Thursday, May 15, 2014

Real Life CSA: week 5

More new stuff this week, as well as repeats which will give me a second chance... Before I get into that, here's what we've got going on in week 5.

The last time we got chopped tomatoes, I used them to make a sauce for a baked pasta dish. I might do something similar again with these, since pasta is one of the great culinary loves of my life. The tomatillo salsa is delicious and I'm glad we keep getting "refills" in our share, because we burn through it. I love it best as a "dressing" on taco salads. And it's a nice taste difference from traditional red salsas (which we also can on our own). 

And the other repeat is the ramps. Which, well, were not a success for me last week. I was really excited to cook them, and was set on making what seemed like a simple pasta dish with them, using the fresh rigatoni we got last week as well. If you follow me on Instagram or checked out #reallifeCSA, you'll know it was a failure. The recipe was just not good, and I overcooked the ramp bulbs and garlic because I was doing too many things at once and forgot that our cooktop is like the stove from Beauty & the Beast when he's angry and the castle is being invaded.

The ramps are burning! Sacrebleu!

Darn those power burners. Anyway. I was quite upset with myself because ruined pasta - pasta with RAMPS - just seemed like a horrid waste. (And it wasn't just a little gross, it was scrape your tongue ruined.) But as I said when I posted the photo, that's a real life CSA situation - trying new things, failing sometimes, and being really happy that you get the ramps again to try something else. Perhaps the ramp pesto that someone suggested! (h/t @alexbar1) 

And along with the joy of the second chance ramps, comes rhubarb. Love rhubarb season, and that it comes before berries, so it doesn't always get paired with strawberry. Don't get me wrong - my gramma made a mean strawberry rhubarb pie. But rhubarb is awesome as a standalone. Mark made a great rhubarb tart last year, and we also made some jam with it, though the flavor got lost since we also mixed it with berries. This year it might get stewed for yogurt or ice cream topping. (I'm dreaming of it right now on top of some Antney's vanilla.) Or maybe stewed on ice cream on a tart...

I don't usually cook with dry beans because of the time issue, but I'm glad to have some black ones on hand because they are our favorite type of refried beans, and we eat a lot of homemade tex mex at Next Gen House. (I smashed that bag up pretty good!)

Applesauce is going to be a work snack, most likely. I love homemade applesauce, having been spoiled on my gramma's growing up. None will ever taste the same as hers, but I like the idea of trying some with apples that grew around here. (Hers came from the apples in their own orchard.) I like my applesauce ice cold - is that weird?

Last but not least - kale. Probably going to experiment with a smoothie of some type this week. I need to fit more raw veggies in my diet because it helps with some physical issues I have, but I often find myself getting sick of the same raw veggie preparations. And a smoothie would be a good on-the-go item for me. Need to do some recipe research.

Going to be an interesting week for cooking at Next Gen House. Don't forget to keep up with how we're using our goods on Instagram @nextgenhouse !

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