Tag Archives: eat local

CSA 2012 | Share #9


Please forgive me for the awful photo quality here. I just didn’t feel like taking the time to edit a pic of my veggies 🙂 Anyway! I was very happy to get the spinach this week, as I was hoping. (I did end up making tortellini soup the other night. The kids all loved it!)

We also got:

  • 3 lbs. of red potatoes
  • tomatoes
  • a zucchini
  • dill
  • garlic
  • fennel
  • carrots
  • green beans
  • 1 head of lettuce

I skipped one of the greens and the turnips. I just knew we weren’t going to eat them, and I rather them get donated than composted. I’ve really enjoyed all the green beans in this season’s share. They make for such a quick side dish at dinner time! Definitely a favorite. Nevertheless, I really am eager for the winter squash to make an appearance. Hopefully in two weeks!

CSA 2012 | Share #8


So… I forgot to write about our 7th farm share and I accidentally deleted the photos. Sorry about that. Let’s just move on to yesterday’s haul, shall we?

As you can see, we’re still rolling in tomatoes. I will be dehydrating another batch or two. They’re just so delicious this way. I don’t really like raw tomatoes, but when they’re dried they have incredible flavor. Here’s the low-down on my basket:

  • 5 lbs. of tomatoes
  • 1 lb. broccoli rabe
  • 1 lb. mixed greens (I chose arugual and tat soi)
  • 1 lb. green beans
  • 3 lbs. potatoes (There were still lots of red and purple potatoes when I got there, so I chose those over “regular” potatoes. I wish the farm shared the names of these varieties. Don’t you just love heirloom names like Black and Mild or Black Chenango or Peach-blow?)
  • dill
  • lettuce
  • carrots
  • summer squash
  • garlic
  • onions

We had some of the potatoes, carrots, and green beans with last night’s roast chicken (as well as most of the lettuce — there’s nothing like those fresh, tender greens). Then I threw a carrot and onion in the slow cooker along with celery, spices, and my chicken carcass to make some overnight bone broth.

I was pretty excited about the broccoli rabe — we haven’t had that in ages. And I have some sun-dried tomato chicken sausage in the freezer, so I know what’s for dinner tomorrow night 😉

CSA 2012 | Share #6


Mid-August. Here we go! Another huge share this week — the kind of share that makes me glad we opt for a bi-weekly option. Although we really do eat a lot of vegetables, it would be tough to consume all of this every week! Let’s take a look, shall we?

  • 7 lbs. of tomatoes
  • 1 head of garlic
  • parsley & lemon basil
  • an enormous zucchini
  • carrots
  • beets
  • scallions (2 big bunches)
  • kale (other option: swiss chard)
  • 2 peppers (other option: 2 leek and 1 eggplant — this one was a tough call)
  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 3 cucumbers
  • 3 onions
  • 1 cantaloupe
  • green beans
  • PYO cherry tomatoes (also tomatillos, but I skipped them this week)
  • PYO flowers

As I write this up, I cooling down some salsa. I had a package of the Ball Fiesta Salsa Mix, which people generally seem to like, so I’m giving that a try because it’s quick and easy. We eat so much salsa in this house that it’ll just go right in the fridge (if there’s any left after my taste-testers get a hold of it). With the rest I might make some roasted tomato soup. We’ll see.

The cherry tomatoes are all but gone. The kids have been nibbling on them like crazy (even Laura who never was a tomato eater until we picked them off our own plant on the deck). I’ve successfully pawned off my beets to a friend. And everything else is pretty straightforward – salad stuff, easy dinner sides… It’s been kind of a crazy week (and the busy-ness continues through next Monday) so I’m not sure if I’m up for trying anything new.

csa 2001: end of the season


It occurred to me that I never put up my CSA post from two weeks ago (life is crazy, and blogging has obviously not been a priority – sorry!). So I’ll just add the photo in with this post.

Yesterday was our final pick-up of the season from Sisters Hill Farm. It was so strange trudging up to the barn wearing snow boots! I wasn’t expecting much, but I think that our last share is pretty great: one carnival squash, two butternut squash, two celeriacs, potatoes, onions, carrots & parsnips, garlic, green tomatoes, sweet peppers, hot peppers, and lettuce.

Here’s the second-to-last share:


Broccoli, butternut squash, onions, sweet peppers, one hot pepper, radishes, garlic, parsnips, sweet potatoes, mixed greens, PYO tomatillos, and sweet potatoes. I canned a few jars of salsa verde with all those tomatillos. I think that partnered with the tomato jam I made a couple months ago, they’ll make pretty Christmas gifts!

If I get my act together and mail in my subscription form by early next week, we’ll be able to pick up the bonus Thanksgiving share so there is a possibility of one more CSA post this year!

csa 2011: seventh share


Yesterday was a very rainy day for our farm share pick-up. Luckily, our farm (Sisters Hill Farm in Stanfordville, NY) did not sustain much damage during Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene and our shares were not affected. Yesterday I had a beautiful selection of vegetables from which I could pick.

