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CSA 2017: Week 1

Finally! Summer produce is here again! Last Tuesday (the 20th) was our first pick up for our CSA from Olden Organics. It was one of the highlights of my day, for sure. (Especially since we had to say goodbye to the tree in our yard last week. I was overly emotional about the whole thing, so it was nice to have some fresh veggies to cheer me up.) 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from our first week, since the weather has been all over the place this spring. (It was dry, then crazy hot, then really rainy – complete with hail – and now it’s much cooler than normal for late June, and it’s still raining almost every day.) Welcome to Wisconsin, where you can have all the seasons in one day.

CSA2017_Wk1

In spite of the crazy weather, things are off to a good start, at least in my opinion. We received:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 head of green romaine lettuce
  • 1 head of red romaine lettuce
  • 1 quart of strawberries
  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes
  • 1 bunch of kale tops
  • 1 celeriac
  • 1 pound of asparagus
  • 1 Thai basil plant

We didn’t have a lot of dinner leftovers last week, so both heads of lettuce wound up in our lunches. The lettuce in our garden is going strong too, so we will probably continue to take salads for lunch for the foreseeable future. It’s an easy way to get our greens in.

I made one batch of garlic scape pesto over the weekend, and I still have enough scapes in the fridge to make another batch. I used some of the pesto and half of the kale in a pasta dish for dinner Saturday night.

I’d like to tell you that I did something new and creative with the asparagus, but it’s so good roasted with some garlic that I couldn’t bring myself to make it any other way.

Some of the strawberries made their way into a pie, and some of them wound up on this pizza.

The basil is living happily in our garden (right next to the cucumber plants). I can’t wait to use it!

I’m on the fence about the zucchini. We love fritters, so it seems like that would be the perfect way to use the first zucchini of the season. However, I still have the Best Mexican Recipes cookbook, and there’s a soup recipe in there that calls for a zucchini. And with our unseasonably chilly weather, soup sounds pretty good right now!

I also don’t know what to do with the celeriac. Last fall, Smitten Kitchen came to my rescue with a gratin that uses both celeriac AND fennel, and, much to my surprise, we ended up loving it. The question is, do I love it enough to go buy fennel and sweet potatoes so I can make it? Good thing celeriac keeps well in the fridge so I can ponder that a little more.

I can’t wait to see what week 2 has in store for us!

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2016: Late Season Share

Each season, we receive 18 weeks of freshly picked farm goodness from Olden Organics. It’s a great way to eat lots of veggies throughout the summer, especially since our garden doesn’t always live up to our expectations. The summer always seems to fly by though, and before I know it, we’re done with our weekly produce pick ups.

Thankfully, our CSA program includes one final “late season” share that stocks our fridge for a few more weeks. We picked it up in early November, and I still have some of these items in the pantry and fridge.

csa-2016-late-share

This year’s share included:

  • 4 apples
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 bunch of collard greens
  • 1 head of romanesco
  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • several russet potatoes
  • 1 bag of fresh cranberries
  • 3 heads of garlic
  • celeriac
  • 1 bag of sweet potatoes
  • onions
  • butternut squash
  • fennel
  • 1 jar of Hippie Wayne’s marinated mushrooms

In true “addicted to fruit” fashion, we ate the apples. I made cabbage and noodles with the head of cabbage, and I tried a new recipe for the collard greens. I ended up roasting the romanesco with olive oil, salt and pepper, and it should go without saying that I’m putting the onions and garlic in almost everything I make.

The cranberries are stashed in the freezer, waiting for the perfect recipe. (Or, if we’re being honest, they’re waiting for me to decide which recipe to make.)

I wasn’t sure what to do with the fennel and celeriac, but then I saw this recipe. I think I’m going try it! I plan to share the mushrooms with some fungus-loving friends, since neither of us are fans.

That wraps things up for the year. I can’t wait to see what next year brings. (Here’s hoping that 2017 goes a little lighter on the kohlrabi!) 

