Someone Else's Farm

October 03, 2010

Catching Up

In other words: Week 13, Week 14, and Week 15 List, Suggestions, Haul, and What We Did With Some Of Our Good Stuff.

You’ve already seen the list and suggestions for Week 13. Here’s what we got, in the rain:

Broccoli, carrots, tomatillos, apples, tomatoes

Lemon basil, tomatoes, grape tomatoes

  • Macintosh Apples: half a dozen.
  • Lemon Basil: a big bunch.
  • Italian Flat Leaf Parsley: a bunch.
  • Baby Carrots: a baggie, the real thing, little tiny carrots that are that size and not cut down from big ones!
  • Cherry Belle and Easter Egg Radish: nope, although we weren’t sure at first.
  • Early Hakurei Turnips: a bunch. They look like little white radishes, which is why we were so confused.
  • Patty Pan, Zucchini, or Yellow Crook Neck Squash: two zucchini.
  • Tomatillos: a bagful.
  • Heirloom Tomatoes: four biggish ones.
  • Sungold Cherry Tomatoes: Not sungolds, but a pint of red grape tomatoes.

This came just as work started to get crazy for me. Probably the most notable thing we did with the produce from this week was a pasta dish that Casey concocted, with a sauce of tomatoes, zucchini, and parsley and lemon basil.

Week 14’s list, and what I picked up on 23 September:

Peppers, turnips, tomatoes, apples, greens, squash

apples, turnips, greens

  • Macintosh Apples: four apples.
  • Green Italian Basil: I wish, but no.
  • Green Kale: a big bunch. Of course.
  • Red Potatoes: a net bag full of spuds a little larger than salt-size.
  • Acorn Squash: three of the tiniest I’ve ever seen.
  • Patty Pan Summer Squash: no.
  • Heirloom Tomatoes: a bunch of smallish plum-shaped tomatoes, two large red bashed-up tomatoes that were unsalvageable, and a green zebra or something similar.

And also a bunch of peppers, some jalapenos and some sweet orange and pale yellow varieties. And for good measure, two batches of leeks from another farmer’s market vendor. Leeks grow in dirt, in case you wondered.

The newsletter suggested this week that we make kale with apples and mustard, sauteed baby patty pan squash with basil and feta, and linguini with basil, kale, and tomatoes. We did none of these. Casey concocted another fresh tomato sauce for pasta, which did not have kale in it but did contain peppers and (shhh!) an anchovy, which worked very well.

The Macs from these last two weeks, I made into apple butter. I’m not a fan of mushy apples, and I couldn’t think of anything else to do with these but they were taking up more fridge space than I could afford to give them. So I rinsed and stemmed them all, cut them into quarters, tossed them into a pot with a splash of water and the juice from a leftover lemon half, and let them cook until they were mush. (It didn’t take long.) I then ran the cooked apples through the food mill to get rid of the skins and seeds. If I’d wanted applesauce, I would have stopped here, but then I would have had to put it into jars and process them right then and there, and I probably wouldn’t have finished that until way too late at night. So instead, I put the applesauce in the slow cooker (there was about 3 quarts, based on the markings of the bowl I ran the food mil into), added sugar (both brown and white), cinnamon, nutmeg, and a couple of whole cloves until it tasted defiantly sweet and spicy, cocked the lid of the slow cooker just slightly ajar, and let it cook on low overnight, stirring whenever I thought of it. By morning, the applesauce had cooked down quite a bit and turned brown, and there was a rather thick skin on top. I stirred the skin back in, and let it cook another couple of hours. (The skin broke down and cooked in until I couldn’t detect any pieces of it. The cloves must’ve broken down, because I couldn’t find them.) During the last bit of cooking time, I sterilized four half-pint jars and simmered the lids to match. I had enough apple butter to fill the four jars plus a little more to eat on waffles right then and there. I processed the apple butter-filled jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. All four jars sealed, so we’ll have apple butter for the winter.

And finally, Week 15, the most recent pickup, again in a drenching rain:

garlic, greens, squashes galore, apples, peppers, turnips, radishes

greens, greens, garlic, peppers, squashes, apples

  • Cortland Apples: four.
  • Arugula: a bunch.
  • Collard Greens or Brussel Sprout Greens: a bunch of collards, I think.
  • Garlic: four heads.
  • Green Peppers: three.
  • Hot Hungarian Wax Peppers: three, that didn’t taste very hot.
  • Jalapeno Peppers: a handful of tiny ones. I hope that means they have some heat in them.
  • Cherry Belle Radish: a bunch.
  • Hakurei Turnips: a bunch.
  • Delicata Squash or Spaghetti Squash: we got three pale green pattypan squashes and another of what looks like the carnival squash from Week 12. Nothing looked like either delicata or spaghetti squash.

