Thursday, August 5, 2010

CSA: July 2010

Before I get to the point and list our CSA produce for the month, I think it's worth noting that I have a produce problem.  I am so excited by the CSA - I look forward to it every week.  I refresh the farm's blog showing what we might expect to see in the farm stand.  I plan recipes and mental lists of things to cook.  On Thursday we pick up our produce, and I'm still coming up with ideas.  Then Friday comes, and Friday means the farmers' markets.  My CSA doesn't have raspberries, cherries, tomatoes, corn, or peaches (at least not yet, for some of those things).  I see something at the market that I didn't get at the farm and I NEED it.  I end up dragging a cooler and several bags filled with food down the shore, and we never finish it all.  I come home and often find a bunch of basil on the counter, a bag of zucchini and corn in the fridge - later in the season there will be a cucumber, tomato and onion salad in there too.  (My Nonna feeds my cat on the weekends and, as can be expected of any Italian grandmother, insists on feeding us as well.)  I've been supplementing my CSA produce with these other sources a lot, and since I list the items we received specifically from the CSA, I'm going to go ahead and also bold any items I use that were from a local market or came from my grandma's (or someone else's) garden.

Week 8 (7/1/2010):
- 1 lb swiss chard
- 4 bulbs green garlic
- 2 bunches basil
- 1 bunch collards
- 1 bunch parsley
- 6 heads lettuce (3 green leaf, 1 small red leaf, 2 romaine)
- 1 bunch beets
- 2 heads green cabbage
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 bunch scallions
- 4 summer squash (zucchini)
- mint and chives (PYO)

This week, the chard went to my grandma.  She likes it, and we've barely used it this year.  I had basil from Nonna, so I let my mom take the CSA basil, which was used in Jamie Oliver pasta (now a household staple).  I used my basil, mint and zucchini for a delicious Zucchini Bread from Good to the Grain.  The cucumber and lettuce (including some from Nonna, for variety) was used in a salad along with some onions and cherry tomatoes from the market.  I made a delicious Chopped Miso Salad with the cabbage and chives, a new family favorite.

Week 9 (7/8/2010):
- 4 heads of lettuce
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 bunch beets
- 2 heads red cabbage
- 3 lbs red potatoes
- 1 lb white potatoes
- 1 bunch white onions
- 1 lb chard
- mint (PYO)
- chives (PYO)
- lemon basil (PYO)
- cinnamon basil (PYO)
- 16 stems flowers (PYO)

We put our chard in the donation box this week - we didn't want it to go to waste again.  The Chopped Miso Salad was made again with the both the green and red cabbage, as well as the onions and chives.  We also made the delicious Zucchini Gratin from 101 Cookbooks which we made last year as well, using some zucchini and potatoes.

Week 10 (7/15/2010):
- 6 lbs white potatoes
- 2 lbs tomatoes
- 1 lb chard (tried to donate, but they said they were no donations that day, so I just didn't take any)
- 10 ears sweet corn
- 4 heads lettuce (1 red, 3 green)
- 1 bunch red onions
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 green cabbage
- 1 bunch basil
- 1 pint okra (PYO)
- 30 flower stems (PYO)
- 1 bunch chives (PYO)
- 1 small bunch cinnamon basil (PYO)

I made more zucchini bread with some zucchini from my Nonna - this time, in addition to the mint, I used cinnamon basil in place of regular basil.  It was absolutely delicious!  My mom used some lettuce along with the beets to make a roasted beet salad with blue cheese (or feta), at which time I discovered that I, unfortunately, do NOT like beets.  The cabbage, red onion, and chives of course went into our favorite Chopped Miso Salad.  We ate the corn with dinner when we had some relatives over - my sister had found a bad one full of worms, but whoever else peeled the rest only found a few icky ends which were just snapped off.  The corn was said to be the juiciest and most delicious ever had, but I just liked the uneven rows of kernels.  We had some potatoes with garlic and butter, just smooshed a tiny bit... yum!  And of course, where there are tomatoes, there must be basil and mozzarella, drizzled with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with flaky Anglesey sea salt.

