The photos above show some of our fields as they look now: no crops except a few rows here and there. Many of these fields have been seeded with cover crops, combinations of rye, vetch, and peas. We cover crop to rejuvenate the soil and to protect it during the winter. Some fields, though, we leave open so that it's easiest to get into them first thing in the spring. Mother Jones magazine has a great article on cover crops, so check it out if you are interested in the beauty of this practice.
Apple and Habanero Jelly Grilled Cheese Sandwiches (note: Heather makes the most BOMB grilled cheese sandwiches EVER, so trust her recipes! They are DELISH)
8 slices of whole wheat or whole grain bread (Heather suggests our 7 grain crunch)
4 tbsp butter
4 oz white cheddar cheese (like our Cabot), shredded
4 oz habanero pepper jelly (recipe below)
4 large pinches of arugula
1 apple, sliced into 1/8 inch slices
1. Place a griddle over medium-high heat. Butter 1 side of all the pieces of bread and place them butter side down on the pan.
2. Spread pepper jelly on the upward facing side of the bread, followed by the apple slices and 1/2 oz of cheese (or as much as you like).
3. When the cheese is starting to be 1/4 of the way melted, top half of the sandwich (one slice of bread) with the arugula. Then top the arugula with the other side of the bread to complete the sandwich. Flip the sandwich as needed.
4. Remove from heat, serve, and enjoy!
Heather's Habanero Pepper Jelly
4 half pint canning jars with lids and rings
3/4 Organic apple cider vinegar
3 cups honey
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup red, orange, or yellow bell pepper, minced
7 habanero peppers, seeded and minced (please use gloves while cutting, your hands will burn if not!)
3 ounce liquid pectin
1. Combine the vinegar and honey in a saucepan over medium high heat, constantly stirring until combined. Add the carrots and bell peppers and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Add the habanero and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Add the pectin and boil for 1 minute, constantly stirring. Skim and remove any foam from the jelly.
3. Sterilize jars and lids in boiling water for 10 minutes. Pour the jelly into the hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch from the top. Be careful to wipe the rims of the jars of any spilled jelly. Place lids on top and screw on tightly.
4. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and carefully lower filled jars using a holder. Leave 2 inches of space between jars, and add more boiling water if necessary -- you need about 1 in of water above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a hard boil for 5 minutes.
5. Remove the jars from the stockpot and let cool on a wood or cloth-covered surface. Once cool, check the tops of the lids to ensure proper canning. The lids should not move up or down at all when pressed.
Jalapeno-Maple butter - Perfect for sweet corn, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and on top of chicken!
1 stick of butter, softened
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced (use gloves!)
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
3 tbsp maple syrup
salt and black pepper to taste.
1. Combine all ingredients until evenly dispersed.
2. Either cool in a bowl in the freezer, or create a butter log on a piece of parchment paper, roll into a 1 in diameter roll, and freeze for easy slicing.
3. Let cool and serve on a hot dish!
Pele's Pennsylvania Dutch Party Peppers
10 Yummy Snack Peppers, topped, seeded, and halved
1/4 lb sliced Lebanon Bologna
8 oz boxed cream cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cover the peppers lightly with olive oil, and place on a greased sheet pan.
3. Spread cream cheese on each bologna slice, enough to fill all the the peppers. Roll the cheese and meat up and slice in 1 inch slices. Fill the peppers with the sliced rolls.
4. Place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the peppers are cooked through. Let rest till cool enough to handle, serve, and enjoy a taste of central Pennsylvania!
Need some quick, colorful, and healthy veggie snacks for your after school snack? Check our this link for creative ideas: Healthy Bell Pepper Snacks for Kids
Plus, good old Martha Stewart has some delicious, seasonal recipes, too!