Wondering what to do with the latest seasonal foods? Here’s a partial record of what we’ve been eating ourselves.
The pickup: I came home from a week away to find the both the fridge’s crisper and the kitchen counter full to overflowing with produce from our CSA. Apparently somebody wasn’t keeping up on his produce consumption.
There were pounds of green beans, basketsful of tomatillos, peppers both hot and sweet, a glut of tomatoes, and two net bags full of a fruit I originally took for mini-tomatillos. Turns out they’re actually a super-sweet tomato called ground cherries.
The results: Time to make like a squirrel and store some food for winter. The green beans were easy: A quick dip in boiling water, an ice bath, and into the freezer on trays they went, to be gathered into freezer bags after they were fully frozen.
Continue reading Harvest time: Tomatillos, tomatoes, and ground cherries »
The pickup: Tomato season is finally in full swing in the Northwest. Our CSA box has been full of the sweet, juicy orbs: yellow pear, dark-red cherry, and full-sized. And our own garden has started producing heirloom Seitz tomatoes as well.
The results: After what seemed like a solid month of dinners that centered on smoky, delicious grilled zucchini, the tomato glut has brought pasta back to our plates. The fresh tomatoes need nothing more than a 10-minute sauté in olive oil and garlic and a shower of chopped basil (also from the CSA box, thankfully, since I can’t seem to grow basil to save my life) before they’re ready to mingle with some al dente penne.
Continue reading Tons of tomatoes »
The pickup: Last week’s delivery from the Gardenripe CSA brought bok choy, snap peas, basil, a big bag of salad greens, and a flat of ripe, sweet blueberries. We also had some Kotata blackberries left over from the previous week’s delivery.
The results: The three of us (and our pocket pet) have had a blast just popping the blueberries into our mouths. We also produced a pie that mixed the blueberries and the blackberries. And against the advice of Oregonian food editor Martha Holmberg to just freeze berries in a bag, I threw a few pints of blueberries and Kotatas on sheet pans to freeze, ‘cause I don’t like to have to take an ice pick to a log of frozen berries just to make pancakes in the winter.
Continue reading Feeling blue »
So far, the produce load has been manageable. It’s only Tuesday and already most of our weekly delivery is gone. But it’s still early in the season, and I know once the harvest really gets going that eating/freezing/drying all this lovely produce may become a full-time occupation.
The delivery: Gardenripe came by Thursday and delivered a huge bag of lettuce, a couple of dinners worth of joi choi, a bunch of swiss chard, and a generous load of sugar snap peas.
The results: Of course, the sugar snap peas were the pick hit. Some of the sweet, toothsome pods went into a stir-fry the first night (along with the joi choi — a mild and juicy bok choi hybrid); a bunch more were taken on a hike and prized for their crisp refreshment. The chard was perfectly tender and both the stems (first sautéed until they were tender) and the leaves went into a Sunday-morning crustless quiche.
Continue reading The joy of joi choi »
We got started late looking for a CSA and found that many were full for the season. Happily, we found a spot with Gardenripe, a family-run CSA based in Silverton, Oregon. Gardenripe’s summer season subscription offers a wide variety of veggies and fruit as well as a visit to the farm, where you can pick up to 50 pounds of tomatoes to take home. The best part? They deliver directly to your home, rather than a single dropoff location.
The pickup: Gardenripe’s first delivery (by the farmer himself) was not a regular basket; instead it was a flat of perfectly ripe strawberries. One of the Puget varietals, they were big, red, juicy, and sweet, but not overly sugary.
Continue reading One word: strawberries »
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