Sunday, December 27, 2009

Vegetable Stew - More From the CSA!

Ok, not really...the shares stopped the first of the month, but I'm still using up what I had in the freezer...tonight I felt like lots of veggies, and since I can't think of a better way to do that than soup, that's what I tried to do.

But probably you have figured out that what I start doing seldom finishes that way? :)

I ended up tossing in everything but the kitchen sink for a thick Italian-style stew with not a speck of meat. Unless you count the teensy bit of anchovies in Worchestershire Sauce? If you do? Leave it out.

The whole thing is a miniscule 3 points per serving on Weight Watchers (and that's only if it serves 8. I'm thinking that will be huge servings!

I used:
4 cups of vegetable stock (I bought prepared, but you can obviously make your own)
2 cans of stewed tomatoes with Italian flavoring
1 can of dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups of whole wheat rotini pasta (the corkscrews!)
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
about 2 cups of frozen eggplant (CSA)
about 2 cups of frozen carrots (CSA)
about 1.5 cups of frozen green beans (CSA)
4 cloves of garlic (CSA)
3/4 of a package of frozen green, yellow, and red peppers and onions
about 1 cup of diced celery
2 Tbls of Worchestershire Sauce (to taste, I shake it in, without measuring, and you can, as stated, leave it out, but then you'll need to adjust your seasonings)
Salt and pepper (fresh ground) to taste
1 Tbls Oregano, dried
(feel free to add any seasonings you like - I even tossed in some garlic & herb Mrs. Dash!)

All of this can either be tossed in the slow cooker to cook all day, or, as I did, toss it in the stock pot and cook it on top of the stove for a couple of hours, or until you think it's done.

I will enjoy this tonight with whole grain bread and my allowed 2 tsp. of olive oil seasoned with Italian dipping herbs...(Have I mentioned how much I love Weight Watchers for requiring healthy oils every day?)

Here's a photo of the stew:

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Intriguing Reading...

I recently read a thread on Ravelry's Simple Living group that mentioned a book I'd missed along the way (hard to imagine, that a simple living tract would get by me, but they do! *wink*)

I found it at the library and read it over a few evenings...savoring her thinking as I went. It's called Not Buying It: My Year Without Shopping by Judith Levine.

The thought of not shopping at all for an entire year (other than food and necessities) strikes terror in my mind - I am a retailer, after all. But the concept of being very aware of my purchases, being certain that what I buy is useful, beautiful, and fills a specific need? That I can buy...and determine not to buy unnecessary, un-useful STUFF for the sake of buying? Yes.

So just for the record, since I'm determined to eradicate most of my debt and also to make "catch-up" funding of my retirement account a priority, getting clear about what's an important purchase and what's not is pretty critical. I've already decided that I'm notorious in the grocery aisle. So I'm instituting a plan to take cash out of my paycheck each payday and put it in an envelope and when the money is gone, I eat what I've got, or perhaps go hungry (but don't bet on that, there's food in the larder!) - and shopping with a list and doing some menu planning. The idea, of course, is to buy what's needed and not what isn't. To reduce waste (yes, I do waste food, and it makes me very unhappy)...

(oh, and just for the record, there will be no participation in the CSA this year, because it just was too much food - it's a good deal for large families, or even for those with a chest freezer, or canner, but it's not a good place for my money. It taught me much, and for that I'm grateful...not the least of which is that I LOVE Swiss Chard!! *wink*)

Hmm...you might see more about all this in upcoming posts.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fortunately, I'm Not Weird About a Touch of Over-baked-ness!


I've been pretty darn good these couple of months on Weight Watchers, but I've had a craving for pizza and was determined to find a way to enjoy it. Ok...that's a bit dark across the top, but it was still really good.

