Here’s what came in the box two weeks ago from Farmers Fresh. I was unable to post sooner due to technical difficulties, but the delay lets me include updates on how we really used our goodies. (And makes me realize that, over five years of doing this, I’ve gotten a lot better at realistically predicting what’s going to happen in my kitchen.)
It’s nice to have lovely lettuce for salads during this crazy-warm winter. When winter is cold, I don’t crave salad so much, but it’s all good this year. The bigger leaves could also be used as wraps if one were so inclined. I went ahead and washed and spun all of this. It’s in the salad spinner in the fridge awaiting further instruction.
Update: We defininitely ate this up as salad with sliced radishes. Since eating “farmers’ lettuce,” Chris and I have gotten into the habit of eating our salad without dressing. The lettuce doesn’t need help, and once you get used to going without dressing, it seems weird to cover up the taste with something heavy. Give naked salad a try.
The other day, neighbor Lucy mentioned that she was craving some Bordeaux spinach. I hope she wasn’t kidding because I have a mess of it here. Considering the lettuce, I might snag the babiest of the spinach and add it to the salad spinner. But lettuce must be eaten as salad, and spinach can be cooked. So I think I’m going to cook my share.
Update: I did give about half of this away. We sauteed a bunch of the rest last night with walnuts and craisins.
The radishes themselves will go in salads. The greens are pretty enough that I’ll toss them in when I cook the spinach.
Update: By the time I got to cooking the spinach, the radish greens had gotten slimy. Oh, well. The radishes themselves were delicious, though.
Green cabbage is fun. Shred off what you need for a dish of stir-fried cabbage or cole slaw. Then wrap the rest of the head in a plastic bag and put it back in the freezer. It will last for weeks this way! Just keep shredding as needed.
Update: We made this into a marinated coleslaw. Still eating it. Coleslaw is great for the second week of a preseason-delivery. The first week, we have salad with every meal, and the second week, we have cole slaw. It also makes a good excuse to pick up some barbecue or fried chicken.
This picture doesn’t do justice to this yellow squash. It is a rich golden yellow. No pastel, anemic looking squash, these.
Update: This squash made delicious stir-fried squash. The secret, I think, is to mix up the onion, squash, and cornmeal ahead of time and put it in the fridge. Then, when you go to stir-fry it, the cornmeal stays coated on the veggies. Yum!
Par-cel is great for cooking. The flavot is somewhere between parsley and celery, and you can use the stems as easy as the leaves. I think I’m going to use some in some tuna salad sandwiches this week.
The best way I’ve found to keep herbs is in a bouquet in the fridge.
Just fill a glass with water, trim the stems, stick ‘em in, and cover with a plastic bag. Every couple of days, replace the water and turn the bag inside-out. Maybe trim the stems, too. Herbs will keep a couple of weeks this way.
Update: The herbs are all gone except for a little rosemary. We added the par-cel to salads and the cilantro to some Sea Island red pea soup.
I think our acorn squash was recently picked and needed more curing. I’m going to ask the farmers about that. We cooked it last night and were disappointed in the lack of flavor. I think that’s a symptom of not being cured enough. So don’t rush to cook your acorn squash if you have one. Give it a week or so on the table first.
Updates: The seeds, on the other hand, were great. I tossed them in olive oil and baked them at 250 in the toaster oven.
The popping corn is great. We just microwave it in a paper bag. In our microwave, it takes between 90 -105 seconds. It varies between cobs, so it’s important to listen. When there starts to be pauses between the pops, take it out. We err on the side of unpoppedness. The unpopped kernels stay on the cob, so there’s no danger of crunching down on one. Be careful, though, those kernels left on the cob will burn your hard something fierce.
Update: We’ve had a couple bowls of popcorn lately. We used to coat it with salt and melted butter, but now we just eat it plain. Easier and healthier. I love it when being lazy is virtuous.
Grits are the world’s greatest starch. Go ahead and give yourself the time to cook grits as a side to your favorite meat or veggie. Cook them in water, stock, or milk.
Update: Haven’t made grits in a while, but I ordered some green tomatoes this week. One of our favorite dishes is grits, green tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. The Gouda cheese is very nice and melty. Makes a good grown-up grilled cheese sandwich.
Here’s what I ordered extra this week.
I don’t have to explain the butter, right? Butter good. Goat cheese is also good, but I ordered this particularly to go with the red pepper jelly from the first pre-season delivery. I think the combination on little toasts will be nice. And as long as there are little toasts around, you might as well put this cured pork. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m excited.
Update: Instead of using the pepper jelly, I’ve been warming olive oil with rosemary and garlic, pouring it over goat cheese, and serving it with nice bread and wine. Makes a great late supper. I wasn’t too into the sweet flavor of the pork, I chopped it up and heated it and made a spinach salad last week. The other day I tossed it the rest with olive oil and pasta.
Enjoy your food! I’ll be back with more today or tomorrow!