Tag Archives: CSA

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.

Dreaming

I have this yarn, 1000 yards of it, all squishy and bouncy and wonderful.

I cast on for a lace shawl, but it turned out I couldn’t count. Several times in a row, in fact.

Then I started on Citron and made some good progress, but it turned out I was so bored I wanted to stab myself with my needles just to liven things up a bit.

So, I put the yarn back in the no-plans drawers and waited. While I waited I entertained vague thoughts of knitting a sweater, but no real plans materialized.

The last few days it’s been very sunny outside and a bit chilly in my cubicle, so I’ve been wearing this old pink scarf a lot. I don’t know what it’s made out of, but it’s a very light woven fabric. I can wear it around my head and neck when I’m outside to make a little shade and it’s just enough to keep the chill off my shoulders when I’m at my desk. It’s not as big as I would like, though, and it is pink, which isn’t totally my color. (Plus there’s fringe, which: meh.)

Which got me thinking. What if I knit myself something very light and very big and very not pink? Something I could wear around my head and neck to ward off the sun, but that wouldn’t be too hot, but that would also keep me a bit toasty at work? Something bouncy and flowy that would be good for Spring and Fall? And I remembered my thousand yards of squishy blue laceweight.

Now is the time for decisions. It can’t be all stockinette or I’ll die from the purling. It can’t be all garter or it will never get any longer. It needs to be a rectangle, but there’s no reason I couldn’t knit it on the bias. It needs to have some texture, but not a lot, and not the same texture all over, and not lace. Maybe it needs a border, maybe it doesn’t. So far, several pages of Ravelry’s pattern search have failed to give me just the exact thing I’m looking for. Next stop: stitch dictionaries and, if all else fails, a sketchpad.

In but-really-I’m-totally-going-to-knit-these-other-things-first news, I’m onto the sleeves for the baby sweater. I’m going to knit them both at once all magic loop-style. Must start sorting through the button boxes. The CTH sock (yes, still singular) continues slowly. I’ve knit enough of the scarf for the Grownup Bonnet to see that I do need to rip it out and start over. Not a ton of progress this week, but it’s been an official Bad Week for my left elbow, so I’ve been going easy on the knitting and heavy on the ice packs.

The spinning is another story, though. I’ve been spinning every day. I’m halfway through the second quarter of this fiber (so, that’s 3/8 done, yes?). I’m finding that my spinning technique is tending towards a mix of worsted and woolen – the fiber keeps changing direction in my hands. I’m also having a really hard time right now keeping the amount of twist consistent. I’m going with the Dory approach (just keep spinning, spinning, spinning) and figuring it’ll all get better at some point. In any case, I’m this much closer to handspun socks:

Also: steak for dinner tonight. Have I told you about my meat share? If I haven’t, remind me that I must soon. ‘Cause damn.

The Allowable Knitting Basket

I’ve done a slight reorganization of the yarn baskets to aid in my  goal of clearing out all the unfinished things. (The general yarn storage system in my house is like this: there’s a set of Rubbermaid drawers for most of it, there are 2 baskets for more of it, there are various bags of it about the place; the baskets are the most accessible from the couch.) I have chosen one basket, named it the Allowable Knitting Basket, and put all in-process and next-on-the-queue stuff (and nothing else except needles & such) into it. The only Allowable Knitting not in this basket is the Life-Long Blanket, because it’s taking most of the space in 2 super market paper bags to handle that thing and all its attendant minis right now. If I reach into the AKB I am sure to find either something I am already partway through or something I plan to make in the next month or so, which means I won’t get distracted by something shiny and add another just barely started item to the pile.

If memory serves – and it should, as I just filled it a few hours ago – these are the contents of the AKB:

  1. The Unexpected Socks (I got some very generous partials in my latest Life-Long Blanket life support trade and decided that one of them, while it did make a lovely square, simply had to become socks for me, with contrasting heels, toes, and ribbing to make up the needed yardage)
  2. The only 2 things I’m knitting for Xmas presents
  3. Citron
  4. Francis Revisited
  5. Plain & Simple
  6. The Oceania Shawl
  7. The next Thor hat (in my size, to test my pattern-writing skills)
  8. The 2nd Stripey Bed Sock (I knit the 1st one last Xmas, so I suppose it would be fitting to knit the 2nd one this Xmas)
  9. Kristi
  10. The Kitchen Muriwai
  11. Xmas garland for the office
  12. The Fuck This Shrug Slipper Socks

The Unexpected Socks are making good purse knitting and the rest of the yarn for the garland has mysteriously disappeared (now, I admit there have been times over the years since this yarn came into my possession that I have wished it would disappear because it’s tough to find a use for 9 skeins of Caron Christmas Glitter Multi; but now that I have a use I really don’t want it running off on me), so I think I have a date with Kristi tonight.

In other news: PURPLE PEA COAT HAS ARRIVED!!!


Backstory here and here. Knotty But Nice, The Widening Garter, and the 36-stitch mittens have now found their true purpose in life.

