CSA 2016: Weeks 2, 3 & 4

Let’s catch up, shall we? We are a month into the 2016 season, and I am loving it! Except for the fact that I’m feeling slightly overrun with lettuce. We received two heads of lettuce for the first three weeks of the CSA and one head for week 4. Plus, our neighbors shared some lettuce from their garden, and now our lettuce is ready to go! Can you say salads?

I was pretty pumped for week 2: Asparagus, garlic scapes and sugar snap peas? Be still my beating heart. CSA 2016 Week 2

We received:

  • One bunch of kale
  • One kohlrabi
  • One bunch of garlic scapes
  • One small bunch of asparagus (the last of the season!) 😦
  • One head of Romanie lettuce
  • One head of Bib lettuce
  • Two heads of broccoli

CSA 2016 Week 3

Week 3 introduced us to something we hadn’t tried before: pea shoots. I used some of them in a quinoa salad with dried cherries and feta cheese, and some of the shoots ended up in a stir-fry. (I used this recipe for the sauce and went with chicken instead of shrimp, just because it was in the freezer, and an assortment of veggies from the fridge.)

Week 3 included:

  • One small bunch of rhubarb (the last of the season) 
  • One bunch of pea shoots
  • One pound of sugar snap peas
  • One head of broccoli
  • One head of Romaine lettuce
  • One head of head lettuce
  • One zucchini
  • One bunch of Swiss chard
  • One bunch of garlic scapes

CSA 2016 Week 4

Which brings us up to the present: Week 4. Here’s this week’s loot:

  • 1 1/4 pounds of peas
  • One head of lettuce
  • One bunch of beets with greens
  • One kohlrabi
  • One zucchini
  • One summer squash
  • One bunch of kale
  • One bunch of garlic scapes

I’m sure you’re wondering what we’re doing with all of these veggies. Besides eating salads, that is. Well, the sugar snap peas are gone before you can blink. It’s like we have es-cape-peas! Hahaha…

The broccoli is making its way into salads and stir fries. Some of the garlic scapes made their way into stir fries as well, and the rest of them are destined for pesto. The zucchini and summer squash will be fritterized by Thursday evening because, yes, we are that predictable.

The kohlrabi… um… yeah. It’s still in the fridge, waiting for inspiration. We don’t hate it, but I haven’t found a way to love it yet. I’m not sure what we’ll do with the kale either. I tossed the first bunch with some pasta, sauteed garlic scapes and Parmesan cheese, which wasn’t bad, but we both thought it was missing something. Bacon, perhaps?

As for the Swiss chard, I’m hoping to use it in an orzo pasta salad that my friend Bethany makes. It has basil, feta, pine nuts and dried cherries, and it’s the only pasta salad that Andy truly likes. It typically calls for arugula, but I think I can sub in the Swiss chard with no problem. I plan to serve that with some salmon (and a salad, of course).

So there you have it.Three weeks of summer-time goodness. Like I said before, it really is a wonderful time of year.

CSA 2016: Week 1

Editor’s note: Yes, I’m behind with things (again). We had an unexpected trip come up last weekend, which means that by the time you read this, we’ll be just a few days away from receiving our third week of produce. Better late than never, right? 😛

Finally! I have been oh-so-patiently (ha!) waiting for this moment since last November.

This is our fifth season eating farm-fresh produce from Olden Produce (soon to be Olden Organics), and I think I enjoy this a little more each year. I thought I’d talk about why I like participating in a CSA, since I don’t know if I’ve ever said anything besides, “IT TASTES SO GOOD!”