The biggest part of this week’s basket is obviously the tomatoes. Nine pounds of them. Yes. 9 lbs of tomatoes. More on those in a minute. I also got two heads of lettuce, one cucumber, one yellow squash, 1 lb. onions, 1 lb. carrots (vs. beets or chard), 1 head of garlic, 3 jalepenos, 3 bell peppers, 1 bunch of cilantro, and 1.25 lbs. of string beans.

So, the tomatoes. That is an incredible amount for our family, even to eat over a 2-week span. So I think it’s time to break out my canning supplies for the first time this year! Yay! Originally, I planned to make salsa. We eat a lot of salsa, but honestly — making it to can is kind of a pain. You have to blanch and peel the tomatoes and that in and of itself is enough to make me keep looking for a different recipe. (Plus, honestly I prefer fresh pico de gallo, because I’m snotty that way.)

Then, I somehow came across this recipe for tomato jam. It sounded weird, yet compelling. It’s easy. I have all the ingredients. I think this might be “the one!” I can see it as a replacement for ketchup or on a cracker with some cream cheese. I also think that a little jar might be a nice gift. I’ll let you know how it goes.

roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

Yesterday I wrote that I was planning to make a pesto to use up most of my CSA basil. Now, I’ve never made pesto before and I’m not actually a big pesto fan, but something was inspiring me. I was determined to create something delicious. I considered what I don’t like about most pestos, I looked at the ingredients I had in my pantry and I came up with this recipe for roasted garlic and sunflower seed pesto. And it is both easy and deee-licious!

roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

This version takes a little longer to prepare than a raw pesto, but the flavors are more subdued, the color is bright, and really it is not that much more work. I decided to use sunflower seeds instead of pine (pignoli) nuts, because 1) I had them and 2) they are a lot easier on the wallet.

First, get everything you need: foil, garlic, olive oil, salt, and basil. (Store your fresh basil in a vase with water, as you would fresh flowers. It lasts longer this way, plus it looks pretty.)

roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

Now, let’s roast that garlic. Cut the stem end off the garlic, place it on a bit of tin foil and drizzle olive oil over it. Pop it in a 450-degree oven for about one hour.

roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

While the garlic is roasting, pull off about 2 to 2.5 cups of basil leaves.
roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

When the garlic is done roasting, take it out of the oven and let it cool. Now, get a pot of water boiling. We’re going to blanch the leaves. Are you ready? I promise, this is super easy and it will make the leaves blend smoother. Fill a bowl with ice water and keep it close to the stove. You’re going to need it to “shock” the blanched basil leaves.

One the water is at a rolling boil, dump the basil leaves in and leave them there for about 1 minute. (Sidenote: if you’re going to serve the pesto immediately after making it, just use this water to cook your pasta.)
roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

Immediately place them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. You can use a slotted spoon for this.
roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

Now, unwrap that delicious package of roasted garlic. This is why the pesto is so good (in my opinion). Roasting the garlic takes away that sharp, bitter taste that I dislike in most pestos.
roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

Add the blanched basil leaves, the roasted sunflower seeds, and the roasted garlic to the bowl of your food processor. The garlic cloves should come out pretty easily, but you might have to help them along with your fingers.
roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

Pulse until the mixture turns into a coarse meal that looks something like this (you will probably need to scrape down the sides a couple times):
roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

Turn your food processor on and start drizzling in the olive oil until it reaches your desired consistency.
roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

I like mine a little on the thicker side. It’s easy enough to thin with olive oil, and I like to have the option to use it as a sandwich spread.
roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

Since it was approaching lunchtime when I made this yesterday, I had a great excuse to try it. I tossed it with some spaghetti, sprinkled on some Parmesan cheese, and I think I actually exclaimed, “Holy sh-t! This is is good!” This was remarkably close to my husband’s reaction, which was, “This doesn’t taste like pesto. This is good!”
roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

Unfortunately, you cannot home can pesto. At least I couldn’t find a safe method to do so, and I’m not going to take chances. You can, however, freeze it. If you want to freeze it in a glass jar or plastic container, cover the pesto with a layer of olive oil and be sure to leave about 1/2-inch of head room for expansion. You can also freeze it in tablespoon-sized portions to add to soups, stews, or just when you want an individual portion. The easiest way to do this is in an ice cube tray. Because we have an ice maker on our fridge, the only ice cube trays I have are fun shapes (usually for Jell-O jigglers). I decided to make pesto skulls:
roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

So there you have it. My very long-winded explanation for a very simple recipe!

