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Tag Archives: CSA

Vampires

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Or lack thereof due to the high concentration of garlic in the house.

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After all, how many people do you know that are curing garlic in their laundry rooms? The garlic hanging there is destined for the Howard County Food Bank. The first of many harvests to give us about a month’s worth of garlic to donate. I took about a dozen heads of garlic out of the ground this week. The largest ones, which were already turning brown on their tops. The rest. Will get harvested as they dry out. If it ever stops raining. Garlic is easy to grow, but needs to be dried somewhere cool and dry.

Besides that garlic, I have scapes from the CSA and green garlic also. Green garlic are those immature plants that are culled out to make room for the more robust plants that will become mature garlic.

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In this picture you can see green garlic on the right and scapes all curled up on the left. I made some pesto. Cut some in pieces to use in stir fry dinners. I should have left a few of them whole so I could wrap bacon around them and grill them. Too late for this batch.

If you have never had scapes, I know that Love Dove Farms sells them at the various county markets. I used to buy mine there before the CSA started inundating us with scapes.

Tonight a few ended up in this meal.

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An almost completely locally sourced meal. The salad. Arugula and butter lettuce and chive blossoms from my garden. The main dish. Pappardelle’s garlic chive pasta from Secolari, served with shrimp from Friends and Farms. Pesto from my freezer (last year’s basil). Snow peas, scallions and scapes from the CSA.

With all this garlic, there will be no vampires in this part of western HoCo.

Tidbit Tuesday Again

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Just some random thoughts on a Tuesday evening.

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The zucchini are officially out of control already, less than a week after finding the first few. The behemoth in the picture weighed 24 ounces and was hiding (the usual ploy of zucchini not wanting to be harvested). All told. 84 ounces in 8 zucchini. And, this is just the beginning.

Notice the two little mini white cucumbers. My first cukes of the season. Pickling cukes. They are far ahead of the other cucumbers. All of these vegetables came from my #grow100 challenge area. What can you grow in 100 square feet? Obviously, beaucoup zucchini.

Moving on to other pictures from my camera since the weekend, congratulations to the volunteer of the year at the conservancy, Woody Merkle. We swear he lives there, we see him all the time.

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We had our volunteer appreciation strawberry social on Sunday. Well attended. Lovely berries from Baugher’s and ice cream from Hoffman’s.

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Today after harvesting for the food bank and for the winners of the auction basket at Wine in the Garden, I got those zucchini and cukes and headed off for my CSA pick up.

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Something new. Red Leaf cheese. Not just any cheese, but an award winning goat cheese with attitude. The joys of our CSA. Finding things like this.

This week we also got something new in our meat share.

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Country spare ribs from the heritage hogs at Razorbacks and Barbed Wire Farm. We have gotten pork chops from this farm. Very tasty. I am thinking ribs tomorrow night.

As for the fruit share.

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Stayman apples and strawberry jam. I just finished the raspberry jam from the winter CSA. Am so happy to see a new flavor to try. Heaven on toast in the morning.

My veggie share?

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Completely insane. Almost too much to photograph. There will be lots of cooking going on. I am thinking of using the massive escarole in a soup with the last of the green garlic. Romano beans and snow peas.

OK, another new one.

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Dandelion greens.

We are slowly transitioning into summer, with a mix of squash and beans, and many different greens.

Scapes Season

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It has arrived. Garlic scape season.

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That first bunch of scapes in the CSA box from Lancaster Farm Fresh. Time to head over to the recipe page and start browsing.

It was a great transition box this week.

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Strawberries and rhubarb in the fruit share. Spring onions. Baby fennel. Greens. Beets. Cilantro and mint.

The meat share.

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Beef stir fry. Pork links. Boneless pork chops.

Tonight I was just in the mood for a stir fry. Using quite a bit of the box, and one of those precious scapes.

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Scapes, scallions and chard stems. In the wok with some light olive oil and toasted sesame oil. Fresh ginger.

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Add beef, soy sauce, straw mushrooms and curly kale.

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Served over brown rice. With a very lovely Linden Rose.

Get yourself to the local farmers markets and see if Love Dove Farms has their usual supply of scapes. So many ways to make them. Not just in pesto.

A short season, but a flavorful one.

Coop Benefits

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Strawberries. Many, many strawberries.

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I think almost everyone got strawberries today at our Cooperative CSA pick up. The benefits of a good season. When we get much more than expected due to a good yield.

We got an email last week. It said “Surprise!” Fruit shares were starting a week early. Without any cost. Two pints of organic strawberries for all our fruit share members. That’s a lot of us in Columbia. I think we have 40 fruit shares at our pick up site.

Plus, the small, medium and large vegetable shares had strawberries tucked in our boxes, too. All told, I went home with 48 ounces of berries. Sweet. Juicy. Ready for desserts or baking or maybe margaritas.

The large share had ten more items this week. Huge amounts.

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There were white kohlrabi. Red and white scallions. Green garlic. Another POUND of spring mix. Red leaf lettuce. Green butterhead lettuce. Rhubarb. Galantina chicory. Baby crinkled cress.

Still that heavy greens season. Can’t wait for the transition to summer vegetables but we are enjoying the salad mixes.

I also picked up my weekly meat share.

