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CSA Hauls week 5 & 6

Well, Stephanie has been super busy, so apparently she has bailed on the CSA Haul posting for those 2 weeks.  Hopefully she’ll be back doing her sworn appointed CSA Haul duties this week.

Just so we are completists, here’s our haul lists for the previous two weeks:

Here’s our haul for week 5 (picked up 7/8/10)

1 bunch of beets (traded)
3 pieces of Zuchini (6)
1 head of Broccoli (2)
1 head of Napa Cabbage
1 bunch Mini Onions
1 bunch of Chard
1 head of Lettuce (traded)
1 bag of Peaches (in an apple bag)

Here’s our Haul for week 6:

Purple eggplant
Image by fortinbras via Flickr

2 pieces of eggplant (4) I took the purple eggplant
2 pieces of zuchini/squash
2 pieces of cucumber
1 bunch mini onions
1 lb beans
1 bunch of green curly Kale (2)
1 head of Lettuce (traded)
1 bunch of Parsley (traded, much to Stephanie’s chagrin)
1 bunch of mint (kept, much to Stephanie’s chagrin)

1 bag of plums

Stephanie made a delicious cole slaw from the Napa cabbage that we ate with a slow cooked pork roast that ended up being absolutely fantastic.

Our fridge was so full after the second haul that I immediately cooked all the Kale, and all of the spring onions (we’d had some from the previous week)  I made a ground meat/beans/onions quick chili that got put over rice, and the remainder made a delicious omelette yesterday. That got our fridge down to acceptably full levels.

Both bags of fruit have been really good.  Someone at the pickup complained last year that some of the plums were tasteless, but I didn’t find that to be true this year.  The red plums are sweet like candy, and the yellow plums are just plain delicious. And the peaches (not apples, as the bag said) were hard when we got them, but one day later were dripping with juicy peach goodness.

Our fridge is still pretty full, but we’re working on it!

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CSA Haul Week 4: Beyond the peas

csa-haul-peasI’m really sick of the peas.  The first week they were so fresh and springy and we had tons of them – they became a lovely afternoon snack, part of a warm salad, and a dinner side with balsamic vinegar.  The second week they were less fresh and less springy and I struggled to steam them and eat them, but I did, mainly as a snack.  The third week I have to admit they got yucchy in the fridge and they got tossed out.  This is the fourth week of peas, and now they’re old and tired.  They’re big and tough and I don’t even want to take the time to snap off the strings.  But I’ve put them lovingly into a green bag and into the crisper drawer in the fridge.  We’ll see what happens.

This week’s haul:

1 bunch Japanese Hakurei Turnips
1 bunch Red Beets (traded for extra Kale)
1 bunch Siberian Kale
1 bunch Italian Parlsey
1 bunch Scallions
1 Lettuce Head
1/2 lb snap peas

No fruit; strawberry season has come to an early end, unfortunately.

csa-haul-scallions-kale

Scallions & kale

The scallions are particularly beautiful this week – they were too big to fit in the crisper drawer so I hacked off some of the tops.  But there’s still plenty to last for a week’s worth of meals, and maybe we’ll grill some this weekend at the beach, too.

Adam is steaming up a bunch of last week’s rainbow chard and this week’s kale with which we’ll create a couple of portable summer salads to take to the beach for the holiday weekend.  For the kale I’ll probably do an Asian-style vinaigrette (rice wine vinegar, maybe some mirin or fish sauce, sesame oil) and toss in some sesame seeds.  For the chard, I think I’ll chop it and combine it with some red quinoa that Adam cooked for tonight’s dinner as well as some of the scallions.  And what the hell, maybe I’ll steam some peas to go in there too.

csa-haul-parsley-turnips-lettuce

Parsley, turnips & lettuce

Here’s hoping for blueberries next week.  I think it’s almost time.

CSA Haul Week 3: Video Walkthrough Edition

Since S is out in Utah speaking at the EVO conference, it’s up to me to blog our CSA Haul for this week.

I thought I’d give you a little visual of the CSA grabbing itself. Stephanie rarely goes, so it’s up to me to actually grab the food every week.

When you arrive, you need to sign in to make sure you are on the list.  It’s pretty lax, but pretty much everybody knows everybody else.

Greg is the Friendly Volunteer Manager. It wouldn't be wrong to say he's a little Nutty.

Greg, the volunteer manager is usually on site.  Each CSA member has to volunteer twice at the pickup in order to fulfill their CSA Bargain.  I volunteered once already, and will do so again in September.

Ginger Agave Cashews.

During the week Greg works as a sales rep for a nut company (TierraFarm) that used to be a regular farm that needed something to do in the winter, so took to roasting nuts, and now that has become their forte.  Greg is at a lot of Farmer’s Markets during the week and weekend for them.