Roasted Garlic and Sunflower Pesto

roasted garlic and sunflower pesto

2 c. fresh basil leaves
1 head of garlic
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 c. olive oil, plus extra for roasting garlic
pot of boiling water
bowl of ice water
salt to taste (optional)

Cut the stem off of a garlic clove and place it on the center of an aluminum foil square. Drizzle with olive oil, wrap tightly, and roast in a 450-degree oven for about 1 hour. When the garlic has finished roasting, start a pot of water boiling. Blanch 2 cups of basil leaves for approx. 1 minute. Immediately immerse leaves in ice water. Combine the blanched basil leaves, roasted garlic cloves, and sunflower seeds in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture forms a coarse meal. Start your food processor again and slowly pour in the olive oil until it reaches your desired texture.

Use immediately or store in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. This freezes well.

Be sure to visit Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom to check out other delicious recipes!

csa 2011: fifth share


You might have noticed that I didn’t get a post up for our fourth bi-weekly farm share a couple weeks ago. It’s a shame I didn’t have time to take a photo because it was gorgeous! Egglplant, yellow squash, lettuce, zucchini, carrots… it was very colorful. This week’s share might be more green, but it’s a great one nonetheless!

It was pouring rain when it was time for me to head to the farm in Stanfordville. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to all the mud, but it was worth it: three heads of lettuce, three cucumbers, yellow squash, zucchini, garlic, potatoes, onions, leeks, scallions, dill, basil, parsley, cilantro, two watermelons, and one cantaloupe!

The cucumbers have been wonderful this year, which makes me very happy. In previous years of this CSA, for one reason or another the cucumber crop didn’t fare so well. I also feel like the herbs are much more prolific for some reason. Our CSA has pick-you-own flowers as part of the deal — a major selling point for me 🙂 I’ll be honest though: the last thing I wanted to do yesterday was slog through a muddy field and get soaking wet as the rain poured down and I tried to find my 20 stems of flowers. I’m glad I did, though. After I cleaned up the dinner dishes last night I looked at my kitchen table and couldn’t help but smile.



The kids were all very excited about the melons, so I cut into one of the watermelons before dinner was even ready. When it split open, the color caught me off-guard. I had not expected a yellow melon!


And that is one of the reasons why I love participating in a farm share. You really never know what to expect. The yellow watermelon, by the way, is really delicious!

csa 2011: third share


Anyone feel like salad? Well, we have no choice because this week we got four (four!) heads of lettuce! Good thing I love salad! I took two romaine, one green leaf, and one red leaf. This share was HUGE, but somehow we’ll plow through it. We also got a bunch of swiss chard, green beans (alternate choice was broccoli), sweet onions, zucchini, yellow squash, cabbage, scallions (which I’d already cut up before I remembered to take a photo), dill, basil, parsley, cilantro, and of course PYO flowers.

Today I made a batch of yellow lentils, so I threw some of the chard in at the end. I’m not a big fan of swiss chard, so this was a great way to use it because it was barely noticeable.


I also came across a recipe for pickled swiss chard stems, so I made a batch of that as well.


I’d like to make some dilly beans, but it wasn’t going to happen today. Since I already had a bunch of cilantro I’d purchased at the store, I used the farm share cilantro and attempted to make mint chutney since I made the dal and tandoori chicken for dinner. It didn’t turn out well. At all. It was chunky and I couldn’t get it smooth and the flavors were just all wrong. Well, they can’t all be winners, I guess.

On the other hand, the salted caramel bars I made were BIG winners. Seriously, I think I need some weight loss pills just looking at that rich dessert!


The boys and Drew loved them. I did, too. But really… a little goes a long way. I tweaked a recipe I found so once I iron out the details of what I changed, I’ll post it.

I wish I could say it was fun having a cooking day like this, because normally it would be, but L. is at the stage where she likes to make every single thing difficult, so what should have taken me no time at all took forever. Sigh… At least I got it all done and the results were (mostly) tasty.

menu plan monday, summer camp edition

Both boys have different summer camps this week. Jake is at all-day Cub Scout camp, and Noah is at half-day camp at our church. There is a lot of picking up and dropping off (and naturally both locations are in opposite directions), plus Tuesday evening I have to pick up our CSA share, so this week has to be easy.

As usual, this is subject to change, and often does, due to the veggies we get in our farm share and what we actually feel like eating 🙂

  • Sunday: Grilled chicken Caesar salad
  • Monday: Surf & turf (grilled steak and shrimp), macaroni and cheese with broccoli
  • Tuesday: Tandoori chicken, rice, vegetable curry
  • Wednesday: Sausage & peppers, cole slaw
  • Thursday: No cooking (picnic at Cub Scout camp for the boys, and I might treat myself to Thai take-out)
  • Friday: Pizza & wings, salad
  • Saturday: Copycat Ruby Tuesday’s Sonora chicken pasta, salad

For more menu ideas, visit Organizing Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday feature.