summer CSA, week 21

It was beautiful all week, blue sky and brightly-colored trees… and then CSA pickup day rolls around and it’s gloomy and rainy again. Oh well. The moisture clinging to the CSA vegetables made them look charmingly freshly-washed, except of course they weren’t. Everything from the CSA needs to be washed quite thoroughly; you’ve never seen so much dirt come off a single pear, or a bunch of radish greens. Our Oxo salad spinner gets a lot of use during CSA season (I drown the leaves, swish them around, pour out the water, and repeat the process until the water stops being cloudy — it generally takes two or three repetitions). I don’t miss vegetables from the grocery store, but I do miss how freakishly clean they are when you take them home.

Anyway, for pickup this week, we got fingerling potatoes, a pound of turnips (at half a pound each, that’s two turnips), six carrots, a head of cauliflower, a pound of either spinach or kale (unable to decide, I took half a pound of each), four Stayman apples, six pears, a head of garlic, and a very small butternut squash. Also eggs and bread (I chose “everything” sourdough again; I’m really predictable).

summer CSA, week 21

Only three more weeks of CSA to go, and then a long sad drought until the spring CSA starts up in March. Guess I’ll have to learn to shop in the produce section again.

This past week I roasted a ton of vegetables. I cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces and tossed them with olive oil, salt and pepper. Then I bisected all of our brussels sprouts, tossed them in the same bowl (after the broccoli was gone), and roasted them as well. (Some of them had funny off-color leaves near the top, which I cut off. Allura theorizes that it was a mild case of tipburn, and would have been edible. Oh well, they looked weird enough that I played it safe.) Also, K and I having bought a ten-pound bag of carrots from Costco for no apparent reason (fortunately carrots keep forever), I peeled and sliced a bunch of carrots and tossed them in the bowl as well (when the brussels sprouts were gone). I added a pinch of ginger, because carrots like tang. And heck, while I was at it, I put our half of the turban squash (cut side down, brushed with olive oil) on a foil-lined tray as well. And then I put all the trays in the oven.

The vegetables were… okay, I guess. I should have paid each element more attention, or flavored them differently. The broccoli overcooked just slightly, the brussels sprouts got burnt (overly blackened on the cut sides, which was tragic as I love me a good roasted brussels sprout), the squash tasted like, well, plain roasted squash, and finally the carrots were just ordinary. Cooked and ready to eat, but just ordinary. I should have used them to make the glazed carrot recipe out of the New Best Recipe cookbook, which is a fantastic recipe, but sadly I did not. Or, if I’d cut them into matchsticks, I should have done this spiced carrot fries recipe, which is also tried, true, and utterly fantastic. Oh well, plenty of carrots remain, and at least I feel I utilized the oven heat appropriately. (It always feels weird to turn on the entire oven for just a single tray of food.)

Clearly improvisation was not my forte last week. Therefore, for book club on Monday, I executed Deb’s Mom’s apple cake, which is always a winner. Mmm, baked cinnamony-sugar apples. Other people at book club seemed to have caught the dessert bug too, as there were also pie, cookies, and chocolate cakes on offer. Good thing I had all those vegetables to buffer my system.

summer CSA, week 20

This week in the CSA: bread (parmesan sourdough), spinach, turban squash, pears, apples, fingerling potatoes, brussels sprouts, two broccoli crowns, carrots, and a half gallon of apple cider. (No eggs this week.)

summer CSA, week 20

I’m looking forward to cooking the turban squash. I think we’ll probably just scoop out the seeds, roast it, and enjoy it with curry powder, salt, and pepper (K) or brown sugar and cinnamon (me). I’m happy to see the brussels sprouts, too; I love roasting brussels sprouts in the oven.

Also, apparently I’m now in apple-hoarding mode. We got a bucket full of crispy, sweet Fuji apples from the farmer’s market last Sunday and I’ve been sad to see them disappear one by one from the fridge. I think it’s time to stock up on apples, make a nice crisp, and freeze a bunch of applesauce.

summer CSA, week 19

It feels odd to be typing “summer” when outside it’s clearly fall: turning leaves, cooler nights, pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. Maybe I should have called this series the “summer/fall CSA” (as Breezy Willow does) from the very beginning. Oh well, can’t switch it up now…

Last week at the CSA: spinach, green peppers, broccoli crowns, pears, potatoes (I chose sweet potatoes; you could also get white), apples, mushrooms, and beets. Also, of course, the usual eggs and bread (Great Harvest “everything” sourdough, which is basically parmesan sourdough inside and tasty savory spices outside).

summer CSA, week 19

Fall is one of those times that makes me very happy to eat with the seasons. Just as colder weather comes along, so do cold-weather vegetables that just beg to get roasted in the oven. This past weekend we roasted beets and sweet potatoes; radishes with carrots, white potatoes, and thyme; made four quiches (yes, four; we miscalculated our filling) with spinach, ham, and mushrooms; and last but not least, we cooked up a lovely beefy brisket with onions in the Dutch oven. The oven was on from early afternoon until well into the evening. It made the house smell wonderful, and there was no need to turn on the heat.

I can’t wait to bake up the pears and apples, too. Mmm, fall fruit desserts.

Sorry about the long hiatus; I’ve been traveling, so I haven’t been getting the CSA share. (The couple we split the share with has been heroically eating the entire share, but for those who don’t have that option, Breezy Willow donates unclaimed food to a local food bank.) Anyway, stay tuned for adventures in non-local eating…