The details? Easy. One of those wonderful Boboli Whole Wheat Pizza shells. Then I made my own tomato base with a can of paste, and added about 1/4 cup of water to thin it just a bit (actually? I used the water I'd used to rinse out my spaghetti sauce jar and had frozen to add to something - stew base, pizza sauce or another spaghetti sauce who cares? It's not wasting anything I'm interested in). I finished up the Morningstar Farms recipe crumbles from the bag I used to make my spaghetti sauce some weeks ago. Added in 2 cloves of garlic minced and a very small red onion, minced very fine (both from the CSA share). I had bits of Stoplight Peppers (red, yellow, and green) so that together, chopped finely, they totalled about 1 cup. I didn't have any fresh mushrooms, but instead added in a can of stems and pieces. The sauce got a goodly dash of dried oregano, too. On top, I used the reduced fat mozzarella cheese sticks - 3 of them - and I peeled them to cover the entire top. Next time, I'll spray that with olive oil cooking spray to see if it will melt a bit better, and perhaps not brown so quickly.

The Boboli says to bake at 450 for 8-10 minutes and time got away from me. Still it was really good, and I ate two pieces, which came in at 8 points according to Weight Watcher's Recipe Builder. I'm not one who can eat just one slice of pizza, so I have always loaded mine with tons of veggies over everything else, just to keep the healthiness in it...If I left off the recipe crumbles (which it would have been just as good without) the count would come in around 7 points per 2 slice serving.

I hope that photo doesn't turn you off. I was disappointed with myself, but I guess it shows that I really really am an amateur when it comes to this cooking stuff!
;)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

It Snowed Today!

It wasn't a lot, but it came down steadily after pouring rain overnight and this morning in the early hours. Changed over about 8 a.m...and continued into the afternoon. My plans to go south were dashed, as it was worse there than here. And tonight? The temperatures are to drop into the low 20s! That's winter in these parts...

I knew I had to use up some of the winter veggies from the CSA share, and will be continuing to show you some of that as the days go by here at Nana Sadie's Place. I'm happy to report on another Weight Watchers Etools recipe here:

I had everything called for, so didn't have to shop. It's called Barley and Roasted Vegetable Pilaf and is a whopping 4 points for a full cup of turnips, butternut squash (yes, I have 3 more...and I put a full quart bag in the freezer with the balance of the one I cut up for this recipe!), red onion (which doesn't look all that red, does it?). Barley of course. And cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and cumin. I punched mine up more than the recipe calls for, as it was bland to my taste, but I love spicey, Moroccan (and Indian) food. I also halved the recipe. It says it'll keep for 3 days in the fridge, but making 6 servings, there's no way I can finish all that in 3 days - and the freezer is pretty much full!

But I can vouch for this one - it was a wonderful addition to the last of my turkey breast from last Sunday night.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Buy Nothing Day - November 27


Buy Nothing Day 2009
I know it's amazing to hear someone involved in retail saying that she's honoring this day. I have good reason, as I do believe that Black Friday sales and all the craziness of pushing and shoving and buying the latest thing (that will be forgotten with 2 weeks of receipt on Christmas morning) is not good for any of us.

I prefer to support handmade retail. I am all in favor of Handmade Holidays. I buy handmade (or make my own) gifts to give as much as humanly possible - and for those who say, "please do not make me a scarf or hat or anything handmade, I won't wear it and really don't want it," I try to find something very useful that is important to them and gift that.

But I think the most important thing is to set and follow a budget, to not go overboard on purchases. The first responsibility we have is to our own fiscal health. Loving the people you gift to, means that you love yourself first and don't put yourself in financial jeopardy.

That's my main reason for honoring Buy Nothing Day. The other? I can't stand crowds (well, except for craft and cat show crowds, that is...).
:)
Now. With all that said, what did I do today? Well...I'm still all about the Local Food stuff, even if the summer event is over:

I peeled, chopped and roasted one of the CSA butternut squashes and several small onions in reduced sodium chicken broth...

Then pureed it all. Do you see how full that Cuisinart bowl is? Well, there's a reason they say "in small batches" in most recipes - it's because a bowl filled that full, overflows...ask me how I know?
*wink*
I admit I am an amateur chef! So without further ado, here is the finished product:

it's Weight Watchers Curried Butternut Squash Soup (3 points per 3/4 cup serving, but when I input it to E-tools? I got 3.5 points for 1 cup...which is good, because I thought 3/4 cup was way too little). It's an excellent recipe, but because it comes from E-tools, I'll have to forego giving you the complete recipe.

(but there are some good Butternut Squash Soup recipes online...just Google!)

