Someone Else's Farm

September 01, 2010

Summertime Eating

Filed under: what we did — Tags: , , , , , , , — M @ 12:27 PM

I wish we’d gotten the eggplant. That, to me, is the food of summer, along with tomatoes.

But instead, we got zucchini. I grated it and turned it into another batch of zucchini cake, this time with the lemon glaze. The glaze turned out to not add much, I thought, so next time I probably won’t bother. It’s certainly well worth making, even if the house is devoid of lemons. Casey thought it was just fine without the glaze, so I’ll be adding this to my zucchini repertoire.

And we got cucumber and tomatoes, which I turned into Asian gazpacho. The recipe is from Ming Tsai’s first book, Blue Ginger, and because Amazon lets you search inside, if you look for “Asian gazpacho” you’ll get to the recipe. I had basil and cilantro and jicama, and stole the mint from the next-door neighbor’s prolific herb garden. (That’s not totally accurate. I stole the mint, and then I phoned and asked permission.) The onion, tomatoes and cucumber came from the CSA. I am currently out of sambal oelek so I used sriracha instead, and for the chile I used a poblano. (I could have used one of those jalapenos that we didn’t get also.) Casey thought it was a little too spicy for his taste. I didn’t care for the mint, which I’ll leave out next time. I think it’s worth keeping in mind, but tweaking.

We also used up last week’s tomatillos. Casey turned them, the other poblanos, some garlic, some raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas), and other things into a pipian-style sauce. We ate it on a grilled pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size pieces which we wrapped in warm flour tortillas. We had a little bit of pork, and some sauce, left over; they’ll go onto a pizza tonight.Pork, green sauce, tortillas

And last night: homemade black bean burgers and salad (CSA lettuce, CSA tomatoes, store red pepper).

The calendar may say September, but it’s definitely still summertime here!

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August 30, 2010

Week 10, with a rant

Filed under: pickup — Tags: , , , , , , , , — M @ 13:20 PM

What I picked up on Thursday (in the car, which did get home in time after all):

  • Green beans: a small bagful, about the same amount as the yellow beans from the last couple of weeks.
  • Cucumbers: one.
  • Purple eggplant: nope. Nor any other color of eggplant, either. Too bad, because I like eggplant.
  • Red kale: yes. Sigh. It’s already been washed, wilted, and frozen so we don’t have to think about it for a while. The same thing happened to last week’s kale.
  • Red leaf lettuce: a head.
  • Bunching onions: a lunchbagful. They weren’t very bunched.
  • Antohi and jalapeno peppers: nope. Neither. No peppers whatsoever.
  • Zucchini squash: a dinged-up baseball bat. Maybe it was used to bash up the tomatoes?
  • Heirloom tomatoes: three, none of which were in great shape. All the tomatoes we got looked rather bruised, as though they’d been bounced on the ground, or the container had been shaken. And one of them had a weird whitish top half that was much firmer than the rest of the tomato. By Friday morning, one was starting to turn black in the scar left behind where the stem had been. By Sunday, two of them had areas of rot and were attracting fruit flies, so I tossed them. The remaining one seems to be doing OK for now.
  • And, to make up for the stuff we didn’t get but were supposed to, maybe: some other greens that appear to be arugula-like.

The incident with the tomatoes reminds me of the last time I shopped at a market in Paris, several years ago. When you buy produce in a French market, the vendor will typically ask you when you plan to eat it. And then, the vendor will choose the items for you, based on your answer. If you plan to eat the tomatoes that very day, you’ll get tomatoes that will be extraordinarily juicy and ripe…and that are over the hill after 24 hours. If, however, you don’t think you’ll get to the tomatoes until the next day, you’ll get tomatoes that are a little bit more firm, but will be ready when you’re ready for them. Which gets to my point: it seems like some (nay, most!) of the produce we’ve been getting is all teetering on the edge of almost overripe when it gets to us on Thursday evening. Which is great if we’re going to eat it all that very night, but that never happens. In fact, most of the time, Thursday night we’ve already got other plans for dinner, and those plans don’t necessarily involve anything we pick up that day. The tomatoes we’ve been getting of late are definitely of the “must eat immediately” variety. Any chard wilts by Saturday morning at the latest, no matter how carefully we treat it. (The two consistent exceptions to the “must eat now” seem to be onions and green/yellow beans, which hold well in the refrigerator.)

The problem, of course, is twofold. First, we get lots of produce that needs to be dealt with immediately. And second, if we do in fact deal with all that produce immediately, we don’t have much produce left for later in the week, but we hate to buy more, knowing that within a few days we’ll be flooded again.

What I wish: more of each week’s haul was specifically things that will keep reasonably well, so each week’s share actually lasts through a whole week.

August 26, 2010

Week 10: List and Suggestions

Filed under: pre-pickup — Tags: — M @ 10:30 AM

This afternoon, I will ride my bike downtown and pick up:

  • Green Beans
  • Cucumbers
  • Purple Eggplant
  • Red Kale
  • Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Bunching Onions
  • Antohi and Jalapeno Peppers
  • Zucchini Squash
  • Heirloom Tomatoes

I am grateful that watermelon is not on the list for this week. Even a small watermelon does not fit well on a bike. And I have no clue what an antohi pepper was. Unfortunately, this week’s newsletter didn’t say anything about them. And I am hoping it is not raining when it is time for me to go downtown.

The newsletter did say that the brassicas are transplanted, so I guess the never-ending march of the kales will continue. The newsletter also lists the kinds of tomatoes they’ve planted: Debarao, Yellow Brandywine, Muskovich, Cherokee Purple, Green Zebra, Brandywine, Prudens Purple, Rose, Valencia, Striped German, Zefa Fino, Juliet, New Girl and Sun Gold Cherry. It would be nice if they told us some distinguishing characteristics of each, or at least provided a link to a Web page with pictures or descriptions, so we’d know what we’re getting.

For recipe suggestions this week, we got a Spicy Bean Salsa and an Italian Ribollita. (What other kind of ribollita is there, by that name? Just askin’.) The salsa uses canned black-eyed peas and black beans, and gives the option to use canned corn (which is sacrilege to me, this time of year) or fresh cut-off-the-cob. The next item is given as chopped green bell or antohi pepper, so from that, I infer that antohi peppers are green and sweet. I can’t imagine why the recipe calls for a can of diced jalapenos, especially when we’re getting fresh ones this week, unless that pickled flavor is somehow important. This recipe can use either tomatoes or tomatillos, or a combination. I tend to prefer my tomatillos solo, and would probably use just tomatoes in this. This is a no-vampire recipe, as it asks for 6 cloves of garlic, chopped. I’m not quite sure what olive oil, garlic salt, and ground pepper are doing in a salsa like this. And the rest is just standard salsa stuff: cilantro, lime juice, cumin.

The ribollita is a strange suggestion for this week, because it doesn’t use much of what’s going to be in this week’s share and because it’s more of a winter dish, a way to stretch the soup to feed everyone the second night. The recipe calls for 10 (5-inch) zucchini; It’ll be interesting to see just how much zucchini we get this week. In this case, for this recipe, I think a mass measurement would have been more useful. The recipe will also use a bunch of kale and an onion (again, nothing more specific for measurement on either). The other vegetables in the recipe are not in this week’s list: carrot, celery, potatoes, leek, Swiss chard(!), Savoy cabbage, and finally, 3 Tbsp tomato puree, the most specific measurement in the batch. I’m also not a fan of the construction method the recipe prescribes, where bread is layered with cooked soup overnight and then reheated. I’d rather add pieces of bread just before reheating, because I think the texture is better. I think for this, I’ll stick with Marcella Hazan.

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