CSA: Week 3.

It rained ALL DAY today, literally without pause or breath. My day mostly looked like this:

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Yes, that is absolutely James Dean on my computer’s desktop.

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Jack discovered Wall-E today. I think I might have a last-minute birthday gift to pick up…

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This is what I woke up to this morning. What more could you ask for in life?

Despite the grumpy weather, the kids and I had a fantastic time together. We spent most of the day lounging in the porch watching the rain. My tomatoes look like they’ve died and gone to heaven, and I’m pretty sure they’ll have grown six inches by tomorrow. We had a little pizza lunch, took naps, got a quick visit from Ally, watched a movie, cooked up some dinner, and ate in the porch. They went to bed without a fuss, and I tucked them each in and thought that today was a day to remember, despite having done nothing out of the ordinary.

Thurday was our third CSA pickup! We’ve gotten into a routine with our pickup- i.e., getting there at the same time every Thursday, and leaving enough time for u-pick, as well as blog photos when we get home. We’ve also been eating almost everything by the time we pick up our next week’s share. I was wondering how that would go, especially int he first few weeks when it’s so heavy on leafy greens. There’s only so much salad you can eat and still include other kinds of food! However, I have been pleasantly surprised at our salad capacity, and my own creativity. I’m going to give an overview of our pickup this week, including a look at our first real u-pick adventure, but I’m also going to give you a quick rundown of how we’ve been using our weekly shares.

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From left to right: romaine, butter lettuce, spring mix, red leaf lettuce, frisee, a quart of strawberries, snap peas, herbs (dill, cilantro, chives), dandelion greens, bok choy, crimson turnips, and kale!

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I have been waiting and waiting for these! Just when Milk House began to run out, Anchor Run to the rescue! I really don’t know how I’m going to go on once strawberry season is over…

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The cilantro and dill were u-pick and planted next to the snap peas, and you could smell them four rows away, they were sooo fragrant!

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Check out the color on those turnips! My camera shoots in vivid color, so they’re not quite so neon, but they’re still really richly colored. I’m wondering what they’ll cook up as, if they’ll brighten or fade? Only one way to find out!

IMG_2637The snap peas were a great surprise- for some reason I missed them on the weekly newsletter. They’re one of my favorite foods, and I usually just eat them raw. I may or may not have brought a bag of them to the reading at Farley’s last night, and then to Karla’s afterward, just as I may or may not be eating another huge bowl of them right now.

We got to go out into the field and pick a quart of them. It was my first time taking Jack and Carolyn picking, and all things considered, it was a huge success!

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Pea plants are some of my favorites- they’re so whimsical with their twirly, vine-y tops. They remind me of fairytales! 🙂

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I was a little nervous at first- I didn’t want Jack and Carolyn to go through the rows and rip up any of the plants, but Carolyn only wanted to pick clover (totally allowed), and Jack ended up being a huge help with the peas! He loved reaching into the vines and finding big, ripe peas to pick! He was even snacking on them as he picked! Don’t mind shoeless Carolyn- she kept ripping hers off, and after digging them out of the bushes twice, I gave up and let her go so we could beat the rain. We got to the car just as it started to drizzle! I think the u-pick might end up being my favorite part of the CSA- we had such a blast!

So here’s a little bit about how we use our CSA share. I haven’t been too focused on keeping track of this, but now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve tried to be more diligent about snapping photos of the food that we’re eating. My jazzy new phone has been a huge help (yes, I am still obsessed- don’t judge. I’m still as tickled with my car as the day I brought it home, so this could last a while!). To be honest, most of the share has just been chopped up and tossed into salads, but we’ve managed to get a bit more creative as the weeks progress.

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Miso soup! Or a version of it, anyway. This has been my go-to use for the bok choy, because I find the combination of broth, rice noodles, and wilted greens absolutely irresistible. Add some freshly chopped herbs on top, and it’s perfection in a bowl. I’ve made this on two occasions now, including Wednesday night for a group of friends that came over. It was super yummy!

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Eric and I set up a full spread in the porch.

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I paired the soup with a red leaf lettuce salad topped with pickled cucumbers, onions and peppers with fresh dill and oregano, and finished off with thai spiced roasted chickpeas. Simple and delicious!

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Another salad- romaine and spring mix topped with avocado, sunflower oil, and a squeeze of lemon. Paired with a veggie burger covered in onions and asparagus. So summery!

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I made banh mi sandwiches sometime last week, and they were outrageous! I used tempeh for the meaty filling, and mixed up a peanut curry sauce to pour on top. Some CSA romaine gave it a great crunch, and I also pickled the radishes from last week and added those on top. It was crazy delicious!

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Another salad, this one red leaf lettuce topped with a red pepper, corn and onion salad with a creamy avocado-hempseed dressing. I’ve been a big fan of salads on top of salads lately- think plain fresh lettuce topped with a chopped veggie or grain salad.

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This was a basic vegan mac and “cheese” bowl, but I added english peas for a healthy boost and topped it with the CSA spicy oregano and thyme. The herbs have been one of the best things about the CSA. I’ve been tossing fresh herbs onto everything, and it’s been fun to play around with different flavor combinations. They’re so fresh, the flavor is really bold and clear. I’ve also been clipping the chocolate mint from the front porch.

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It’s great in smoothies and juice, and it grows like crazy so I don’t feel bad chopping off big handfuls every few days ;D

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This was tonight’s dinner- broccoli rabe from last week (HOW it took me that long to eat it, I do not know), sauteed lightly with a sprinkle of salt. I don’t mess with the rabe, it’s too good on its own. Paired with BBQ crispy tofu and a millet salad with tomatoes and CSA arugula. This was an effort to use up the last bit of last week’s share before we dive into this week’s, and it was a success!

And just so you don’t think we’ve turned into a bunch of rabbits, here are some things we’ve eaten lately that AREN’T a leafy green:

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Buckwheat pancakes with Milk House strawberries and cacao drizzle.

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Breakfast a few mornings ago- leftover carrot loaf, blueberries, cherries, a green apple and a tall glass of water.

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Blueberry spelt corn muffins with fresh (organic, non-GMO) corn.

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Spelt carrot cake and raisin loaf with cinnamon-lemon glaze.

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Basic chewy gooey chocolate chip cookies.

Looking back, it seems like we have a pretty healthy balance going. I’ve been worrying about our sugar intake lately, so a lot of what I’ve baked has had the sugar cut in half, if not more, but I don’t think the end result suffers for it. I just wasn’t comfortable with the amount of sugar we were consuming, so about a month ago I started paying close attention, and then making the necessary adjustments to bring it down to a healthier amount. I’m going to try to write up a post detailing this, because it’s actually gotten a bit involved and become a real learning experience for all of us! I will leave you with this thought: fruit counts!

I am ending my night with Michael Stone’s The Inner Tradition of Yoga– an introductory book of yoga philosophy. The bulk of the book’s content is not new to me, but one of my goals this summer is to deepen and strengthen my yoga practice off my mat, and the best way to begin that process is to re-examine and reinforce what I already know, and then continue to build on that. But that’s a post for another day. Right now, the yamas are calling my name.

 

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