Category Archives: cooking

What I Did & What I Got #7

What I Did With Week 6:

Thursday: Pasta with zucchini.

Friday: Chorizo with potatoes and steamed green beans.

Saturday: Ground turkey with onions and zucchini, side dish of roasted potatoes and green beans with herbs from the window boxes.

Sunday: Dinner was whole wheat flour tortilla pizzas topped with fennel, pepper and onion, with a “sauce” of pureed white beans, garlic, olive oil, and some herbs from the window boxes. A side salad of escarole, peppers, red onions, and cucumbers. I also made this soup minus the squash and used up more of the fennel and onions. I kept out half for lunches and froze the other half for later in the year when there’s appropriate squash to be had.

Monday: Had plans, skipped the share and grabbed McDonald’s.

Tuesday: You know when you just need steak tips and nothing else will do? Yeah. Steak tips with green beans and polenta (cornmeal from the winter share).

Wednesday: Fried egg and summer squash over the rest of the polenta.

Still left from week 6: 1 pepper, 2 fennel bulbs along with the stalks and fronds from the bulbs I have used, cabbage, 2 squash, 2 red onions, most of the escarole (it’s been chopped, washed, and bagged for salads, but it’s slow going), and 8 small potatoes.

What I Got Week 7:

Eggs, eggplant, escarole, 2 zucchini, 3 peppers (2 cubanelle, 1 green bell), 5 tomatoes, 3 onions (2 white, 1 red), basil, 4 potatoes.

As usual, I’m taking part in the CSA link partyhosted by In Her Chucks. I lurve it. Tons of great ideas every week on what to do with your CSA bounty. You all should check it out.

What I Did & What I Got #6

What I Did With Week 5:

Thursday: Pizza with fennel, pepper, garlic, and some herbs from the window boxes.

Friday: Zucchini fritters and steamed green beans.

Saturday: Breakfast for dinner (scrambled eggs, fried potatoes with thyme, tat soi sauteed with garlic).

Sunday: Crispy rice cakes with zucchini cleverly hidden inside.

Monday: I used the last bell pepper from the share in some beans with chipotle in adobo served over rice with cheese and sour cream.

Tuesday: An attempted curry containing kohlrabi, kohlrabi greens, and peas. Not my best effort. Having trouble getting the spice blend right these days.

Wednesday: I don’t remember but I think it involved a salad.

Still left from week 5: zucchini, kale, kohlrabi, kohlrabi greens, fennel.

What I Got Week 6:

White and red onions, cubanelle peppers, eggs, fennel, escarole, cabbage, green beans, squash, cucumbers.

This was extradoublesupershare week. A friend from work who has a share at the same farm is out of town so she offered her share to me. Seeing as we are out of the leafy green wilderness of the early weeks, I was happy to accept. We are right in the middle of the Stuff I Can Do Stuff With. Expect tales of many soups and pizzas next week.

As has become my wont, I’ve been taking part in the CSA link party hosted by In Her Chucks. I lurve it. Tons of great ideas every week on what to do with your CSA bounty. You all should check it out.

What I Did & What I Got #5

What I Did with Week 5:

In no particular order: several salads, potato and turnip gratin (still working off the turnips from a few weeks ago), various breakfasts and baked items with the eggs, pork roast with potatoes and sage, steamed peas for side dishes.

Still left from week 5: cabbage, kohlrabi, tat soi, some lettuce, 1 zucchini, some peas. Yikes. Time to cook all the things.

What I Got Week 6:

Green beans, potatoes, 2 peppers, 3 squash, kohlrabi, kale, 2 fennel bulbs, 2 heads of garlic.

ETA: I’ve been taking part in the CSA link party hosted by In Her Chucks. I lurve it. Tons of great ideas every week on what to do with your CSA bounty. You all should check it out.

What I Did & What I Got #4

What I Did With Week 4:

Thursday was a throw-stuff-in-a-pan-and-see-what-happens night. I fried some potatoes, then tossed in half a bunch of tat soi, poured 3 beaten eggs on top, added some cheese and tossed it in the oven till it got all brown & crispy.

Friday: traffic + food shopping + house guests = order pizza

Saturday was pasta with chicken sausage and swiss chard.

Sunday we had salmon with homemade dill butter (well, let’s call it homecombined, since I neither grew the dill nor churned the butter), steamed broccoli florets, and a salad with the broccoli stems and some of the turnips.