And now, I must leave you. There is roasted delicata squash to scoop and freeze, cranberry nut bread to cool, and apple butter to mush and strain (because also in other news: FARM SHARES ARE THE BEST), French bread heading into the oven soon, spaghetti for dinner, and the difficult choice between Inspectors Lewis and Frost. Life is good.

Why I Love Thursdays

Three Thursdays ago:


This became baba ganoush, kohlrabi and potato gratin, and 2 jars of basil preserved in salt (really, how much pesto does a girl need in the freezer?), among other things.

Two Thursdays ago:


This became spinach, squash, and potato soup; eggplant parm with fresh tomato sauce (and some of the preserved basil we spoke of earlier); a jar of pickled cucumber and kohlrabi; and I know I did something delicious with the beans, but it was clearly so bliss-inducing my brain wasn’t able to hold onto it for long.

This past Thursday:


There’s more kohlrabi, and more cucumbers than I need. We haven’t gotten through last week’s pickles and since I don’t do the true canning thing, I can only put up so much in the fridge before I’m just planning to waste it in a few weeks instead of today.  I’m thinking maybe a cold cucumber soup. Not sure about the kohlrabi. I find pickling it is my favorite thing to do, since cooking it doesn’t seem to get rid of the woody texture it can have. A gratin is lovely until you find sticks in it. Some of the eggplant, peppers, and onions were broiled and served over rice with cuminy yogurt. There might be more of that happening tonight, in fact. I’ve got approximately 7,000 eggplant still to go.

This week the farm also had a special meat offer from another local farm – ham steak, pork chops, and 3 kinds of sausage (breakfast, hot Italian, and sweet Italian). I split the order with a friend and had to thaw most of it to be able to split it, so before I can get anything back in the freezer it needs to be cooked. This means I’m having a Saturday. of. sausages. Well, it started Friday night, with breakfast for dinner – sausage patties and fried potatoes and orange juice and ohmygod one bite of one sausage alone was worth the $27 I paid for all the meat. The tomatoes went into a meat sauce with the hot sausage, and the sweet sausage is in the Crock-Pot becoming sausage, bean, and kale stew.

That’s about as much big cooking as I’m worrying about this weekend, though I will try to make a double batch of cinnamon rolls tomorrow. (We’re going through them rather quickly these days.) I love cookcookcooking a full day on the weekend, but I’ve been bordering on overdoing it the last few weeks, and next weekend we’ll be away for a few days, so I’m trying to actually relax a bit today and tomorrow.

In knitting news, I’m about a third of the way through the second sleeve on Aidez. There’s just nothing terribly exciting about it at the moment, so no new pictures. I’m hoping by the end of the week I’ll have it all joined up and ready for the yoke. I need to start thinking about next week’s car knitting, too. Can’t read charts in the car, no sir. (Also, note to self: get some of those ginger pills Mythbusters said actually worked. And hope they’re right.) The CTH ribbed socks would be appropriate, since I started the first one on our last trip to the same place, but if I didn’t finish during the trip, would that mean another year and a half before I could pick them up again? Decisions, decisions.

More Food Blogging…

…for I have so much food to blog about.

Last week’s CSA share had beets, bok choy (I made fried rice!), tatsoi, 2 summer squash, 5 grilling eggplants, 3 cucumbers, 2 white & 1 red onion, new potatoes, and 2 heads of lettuce. Oh, and basil. Purple basil. You know what purple basil means? It means there’s purple pesto in my freezer right now. PURPLE PESTO!

But this week. This week is the week to talk about. Oh, boy, this week! This week looks like this:


I bought the tomatoes, 1/2 the potatoes, the garlic, and one of the peppers. The share itself had 2 bulbs of fennel, beets, white onions, 1 hot pepper, 1 large eggplant, 3 squash, a (yellow!) cucumber, and romano beans. This is already more than half gone. I’m hoping it lasts us until Wednesday but this week may just have been too delicious not to eat it all up right away. A good portion of the fennel, onions, garlic, pepper, and tomato went into The Best Pizza I Have Ever Made, Thank You.


I think tonight the rest of the fennel, onions, and garlic might get sautéed with the eggplant and squash and draped over some pasta. In fact, now I’m not entirely sure I want to have to make it through a whole day before I can eat that. It sounded really good.

This weekend I also filled the freezer with these calzones, these cinnamon rolls, 3 trays of baked ziti made with the leftover calzone filling, and some black beans with onion and chipotle, and I made celery salt and iced coffee (I scaled the recipe down to use 5 quarts of water since I had a 10-oz bag of coffee). Scrambled eggs with celery salt, a cinnamon roll, and iced coffee for breakfast are making it a little easier to get to work this week.

I would give you a knitting update, but you’ve all seen a million sock toes that don’t look any bigger than the last time you saw the same sock toe, and I still haven’t brought myself to wind up the next skein of Eco+ to continue with Aidez. I’m starting to feel the urge again on the Eco+, though – knitting it, not winding it – so I might have to just be disciplined about it all tonight, I guess. Somebody needs to buy me a jumbo ball winder. I don’t know why there aren’t more people in my life who just send me presents ’cause they think I’m awesome. I need to find some people like that.