I finished off my meal with cooked spinach, and then a Fiber One Apple Cinnamon muffin and applesauce. More than enough food, and very few points - most everything is also a "Filling Food" on the WW plan.

Today was also all about finishing up orders for holiday gifts, and now I can concentrate on filling my Etsy store for those little "somethings" that might make the perfect Handmade Holidays gift for your special person...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Still Producing - I'm Thankful for CSA

Unbelieveably, at least to me, the CSA shares continue. This week was a variety, turnips which will find homes elsewhere, as I am NOT a fan, and garlic, sweet potatoes (yummy!), the last of the salad greens, and:
Kale! I was able to fill 2 1-lb freezer tubs with this...The house smells wonderful, but I suspect I might not think that in the morning... *wink*

And butternuts
which will no doubt become soup, tho' I may just cube and freeze it at this point...if I can squeeze much more into my apartment's refrigerator freezer that is!

And then there's this, which to me is incredibly obscene-looking and has the most earthy smell (because, after all, that's dirt hanging on it!)

Ok. What on earth do I do with a celeriac? (I found a soup recipe, but I can't quite imagine what it will taste like...am I going to regret making this?)

Advice is welcome.
And Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Veggie Spaghetti

Last night, I was rifling thru the fridge and cabinets to put something together for dinner after a long, long day in the sewing room.

I was totally starving - I tend to eat a very late breakfast on the weekends, and then just a snack around 3 - you know, the 2 Tbls. of hummus and pita toasts, kind of snack (it's small, but tasty, and healthy!

I realized I'd opened a jar of Barilla spaghetti sauce earlier in the week to take out a couple of spoonsful to top a veggie chicken patty, and remembered that I'd promised to make spaghetti before the end of the week. Um...here we are, the end of the week!

So out came the sauce, a package of MorningStar Farms Recipe Crumbles, some mixed peppers and onions (frozen), a small can of mushrooms (drained), three cloves of garlic, olive oil, and olive oil cooking spray. I only used 2/3 of the bag of crumbles, probably a cup of the peppers and onions. About 2 Tbls. of oil.

I tend to forget to toss in the chopped garlic till I'm almost ready to add in the sauce - everything else is sauteed together, and the garlic can burn, so I guess I'm just too leery of throwing it in the pan too soon. That usually means it's still pretty crunchy when I eat the first meal of this sauce. Fortunately, I like garlic anyway I can get it, so it's okay if it's not fully cooked (I am not a vampire, I guess, huh?). The recipe builder on the WW site says the recipe is 8 points for 1 cup of pasta and 1 cup of sauce. I also added about a Tbls of Parmesan cheese for 1 point.

Oh, I use whole wheat pasta, too. Years ago, after my heart attack, I switched completely to brown rice and whole wheat pasta products. It didn't take too long to adjust, and I no longer notice a difference. When I'm out? I rarely order the white stuff, as I don't particularly care for it. I'll even eat Chinese with no rice rather than eating the white!

I'm sure there are some of you who think "Ewwww! Soy "burger?"

Yup. I was a pesca-vegetarian for many years. While I now eat beef and chicken, I rarely eat hamburger anymore. Again, I do think the taste is acquired, and I'm glad it's one I have!

I forgot to take a photo of the completed meal last night, so had to wait to post this till I had dinner tonight! The leftovers are great, btw...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hi! Remember Me?

Oddly enough, I'm still cooking and trying to eat properly on Weight Watchers, but I am not remembering to post much over here! I'm sorry to those few of you who stop by once in awhile...

Last week in the CSA I got several sweet potatoes (in varying sizes), so I peeled them all, coated the bottom of a glass casserole with olive oil spray, then drizzled a tablespoon of real olive oil, two tablespoons of Maple Grove reduced sugar maple syrup and a scant 1/8th cup of water and covered it with aluminum foil (which I also sprayed with oil). Then slid the whole thing into a 400 degree oven for an hour.

I'm usually one who thinks that sweet potatoes need nothing added to be their tasty best: normally I just encase them in foil and bake the dickens out of them. But I've been delighted to find this Maple Grove syrup - it's real Vermont Syrup!! - and have been doing little experiments to check it out. And this was good!