The newsletter noted that they grow lots of greens because “we need them and most folks love them.” As I’ve said before, we enjoy greens, but not in the quantities we’ve been getting them. Maybe it would be better if we had a bigger household. But they did give us a suggestion for traditional southern-style collard greens with a ham hock or smoked turkey leg, or cooked in soup, and an idea for using collards (and sweet peppers and cabbage and a few other things) raw as a wrapper with julienne-cut vegetables and a nut pesto inside. And the turnips can go into miso soup. I could go for that, and it’s definitely turning into soup season.

We have a baguette and both Brie and Vermont Butter & Cheese Company Cultured Butter, to go with the radishes. For the turnips, I’m thinking a Korean-style pickle, to eat with dol sot bi bim bop this winter. All the tomatillos and many of the jalapenos will probably become mole verde, which will go in the freezer for later.

July 15, 2010

Salad, With Chicken

Filed under: what we did — Tags: , , , , — M @ 10:18 AM

It’s been hot this week. Monday, I couldn’t bear the thought of cooking indoors. I took a couple of chicken breasts, gave them a coat of olive oil and Penzey’s Northwoods seasoning, and grilled them. They got cut into bite-sized pieces, which went on top of a salad composed of the CSA lettuce, the last of the CSA pickling cukes from last week, more of those radishes from the very first box (we have only two left to use), sliced on the 1 mm blade of our plastic mandoline, a carrot (also sliced on the mandoline), part of a green pepper and part of a red pepper, the last store-bought tomato, and a few slivers of a sweet onion. It hit the spot for dinner on a day when neither of us felt much like cooking or eating. It looked like a salad with chicken on top, at least till I forgot that our bottle of blue cheese dressing didn’t have a squeezy-top with a flow-restricting hole. Then it looked like a salad with chicken and a white puddle of dressing on top. Luckily, I was able to scoop most of the excess dressing out before my salad drowned, and it wound up not being the disaster it could have been.

I forgot to make croutons out of the last pieces of multigrain bread. But that would have involved turning the toaster oven on.

The one extra thing I did in the kitchen on Monday was to peel all the rest of the carrots in that bag, cut them into sticks, and put them in the fridge to eat. I’ve become less enamored of the ubiquitous baby-cut carrots over the last several months. For one thing, I have a hard time finding a bag in the cooler case of any supermarket that doesn’t contain a pool of water. Hold a bag by the corner, let the water drain into the opposite corner, and it’s not uncommon to wind up with a triangle of water an inch tall or worse. And furthermore, I’ve noticed that they just don’t taste very good, if they taste like anything at all. (I suspect the former might have something to do with the latter.) Crunch: sometimes. Sweet, carroty taste: rare. So instead, I’ll take the time to peel and cut up the full-sized version (Wegmans only sells organic big carrots, which I’m fine with), usually a pound or two at a time, and reap the benefits of taste. For all I know, they’re better nutritionally also; I care more about the taste.

July 02, 2010

Radish Sandwich Redux

Filed under: what we did — Tags: , , , — M @ 21:24 PM

baguette, lettuce, radish, brie

This sandwich may look a little bit familiar. But this time we downgraded the cheese, tweaked the salt, and remembered the lettuce.

The cheese got downgraded because we didn’t figure out that we’d need it until this evening, which means I couldn’t get the triple-creme stuff at Wegman’s. We made do with the imported-from-France brie available here in town, which was OK but not as sublime. Casey cut the rind off, because it was really thick. I normally don’t mind a little bit of bloomy rind, but this would have been more than a little bit, more like trying to bite through elephant skin. (Not that I’ve ever tried to do that, of course!) If I’d known, I definitely would have brought home some triple-creme this morning. But I didn’t know, so I brought home some three-year-old Tillamook cheddar instead. (I did have the foresight to pick up a baguette, on general principles. I didn’t know what we’d be eating tonight, but I figured a baguette would go with just about anything except a BLT, and even that might work OK.) I don’t think that would have worked nearly as well as generic French brie.

As for the salt, I used Maldon salt this time, and liked it. It maintained its crunch in the sandwich, but it was a different sort of crunch than the crunch of the radish slices, or the crust of the bread. The salt absolutely makes this sandwich, and it doesn’t take much: I used just what I could pinch between my thumb and first finger, and sprinkled it all along the opening of the sandwich.

I did some research on the lettuce, which came in the Week 02 haul. If you recall, the list said “royal oak leaf lettuce,” but I said:

We got two bunches of teeny-tiny heads of greens with elongated spiny leaves, but to me they look like dandelion greens or possibly arugula, not lettuce. Until I’m told otherwise, I’m going to assume dandelion greens, and tag them as such.