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I should have done a happy dance for that bone in ham steak. We got one last winter. The best ham steak we have ever eaten. We also got my favorite chicken, the boneless thighs. And, bacon. The bacon is different. I bake it, and use it for greens and frittatas. Flavorful, but definitely fatty.

Biweekly cheese share this week too. A full basket to bring home.

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My fave. The Millich Kivvel.

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So creamy. Yet pretty assertive, if you eat the rind, like my other half does.

Lancaster Farm Fresh keeps getting better and better. A really good value. Very fresh food, that lasts for weeks in the fridge. And surprises. Like those strawberries.

Catching Up Again

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On the local food scene. In our home, it is presently dominated by our two summer food sources. A Community Supported Agriculture large share of vegetables. And a protein and dairy bag from Friends and Farms.

Supplemented by trips to the Glenwood Farmers Market. And, stopping at Jenny’s Market to round out the fruit.

Occasionally I have to hit Harris Teeter for things like tonic water for those gin and tonics. Aranciata for those Lemon Basil drinks. Tea bags to make iced tea.

The garden also contributes. With greens and spring onions.

As for the CSA. We had another week of greens overload. Not a bad thing, as we eat salads at lunch and dinner. This week at least it was all really good stuff.

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Leaf lettuces. Spring mix. Romaine. Spinach. Two bunches of scallions. Green garlic. Two kinds of mushrooms. And, strawberries.

There will be no problem in using up all these goodies. Caesar salads. Greens with fruit and cheese. Greek salad. All sorts of possibilities. I am even thinking of pesto with some of my chive blossom stems and the spring garlic.

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We are crossing our fingers that we get garlic scapes next week. To replenish my pesto supplies in the freezer.

As for the proteins.

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Our meat share gave us ground beef. I am thinking of hamburgers on the grill. We already had the spare ribs for dinner tonight. Slathered in Rhubarb BBQ sauce. The drumsticks I will grill also.

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That BBQ sauce? I found a recipe here. But then I didn’t follow it. I used the ingredients, but not in the quantities. I used frozen berries from last year. I used mostly rhubarb. My suggestion when you get an idea like this. Use whatever suits your taste. I used more mustard. Less molasses. Didn’t use the cloves. Bottom line. Trust your taste and be adventurous.

Who needs bottled sauces when it is relatively simple to simmer up a sauce that is fresh, bold, tasty and versatile.

Local Resources Page Update

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My Local Resource page. Up there below the header. I just updated it again today. Head over there and check it out if you are looking for sources for local meats, dairy, produce, fruit and flours.

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I still have more to research but I did add a few things. I also cleaned up any broken links and errors.

Many local CSAs have changed options. More pick up locations, and days. Big announcements, too, like Gormans Farm closing their farm store to focus on their CSA.

If you haven’t had the chance, I will suggest that a trip into Catonsville to visit Atwater’s Bakery is a delightful way to spend lovely spring days. We did lunch there again a few weeks ago. They have expanded what they offer in their “pantry” and fridge. Including their soups and their salads.

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Add to all these choices the seven farmer’s markets here in the county. Plus two in Catonsville. One in Olney. One in Burtonsville. Check out locaharvest to see where your nearest markets are.

There was a time I headed off to Silver Spring to find local goodies. We don’t have to travel far now.

Soon to come. I am going to try some “locally” sourced rice and beans. We don’t have many choices close to us, but just south in the Carolinas there are a couple of options. I will be stocking up my pantry and will be blogging about the experience. Who knows? I may be able to give up that grocery store soon.

Plus, off to Secolari for a hocoblogs party in a couple of weeks. They have olive oil from the USA. No need to buy Italian or Greek or Spanish. Quite a few producers in the US to choose.

Minimizing that carbon footprint, in tiny steps.

Fifty Shades of Greens

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Springtime. The drowning in the greens. Not a bad thing. One of those pleasures that we anticipate in the dead of winter.

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Today’s CSA pickup yielded lots of greens. Lettuces. Spinach. Kale and more.

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A large share. Formerly known as a full share. I forgot how large they can be. Still, as people who put many vegetables on our lunch and dinner plates, this is a good haul.

I have to comment about those squash.

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Zucchini and yellow squash are NOT in season in Lancaster County. It seems our CSA has decided that the consumer who wants more produce earlier than normal in the midAtlantic will be driving their selections.

We seem to have expanded into a few more Southern states. The purists may not be happy, but we are getting incredibly fresh organic food at less than retail cost, so I can forgive them for using other farms. Last year, we had a delayed opening because the crops were far behind here. The extreme cold winter hurt them.

This year, they opted to bring in vegetables from further south. That allowed them to open on time. We know this was another brutal winter. When it comes to decisions. Do they branch out and keep customers, or remain pure to the “local” tag and lose customers due to decreased yields and subpar product. I can understand them.

I have to admit. Those squash? Awesome.

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Two ended up in tonight’s dinner. A simple gratin. Squash. Hummingbird Farm tomatoes. Mozzarella from last week’s basket. Olive oil. Herbs de Provence. Baked at 350 degrees until browned.

Tonight’s dinner.

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Not bad for a Tuesday.

As for those other greens. They will be enjoyed.

And that rhubarb. Begging to become a crisp tomorrow.

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