Not so local, but a nice addition to my meal was this bunch of asparagus, just steamed and lightly buttered:

Adding them to a Gorton's Grilled Salmon filet (100 calories, 2 points, and the easiest way to fix good salmon I know) made for a really fine dinner...

I'm toying with some new directions for this blog in the coming year, so stay with me, okay?
(((hugs)))

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

It's Been Awhile!

Since the One Local Summer event is past, I am finding myself less motivated to post here, and that's too bad. I enjoyed it this summer, so will try to do better in the future...

I got my CSA share this week (yes, it runs to the first of December!) and this was in it...

I just had to share. (That's a regular teaspoon for scale!)

I think I'll shred this and include it in some carrot bran muffins. Otherwise, I suspect it will just be too tough to enjoy otherwise.
(((hugs)))

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Little Lite Sunday Reading

Or perhaps joining Weight Watchers has created a renewed compulsion?

At any rate, I put together a good vegetable beef noodle soup today in my slow cooker. Some of the veggies were from my CSA share - cabbage, onions, garlic, hot peppers - ok, next time only ONE jalapeno! The beef was local, too. The carrots, celery, canned tomatoes, egg noodles, and seasonings obviously weren't local.

The slow cooker is a Cuisinart. I absolutely adore it - today was it's trial by fire. After having 3 of the new Rivals in various configurations, and being completely dismayed at the lack of quality or eveness of cooking, I finally said "enough!" and bought this one. No complaints. It's a workhorse.
:)
Now I'm off to knit a bit and peruse this lovely magazine.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Moving Into Fall

If you read my knitting blog, Knitnana, they you know I've started Weight Watcher's in an attempt to finally shed the ($%^&#%#$%) pounds I have carried around for 30 years, wearing down my spinal column.

I'm determined that this time, it will go away, because the thought of spinal surgery terrifies me (and I've already done heart surgery, so that's saying a lot).

I'm not much of a cook - perhaps I should rephrase that - I like to cook, I rarely have time, what I cook is usually pretty good (no complaints, but then, it's just me!). I go for ease in preparation, I tend to cook in bulk, and I also tend to stick pretty much within a safe range of easy stuff. My kitchen isn't the best for cooking. I miss my apartment complex kitchen which had a large window in it (this one has no exterior window, and the interior lighting is less than acceptable) and there's almost no counter space.

That said, sometimes I do whip something up. Tonight was one of those nights:

Spicy Sweet & Sour Chicken and Rice. Easy. I chopped up about 1/8 of a green pepper, a small red pepper (hot), a small onion, a clove of garlic, and then I grated fresh ginger (probably 2 Tbs.) and sauteed that in a small frying pan sprayed with PAM. Eventually, I added about 4 Tbs of Kikkoman Sweet & Sour cooking sauce and 1/4 cup water and then added chopped, cooked chicken. Heat it through and pour it over a cup of brown rice. That's it!

(I'll cook up brown rice on one evening and use it over several days - it's easier than coming home and cooking one serving)

Oh. On Weight Watchers? I added this to the recipe database and it came back with 6 points. Not bad for a dinner meal.
Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Local (sorta) Food - Thrifty 1930s Cuisine

Last week, when I decided that potato leek soup would be on the menu (and it's still there, but hasn't gotten made yet), I picked up a 5 pound bag of Yukon Gold potatoes. They aren't local, but I haven't seen local potatoes anywhere I shop, which makes me sad.

I picked up my CSA share tonight, and in addition to having lots of greens again, there were a few tomatoes, and another small "mess" of green beans. As I stood at the kitchen counter, marveling at how pretty they were this week, my eyes landed on the bag of potatoes and an instant memory of my vegetarian mom and her sisters came to mind. They were Depression Era gals, the entire family was vegetarian because their father believed it was the only way to be. Not a one of them had meat until they were married (and then some of them still didn't), but in the Depression, that was probably one reason this family successfully survived.

I remembered a simple combination of foods that was always a part of our summer dinners when as a child in the 50's and 60's, my family visited those sisters at the Lake Champlain, Vermont, 1950s-style "camp" one of them owned: corn on the cob, tomatoes, and this:

green beans and potatoes, cooked together. I seem to remember that the sisters all cooked it with either whole milk or cream.

