Saturday, March 7, 2009

CSA week 13 wrap-up, week 14 start-up

I'm starting to look forward to the end of the growing season. Partially because I'm getting burnt out on all this cooking and partially because it's getting increasingly difficult to write the intros to these weekly posts. Maybe I need a catch phrase: "Hi-de-ho CSAers! And welcome back to my maundering musings on this week's share!" Maybe not.

The only major item from last week I haven't mentioned is the yukina savoy. I substituted it into a Thai shrimp and cabbage stir fry and it didn't really work as well as I had hoped. I had some pictures that made it look better than it tasted, but I seem to have accidentally deleted them somewhere along the line. The leftovers are in the freezer; maybe I can get a presentable pic of those. Hold on a second...there. Imagine the ice crystals are ground peanuts and you get the general idea.

On to this this week, then.

This was the first week at the new drop off spot. It's a shame that Theine is closed as I can't combine my CSA pick-up with lunch and/or tea purchases any more, but the new spot is walking distance from home. I'm not convinced it's walking-while-carrying-a-box-of-vegetables distance, though, so I might get little wagon to help.

Anyway, the vegetables. Starting in the upper left hand corner as usual, we have a big bunch of parsley. I think I may make another parsley pesto as I liked the first one I made surprisingly well. This time I'll use the pine nuts so I can see if it is them or just too darn much basil that has kept me away from pestos until now.

Next over is kale. I don't think I've made Portuguese kale soup yet, or at least not recently. I prefer it chunky Azorean-style, but chunks of potato don't freeze well. I suppose I can always pick them out beforehand.

Next is arugula. The flash does make it look a bit worse, but my bunch really is rather yellowed. I think I pick out a serving or two that's still good enough to use. Wilted over pasta, like it says in the newsletter, is my favorite way to eat them, but I prefer Gabrielle Hamilton's slightly more complicated version. She calls for fresh egg pasta and I have been meaning to have another go at that so that's officially on the week's menu.

Last in the row is some callaloo I took from the extras bin in exchange for my lettuce. I've got a callaloo fritter recipe I want to try and this may be my last chance this year.

Under that are, obviously, some green peppers. The extras bin was full of them and I don't understand why because they look lovely. These are pretty big so I may stuff one. The others I think may go into a Chinese beef and green pepper in a black bean sauce (a.k.a. lot tzu ngow roh). I've got a bottle the pre-made sauce in my refrigerator but I wonder if it's worth buying the black beans and making it from scratch.

On the bottom are the spring onions. I've been gathering scallion recipes since we got big bunches of them last year. Or at least I thought I had. I can't seem to put my hands on any right now. If I turn one up, I use the spring onion stems in it instead.

And that leaves the strawberries. They've been too good to mess with this year, but I do have a tradition of ruining perfectly good fruit with screwy ice cream recipes. Maybe I'll come up with something.

Yeesh, that's eight recipes. I'd better get cooking.


LaDivaCucina said...

Yes, indeed, you BETTER get cooking! My mind is not on the share at all and I'm going to be cooking very basic foods as I'm trying to clean out the fridge before our trip as opposed to filling it up with more groceries! Let's see how creative we can be this week!

billjac said...

Creative? Creative is for weeks when I have a moment to breath. I'll be happy just to get through this week without having to throw out any wasted produce.

I think you're in a better position for creativity; the random juxtaposition of whatever I find in my refrigerator often prompts me into new ideas worth trying out.

Karen said...

Cheer up, you're a source of inspiration, especially your dedication to using everything the same week you get it! And don't you think you'll miss these fresh veggies come August. I hope you do those callaloo fritters soon, as it sounds like a good possibility to hide greens from picky teenagers.

It doesn't sound like you need more ideas, but I'm thinking of cleaning out our backlog of green peppers (we are up to 5, I think) into a peperonata, cooked with red wine and Italian sausage and served with pasta, and the leftovers will freeze well.

And I like the arugula in a Quinoa Salad, with toasted quinoa (recipe for Quinoa-Sorrel (sub. Arugula) Salad in Vegetarian Planet by Didi Emmons) - that also uses some of those spring onions. I know your name is Dinner, but that makes a great lunch for a few days. Or the bunnies will like this arugula - regardless of Margie's comment, this isn't really very strong at all. They won't touch my garden arugula.

If I may, a note to Kat who was wishing for carrot tops in MN in March - as long as you only want the tops, just start some seeds indoors, and after a few weeks combine the baby green tops with store-bought carrots. Having pet rabbits in Miami where greens don't grow in the summer teaches this trick - pack of seeds much cheaper than packs of organic salad greens!

billjac said...

I'm sure I'll miss these fresh veges two weeks after the last share, but right now I think maybe I could use a break.

I was going to make the fritters today but I had to come into work a few hours early. They're probably tomorrow night, then.

I like the idea of the quinoa-arugula salad. Arugula can work with just about any grain or starch. I may postpone making pasta and mix the greens into polenta or maybe a bulgar wheat salad instead. Or they'd be nice in a risotto, too.

Karen said...

Yeah - combine the arugula and the parsley with the bulgar wheat, or quinoa, for a taboulleh variation.

I found a pumpkin risotto recipe that is a target for one of the just-ripening canistels. Should be interesting, hopefully not in the sense of the old Chinese curse.