taylweaver: (Default)
2011-09-14 07:46 pm
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CSA #6: the share that died too quickly, and what I got in #7

   Share #6 had some good things in it. Unfortunately, a number of them went bad much more quickly than I expected them to.

Here's what happened to Share #6:

The chard got used last night as a bed of greens under poached eggs. I sauteed it with garlic. 
The ears of corn got used for a small Shabbat dinner a week and a half ago. Not all of them got eaten. I got through most of the leftovers, though.
Half a summer squash got sauteed and mixed with pasta. The other one and a half died far more quickly than I expected, so I never got to eat them. I think they were picked before the hurricane, so they'd already been hanging around for the better part of a week before I got them. And that was the last of the CSA summer squash for me this year.
The tomatoes: hmm... I think one died, one got eaten raw, and one got used to make a sort of tomato sauce to put on my pasta.
The cucumbers got eaten raw, as did most of the peppers. One of the green peppers had some unexpected heat to it, which made it useless to munch on (at least for me), but I cooked with it when I made the poached eggs. (See below)
The eggplant got roasted with some zucchini from the supermarket. (Had I realized the CSA squash was on the way out, I would have used that instead.) It came out pretty yummy.

New recipes/experiments:

1. Roasted eggplant worked really well. Olive oil, salt, pepper, into the oven at 500-ish for a while.

2. Poached eggs with sauteed green pepper on a bed of chard: I got these little silicone egg holders so my poached eggs wouldn't lose half their whites in the water. I wanted to get rid of that pepper, so I sauteed it, and put it beneath the raw eggs so that it cooked into the bottom of the whites. Then, all of it went onto a bed of chard sauteed with garlic. 

Unfortunately, the chard was very much on the way out, the garlic burned, and I had too many flavors going on to really figure out what I did and didn't like.

And now for this week's share:

- 3 small carrots
- 7 small beets
- 2 jalapenos
- 3 small peppers
- 1 winter squash
- 6 leaves of collard greens
- 1 bunch of sweet potato greens
- 1 fennel
- 1 eggplant

Thing that went into the swap box (first time I swapped!): fennel
Thing that came out of the swap box: more carrots. Magic.

Thing I considered putting in there but didn't: beets. I should really learn how to do something yummy with them.

Things I'm excited to try out: collard greens and sweet potato greens

Thing I have no idea how to cook: winter squash. Should be interesting.
taylweaver: (Default)
2011-09-02 09:43 am
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CSA #6: The share that survived Irene

So it turns out the farm out produce comes from took a hit from Irene. It did some damage. This week's share looks pretty normal, but we'll see what happens in future weeks. 

As for last week's share (my part of it), I think I actually managed to eat the entire thing, a first for me. (Well, unless you count the last two carrot sticks/part of an ear of corn left on my plate at the end of various meals...)

The corn got microwave-steamed.
The mini peppers went into egg omelets, a zucchini dish (I think), and got eaten raw with some salad dressing.
The tomato got used in an eggplant recipe (see below)
The zucchini got sauteed and also used in the same eggplant recipe
The cucumber got eaten raw
The carrot got eaten raw as carrot sticks
The eggplant got used first mixed in a sautee with zucchini (in which I discovered I should have peeled it) and then in a recipe based on one from the produce recipe book I got at the farm store in Gaithersburg. (Farm store being a produce stand located at the edge of an actual farm.):

I sauteed onion, eggplant and zucchini with salt, pepper and oregano. Then, I mixed in some tomato until the tomato got all mushed up and the other stuff turned all red. 

The first time around, it came out yummy. The second time, not as good. Not sure why.

This week's share:
- 6 stalks of chard (basically, I'm guessing one serving)
- 4 ears of corn
- 2 tiny summer squashes
- 3 small tomatoes
- 2 smallish cucumbers
- 7 small peppers
- 1 eggplant

This will be the first share that carries over into a work week, so we'll see how it goes once my lunch vegetable has to be packed into a lunch bag.

taylweaver: (Default)
2011-08-18 03:43 pm
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CSA #5, and how I fared with #4

So, as you some of you know, I'm in Gaithersburg, MD at the moment on vacation. A good friend picked up Share #5 for me, and we will be splittng it. 

Here's what's in the share:
- 2 ears of corn
- 3 mini peppers
- some cherry tomatoes
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 medium cucumber
- some basil
- 1 head of lettuce
- 2 small eggplants
- 2 carrots

I will probably be getting:
- 2 ears of corn
- some of the mini peppers
- 1 or 2 tomatoes
- half a zucchini
- 1 cucumber
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 carrot

A nice bunch of veggies - and all things I've heard of before, which makes them easier to use. On the other hand, that means I have to put in actual effort if I want to do any experimenting.