I don't.
But the memory is still strong. Boy this tasted good. And I thoroughly enjoyed my trip down memory lane...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Local Food, Local Color!

I dropped by the Roanoke City Market today, as I was a bit dissappointed in my CSA share - I was hoping for winter squash, and apparently they've had a less than stellar year with that.

While I was there, I stopped in first to my favorite bakery, On the Rise:

and was able to get my very favorite bread, Rosemary Sourdough! They were kind enough to slice it for me, too...

I stopped by a few of the local vendors (and you can visit that on my knitting blog if you'd like visit later tonight, it will be up, soon).

And I brought back all this:

(the bread is in the back in a plastic bag...)

I've already put the mustard greens in the freezer. The October beans are on the stove for tonight's dinner - and smell absolutely wonderful! I added parsley and basil from this weeks CSA share, plus a little onion and dried rosemary to season them. I'll have the beans with sliced tomatoes and some of the bread, and a bit of greens.

Then I went ahead and froze the kale and mixed mesclun weeds from the CSA share. There was a huge bag of the weeds, and no way I could eat them all raw...but I'm big on greens because of the heavy concentration of calcium in them. I don't do milk very often and I don't seem to be able to handle calcium pills very well. Some years ago I discovered Susun Weed's book on menopause (NAYY) and learned that weeds and greens can provide so much of the calcium that my body doesn't want to absorb these days, and they work better with my digestive tract! Besides, I think, for all that calcium pills aren't that expensive, the greens are much cheaper...and tasty to boot. Adding in a bit of garlic and red wine vinegar helps me absorb the calcium, too. I'm all about keeping things as simple as I can.

So there's your "lesson" for the day - a bit of Local Food, a bit of herbal folk wisdom, and a touch of simple living health advice!

;)

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Big 'Maters...

In my CSA share this week, there were many tomatoes, as I mentioned before, but there was one...ONE - BIG 'MATER:

For scale? That is my wrist at the bottom left of that photo - the tomato completely covers my hand!

Last night, I chopped two slices and mixed it in with hot pasta, and a thawed cube of the frozen pesto I made earlier in the summer...

And that was a really good meal, but then today? I was craving something a little different:
and I made a BLT.

How much of that tomato is left? About half of it. I will slice it and finish it tomorrow, possibly with mozzarella, but probably just by itself with salt and pepper.

Oh. Did I mention? It was FABULOUS!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

A Short Reprieve, So We're Told...

There were tomatoes in my CSA share this week! Lots of them, so the blight hasn't gotten all of the plants apparently - and these lovelies were in a little bag in addition to the regular-sized ones (the yellow pears are from my own plants):

So for my report this week for One Local Summer I'm afraid I have to tell you I'm eating tomato sandwiches, and (thanks to two small heads of buttercrunch lettuce from the CSA share) salads with tomatoes, and cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil with balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing...tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes! There's a lot for ONE person to eat, but unfortunately, not enough to freeze and certainly nowhere near enough to can.
:(
I did put 3 more peppers into the freezer for stuffed peppers this winter:

And blanched and froze another quart of green beans (will this be the last of them?)

And put up two quarts of eggplant for winter, too...

My refrigerator freezer is practically full to bursting!

So the best I could do? Was string these gorgeous peppers for drying...

I'll be away next week, so there won't be a post (or a CSA share). Happy Harvesting!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Time To Remember

Melanie always gives me food for thought...sometimes it's bitter herbs, and others it's not. This week has been a sad time, a time of remembering the heady glory-days of growing up and being a part of the anti-war movement, of watching and hoping as two brothers attempted to change the world, only to have it take them from us most rudely, and a third brother step up to take their place. That brother is lost to us now as well, but thankfully after a long life of consequence. I'm particularly grateful for Ted Kennedy's support for the disability community (but then that's my work-world focus).

Anyway, Melanie posted the lyrics to this song, and they didn't, at first, ring a bell with me. Till I went off to search for the song itself, and discovered this:


Oh my, the glory days, indeed...I feel as if I should head off to search the boxes in the basement for my headband, my flowers to put in my hair, and my black armband...the memories of my youth.

(and I'm not being funny at all...)