  1. It’s good to know where your food comes from. I mean, I’m pretty sure that everyone knows that the grocery store shelves aren’t magically replenished by elves or something, but it’s still nice to remember how much work goes in to growing food.
  2. You’re supporting a local business, so more resources are going back into your community, which is always a good thing.
  3. It forces you to try something new. With a CSA, you get what you get, and it’s never the same. Each week is something different. Sometimes you get your favorite thing (Asparagus! Broccoli! Strawberries!), and sometimes, well, you get eggplant. Or fennel. Or kohlrabi. You have to make the best of it because no one likes to waste food. What can I say? I like a challenge.
  4. Finally (and, most importantly, in Andy’s mind): It really does taste SO good. There’s nothing like a fresh strawberry or tomato, and garden carrots have so much more flavor than their grocery-store counterparts. Honestly, once you have the real thing, you’re pretty much ruined for anything else. (Which is why I’m a sweet corn snob. Go ahead and thank my parents for that one.) 
CSA 2016 Week 1
See those extra two quarts of strawberries in the background? They’re from our awesome neighbors.

Besides, what’s not to love about this loot? Here’s the rundown for week 1:

  • 1 quart of strawberries
  • 1 pound of asparagus
  • 1 pound of popcorn
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 bundle of rhubarb
  • 1 head of Bib lettuce
  • 1 head of Romaine lettuce

So, what did we do with all of this? Well, the strawberries were gone right away. There’s nothing like fresh strawberries in June. The popcorn is waiting for a lazy Sunday evening. (Still not sure when we’ll get one of those, but that’s neither here nor there. Popcorn keeps well in the pantry.) I roasted some of the asparagus, and the rest of it ended up in this pasta dish. The kale is still hanging out in a produce saver bag, just waiting for inspiration to strike. The rhubarb is waiting for the perfect dessert opportunity. So many options, so little time.

As far as the lettuce goes, we are embracing the “loaded salad” concept this summer. I fill our plates with lettuce and then pile on the toppings, which helps us stay on top of the lettuce situation. Two heads of lettuce a week is a lot for two people! For a salad to be satisfying enough for dinner, I think it needs the following components:

  • Protein (hard-boiled eggs, grilled steak, grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, bacon)
  • Cheese (feta, Parm, cheddar, blue)
  • Something crunchy (croutons, slivered almonds)
  • Something sweet (sliced strawberries, dried cranberries, dried cherries)
  • Lots of veggies (peppers, onions, snap peas, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. This obviously changes based on what comes in our weekly share!)

So there you have it! Here’s to a summer full of delicious fruits and veggies.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

(My apologies if you’re humming now.) 😉

It’s June, which means that some of my favorite things on the horizon:

  1. Another season of farm-fresh goodness from the good people at Olden Produce / Olden Organics. We pick up our first share in about 10 days, and I cannot wait. I’m hoping for asparagus, lettuce and strawberries.
  2. Our garden is growing! Well, hopefully, anyway. Andy put seeds in the dirt on Memorial day, and we are both anxiously waiting for the peas and beans to poke their heads through the dirt. Our rhubarb is doing well, and we’re both impressed with the way our garlic looks this year, which brings me to point number three:
  3. SCAPES!! Several of our garlic plants have scapes, and I am really excited about another batch of garlic scape pesto. I also saw a recipe for a garlic scape soup that sounds intriguing. Grow baby, grow!
  4. Strawberry season is coming soon! Last year we picked more than 80 pounds. We ate every bit of it too, so I am a little afraid of how many we should pick this year…
  5. Next week, Andy and I get to celebrate nine years of putting up with each other. 😉 It’s not every day you find someone who will watch PBS cooking shows, plant a garden for you and get up at the crack of dawn because you want to go strawberry picking. It’s been a great adventure, and I am excited to see what God has in store for us next.  I did see that our anniversary happens to fall on strawberry rhubarb pie day, so we may have to have some pie to celebrate. I don’t think he’ll mind.

Wyoming & Dakota Vacation Pentax 167

Happy June! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. 🙂

CSA 2015: Late Season Share – The Last Hurrah

Our CSA’s standard “season” is 18 weeks long, which gives us produce from sometime in June through sometime in October. Then we have a break for a few weeks (which gives me a chance to clear some space in the fridge) before the one-time, late-season share arrives. It’s larger than our weekly share, and it has some of my favorite veggies. 🙂

CSA 2015 Late Share

We received:

  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 giant stalk of Brussels sprouts
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Shallots (SO excited about these. Just ask Andy.)
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 bag of mixed greens
  • Butternut squash
  • Celeriac
  • 1 jar of “Cowboy Candy” – sweet pickled jalapeno peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Carrots
  • 2 pounds of fresh cranberries (SO, SO, SO good. I love almost anything with cranberries. Including this pie.) 