Here's what happened to Share #4:

Corn: got boiled and served as part of a Shabbat meal. There was some left over, but most of it got eaten.

Green peppers: one of them got mixed into various egg omelets (I threw some onion into both, and some jalapeno into one of them). The other one ended up coming with me to Gaithersburg, and may or may not get eaten.

Lettuce: was supposed to go into a salad, but the salad never got made. Sadly, this ended up in the trash.

Zucchini: mostly got sauteed with garlic and eaten as a side dish. Some of it went bad before I could get to it

Cucumber: not sure which cucumber I used where... some of this got eaten on its own, and the rest went into a salad with purslane

Cherry tomatoes: got put out as nosh when I had people over Shabbat afternoon. Many but not all of them got eaten. (I'm not a fan of cherry tomatoes, so I let other folks eat them.)

Basil: Got turned into pesto and is now in my freezer. I haven't had the chance to try any of it yet.

Purslane: Got put into a salad that was based on a recipe I found online: purslane leaves, jalapenocucumber, tomato (I used heirloom tomato for it), and lemon juice. I was too scared of the jalapeno, and didn't use enough of the hot part of it, so it was hard to tell it was there, but otherwise, I guess it came out okay...

So I guess I didn't do anything exciting with the last share... we'll see what happens with this week's. I bought a vegetable cook book at a farm store on Friday (we went to buy fruits before Shabbat), so maybe it will give me some interesting ideas.

taylweaver: (Default)
2011-08-04 12:05 pm
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Share #4, and how I actually finished off most of Share #3

 Here's what happened to the rest of last week's share:

Basil: most of it didn't get used before it started to go, but some of it was drying out, so I now have a little container of dried basil leaves. Any suggestions for dried basil?
Dill: went bad before I could use it, but there was very little of it to begin with.
Corn: all got eaten; all got steamed in the microwave due to laziness. The ear last night tasted less good, probably because it was two weeks old.
Zucchini: some of it got sauteed with garlic, as already noted. Some of it got sauteed with onion, a bit of red pepper, and Italian seasoning, and served at Shabbat dinner. (I still have a bit left over, but not very much.)
Onion: most of the massive onion got used, between the Shabbat dishes already mentioned in this post and the last one, and a little bit of it in the egg omelet I made last night. 
Lettuce: hooray! All got eaten in my usual salad, some the first Shabbat (mixed with Share #2 lettuce), some the second Shabbat, plus leftovers from both during the week. 
Fennel: I tried roasting some. It's not a flavor I like. Next time, it goes in the swap box.
Cucumbers: Some in salad, some on its own, all yummy. All gone.
Arugula: What didn't die in my fridge got sauteed with garlic and stuck into pasta with sauce and cheese. Yummy both times.

My favorite recipe/discovery from this share: arugula in pasta.
- 1 clove fresh garlic
- some arugula (not sure how much)
- elbow noodles
- tomato sauce
- cheese (in my case, muenster)

1. Sautee garlic
2. Add in arugula and sautee with garlic
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta until it's done
4. Mix pasta, tomato sauce and arugula mixture
5. Put cheese on top and melt it in the toaster oven

And now, on to this week's share. Here's what we got:

- 8 ears of corn
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 2 smallish green field peppers
- 1/2 pound purslane (it's an edible weed, if you haven't heard of it. I hadn't either before various friends got it in last week's share.)
- 1 head of lettuce
- 2 zucchini (smaller this time)
- 1 cucumber (larger this time)
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes
- 5 stalks of basil
Thing I need to research on: purslane
Thing I forgot to buy Tuesday night when I went to Bed Bath and Beyond: a hand mixer with a food processor attachment (or something like that) so I can make pesto out of all that basil.
Thing I may not be able to eat: jalapeno. I am open to suggestions on how to use them to add flavor without adding too much kick, since spicy doesn't work so well for me.
taylweaver: (Default)
2011-08-04 11:51 am
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The post that didn't make it into LJ last week.

 Hi all. 

Just for the sake of consistency, here's the post from last week that went directly onto Facebook because LJ was down.

For those of you seeing this on facebook, I'll try to delete this note once it cross-posts so that you won't see it twice.

Here goes:

Hi all.