Shows you what I know about greens. Casey tasted a leaf this evening before putting it into the sandwich, since we knew we wouldn’t want a peppery green like arugula in a sandwich with peppery radish slices. His taste buds confirmed that it was definitely not arugula. And as soon as I tasted a bite, I knew for sure it wasn’t dandelion greens, as it wasn’t bitter enough for dandelions of that size. Instead, I just got a nice, soft, lettuce leaf. The original recipe for the sandwich suggested using bibb lettuce, and while that would probably be quite nice, this lettuce may have worked even better because the elongated shape of the leaf fit perfectly into the hunk of baguette. So, whatever it was, it was definitely lettuce. So, given that it was definitely lettuce, I found some pictures of royal oak leaf lettuce, and whaddaya know? The pictures show small heads, long leaves with lots of points. In short, they look exactly like what we picked up last week. Thus, I officially apologize for any doubts I may have had about the veracity of Grindstone Farm’s greens identification. I’d happily take more of this lettuce.

The radishes are from Week 01. We still have four of them left. Lucky for us, we still have some brie left from the wedge we got this evening, and about half the baguette also.

June 19, 2010

Radish Sandwich for Lunch

Filed under: what we did — Tags: — M @ 14:12 PM
Baguette, triple-creme brie, thinly sliced radishes, sea salt

Radish sandwich

Lunch on a hot and humid day, post-bike ride: a sandwich. Casey made this. The sandwich is more or less as described in Jack Bishop’s book A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen.

The sandwich started with a baguette, which I picked up at Wegmans yesterday, sliced lengthwise and opened up. Then, one half of the baguette got spread with triple-creme brie, also purchased at Wegmans yesterday, and allowed to sit on the counter for about half an hour, to warm up to room temperature. The book’s recipe called specifically for Saint-André cheese, but Wegmans (at least the store on Route 11 in Cicero) doesn’t carry it. I made do with Wegmans Rich & Buttery Triple Creme Brie, which was as close as I could come. Casey sliced a couple of radishes (one more red and the other more purple) very thinly, on a plastic slicer using the 1 mm spacer. I was surprised to see the pretty little speckles of color inside the radishes. The radish slices got layered onto the cheese, and then sprinkled with a touch of our fleur de sel. We skipped the lettuce that Bishop calls for, because I forgot to tell Casey when he asked what needed to go in the sandwich other than cheese and radish, but we have cheese and radishes and salt still, so if we can find a baguette we can try it again.

This is another winner. As far as I’m concerned, triple-creme brie is a winner any time, especially with vegetables in the equation. (Or fruits. I love to eat brie on slices of pears.) I particularly liked the crunch of the radish against the soft texture of the cheese. The only thing that wasn’t quite perfect was the bread, probably from sitting for 24 hours before we used it. For a comparison, I also think next time I’d try using Maldon salt, to see if it keeps its crunch, to add another layer of texture to the sandwich. I’d also happily do my mother-in-law’s variation, using butter instead of cheese. After all, nutritionally speaking, there’s probably not much difference between butter and triple-creme brie!

June 17, 2010

Week 01

Filed under: pickup — Tags: , , , , , , , , — M @ 18:28 PM

Here’s our haul. It wouldn’t fit into one photo!

We got everything on the list, except for the strawberries. Guess they didn’t have enough of those, or something. I may ask the farm about that tomorrow, if I get a chance. The “salad lettuce” was one head of what I think is just plain old green leaf lettuce, and the broccoli is two rather tiny-looking stalks worth. But at least some of the lettuce will go into radish sandwiches with Saint-Andre (or butter!) and sea salt (either Maldon or fleur de sel; I have both on hand) and the broccoli should combine nicely with the garlic scapes in a stir-fry.

We’ve already put things away. Casey washed all the greens before putting them away. We looked up radish greens and discovered that they are in fact edible, but elected to toss them as we’ve got plenty of other greens to eat this week. (Correction from the one who washed them: I cut the greens off the radishes, washed both of them and stored the separately. I figured they might add a nice complexity to the other greens.) I’ve been reading up on things to do with greens, and have come up with a couple of ideas that look promising: folding the cooked greens into corn tortillas to make tacos, and the fairly standard greens-beans combination in a few different iterations. I’m sure I’ll find more things to do when I’m not in a rush.

We have a lot of radishes. (Ah, spring!) I’m still trying to come up with things to do with them, other than make sandwiches. I’m contemplating a sort of pickle, in rice vinegar with a little salt.

At the farmers market, we added to the haul with some more peas and some new potatoes. We got the potatoes from the vendor we used last time, and they were terrific. The peas, of course, we’ll eat from the pod. The potatoes are as of yet undetermined.

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