I usually put my CSA posts up on Tuesday but the past week has been packed full of other responsibilities. From Saturday to Tuesday I was in New York for my grandmother’s funeral. Due to extreme weather in Chicago we did not get back home until very late on Tuesday. Between getting ready for the trip, traveling, and then trying to recover I have not had hardly a spare moment for blogging since early last week. I am so glad that we were able to attend the funeral, but wow, unexpected trips can be exhausting! I am looking forward to things quieting down.
Being away also means that I have quite a bit of produce left from last week. This post will probably be different than most in that I will be talking more about plans that actual achievements.
That picture at the top shows what we received in week six: one bunch kale, two yellow squash, one bunch radishes, one bunch cilantro, one bunch parsley, one bag snow peas, two bags sugar snap peas, one bunch beets, one giant head green leaf lettuce, a few garlic scapes, one bunch green onions, and a bag of dried beans.
So far we have only eaten a couple green onions, the peas, and the squash. Some of the peas we ate raw while I stir-fried the rest with green onions and garlic scapes for a vegetable side dish. I didn’t get the timing quite right for the stir-fry so the onions and garlic scapes were slightly charred by the time I added the peas, but even so I thought it was amazing. I will definitely be doing that again if we get more peas.
Jesse cooked the squash with some zucchini, onion and Italian spices for our standard sautéed zucchini/summer squash side dish. I’ve been making this a lot lately because it’s good with pretty much any meat or fish and reheats easily, so you can make a bunch at once and eat the leftovers for your next meal.
I’m still planning on making some beet kvass, especially since the beets are piling up in my fridge at this point. I also want to ferment my similarly piling up stash of radishes.
I’m drowning in lettuce at the moment. We got behind a couple of weeks ago and I just can’t seem to catch up, even though it seems like we’ve been eating a lot of salads. Maybe it’s time to research other uses for lettuce? The other thing that I can do is to go ahead and wash and rip a ton of it so it’s ready to eat. I find that we eat more salad when it becomes a “convenience” food. Plus, once you rip it there’s some pressure to eat it quickly so it doesn’t go bad first!
I planned to make that bunch of kale into kale chips before we left but other things got in the way. It’s looking rather the worse for wear at this point but I need to really pull it out of the fridge and see what I can salvage. If it doesn’t seem like it will make good chips I could try steaming it for a soup.
I’m also not sure if I can salvage the herbs from last week. I may just have to compost them and move on. Hopefully, though, I will be able to finally start experimenting with some of the great ideas for parsley and cilantro that you readers have been sharing. I haven’t felt up to trying new things given how busy everything has been lately but that may change when things slow down.
Beginning of Our Preserving Share
The farm that we belong to through our CSA also offers “preserving shares,” which are larger amounts of certain items that you can preserve for later in the year. Jesse and I decided to go in on a share with some friends. Last week our first item arrived: apricots! That is twenty pounds of apricots. I was super excited for them because I love apricots but hardly ever buy them because they are usually very expensive here. The price for these was quite good and they are delicious.
Going away only a few days after picking up twenty pounds of apricots wasn’t ideal but I managed pretty well. We really enjoy the apricots fresh so I packed a few for our trip and put a large container of them into the fridge in the hopes that they would stay good until we came home. I knew we couldn’t possibly eat all of them fresh, though, so I also froze and dried some. Here are apricots ready for the dehydrator: I dried about three and a half sheets in total. As you can see, I cut the apricots into quarters first to help speed drying. I think I overdried them a bit because they weren’t quite done when we went to bed so I let them keep going all night, but I don’t think that will be a big deal. I can always rehydrate them for a baked dish if they aren’t as pleasant for eating plain.
I froze about two gallon-sized freezer bags of apricots. I’m not really sure how I’m going to use them yet so for one bag I only cut the apricots in halves while for the other I cut them into sixths. I’m thinking that the halves will be good for making sauces while the sixths can go in something like a crisp. I’ve never frozen apricots before it will be interesting to see how they turn out.
What’s in season where you live?
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