So I can't refer back to my CSA list because that's in a Livejournal post, and Livejournal is down at the moment. But here's what I've done with my share so far - and how I used up some more of Share #2:

Share #2: One more update

Broccoli and kohlrabi actually got used! I had a surprise Shabbat guest (hooray!) who is vegetarian, and since I was taking her along to meals with me, decided that an extra side dish wouldn't hurt - and gave me an excuse to use up the veggies I couldn't eat. I did an internet search for broccoli and kohlrabi together, and found an interesting recipe - that I then modified based on what was in the apartment, since there was no way I was leaving my AC for another shopping trip in 100 degree weather.

- 1 head of broccoli (greens already eaten)
- 1 and a half kohlrabi (what do you call an individual kohlrabi? Again, greens already eaten.)
- olive oil (for sauteeing)
- onion (from Share #3!)
- craisins
- slivered almonds

1. blanch the broccoli (the internet tells me this takes 3 minutes). Boil the kohlrabi for 2 minutes. I did both in the same pot, and left them in for a bit longer because there wasn't enough water so I had to add more which made it un-boil.
2. chop the broccoli into small pieces and chop the kohlrabi into what the recipe calls matchsticks.
3. toast almonds (I had leftovers from another dish I had just made. Otherwise, I would have tossed them in untoasted. They weren't in the original recipe anyway.)
4. sautee craisins (because I like them better sauteed than not, and it doesn't at much prep time.)
5. sautee onions
6. make a dressing with balsamic vinegar and sugar that no one will use anyway, because they all liked it without the dressing just fine (which is to say, not doing that next time.)
7. mix everything together and serve at room temperature because that's just how it happened.

I think the recipe I based it on came from

Share #3 so far:

I used the microwave to steam one ear of corn. It mostly tasted good, except for one spot that was a bit rotten, and the top was missing some kernels. But the good part (most of it) tasted good.

I used the lettuce remaining from Share #2 plus some from Share #3 to make that same salad again for Shabbat, the one with apples and cucumber. (and finished the leftover salad today at lunch.)

I also ate half of a cucumber on its own with lunch one day.

I used some of the onion as noted above, and also in another side dish I made for Shabbat (string beans with sauteed onion and toasted almonds - hence the leftover almonds.) I think over half of the huge onion is now gone.

I sauteed a small amount of zucchini with garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning and it was yummy as a side dish last night.

This evening, I experimented with arugula. I sauteed it with garlic, then tossed it in with some pasta and a bit of tomato sauce, then topped the whole thing with cheese. Either the garlic or the pasta masked the bitterness, and it worked well.

I also used some of the basil on top of a pita pizza again.

I think the basil won't get used up before it dies. The arugula may suffer a similar fate because it is dying quickly - but at least I found a way I like to eat it. I think the onion, zucchini, cucumbers, corn and lettuce will mostly get eaten. I still have to do some research on how to use the fennel and the dill - not that I have much dill. Also, I still have some beets left from Share #2, and I should probably get around to eating them at some point... (Hmm... wonder if there are any fennel and beet recipes out there... maybe I should do an internet search...)

And that is all.
taylweaver: (Default)
2011-07-21 09:01 am
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CSA share #3, and what I did with the rest of #2

So I headed home on Thursday night to spend five days with my family, including a mini vacation with my mom and sisters in Atlantic City. We had a lovely time, but it's part of the reason so much of my share went uneaten. I didn't really do anything innovative with the rest of the share, so here's the quick rundown, followed by the list of what I got this week:

Basil: never got finished, and probably went bad by now.
Tatsoi: see previous post - already done
Kohlrabi: not finished because it seems I can't eat kohlrabi after all, which is too bad.
Broccoli: after seeing that I couldn't eat the kohlrabi, I didn't bother trying the broccoli. Chances are, I still can't eat it.
Curly endive: did not get finished
Zucchini: the two I hadn't eaten yet got sauteed with onion, red pepper and thyme at my parents' house, because my parents were out of Italian seasoning. The verdict: too much thyme, so I didn't like it.
Beets: still in my fridge to be eaten this coming week, because I am guessing they will last
Beet greens: I sauteed them with garlic and mixed them into rice again. Apparently, this works a lot better when the rice hasn't had a chance to cool off yet, but Shabbat prep in my parents' kitchen was too crazy to allow for that. Oh well.
Cucumbers: I brought the second one home, and we ended up eating it sliced into sticks in Atlantic City with one of our meals. It would have tasted better if we'd had salad dressing for it, but we hadn't made it to the supermarket yet. (That, and a leftover green pepper one of my sisters brought along were the vegetables with our dinner, so it came in handy.)
Kale: brought it home to use with the beet greens, but found out my father isn't so into it, so it never quite got finished off. I ate some of it Thursday night with poached eggs. That dish works better with some of the other greens than it does with kale.
Lettuce: I have to check the fridge. Either I finished it, or I finished most of it by eating it with my lunch.