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2016: Weeks 13-18

OK, so I really dropped the ball when it came to writing about our weekly CSA deliveries. Thank goodness I didn’t forget to pick up the veggies each week. We just received our final regular season share two weeks ago, which means that we’ll have one more late season share in November. Sigh. 18 weeks goes so fast!

Week 13 was the last hurrah for the true summer foods, in my opinion, since it was the last batch of sweet corn for the season. The melon was a little disappointing, if I’m being honest. I don’t know if it wasn’t ripe when we cut into it, but it wasn’t very sweet. The sweet corn was though. 🙂

csa-2016-week-14

Week 13 included:

  • Sweet Corn
  • Green/Yellow Beans
  • Melons
  • Onions
  • Patty Pans
  • Sweet Peppers
  • Banana Peppers
  • Jalapenos
  • Romaine Lettuce

The melon was much better the next week!

csa-2016-week-14

  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Melon
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Bell Pepper
  • Sweet Onions
  • Kohlrabi
  • Green Beans

Week 15 was the start of fall foods in our weekly share. I love summer sweet corn and zucchini just as much as the next girl, but fall food holds a special place in my heart. I made coleslaw for shrimp tacos and our favorite cabbage dish with the head of cabbage, and the carrots ended up in our latest mid-week dinner win.

csa-2016-week-15

Week 15 included:

  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Sweet Potato Leaves (I sautéed them with onions in bacon grease for breakfast one day. Delicious.) 

I was pretty excited about week 16. I mean, potatoes and acorn squash?? I wish I could say that I did something creative with the green tomatoes, but I just let them ripen on the counter. 🙂

csa-2016-week-16

Week 16 also included:

  • Kale
  • Beets
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Green Tomatoes
  • Onions

csa-2016-week-17

Week 17: AKA, the week of the worms. Seriously.Do you see that giant thing on the broccoli in the picture?? Eww.

Now, we’ve been eating from a CSA for several years, and I grew up eating garden-fresh produce (thanks to my green-thumb, garden-loving parents), so I know that sometimes you get bugs in your veggies. It’s a fact of life. (It’s also the reason I don’t plant broccoli in our garden.) I have vivid memories of running out of the house as a kid because there was a worm in the ear of corn I was husking. My dad always said, “It’s just some extra protein.” Umm.. no thanks.

Anyway… Andy killed the giant worm that you see in the picture, plus another couple that he found on / in the head of broccoli. He assured me that he had gotten them all. I still had him cook the broccoli, and before he roasted it, he said that yes, he had looked it over. There were no worms, he promised. We ate the broccoli, and it was delicious. Andy packed up the leftovers for lunches the next day, because he’s just that nice.

As I was sitting at my desk, finishing my lunch, I decided to scrape the pieces of roasted garlic out of the bowl and eat them. And that’s when I realized that the crunchy brown piece in the bowl was NOT a delicious, crispy piece of garlic but a ROASTED, CRISPY WORM. EW. EW. EW. Appetite = gone.

I fired off a text to my lunch-packer: THERE IS A WORM IN MY BROCCOLI.

His response? “Don’t look before you eat it next time. 😀 “

Besides the head of broccoli and the “extra protein,” week 17 included:

  • Stripetti Squash (It’s a cross between Delicata & Spaghetti. I prepped it just like a spaghetti squash.)
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Swiss Chard
  • Sun Jewel Asian Melons (They taste just like a pear and a cantaloupe got together, and seeing as how those are two of my least favorite fruits, I let Andy enjoy the whole thing.)
  • Kohlrabi
  • Onions

Anyway. On to week 18.

csa-2016-week-18

This time, I made sure Andy inspected the broccoli and the romanesco. He did remove a few green, wiggly hitchhikers. Eww.

Moving on… we received:

  • Radishes
  • Pea Shoots
  • Kale
  • Fennel
  • Peppers
  • Hubbard Squash
  • Broccoli
  • Romanesco
  • Onions

 

csa-romenesco

The romanesco was a new vegetable for us, and we roasted it with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. We thought it tasted kind of like cauliflower, so it was a hit at our house! The cute Christmas-tree shape was fun too. 🙂

That brings us up to the present, at least as far as vegetables are concerned. Maybe it won’t take 6 weeks for me to write about our late season share.

