can use a lot of local ingredients to make this soup (beef and chicken stock and butter from Ben, and bread from Sweetwater Bakery!)
This recipe come from Cook's Illustrated and roasts the onions in the oven to get them to caramelize!
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
6 large yellow onions, sliced
2 cups water
½ cup dry sherry
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups beef broth
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Freshly ground pepper
1 small baguette (or Sweetwater bread) cut into ½ inch slices
2 ½ cups shredded Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 400.
Generously spray the inside of a heavy-bottomed large (at least 7-quart) Dutch oven with a nonstick cooking spray. Place the butter in the pot and add the onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, for 1 hour (the onions will be moist and slightly reduced in volume). Remove the pot from the oven and stir the onions, scraping the bottom and sides of the pot. Return the pot to the oven with the lid slightly ajar and continue to cook until the onions are very soft and golden brown, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours longer, stirring the onions and scraping bottom and sides of pot after 1 hour.
Carefully remove pot from oven and place over medium-high heat. Using oven mitts to handle pot, cook onions, stirring frequently and scraping bottom and sides of pot, until the liquid evaporates and the onions brown, 15 to 20 minutes, reducing the heat to medium if the onions are browning too quickly. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the pot bottom is coated with a dark crust, roughly 6 to 8 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary. (Scrape any fond that collects on spoon back into onions.)
Stir in 1/4 cup water, scraping the pot bottom to loosen crust, and cook until water evaporates and pot bottom has formed another dark crust, 6 to 8 minutes. Repeat process of deglazing 2 or 3 more times, until onions are very dark brown. Stir in the sherry and cook, stirring frequently, until the sherry evaporates, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the broths, 2 cups of water, thyme, bay leaf, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, scraping up any final bits of browned crust on bottom and sides of pot.
Increase heat to high and bring to simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove and discard herbs, then season with salt and pepper.
For the Croutons:
While the soup simmers, arrange the baguette slices in single layer on baking sheet and bake in a 400-degree oven until the bread is dry, crisp, and golden at edges, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Set individual broiler-safe crocks on baking sheet and fill each with about 1 3/4 cups soup. Top each bowl with 1 or 2 baguette slices (do not overlap slices) and sprinkle evenly with Gruyère. Broil until cheese is melted and bubbly around edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
See you around the farm!
Annmarie and Sam
Think Globally, Eat Locally
Maysie's Farm Conservation Center
15 St. Andrew's Lane Glenmoore, PA 19343