Moonstruck Farms

  (Phelan, California)
Moonstruck Farms CSA
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Turkey Stock and Brine Recipe

Sorry it took me so long!! Happy Thanksgiving!!


Basic Vegetable Stock

For Turkey Brine or Soup

(You need a double recipe for the brine)

(You can buy vegetable stock if you want too, but this is really good).


1 tablespoon olive oil                                      8 sprigs of fresh parsley (3-4 tsp dried)

1 large onion                                                   6 sprigs fresh thyme (1-2 tsp dried)

2 stalks celery, including some leaves 2 bay leaves

2 large carrots                                                  1 teaspoon salt

1 bunch green onions, chopped                      8 cups water

8 cloves garlic, minced



  1. Chop scrubbed vegetables into 1-inch chunks.  Remember the greater the surface area, the more quickly vegetables will yield their flavor.
  2. Heat oil in a soup pot.  Add onion, celery, carrots, scallions, garlic, parsley, thyme, and bay leaves.  Cook over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. 
  3. Add salt and water and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.  Strain.  Discard vegetables.
  4. Other ingredients to consider:  mushrooms, eggplant, asparagus (butt ends), corn cobs, fennel (stalks and trimmings), bell peppers, pea pods, chard (stems and leaves), celery root parings, marjoram (stems and leaves), basil, potato parings…Get the idea?


Good Eats Roast Turkey

Recipe Courtesy Alton Brown (My Husbands calls him “my boyfriend”).


For the brine:                                                   For the aromatics:

1 cup kosher salt                                             1 red apple, sliced

1/ cup light brown sugar                                 ½ onion, sliced

1 gallon vegetable stock (double of the          1 cinnamon stick

provided recipe)                                              1 cup water

1 tablespoon black peppercorns                      4 sprigs rosemary

½ tablespoon allspice berries                           6 leaves of sage

½ tablespoon candied ginger                          Canola oil

(I rarely use the ginger)

1 gallon iced water


Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stock pot and bring to a boil.  Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from the heat, cool to room temperature, refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (on day like today I just put in the garage).  Early on the day of cooking (or late the night before…I always do the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5 gallon bucket or ice chest.  (You can get food grade buckets from donut shops and bakeries).  Place thawed turkey breast side down in a brine, cover and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement or garage) for 6 hours.  Turn turkey over once, half way through brining. 


A few minutes before roasting heat oven to 500 degrees.  Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.


Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water.  Discard brine.  Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels.  Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage.  Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.  Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees.  Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees.  A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 ½ hours of roasting.  (Remember fresh turkey speeds this up quite a bit, watch your temperature, loose leg and clear juices).  Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.



Fog in the greenhouse!

I love working outside in the evening.  Everything begins to quiet, the temperature this evening was perfect after what had become quite a warm afternoon.  It is the perfect time for transplanting.  I am moving all the "cold weather" plants from the Greenhouse #1 outside since soon it will be too hot in there for them and that greenhouse needs a major remodel!! So out went tons of Winterbor kale, Beedys Camden Kale, Rainbow Swiss Chard and my favorite surprise crop this year ....celery!!  Never dawned on me to grow celery in the desert, but guess what it is doing beautifully and it does not freeze!!  Awesome crop.  I ended the day by going into the new greenhouse and doing a little weeding...have to finish the weeding tomorrow in order to find the plants to harvest on Thursday!! I had watered a little previous to weeding and so the greenhouse had turned into a foggy day dream with the mixture of the cold water and the warm soil temperatures from the day.  Tomorrow along with the weeding the new zippers are going on the back end of the greenhouse...wish me luck with this experiment, but the end needs to be opened up...going to get way too hot in there in the next few days.  Molly let me know it was day's end by curling into my lap as I pulled a few last weeds, and looked into my eyes with sleepy eyes begging me to go inside.  We went and closed the chickens up for the night and bade the beautiful evening good night.  Moonstruck signing off.


Giddyup Ponies came to market today and brought a full petting zoo..there were baby Nigerian Dwarf Goats (I picked out a little buck...just what I was looking for!!), baby Pot Belly, baby sheep, duck, chicken cockatiel, rabbit and a CAMEL!!  It as so much fun!! Everyone come and support us next week and play with a tiny baby goat or pot belly pig!! If you are looking for event entertainment you can find them at  Thank you to all the new faces who came to check us out today.  I am signing off...after starting more trays of kale, lettuce, first Rutger tomatoes of the season, peppers, mustards, Chinese cabbage and Lemon Grass for the bedroom (yes a little tropical look in my big decorator pots, perfect for a tropical plant), harvesting and market..good night!!  Find us at Tri Community Market tomorrow!!

Moving along..

Started the day picking up the last of the whole Whole chickens will probably sell out this month!  Spent an hour or so creating a new seed storing system including seeding supplies so all in one place...put aside tomatoes, squash, savory, chervil, broccoli raab, Michli chinese cabbage, Savoy cabbage and Fordhook Swiss to be started in trays...and another batch of a variety of lettuces to be planted outside along with more beets and radishes.  Completed the outside planting along with a tray of lettuce that was ready to go out..completed some foliar feeding and watering the new germinating rows.  i called a local supplier about new supplies for irrigation in the new greenhouse that will eliminate the need to hand water newly planted rows.  Wow...what a day...and many more to sweet to see things coming together! 

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