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2016: Weeks 11 & 12

Hey there! Andy and I are back from our off-grid adventures, so I figured I’d take a few minutes to catch up with things here. For those who wondered where we went, we spent 10 days in Glacier National Park and managed to hike more than 95 miles (if my math is right), which is a personal best for us on a trip! It was an incredible trip, and pictures won’t do the place justice.

Of course, the downside to late summer travel is that it makes using our CSA produce and garden veggies a little more challenging. I picked up week 11’s share right before we left.

CSA 2016 week 11

We received:

  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 banana pepper
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • several slicing / eating tomatoes
  • red and yellow onions
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 pound of green and yellow beans

I put the eggplant, beets and pepper in the fridge in my magic produce-saver bags, hoping that they would still look OK when we came home. (And they did. Yay for modern technology!) I knew the onions would keep, so they stayed home as well. Everything else was loaded into the cooler (or the food bin, in the case of the tomatoes – I never refrigerate a fresh tomato) for the trip. I pan-fried the zucchini and summer squash in some butter with a little bit of oregano one day after hiking, and we ate lots of steamed green beans throughout the trip.

Here’s what happened to the sweet corn and cherry tomatoes:

CSA while camping

Just because we’re camping doesn’t mean we have to subsist on hot dogs and instant soup. I roasted the cherry tomatoes in a foil packet with butter, salt, pepper and oregano. Andy really enjoyed them this way – more so than eating them plain. I soaked the corn in water before we put it on the fire, and it turned out really well too.

I don’t have a picture of the week 12 share, as my friend Bethany picked it up, but it looks like it was a good week for her! According to our newsletter, she received:

  • Kale
  • Sweet corn
  • Snap beans
  • Leeks
  • Slicing tomatoes
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Golden beets
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumbers

Bethany did put a cucumber and a zucchini in our fridge for us, along with the beets. I haven’t convinced her that they’re delicious. Yet. 😉

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2016: Week 7 – Week 10

I. Am. So. Far. Behind. I’d blame our busy summer schedule, but since I say the same thing ever year, I don’t think that’s a good excuse. Whatever the reason, I am just now getting around to talking about weeks 7 and 8 (even though we are eating the goodies from week 9 10 as I write this). We’ll be lucky if I even get a post up about week 11, since I plan to pick it up on my way home from work tomorrow, throw it in the cooler and drive it across the country. Veggies on vacation! (That sounds so much healthier than our other vacation staple, ice cream.) 

CSA 2016 Week 7

We picked up week 7 during EAA Airventure, which meant that most of it ended up in produce saver bags to wait until  the airplanes flew home. Except the blueberries, of course. We ate those by the handful until the pint was gone, which, as you can probably imagine, didn’t take long. Here’s what we received:

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 pint of blueberries
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 red onions
  • 4 ears of corn
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 1/4 lbs. of green and yellow beans

CSA 2016 Week 8

For week 8, we received:

  • 2 yellow onions
  • 3 red onions
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 4 ears of sweet corn
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 lb. of snap peas
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 bunch of beets

Neither of us were overly thrilled about eggplant. However, I think I found our preferred method of eating it, thanks to Cook’s Illustrated. Eggplant involtini (especially with the homemade tomato sauce) isn’t half bad.

CSA 2016 week 9

Here’s week 9:

  • 4 ears of sweet corn
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard
  • 5 red onions
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 4 jalapeño peppers
  • 1 bag of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bag of baby red potatoes
  • 6 tomatoes

I did lots of typical stuff with a lot of this: corn on the cob (boiled to perfection thanks to Cook’s Illustrated), pico de gallo and caprese. It may not be fancy, but it was all delicious.

CSA 2016 Week 10

OK, week 10. (Not only is my writing getting shorter, but my pictures are getting worse. Some blogger I am!) 