Monday  I had so. many. damn. greens. left. They had to be dealt with. I chopped and rinsed and dried the leaves from 6 heads of bok choy, 1/2 bunch of tat soi, and 1 bunch of beet greens. With a quart-size plastic bag of collards and kale I had already washed and chopped it came to about 3/4 of a large plastic cake container’s worth (I try to be exact with my measurements in case y’all want to replicate my methods). I fried up half a pound of turkey bacon (I’ve been buying the Real Thing lately so I thought it was time to watch the cholesterol again for a bit), removed it from the pan and added a diced onion. When the onion was cooked I added the greens a few handfuls at a time and let them wilt a bit (looking back, I think I should have let them wilt more). Then it was big baking dish time – I layered 1/2 the bacon, greens, 5 eggs beaten with fat-free half and half, the rest of the bacon, and some shredded cheese. Into the oven till the cheese got brown and bubbly. With sour cream & chive biscuits on the side. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Tuesday: Skipped the share. Made pasta.

Wednesday: I had a 1/2 lb of cooked chickpeas begging me to do something with them. I  mashed them and added parsley, chives, and scallions from the window boxes, 2 eggs from the share, some roasted garlic and a bit of flour. I made all that into cakes, then breaded and cooked in olive oil until crispy on the outside. Served with chilled roasted beets in vinaigrette.

Still left from week 4: bok choy stems on their way to being pickled, peas, 2 eggs, turnips. Actually I still have turnips from weeks 2-4. They are getting cooked somehow and frozen this weekend.

What I Got Week 5:

Eggs, potatoes (red, white & blue), 3 cucumbers, 4 squash, tat soi, 2 heads of lettuce, peas, escarole, cabbage, kohlrabi. I think this is my favorite week yet.

What I Did & What I Got #3

Oh, the week when the CSA share starts containing more things that aren’t leafy greens is a wonderful week indeed! But before I get to all that:

What I Did With Week 3:

My ability to remember what I’ve been cooking has left me this week. I do know there was kohlrabi curry, steamed collards & peas, various egg dishes and baked goods, various greens cooked up with white beans and feta and served over polenta with fresh herbs, and possibly other things which have slipped my mind.

Still left from week 3: bok choy, turnips, some collard greens & kale.

What I Got Week 4:

Peas, potatoes, tat soi, swiss chard, bok choy, turnips, beets, broccoli.

I have big plans for all of this. I need to get a lot of the greens chopped up and into some sort of quiche or baked dish, something that freezes well. We’re getting a bit greened out and I don’t want them to go to waste. I should do up a jar of pickled bok choy, too.

And what is happening with the yarns, you ask?

I’ve been working on Kristi quite a bit this week. I think Solemate may just be the perfect yarn to knit with in summer. I should get some pictures but all our rooms that don’t have someone sleeping in them right now have light bulbs that have burnt out and I don’t feel like going out on the porch at the moment. I promise an all-knitting-all-the-time post any day now.

The One With The Jam Plan

I get Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move” stuck in my head a lot. I think it has something to do with the rhythm of my dishwasher’s rinse cycle. Anyway, I hate that song with a burning passion. Would you like to know why? OK, I’ll tell you!

Aside from the banality of the whole damn thing, it’s because I don’t believe her. Or, more accurately, I don’t relate. I simply do not see how a mellow as the month of May face and tenderly call[ing] my name could make me lose control down to my very soul and get hot and cold alloverallover and be all, like, I JUST GOT TO HAVE YOU BABY. Since when are mellow and tender arousing demeanors? Am I hung over? ‘Cause if I’m not hung over, I don’t have much use for mellow and tender.

Also because when I was growing up there was a lot of Carole King’s Tapestry in my house alongside a lot of Carly Simon’s Coming Around Again and so I tend to compare the two even though they came out a decade apart and aren’t very similar in style so it’s really not fair, and also one is, if you ask me, way the fuck better than the other even though I’m not sure you’re allowed to say bad things about Tapestry. So, when I think “I Feel the Earth Move” I also think “All I Want is You” and, I gotta tell ya, in a competition between “when you look at me and you tenderly call my name” and “all I want is you and your Mack-truck lovin’ jumpin’ me, Jack, oh, Jack,” I don’t see any question as to which one of those wins.

(That story has nothing to do with the rest of this post.)

I made jam!

It went like this:

First I got my supplies together.

 

Then I got the boiling water canner, the lids, and the jars on the stove to simmer. I also put on a pan of water to boil in case I needed to top up the canner. Then I realized I didn’t have a burner left to cook the strawberries, so I got rid of the plain-water one. Nothing I had read had prepared me for not having enough burners (who has 5, anyway?) and this was where I started to get nervous-confused.

