Saturday, December 4, 2010

CSA week one round-up, week two start-up

I think it took me eight days to use up my first week of vegetables; that's not too bad. The key, I think, is to insist on using at least one vegetable each day, make a big batch to use it all up and then pretend the leftovers in the freezer don't count.

Of what I made, there were a couple items not worth a full blog post, but worth mentioning. The dandelions went into this cross between the hindbeh bil zayt and the Azerbaijani herb omelet that I've made before. Right after I took this photo I remembered to toss some walnuts to bring back some of the texture lost when the fried onion and garlic got soggy soaking in the eggs. Darn tasty stuff.

Most of the parsley and garlic chives went into this blue cheese bread pudding. You'll note some structural issues there. I was short on eggs and the bread I was using was a dense fifty-percent whole grain loaf that didn't fall apart as well as well as one might like. Still, yummy, though and it should freeze well.

On to week two:

I left behind my lettuce and replaced it with a second bunch of callaloo which you can see on the left. You might remember that last year I was doing a world tour of callaloo recipes and I think I've got one left over; it's Korean if I remember correctly. No, I just checked my notes and it's Javanese. Unfortunately, it calls for fresh fingerroot which I don't think I can get hold of. Maybe I can substitute in galangal which is similar.

Next over is Chinese eggplant. This happens to be one of the ingredients that I had and didn't use during my recent blogging lapse so I've got a recipe already picked out, dim-sum-style shrimp-stuffed eggplant. It's surprisingly easy to make, at least on paper.

The scallion is a challenge as it's rare to come across a recipe that uses more than a half cup of it and there's quite a lot in this bunch (plus a few more I've got in the refrigerator). I've got a craving for scallion bread, but I recall the recipes I've found for it were rather light on the scallions. I'll have to take another look.

Next over is the yuca. I've never cooked yuca before; I don't think I've ever seen it in it's raw state before this morning. I've seen it boiled into mash and fried up as fries and haven't been impressed with either. A quick search doesn't turn up a lot of other options. Maybe I'll try roasting them; that might help.

The lemongrass is particularly fresh which means that it's tender enough that I won't have to pick it out of a stir-fry or soup. Lots of options there, but none of the other ingredients, except maybe the scallions pair well so it's not an efficient choice if I'm trying to get everything used in a week. I suppose I could use it as part of a dipping sauce for fried yuca, but it seems a waste of both ingredients.

The hibiscus I wasn't thrilled with when I simmered it up African-style as a side dish last year and the sorbet the year before wasn't a winner either, so I'm going to go back to making a drink from it. I'll probably boil it down to a syrup and add it to iced instead of having it straight, though.

And finally, the avocado. We had a few good Florida avocados last year, but most were watery and bland so I don't think much of Monroe avocadoes. But a)part of that was my fault as I didn't always use them at the peak of ripeness, and b)this could be a Choquette for all I know. If it's any good, I'll probably just make some guacamole. If it isn't, maybe I'll try roasting it to see if that helps.

And finally finally, as Marian and I discussed the group blog logistics, we came round to the idea that a Facebook page might work better as more people could find it and it would allow a better forum for general discussion than blog comments do. What do you guys think?


Karen said...

I'm kind of an arms-length Facebook user, but whatever seems likely to could be fun. I have to say that if I was posting it wouldn't be nearly the level of detail and research that Bill gets into - I guess that's the degree of commitment I don't have time for. I'm looking forward to the Roselle - hope it's still there tomorrow at the market. Last year it made a darn good sweet-tart-savory side dish that was great with turkey and with pork; it was inspired by an old Marian van Atta book.

Margie said...

A blog is the best place for your content, with its wonderful detail and accompanying pictures. I'm sure 'blogger' has the same neat feature that wordpress has, which, when you set it up, will AUTOMAGICALLY! post to your Facebook page (and similarly to Twitter and any number of other social media). So you can continue your wonderful blog posts and they'll instantly appear on the FB page, where they can garner more comments. Check it out-I did it with our farm's blog and I don't even have to think about it.