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Archive for the ‘CSA notes’ Category

For lunch today, we had a themed lo mein – stems!

Chopped arugula stems, beet stems, broccoli stems, and garlic

I cooked this with four beautiful CSA eggs, noodles, and Annie Chun marinade. It was delicious, nutritious, and in no way compromised by consisting of veggie parts of lesser charisma.

This dish would have been even nicer with thinly-sliced beef. Next time.

If you need a lo mein recipe, here’s Rachel Ray’s. It calls for hoisin sauce, but could use any stir fry sauce you like (or find on sale). Or you can make your own. This site has some great details on how.

Stems also work with fried rice. If you’re more into fried rice, here’s a good place to start.

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I hab a cold.

For the past couple of days, I’ve been with cold – sneezes, coughing, the works. I’m not sure I had a single cold last year, so I’m out of practice.

If there’s a good part to colds, it’s coming up with new theories of cold-handling while you’re shuffling around all bundled up. A few years ago, I swore by Airborne, the tablet that dissolves in water with lots of herbs to stimulate your immune system.

This year I’m of the mind that stimulating your immune system is like when your boss hires a consultant to help you finish a big project. You don’t need an outsider peddling advice. You need money, manpower, coffee, and pizza. You need tools.

So I decided that my immune system needs only basic tools: fluids, salt, and rest. I’m doing pretty well with the first two.

Fluids are coming almost entirely from lemon verbena tea from Fran. Lemon verbena tea with generous amounts of honey is like a liquid cough drop. Very nice.

Hey, that's a local mug, too, made by Helen Helwig in Carrollton!

Salt comes from ramen noodles. (The extra fluids are a bonus.) Something about hot, salty broth makes me feel better. I dress up regular ramen with a couple of local eggs beaten and then gently stirred in for the last few minutes of simmering.

The results are delicious and fortifying. Of course, if I were awesome, I’d discard the packet and use homemade chicken stock made with local chicken scraps. But I am not awesome and have no stock.

One thing I’m pretty sure of is I caught this cold after consuming entirely too much sugar on Halloween. Lucy sent me home with four iced, sprinkled sugar cookies, and I sat down and ate them all as soon as I got home. First, the rush, then the crash, and a day later, the cold. I don’t think it’s coincidence. Back to good, local produce for me! Or at least only one iced sugar cookie per day.

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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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The idea

Sunday, I pulled out all the vegetables I’d frozen over the last several months and made vegetable stock. I left a couple of bags of blanched green beans, a bag of chopped celery, and a bag of corn. Everything else got thrown in the pot.

The ingredients

The frozen assembly consisted of spinach, kale, beet greens and stems, green beans, celery scraps, Shiitake and oyster mushroom stems, Swiss chard stems, and fennel.

I also added some chopped onion and garlic cloves.

For stock, onions don’t need to be peeled or chopped. However, this onion had some powdery mold on its outermost layer, so I didn’t have a choice.

The process

First, I browned the vegetables in batches. The problem with frozen vegetables, however, is there’s a lot of moisture to get through before you get any browning action. Maybe I’ll defrost and drain them next time. And possibly roast them in the oven instead of on the stove.

Second, the more-or-less browned veggies got tossed in the stock pot, which was then filled three quarters full of water.

After bringing it to boil, I let the pot simmer for about an hour. Then I strained the stock and put it back in the pot to cook uncovered until it had boiled down to half as much. It’s easier to store concentrated stock.

To freeze the stock, I poured it into ice cube trays. (more…)

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Summertime to CSA subscribers means incredible goodness and quantities of fresh, colorful produce. But it also means you have to be more on your game than ever.

You simply must open up your food, take it out of its bags, and look it over as soon as you can. Dump it out and repackage it. Don’t think of yourself as the end-recipient of the CSA packing process. Instead, you are its last stage, the linchpin, the make-or-break player. (more…)

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Freezing eggs

Did you know you can freeze eggs?

It’s a bit of a process but really useful when you suddenly need an egg or when you need a bunch of yolks or whites.

The first step is separating the eggs. While there are tools that help with this, I find it easier to use my hands. First, crack the egg into a bowl.

Then carefully slide a hand under the yolk and pick it up. Carefully shift the yolk from one hand to the other. After a few times, all you’ll be holding is the yolk and the whites will be in the bowl.

(If you break a yolk, it’s no big deal – you’ve still got an egg. Put it in the fridge and use it in a day or two.) (more…)

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Egg custard!

Chris and I have a new love – egg custard. I’ll make three servings in the morning whenever I’m planning vegetarian meals. Then we have one each that night for dessert and split the third at breakfast the next morning.

Here’s the basic recipe. It’s quick and easy without a lot of fuss. It evolved from this recipe, but I returned all the fat, replaced the Splenda with sugar, and then cut the sugar in half.

(more…)

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