Greg brought in some samples today– and the Ginger Agave Cashews rocked my world.  Delicious!

So here’s the list of what we received today.

The List of What We Got Today

For those of you who prefer text, here it is in text:

1 bunch of Red Beets
1 bunch of japanese Turnips
1 bunch of Siberian Kale
1 bunch of rainbow chard
1/2 lb of sweet snap peas
1 head of broccoli
1 bunch of garlic Scapes
1 head of Lettuce (swapped for extra Chard)
1 bunch of parsley (swapped for extra Kale)

Sadly, there was no fruit today (I always feel disappointed when there’s no fruit)

Each of the vegetables are in large bins that come from the farm just like that.  You take your share from each of the bins, put it into your bag, chit chat with the volunteers (today our rabbi and her husband were the volunteers when I was there) and then you are on your way.  Here are some photos I took of the bins and their contents.

The Pictures I took today. To see the actual images, click the thumbnails to go to the Flickr page.

Today I changed the prep routine somewhat.  We had so many large greens, we don’t really have room in our fridge for all . I cut off the turnip tops and steamed the greens immediately.  I also steamed the kale immediately, and ate half for dinner.  I gave the beets (disgusting disgusting things!) to our nanny, so that she can juice them.  We still have lots and lots of chard (we still have last week’s chard), but I think if I steam that tomorrow, and just eat lots of leafy greens, we should be good.  Today’s kale I had with a balsamic truffle vinaigrette, which was pretty darned good.

Okay, that should do it for this edition of the CSA Ha-  Oh, yes, the video walk through!

Here’s a video walkthrough of the CSA, with hilarious vegetable music by Al Simmons .

CSA Week 2: In which Joey gets his greens

We’re seeing a nice bounty thus far, though it’s still early in the season. I can’t remember if it was last summer or the summer before, but one year we started with a really meager share as there was too much rain in the spring and the fields were flooded. It wasn’t until the end of the summer that we really had enough food to sustain us through the week.

CSA Week 2: In which Joey gets his greens

beets, turnips, snap peas, rainbow chard, garlic scapes

This past week we managed to finish up nearly all of our share (except for a few lingering scallions) just as we were picking up the next one, which is always a goal. Adam and I find that between us we can usually eat our entire share in a week, if we’re careful about how we store it (so that nothing goes bad if we don’t get to it until the sixth or seventh day) and if we’re not traveling. Aaron is helping a bit this summer, but arugula and garlic scapes are not yet his thing.

This week’s haul included:
1 bunch red beets
1 bunch Japanese Hakurei turnips
1 bunch rainbow chard
1 bunch garlic scapes
3/4 lb sweet snap peas
1 lettuce head
1/2 lb arugula
1/2 lb spinach
1 basket strawberries (this week’s are tiny and totally wild-tasting, absolutely perfect)

CSA Week 2: In which Joey gets his greens

spinach, arugula, lettuce, strawberries

I absolutely LOVE beets, but Adam can’t stand the sight, smell or taste of them, so it’s amazing that he actually picked them up in our share. We do have the option to trade items out for other things if we don’t like or need them, so I’ll sometimes hear after the fact that there were beets, but they never managed to make it to our house. I’ll probably roast these with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of kosher salt – simple and yummy.

CSA Week 2: In which Joey gets his greensWe haven’t cooked much yet so no recipe this week. Instead I’ll leave you with pics of the fourth member of our household who is thrilled that CSA season has begun – Joey the cat. Joey loves greens, particularly lettuce and herbs, and when CSA bags sit on the counter, overflowing with leafy greens, he not only comes around to beg but stretches up to try and pull the bags down off the counter (he’s a long cat). Last night he nearly bit my finger off to snatch a piece of arugula. We give him a little leaf or two every day; he’s a very happy cat cat during CSA season.

CSA Week 2: In which Joey gets his greens

CSA: First haul of the season!

Today was the first day of our CSA!  We were told by the farmer that it could start this week or next, but due to the plentiful rain and nice weather, this week was it.

I’m really excited to “liveblog” our CSA experience this summer.  And though haul posts are typically video, I plan to stick to written posts plus photos, at least for now.

June 10, 2010 CSA Haul

Yonked.com - CSA: First haul (share) of the season!

Everything fit into one bag this week (though a little smooshed)

1 bunch Japanese turnips
3/4 lbs sweet peas
1 bunch scallions
1/2 lb arugula
1/2 lb lettuce mix
1 bunch rainbow chard
1 quart strawberries

Note on the strawberries that we buy the fruit share as well as the veggie share – likely more on that in a future post.

