CSA Scout: 'We Can't Eat Fast Enough!'
Now is the time when many CSA (community-supported agriculture) subscribers, if they're not on vacation, either get all giddy with joy at the prospect of more and more and more fabulous produce (enjoy it while it's here!) or start to feel overwhelmed (we didn't even finish last week's yet!).
For me, I'm falling somewhat into the latter camp. That's not necessarily because my deliveries from Karl's Farm are so crazy-abundant. I'm enjoying them, but my half-share is enough for just a couple of meals, really. The problem is, I also want to shop at the farmers markets: my favorite 14th and U on Saturdays, and Bloomingdale and Dupont on Sundays. By Tuesdays, of course, I still have so much produce left from the weekend marketing that I'm hardly ready for more.
I'm keeping up, for the most part, roasting small eggplants for simple purees that I mash into potatoes, making tomato-cucumber-basil salads just about every night and using yellow squash in stir-fries, risottos and ratatouilles. How are you handling yours?
Here's what a few other CSA Scouts are reporting this week:
Michelle Forman, Silver Spring
Medium share from Spiral Path Farm, Perry County, Pa.
$413 (25 weeks)
In the box: 6 ears of corn!, 1 box of cherry tomatoes, 1 heirloom tomato, 1 Asian eggplant, 1 zucchini, 2 big fat cucumbers, 1 small bag of green beans, 2 sweet onions, garlic, 1 green pepper, 1 head of lettuce
Meals and cooking plans: I grilled the corn and mixed it into a grilled peach and corn salad that I had made before. I also grilled one of the onions for this salad too. The cherry tomatoes were eaten raw. The heirloom tomato was sliced: My husband put it on salads and on his sandwiches for lunch. The zucchini and eggplant were marinated in an Asian-style sauce (soy, teriyaki, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and Sriracha chili sauce), grilled and then tossed in a little bit of the marinade. Delicious! The cucumbers were sliced for salads, sandwiches, and just for snacking. They were really huge! I mixed some chunks of cukes with the green beans, some smoked salmon and fresh basil for a great light "salad" to take for lunch. The lettuce was used for curry chicken salad wraps and for salads. The other onion, the pepper and several cloves of garlic were sauteed and used as toppings for grilled pizza. I also used some of the garlic in a light olive oil-and-fresh-herb sauce for gnocchi.
Other thoughts: Great box this week! I had a lot of fun with the ingredients. I have found that even though the size of the box stays the same, boxes like his -- filled with more substantial ingredients -- make for a LOT more meals. It is harder to use it all up (although it does all get eaten), but it is way more fun to cook!
Rita Fox, Triangle
Share from Olin-Fox Farms, Reedville, Va.
$396 (9 weeks)
In the box: 6 ears white sweet corn, 1 bag Yukon Gold potatoes, 1 Asian cucumber, 1 bag green beans, 1 eggplant, 2 purple peppers, 2 cubanelle peppers, 1 bag okra, 1 bunch basil, mix of large tomatoes (wo huge tomatoes plus a few others), 1 bag small tomatoes
Meals and cooking plans: I used one huge and one normal-sized tomatoes to create a tomato sauce for whole wheat pasta. Added some baby bella mushrooms and tossed in all the small tomatoes, halved, plus all the basil. I will make a Szechuan eggplant dish, some sort of gumbo with the okra and tomatoes, maybe green beans and peppers in a black bean sauce.
Other thoughts: I hate getting peppers. Once a summer is plenty for me. I will sneak them in somewhere. Or maybe, my approach should be to highlight them so I don't feel like I'm tricking myself into eating them. I appreciate the tomatoes because I know blight has affected lots of crops. I mean, LOOK at the size of the big ones! They are almost as big as the eggplant! I almost feel guilty for eating the beauties. The eggplant is nearly perfect in size and condition. Getting potatoes in a share guarantees I'll be satisfied. Dad doesn't call me Miss Potato for nothing.
Sarah Hamaker, Fairfax
Two adults, four children
Half share from Great Country Farms, Bluemont.
$475 (20 weeks)
In the box: 1 medium tomato (the first of the season!), 1 small cucumber, 4 ears of corn, 1 small bunch of green-leaf lettuce, 6 large peaches, 1 small watermelon, 1 cilantro plant.
Meals and cooking plans: We steamed the corn for dinner (delicious) and used the lettuce, tomato and cucumber in a side salad. The peaches will be gobbled up plain, as I just made a pie with last week’s peaches (and some we had picked from another farm). The cilantro plant will join the other herbs on my front porch (I’m having a contest to see which one lasts the longest. So far, the basil is showing a winning attitude). I still have half a head of cabbage from last week to do something with, as well as numerous cucumbers (they seem to be multiplying like rabbits in the product drawer). I will be heading to online recipe sites for some inspiration.
Other thoughts: Overjoyed with the fresh corn and lettuce. (It’s nice to get lettuce later in the season, now that we have other veggies to go with it.)
Sarah Husain, Columbia
Full share (eight items) from One Straw Farm, White Hall.
$485 (24 weeks)
In the box: 6 HUGE zucchini, two very large bunches of very large green onions, 7 tomatillos, 15 delicious and gorgeous ears of corn
Meals and cooking plans: I made a great soup with the tomatillos, two ears of corn and one bunch of green onions loosely based on this recipe. I also made a black bean and quinoa salad with more of the corn. I pickled the zucchini with the other bunch of onions. The rest of the corn was husked, snapped in half, blanched and frozen.
Other thoughts: We can't eat this stuff fast enough! Pickling and freezing is helping us keep up. We love corn, hence the 15 ears (I think equal to three items). I'm not sure what else was available as I didn't pick up this week. We are looking forward to tomatoes, though we know our CSA was affected by the tomato blight. Luckily, friends with a back yard gave us a grocery bag full of them, so we're good for now.
-- Joe Yonan
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