Thursday, September 4, 2014

Real Life CSA: week 21

If our pickup wasn't in public, at the Children's Museum, I would definitely have yelled GROUND CHERRIES! in an Oprah voice when I opened my box. 

Somehow, 21 weeks into the share, we're still getting new stuff. Never ceases to amaze me. This week? Ground cherries!

I should have taken a picture of these buddies outside of their husks, but they look like tiny yellow bulbs. I think they taste like a cross between a sweet cherry and a tomato. I don't see them for sale anywhere in regular grocery stores, so I'm excited to get some in the share. I will likely pick one of the recipes from this "Five Ways to Eat Ground Cherries" article that they linked to in our weekly Penn's Corner blog post. 

This kale is already in small pieces, so I'm thinking of experimenting with mixing it in to salad greens. I usually find it too bitter, but this might be a new way for me to eat it. 

Speaking of salad. I must have been rough packing my tote bag with my share because one of the ripe heirloom tomatoes split open on the way home. No worries, because we needed tomato for salads we were making anyway, so we just used that one. And we have a bit of a tomato situation going on in our house right now anyway.  

Onions will go in storage with our others to be used in any given recipe. I do like having a stock of them at all times, so this just adds to it. Yellow beans will probably be a side dish of some kind, though we might end up with a veggie side dish buffet some night to use up a stockpile of extra items. Actually, that's not a bad idea. Why don't we do more buffets for regular dinners?

I'm happy to get some sweet peppers, because right now we have an abundance of hot. Though I've never seen such tiny sweet peppers. Typically, if a pepper isn't a traditional bell pepper, I wear gloves initially until I can taste it because I've been burned way too much by hot peppers masquerading as sweet to take chances.

The sun sugar tomatoes will probably be a snack, since I don't have enough to bother preserving and they taste so great anyway. They taste like summer, and that's fading fast. (Though not the weather - where is this heat and humidity coming from? Give me back my 55 degree running mornings!)

And last but not least, we have these carrots. For salad toppings and crunchy pizza side dishes, most likely. But I love that they come with the tops. Makes me feel like Bugs Bunny.

I've also got to mention the fun member party that Penn's Corner threw in cooperation with Wigle Whiskey last evening at Wigle's Barrel House/Whiskey Garden on Spring Garden Ave. in the North Side. Pittsburgh, if you haven't been there yet, get yourself there stat. 

We got to sample the cocktail from Wigle's September cocktail share. They have their own CSA - community supported alcohol - and one of the share options is to get all the fixings for a month's worth of cocktails. The Florodora had a fun name and was delish.

The one with the raspberry and lime below is the Florodora. The other one is Mark's, which had a cute name, but was white whiskey, lemon and earl grey tea, which is his jam. We also got to sample an experimental whiskey that's part of their experimental share.

We also had catering from Sweet Peaches using Penn's Corner ingredients. On the left is short ribs braised in smoked tomato sauce, and on the right is pork and beef kielbasa with kraut. Mark and I both had the "where have you been all my life" feeling while eating this stuff. 

I was thrilled to discover Sweet Peaches does not just catering, but BRUNCH in their Allentown location. (The Pittsburgh neighborhood, not Allentown, Pa.) Going to be checking that out for sure. Sweet Peaches also made some tasting items using other Penn's Corner products - the value-added ones that they can and process. We had rhubarb squares and a delicious zucchini cranberry bread with hot pepper jelly on it. Mark tried an egg salad made with dilly beans that he said was phenomenal as well. All in all, our stomachs were very happy. 

We even got to sign up for our winter share, since we've decided to stick with Penn's Corner. I know it's hard to think about December right now, but there's more info here. We have nothing but great things to say about our CSA, if you haven't noticed, so definitely give it some consideration!   

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