It’s Been A Long Few Weeks

There’s been working and cooking, and migraines and sleeping, and days out with friends, and a body finished and half a sleeve knit. And not a single post about it on the blog. So, let’s catch up. I missed you.

The CSA program is still amazing and impressing me every week. I’ve started buying extra items from the farm stand while I’m there because everything – including the prices – is so good. No photo shoots of late, but trust me, the food looks better every week. The variety is starting to pick up a little, too. The early weeks were very green-heavy but now we’re starting to see things like potatoes and squash, and I hear tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants aren’t far behind. We’ve also decided to sign up for a winter program that does vegetables, meat, and pantry items like jam, pickles, and flour. I’m projecting a huge drop in the grocery bill over the winter!

Last week’s share went a little something like this: the kohlrabi and turnips were cubed, tossed with olive oil and a little salt and pepper, and roasted. Fresh garlic and basil went into a pizza, which mostly ended up tasting like basil (this is not a bad thing) because I’m still not used to what truly fresh ingredients taste like and so haven’t learned to adjust my quantities. The rest of the basil became pesto. The sugar snap peas and scallions each accented a few meals, and the pea pods were tossed in the freezer for a future soup experiment. The new potatoes were boiled, smashed, and then baked to brown the edges. And the zucchini and summer squash were sautéed, then covered with buttered panko and browned in the oven alongside the potatoes. All of these things were very nice to experience.

This week we have new potatoes, five squash (“FIVE squash?!!!” I said to myself when I picked them up), fresh garlic, fresh parsley, turnips, beets, spring onions, fennel, and 2 heads of lettuce. Again, we’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the share. The onions were thinly sliced and fried to that nice crispybrown point, draped over some chicken sausages and served with some of the new potatoes (we buy extra potatoes every week and still eat them all in the first 2 nights after we pick up our share; next week I may have to buy 3 times the usual amount and start freezing); sautéed as part of a navy bean, (canned) tomato, and (frozen) broccoli…thing…soup?…stuff…whatever it was, it was tasty; and sautéed with the fennel to top a sourdough bread “pizza”. 2 summer squash are in the freezer, one went into some pasta, and the last 2 are on the menu for tonight, roasting with the beets and turnips.

I also hit the Portsmouth Open Market over the weekend with some friends. I picked up some great looking, fresh local food to round out the groceries for the week: sourdough bread, strawberry jam, broccoli, radishes, and basil. I was surprised by how small the market was (though it is new this year, I think), but there was still a good variety of farm  stands, specialty items, and local artists, so it was certainly worth the trip.

The knitting is going along at a decent pace. It could go a little quicker if you ask me, but my arms and brain seem to disagree with me at the moment. That’s fine – let them exercise their will a bit, it’s good for them – but one of these days I will have to lay down the law and tell them just to finish something already.

Aidez is almost to the end of the first skein of Eco+, which means she is here (OK, actually, part of the reason I’m not further along than this right now is that I don’t enjoy the prospect of winding another skein of Eco+):

She's also greener in real life.

And now that we’re caught up, it is time for pasta, roasted vegetables, and Farscape. Oh, life is hard, but I’m managing somehow.

On Arbitrary Rules

I have some serious process-knitter tendencies. I love love love to buy yarn, pick out patterns, and start projects. I do also love to have knitted items to wear and enjoy, but that love has never pushed me into productknitterdom. It’s in the sticking to things and finishing them where the whole thing kinda breaks down. So, I set rules for myself. They usually don’t have any real substance backing them up, and there are almost never any consequences if I break them. I just have to give myself deadlines and parameters so that I will not drown in a sea of 6-rows-of-this and 3-repeats-of-that. It’s about getting myself to focus.

Last year it was a pair of socks a month. I was buying a skein of sock yarn a week and not knitting it with nearly as much frequency. So, I set a goal for myself. And I totally didn’t meet it, but it gave me something to focus on and brought a few new favorite pairs of socks into my life. No consequences for failing, but even in failing there was some reward. This year it’s a sweater every two months. First it was owls, then it was the surprise squishy raglan, and now it’s Francis Revisited (I also started a Plain & Simple Pullover in there) to be knit in May-June.

It’s June 30, you may have noticed. You may also have noticed that so far this post does not seem to be about a finished Francis Revisited.

Anyway, my point is it’s a good thing that arbitrary, self-imposed rules have no consequences, or I’d be in trouble right about now.

Here, have a picture of CSA week 4:


We have 1 bunch each of kohlrabi, turnips, and beets; one head of red-leaf lettuce; scallions; new potatoes (NEW POTATOES! THEY WERE PURPLE! OHMYGOD!); peas; and collard greens. There was also escarole but I passed it by this week, as last week’s came out sort of bitter and terrible and I think it caused my cast-iron skillet to rust and I sort of hate and fear it now.

And that’s Thursday, folks.