Farmer’s Market Finds, Week 2

Happy almost-July, everyone! It’s a sizzling hot weekend around here, but we got up early to beat the heat (and some of the crowds) for our fresh produce.

We started the day out at Cuff Farms for one last round of strawberry picking. It was the best picking we’ve seen all season, so we each filled a flat and came home with about 27 pounds of berries. The only question is what to bake first! ūüėȬ†StrawberryPicking2018

We stopped at the farmer’s market on our way home, and I snagged a lot of tasty veggies. This week, I brought home:

  • 1 bunch of beets
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • nearly 2 pounds of sugar snap peas
  • 3 zucchini

2018-FarmersMarketFindsWeek2

So, what are my plans for this pile of goodies? I’m super excited to make this pasta dish again, and, if I’m being honest, that’s about as far as I’ve gotten. I might do a stir-fry or some rice bowls with some of the other veggies. Our lettuce is going strong in our garden, so I’m working lots of salads into our menu as well.¬† The cucumbers in our garden are coming along nicely, so it won’t be long before we’re enjoying some pickles along with all of our meals.

Have a great 4th of July!

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Farmer’s Market Finds, Week 1

It’s finally farmer’s market season around here! We stopped by Olden Organic’s stand to pick up our punch card, and I decided to do a little shopping at the same time.

2018-FarmersMarketFindsWeek1

I picked up a head of lettuce, and more than a pound of sugar snap peas. I also learned that we’ll need to get to the stand before 9:30 AM to have a chance at getting asparagus or garlic scapes.

The lettuce is destined for a bunch of salads, and we’ve been snacking on the peas already. More of the peas will end up in a stir-fry later on this week.

Speaking of scapes, they’re just starting to appear on our garlic. Garlic scape pesto, here we come! Strawberry season has started here as well, so we’re planning to go picking sometime soon. Yay for summer produce!

CSA 2017: The Rest of The Story

Eating locally is something that I’ve been excited about for the last several years. (If you’ve been here for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that.) It’s why I pick local restaurants and gravitate toward the “made in Wisconsin” label on my cheese, wine and beer. It’s also why I’ve opted to get my veggies through a CSA from a local farm each summer.

I typically share a recap of our produce share each week, but this season just got away from me. (And I became the world’s laziest blogger, which I’m working on fixing.) So, here’s a year-end photo round up of 16 of the 19 weeks of home-grown goodness from Olden Organics. (Yes, I only blogged through week 3. MAJOR FAIL.)¬†And technically, we’re missing photos of two weeks because we spent a couple weeks in Washington state this August.

Since I obviously don’t remember what I made with each vegetable, I’ll give you ¬†the run-down of ¬†what does stick out in my mind from this summer.

Corn on the cob. We eat it as-is 99.9% of the time because nothing says summertime like fresh corn.

Cucumbers. In addition to our CSA, our cucumber plants went crazy this summer. I made quick pickles, and I tried a new-to-me orzo pasta salad with cucumbers, mint, feta and red onion. Yum yum yum.

Fennel. It’s still not my favorite CSA vegetable, but I’ve figured out how to make the best of it. This root vegetable gratin is my go-to, but if I don’t have the other vegetables on hand, I discovered that caramelized onions and fennel is an excellent pizza topping. I actually froze a big container of this mixture before our vacation this summer, and it’s just waiting for the next pizza night.

Garlic scapes. I’m a garlic junkie, and scapes are just one more way for me to get my fix. I turn most of them into pesto. My favorite “fast dinner” is pasta with garlic scape pesto sauce and a bit of Parmesan cheese.

Thai basil. I just discovered this variety of my favorite herb, and I cannot get enough of it. We had two plants in our garden this summer, and I loved it. It adds a little extra oomph to dishes, and I liked putting it in stir fries.

Golden beets. They’re similar to regular beets in flavor, but they are so pretty. If you’re someone who eats with your eyes, these are the beets for you.

Carrots. Our late season share had some beautiful rainbow-colored carrots. I tried a new recipe for glazed carrots with dried cherries and orange zest, and it was as beautiful as it was delicious.

Cranberries. We received a big bag in our late season share (and I also stocked up on more at the grocery store). I’ve made cranberry bars and cranberry sauce, and I can’t wait to try a pan of these breakfast buns.

That’s the whirlwind tour of our produce for the year. I can’t wait to see what 2018 holds!

Taste the Rainbow!

I picked up our final CSA share of the 2017 season today, and while I plan to do a wrap-up post on the entire season (especially since I dropped the ball on weekly updates), I decided to share this picture right away. 

These have to be the prettiest carrots I’ve ever brought home. Any suggestions for them? 

CSA 2017: Week 2 & Week 3

Happy July! I hope everyone had a great Independence Day. We had a four-day weekend, so we spent part of it camping and then spent Tuesday doing stuff around home. We did responsible things (like laundry and taking care of the weed problem in the cracks in the driveway) and fun things (like a bike ride for ice cream and dinner with some of our favorite people). All in all, it was a great long weekend, and Andy and I are both counting down the days left until our next vacation. (Only two work weeks left! Wooo!!!) 

CSA2017_Wk2

Week two was had some great things.

  • 12 ounces of sugar snap peas
  • 1 jar of dilly sugar snap peas from Hippie Wayne
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard
  • Garlic scapes
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 head of green leaf lettuce
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch of “mini broccoli”

And since July is getting away from me faster than I’d like to admit, I’m going to go ahead and share week three’s goodness with you as well.

CSA2017_Wk3

Week three had a little less than the first two weeks, and I’m sure we can thank the weird weather for that. We received:

  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 bag of popcorn
  • Garlic scapes
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 head of leaf lettuce
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 bag of shelling peas
  • 1 bunch of kale

I’m sure you’re wondering what two people did with all of those vegetables, right? The sugar snap peas and some of the lettuce went on a road trip to Otsego Lake State Park last weekend. The dilly sugar snap peas went to a picnic on the 4th of July, and the rest of the lettuce is destined for many, many salads. Salads are becoming my default dish for all potlucks this summer.

Half of the Swiss chard, a handful of garlic scapes, the broccoli, the summer squash and the kale from week 1 wound up in this pasta bake on Thursday evening.

We still haven’t learned to love kohlrabi, but we are big fans of dill pickles, so I’m probably going to try this method. I’ll let you know what we think!

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the shelling peas yet. I love fresh peas, so I want to find a recipe that’s worthy of their early-season goodness. I’m pretty sure that I used them in this pasta dish last year. I really liked it, but Andy thought it was so-so (probably because he’s not the biggest fan of dollops of ricotta). ¬†I could go with this one instead.

Our garden is thriving, especially the lettuce and the Swiss chard. We’ll keep eating salads, and I’m going to start sauteing the chard with some bacon grease and garlic scapes. I also need to make another batch of garlic scape pesto before the season is over!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! I hope it’s as nice there as it is here!

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!

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!