(Or maybe I'll just head over to the used record store after work and see if I can find a "greatest" album of Laura Nyro? Kinda sounds like a great way to spend my Friday night)

Thanks, Melanie!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Local Summer Week #?

I'm behind. Way, way behind. But I wanted to post a photo of the dinner I made with my CSA share this week, and for the first time? It's completely from veggies from that (except for the olive oil). I was so surprised when I opened the bag and saw that virtually everything in the bag (ok, there was a small head of lettuce and some beets which I did not add) was perfect for ...
Ratatouille! I make it the fast and furious way (since I admit I am not a cook).

I chop everything up: fresh tomatoes (yellow AND red - and I blanched them to skin them more easily), carrots, eggplant, onion (yes!), celery, garlic, green pepper, zuccini, basil, curly parsely. I toss them all in my big casserole dish, toss on some olive oil (oh, hmm..I did add salt & freshly cracked pepper, and also some dried oregano - not from the CSA share!).

The photo above is after two days in the fridge. I ate it for those two days, and I froze the rest. I'll enjoy it later on, perhaps with brown rice! It was, as I'm sure you can imagine, yummy!

And apparently, the gardens have been hit by the tomato blight - we've been told not to expect any more..
(Sob!)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Garden Is Bursting!

Back from vacation and what met me at my door?
A mini bumper crop of yellow pear tomatoes! My urns on either side of the front door are full, most of them are still green, but I was delighted that the treatments for the blossom end rot have apparently worked!

Then the next night it was time to stop at the co-op and pick up my CSA half-share:
Tomatoes (both yellow and red, and most are now frozen, with a few left for eating raw - yumm!)
and hot peppers! Aren't they pretty? I haven't done anything with them, but found an interesting stir-fry recipe today that I want to try.
I told them I loved eggplant, so there were more in this bag this week. Most will be roasted and frozen for ratatouille this fall and winter.

I did have a local meal (okay, mostly local) on Tuesday - I bought a loaf of On The Rise's sourdough bread and chopped up some of the basil with tomatoes to make brushetta. But I didn't stop there. Another slice I topped with Cabot Vermont cheddar cheese and broiled it a bit. Now in another life, that Cabot cheese WAS local, so I have a hard time thinking of it as not. And I'll admit:
the calamata olives aren't a bit local. Still it was a wonderful meal, just the thing after my first day back at work after vacation. The only thing better would have been a glass of Chateau Morrisette (yes, local) merlot, but I didn't have any here...hmm. I think I'll put that on my shopping list for this weekend!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This Time It's The FREEZER!

After last week's double batch of basil - yes, I asked for extra - (and I also made a double batch of pesto and froze it in ice cube trays for single servings!), they only allowed me a single stem of the herb this week in my CSA half-share...So. I froze it the way Martha Stewart says to:
I rolled it into "cigars" and slivered it then immediately put it in the ice cube tray and poured filtered water over it. When the cubes are solid, I'll pop them into a freezer bag, and use a couple of cubes in spaghetti sauce this winter. Yum!

And because I told them I loved Swiss Chard? I got a double batch of it this weekend. So of course, with so much of it, I had no choice but to freeze that, too:
I love the yellow and red stems!
I have two one-pound containers set aside (along with others from earlier in the summer).

I also put two more quart bags of carrots in, and there's another bag of green and yellow beans, but I think I might eat those later in the week.

And two more 'maters. Let me tell you, last week's were fabulous.
But I never even thought, eating them sliced with a touch of salt and freshly ground pepper, that there's something else I love them for:
Tomato sandwiches! So at the Co-op tonight, I found a pre-sliced loaf of my favorite local baker's whole grain bread. We know what my lunches will be this week, right?

(oh, well, I might add in some - not so local - bacon, local lettuce, and mayo)
YUMMY!

I won't post next week, as I'll be on vacation and the CSA won't be including me in their distributions. See you in two weeks!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's CSA Time Again!

