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Archive for October, 2010

Get to your produce right away this week. The incredibly humid past couple of days will mess up your stash fast. My produce was practically dripping when I pulled it out of the box.

Pull it out, dry it off, and rebag it. Just turn the bag it came in inside out. If it’s leafy stuff, put a paper towel in the bag to absorb some of the moisture.

And remember it’s great to have some rain!

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There were lots of colorful things in this week’s box, but the radishes were the most amazing. They are so big, bright, and smooth.

The baby squash are really pretty, too.

To carve or not to carve? This beautiful, dark orange pumpkin is a pie pumpkin, which means I could bake it like a winter squash and make pie, soup, or just baked pumpkin.

Or we could make a jack-o-lantern. I’ll talk it over with Chris and decide.

Lettuce and grape tomatoes

No clever ideas necessary here – just salad with tomatoes (and beautiful radishes). These little tomatoes also make great snacks.

Arugula smells so dreamy when you dump it out of the bag! I like arugula best as salad, but we’ve got so much salad, that I will blanch and freeze this in preparation for a creamy pasta dish in the future.

Enormous and pretty pac choi! Pac choi leaves have wonderful color and texture. These leaves are large enough to make stir-fry “cabbage wraps.” Basically the idea is to steam the leaves just until they’re pliable. (Microwave them in a stack like tortillas, for example.) Then load them up with stir-fried vegetables or seasoned meat or curried lentils or whatever. Treat the stems like celery. Chop them up and add them to stir-fries or soup.

Them’s baking apples, but you can snack on them in a pinch. They taste like sour apple candy. I’m going to core, peel, halve and roast these, however, to give me an excuse to make more bourbon sauce.

Carolina Gold rice, eggs, and Sea Island red peas

The rice and the peas will hang out in the fridge for a while. I’ve got too much produce to be eaten first before resorting to dried foods. One possibility, though, is making fried rice or steaming this rice and using it as part of the pac choi wrap filling.

Fresh eggs always rock. Accept no substitute.

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Lo mein is my current favorite “clean out the fridge” meal. (When you’re doing your meal planning, always leave room for at least one of these meals. Chef salads, vegetable soup, fried rice, and meaty or cheesy casseroles also work.)

This last minute lo mein was inspired by a forgotten zucchini at the bottom of my crisper.

Starring pac choi, eggs, radishes, garlic, frozen lemongrass stems, and one aging zucchini

Here’s how it went down. (more…)

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This week I’ve made two great things from suggestions left by fellow bloggers.

Grilled cheese with arugula and muscadine jelly

Jenna at Jenna’s Cupcakes explained how to make muscadine jelly and then offered this tasty recipe. I used arugula and multi-grain bread from the CSA and Fontina cheese from Sam’s.

Take some nice rich bread (2 slices), slather with butter, grill in a pan butter side down. (Totally had me at “slather with butter.”) (more…)

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What month is it again?

  • sweet corn
  • green beans
  • zucchini

I’m going to serve green beans, corn on the cob, and fried okra tomorrow for a late, late summer meal. (more…)

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Next Saturday, Farmers Fresh is hosting an art exhibition. Turns out many local farmers are also artists!

And even if you’re not all about art, there will be more to do at FarmArt:

  • Impromptu farmers’ market – chat with farmers, buy yummy and interesting stuff!
  • Yoga demonstrations!
  • Other local merchants and their wares!
  • Live music!

And the Farmers’ Fresh store will be open, too. (Hint: stuff’s cheaper at the actual store than it is online. No cost to deliver. So it’s a great chance to stock up on stuff like meat, seafood, cheese, etc.)

So come to downtown Carrollton next Saturday, October 23rd between 8 am and 2 pm.

See you there!

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  • cheeses!
  • hydroponic lettuce
  • apples
  • butternut squash
  • spinach
  • eggs
  • butter beans
  • okra
  • Shiitakes
  • basil

Check out the cheeses!

That’s queso blanco, fromage blanc, and some early cheddar that some mouse got into. (Just kidding, it was me.) The cheddar has a very delicate cheddar taste if you can imagine. It’s nice and soft, too.

The queso blanco reminded me of the tomatillo sauce I bought from Farmers’ Fresh a few weeks ago. I’m going to defrost some turkey thighs and make turkey enchiladas this week.

Fromage blanc tastes like a cross between goat cheese and crème fraiche. (more…)

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Last night Chris and I ate well. We had shrimp poached in lemon cream sauce with handmade egg linguine; an arugula salad with toasted walnuts, goat cheese,  and muscadine vinaigrette dressing; and a bottle of Proseco.

The handmade pasta was a gift from my neighbor Lucy.

Read Lucy’s account of its creation here.

The shrimp, crème fraiche, garlic, arugula, and muscadines were from Farmers’ Fresh. The goat cheese was local, too, from Decimal Place Farm. Very nice stuff. The walnuts were from Planters via Amazon. The olive oil and Proseco were from Trader Joe’s. I think that’s about everything. (more…)

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One good thing about semi-public whining is it forces you to do something or look silly. After all, I’m the one that preaches about CSA subscriptions making us try new things and eat a wider variety of produce. Put up or shut up, right?

Since I was all pathetic about muscadines in my last post, I made some muscadine jelly Saturday. It wasn’t that scary. I went with the guidelines Jenna suggested: “Juice the muscadines. Use Pomona’s Pectin and a little honey and make the BEST muscadine jelly EVER.”

I started with a pint of green muscadines.

First, they got crushed in the blender.

Then they cooked on the stove for about 10 minutes.

At this point, I was entranced by the aroma. It was winy and earthy and very interesting. (more…)

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The lighting for photos is better on my counter, but I have to take pictures in shifts because there’s not enough space. So this week, I’ve returned to the scene of my kitchen table. It’s much more fun to spread everything out on the table.

  • garlic
  • slicer tomato
  • okra
  • muscadines
  • arugula
  • hydroponic lettuce
  • apples
  • eggs
  • sweet potatoes
  • coffee
  • radishes
  • rosemary nut mix
  • chocolate nut mix (not pictured – already eaten!)

I also ordered sourdough bread and lemon verbena from the online store.

 

On the other hand, scrapping radish greens is a relatively guilt-free activity.


(more…)

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I’ve missed a couple of weeks reporting on my CSA subscription due to vacation and getting James ready to go back to school. It’s nice to be getting back in the swing of things just in time for this beautiful fall weather.

First, the non-perishables.

popping corn, pancake mix, and jam

Next, the herbs.

spearmint, hyssop, and Pennsylvania Dutch Tea Thyme – all excellent for herbal tea!

The lemongrass was so unruly that it got its own shot.

I’m going to mince and freeze the stalks for use in stir-fries in the coming months. Here’s more info on freezing lemongrass.

The leaves I’ve been using for tea. Basically I tear off the last few inches of a few of the leaves, ball them up, and add it to the steeping tea. Makes for a nice lemony lift. The last time I had a bunch of lemongrass leaves, they dried nicely in the fridge and provided lemony tea all winter long. Here’s hoping for more of the same. (more…)

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