Archive for the 'CSA' Category

Marsha

I hate pickles

p7091748csa.jpgHere’s this week’s CSA box. We haven’t sampled the strawberry preserves yet, but they look very yummy.

This week’s haul brought our oh-my-dog-we-can’t-keep-up-with-the-deluge cucumber count to seven. There’s no way we can eat all of those before they start to go bad. It doesn’t help that we have a three-year-old who not only hates cucumbers but refuses to eat any green food except peas and broccoli right now. (I swear, she has green-food radar. If a pea-sized morsel of lettuce, green pepper, or zucchini winds up on her plate—even if it’s buried under other food she likes—she knows it’s there.)

p7101752mandoline.jpgSo I decided to make pickles yesterday. I happen to be militantly opposed to pickles, but Jan and Sylvia like them. And besides, what else are we going to do with all those cukes?

Jan called his mom for her mother’s famous pickle recipe (doesn’t pretty much every family have a “famous X recipe”?), and yesterday I got out the mandoline (I love my mandoline) and had a slice-o-rama.

As the veggies sat in their pickling sauce, every time I leaned over the pot, I kept thinking there were Baltimore-style steamed crabs nearby. Maybe it was the giant enamel pot I used (my family used a similar one for crabs), or maybe the pickling spices and vinegar in this recipe are not unlike those used in Old Bay seasoning.

Five cucumbers (the other two were used in dinner) yielded one gallon of slices—enough to fill five quart jars and one pint jar. We decided not to boil the jars for long-term preservation, since we want to see how these pickles taste before going to that much trouble. If this batch is a success, then I suspect there will be a lot more pickling in our future.

Marsha

Eggplant verdict

The broiled eggplant we had for dinner last night was…well…meh. My taste buds weren’t thrilled by hot mayonnaise, but the mayo and Parmesan did do a pretty good job of dominating the eggplant flavor.

A few people commented in the last post that they love eggplant, and a few recipes were mentioened. If you have a favorite you’d like to share, please do! Remember, I’m expecting to get a lot of eggplant this summer…

In the meantime, here’s last night’s recipe, in case anyone wants to try it.

Broiled Eggplant with Crunchy Parmesan Crust

Ingredients:
—oil for greasing a baking sheet
—mayonnaise
—eggplant, cut into 1/4″ slices
—freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)

Directions:
1. Preheat broiler. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
2. Spread mayonnaise sparingly on both sides of each eggplant slice, then dip the slices in the grated Parmesan cheese, thoroughly coating sides.
3. Arrange the slices in a single layer on the baking sheet.
4. Place under the broiler until golden brown—about 3 minutes.
5. Flip the slices and broil until golden grown and crunchy on top—about 3 minutes more. (The eggplant will become soft, with a crunchy outside.)

p6251659csa.jpgLast week’s CSA box (which I didn’t photograph or write about before it was eaten) was good. But it pales in comparison to what we got this week.

Enclosed was a recipe for broiled eggplant. I’m not a huge fan of eggplant (something I didn’t admit to myself for years—after all, vegetarians are supposed to like eggplant, right?), but this recipe involves coating sliced eggplant with mayonnaise, covering it with grated fresh Parmesan, and broiling it. I’m intrigued. I think we’ll try that tonight. I hope I like it, because something tells me we’ll be getting a lot of eggplant from our CSA. (I suspect the free recipe is a “get ready for the onslaught of eggplant” warning.)

Marsha

Start of the CSA season

Jan and I joined a CSA a few years ago but did not have the best experience with it. (We love the idea of the CSA, but this particular implementation had some problems.) Last year, a local creamery started a CSA, and after hearing good things about it from pioneering friends, we decided to sign up for it ourselves this year.

The location just can’t be beat: it’s literally about five minutes from my house. And I did mention that it’s a creamery, right? So yeah, we’ll probably be picking up freshly made ice cream there from time to time, too.

p6111223csa.jpgWe picked up our first box of produce for the season yesterday. Here it is, laid out on the counter. (The basil wasn’t in the box but was purchased at a farmer’s market.) From left to right: a huge box of strawberries, half a dozen eggs, a head of red-leaf lettuce, a ginormous bag of snow peas, two zucchini, some beautiful pencil asparagus, a ton of scallions, a fresh onion, and about a pound of button mushrooms. We ate most of the strawberries for dessert last night and plan to grill the zucchini this evening. Yum!

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