I have to admit, I'm not sure I'll participate in the CSA next year. I just mostly have to block out two evenings after work every week to take care of all the food! (And this is a 1/2 share, folks!) Obviously, if there were more people in my family than just me, it would not be an issue. Anyway, tonight I blanched and froze about a half-pound of green beans, and the bunch of carrots from last week (I have another bunch to do tomorrow night). I have chard to freeze, and beets to eat. There were no summer squash in this week's share, but I'm craving them, so I picked up two from the local orchard/farm that's brought into my lovely Ukrops store a block from my house. There was also a head of fresh garlic and then this:


So...I have never made it before, but I dragged out the Cuisinart and made:
Yes. Pesto! (I used this recipe).

And mixed it with pasta (half white/half wheat). Nothing but the basil and garlic were local, but still...
(and yes, I like a little pasta with my pesto)

Oh, in the CSA bag were these, too!
While they look pretty good, they are not quite ripe, so will sit under my plant light for a day or two (I do not have windowsills that get sunshine...hence I do not do well growing vegies in my own space)...
This is what my Yellow Pear tomatoes look like. I don't think it's a good sign...
(sigh)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Two Words - GREEN BEANS!

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I give you:

There was a lot more in my CSA share this week (more carrots, cukes - oh dear - swiss chard, beet greens with mini beets attached). But...my dinner last night was very simple: a baked potato and green beans. Like most of my vegetables, I make them simply - steam till tender and add a touch of butter, salt and freshly grated pepper.

Heaven!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I'm Back! More Local Food!

And I have lots of photos to make up for being absent last week!

The CSA bag this week was full! And while I'm missing the squash and zuccini (I'm assured it will be in next weeks bag...), we had a lot of stuff this week that made me smile:
I am not a cucumber fan, have never been. They do NOT like me, no matter how I doctor them, but I can occasionally eat one or two slices this way. Soaked in red wine vinegar with a heavy sprinkle of fresh black pepper. The longer they sit, the better, from both a taste and a digestive perspective! There were two cukes in the bag, but this is the smaller of the two. I will have to find a happy home for the other.

Then, I was so happy to see these:
Cut into "pennies" steamed and then dressed with a melted butter, grated ginger and honey glaze? Oh my - what heaven! (yes, they're good raw, too...see below.)

Also there were two small heads of:
I'm unsure of the variety, but this lettuce surely tastes buttery...I've enjoyed it in salads:
and in my sandwiches all week.

So there you have it! I'll see you next week! Oh...and if you get the chance? Buy local food!

Friday, June 26, 2009

More Fresh Veggies!

When the CSA share arrived this week, I was delighted to see the items I've photoed here:
the sort of cabbage I love - regular green cabbage of the sort I make coleslaw out of. I always have a time eating an entire one, but I will freeze the remainder of this head to add to a stew come late fall. Have to admit I'm using something not quite local for my coleslaw, tho' - I'm a light Marzetti's gal...there's just no substitute!

But then? Ahhh...
The very first beets - actually the CSA said "there'll be beet greens this week, and for a few of you, they'll have beets attached" and I crossed my fingers. I'm not a fan of beet greens at all, but oh, do I love beets! I roasted these tonight with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper - YUM! In winter I'll buy canned beets, because that's what there is, but oh these were wonderful, fresh from the ground...
When I picked up my CSA share at the Co-op this week, I had a couple of different selections of bread - dinner rolls from On The Rise bakery, pictured above, or another choice of wheat rolls from my favorite local caterer, Wildflour. I go back and forth as to which bakery's bread I prefer - there's no contest - they're both tops! You'll see examples of their work periodically here.

Last but not least, and happily for me, a coworker brought in homegrown yellow summer squash today. I adore it, and it's not available in the CSA share yet. I steamed it and ate it with butter and salt and pepper (along with the beets!). What a terrific summer meal I had.

Next week might be a bit slim here. Three weeks of the season, have to be skipped in the CSA, and I choose next week because I'll be too busy with a show to do much more than grab something quick. Big Sis will be here, and we'll probably eat at one local restaurant, perhaps Wildflour. I'll try to take my camera, but no promises. It will be a hectic time!

Good eating...and don't forget, while you're busily cooking and preserving your produce this week to also remember the environment in other ways - I'll be recycling (curbside) as I do every week, and as the temp heats up? I'll be keeping the a/c set a notch higher with the mini fans going room-by-room instead.
(((Hugs)))