Friday, July 11, 2008

CSA: Summer bounty!

Have I mentioned how much I love summer fruit? Love love love love? All this week I've been topping my morning yogurt and muesli with fresh olallieberries, and the word on the berry vine is that our favorite you-pick olallie place will have berries ready for picking through the end of the month. My mom's divine white peaches are picking up speed: after having only one last week, I've already eaten four this week, and will be picking a few more later today or tomorrow. On Wednesday I finished off the last of the strawberries that I picked at my CSA farm's you-pick apricot event last weekend. And that's not including this week's box! I'm sure that there are other places in the world where it's possible to find a variety of fresh, delicious fruits growing in one's extended backyard, but I feel pretty darn fortunate to live here, current smoky haze notwithstanding. 

But how about that box? This week there's even more fruitful goodness than last week. We have:

- Blenheim apricots. I hope this isn't the last week for them, but I'll be freezing some (cut in half and soaked briefly in lemon-laced water) just in case. I got four overflowing pint baskets, and might or might not have already eaten several today. :)
- Strawberries. Three pint baskets full, now hulled and placed in a plastic container in the fridge for my snacking enjoyment over the next week. 
- Plums. Probably about a pound and a half. One is already gone, and I'm eyeing a second. I might make a tart this weekend, with some toasted-almond-infused whipped cream (à la Chez Panisse circa 2003).
- Zucchini, the speckled kind. I have great plans for these: sliced into tagliatelle-like ribbons and tossed with mint, cucumber, and lemon; grilled and mixed with quinoa and chickpeas; and turned into soup with some basil, garlic, and onion. I only hope I have enough!
- Peppers of as-yet-indeterminate variety. I haven't taken a very close look at these, but at first (brief) glance they look like they could be poblanos, which suits me just fine. Perhaps I'll roast them, perhaps I'll stuff them (chiles rellenos anyone?), perhaps I'll turn them into salsa.
- Cucumbers. Three of them, about seven inches long. Some will go into the zucchini tagliatelle; some will be eaten raw; and some will go into a couscous salad to eat alongside grilled lemon chicken. I am, by the way, thrilled with my menu for the next week or so (the highlights of which are being linked to throughout this post).
- Spinach. A large bag full of baby spinach! I had some last night in a long-awaited return to my whole wheat linguine/spaghetti with wilted spinach and garlic, and will use still more of it tonight in place of the arugula in a basmati/currant/almond salad that will go with some grilled game hens
- Kale, more of the leafy, purple-ribbed variety. It's getting sauteed with some garlic at some point in the next week. 
- Basil. Again with the pulling up a whole herb plant, lopping off the roots, and sending it out in the box. Not that I'm complaining, mind you! Some will go into the aforementioned soup, and more will go into pesto (which I plan to have on my sauteed potatoes tomorrow morning in a homemade version, for the Hobee's lovers out there, of Sonoma Browns).
- Carrots. They're getting chopped up and put into a couple of salads: one the couscous salad with the lemon chicken, the other a lentil and bulgur salad that I make fairly frequently.
- Celery. Two heads! I don't think I've ever needed more than one head at once, but now I have two. And you know what that means: ants on logs. There will be peanut butter, there will be raisins, and there will be crunchy-and-gooey, salty-and-sweet bliss. Oh, and I'll use a few ribs in the bulgur and lentil salad. 
- Potatoes. Again, only a cursory glance at these so far, but they look like small russets. And they (some of them, anyway) will be starring in my homemade Sonoma Browns tomorrow morning. 
- Lettuce! I'm going to have to start tossing my lentil & bulgur salad with some lettuce, else I'll never get through it all before it wilts. I would sub it in for the escarole in my favorite farro & sausage soup, but it's just too blisteringly hot outside for making or eating soup. 

So there you have it. I hope everyone's having a good week, or at least looking forward to an enjoyable weekend! I'm nearing the end of my training schedule's rest and recovery week and feeling, appropriately enough, fairly well rested and recovered. I might indulge in a tune-up race on Sunday, just to dust off the cobwebs and practice my transitions, but I'll mostly be cooking and cleaning this weekend. And, of course, eating. :) 


Bee said...

Anne, you have such delicious-sounding plans for your box! I wish that I was a guest at your table.

When I read what you are eating, I'm convinced that genes are only part of the reason that you and your siblings are so tall. I think that some of your superior height can be attributed to sunshine and healthy food!

BTW, although I am well-acquainted with the peanut butter in celery trick, I didn't realize that if you add raisins it is called "ants on a log." Very cute!
When I have leftover celery I tend to throw it into chicken stock.

Brave Sir Robin said...

Anne -

You realize that is more produce than the average American probably eats in a month?

I'll second Bee's wish to be at your table.

I prefer my celery stuffed with pimento cheese. Homemade is best, but Price's will do nicely.

Anne said...

Thank you both! I would love to have you at my table. We MUST do that one of these days.

I wonder if the "ants on a log" term is a regional thing. BSR, what say you?

Sadly, I think you're right, BSR, about the produce. That might change a bit during the summer, when so much great fruit is in season, but... oh, whom am I kidding? To most people, produce doesn't have a "season." They can buy raspberries in January and leeks in September, and that's all they need to know.

Bee said...

I think that my favorite summer fruit is cherries. I can absolutely gorge myself on those. BTW, I am eating so much yummy food in Saratoga. We must "dine" (or at least picnic) together someday.

Bee said...

I cannot believe that you've been off-post even longer than I have!

My garden went absolutely nuts while I was away. Many of my zucchini have turned into marrows . . . and I didn't even realize that they were the same vegetable. (My gardener filled me in on that one this morning.) I have runner beans galore, and lots of tomatoes that haven't quite ripened yet.

What is going on in your food world?

I had so much great American food on my holiday . . . although more of the unhealthy kind than the wholesome veggie stuff. I'm going to write up my favorite restaurants in the next day or two.

Bee said...

BTW, we ate lots of celery stuffed with peanut butter when we were at the lake house. No raisins, though. I asked my friend Monique (originally from NY) if she had ever heard of "ants on a log" and she answered in the negative. I'm conducting my own informal poll!