Friday, August 8, 2014

Real Life CSA: week 17

Lots of new stuff this week - more and more flavors of summer are showing up, and our kitchen is overflowing!

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. The variety we get with our Penn's Corner CSA has been fantastic. It hasn't allowed me to be sick of any one item, and it really gives us variety in our meals. I know people who eat the same things all the time - like literally the same lunch every day of their lives - and that is just not me. At all. Thankfully this CSA doesn't let you get in a rut with your cooking.

I've also started this week just making up some vegetable side dishes to have as snacks or extras to accompany my lunches at work. You don't have to make a fancy dish to get those veggies in. I bought a pint of golden cherry tomatoes from the Penn's Corner Farm Stand when I picked up my order of Crack (bread and butter jalapenos and honey puffed corn from Clarion River Organics). I ate half the tomatoes as a post-krav maga workout dinner and the other half pint as a snack the next day. Best impulse buy ever (so thanks, Penn's Corner lady who suggested them). 

So let's get to the goods.

When I saw the tomatillos, my first thought was salsa. But because we get such great tomatillo salsa through the winter from the Penn's Corner value added products, I thought I'd look up something else. So we will likely make a tomatillo simmer sauce from Marisa McClellan's Preserving By the Pint cookbook, which is for small-batch canning. Perfect for CSA amounts of vegetables. (Also, I met her at the Pittsburgh Canning Exchange's Rhubarb Social and she's lovely. Check out her other cookbooks if you're interested in canning, or her great website, Food in Jars.)

Lettuce will be the tried and true salad base for this week. Green peppers will likely go on salad, but since we have an abundance of peppers in our house right now from our own garden, my grandparents' garden and the CSA, I might have to figure out another option for those.

These peaches are a welcome treat, since peaches in western PA mostly didn't survive the winter. These peaches were obtained from a farm in West Virginia through the CSA, so I am grateful for them, fuzz and all. Speaking of which - do you eat the fuzz on peaches? I am a lover of the fuzz, but Mark hates it. 

We're going to try something new and make jalapeno poppers - complete with oozy cheese and probably bacon - with this bag of giant ones. We typically don't make junk food out of our vegetables, but there's a first time for everything right?

As for the baby beets, they will be finding a new home, because they are pretty much the only vegetables we just don't dig. Thankfully we know people who love them, so they don't go to waste.

The potatoes will be a side of some sort. I've been craving roasted potatoes with crisp skin for a bit, so I need to make that happen.

Last but not least, these leeks. Which are already gone. I made Mark Bittman's recipe for Chicken Not Pie from the Runners World cookbook last night for dinner. Great recipe to use up whatever vegetables you have around and the leeks really give it good flavor. I threw in some corn that we had and almost dumped green beans in too, but the pan was getting a little crowded. Pro tip if you make the recipe - add more seasoning than it calls for. A pinch of thyme isn't enough by far.

What's going on with your CSA? What are you making? 

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