Thursday, May 8, 2008

CSA: Week of May 5 to May 9

This week has been flying by, due in part to busy times at work but mostly to my workout schedule, which is gradually getting back to normal. I am slowly working out ways to plan ahead and prepare meals efficiently, but in addition to the choreography of planning and shopping (especially since I'm now trying to ride to work three days a week), there's the hand-wavy, dubious art of predicting what I'll feel up to making on any given night after work and exercise. Sometimes it doesn't quite play out as planned, but I'm making progress.

In any event, I have a great bunch of produce this week, and I've already gotten a good start on it. One of the two baskets of strawberries has already disappeared; half of the asparagus and a handful of the mushrooms went into dinner last night; and half of the carrots came to work with me for afternoon munching. I'm sure the rest will be gone in no time:

- Baby mixed lettuce (8 ounces). I've been making a delicious orange and fennel salad with my CSA greens. The dressing has lemon juice, olive oil, a touch of mustard and honey, and some orange zest. Very tasty.

- White button mushrooms (8 ounces). I think I might make pizza this weekend and put some sliced, sauteed mushrooms on it. For the last few weekends I've been reviving the BSG + pizza tradition, but I have yet to make my own. This might be a good weekend to make some pizza.

- Strawberries (2 pints). As I said above, I devoured one of the basket yesterday afternoon and evening. The other basket might make it through today... but probably not. Yes, I am aware that one can overdose even on water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C; no, I don't think that two pints of strawberries puts me at risk.

- Yellow onions (2). Plenty of uses for these, including storage in the fridge. I don't feel the need to use them up right away, so I'm squirreling them away for later use. I will probably use at least one of them this weekend.

- Pink lady apples (1.5 pounds). Yum! It seems a shame to do anything to these beyond eating them raw, but as I have some brioche buns that need using up, I might make an apple bread pudding or something like that.

- Nantes carrots (1 bunch). As I said above, half are here at work with me. The other half will come to work with me tomorrow. Mmm, carrot sticks.

- Asparagus (1 pound). I confess I am starting to get a little bored with asparagus, but I'm not sick of it yet. I'll probably use a bunch of the remaining asparagus in place of broccoli in a skillet chicken & pasta dish that I like.

- Cilantro (1 bunch). It must be getting on toward summer, as the cilantro is looking a bit stretched. I have some unused tomatoes on the counter and a poblano pepper in the fridge, not to mention those onions in the fridge, so salsa fresca might be in my future. The chicken with cilantro pesto that I mentioned a week or two ago wasn't a winner, so I'm not exactly falling over myself to try that recipe again. Chips and salsa, however, are always winners in my book. They'll pair nicely with a delicious steak fajita recipe that I tried last weekend and am itching to make again.

- Rhubarb (1/2 pound, or two stalks). This time around the rhubarb is going into a crisp or a crumble (for which my oft-neglected 5x5" ceramic baking dish will be perfect). There are plenty of candidate recipes, I just have to pick one and go with it!

Happy almost-Friday, folks!


Brave Sir Robin said...


Can you imagine, bored with fresh asparagus?

Have a great weekend!

Anne said...

Well, in my defense, it's been a pound of asparagus every week for about two months straight. Still, I might have to withdraw the bored remark now that I've seen this recipe. Asparagus and pancetta, grilled and drizzled with a citrusy vinaigrette? Yes please.

I will indeed have a good weekend, as I will be spending it in beautiful Big Sur with Katie and the Suitor. I am watching the clock until the hour comes when I can hop on my bike, go home, and ess-KAH-peh, as Dori would say, to Big Sur. I will let you know if we eat (or drink) anything fabulous.

Until then, have a lovely weekend yourself! Hope the Texas springtime is treating you well. :)

Brave Sir Robin said...


I hope you have a FABULOUS time in Big Sur with suitor and apparently still not single Katie.

As for spring in Texas. I think it's done. :( I do however, hope to have a very nice weekend. My friend Fred and his wife Christine are coming in to stay the weekend. We hope to go to the Bay house and relax. They went to the Farmer's Market this morning and are bringing lots of fresh veggies. I'll report back.

Asparagus and pancetta, grilled and drizzled with a citrusy vinaigrette?


Bee said...

May I just suggest Nigella's rhubarb crumble recipe? It is from her Feast cookbook, and I included it in one of my posts.

It sounds like everyone is getting some sun this weekend! I am just about to venture out myself.

P.S. We visited the Newbury "market" yesterday and I was really disappointed to discover that the produce isn't local at all -- but has been brought down from a bigger London market. I picked up some rhubarb, some onions, and an absolutely enormous cauliflower.

I also got some little plants for my veggie garden -- which is going to start being planted tomorrow. Let's see: runner beans, broad beans, courgettes and cucumbers. Plus, we got four BLUEBERRY vines -- which I'm excited about trying out. (Our gardener was a bit dubious about them weathering the winter, but isn't that strange as I've always associated blueberries with cold climages (eg, Maine)?

Anne said...

BSR - that sounds lovely! I'm looking forward to hearing about what you got up to in the kitchen.

I'll have a look at that Nigella recipe. It will have to wait until tomorrow or Tuesday, as I forgot to bring the rhubarb down to Big Sur with me... but all was not lost! Instead of making rhubarb crumble, we made fresh mint ice cream. Yum! With chocolate shavings sprinkled over the top, it was divine.

What a pity about the Newbury market. Do you have plans for your rhubarb--maybe the aforementioned crumble?

I love broad beans (known around these parts as fava beans). My mom was growing them, but had terrible trouble with aphids this year. Nothing worked: soapy water, ladybugs, and what have you. Eventually she had to tear the plants out. :( Hopefully you'll have better luck with them!

I'm with you on the blueberries: I always thought they were pretty cold-hardy. Perhaps different varieties fare better in different zones--we have some here that do very well in our Mediterranean climate--but I assume that any variety available in England is one that will like it there!