Things that got finished: tatsoi, kohlrabi greens, broccoli greens, beet greens, cucumbers, zucchini, maybe the lettuce
Things I didn't finish: basil, curly endives, beets, kale, maybe the lettuce
Things I can't eat and should give away if they're still good: kohlrabi, broccoli

This week's share:

- 5 stalks of basil
- 2 stalks of dill
- 4 small ears of corn
- 2 nice sized zucchinis
- 1 onion
- 1 head of lettuce (same texture, but different color this time)
- 2 fennel
- 3 cucumbers
- 1 bunch arugula

So now, I need to explore uses for dill and fennel. Also: Note the relative lack of greens. How different!
taylweaver: (Default)
2011-07-13 11:21 pm
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CSA #2: Greens, greens and some other stuff: an update

So here's hoping this shows up on facebook without funny formatting...

Halfway through my second CSA share, but may not get to eat much more of it, since I am leaving tomorrow evening for some family time, and won't be back until Tuesday. But here's what I have done so far:

First, some leftovers from Share #1:

Dish #1: Turnip green chips
Results: I only had a few turnip greens left that hadn't turned yellow. I tore them up into small pieces, put them in some oil on a tray in the toaster oven, added some salt, and left them in until they stopped sizzling. They were a bit burnt, but still tasted good. I have a feeling this would be tricky to reproduce in larger quantities, though.

Dish #2: Shnitzel with cilantro, Version 2
Results: I found a better way to get the cilantro to stay on the chicken. Instead of putting it into the egg mixture, I sprinkled it on after the egg and before the matzoh meal, so each piece got a lot more of it - though only on one side. Once again, it worked really well.

And now, on to Share #2:

Dish #1: Poached eggs on a bed of sauteed broccoli greens
Results: This worked really well. The greens taste like broccoli, and I think I sauteed them without any seasoning. They also went well with the eggs. Still haven't had a chance to test my intolerance to broccoli, but I now know I can eat the greens. And they are yummy.

Dish #2: Kale sauteed with garlic
Results: Yes, I used real garlic this time, and yes, you were all right. It tastes better that way. I also got rid of what was still good from the previous bunch of kale, so this also used some Week 1 greens.

Dish #3: Salad made with lettuce, cucumber and apple
Results: the sweetness of the apple cut the bitterness of the lettuce for me - either that, or the lettuce was just less bitter this time. This salad worked well. I've been eating it with my lunch all week.

Dish #4: curly endives blanched, then sauteed with garlic powder and salt
Results: yes, I got lazy with the garlic. I used real garlic in the other dish I ate that night (see Dish #5). This dish tasted better cold than it did warm. I think next time, I'd try it without the salt, since I think that enhanced the bitterness. Overall, not yet a fan of curly endives.

Dish #5: penne pasta cooked in the water from the curly endives, then cooked baked ziti style with tomato sauce, muenster cheese, sauteed zucchini and garlic, and basil put on top at the end
Results: Really yummy, and while I don't usually use penne (I usually use macaroni), it worked really well for this dish.

Dish #6: sauteed tatsoi
Results: I tried it without any seasoning because I'd never eaten it before, and I think I like the flavor. It would also probably work well with garlic. Nice to meet another green I like - especially because I'd never heard of this one before.

Dish #7: "pizza" made on a whole wheat pita, with tomato sauce, sauteed zucchini and kohlrabi with garlic (and salt and pepper), muenster cheese, and basil added at the end.
Results: I don't think the basil went with the kohlrabi, so I wouldn't add it next time, but the rest of it worked okay. Apparently, I can eat kohlrabi. It tastes a bit like broccoli - except that, unlike broccoli, it seems I can eat it.

Dish #8sauteed kohlrabi greens with garlic.
Results: these were yummy. I even ate the last few bites later in the evening.

What I have left:
- cilantro (from share #1!)
- some basil
- broccoli (now without greens)
- some curly endive
- 2 zucchinis - plus a bit of the third
- beets (and beet greens)
- one cucumber
- some kale
- a small amount of lettuce

What I actually finished:
- tatsoi

So... a lot left to eat, and not so many opportunities, because I am going away. That will be the challenge. (Some of it will be going away along with me, I think...)

