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Archive for February, 2009

Here’s what was in our box for the last pre-season delivery.

this fortnight's spread

this fortnight's spread

  • herbs: lemon thyme, salad burnet, rosemary
  • leaf lettuce
  • romaine
  • carrots!
  • spinach
  • pecans
  • whole wheat bread
  • turnip greens
  • popping corn
  • dozen eggs
  • pac choi
  • apples

We’ve already broken into the lettuce, salad burnet, eggs, carrots, and bread. See?

an all CSA supper

an all CSA supper!

The carrots are amazing. I’ve been scrubbing them, cutting off the tops, and eating them as is. I haven’t even bothered to cut them up. We just eat them Bugs Bunny style.

The spinach is delicious. It’s got nice texture, color, and no bitterness. The pac choi is really pretty, too. I’m thinking of chopping it and lightly cooking it like cabbage. I’ll probably serve it with pork loin cooked with some of the rosemary and thyme.

I’m giving the turnip greens to my parents. Might as well share the love, right?

I now have 2 pounds of pecans to candy. Now if I can just rope the guys in to helping me shell them this weekend…

We’re excited to try the popping corn but haven’t yet. The CSA flyer said this corn pops completely so there’s no hull left.

It seems you can’t judge an apple by its cover! I cut up a kind of sad looking red apple to eat yesterday… and it was tart, crisp, juicy, and perfect.

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New 2009 CSA pricing

The new CSA website is up – www.farmersfreshcsa.com. It has a lot of new information about how the CSA’s going to work this year.

The $100 membership fee is required to subscribe. It comes with these benefits.

But you can buy produce from the online store without being a member. This could be a good option for someone who wants to stick his or her toe in first.

Then there’s more flexibility in what you can add on, too. I’m considering adding muffins in the hopes of getting more Ezekiel muffins.

The standard length is 4 weeks instead of 12. You can set your account to be billed automatically. And you can suspend a delivery with 4 days notice and get credited a future week. That’ll be great for vacations and such.

For reference, last year I had a standard bag with premium additions from October through December. So that’s what you’re looking at in most of my posts. A standard bag is roughly equivalent to a Family Pack, and the premium additions are like the Gourmet + ½ dozen eggs in terms of the 2009 price structure. (Farmers, please tell me if I have this wrong.)

Here is a picture of a standard bag (~= Family Pack) from last July.

Ah, summer!

Ah, summer! Green beans, spaghetti squash, the best blueberries ever, onions, tomatoes, lambsquarters, butternut squash, and basil.

What do you all think of the new pricing structure? What packages are you considering?

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Advice for CSA newbies

Greetings, newbies!

I’m defining newbie here as someone new to cooking fresh produce as well as new to CSAs. I wouldn’t have said I was “new to cooking” when I joined Farmers’ Fresh two years ago, but I was definitely new to cooking fresh produce.

Start in the spring. Spring is the easiest season to start your CSA subscription because everyone can make salad. Which leads us to…
(more…)

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Lots of salad

Here are some of the salads we’ve had.

leaf lettuce plus extras with CSA-herbed chicken breast

leaf lettuce and radishes with CSA-herbed chicken breast

Asian turnip, baby belle radishe, daikon radish, and green onions for salad topping

Asian turnip, baby belle radish, daikon radish, and green onion for salad topping

chef spinach salad with cheese and bacon

chef spinach salad with cheese and bacon

Happily, we’ve still got enough spinach and romaine to see us through this week. The baby belle radishes are gone, but I’ve still got some turnips and another daikon.

Eggs!

We’ve made brownies and scrambled eggs so far. The scrambled eggs were so good! These are a real CSA treat. Fresh eggs turned scrambled eggs into a gourmet meal. I hope to be able to have another scrambled egg and salad meal soon. You know that the eggs are great when you don’t want to make any more brownies because you’d rather have more scrambled eggs! (more…)

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News from the Discovery Channel!

Cows With Names Make More Milk

And from The New York Times

In Kitchen, ‘Losers’ Start From Scratch

This article underscores the importance of cooking at home from scratch for maintaining a healthy weight. And the best way to do that is to start with fresh and tasty ingredients and get regular practice in preparing them… like with a CSA subscription.

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Brrr…

It sure was cold picking up the produce this morning. Here’s what I brought home.

feb4

  • Goat’s milk soap with Romance scent
  • Asian turnips
  • Radishes
  • Lavender-lemon verbena-rose geranium sachet
  • Apples (2 lbs)
  • Pecans (1 lb)
  • Sweet potatoes (2 lbs)
  • Leaf lettuce (8 oz)
  • Bordeaux spinach (6 oz)
  • Romaine lettuce (16 oz)
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • Chard (12 oz)
  • Chocolate-raspberry-pecan muffins

Meal planning

Tired of salad yet? Me, neither. The little radishes were great salad additions last fall. We didn’t know we liked radishes till then. The Asian turnips aren’t bad, either. They’re mild, and I just slice them up with the radishes for salad fixin’s. In terms of greens, we’ll start on the leaf lettuce first and then alternate with the spinach and the romaine. I’m not planning on mixing them because I like the distinct tastes.

I’m going to try to make apple rings with a couple of the apples again. And I’m definitely making candied pecans. They’ll be great for snacking and on top of sweet potatoes and spinach salads and ice cream.

I am very happy to have eggs again. We made French toast which used up half our eggs from the first delivery. I’m not eager to do that again. We’ll have scrambled eggs and lots of baked treats this time, I hope.

Here’s an interesting page with kale and chard recipes.  Our chard will wind up in something like these later in the week.

The soap and sachet both smell lovely. I tied the sachet to the lamp over my bed in the hopes of sweet dreams. Even my husband likes the smell.

I was very strong and did not eat a muffin while I was taking pictures. I can tell you they’re very moist, though. We plan on having a couple for dessert tonight.

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Made it through the spinach!

We finished all our spinach Sunday night. We had lots of spinach salad, a spinach pasta dish, and a pan of spinach artichoke dip. Surprisingly, I’m looking forward to getting more this week. Spinach is a nice thing to have around, and it keeps well, too.

Other dishes

Some of my apples got a little soft before I ate them. I peeled and cored them, sliced them and put them on a baking sheet. I sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon on them and baked them at 425 for several minutes. I ate them all right out of the oven earning me dirty looks from my family when they came in looking for theirs. Hey, it was my experiment, right?

I finally tried the kale with raisins and pinenuts and really liked it. I’ve still got one bunch of kale left, and I’m going to make another batch today or tomorrow.

We had some potato soup alongside our spinach salads a couple of days.

potatosoup

The soup was based on this recipe. I subbed onions for leeks and 1/2 a cup of cream for 1/2 a cup of the water.  And I didn’t puree it at the end because I didn’t feel like cleaning out the blender afterwards. It was perfectly fine with soft potato chunks. “Better than it looks,” was Chris’ comment. It was a great way to use up the extras from the 5lb bags of potatoes and onions I had from the grocery store.

The rosemary and lemon thyme went into this chicken breast recipe. (I just made the chicken breast part along with some rice.) The chicken was really good. I’m not a big fan of balsamic vinegar on salads, but it gave the chicken a nice, sweet flavor.

What’s left

After two weeks, I still have a bunch of kale, a daikon radish, and half a green onion. The green onion and daikon will continue to be added to spinach salads over the next week, and I’ll cook the kale some time in the next couple of days.

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