Friday, May 15, 2015

CSA Week 1

I just wanted to share a few pictures as well as a preview of this week's CSA box.

One of the first items (after the cakes of course) we tried was a green garlic and asparagus soup. Getting the CSA box a few days before the Farmer's Market is quite handy as it gives us a day or so to think about how we can use the week's box and what we should keep an eye out for at the Farmer's Market to help fill in potential gaps.

 We made a few of our go-to meals such as a pasta with a tomato sauce, using the box's oregano. Jeff ate several salads, and I made some pancakes using the spinach-- it's surprising how well it hides behind the pancake flavor!

Since we were at the Farmer's Market, we picked up a flat of strawberries. We froze about half of them, and we munched on quite a few. However, I managed to save enough to make what I am for now calling a pretzel crumble. I basically took parts of three different recipes I liked to make a riff on pretzel salad. It's got a sweet yet salty pretzel crust, a sweet cream cheese layer (I used organic sugar and vegan cream cheese since I'm lactose intolerant, but regular would certainly suffice!), and a strawberry pie filling recipe from my mom. It must be topped with fresh berries too! I don't have time now, but perhaps later I can type up the recipe.

For now, here's a preview of week two:

We got chives, green garlic, spinach, a spring lettuce mix, radishes, strawberries, and bok choy. I can't wait to try out the bok choy because I've never had it outside a restaurant.

First off: I know it's been A LONG time. I've said that the last few times, but I did have surgery (two surgeries right in a row actually). And then I had a long recovery that involved a walker for an entire month. Then I got to move to crutches. I'm finally getting back into the swing of things-- 5 months later. Pro-tip: don't develop adult hip dysplasia! If you do, have a fun surgery, and try not to tear your labrum while waiting for surgery!

Anywho. I'm going to do my best to keep up with this. Jeff and I joined a CSA, or a Community Supported Agriculture Group (General info and a place to find one in your area, but do beware that some of the info is outdated: I wish I had known more about them before as I love local produce. I also like to support the local farmers and therefore the local economy. Our particular CSA is listed, but the information is not completely up-to-date. I recommend calling the farm or head farm (or find them on Facebook like I did!) with any questions you have about how it works since each one is slightly different.

So, with this new CSA adventure, I'm hoping it will be easier to keep up with the blog since we will be discovering new ingredients, and therefore recipes, as well as finding new ways to use familiar ingredients.

Welcome to week one!

It’s already been an adventure with our first box of goodies. Since it’s early in the season, this first round included lots of greens along with a few other items: red russian kale, spinach, a lettuce mix, radishes along with their greens, green garlic, fresh oregano, homemade croutons, and this lovely japanese spinach-- komatsuna.

From the research I did today, it appears to have overwinterized. According to the interwebs, it's nice to do this sometimes because the flavor changes ever so slighlty, and you get lovely edible flowers to garnish your salads.

I had no idea what to do with it other than use it in a salad or a stir fry, but I then I stubbled upon a website that mentioned using it in place of corn and parmesean in something called mushi-pan, a Japanese steamed cake. It was kind of like falling through the rabbit hole as I stumbled from there to here and finally to a recipe with American measurements.

I followed Namiko's recipe, subbing a cup of crudely puréed komatsuna (we do not have a good food processor), used almond milk since I am lactose intolerant, and hoped for the best.

I hope we can obtain a solid food processor eventually, especially since our mini one is practically busted. But for now it served its purpose as the mushi-pan turned out to be quite tasty! It's like a semi-sweet cross between a cake and a muffin. I hope to make another variety-- maybe Namiko's chocolate version with a few greens hidden away! 

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