 

Then I trimmed 2 quarts of strawberries and measured out all my other ingredients (I was short on sugar and the nervous-confused feeling continued). And I cooked the strawberries just like the book said but oh golly I was getting tired of being in the kitchen literally watching pots to see when they boiled. (I’m much more a watch-TV-while-the-food-cooks type.)

 

Then I got a little, “Are you kidding me with how long this is taking?” and this is my face when I’ve been doing something longer than I wanted to but can’t stop without consequences.

 

When it was finally time to fill the jars, (1) I used the jar lifter the wrong way around, (2) I used the bubble remover the wrong way around, and (3) I started to think maybe this wasn’t the most soothing project for someone who watches as many detective series as I do.

 

But I got the jars filled and cleaned and capped and 7 half-pints went into the canner. The last half-cup of jam went into the fridge. I was afraid to get my phone too close to the steamy, boily pan with all the glass jars balanced on a thin wire shelf above it, so you get a picture of after I’d put the lid back on and felt safe again.

 

And then there was jam.

 

The stuff in the fridge tastes pretty great. All my seals look good. I have been assured by a knowledgable friend that being short on sugar (I used homemade strawberry syrup to make up the difference) and confused regarding foam and bubbles are not indications that my jam will kill me. Here’s hoping. I have 3 or 4 more canning projects I’d like to try this year before I decide whether this is for me or not. It’s an awful lot of work and very nervous-confused making. Maybe I just need practice.

I’ll keep you posted.

What I Did & What I Got # 2 & A Real Live Knitting Update

What I Did With Week 2:

Thursday night was our traditional CSA pickup day breakfast for dinner – bacon and eggs with strawberries and dandelion greens (everything from the share except the bacon).

Friday night: baked greens (great fridge-cleaner recipe from the weekly CSA preview e-mail that allowed me to use up the turnip greens and bok choy from week 1 as well as the turnip and beet greens from week 2, a few eggs, some milk and sour cream that only had a few days left, and a block of cheddar it was taking us forever to get through) and fresh-baked bread made with some of the whole wheat flour and salt from the Winter pantry share.

Saturday I taught a friend to knit (it was an accident; I was supposed to help her with her crochet, but we sort of fell into a pile of knitting and there was only one way out), then I made swiss chard and garlic scape pesto and we had spaghetti and garlic bread for dinner.

Sunday…did we eat Sunday? I don’t remember.

Monday I made breaded rice cakes with garlic scapes and chives. Fried ’em till they were all nice and crispy and covered ’em in tomato sauce. Something green on the side.

Tuesday night we had a salad of lettuce, pan-fried beets and turnip, bacon, and feta, with homemade vinaigrette.

Wednesday I made pizzas mostly not from the share, but I did use the rest of the chard pesto as the sauce for one. I also made some strawberry syrup with the last handful of berries.

And then it was Thursday again before I even knew it.

Still left from week 2: collard greens, half the dandelion greens, some garlic scapes, escarole, turnips.

What I Got Week 3:

Peas, eggs, dandelion greens, collard greens, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, turnips, bok choy.

In Real Live Knitting News:

I finished an actual, entire sock. Yes, I did. I’m experimenting with a slipped-stitch sole on this pair. I like the idea but the execution needs some work. You can see the jagged, holey line between sole and instep in this picture. Gonna try something a little different with sock #2 to see if I can fix that. I’m way behind on my sock schedule but I’m not sure yet if I care.

And now to clean the kitchen! I have 3 quarts of strawberries and I’m-a make jam tomorrow. Things must be sterile as hell so I don’t go in convinced my jam will kill me.

What I Did & What I Got

We’re up to the second CSA pickup of the Summer and just like last year at this time I’m already so, so happy we spent the money. So far we’ve gotten 2 items we didn’t get last year from the same farm, so I’m feeling good about the variety. And just like last year, this is feeding us both dinner every night for the week with some left over, so I don’t need to worry about the amount of stuff we get.

What I Did With Week 1:

Thursday we had pasta with spigariello and spring garlic.

Friday night was roasted chicken (the last of the meat share, and I am so sad), sauteed swiss chard with spring garlic, and steamed broccoli florets.

Saturday I made chicken (left over), spring garlic, roasted red peppers (from a jar) and parsley (from my window box!) with coriander sour cream. Served over rice. Side salad  of lettuce and radishes with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Sunday night I shredded the last of the chicken meat, made stock, sliced up the rest of the chard and spigariello, added some red peppers and navy beans, and made soup.

All the vegetable leftovers went into the oven along with all the peels and ends from the freezer to take the chill off and get a little more flavor going before they became stock themselves.

