CSA 2012 | Share #9

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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 ­čÖé 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

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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┬áthis 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 ­čśë

CSA 2012 | Share #6

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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 2012 | Share #5

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It’s August! Can you believe it? Time for back to school organization, getting back into routines, all that kind of stuff. This time of year always makes me think of going back to school. Maybe someday I’ll actually look into it, but for now I’m consumed with 2nd and 5th grade supply lists. This time of year also means a more varied harvest each week and you can certainly see that in this week’s farm share!

This, to me, was a very exciting week! Check it out:

  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 2 eggplant
  • 2 leeks
  • 3 fennel bulbs (you could have also chosen chard or kale, but I love me some fennel)
  • 1 head of garlic
  • yellow squash and zucchini
  • 2 onions (I snagged the last sweet onion, heh!)
  • cilantro
  • cucumber (or green pepper, but I went for the cuke)
  • carrots
  • tomatoes (including PYO cherry tomatoes
  • baby beets
  • PYO flowers

Things I plan on making: bharta (my favorite and only use for the eggplant) and potato soup with leek and fennel. (Oh, the fennel gives such a nice flavor… I’m going to stock it in thte freezer to enjoy this fall).

Summer is speeding right along and as usual, I am reminded of this each time I pick up my veggies.

CSA 2012 | Share #4

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Again, I’m late with my farm share post. This was last week’s yield. It was hot and humid and I was sweaty as heck and I had to drag Jake and Noah with me after camp, but heading to the farm was actually a nice transition between our very active day and our lazy night. I had the timing just-right and the barn wasn’t crammed with people!

We got:

  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 sweet onion (alternate choice: leeks — it was a hard decision)
  • a head of cabbage
  • a bunch of carrots
  • 1.5 lbs. of green beans
  • 2 cucumbers
  • a bunch of lemon basil
  • head of garlic
  • PYO cherry tomatoes and tomatillos

We also picked flowers! The boys loved that. And it’s no secret that I do too ­čÖé

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Unfortunately, the carrots got rubbery pretty fast, so I just stuck them in the freezer to use for chicken stock. It was a bummer, but… having them frozen will come in handy.

{CSA 2012} Share #3

CSA 2012 | Share #3

Hoo boy, this post is going up late! Yes, this is Tuesday’s farm share. I just haven’t had the chance to get much blogging done this week. But better late than never, right?

Lots of good things this week, especially the PYO flowers! 20 stems! Laura had a great time picking them out with me. We also got:

  • 3 heads of lettuce
  • kale ┬á& chard
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • 1 sweet onion (My favorite! I just love these so much!)
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 decent-sized bunch of basil
  • 1/2 lb. of broccoli
  • zucchini & summer squash

The chard wilted before I had a chance to use it, but… that’s how it goes with chard. I feel like you have to use it as soon as it’s picked or else it just gets icky. We grilled the zucchini and summer squash on the 4th of July and they were fantastic! I didn’t do anything special: just salt, pepper, and olive oil in a foil packet. Delicious, though.

The beets…. ah, beets. If you’ve read my blog for any length of time you know that beets are my culinary┬ánemesis. I know they’re super healthy, and I think they’re a very pretty vegetable, but I have a hard time getting past the fact that (to my palate) they taste like dirt. Last year I pickled them and that was OK. Back in 2008 I made this beet cake┬áand that was actually really delicious. I’ve tried boiling, roasting and I choke them down, but beets are just not my favorite thing.

Still, I press on. So for last night’s dinner I decided to try them raw. I peeled a large beet and then shredded it in the food processor along with a carrot, a granny smith apple, and some fresh ginger. I tossed the slaw with some champagne┬ávinaigrette and you know what? It was delicious! It’s a magic combination of ingredients that accentuates the beet’s natural sweetness without the earthiness that I don’t like. So that was a win. What to do with the rest of them now? I’ll make the slaw again, but I might resort to roasting. ┬áA friend suggested sprinkling with dill, so I may give that a shot.

Anyway, that’s it for my week in vegetables ­čÖé

{CSA 2012} Share #2

CSA 2012 | Share #2

Yesterday was our second farm share pickup of the season. While there are still lots of greens, that lone summer squash has me hopeful that by our next share, we’ll have more of what I call “exciting” vegetables.

Let’s see what we have here…

  • 2 heads of lettuce
  • 1 head of Chinese cabbage
  • kale
  • arugula and tat soi
  • Swiss chard
  • scallions
  • yellow summer squash
  • hakuri turnips
  • broccoli

I skipped the bok choi and the garlic scapes (go ahead and slap me for it — I know, I know… I’m just not into them this year for some reason). Last night for dinner I roasted the broccoli and sauteed half of the chard. There isn’t too much to experiment with here. I wanted┬áto make some zuppa toscana with the kale, but considering the next few days are going to be in the 90s, well… I’m not sure that’s an ace idea!

I might try making this Tuscan Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas. Kale is one of those goitrogenic┬áveggies that people with thyroid problems really shouldn’t eat raw. (It interferes with thyroid function.) But since I don’t eat a ton of raw kale, it really shouldn’t be a problem. It’s all about balance, right? Anyway, I’ll let you know what I end up doing with it.

At least we should be good for salads for a while! ­čÖé

csa 2011: seventh share

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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.