I made coleslaw and our go-to cabbage and noodle dish with the cabbage, and we shared the Cowboy Candy with Arron and Karen, since he’s a fan of all things pickled. We had some beautiful salads with the greens. The cauliflower and half of the Brussels sprouts made their way into my own variation of this dish. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what all we’ve done with the onions, since I put them in ALL THE THINGS. 😀 We still have to eat the kale, and I plan on using the celeriac in soups/stews.

I finally found a use for the smaller, buttercup squash we received a few weeks ago: squash toasts with caramelized onions and ricotta. They were amazing, and, for once, I’m not exaggerating. Seriously. Andy rated them higher than vanilla bean ice cream, which is saying something since that’s pretty much the pinnacle of greatness in his mind. I think the only thing that would make them better is homemade ricotta. Next time.

In other produce news, Andy’s coworker shared some of the world’s biggest beets and carrots with us, so we are set with root vegetables for a while. (Seriously. These beets are the size of a baby’s head.) I’m thinking this might be a good time to try some of those carrot soup recipes I’ve been saving. I may try making beet chips again, since we have plenty of them.

And that brings us to the end of the fresh produce here in Wisconsin. We’ll enjoy our frozen and canned produce for the next few months, and I am already counting down the days until our garlic pokes up in the garden. 🙂

CSA 2015: Week 18

Sing it with me: “It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

OK, maybe “end of the world” is a little over dramatic. It is, however, the end of our regular season shares from Olden Produce. Sadness. The season always seems to go way too fast. (We do have a late season share coming next month, and I’m hoping for things like Brussels sprouts and broccoli.) 

CSA 2015 week 18

Here’s what week 18 brought us:

  • 2 green peppers
  • 3 onions
  • 3 eggplant
  • 1 bag of mixed greens
  • 1 bag of Asian greens
  • 1 bunch of pea shoots
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 3 radishes
  • 2 sunspot squash
  • 1 head of Chinese cabbage

The broccoli was gone almost instantly. (Roasted with salt, pepper, olive oil and garlic, and then doused with lemon juice. My favorite. I could seriously eat pans of the stuff.) It’s hard to say where exactly the onions went, since we use them in almost everything. (Seriously. Is there a better smell than onions sauteing in butter?) We had grilled chicken salads with the first bag of greens, and I cooked most of the Chinese cabbage in some bacon grease for a vegetable side dish last Friday night.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the sunspot squash, or the eggplant (especially since I forgot about them in our crisper drawer until yesterday… whoops). I will probably saute the pea shoots with some garlic and serve them with dinner tomorrow night.

Speaking of dinner, let’s talk about what I’m making this week. We have a lot of fun things going on, and I am swamped at work, so I’m trying to make things as easy as possible:

Monday 10/26 – Pot roast with potatoes and carrots in the crockpot
Tuesday 10/27 – Salmon with stir-fried pea shoots and Asian greens and corn (Making this one up as I go along…) 
Wednesday 10/28 – Black bean ragout in the crockpot (I made this in my Dutch oven last winter, and we loved it. This time, I’m using the crockpot so Andy can make it to Bible study at church by 6:30.) 
Thursday 10/29 – Dinner out! We’re double-dating it with some of our favorite people and going to Oktoberfest at a local brewpub. Super pumped for this one. 😀
Friday 10/30 – Chili and caramel apple night with some more friends! I’ve been nominated to bring dessert…. currently leaning toward brownies and ice cream. You can’t go wrong with something like that, can you?

CSA 2015: Weeks 16 & 17

The days are getting shorter; the leaves are changing; and, best of all, we have SQUASH in our CSA! It must be fall! Woohoo! As much as I love the first few weeks of spring produce, fall veggies are where it’s at. They last longer, so I have fewer produce-induced panics. 😉 Plus, there’s something special about late-season produce. Knowing that there’s only a few weeks left makes everything taste sweeter.

