Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fighting crime, one leek at a time, must be CSA time

I know that I started this waaay too late, I should have been writing about my CSA (community supported agriculture) adventures since I began back in June, but better late than never, right?  I'm going to combine a few weeks of CSA in this blog, but it still won't be very long, I promise not to keep you too long. 

Let me just start with this fact:  I still have spelt berries.  I tried cooking with them once and I really didn't like them and have never gotten up the courage (or the time) to play with them again.  Spelt berries came in the first or second week of the CSA and I still have them.  Isn't that sad?  At least they don't go bad quickly. 

The CSA has made me a better cook.  I feel much more confident in my cooking skills and I cook maybe 6 days out of 7 a week (unless we have a busy weekend planned...).  I actually enjoy cooking now, and it's always exciting to see what yummy foods I'm gonna get this week, there's usually something in each bag that I don't eat often or haven't ever tried (like spelt berries...). 

Anyway...we are going to cover week 11 and 13 (I was on vacation for week 12 and missed bacon! :(  it's okay, though, because I just ordered the bacon for my vacation make up package, so it'll even out in the end).  Week 11 had this yummy arrangement:
1 4-oz package goat chevre cheese from Lucky Penny Farm
1 pint of blackberries
6 ears corn
1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes (multi-color)
2 ct zucchini (dark green, light green, or golden...we have a good mix this week)
2 ct yellow summer squash
Approx 1.5 lbs red slicing tomatoes
Quarter-lb basil
2 green bell peppers
1 large black opal eggplant
1 large candy onion
Hi!  I'm a leek.  Don't be intimidated,
I taste better than most onions.
I also had leeks left over from the previous week, which I had no idea what to do with.  Ry told me I should make some Leek Potato soup so I found this recipe and quickly went to work.  I picked up some potatoes from a roadside farm stand in Mantua and got started.  I'm probably going to try to start taking pictures of how things turn out, as it stands I have no photos to show you right now.  I had to substitute 2% milk for whole milk but everything else (except the garnish) I had and went into the soup.  I cut the corn right off the cob, used one of the two bell peppers, two leeks, celery I already had in the fridge, the fresh potatoes, and farm fresh milk from the CSA that I buy extra each week.  I am really proud to say that everything in the soup except the little bit of flour and the celery was local grown.  That's pretty impressive, right?  Right?  I was impressed with myself.  And the chowder...it was sooo good.  So good. 

The eggplant went with the summer squash and zucchini to be stir fried with a little bit of olive oil and quinoa that was made with veggie stock.  Home made veggie stock. I make veggie stock like once a month or so now and freeze it to make rice or quinoa with, it's a great way to use any veggies that are starting to look a bit past their prime or to use the cuttings and extra pieces.  And it tastes soooo good.  It's different every time but it's still so good.  And so easy to make.  And cheap cheap cheap!

Week 13 had the following goodies in it:
1 yellow doll watermelon
2 ct eggplant, some mixed colors may be included
1 quart hot Hungarian peppers
1 lb clover honey
1 medium cantaloupe
Approx 1 lb heirloom tomatoes (about 1 large or 2 small)
2 summer squash
1 pint mixed baby sweet peppers
Quarter Peck Golden Supreme apples (about 5 to 6 apples, very crisp, yellow apple)
Now in technicolor!
Approx 1 lb slicing tomatoes
So, unfortunately I'm pretty sure that they shorted me on the regular tomatoes, I got 2 huge heirlooms and that's all.  So that is sad, sometimes they forget to put all the stuff in the bag.  I guess it happens.  And man, do I have a lot of peppers.  I mean, a lot of peppers.  So many I have no idea what to do with them.  The cantaloupe was huge!  And the watermelon was so little and cute, Asher keeps saying "that watermelon is Asher sized!"  And the eggplant.  It's neon purple.  Awesome. 

So the plan this week...I'm going to string the peppers up to dry, I'm not sure what to do with them yet.  I'll probably use them occasionally to spice things up or make salsa.  Any suggestions?  I'm not overly fond of peppers so I don't often cook with them.  Most of the stuff this week is just eat "as is", the apples, cantaloupe, tomatoes, and watermelon.  So, not so much for recipes...but the squash and eggplant will make in into my weekly veggie quinoa. 

By the way, all the photos were borrowed from the internet...I'll take my own next time, I promise.
Until next time....

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