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Monday, May 23, 2016

2016 CSA Week 4

Ford says he has a great group of young people working at the
farm this season. Here they are in the strawberry patch earlier
today getting our shares ready for tomorrow! Ford and Amanda
are appreciative, I'm appreciative, and I'm sure you are too!
Good evening fellow CSA members!

I was shredding some carrots for a salad this evening (I'll share the recipe) and decided just to eat a couple of them to help speed up the shredding process... Man! There is just nothing like fresh, local carrots. I'm afraid I may not eat any other type of carrot. 

And good news! We have MORE carrots coming this week! And strawberries! And... Well... Here's the list:

unwashed, in fridge
2-5 days
unwashed, in fridge
2 weeks
unwashed, in fridge
1 week
bok choy
unwashed, in fridge
1 week
unwashed, in fridge
1 week
tomato juice or salsa
shelf stable
I was excited to see bok choy make its first appearance of the season (I do love Asian food and greens)! But honestly, this is a lot of greens for our house! I hate to admit: sometimes a full week (or longer) passes without us eating any leafy greens. (Sad, I know.) Until after dinner tonight we still had quite a few greens left from last week's share. Once I saw all we're getting this week, I kicked into gear and made a dinner salad. And I decided this week will be all about the greens. I've been looking up and brainstorming recipes today and hope to try some out this week. I'll let you know how it goes.

For now, you can check out these previous recipes, and I'll share with you what I did tonight (it could easily be replicated with this week's share).

Bok Choy Apple Salad
Tahini Soy Sauce Greens

As always, please keep sharing your recipes, tips and tricks with me and let me know if you have any questions!

Our dinner tonight:

I decided to pull out the old cookbooks in search of something to use our greens that my husband might not hate. We sometimes do salads (though lettuce is almost the only veggie in his salad and it is smothered in a sea of cheese and dressing), so I thought I'd look for salad recipes. I have a cookbook from one of my favorite restaurants: Tupelo Honey Café. I looked in the index and they had a recipe using bok choy. I looked at it and realized it would be great without the bok choy. Here's the recipe. (The salad recipe is for one dinner portion - if all you're eating is salad, it will feed one adult so multiply it accordingly. There were three of us at dinner tonight, so I tripled it.)

Get your leafy greens quota salad with sherry vinaigrette
Tupelo Honey Café cookbook, page 94

1/2 medium beet
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped leafy greens (such as Swiss chard, kale, boy choy and napa cabbage)
2 tablespoons peeled, shredded carrots
6 grape tomatoes
2 ounces goat cheese
Sherry Vinaigrette (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and wrap the beet in aluminum foil. Bake for about an hour, or until tender when pierced with a knife. Remove and cool before peeling and dicing. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan or skillet and saute the sunflower seeds, salt and pepper over low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, until lightly toasted. Combine the greens, beet, sunflower seeds, carrots, tomatoes, and goat cheese. Serve with the vinaigrette.

Makes 1 large dinner salad

Sherry vinaigrette
Tupelo Honey Café cookbook, page 95

1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup sherry vinegar
1 cup olive oil

In a food processor, combine the shallot, garlic, parsley, thyme, Dijon mustard, stone-ground mustard, salt and pepper. Puree the ingredients for 1 minute With the processor running, add the vinegar and then slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the dressing emulsifies.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

The Verdict: 4 and a half broccoli stalks. I'm not even joking. I let my husband take a bite of my salad before making his because I had a bottle of store-bought ranch waiting if needed. I did also have some marinated chicken with the salad. He said the salad alone was only four broccoli stalks, but the chicken helped it. I about fell over when he told me. He said he could have it again for lunch tomorrow and could eat it every week! I can't even believe it.

Recipe notes: This is a lot of work for a salad, in my opinion. If you want something easier, just buy a dressing. Also, there were no beets in the produce section of my grocery store this morning. True story. (Johnie would say he dodged that bullet!) If you decide to make the dressing, I'll share that I did not do all that mincing. I mean, what do I even have a food processor for if I have to spend all my time mincing before hand? I just threw everything in there whole. I pureed everything but the olive oil, then I just dumped all the olive oil in at the end and mixed. Maybe if I followed the instructions, the dressing wouldn't keep separating, but I'd rather give it a good shake when I'm ready to dress the salad than do all that work. Also, it is some pretty strong dressing. I used 6 teaspoons of it on our salads (we would normally use a lot more dressing than that).