On the plus side, I have a sense of what I want to do with all of it. It's just a matter of finding the time...
taylweaver: (Default)
2011-07-06 06:54 pm
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CSA #2, and the tale of the Incredible Shrinking Vegetables

So I got my second share today, which is definitely bigger than the first share was - and I haven't finished that one yet, so we'll see how this goes...

So here's what I came home with this week: 
- 5 stems of basil
- 1 head of tat soi
- 1 head of broccoli
- 1 head of endive (I am told I should specify curly endive)
- 3 medium zucchini (at least, I think I took medium sized ones...)
- 1 bunch of kohlrabi
- 1 bunch of beets
- 2 small cucumbers
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 head of lettuce

Eep, that's a lot! Wow!

Stuff I know how to use:
- zucchini (so happy about those. And I got 3 different colors, too)
- beets (because I learned with the first share!)
- cucumbers (which I may just eat by themselves)
- kale
- lettuce (lemon juice, here we come)

Things I have never used before (and, in some cases, never seen before):
- tat soi (never even heard of it)
- endive
- kohlrabi (with greens attached)
- fresh basil (though that one, I can probably figure out...)
Thing I probably can't eat, but took anyway:
- broccoli (figured I'd at least try the greens. And maybe try to figure out which part it is that I'm intolerant to. Maybe I can at least eat part of it. Also, there was nothing good in the swap box to trade it for, where good is defined as "vegetable I know how to cook and like to eat.")

taylweaver: (Default)
2011-06-29 03:48 pm
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CSA #1: an update

So, I'm not so into this past week's share, and my attempts to eat my way through it have met with mixed results. 

Since it's been an entire week, I may be misremembering when I ate what. 

Things I learned along the way:
- arugula is incredibly bitter
- sauteed arugula is considerably less bitter
- sauteeing flat greens (like turnip greens) doesn't work as well, because they stick together

Attempts I have made to eat my vegetables: (stuff from this past week's share are bolded - don't know whether that will transfer to facebook, though.)

Dish #1: Salad with lettuce and arugula, with a dressing made with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, garlic powder, sugar, cilantro and scallions
The verdict: the arugula was way too bitter - so bitter it was sharp - and the greens needed something better than that dressing, and possibly more vegetables, but I forced myself to eat some of it anyway.

Dish #2: Sauteed arugula with salt
The verdict: Success! These came out all crispy and yummy. I think I did them a second time with another meal.

Dish #3: Roasted turnips and beets with olive oil, salt, rosemary and thyme
The verdict: I liked some bites of turnip and beet but not others. Not sure whether I liked the bites with more spice, less spice, or just one spice over the other. Roasting them cut up worked better than roasting them whole. 

Dish #4: Sauteed kale with garlic powder
The verdict: This is a dish I do often, but it didn't work as well with this set of kale as it usually does. Go figure.

Dish #5: Sauteed turnip greens with garlic powder
They verdict: They were bitter, even sauteed. I may try parboiling them first next time and see whether it makes a difference. I ate them, but I didn't enjoy them.

Dish #6: Lettuce with cucumber, red peppers and Italian dressing
The verdict: The idea of buying other vegetables to get through the ones in my share is not one I like. Also, these vegetables still didn't help me like the lettuce. Maybe I just don't like this lettuce.

(part of) vegetable I still haven't tried: Beet greens
Vegetables I have left: some of everything: lettuce, turnips and greens, beets and greens, arugula, scallions, cilantro, kale
Vegetables I know what to do with: kale, arugula
Vegetables I have plans for: turnip greens and beet greens (will try a mix of parboiling and sauteeing)
Feel free to offer suggestions for the rest of it. 
taylweaver: (Default)
2011-06-22 06:36 pm
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CSA: Share #1

 So I finally got my first CSA* share of the year!

I am hoping to use that share as an impetus to blog more regularly.

Here's what I got this week:

- 1 bunch of beets
- 1 bunch of sweet turnips
- 1 bunch of scallions
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 head of lettuce
- 1 bunch of arugula
- 1 bunch of cilantro

Item I already know how to prepare: kale (yum!)
Item I seriously considered tossing into the swap box: cilantro (But I decided everything is worth trying once. Maybe I will find a recipe I like it in.)

I feel like a lot of these items are going to require the purchase of other vegetables, which defeats part of the purpose of the CSA, but oh well.

I am open to recipe suggestions. 

* CSA = Community Supported Agriculture. I paid a flat fee to get assorted seasonal vegetables from a local farm every other week. (I have a half share. If I had a full share, it would be weekly.)