Kitchen Tips

Here's a quick rundown of how to use some of the items we give in the shares. If any items in your share that aren't listed here have you baffled, just ask! Plus remember that we have an excellent resource in our fellow members! Share your recipes and kitchen tips or questions with each other in our Fair Shares Facebook Group.

Ozark Forest Mushrooms – Sometimes we just include shiitakes, and sometimes we give a combo with oyster mushrooms, with the shiitakes in the bottom of the bag, because they’re much sturdier than the oysters. To prep your oyster mushrooms, just trim the tiny bit of dirty, tough stem at the base and chop or tear up the rest. For the shiitakes, which have a fairly tough stem, twist off the stems--you can rinse and store those stems back in the paper bag in the fridge, for later use in soup stocks. For all mushrooms, give a quick rinse and shake under cold water, don’t waterlog them! Sauteed in butter and garlic is as divine as it gets.
Mangia Pasta – Store in the refrigerator (or frozen for ravioli and gnocchi--do not defrost, just cook frozen). Fresh pasta doesn’t take as long to cook as dry pasta; just a few minutes. Test each shape to determine the proper cooking times. Separate the long pasta before adding it to boiling water unless you’re partial to the resulting big-blob single serving. This pasta enjoys romantic dinners with Ozark Forest Mushrooms, and they enjoy the company of Claverach shoots and a good salty, aged cheese, or any cheese. 
Bee Simple Shoots – Use them raw in a salad or on a sandwich, or sprinkled with lemon juice and a little sea salt as a base for trout, salmon, or any meat. Add at the end of a stir fry or saute, just to wilt them. Cooking too long makes them a bit stringy. The pea shoots make a marvelous pesto, and here's a recipe we've made up for you.
Companion Bakery Bread – We suggest you slice it and freeze it (bagels too) when you get home. Then take out what you need and it defrosts quickly and easily, and is as fresh as day one. There are no presevatives in these breads, so don't expect them to last for days on the counter!
Fresh Herbs – Practice using your fresh herbs, and if you know you won’t use them all, start drying them for use this winter. Simply rinse and pat dry, bunch the stems together with a rubber band or twist tie and hang it upside down for a few days. Then store in plastic bags or spice containers.
Sticks and Stems Doesn't it seem wasteful to compost all those stems from your spinach and greens? It is! Wash them along with the leaves, separate them, throw them in a large ziplock bag, and toss it in the freezer. Add in clean onion scraps, and any other produce scraps (it's not recommended to use cruciferous veggies, because they don't smell good when boiling--think about the smell of boiled broccoli and cauliflower. ew.). Once you have a full bag, you can make a delicious veggie broth by boiling it in a pot of water for 30-45 minutes--no more than an hour--add salt and pepper, herbs if you like, strain cool, and use or freeze. Sometimes I throw one of the ziplocks of veggies (they seem to multiply in my freezer) in with my chicken carcass to make the most amazing chicken stock ever. Here's a good website that talks veggie broth.
Egg-O-Rama – Don't worry if you still have eggs in the fridge when you get your next dozen. These eggs are farm fresh, and will last about six weeks--much longer than your typical grocery store eggs, which are often weeks old before they even get to your store. Dry Dock Farm told us about how they candle the eggs that are gathered from their farmers. This means they actually hold each egg up to a candle so they can see through it to check it for freshness and cracks. If an egg is fresh, the white holds together tightly, keeping the yolk in place. When you crack an egg in a frypan and the white runs out across the pan and doesn't hold the yolk in place, the eggs may be over a week old. This doesn't mean they're no good, it just means they're not as fresh, and may be better for baking or hard boiling if you're going for that perfect fried-egg appearance. Older eggs are better for hard boiling because the membrane around the shell shrinks with time and pulls away from the shell, making the egg easier to peel.
You are now armed with the proper information to make you the queen or king of deviled eggs! Who doesn't love deviled eggs? What, the mayonnaise sitting out freaks you out? Have no fear! Jailhouse Jalapeño Brew and Kreta Olive Oil are here! So you can make a mildly spicy and sufficiently creamy filling without the mayo. You can even add a little plaing Greek yougurt in if you like. Don't forget the garlic, and maybe some green onion or chives. Put the yolk mixture in the corner of a clean plastic bag, cut the corner and squeeze it out into the white halves. Voila!

Interested in making pink devilied eggs for Easter? Just put your peeled hard-boiled eggs in the pickled beet brine for a few days. Proceed as usual. the longer they soak in the beet brine, the darker fuscia the white and the deeper orange the yolks will be. Brilliant!

Tip: How To Eat Figs

Fresh, ripe figs are a delicacy that not many people get the chance to enjoy. Because of this, a bit of information may be helpful to those of you who haven't experienced a fresh fig. Unlike the dried version, which will live on indefinitely in the cupboard, fresh figs are highly perishable and must be...Read more


We are very happy to have our products included in shares through Fair Shares.  The folks at Fair Shares have set-up a great distribution schedule that works with smaller scale local farmers taking into account weekly and seasonal limitations in harvesting. The staff at Fair Shares are easy to work with, being both friendly and professional.  They have been very straightforward about their needs and those that the share members represent. We look forward to growing with Fair Shares!

Bobbi Sandwisch, Live Springs Farm, Carrollton, IL 100% Grassfed Beef, Pasture-Raised Pork, Chicken, and Eggs