Saturday, April 12, 2008

Community Supported Agriculture - bonus week

So this is the last week of regular CSA shipments for me. I thought that would be true for most of the other subscribers too, but if my drop off point is typical most of you didn't miss any weeks and finished up last time. I guess I shouldn't have saved my wrap up post for today.

Overall I enjoyed the CSA experience. The surprise selection of vegetables each week forced me cook more, cook better and cook more interestingly than I would have otherwise. I could have done with a lot less lettuce and I never need to see another sapote, but otherwise I was pretty happy with the selection we got. The quality and flavor were always tip top which works well with my natural tendency to keep recipes simple.

It also gave me plenty to fill up the blog with and, if I understand my stats right, around two dozen regular readers (most of whom are no longer judging by last week's numbers). I was disappointed that the other blogging subscribers dropped off posting about their cooking very quickly. I was hoping for a community with discussion to develop instead of just me monologuing on. Next year it would be great to have a discussion board on the Bee Heaven website for people to ask questions, give advice and post recipes. I'd happily abandon the blog and put my support behind that. On the other hand, having an audience was crucial to getting me to try new recipes instead of just getting rid of everything in the same old recipes again and again.

And speaking thereof, I managed to use up one of last weeks cucumbers and half a squash along with substantial amounts of dill and garlic chives in a tuna tartar yesterday. It didn't seem worth a blog post of its own since I've discussed tartars a couple times before. But it is worth mentioning briefly as I could easily have used tuna from a pouch (much better than the canned. You really should switch over if you haven't.), cut the cuke and squash a little smaller and had a quite presentable salad. Or I could have sliced the vegetables thin, mixed pouch tuna and the herbs with mayo and layered them in sandwiches. Thinking back to the very tasty cucumber sandwiches I made last month, now I'm really regretting not going that last route. I've still got another squash and cucumber left so I still might.

And by the way, last week I described the share as winter vegetables. While I was researching recipes I learned that they were really an typical end of summer vegetable collection. Just shows how dissociated from the natural harvest cycles I am from a lifetime of shopping in supermarkets. I know you guys knew better; why didn't you correct me?

Anyway, on to this week's share.

First up are scallions and yukina savoy. The scallions are so crisp and fresh that I really want to feature them in something right away. I never made the spiced beef with lime marinated scallions recipe that I found a while back. Maybe I'll do something with that.

The yukina savoy adds to the pile up of cabbage in the house. I still have all of last week's baby bok choy and a bit of the head of Western cabbage from before. If I want to go through a lot at once I think I'll have to do a stir fry or maybe a slaw.

Next I've got more tomatoes, which I will eat fresh this time since I squandered last week's box, a couple peppers once of which looks stuffable, a couple of possibly radishes/possibly turnips I found in the extras box that will roast up nicely either way and a nice big bag of shiitake mushrooms. If I'm going to do a stir fry with the cabbage, the mushrooms will likely end up in there.

And finally, a daikon, some Japanese eggplant, strawberries and cilantro. I did a bit of poking around for a recipe that would use both the daikon and the eggplant (and preferably some of the cabbage too), but nothing presented itself. I could do a tempura, but I've been defaulting to deep frying too much lately and I'd like to go another way.

The cilantro looks a bit faded so I wouldn't be surprised if it goes off before I get to use it, but otherwise I'll find a use for it.

And that leaves the strawberries. Last week I made some whipped cream to accompany them, but I don't think the whipping added anything. It'll be just plain cream this week.

Blogger (or possibly my internet connection) is being temperamental. I'll add the pictures later when I can. Or, alternatively, I'll accidentally delete them. Ah, you know what all those vegetables look like by now.

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