  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 leeks
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 4 ears of sweet corn
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 1 bunch of beets

The cherry tomatoes ended up in another batch of caprese, and I caramelized the fennel with some onions. I roasted the cauliflower and the broccoli. Thank goodness beets keep well in the fridge, since most of our CSA beets are still hanging out in the crisper drawer. When we get back from vacation, I’d like to use a bunch of them in this beautiful tart. We ate half of the corn on the cob. I used the last two ears of corn (along with the leeks and some Swiss chard from our garden) to make this tasty flatbread / pizza for dinner last night.

Whew! I think we’re all caught up now… or at least until tomorrow’s pick up. 🙂

 
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Posted by on August 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2016: Week 6

Let’s start with the important stuff this week. Do you see what I see?!? TOMATOES! I was extra excited to see these in our share Tuesday night. My friends and I had were talking about menus for the week, and Bethany said she was going to make bruschetta, which sounded like a really good idea, except for the fact that the tomatoes in my garden are completely green. And no one should make bruschetta with grocery store tomatoes in July.

Our CSA came through for me though, with four beautiful tomatoes! So, bruschetta it is. I actually think it will make a good snack next week at Airventure, as long as I prep the bread at home before we go.

CSA 2016 Week 6

Here’s the rundown for week 6:

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 small heads of fennel
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 onion
  • 1 pound of green and yellow beans
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes

The cucumbers are probably going to wind up in our cooler next week. The scapes are destined for pesto, and I am probably going to caramelize the fennel. We started eating through our kohlrabi stash this week, so now I am down to just three in the fridge. I took my sister-in-law’s advice and oven-roasted them with olive oil, salt and pepper. They were all right, but I may turn the next batch into fritters.

I’ll probably roast the cauliflower, since that’s our favorite way to enjoy it. As for the onion, well, I put onion is almost everything, so I’m sure it will be consumed rather quickly. I’d like to use the zucchini and summer squash in this galette.

Which brings us to the green beans. When they are fresh from the garden, they are one of my favorites. I steamed some with dinner the other night, and I’ve been taking a handful to work each day for easy snacking. Between our garden, the CSA and our generous neighbors, we have a LOT of green beans in the fridge. I might get to can some for winter enjoyment at this rate!

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2016: Week 5

Week five! And I’m actually sharing it the same week that we picked it up. I’m making progress!

CSA 2016 Week 5

This week, we brought home:

  • One Walla Walla onion
  • One head of lettuce
  • Two cucumbers
  • Two summer squash
  • One bunch of beets
  • Two kohlrabi
  • One pound of green beans
  • One bunch of garlic scapes

For once, the lettuce is not going into salads. We’re having tacos Sunday night, so I’m earmarking it for them. I plan on using the summer squash in our other favorite zucchini / squash dish soon. The cucumbers are going into salads and lunches for the next couple of days, and I am sure that we’ll simply steam the green beans until they are crisp-tender. I could make something with them, but why mess with perfection?

I used the beet greens from both week 4 and week 5 in last night’s dinner: bacon, scrambled eggs, and sauteed beet greens. A few years ago I wouldn’t have thought to cook the greens, but I’m older and wiser now. I sauteed the greens with chopped garlic scapes and onion in bacon grease. They were so good that I even had some for breakfast the next day. (Much better than a green smoothie, if you ask me.) I’ll probably roast the beets for dinner one night when it’s not 90°+ outside.

I need to do a little reading before I use the onion. If Walla walla onions are something special, I want to do something out of the ordinary with it.

For those of you keeping track at home, we are now up to FOUR kohlrabi in the fridge. I need to do something with them before things get out of hand. Fritters, maybe? Hmm.

In addition to our CSA goodness, our garden is coming into its own. I picked one and three-quarter pounds of snap peas this morning, and I really want to make this. Andy doesn’t love dollops of ricotta like I do, so I either need to make it when he’s gone or make a second dish for him. It looks like we’ll have beans soon as well. And as long as the cucumbers don’t completely invade the tomato plants, we should see fresh tomatoes in a few weeks too. Exciting stuff!

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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