CSA 2015 week 16
Pepper-pa-looza! (And please disregard the mess in my kitchen…)

Week 16:

  • Sweet yellow peppers
  • Red onions
  • Asian greens
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 1 1/4 pounds tomatillos
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • Banana peppers
  • 4 poblano peppers

 

CSA 2015 week 17

Week 17

  • Carrots
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 bag of Asian greens
  • 5 jalapeno peppers
  • Beets
  • 1 bunch of pac choi
  • Sweet potato leaves
  • 2 acorn squash
  • Red potatoes
  • Onions

So, what did I do with all of this awesomeness? Well, I started with salsa verde, which made for some amazing pork tacos. Then I made a roasted pepper-sausage-pasta dish. I used the leftover pork from our tacos to make nachos for Friday’s dinner. (Perk of being an adult: It’s perfectly OK to eat appetizers for dinner on Friday night.) Since I seem to be on a Tex-Mex kick, I used the last of the sweet peppers in tonight’s fajitas.

We’ve had some great salads with the greens, but I am not sure what to do with the sweet potato leaves. Our CSA email said that they’re good in stir fry, so I may try that. I also read that they are wilt down like spinach, so that’s an option too. I plan on pickling the banana peppers, and I am going to make our favorite stuffed squash dish with the acorn squash. Thank goodness beets keep well in cold storage, since they’ve taken over an entire drawer in our refrigerator. We’ll roast and enjoy them once the more perishable vegetables are gone.

We have one more week left in our CSA, and then one final late-season share, so the goodness continues for a couple more weeks.

We’re Back! CSA 2015: Weeks 14 & 15, Plus What We’re Eating

Hello everyone!

We are back from vacation, and I am sort of caught up with real life, at least at home. We won’t talk about the massive piles on my desk at work. Two weeks off is totally worth it though. A big thanks to Bethany for picking up our CSA (and writing about it for you all!) while we were in Wyoming. I’m so glad she could use our veggies so they wouldn’t go to waste. She and her Andy are pretty much the best. They filled our fridge with some “welcome home” groceries so we would have something to eat when we rolled in late Sunday evening, and left us fun notes to come home to. Everyone should have friends this good. 😀

As great as vacation was, I will be the first to admit that I was glad to get home and back to my kitchen. There’s nothing like two weeks in the woods to make you appreciate things like running water, dishwashers and fresh produce. Not that we ate poorly on vacation – quite the opposite, in fact. Andy’s brother, Dan, and his family joined us for the second week, and let me tell you, Dan and Kim make a mean London broil. Seriously amazing. I’m surprised the bears didn’t come lick the fire grate after we went to bed. I may have to let them guest blog about it sometime!

Andy was gone the first weekend after we returned from vacation, so I had some time to play in the kitchen as well. I made jam (using blueberries that I froze in July) and another loaf of no-knead bread (adding Parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary to the loaf). I also had time to MAKE CHEESE. Yes. Real ricotta cheese, from my very own kitchen. It was amazing.

CSA 2015 Week 14

Week 14:

  • 4 ears of sweet corn
  • 2 summer squash
  • Sweet peppers
  • Kohlrabi
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Tomatoes (including more of those indigo kumquat tomatoes that Bethany sampled for us!) 
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers

 

CSA 2015 week 15

Week 15

  • Green tomatoes (which are ripening nicely for us) 
  • Eggplant
  • Sweet peppers
  • Jalapeno peppers (10 OF THEM! HOLY HOT PEPPERS, BATMAN!) 
  • 4 ears of sweet corn (last of the season, and still tasty!) 
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Beets
  • Watermelon

So, what did I do with all of this? The first batch of sweet corn got added to our zucchini fritters, which I would definitely recommend. The eggplant and summer squash made their way into this salad, which I took to a church potluck last week. Six of the jalapenos went into popper dip, which Andy gladly let me take to work. The sweet peppers are finding their way into lots of things, from snacks to pizzas.