It is a lot of work, but for my husband to happily eat several cups of veggies for dinner... It was worth it. Tonight, at least.

Have a great week!

Friday, May 20, 2016

2016 CSA Week 3: In the Kitchen

Hello again, fellow CSA members!
I have enjoyed hearing from you this week! Someone asked me if this blogging is stressful... Part of the reason why it isn't is because you all are so great to share your recipes, tips and expertise with me! I have been encouraged to hear how you all are using your shares and I hope you will also get some inspiration and support through the blog. We really are all in this together!

Once again I wasn't exactly sure how the week would go and how I would use another wonderful share! Early in the week CSA member Jodi Mendez emailed a few recipes her family uses for the strawberries: A yummy fruit pizza with cream cheese icing. And strawberry bread. Strawberry bread?!?!? Like, banana bread, but with strawberries?!?!? And potential bonus for you: Jodi shared that her family adopted a gluten free diet last year and these recipes fit into that!

This couldn't have been better timing for me. A friend who follows a gluten free diet moved into the area last month and I had been looking for recipes she would enjoy. I had just picked up my first ever bag of a gluten free flour blend on Friday. I had wanted to make something gluten free this week.

It just so happened my friend (coincidentally, she says) happened to drop in with four minutes remaining on the oven timer. I was nervous she might see the flop happen right before her eyes... But she was able to sample the bread piping hot and gave it rave reviews! I have never eaten a lot gluten free breads and I've never baked anything gluten free, so I don't really know how it is supposed to go or how it is supposed to taste. But I thought it was delicious. And it was pretty simple. I don't think I would have known it was gluten free. Having some of the best strawberries money can buy helped, I'm sure.

A couple recipe notes: Jodi and I both used regular white sugar and I thought it probably should have baked a few minutes longer, though we decided just to eat it anyway and pretend it was like a gooey brownie.

It is probably some kind of food faux pas, but I saw those beautiful greens and I was SO excited I just had to turn them into a taco salad. Asian greens in a Mexican dish... Let's just call it fusion! That's a thing now, apparently.

CSA member Angel Tur sent us a picture of a beautiful dish she made using her CSA herbs and cornmeal. I didn't really know much about polenta so I did a quick internet search. Here's a recipe (with "basic" in the title) if you're interested.

Polenta with fine herbs and ground beef

Please keep sharing with us pictures, recipes, tips and tricks, and send any feedback you have. My email is We love hearing from you and want to help you have the best experience possible with your share.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, May 16, 2016

2016 CSA Week 3

Hello fellow CSA members!

Are you staying warm? These unseasonable cold snaps are sometimes a nuisance or minor inconvenience for most of us, but they can cause a lot of extra work for our farmers. Ford and one of his employees, Shawn, were out late last night making sure our tomatoes would be protected from potential frost. Bless their hearts! (I'm a southern girl, so I can say that.) SHF tomatoes are some of the world's best (in my opinion) and I am thankful for their hard work in getting them to my kitchen. (Did you know they also grow greenhouse tomatoes? I was able to enjoy them with my winter share last year!)

Enough about what we'll get in the coming weeks. What about what is in THIS share? It's another good one! I buy bagged salads a lot, so I am excited to get our first bag of mixed salad greens of this season.

unwashed, in fridge
2-5 days
unwashed, in fridge
2 weeks
unwashed, in fridge
1 week
salad mix (kale, tatsoi, greens)
in fridge
1 week

Here is a link from a previous blog post with some information about tatsoi.

Here is a recipe for strawberry relish with herb crusted chicken (and it also uses fresh oregano) that I found last week but never actually tried. Maybe you will get a chance to!

CSA member Samantha Otte shared this recipe (a hit with two young picky eaters!) with me this morning for bean-less chili that uses some of last week's sweet potatoes. The recipe allows for your choice of a range of meat or meat-substitute options. It would be a good choice during these cooler evenings!

Have a great week and remember I love to hear from fellow CSA members with tips, tricks, recipes, successes, questions and concerns!