Week 11 (7/22/2010):
- 1 pint blackberries (PYO)
- amethyst basil and cinnamon basil (PYO)
- 60 flower stems (PYO)
- 1 bunch chives (PYO)
- mint (PYO)
- 4 lbs potatoes
- 2 lbs shallots
- 2 lbs white onions
- 2 bunches beets
- 1 green cabbage
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 8 lbs tomatoes
- 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes

It's getting harder and harder to keep up with all this produce.  Acknowledging that I have an addiction to BUYING delicious locally grown fruits and vegetables, I often find myself cringing as I toss something that has shriveled up or started to get "sick" (my bff's hilarious way of saying "moldy"), or just staring into space trying to even imagine what to do with something (*cough* okra), when I have looked and looked but can't find a recipe that appeals to me at all.  So I re-bagged and labeled everything with where it came from and when I got it and made it a mission to use as much as possible over the weekend and the coming week.

I bought peaches at the market (as I have been every week) and made the Ginger Peach Muffins from Good to the Grain.  I made guacamole using tomato, onion, and cilantro from the CSA along with a jalapeno from the market.  Of course I just chomped on the blackberries by themselves, except for the few I ate with some cottage cheese.  (I prefer delicious fresh market cantaloupe with my cottage cheese anyway.)  I made the Chopped Miso Salad again - well, I cut some chives, carrots, and onion, made the dressing, and used some leftover shredded cabbage.  I chose not to assemble it so it wouldn't get soggy - now it should last me a few extra days.  As a side dish (first with leftover turkey meatloaf, then frozen tilapia) we made the Zucchini Gratin again using zucchini (and now I'm zucchini free! yay! well, for now at least) and potatoes.  The lemon pepper shrimp recipe was, of course, made with broccoli and kale from the market.  Dinner another night was a delicious Pampered Chef recipe (which I will one day post about), BLT Macaroni & Cheese, where the BLT stands for bacon, leeks and tomatoes.

Week 12 (7/29/2010):
- 10 lbs tomatoes
- 3 lbs cherry tomatoes
- 1 lb onions
- 4 zucchini
- 2 cucumbers
- 1 green cabbage
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
- 1 bunch cilantro
- 1 bunch basil
- 30 flower stems (PYO)
- summer savory (PYO - all below herbs)
- rosemary
- oregano
- thyme
- lemon balm
- mint
- chives (flat and regular)
- amethyst basil (PYO - all basil varieties except regular)
- lemon basil
- cinnamon basil
- 1 pint blackberries (PYO)

It's crunch time!  We are drowning in tomatoes, so it's time to put them to good use.  I tossed one chopped tomato into the next incarnation of our shrimp pasta dish with fresh corn, diced zucchini and onion, a little garlic, and some basil.  I made salsa with a few friends, using local tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeno, and garlic, plus a squirt of lime juice.  We also grilled some corn and portobello mushrooms from the market, and made zucchini bread using zucchini, mint, and cinnamon and amethyst basil from the CSA.  I made the Chopped Miso Salad for a barbecue, using cabbage and onions from the CSA.  An impromptu all-day cooking session with my BFF resulted in several dishes: an oven roasted ratatouille using CSA zucchini, tomatoes, and onions; a cantaloupe salsa made with my weekly market cantaloupe and a jalapeno, plus some CSA cilantro; and the BLT Mac & Cheese with CSA tomato and leeks from the market.  (While we cooked we snacked on a delicious peach, plus my leftover salsa.)  Throughout the week we've been attacking our bowl of tomatoes by having "appetizers" of tomato, basil, and mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and flaky sea salt.  Ken has been eating a lot of tomato sandwiches with mayo - not my idea of a delicious snack, but the tomatoes sure are juicy and delicious.

I think this was my favorite food week :)

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