Finally, here’s the menu for this week. This is the first week I’ve actually made a meal plan in at least six weeks.

Monday 9/28 – BLTs on jalapeno biscuits and sweet corn (The latest issue of Southern Living included a recipe for jalapeno biscuits, and since I have a few laying around, it seemed like a good idea.) 😉
Tuesday 9/29 – Apricot chicken pasta and green beans
Wednesday 9/30 – Butternut squash soup and leftover biscuits
Thursday 10/1 – Salmon, roasted potatoes and a TBD vegetable
Friday 10/2 – Steak, potatoes and carrots. This one is special. We’re taking a short backpacking trip, so this is a campfire dinner. (It’s my first backpacking trip, so here’s hoping I love it as much as Andy does.)

Whew. I think that brings up to the present. Now maybe I’ll start taking pictures of things again so I have something to write about.

Guest Post: Beth is the Best and CSA Weeks 12 & 13!

Hello, Beth’s readers!

I am Beth’s friend, Bethany.  I am married to Andy…not to be mistaken for the Andy of this blog.  Although, my Andy also uses a scale for rating food that I make.  And both Andys work at the same company…and are on the same crew…Andy and Beth…Andy and Bethany…are you confused yet?  Beth and I didn’t even know each other until we both moved to WI (Beth two years after me) after marrying our aircraft mechanic men.  We met at our church, randomly, when our Andys recognized each other from work (before they were on the same crew).  Isn’t that fun?  She is a gift from God, for real.

Beth is going to hate me for this, but I must tell you:  she is an amazing friend, and I love her.  She is hilarious and genuine, generous and talented, loyal and feisty, intelligent and laid back, etc. etc.  And the even better part is that I know my Andy feels the same about her Andy, but of course in a more manly, unemotional, let’s-not-put-it-into-words way.  Andy and Beth have proven themselves to be faithful friends.  Plus, we have two kiddos who just adore them, and we did not force them to do so…promise!

Anyway, let’s get down to business!  Andy and Beth have been kind to let me pick up and have their CSA produce while they are on vacation!  It was kind of like Christmas morning on Wednesday evenings around here.  Dork.  I know.

Week 12

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Week 13

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My favorite new things to try were this:

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tiny cantaloupe.  It was quite sweet since it was so small.  Delicious.

These:

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special, beautiful, yummy tomatoes.  I believe the CSA man said they were a Cherokee Purple variety.  Some claim that purple, or black, tomatoes have a stronger, almost smoky flavor.  I found that to be true!  I prepared these by slicing them and then eating raw with evoo, S & P, fresh basil, and parmesan cheese.  So, so good.  It all tasted like summertime.

These:

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indigo kumquat tomatoes.  They have a different flavor that I cannot put my finger on.  Fun and different!  I am going to pick up some fresh mozzarella to eat with them and will add fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, and S & P.

These:

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vintage wine tomatoes.  Well, if that is their name…they cannot possibly taste bad.  Plus, they are pretty.  So, there you go.  I am going to try some in this recipe for angel hair pasta with raw tomato sauce for dinner tonight!  I am guessing it will be delish, as it is a Smitten Kitchen recipe.

This:

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yellow watermelon!  Look how little it is!  Have you ever had one before?

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I think it is a bit less sweet than regular watermelon.  And obviously, this was not a see!dless one.

I love how creative God is with His veggies and fruit.  He could have just made regular ol’ red tomatoes.

The zucchini and squash I am going to turn into fritters, which will be my first fritter-making-experience.  I am excited to try them!  Again, dork.

The rest of the produce, besides the leeks, we have either eaten raw or roasted.  I think all that Beth may get when she gets home is the jalapeno peppers, unless I get around to making some pico de gallo with it.

Now, let’s talk about those leeks.  What do I do with leeks?  Part of what made me look forward to picking up the CSA was to try a new recipe with produce that I don’t normally buy.  It is my version of adventure sometimes!  I bought leeks a long time ago and made leek soup out of them.  Andy was not impressed and kindly asked that I not repeat that recipe.  Ha!  The CSA people sent out some recipe links with their pick-up reminder e-mail, so I decided to give their recommendation for French Leek Pie a try.  I mean, come on, butter and cream and cheese and pie crust.  Hello.  Add almost anything to that, and it would be good.  I know this was not a healthy way to eat leeks, but you know, yum.