And now the stock is in the freezer because I’m a little souped out these days.

While I was making soup and stock, I also got started on some iced coffee.

And I was running out of space in the refrigerator so I baked the last of a batch of 5-minutes-a-day bread dough.

Monday night was pasta with escarole, navy beans, and the last of the jar of red peppers.

Tuesday was fried rice with bok choy (leafy bits) and eggs (we got an egg share too! oh yes!) and a side salad with steamed broccoli stems, radishes, and more bok choy (stemmy bits).

Wednesday night I was that special kind of hungry where you just want grease and salt and nothing else will do. I departed from the share entirely and made bacon and potatoes (steamed, then fried in the bacon grease) for dinner, followed by a grown-up root beer float for dessert (that’s 1.5 scoops of chocolate ice cream, 2 shots of root beer vodka, and club soda till the glass almost overflows, and you’ll need a spoon).

Still left from week 1: turnips with greens that still look pretty tasty and a bunch of bok choy.

What I Got Week 2:

Collard greens, dandelion greens, garlic scapes, strawberries, 2 heads of lettuce, escarole, turnips with greens, beets with greens, swiss chard, and a dozen eggs.

What I didn’t get was a picture that wasn’t all blurry. I’ll do better next week.

In other food news:

Every day I come home to more flowers on Ray!

There’s this one…

…and this one…

…and all of these!

There’s even more now (these pictures are from a few days ago), and they all smell so good.

In knitting news:

The OppAtts were well received, which makes me feel awfully good about myself. I’ve returned to the blue CTH socks with the experimental slipped-stitch sole. I have some interesting things to tell you about those socks, but not today. I’m plugging away at the secret project and I’ve added a few squares to the life-long blanket. Progress, but nothing too exciting.

Now I need to go and get my brakes fixed. Try not to be too jealous.

What I’ve Been Up To

Finishing the socks-for-trade.

Pattern: OppAtt by Jeannie Cartmel
Yarn: Barking Dog Opposites Attract, which is a very cool yarn, in Antony & Cleopatra
Started: May 2012
Finished: June 5, 2012
Size:
Medium

 Making fantastic dinners now that the Summer CSA has started.

spigariello, swiss chard, escarole

bok choy, broccoli, radishes,lettuce, turnips, spring garlic (buried under everything else), a dozen eggs (couldn’t fit ’em in the picture, but they’re there)

Spending several minutes a day just staring at my plants. Occasionally not watering them enough. Probably watering them too much at other times. Wondering what that first lemon will taste like.

Working on a secret project and working up a strong desire to go back to Kristi for next weekend’s marathon knitting session project. (The OppAtts got me all cabled sock-happy.)

And, just now, finishing up a giant cup of cocoa with marshmallows bigger than my head. Which means any second now crashing hard.

Trying Something New

After two seasons of CSA food, I have a really hard time buying produce at the grocery store. It just doesn’t taste as good and the price seems ridiculous. I’m fortunate enough that I can afford and have access to amazing produce  between the CSA programs and farmers markets in my area, so for the most part I don’t have to go to the grocery store for fresh food. Neither share we’ve signed up for has been very heavy on herbs, though, and my avoidance of the produce aisle has led to a serious lack of lemons around the house.

Rather than buying lemons at the store (which are, like, 30 cents each and it’s not like I even have a local organic taste experience to compare with, so I could totally still buy lemons at a store and be fine with it, but still) and paying $4 for what turns out to be maybe 2 tablespoons of fresh herbs, I’ve decided to venture out into the world of container gardening.

This is Ray, and I do hope it won’t turn out to be a shame about him.

I hope, in fact, that he gives me lots of lovely meyer lemons this summer.

All I had to do with Ray when I got home last night was plunk him by the porch – one step, nice and easy. The rest of this experiment took a little more work, though – two whole steps!

Step 1:

(Step 2 not shown because my assistDant wasn’t around to get action shots. But it involved getting dirt everywhere and then being FASCINATEDITELLYOU by the plants’ roots. I really understand nothing about the growing of things. I was all like “whoooooaaaaa, they’re outside of the dirt!” I had no idea they would do that.)

And here is what I have now:

parsley, basil, cilantro

thyme, chives, oregano

I’m, like, 60% sure I can keep these things alive for a little while. I talked to everyone I bought plants or supplies from for as much time as they could give me and I left each encounter feeling like I mostly understood what they were saying. It all seemed quite doable, but I’ll consider this a raging success if any of these plants is still alive next Friday. That would be a personal record.