Saturday, October 9, 2010

CSA Adventures 2010: Weeks 7 through 17! Yikes!

CSA Share CSA share CSA Share

CSA Share CSA Share

Hello. I give up.

Not really!  BUT it's been a rough couple of months.  I don't think I'm flat-out failing at my CSA produce-eating this year, but I hit a point midsummer at which, due to heat, a certain health condition I've begun hinting at (and am about to come clean regarding), rehearsals for a play, and a number of trips out of town, I had to throw out some produce that Dan and I just couldn't use before they went bad.  You might have noticed I haven't been blogging much the past few months in general.  It's all of a piece.

As for the CSA business, I've had to deal with a lot of guilt, tossing weeks' worth of past-their-best beets, moldy Helda beans (aka flat beans), soggy squash, imploded tomatos, boxes of plums that had no flavor or fermented faster than I could eat them, etc. I'm not proud of this, but it's the truth.  Last year, my CSA experience was beautiful and a source of pride. This year, I've had too much going on to keep up with produce every week.  I didn't see it coming.

What I can do is tell you what I've gotten in my share, in case you're using this site to compare and contrast (or consider buying into a CSA yourself).  And I'll share a few photos and recipes from the past 11 weeks to prove I didn't waste it all.

Week 7 Produce
4 squash
4 cucumber
1.5 lbs beets
1 Nappa cabbage
1 lb carrots
1 1/4 lb green and yellow beans
4 eggplants
1/2 lb purslane
1 box of sugar plums
1 box of red plums
1 box of apricots

Week 8 Produce
1 lb greens
4 cucumbers
1 1/4 lb tomatoes
1 lb Helda beans
1 corn
1 lettuce
4 peppers
1 1/4 lb beets
1 1/4 lb carrots
1 box blueberries
1 box red plums
2 1/4 lb yellow plums

Week 9 Produce
1 cabbage
1/2 lb tomatillos
1 melon
3 oz of basil
3 lb tomatoes
1 lb eggplant
2 cucumbers
1/2 lb of Helda beans -- CHALLENGE VEGETABLE!

1 box peaches
1 box plums
1 box nectarines

Week 10 Produce
1/2 lb carrots
4 corn
2 onion
2 garlic
1/2 lb purslane
4 beets
4 cucumbers
1 squash
1 box cherry tomatoes
1 melon
1 3/4 tomatoes
1 box plums
2 boxes peaches

Week 11 Produce
tomato - 5 lbs 
cucumber - 4 
squash - 4 
watermelon - 1 
greens (chard) - 1 3/4 lb
mini bell peppers - 1/2 lb - CHALLENGE VEGETABLE
husk cherry: 1/2 lb-- CHALLENGE FRUIT!
6 peaches
4 nectarines

Week 12 Produce
2 lb tomatoes
1 lb pole beans
1/2 cabbage
3 beets
3 oz parsley
1 lb tokyo (I don't think this is the correct name.  I tried to look it up online and got no results.  It was green and looked like chard)
2 red onions
1 lb carrots
1 1/4 lb plums
4 lb peaches
2.5 lb nectarines
Week 13 Produce
-- I was out of town and missed this week -- 
dandelion greens
pac choi
mixed greens
red onions
pole beans
prune plums


Week 14 Produce
3/4 lb beets
1/2 lb tomatillos
2 lb tomatoes
1 lb red kale
4 pieces squash
1 celery
1 fennel
5 radish
2 lb plums
11 apples
3.5 lb peaches

Week 15 Produce (DOUBLE SHARE WEEK)
1 celery  
2 corn
2 squash
1 lb carrots
1.5 lb mixed greens
1/2 lb. pole beans
2 garlic
2 winter squash (butternut and acorn)
.5 lbs red onion
1 lb. red potatoes
8 apples
1 qt. grapes
1 qt. pears

Week 16 Produce
NO DISTRIBUTION (Week 15 was a "double" week)

Week 17 Produce
3 beets
3/4 lb Brussels tops
1 Napa cabbage
1 squash
1 fennel
5 radishes
3 1/4 oz parsley
1 lb mixed geens
1 Brussels sprout
10 apples
1 quart of pears
1 quart of plums

