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Daily Archives: April 6, 2012

Winter CSA Week Fifteen

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Since we have another freeze warning tonight, I suppose we really aren’t out of winter yet. March was the warmest on record around here so we were getting used to seeing spring type veggies in the box. Today we go back to the reality of cooler weather and the veggies associated with it. I just got finished covering the garlic, lettuces, tulips and chive seedlings again.

We got an email saying the farmer who supplies us meat was MIA last night, so no meat this week. Double portion next week. That is OK, since I went to Harris Teeter yesterday and stocked up on seafood. Sustainable, of course.

Crab cakes for dinner last night.

I was using up most of the spinach from last week, with green onions and potatoes and local mushrooms bought at HT.

This week, I got:

1 1/2 pounds of carrots
4 nice spring onions
2 large leeks
1 pound new red potatoes
4 oranges from the partner farm in FL
1 beet that weighed 28 ounces

Add that to the beet from last week.

They are slow roasting on a salt bed in the oven for a few hours, until tender. They will become part of a salad with goat cheese and the last of the spring greens from a delivery a week ago, for tomorrow night’s dinner with some Alaskan wild salmon.

Since it is almost Easter, I have to show the cool eggs we got.

I particularly like the green one. I am hard boiling about 6-8 of them tomorrow, the prettiest ones. They will get taken to my brother’s for the Easter Egg Tapping contest.

I am drowning in eggs again. With this dozen today, there are 30 eggs in the fridge. I know now that two dozen a month is too much. Without a large family, or a baker in the house, I don’t know how people go through the eggs they get in local CSAs. I think in the future I will probably pass on eggs in the winter CSA.

Dinner tonight will be pan seared scallops from Harris Teeter, with baby red potatoes from the CSA, and salad to use the last of the spinach. I wonder if Harris Teeter is the store most affected by Wegmans coming in. I like the way they make sure you don’t stand in line too long for checkout. I also like the guys making sushi. We went there for things they have the best selection of, like fennel, ginger and some of the more exotic mushrooms. They do have nice produce but I am carefully reading the labels to buy items from the closest sources.

The CSA provides me with a solid basis to menu plan. The few extras needed to make interesting dinners are all I want to purchase from other than local vendors. That way, I am making what I call the 90% solution locavore dinners. Every little bit helps.


Revisiting My New Year’s Resolutions

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Well, it has been three months since New Year’s. I revisited my post made on the 30th of December to see if I actually am doing what I said I wanted to do this year.

Resolution #1:

    I do resolve to be more creative and expand my culinary boundaries to include more baking, and more ethnic foods outside our European heritage. I do intend to continue being more and more of a locavore, and use up as much processed stuff in the pantry, and not replace it.

Well, the Dark Days Challenge was a way to expand what I eat locally. I haven’t been baking much, unless you count those black bean brownies a few weeks ago.

And, the pantry is still pretty full of processed stuff, because I am eating mostly CSA and local meats. I need to continue to clean out what is in there, and not replace it with more of the same.

As for ethnic foods, haven’t done much there either. I will challenge myself from the spring/summer CSA to use those Asian vegetables in ethnic dishes, not simple stir frying, but really trying something new. Not chicken chow mein with the bok choy. And, I resolve to not swap the peppers, like the habanero or jalapenos we get. Make my own salsas. Attempt a mole sauce, too.

Resolution #2:

    I intend to can more things, pick more veggies and fruits, and process them. I need to get a freezer and buy something at the fair, from the 4H’ers. Maybe lamb, or goat, or part of one of the steers or hogs. Our friends’ children raise animals to bring to the auction. We want to support them more by making it worth their efforts.

Not there yet. This is a summer time thing. I do need to get off my butt and buy a freezer if I want to do this. Larriland for strawberries isn’t that far away. The auction at the fair is on our list to do this year as well. Last year we just observed.

Resolutions #3 and 4:

    Is this the year we get the chicken coop? Haven’t made that decision yet, but we are working on it.

    I want to build a cold frame. Will I find the time?

Not gonna happen, due to my health changes. Recovery from surgery got in the way of doing these. Plus, I need to make sure we don’t have problems with predators, and research the best coops to buy. We have a new addition to our predator community.

Not the best picture of the red fox who has been hanging around. I took it through the screen so as not to spook him. He was hunting something in the meadow and paced back and forth many times. Yesterday I wasn’t fast enough to grab the camera as he ran through our yard carrying something large in his mouth. I think it may have been one of my neighbor’s chickens. It was just before sunset, and if you leave the chickens free range too late in the day, they become dinner for the fox.

As for the cold frame, it will get put off until fall.

Resolution #5:

    We still need to clean out the stuff we accumulated at our jobs, which sits in boxes in the attic and garage. That is a priority.

We are making some progress here. The shredder is working overtime. And, at Greenfest I will be getting more out of the house and garage. I have been going through old pictures and keeping those I want by scanning them into the computer. Less paper around here will be a good thing.

The Summary:

    do new things including expanding what I do in my volunteering, like geocaching and giving presentations. Another priority. Looks like I have enough to do, and I’ll see how it turns out in my second year of retirement.

There are numerous programs at the Conservancy this fall where I will be doing presentations, and where I will be using the geocaching skills I am learning.

All in all, not a bad start to doing what I want in 2012. Putting them down in writing here in the blog makes it harder to ignore them, or lose them. Let’s see if I do more in the next three months.