First, I had to refresh my memory on how to clean and chop leeks, so I used this method.

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They kind of look like celery.  I think they smell like a combination of onions and celery.  They are in the same family as onions and garlic, though, and I would say that they taste like it.

I like the idea from the video of roasting or grilling leeks if you are not going to chop them up for a recipe!

Anyway, back to our regular broadcast:  the recipe did not disappoint!  Andy gave it a 5!  He even made the worst pun I have heard in awhile out of the recipe title (see below…bahaha!).  It tasted like caramelized onions in a creamy, savory custard.  I used this pie crust recipe, which Beth and I tested in our pie-crust-testing days and voted to be the overall winner.

I decided to be like my sister, Anna, and themed my dinner.  French:  so I made “French” green beans by slicing them in half length-wise and “French” beef by using my brother-in-law’s home-raised beef and adding traditional French herbs (fresh rosemary from Beth’s garden, oregano, and thyme).  (Side note:  my brother-in-law is French because his last name is Roghair.  Actually, I think he is Dutch, but I pretended that he is French for the purpose of this meal.)  Andy just laughed at me, but he stopped laughing when he tasted the pie.

And, here it is!

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French Leek-Airtight Pie

1 9-inch pie crust

2 tsp butter

3 leeks, chopped

S & P, to taste

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese (or regular swiss, fontina, mozzarella, etc.)

Prepare pie crust.  Preheat oven to 375.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.  Stir in leeks; cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, or until soft.  Season with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to low.  Stir in cream and cheese, and warm through.  Pour mixture into pie shell.

Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until custard is set and golden on top.  Allow to sit 10 minutes before cutting pie into wedges.

Barely adapted from allrecipes.com.

Thanks for reading!  I am glad to have Beth home soon!  You can look forward to a camping food post from her in the near future perhaps?

CSA 2015: Weeks 9, 10 & 11 (AKA taking this show on the road!)

Whew. We made it to the end of August. Things have been a little quiet on the blog lately, thanks to our ridiculous summer schedule. The last couple of weeks have been full of produce triage (canning peaches, making jam, blanching and freezing carrots, making refrigerator pickles, just to name a few things) and vacation prep. Andy and I are getting ready to hit the road again for a couple weeks of boot camp training relaxation. (Our vacations tend to include a LOT of hiking up mountains. He calls it relaxing; I call it work. Now, the time in the hammock with a book? That’s relaxing. Anyway…)

In addition to our weekly produce share, I also ordered 1 1/2 bushels of fresh peaches, which we have been enjoying in SO many forms. We’ve had peach cobbler, peach pie, peach sangria popsicles, brown butter peach shortbread bars… and of course, dozens of peaches on their own.

CSA 2015 Week 9
Week 9:

  • Sweet corn
  • Cabbage
  • Beans
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Onions
  • Zucchini/Summer squash

I don’t have a lot of new “this is what I did with the veggies” things to share, but we did have one five-star home run dish with the produce over the last few weeks. Martha Stewart came through for us with a zucchini-orzo-corn-feta salad. It was amazing. I made half a batch (with a full amount of feta cheese), and we had enough for dinner and a couple of lunches. It was so, so good. And don’t look now, but even Mr. I Dislike Pasta Salad loved it. Maybe he’s turning a corner… 😉

CSA 2015 Week 10

Week 10:

  • Sweet corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Green bell peppers
  • Banana peppers
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Eggplant
  • Cucumbers
  • Beets

I’m going to be the first to admit that I couldn’t come up with an idea for the eggplant. It’s a challenging vegetable for me. I was going to roast it and turn it into dip, but time got away from me. Thankfully, my friend Karen loves eggplant, so I sent it home with her so it wouldn’t rot in the fridge while we’re gone.

