Thursday, April 24, 2008

CSA: Week of April 21 to April 26

A delicious bunch of goodies this week:

- Spinach (1/2 pound). Half went into a stir-fry last night chez Katie, and I'll probably do the same tonight. I've been on a stir-fry-and-brown-rice kick.

- Lettuce (8 ounces). Salads!

- Pistachio meats (1/4 pound). It's so nice that they've been sending pre-shelled ones. :)

- Nantes carrots (1 bunch). One went to Katie's puppy dog, the rest will come with me to work.

- Cilantro (1 bunch). I'll probably make this recipe, complete with the recommended roasted asparagus and quinoa.

- Sugar snap peas (3/4 pound). Not quite as fresh as the ones straight from the vines in my parents' garden, but still bright and crunchy. Used some of them last night for dinner and for munching, and will continue in the same vein.

- Asparagus (1 pound). Half stir-fried, half roasted. Yum!

- White mushrooms (8 ounces). Not sure what I'm going to do with these, but some could go in a stir-fry. I don't eat a lot of mushrooms, although I do like them.

- Yellow onion (1). There are plenty of ways I could use this, including a big pot of risotto.

- Cameo apples (1.5 pounds). Definitely for eating raw.

Not sure when I'm going to cook most of this stuff, as I'm disappearing to Big Sur again this weekend, but I'm sure I'll figure it out. Happy almost-end-of-week, everyone!


Brave Sir Robin said...

Very, very glad you've turned in the Thesis.


The cilantro pesto sounds good, but I'm guessing a little goes a long way.

Anne said...

Thanks! :) Now I just have to get on with the PhD...

You're probably right about the cilantro. I'll be sure to write it up when I make it.

Brave Sir Robin said...

So, enlighten my ignorance, How does the PhD thing work from here on out?

Anne said...

Basically I do a couple of years of research, and then go through this thesis rigamarole all over again. Except probably with a longer thesis. Yay! ;)

Brave Sir Robin said...

So the one you just turned in is Master's?

Where will you do your PhD work? Same set up as now?

Bee said...

Hi Anne and BSR,

I'm back from my weekend in London! Sadly I didn't have any epic meals; but I did do epic walking and EPIC talking.

We are having chicken risotto again today. I have some leftover roasted chicken from last night, and it just seems like my perfect comfort food lately.

I would LOVE to get my hands on some of that fresh cilantro. We can't get cilantro here -- you have to sub coriander, which is similar, but not as full-on fresh and pungent, somehow.

My gardener has been hard at work today making some raised beds for us to establish a veg garden. We get the soil in two weeks -- and then proceed with planting. Any ideas, ya'll? What are my must-have veggies?

BTW, there was a great review of Persepolis in the Sunday paper. It opens here soon.

So how is everybody?

Bee said...

For mushrooms:

I just like to saute these with a bit of butter and salt and pepper (maybe thyme, maybe garlic) and eat them smothered on a baked potato!

Mushroom soup is yummy, too.

Anne said...

BSR - yep, this one was just the MS. and now I have another couple of years (same setup) for the PhD. Whee! But in the meantime, I had a wonderful weekend escape to Big Sur--first one in ages without the dreaded thesis hanging over my head. There was more marmalade-making, and buttermilk biscuits to boot. Delicious. Oh, and a great, summery pasta dish that I shall have to write up at some point (I might wait, though, until good fresh basil is more reliably available).

Welcome back, Bee! I love how some cities are so conducive to epic walking, don't you?

Risotto is quite possibly the world's greatest comfort food. I was thinking about doing a mushroom risotto with my little white mushrooms, but I might need to bolster them with some other varieties. And of course I was out of town yesterday, so I missed my chance to visit Far West Fungi at the farmer's market. Ah well.

Sauteed mushrooms are delightful. At l'Ami Louis last June we had the most delicious buttery mushrooms... there must have been an obscene amount of butter in them, but they were heavenly!

I think cilantro and fresh coriander (the leaves, not the seeds) are the same thing. Perhaps it doesn't grow as well in England, and therefore doesn't have quite the same robust taste? Or maybe it's a different variety from what's grown here.

How exciting about your garden! I'm not familiar with your growing season and zone, but that's not going to stop me from making some guesses as to what might work for you:

- Peas. They're beautiful when they bloom, and of course having snap peas (or shelling peas, or snow peas, or whatever you like) is great. You could probably grow little haricots verts as well.

- Potatoes. Even better, in my mind, than the satisfaction of having potatoes from one's own garden is the simple pleasure of digging into the dirt with one's hands to find those potatoes.

- Tomatoes, of course: sauce ones if you like to make your own tomato sauce, eating tomatoes for obvious reasons, and of course cherry tomatoes for when you want to stroll through the garden and nibble on things as you go.

- Strawberries, also for obvious reasons. If you are also planting onions, do them in the same bed. This sounds counterintuitive (onions + strawberries? yuck!) but they're fond of each other, and the onions will help keep strawberry-loving pests at bay. Similarly, plant carrots and tomatoes together.

- Cucumbers are nice to have in the garden.

- Herbs, of course. I am partial to fresh basil, thyme, and rosemary. You might have luck with cilantro (!) and parsley--the heat around here can induce it to bolt fairly early, but since you're in a cooler zone, you might not have that problem (or at least not as soon).

Please keep us posted! I love hearing about veggie gardening.

Bee said...


How was Big Sur? I had the most wonderful weekend, but the weather has gone all horrible again.

Thanks for the veggie suggestions. I'm sure we will go for most of those -- and I didn't realize that onions and strawberries liked each other! I already have quite a lot of herbs -- in a different bed, nearer the house. This bed is going to be tucked away a bit, out by our compost heap. I will keep you posted, for sure.

BTW, any chance that you have a good recipe for cut-out sugar cookies? I need to find the PERFECT recipe -- combining good taste with manageability and eventual cookie sturdiness. (Apparently I have volunteered to make a great quantity of these for youngest daughter's summer fete.)

Anne said...

Big Sur was lovely, and very relaxing. It was so nice just to read, cook, and so on without feeling like I ought to be working!

Sugar cookies... I've only made the ones that I grew up making. They're tasty, but I don't think I'd give them the "world's tastiest sugar cookies" title. I will consult a few sources and see if I can find anything suitable.