Each week when we get the share home I try to figure out how to best store everything so it will last as long as possible.  Our friend Marni calls this “processing,” and it can involve cutting things up, putting things in plastic ware or special veggie storage bags, or sometimes steaming things immediately for use later.  It’s best to process on Thursday nights, but there are plenty of weeks when processing doesn’t happen until Friday, which is risky; if Adam smashed the arugula into a bag and I don’t get to unpacking everything until Friday, half the arugula could be inedible by Friday.  Today’s processing was mainly just cutting the tops off of the Japanese turnips (we don’t like the tops; I know some people will consider this wasteful) and putting everything into the veggie bins in the fridge (I haven’t dug out the veggie bags yet).

Yonked.com - CSA: First haul (share) of the season!

Scallions, Japanese turnips, spring peas, rainbow chard

Yonked.com - CSA: First haul (share) of the season!

Mixed lettuce, arugula, strawberries

So what are we planning this week?

Tonight’s dinner

We don’t always make a meal from our share immediately on Thursday nights, but since we just got back from a vacation we have very little other food in the house, tonight’s dinner will be primarily CSA veggies.  It would be great to add a hunk of nice cheese and some crusty bread to this….oh well.

  • Quinoa, spring peas and garbanzos (recipe below)
  • Steamed rainbow chard with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (one bunch of chard is one meal for me and Adam, we both love it and it cooks down to nothing)

Later in the week (note that our CSA week begins Thursdays, so for these posts the week will be Thursday-Wednesday)

  • Braised Japanese turnips
  • Something else with the remaining spring peas (maybe a yogurt-based soup)
  • Salad! and more salad! with the lettuce and arugula and probably scallions and turnips too

Aaron will singlehandedly eat all the strawberries.  He loves berries and started saying “stawberry, stawberry” as soon as he saw them sitting on the counter.

Recipe: Quinoa with Spring Peas, Garbanzos and Scallions

Yonked.com - CSA: First haul (share) of the season!

Quinoa with spring peas, garbanzos and scallions

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cu veggie stock
  • 6 oz spring peas, strings removed
  • 4 scallions
  • 1 can (15 oz) garbanzos, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cu apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cu lemon-flavored olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine quinoa and water in saucepan with a bit of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Simmer 15-20 min or until water is absorbed and quinoa is tender.

Lightly steam spring peas (we use the microwave for steaming, more on that in a future post). Slice on the bias into small pieces.  Slice the scallions.

Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper to make dressing.

Combine quinoa/veggies in a bowl.  Toss together with the dressing.

Serve lukewarm (if you combine everything and eat it immediately) or cold.

Makes 4 servings as a quasi-main dish, or 6-8 servings as a side salad.

Our CSA haul – a new weekly series beginning soon

One of my recent resolutions is to blog more frequently here at Yonked.com.  I’ve been blogging three or four times a week at StephanieSchwab.com, and I’m finding that now that I’m writing regularly it seems easier to commit to more frequent posts here as well.  So I’m planning on a weekly series of posts about our CSA haul – that is, the weekly bounty that we receive from our Community Supported Agriculture program.  I plan to share photos and links to recipes and perhaps original recipes as well. Our CSA will make its first delivery either next week or the week after, depending on the first harvest; my posts will start as soon as the season starts.

But first, a few words about our CSA experience.  We’ve been members of our current CSA, Hawthorne Valley Farm, for three years now, and CSA members for five years total.  Adam and I are big fans of the CSA concept for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Cutting down on the grocery shopping, as we always have fresh food in the house,
  • Lower costs for local, organic fruits and veggies,
  • The excitement of not knowing what we’re going to get week-to-week, and the fun of figuring out what to do with it,
  • And, of course, that everything is so yummy!  It’s fresh as fresh can get, given that we live in an urban jungle and not on the farm.
Our CSA haul - a new weekly series coming soon

img credit: Hawthorne Valley Farms

We pick up weekly in Riverdale, which is about 10 minutes from us, and the CSA pickup point is conveniently located next to a great playground, so Aaron will be pretty happy with that.  Our share entitles us to whatever the farm has available in the weeks from mid-June until late October.  There are some weeks we don’t get much, and lots of weeks when we can’t possibly eat everything we get and we freeze stuff or share it with friends.  When we’re out of town we ask friends to pick up and eat our share.

Over the years we’ve had our share (no pun intended) of disappointments – the CSA we joined our first year (which was also their first year) only gave us a single radish and a single cucumber for weeks on end, and last year a huge rain wiped out many crops and we had a pretty sparse midsummer.  But we’ve also been exposed to new veggies (garlic scapes, anyone?), had a sorcerers’ apprentice experience with corn one year (it just wouldn’t stop coming!), and had some really funny adventures with our CSA haul.

Please tune in next week or the week after to hear about our first delivery.  I look forward to sharing with you!