Soup  Salad with Tomatoes Prep Work Sandwich

Some Recipes Made

A salad with nuts and purslane
Cucumber Salad with Mixed Greens and Purslane
I was thrilled to see lemony purslane again and remembered a Turkish-inspired salad I made last year.  See the original entry here.
Notes: Lettuce + mixed greens (mostly collards and kale) + pretty, pretty purslane for a base; pecans + dried cranberries + cucumbers to mix in; and pomegranate molasses + coconut oil + olive oil + salt + pepper + garlic + red pepper made the dressing.  Onion would have been nice in this, if I'd had any.

More Orzo, please.
Cheesy Orzo Risotto with Mixed Greens
Yup.  I made this recipe again.

Notes: This time I used mixed greens instead of chard, swapped out onions for shallots, and added crimini mushrooms.  I took a batch to some friends who needed a home-cooked meal and kept a couple of servings for Dan and myself.

Perfect Fruit Salad
Fruit Salad
My inspiration was this recipe, which I've made before, but this time I left out the lemon curd and just topped it with yogurt and honey.

Notes: 2 kinds of CSA plums, CSA nectarines, blueberries, and bananas came together for this fruit salad.

Fava 1
Fava Beans and Onion in Butter
An email from our CSA farm

Notes: The beans tasted a little tough, or old.  They've been hanging out in my fridge too long.   I blame only myself. But the onions (and butter) were delicious!


Carrot Sticks 2
Raw stuff
Lots of fruit, carrots, and cucumber slices (often with hummus).  The melons were especially delicious.

Beans and Tomato and Garlic
Italian-Style Helda Beans with CSA Garlic and Tomatoes
I found this simple recipe on The Washington Post's website.

Baba Ganoush
The recipe Dan chose is in Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything.

Mustardy Green Beans
Green Beans in Mustard Crema
This recipe
was found in Cooking Light magazine.

Squash Gazpacho

I got this recipe (by Barbara Crafton) in an email from another CSA member.

Zucchini Gazpacho

Place in food processor:
1 large zucchini, unpeeled, in chunks
1/2 green pepper, in chunks
2 small tomatoes, quartered
1/4 sweet onion, in chunks
handful of fresh oregano (or mint or parsley, if that's what you have)
2 cloves fresh garlic

Whir together until everything is chopped, 8 pulses or so. Add:
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp lime juice
1 slice bread, torn into chunks
Tabasco to taste
a few grinds of black pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Whir together again, another 8 pulses or so. Spoon into bowls. Drizzle each with a little olive oil and garnish with oregano or mint or parsley leaves. Serves 4 and doesn't heat up your kitchen.
Green and Yellow Beans with Garlic and Curry Powder (not pictured)
Notes: This is a standby recipe for me that I mostly made up.

Ratatouille-Style Pasta Sauce
Notes: CSA eggplant, tomatoes, squash, garlic, basil and green pepper went into this dish and cooked together with olive oil, salt, and pepper. 

Plum and Ginger Ice Cream

David Chang's Brussels Sprouts (not pictured)
Notes: I made this recipe last year, too.  It's so good.  I skipped the Rice Krispies this time, because I didn't have any on hand, and added the spice to the sauce.

Collard Chips?!
Collard Green Chips
Notes: Not as good as kale chips!

Peach Salsa

Peach Salsa Tacos
Chicken Tacos with Peach Salsa

Notes: This was all Dan.  They were delightful!  Recipe here.

Tomato and Yum More Tomato Green Beans Sticks 1 Fava 2 Fruit Salad Squash and Sauce Sandwich fixings

Some Thoughts
I've mostly gotten my appetite and time back, and there are 5 weeks left.  I'll soldier on and complete the season as best I can.  I've been disappointed with the quality of some of the fruit I've been getting (which comes from various farms and is not all organic), but the vegetables have been beautiful this year and I feel like they've been worth the money.  I would certainly buy a share again.  I don't want to give you the impression that I wouldn't.  This summer was my perfect storm of CSA obstacles.  I have to hope I could find success again in a future season!


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