CSA: Weeks 8 and 9

Foreword:  For those of you just joining the party, this summer I joined an organic CSA (which stands for community-supported agriculture).  For 20 weeks, I’ll get a share of the farm’s crops.  If the crops do well, we get more.  If the crops don’t do well, our baskets suffer along with the farmers.  I’ve been documenting this experience here.

BLOGGER FAIL.  I did not take a picture of the week 8 haul.  You see, when I went to take it out of my truck, I dropped it and produce went rolling every-freaking-where.  So by the time I finished picking up blueberries and tomatillos out of my driveway and mourning the loss of three busted heirlooms, I was pretty over it.

The heat really affected the yield this week.  There wasn’t a lot, and some of what we did get was pretty sad looking.  There were tomatoes, some PITIFUL broccoli, cucumber, tomatillos, eggplant, blueberries, sweet peppers, potatoes, okra (LOTS of okra), and… wait for it… yes, MORE CABBAGE.  I’m two heads behind on my cabbage now.  It’s the only thing I can’t keep up with!

This was by far the most interesting thing in the basket this week:

I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a white eggplant!  Although it does just make good sense.  It definitely looks more like an egg than the purple ones.  Who ever heard of a purple egg anyway?  Except at Easter…

Friday night, I wanted pizza.  So I stuck my head in the fridge and started pulling out anything I thought could go on one.  Onion, banana peppers, CSA bell peppers, CSA jalapenos, black olives, CSA broccoli, spinach, CSA tomatoes (was able to salvage one of the busted ones), mushrooms, and Daiya “cheese” on a whole wheat crust did the trick!

And then this week I found what has quickly become my favorite web site.  Have you ever heard of supercook.com?  Yeah, I hadn’t either.  I don’t even remember how I came across it, but I sure as hell am glad I did.  I’ve been using the “In My Bar” feature on webtender.com for a long time and have always said that there needed to be a food version of that.  Well, that’s what supercook is!  You enter the ingredients that you have on-hand in your kitchen, and it tells you all the recipes that you can make from what you already have.  How cool is that???  Now maybe I’ll actually use up some of the stuff in my cupboards.  I am bad about buying something that I need for one recipe.  Now I can use this to find other things to make with that stuff!  After you enter in everything you have, you can click on any one or any combination of those things to narrow it down to recipes using only those things.  Monday night I used it to find a recipe for the eggplant and squash that I had in my fridge and were quickly approaching their toss date.  This was the first thing that came up.  BAM.  There you have it.  Dinner!

Mine doesn’t look as pretty as the picture on the recipe, but I’m super lazy when it comes to chopping stuff.  Quarter-inch cubes quickly become one-inch chunks when it’s left up to me.  The recipe suggested serving it with a bread, but the whole point of this was to use stuff I had on hand.  Well, I had whole wheat tortillas, so it kind of became a ratatouille burrito.  Mexico meets the Middle East.  Whatever.  It was frickin’ delicious.  The cinnamon was what made this dish.

We went to my in-laws’ for a cookout on the 4th, so that was a good excuse to make cole slaw again.

One head of cabbage used, bringing me down to two heads left!  Thank God this stuff keeps in the fridge.

And I also unloaded quite a few potatoes I had accumulated at the cookout.  I just tossed them with olive oil, rosemary, and thyme, wrapped them in foil, and put them on the grill for about half an hour.  YUM.

Potatoes pre-grill.  I kind of doubt my in-laws are up on the whole “taking pictures of your food for a blog” thing, so I refrained from taking pictures of the grilled potatoes to save myself from a lot of explaining and teasing.

Since we had so much okra this week, when the farm sent out their weekly email, they included recipes of what to do with it.  I’m all, ‘WHY???”  I like my okra RAW.  I’ve had quite a bit of it so far in the baskets, and I don’t think I have cooked any of it (except for tossing some in a marinara once).  It’s the perfect snack food just by itself

Week 9:  Green beans, onions, jalapeno, okra, heirloom tomato, gold potatoes, eggplant, tomatillos, and red and green onions
She told us last week that we would have blackberries this week, but at pickup she told us that the blackberry bushes were toast.  They were able to get a few off of them, but that was it.  A few people had some in their baskets, but I didn’t.  Bummer.  But we did get a few new things this week!  We switched from new and red potatoes to gold; I finally got a couple of onions (some others have had them in their baskets in previous weeks, but they haven’t had enough to go around for everyone, so it was hit and miss with those); and the green beans came in!  I was really happy to see those.  I loooooove fresh green beans!  Since I knew I wouldn’t be cooking any over the weekend, I blanched and froze them for later.
Again, all the okra was eaten raw.  I’d love to learn to pickle that stuff someday, but for now, raw it is.

I hadn’t used last week’s tomatillos yet, so I had quite a few of those to use this week.  I used last week’s to make salsa verde.  It was fan-freaking-tastic.  I swear I got a little Mexican in me somewhere.  (Unrelated tidbit:  My dad’s half-sister’s mom is Mexican.)

On the left:  Salsa verde simmering.  On the right:  sauteed spinach, baby arugula, tomatoes, onions, and bell pepper (no oil–sauteed in their own juices) topped with Tofutti and served with salsa verde and avocado.

And since I still had a second week’s worth of tomatillos in the fridge, I made this chili again.

I went a little heavy on the chipotle peppers this time.  WHEW!  But that’s just the way I like it!  If you’re not sniffling when you eat it, your chili isn’t hot enough.
As much as I’m loving the tomatillos, they sure are a pain in the ass to work with.  Sticky little fuckers.  But the payoff is so worth it…

4 thoughts on “CSA: Weeks 8 and 9

  1. I want to be like you when I grow up. Seriously, I'm so impressed with all of this. If only I had the time to do it. Yeah, yeah…make the time…blah blah blah. I'm using the baby as an excuse. How long do I get to use that?


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