CSA 2015 Week 11

Week 11:

  • Apples
  • Kohlrabi
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Sweet corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Poblano peppers

I’ve been trying to work as much produce as possible into our camping meals (easier said than done when you need to fit two weeks’ worth of gear into a Nissan Versa). Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Coleslaw (goes great with burgers and brats)
  • Beef stew (perfect for some of those carrots)
  • Sliced cucumbers (perfect for snacks and lunches)
  • Pickled banana peppers (for my pie-iron pizzas. BEST. TOPPING. EVER.)
  • Tortellini soup (uses the tomatoes from our CSA and Swiss chard from our garden. Win-win!)
  • Chopped peppers/onions/tomatoes (again, for pizza.)
  • Peaches and cream muffins (Sounds like a good start to our mornings, if you ask me.) 
  • Homemade pico di gallo to go with our rice and bean meal (also used some of those jalapenos! Win-win!)
  • Tomatoes (for burgers and pizza) 
  • Apples (for trail/road food) 

We’re also taking green beans to have with a couple of meals, so I won’t feel nearly as bad about the massive amounts of chex mix that we’ll be eating on the trail. 😉 By the end of the trip, we’ll be down to things like spaghetti and rice and beans (you know, stuff that keeps well without a refrigerator).

I’m taking Kirsten’s advice and having my friend Bethany pick up our CSA share while we’re gone. After all, I’d hate to see the food go to waste. So, you may get lucky enough to hear from Bethany about her experiences with our veggies too!

What We’re Eating & CSA 2015: Week 6

Would you believe that I didn’t put a meal plan together for the last couple of weeks? I guess that’s what happens when you’re gone more than you’re home. I blame the airplanes. 😉 In an attempt to get organized after a week of craziness, here’s our meal plan for this week.

Monday 7/27 – Burgers, corn on the cob and cucumbers (I have a tomato and corn from our CSA for the burgers, along with cucumbers from our garden to use! So excited!)
Tuesday 7/28 – Zucchini fritters, peaches and broccoli
Wednesday 7/29 – Grilled chicken and pasta with kale and garlic scape pesto
Thursday 7/30 – Maple-glazed salmon, a TBD vegetable (waiting to see what comes in Wednesday’s CSA delivery!), bread and cheesecake for dessert. (We’re having some friends over for dinner, and she’s making the bread. We also heard it was national cheesecake day – definitely a holiday worth celebrating.) 😉
Friday 8/1 – French dip sandwiches and a TBD vegetable

CSA 2015 Week 6

My friend Bethany was kind enough to pick up our CSA veggies last Wednesday while we were at EAA. It was so nice to come home to a fridge full of vegetables (and a hilarious note on the kitchen table). Here’s our loot from week #6:

  • 4 ears of sweet corn
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 bunch of carrots
  • Summer squash (I can’t decide if this is one or two… they’ve grown together!)
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 cucumbers

I put some of the tomatoes on a pizza and in a salad for lunch. The last one went on our burgers last night, and obviously, the corn went last night too. We’ve been snacking on the broccoli and the cucumbers. I’m kind of at a loss for what to do with the carrots. Should I cook with them, or just eat them on their own? It always amazes me how much more flavor home-grown carrots have, compared to their grocery-store cousins.

In garden news, our beans have started to produce (although not in great numbers, which has me concerned that I won’t get to can any this year). Our cucumber/pickle plants are going like crazy though! We planted “bush pickles” since the plants would be smaller, and they are giving us at least two cucumbers every day or so! I’m going to try making some pickles with them tonight – now I just need to decide if I’ll make refrigerator pickles, or if I should can them. (Slicing cucumbers and putting them in the refrigerator sounds much nicer than breaking out the canner on a 90+ degree day.) 

Our tomato plants are looking rather sad as well. I don’t know what’s going on, but three of the six plants look like they’re about ready to give up the ghost. I may have to buy extra tomatoes to can this fall. We did harvest our garlic this past weekend, digging nine cloves from the ground. Now I have to decide if we should put anything else in its place – a fresh crop of lettuce, maybe? We’ll see…